When I was a young boy my mother often spoke of the power of positive thinking. As I grew I also found many popular works touting the power of positive thinking in manifesting one’s desires… but something was missing. After all, considering Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s book on the topic sold over seven million copies in 15 languages, why isn’t there more manifestation of positive thoughts in the world? After examining the laws of manifestation from several spiritual and metaphysical viewpoints, I found a few likely explanations for the lack of manifestation as a result of positive thinking.
Thoughts are Not Enough
Positive thought is not enough. There must be an acceptance of our power as creators and a knowing expectation that what we give our attention to, we will manifest. In other words, thinking is not sufficient, we must feel, live, and believe that our positive thoughts are in fact creative vibration. Just as important is the way we formulate our positive thinking. All too often we say “I understand the power of positive thinking; I do it all the time.” But, when asked how we think, it becomes clear that we do not understand the laws of attraction at all! As an example, many people think saying “I want more money” is positive thinking, but it’s not! First, the operative feeling in this phrase is “want” which is associated with poverty and lack since wanting affirms a basis of not having. Think about it – when you say someone “wants” something what are you thinking? Most likely you’re thinking “they don’t have it” which is exactly the energy you are broadcasting to the Universe when you say “I want.”
The second problem with most positive thoughts is that they are passive. You are the creator of your reality, don’t simper… state your intentions clearly and with authority! “I will have an additional $500 in the next 30 days, and it is so. For this I give thanks.” Notice I added “and it is so” along with an expression of appreciation. These are important elements. Saying “and it is so” confirms to your mind that you are creating, not wishing. The expression of appreciation helps remove resistance to manifestation.
The Cover of the Rolling Stone
About five years ago I wrote a short snippet about the power of positive expectation using a band from my youth as an example. Here is the story:
If you are a member of my generation, you most likely remember the song The Cover of the Rolling Stone which premiered in late 1972. Written by Shel Silverstein (yes, the same person who wrote the children’s poem Where the Sidewalk Ends) and performed by Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, the song was intended to be a parody of the lifestyle of rock singers. However, upon hearing this classic hit I realized that it was a wonderful lesson in the power of positive expectation. Part of it goes like this:
Well, we’re big rock singers
We’ve got golden fingers
And we’re loved everywhere we go (that sounds like us)
We sing about beauty and we sing about truth
At ten thousand dollars a show (right)
Even though these lyrics did not reflect the band’s objective reality at that time in history, they set the intention and stated the objective as a reality. This is a practice often recommended by life coaches and spiritual teachers but seldom understood by western students. Western students tend to confuse the power of visualization and the spoken word with wishful thinking and fantasy because they lack a critical ingredient – emotion. The difference between thinking a positive thought and having a positive expectation is emotion. When you feel that something is real and your vibration matches your words, it will manifest… it is law. In the case of Dr. Hook, they produced and preformed a parody song that although written to poke fun at the lifestyle of rock singers, set their intention and notified the Universe that they intended to be on the cover of the Rolling Stone – a long shot to say the least for a little known band who, in 1972, could claim only one hit to their four year career. However, by bringing feeling to their positive thought and creating a positive expectation they animated forces that took them to the number 6 spot on the U.S. rock charts and landed them on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine on March 29th, 1973… three months after the release of The Cover of the Rolling Stone. That’s the difference between positive thinking and positive expectation.