Or PMA for short. It may sound like a throwaway phrase spoken by the wealthy, who may or may not have inherited their riches. There is a trend with the successful in any venture, though, to owe some of their gains to a positive mental attitude. Not only can and positive attitude bring success in careers and in turn, wealth, it is strongly believed to aid in overcoming illness; laughter is the best medicine, right? (besides actual medicine of course)
I have read many self-help books over the last few years, in particular authors like Napoleon Hill, W. Clement Stone and Og Mandino. The former two in particular stress great importance on PMA, co-writing a book called “Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude” (which is a great read, by the way). Reading these books I developed an undying optimism, my very own positive mental attitude. Are there downsides? Sure. Is the whole PMA creating success a little overblown? Probably.
Reading Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” was a turning point. The three books that changed my life are “The Power of Now”, which I read as I was on the better end of a long depression and slingshotted me to positivity. “The Greatest Salesman in the World” made me believe I was worth something, that I could succeed and finally, Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” made me so sure I could succeed I began to act, with the first step being a move to Canada which I’m enjoying every minute of now.
Potential downsides of being positive all the time? It can make you a pushover. I was the rock to my girlfriend of 4 years, propping her up when she was down became a daily task. The reward of abuse and absolute betrayal may have been avoided if I didn’t always look on the bright side of things and made some drastic but necessary decisions. The downside of the books? These authors are quite close-knit in their beliefs, many being influenced by the other, ultimately leading back to the beliefs of Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, three of the most successful and powerful men in the history of America. The message in these books becomes somewhat repetitive and cult-like, which can make it hard to buy into their belief.
My thoughts, having lived with a balanced optimistic/cautious outlook, a highly pessimistic view as well as a chronic optimism is that balance can be good. Whatever floats your boat, as they say. Whatever your beliefs are that make you do what you do and enjoy doing it is what you should continue believing in. Personally balance is great, it is important to step back and worry every now and then. Both for those of us who can no longer maintain that healthy balance, no doubt that my current attitude that the positivity gained from constant optimism is worth the occasional pain.