Want to be a dreamer and a doer?

Then Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation by Gabriele Oettingen may be the book for you. Oettingen draws on 20 years of research and offers us “mental contrasting,” her strategy for moving from just dreaming to taking action. Mental contrasting combines dreaming with visualizing the obstacles in our way.

Many of us have dreams that we’ve been fantasizing about, perhaps for years, yet, as the clock ticks, we don’t seem to get any closer. Wouldn’t it be nice if a simple strategy like considering the best outcome, identifying the obstacle, and creating a short “if/then” statement to overcome the obstacle actually motivated us to action? Oettingen’s research shows that this process does work.

Want to learn more about how to get motivated to create change in your life and the lives of others? Leave a comment below and join us for our live conference call on Tuesday, July 12, at 7:30 pm EDT.

Book Discussion

When: Tuesday, July 12, 2016 at 7:30 pm EST
Conference Call Dial in: 323-476-3997
Conference ID: 218555#
International dial-in numbers click here.
Who should join? Anyone who could use a little help turning their dreams into reality, including coaches, parents, and mentors.
Why join? To explore Oettingen’s new science of motivation and learn research-backed tools for getting stuff done.

(Adapted from Woop)
So often in our day-to-day lives, we’re inundated with advice to “think positively.” From pop music to political speeches to commercials, the general message is the same: Look on the bright side, be optimistic in the face of adversity, and focus on your dreams. And whether we’re trying to motivate ourselves to lose weight, snag a promotion at work, or run a marathon, we’re told time and again that focusing on fulfilling our wishes will make them come true.

Gabriele Oettingen’s research reveals why the conventional wisdom falls short. The obstacles that we think prevent us from realizing our deepest wishes can actually lead to their fulfillment. Starry-eyed dreaming isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and, as it turns out, dreamers are not often doers.

While optimism can help us alleviate immediate suffering and persevere in challenging times, merely dreaming about the future actually makes people more frustrated and unhappy over the long term and less likely to achieve their goals. In fact, the pleasure we gain from positive fantasies allows us to fulfill our wishes virtually, sapping our energy to perform the hard work of meeting challenges and achieving goals in real life.

In Rethinking Positive Thinking, Oettingen applies mental contrasting to three key areas of personal change—becoming healthier, nurturing personal and professional relationships, and performing better at work. She introduces readers to the key phases of mental contrasting using a proven four-step process called WOOP—Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan—and offers advice and exercises on how to best apply this method to daily life. Through mental contrasting, people in Oettingen’s studies have become significantly more motivated to quit smoking, lose weight, get better grades, sustain fulfilling relationships, and negotiate more effectively in business situations. Whether you are unhappy and struggling with serious problems, or just want to improve, discover, and explore new opportunities, this book will deepen your ideas about human motivation and help you boldly chart a new path ahead.

About: Mina Simhai

Mina Simhai earned her Certificate in Positive Psychology from the Wholebeing Institute and served as a teaching assistant for CiPP4. She teaches positive psychology at George Washington University. She is also a recovering lawyer, yoga teacher and mother. Her latest project is bringing the tools of positive psychology to lawyers and others in the DC area and across the country. Her top strengths are judgment, love of learning, curiosity, love, and appreciation of beauty. Mina is an avid reader and looks forward to launching the WBI Book Club with you.