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Arrow Tip #56: Try Thinking "Productive" vs. "Positive"

"You've just got to think positive!" How many times have we heard this phrase? While it's true that having a positive mindset certainly helps when dealing with the ups and downs of life, how many people can stay positive 24/7?

I think having a "productive" mindset is not only more sustainable, but it's what initiates change, and allows us to experience life from a more "positive" perspective even when things don't feel so rosy and cheery.

When I say "productive", I don't necessarily mean you have to be "doing" something, although it may include that. What I mean is approaching life, and every decision, from the mindset of "Is this productive in leading me to where I want to go, and is it going to produce the result I want?" This doesn't just apply to tangible goals but it also applies to just being in a better state of mind every day.

It's so important to know where you are and where you're headed. We're headed for either more of the same, or something different. The "something different" can be closer to your ideal or further from it. So every day is headed somewhere. No matter what, always try to maintain a productive mindset that leads you where you want to go, especially when a positive one seems too hard to embrace.

How do we do this?

First, by examining our thoughts. Are my thoughts leading me in the direction I want to go or are they tearing me down? Am I expending large amounts of energy worrying or speculating on things that haven't happened yet or am I taking control of my thoughts and entertaining new "What if" questions? (See Arrow Tip #29).

Secondly, by examining our beliefs. Your thoughts will inform you as to what you believe. If your beliefs aren't conducive to your end result then they're not coming from a productive mindset. People will tend to say "I believe this because it's the truth!" Well, not so fast. It might be a case of "it may be true for you because you've accepted it as such based on your experience, however it's not true for EVERYONE." In that case, you have some work to do to shift these beliefs into something that's more productive in leading you towards your destination. (See Arrow Tip #3).

Lastly, when you're faced with a choice on how to proceed, behave, or react, ask yourself "Is this going to produce the results I want, or is it going to lead me in that direction?" That will inform your decision.

In the world of personal development, self-improvement, and wellness I think it would serve us well to stop struggling to maintain a positive mindset all the time. I think it's much more reasonable and "PRODUCTIVE" to first adopt this productive mindset which in the end naturally leads us to more positive thinking. Less struggle. Easier gains. I'm all for that.



  1. Choose to focus on productivity more than positivity, especially when the latter seems difficult to do.

  2. Notice what direction your thoughts and beliefs are taking you.

  3. Change the ones that need to be revamped so they align with the results you're seeking.

  4. Make sure all decisions come from a mindset of productivity

  5. Watch how naturally you shift into a positive mindset because you're moving towards your goal, even when you're not sure how to get there.



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