28 Oct Happiness and real optimism
I’ve just finished Bright-Sided, writer Barbara Ehrenreich’s new book slamming the _ã–relentless promotion of positive thinking_ã in America. Ms. Ehrenreich, whose 2001 bestseller Nickel and Dimed memorably etched the often futile daily lives of the working poor, has a stiletto-sharp mind and a capacious social conscience, so anything she has to say about the faddish positive psychology movement, or the recent pseudoscientific approach to measuring happiness, or America’s ongoing love affair with optimism, is worth paying attention to.
In her bright yellow-jacketed book _ã_ adorned with a satirical happy-face balloon _ã_ she rails against the _ã–pink sticky sentiment_ã of today’s breast-cancer movement. As a breast cancer survivor herself, she argues that its attachment to determinedly _ã–positive_ã messages pressures women to claim they are grateful they got the disease because it changed their lives.
She attacks the promotion of positive thinking in the workplace as another capitalist tool to keep us all cheerfully plugging away at bad jobs and disappointing lives. And she is especially withering about the idea, embodied in such books as The Secret, that if you visualize what you want, you will surely get it.
No kidding. If that method worked, I’d be 10 pounds thinner and a whole lot richer, not to mention the winner of this year’s Giller Prize.
To read more about finding happiness with REAL positive thinking, that is optimism that’s based in reality – click here