Contrary to what the personal development industry and countless self help platitudes will tell you, a positive mental attitude, on it's own, really is quite useless. This point is driven home in the heart breakingly raw documentary below about heroin addicts in the city of Swansea in the UK. A self admitted junkie in the documentary talks extensively about a positive mental attitude. The junkie talks about:
- Waking up in the morning with a positive mental attitude.
- Maintaining a positive mental attitude while he is not using.
- He even made a poster on his wall that says P.M.A to remind him.
At the end of the film we see him as the truly tortured soul he is relapse into heroin abuse, completely failed by his positive mental attitude... The documentary is about an hour long and is well worth the watch, if just to put your own problems in perspective.
So what is the problem with a positive mental attitude? It's highly subjective to environmental factors. How often is that you start the day with a great attitude and then...
- Something negative happens at work.
- You get some bad news.
- You get in an argument with your family.
- Traffic stresses you out.
And now your positive mental attitude is broken, if a few negative factors compound, you may fall into a bad mood for the entire day.
The 'Law of Attraction' Disproved?
There is a very popular theory that our thoughts become our reality and that we have the ability to create whatever life we want for ourselves by controlling our thoughts. While there is some truth to this idea, the self help heroin junkie in the documentary does a pretty good job of proving that our environments have significantly more influence over our thoughts than our thoughts do over our environment.
The Takeaway: Positive mental attitude alone is not a sustainable strategy to living healthy. Positive mental attitude is a result of controlling your environment. What does controlling your environment to maintain a sustainable positive mental attitude entail?
Biohacking yourself to deal with stressful events better.
Applying memory systems and Dual N-Back software to increase your mental discipline.
Exercise to release the feel good endorphins.
Nootropic brain supplements to sustainably raise your neurotransmitters levels.
Watching documentaries and traveling to expand your mindset beyond your own immediate environment.
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