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Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation

This is one of our long-standing favorites by psychologist Gabriele Oettingen – a great read, bringing scientifically grounded and thought-provoking, fresh persepectives that challenge the traditional notion of positive thinking.

The core concept Oettingen puts forth revolves around having individuals first envision the future they want, then compare it to where they’re actually at now—obstacles and all—to strategize goals realistically. Oettingen encourages us to visualize our desired future (positive thinking) and then contrast it with our current reality and potential obstacles.

Exploring best-case scenarios while also facing potential obstacles head-on primes us for action. Oettingen offers a fresh take on goal-setting by blending mental contrasting into the mix, placing importance on having both a realistic and doable strategy to nail those targets we aim for.