Call it positive thinking, optimistic thinking or even progressive thinking; the meaning is the same. It implies being able to believe that though the situation may be gloomy now, it will get better tomorrow. Really? Well, to a certain extent the belief may be true while to a certain extent it may not be completely true. The reason is that for certain things to happen, if not all things; some variables have to be present. For instance, one may think positively by saying, tomorrow I will buy a car. That is positive thinking. But, positive thinking will remain in the realm of thought until something is done. One important thing that must be done is for the thinker to move out of his house, get to a car stand, price and pay for a car of his choice. Or, the thinker can take his phone and put a call across to a car dealer stating a car of his choice and requesting that it be delivered to his residence. Either way, an action has been taken. This means that positive thinking by that individual has been backed up by positive action. Until this is done, positive thinking will continue to remain in the realm of thought only.
The following true-life story elucidates this fact. Years back a young man left his home and moved to a different part of the country. He landed in a strange land and was privileged to live opposite a very prestigious university. The story goes on to say that the young man usually spent his evenings in the campus of the prestigious university. With time he developed an interest in the institution and began to do what most church people will call positive confession. What was the confession? The young man began to positively confess that he will like to work in that university. He continued in this trajectory every evening as he sauntered on the campus. At a point, he changed his thought pattern and began to say “I will work in this university.” Surprisingly, the said young man had not even a School Certificate at the time of this positive thinking. Question is, how did he intend to work in a university without even a School Certificate? Obviously, he was thinking positive without positive action. This can be classified as mere wishful thinking. As is always said, if wishes were horses, even a cripple will ride. It was at this point that the story took a different fascia.
The next phase of the story metamorphosed and mutated into two different actions that brought the action into the young man’s thought. He put paid to his mere thought and brought the action to bear. You mere wish to ask, what did he do? He did two things. The first -realized his inadequacy academically. He can’t get a job in a university without some form of academic criterion. So, he decided to enrol in an external GCE since it will take him a long time to go into full-time secondary education. Having enrolled, he set himself to read for the examination and assured himself he will pass. With determination, he passed the examination. This is one positive action that he took towards achieving his goal.
The second step – armed with his School Certificate, he set himself towards achieving his main gold-getting a job in the university. He paid some visits to a number of offices on campus without success. His numerous visits to offices without success did not dissuade him. He knew that positive thinking without positive action will not earn him his life ambition. So he persisted. One day his effort was crowned with success. At last! He was offered employment as a junior officer in that university. This is where his life-long ambition was fulfilled. He became a staff of the prestigious university. He did not stop there for over the years he read and acquired other higher qualifications and rose to become the head of the department in the same department he was employed as a junior officer years back.
This article is entitled, “Positive Thinking without Positive Action….” The question now is, how many times have you listened to motivational speakers? For those who always shout in the church, “I believe”, how many times have you put your belief into action? Even the holy book says, “Faith without work is dead.” Be reminded that writers reduce their life and other people’s experiences to writing with the view to helping other people to move from one stage in life to another. Writers also wish to let the readers know and learn from other people’s experiences and to encourage their readers to understand that all hope is not lost. To this end, no matter what your present situation may be, do know that you can do better if you can put action to your thought to achieve positive goals. Just thinking positive is not enough, positive action will breathe life into positive thinking. The result will be and must be SUCCESS. Just thinking aloud and I should be allowed.
Richard Akpan is Head of ICT, National Institute for Nigerian Languages, Aba, Abia State
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