Why Positive Thinking is Futile



Posted by Ed 3 mths ago
The illusionist Derren Brown has studied the philosophy and psychology of happiness - and he argues that many of us could take a radical new approach to improving our wellbeing.

Imagine that you are standing on one side of a river, and you want to reach a village on the other side.

You have a group of cheerleaders behind you, egging you on. So you set off, full of determination. But you have forgotten to take the river’s current into account – and no matter how hard you strain your muscles, you can’t quite overcome it. By the time you reach the other bank, you have been pulled far from the place you intended to be.

We may not like to admit it, but our life follows a similar trajectory – as forces beyond our control drag us from our chosen path. And the importance of recognising this fact is just one of the many lessons I learnt from Derren Brown, the illusionist, "mentalist" (mind-reader) and writer, whose book Happy explores the philosophy and psychology of wellbeing.


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