Why Critical Thinking Is Better Than Positive Thinking for Business Owners

Why Critical Thinking Is Better Than Positive Thinking for Business Owners

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I often tell people that I’m not a positive thinker, nor a negative thinker, but that I’m a critical thinker. Having been a business professional for nearly 11 years, I can confidently say that my success has been founded on my ability to conduct critical analysis and efficient strategic planning.

I believe the concepts of positive or negative thinking are subjective, with different connotations depending upon the eye of the beholder and the agenda of the individual. But to be a critical thinker is to have the ability to provide objective analysis in order to form a precise judgment of a situation. You would list out the pluses and minuses, risks and rewards, and potential gains and losses. In other words, you define the potential positives and negatives of a situation, with all of the facts laid out on the table. It’s from those facts, data, research, and objective analysis, that you formulate a logical path of pursuit.

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It’s in my opinion that you cannot succeed in business being either a negative or positive thinker, you must be a critical thinker.

The Law Of Attraction

Between the 19th and 21st centuries, the “New Thought Movement” gained popularity, and from this the concept known as The Law of Attraction was born, which states that our mental state manifests our surroundings. It’s the belief that we have the individual creation power to bring forth whatever it is that our mind can imagine (no matter if it’s positive or negative).

The theory believes that by just thinking about something, you can manifest whatever it is into your life through universal laws of quantum physics, as the thoughts supposedly contain energy forces that go out into the environment and match up with similar energy forces, bringing you both together in some form or fashion. Thus:

  1. If you think about failure, what can go wrong, the energy forces from your thoughts go out into the universe and match to the energy forces in relation to these circumstances, bringing the supposed negative events into your life.
  2. If you think about success, health, and love, the energy forces from your thoughts go out into the universe and match to the energy forces in relation to these circumstances, bringing the supposed positive events into your life.

The momentum behind the Law of Attraction in business settings fueled the “self-help” industry. The self-help industry is very lucrative, with over $3 billion worth of annual production related to the sale of books, seminars, speeches, church donations, and other material in relation to the concept of your thoughts creating your success.

Success in Business Requires Grit

I’ve been a business professional for nearly 11 years and there’s not one deal, sale, or client acquisition that was completed due to thinking incredibly positively about it. The vast majority of my time is usually spent brainstorming, pounding through telephone calls, sending emails, aggressively networking, rounding up capital, stressing about a project not closing on time (or at all).

Sometimes it’s miserable, and the concept of happy feelings producing success, from my experience, is wishful thinking. Success in business requires grit, sweat, and hours of hard work.

I Believe The Law Of Attraction Is Worthless

I believe the $3 billion dollar self-help industry is just designed to pay off the speakers, teachers, and authors who profit from telling people what they want to hear, which is: “You have ultimate control of your destiny,” when the honest truth is that we do not have 100% control of our destiny.

There’s a part we can play to contribute to our success, which can put us in the position for opportunities to arise. This includes things like remaining educated, always developing ourselves, keeping our credit scores up to attract the best capital sources, remaining organized, and building a great team around us. But all of this requires hard work, attention, and critical thought, not just positive affirmations. And even if you do all of these procedures, there’s still no guarantee of success.

Effects of Operating Without Critical Thinking

The New Thought Movement and the Law of Attraction have the potential to do far more harm than good, with an over-reliance on positive thinking and often a complete disregard for critical analysis. This is how individuals easily fall prey to scams and end up mismanaging their finances. It’s how individuals can chase after some dream that they were inspired to chase from watching a late-night infomercial, when in terms of practicality their dream has no real path to manifestation (no matter how positive they feel about it).

Critical Thinking > Positive Thinking

When it comes to entrepreneurship, critical thinking will always be better than positive thinking, because critical thinking operates based on reality (using data, facts, and research).

How about let’s leave the Law of Attraction out of our business war-rooms and strategy sessions, and instead let’s turn on our critical thinking caps to figure out how we can uniquely address market problems, bring forth unique solutions to service our customers in ways that increase loyalty.

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About the Author — John Tucker has over ten years of professional experience in Commercial Finance and Business Development. Tucker is also an M.B.A. graduate and holder of three bachelor's degrees in Accounting, Business Management, and Journalism. To connect with John Tucker, feel free to send him a connection invite via LinkedIn at: www.linkedin.com/in/johntucker99

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2 responses to “Why Critical Thinking Is Better Than Positive Thinking for Business Owners

  1. I personally believe the Law of Attraction as a motivator or supplement to ones spiritual beliefs but not as business model. I had a friend that got involved in MLM many years ago and discovered that many of these companies use positive thinking techniques to brainwash people. Without critical thinking it is easy to get caught up in scam. Positive thinking techniques make you feel very good and excited about the product without investigating the product. When you look at the cold hard facts only the people at the very top of these schemes make money. I’m disgusted that many motivational speakers get involved with these scams. They get paid for the speaking engagement and having people signed up. I feel sometimes people need a kick start on thinking positively in life but ultimately having a positive mental attitude comes from inside and if you’re finding yourself spending money to make this happen it isn’t working.

  2. Thank you for the sharing some different viewpoints about what is and is not critical thinking.
    After reading these thoughts and thinking about them, I could ask some questions to help clarify some of the thoughts. Here are some examples of questions.

    “Have you taken into consideration that not everyone who espouses positive thinking is doing this solely for money-making, and that they may actually believe what they are saying, not just telling people what they would like to hear?”

    “Could it be somehow possible that believing that thinking critically will play a big part in financial success includes, or is a form of positive thinking? In other words, are we thinking positive when we believe that using critical thinking helps us make better decisions?

    and

    “How and why is separating out the two modes of thinking using critical thinking? Could the two modes of thinking work well together?”, and other such questions.

    Thanks again for sharing the different viewpoints about critical thinking.