Why Positive Thinking doesn’t Work: And why you need R.A.G.E instead

by Joe Barnes


Mind Set


Date: Feb 4, 2014

Why Positive Thinking doesn’t Work: And why you need R.A.G.E instead

“Think Positive”

Believe in Yourself” 

“There’s no such thing as failure”

Three cliched statements you’ll read or hear on any personal development blog, school or thousand dollar seminar.

Not here.

You see while each statement has value, they’ve become so overused and misunderstood that people generally have no clue what they’re talking about when saying them. 

After all, what does ‘think positive’ really mean?

Non-stop thoughts about achieving your desires? 

How does someone keep that up all day? 

While I don’t mean to rubbish the concept of positive thinking (I believe an optimistic outlook is fundamental to success), I do feel it has its limits.

First and foremost, most positive thinking is unable to stir the emotions. You can visualise success but if all you’re doing is running images over in your mind then nothing sinks into the subconscious to make a change. There must be feeling to back up your thought and this is where positive thinking fails. 

Of course, you could practise long and hard and get to that level, but what if there was a quicker way to connect with the motivation needed to get your dreams off the ground? What if there was a way to super charge your drive so that you kept every commitment to yourself and your business and work as if your life depended on it?  

Well it just so happens that there is.

Read on to discover how . . . 

Let the R.A.G.E Free

To ensure that you have the conviction needed to follow through on all your intentions and dreams you need R.A.G.E. 

But this isn’t rage as most people know it. What I’m talking about has nothing to do with mindless aggression. Instead, it’s about raw emotion. In fact, that’s the first part of a definition which continues thus;

Raw emotion

Attached to

Goals and dreams

Every day 

It’s this ‘must achieve my dreams at all costs‘ attitude which separates those that merely dream and those that end up living them. To get to this level, you need more than positive thinking. You’ll need to reach deep into your being and remind yourself why it’s SO important that you attain your goal. Ironically, these feelings are most easily accessed in a moment of failure or when facing the possibility of all your hard work amounting to nothing. 

At this point, a little R.A.G.E seed will start to grow inside you but your positive thinking brain may try to quell the fire. Don’t let it. Instead, stoke the R.A.G.E. Let it grow until it becomes a monster. Shout if you want to. Break something if it makes you feel better, but do it with the clear intention that you are going to get to where you want to be.

This channelling of your raw emotion can bring about amazing changes. It puts you in a state even stronger than desire. It takes you to a place where you MUST achieve your goals.  

Get to this level and there’s no question of veg’ing out in front of the TV or putting something off till tomorrow. You’ll find yourself driven by an almost insane hunger to right what feels like a wrong.


Have I piqued your interest a little?

Or perhaps you think I’m talking nonsense?

Well here are examples of a famous, and a not so famous (that’ll be me!), ‘rager’ that have used this quality to drive them towards their dreams.

  • Michael Jackson. You remember Off the Wall right? Some critics cite it as Jacksons best work (I prefer Thriller) but he felt it didn’t get the credit it was due. Although most artists would be ecstatic with a Grammy award, he was devastated. You see that was the problem, it only won one. He felt (probably rightly so) that it should have won more and as a result of only receiving a paltry two nominations, didn’t even attend the ceremony. Instead, he watched from home and his family reported rage at the outcome and the repetition of three words over and over again, ‘I’ll show them.‘ Clearly, he did (Thriller won 8 Grammies) but would he have gone on to create the greatest selling album of all time if he hadn’t been fuelled by R.A.G.E at the lack of recognition for his first?    
  • Me. My journey to realise my dreams began with a moment of R.A.G.E. I was in my final year of what had been a miserable and dull university experience and I was telling my parents about my plans to become a hypnotherapist. ‘No way,‘ they responded. ‘What kind of money are you going to make doing that?‘. That was it for me. I’d spent 3 years studying a course that had bored me out of my brain and now, if I chose the conventional path, faced the prospect of a lifetime feeling the same. I’d already had a careers advisor telling me that a career in hypnotherapy wouldn’t work and when my parents reinforced his statement my mind flipped. I remember being in my bedroom, pacing around and gesticulating, saying, ‘Get me out of here’ again and again. I didn’t really know who I was directing this towards but my plea was heard. The very next day, I discovered a book that was to have a profound impact on my life. Although my subsequent journey has had more than its fair share of struggle and failure, I can honestly say that my life has been moving in a positive direction ever since that day. 

These two examples of R.A.G.E depict a moment where the emotion was felt most keenly and then used to propel the individual to greater heights. However, it’s not always the case that a defining moment will indeterminately propel you forwards and provide lifelong motivation. Instead, you’ll need to summon this feeling daily.

Besides a moment of failure, the best way to do this is to dwell on the righteousness of your cause. Although the system influences us to ignore it, we all have a strong sense of justice. Tap into what you feel is good and right about life, and your motivation will soon become clear. Michael Jackson often said that what drove him was seeing people happy through the enjoyment of his music. Being denied the opportunity to do this through lack of recognition clearly hit a raw nerve. For me, the thought that we have to spend our lives working without any real purpose makes me furious. I believe we all have so much to offer but end up wasting these talents when conforming to the system’s notion of how our life should be.

My task for you is to find out, and define within two senteces, what challenges your sense of justice (let me know in the comments section below). Do this, and you’ll have access to a powerful source of motivation that will propel you into a life where you right this wrong. 


(Image taken from Abi Skipp’s photostream flickr.com)