Positive Psychology, Positive Thinking and Law of Attraction: Basic Differences

By Sandeep Kulshrestha

In this open access world (so much stuff on internet on Positive Psychology), just about everyone wants to cash in the bandwagon of positive psychology. The scenario is hot and this hot oven needs more talented bakers who know the know-how and the art of getting the right nuts and bolts for the job. With MOOC websites like Coursera and edX coming in, everyone claims to be an expert. If you are an expert, its is so great. If you are not, you must have read "Think and grow rich" or such crap.

With all due respects to you if you think "Positive Thinking" is akin to "Positive Psychology" (although there is a bit of it involved in daily rituals for happiness and well-being), its like a loving douchebag akin to a genuinely pleasing man.  Similarly, the concept of "Law of Attraction" which is passing the rounds these days. According to the Law of Attraction, whatever you ask for, is given. Or alternatively, whatever you think, it expands (true till an extent) and the intention of what you are seeking should be like an energy field for you and be it day or night, you have to "manifest" the same.

Now, positive thinking is fine but the combination of words itself define the term. This means you have to merely "think" positive and things would happen on its own, without much of efforts. Law of Attraction talks about some efforts, of writing down your goals etc. However, my problem is that there are no studies that show that law of attraction is some great tool where people achieve their goals. Law of Attraction is spooky, abstract and more driven by the blessings of the Universe for your deeper desires, which a rationalist can never accept. However, be it Positive Thinking, Lateral Thinking or Law of Attraction, there is one thing that self help guru usually suggest - goal setting. Positive Thinking is linked to repeating positive affirmations for self-motivation while Law of Attraction has tools like Focus Wheel to chanelize your thoughts. If these things are aligned to a thinking of an alternative vision in Goal Setting, I am OK with the idea

Positive Psychology is more driven towards facilitating our jouney of life through the mental resources we build, how we are able to decipher our meaning and continue creating a good life. This is achived through understanding our core strengths, developing and sustaining them with positive emotions, great enduring relationships, being engaged in the activities we do professionally as well as personally. It is unique, preventive and yet clinical in its approach. Yes, we need the thinking bit but to chanelize the thinking towards concrete steps, we have to rely on science. Positive Psychology tries to answer such questions and more. Besides this, you surely need to self-motivate yourself while looking at every small milestone as an accomplishment.  Yes, one needs focus and the drive to work hard while creating specific daily rituals. Positive Psychology helps us through a scientific approach to attain lasting feeling of well-being

Sandeep Kulshrestha is an Executive Coach, Leadership Growth Consultant and a Teacher. His work is influenced and powered by Positive Psychology. He is available for Corporate Workshops in the area of Happiness/Wellbeing, Leadership Development and Behavioral Competency development. As a Coach he works for co-creating spaces for a growth mindset. He lives in Hyderabad, India. He is reachable on sandeep@sandeep.com.co