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 great. If you are not, you can become one by learning, practicing, unlearning and resetting.

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 saying that peaches and apples are the same.  Similarly, the concept of "Law of Attraction" which is passing the rounds these days has found a massive appeal. 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, creating vision boards 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 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 channelize your thoughts and these are not so much of bad ideas in themselves.

Positive Psychology is actually driven towards facilitating our journey of life through the mental resources we build, how we are able to find our meaning and continue creating a good life through daily "re-wiring" of the brain through positive habits. This is achieved through understanding our core strengths, developing and sustaining them with positive emotions, pursuing 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 channelize 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 and sustainable well-being

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