Manuela Kummeter


Positive thinking

is esoteric -

be realistic!

European Production Excellence

Neither! I'm optimistic!

In my positive psychology training, our lecturer told the following story in the first module:

Once upon a time there were three frogs.

The first was a positive thinking frog. The second, a pessimistic frog (some would also call him a realistic frog). And the third was an optimistic frog.

All three fell into a large pot full of cream. And they couldn’t get out on their own. The positive-thinking frog affirmed that the universe would help him out of this mess. The realistically pessimistic frog was annoyed that this was happening to him now, after the whole day had started so badly, the bosses had then gotten on his nerves and it was clear that he wasn’t going home on time again. Both frogs drowned. The third frog, however, was briefly annoyed by the situation and found it really difficult that the edge was so far away. But then he said to himself:

“It can’t be that there shouldn’t be a way out.”

And he started kicking. And he struggled and struggled to find a way out. His kicking turned the cream into butter. And the optimistic frog hopped out of the pot, supported by the solid ground.

We know the negative frog well enough from the industrial environment. If you hold up an optimistic frog to him, you will often hear: “That’s esoteric nonsense.” Or: “You have no idea about reality – just spend a day in my control room and then you’ll know that this is positive wishful thinking.”

So how do you answer the negative frog when you are pushed into the esoteric corner?

Positive thinking to optimism can also be described as: From attitude to action. They are often grouped into the same mindset, but differ significantly in their approaches to challenges and solutions. My grandma would say:

Happiness is with the hardworking.

While positive thinking is all about maintaining a positive attitude and focusing on affirmations and constructive thoughts, optimism goes beyond positive thoughts by actively working to improve situations.

Although positive thinking gives you a mental boost and can improve your mood, it sometimes falls short when it comes to actively tackling problems and actively changing reality.

Optimism, on the other hand, is more than a way of thinking. Optimists acknowledge challenges but believe they can be overcome through effort and persistence. They look for solutions, adapt strategies and take initiative to improve circumstances. Optimism is therefore not passive, but tackles difficulties head-on and actively works towards better results.

So you could also say:

Positive thinking sets the tone, but optimism informed by action is the force that drives us toward meaningful change.

So the crucial question is: Do you want to get out of the cream pot? Or have you resigned yourself to your fate?



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