Get your own
 diary at! contact me older entries newest entry

2;15 am - Sat 6/13/.2009


For my birthday last month, my friend Jane bought me, amongst other things, the book Positivity, by Barbara L. Fredrickson.

I'm embarrassed to admit this, but it's been awhile since I've actually finished a book (Probably not since Truth In Comedy, the "class text" for my Level I improv class at IO West); from Mutual Funds For Dummies to The Collected Stories Of Amy Hempell to Sanford Meisner On Acting, I've started things, then petered out after a couple dozen pages (And in addition to the books mentioned, I've got another half-dozen or so "in the hopper").

Anyway, I set Positivity aside, intending to read it after I got back to, and finished, the Meisner book...whenever that might be.

But then I recently watched the tail end of Daniel Amen's "Magnificent Mind At Any Age" on PBS - Amen wrapped up the show by saying the most important secret to keeping your brain healthy was to spend more time thinking of what you love about your life than what you hate about your life.

And (Also on PBS), I recently recorded the latest Wayne Dyer program, "Excuses Begone", after seeing bits and pieces of it while channel surfing (They've been re-running the crap out of it, so I had a chance to record it from the beginning, and finally watched it earlier this evening).

And Jane's brought the book up a couple times in chats and emails; I wouldn't call it nagging, exactly, but she clearly thinks I could use an injection of "positivity".

And so do I.

The timing seems right - the case file I received a couple weeks ago has made me more dissatisfied than ever with my present day existence (personally and professionally), and I know I need to seriously "step up my game" if I'm going to do any better - so a couple days ago, I finally did crack the book.

The writing is fairly "clunky", and the author does something I hate in a self-help book, which is basically spend page after page selling me on the book's premise - I'm 30 pages in, and I don't feel like I've gotten any information yet, beyond the basic idea that "'positivity' is good".

(Note to future self-help authors: I don't need a commercial for your book while I'm reading your book. You already made the sale.)

But in spite of the bad start, I definitely think there's something there; even in those not-terribly-informative first 30 pages, there was a connection to the ending of the "Magnificent Mind" show, and to some other reading/thinking I've done (And to Weight Watchers), that makes me feel...well, pretty positive about what I'm going to get.

One thing that's thwarted my previous efforts towards "positive thinking" is struggling to not feel like a "phony" - It felt like bullshit to pretend things were great when they clearly weren't.

But it doesn't seem like Amen, Dyer, or Dr Fredrickson are trying to brainwash you into thinking that up is down, and black is white - You don't need to pretend you don't have negative feelings, or that bad things don't happen, in order to get to where you want to go. You just need to change your "focus", and as the song says, "accentuate the positive".

And I think I can do that.

But right now, I'm positive I need to get to bed...


previous - next

2 comments so far
about me - read my profile! read other Diar
yLand diaries! recommend my diary to a friend! Get
 your own fun + free diary at!