In my previous post The Power of Social Consciousness | Just another WordPress.com site, I discussed the difference between thinking positively and positive thinking. I stated that while thinking positively entails an optimistic and wishful outlook on life, positive thinking involves having certainty and absolute confidence about the thoughts you may have. This distinction is the difference between “wishing” and “knowing” that something is true.
In my previous post, I pointed out that while “hoping for the best” has it’s merits – until and unless we raise our hopes to the levels of certainty – our hopes will remain as “wishful thinking” versus the “calls to manifestation” we wish to experience. In this follow up article I want to highlight that we have been aware of this meaningful difference all along – although we may not have consciously realized the implications.
Children have been introduced to this notion in the story of the “Little Engine that Could” – the story of a small train engine that must meet the seemingly insurmountable challenge of climbing a steep hill. In the beginning, the little engine is paralyzed with doubt in its ability to meet this challenge due to its small size and self-perceived weakness. But as the little engine picks up steam, it begins to chant, “I think I can, I think I can.” However, it isn’t until the little engine proclaims, “I know I can” that it finally achieves its intended goal. Hence, the difference between thinking positively (I think I can) and positive thinking (I know I can).
We are keenly aware of this subtle, but key, difference without being taught about the distinction in explicit terms. We possess an internal and organic awareness that “thinking vs. knowing” can make all the difference. For example, imagine that you have someone who is the subject of your heart’s desire. In an effort to see if your feelings are reciprocated, you may ask, “do you love me?” Notice the striking impact of the following two responses in relation to this question. If the person replies, “I think I may love you” – we are likely to become disheartened because it appears that our beloved is uncertain. But if our beloved replies, “I love you too”, we rejoice in the absolute certainty of their statement.
In matters of the heart, we always look for the definitive statement. When love is spoken with certainty, we feel secure. But when statements begin with “I think…” vs. “I know…”, it places us in a condition of ambiguity. In this way, thinking positively can easily remain in a state of tentativeness, uncertainty and doubt. Whereas positive thinking asserts statements of certainty, confidence and surety.
In fact, in matters of all human relationships, this difference exists. If we are addressing someone in the workplace, family, etc., and we ask, “Are you sure you can accomplish this task?”, the same two options exist. If the person replies, “I think I can” – we will not feel as secure and confident in their efficacy than if they were to reply, “I know I can.”
The “powers that be” are keenly aware of the impact of certainty vs. uncertainty. We have been socialized in a paradigm that glorifies doubt, uncertainty and feelings of insecurity. From politics, religion and mass marketing to personal degrees of self-esteem, the messages that we must always remain in a state of insecurity and doubt saturate and permeate our very existence. We are taught to doubt one political party over another, doubt one religious faction over another, doubt our state of health and well being and, most importantly, doubt our own degrees of personal worth and empowerment.
But what if we were to all acknowledge and embrace our ability to call forth the world we envision – with unwavering certainty – a world of love, peace, abundance, equity and equal opportunity rather than merely “wish” for such a world? I propose that the outcome of such collective certainty would manifest the changes we so desperately desire and deserve.
Hip-Hop culture coined a phrase in the 1990’s that speaks to this difference. An often held lyric turned colloquialism is, “Act Like You Know.” So if you have come to realize the importance of thinking positively, yet feel that your optimism isn’t bringing forth the results that you’ve envisioned – the reason could simply be because you have only made these cognitive assertions at the level of “thinking” something will come to pass, rather than “knowing” that what you think will come to pass.
The key is to simply “Act Like You Know” and the universe will respond accordingly.