Read THIS Not THAT: Rethinking Positive Thinking Discussion

Hi all! Trying something a bit differently today.

Instead of doing a book review on Rethinking Positive Thinking by Gabriele Oettingen, I’d thought I’d do some other books I’d recommend instead.

The following books are like Rethinking Positive Thinking. But they are books that I felt I got more out of.

There are three themes that I’d like to pull out and discuss. For each one, I’ve suggested other nonfiction books that I liked reading more than Rethinking Positive Thinking.

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Positive Thinking

Rethinking Positive Thinking‘s main points suggest that thinking positive thoughts does not get you where you want to go. This seems to go against the popular notion of thinking positive, but really the author is just suggesting that there has to be action in order for the thought to come true. (Seems obvious, right?)

If you are one who reads nonfiction books, I’d hope by now that you’d know that just reading and thinking is not going to get you far. Taking what you learn and implementing is how things get done.

Mental Contrasting

The second concept in Rethinking Positive Thinking is called mental contrasting, or WOOP.

This concept is a tool, showing the reader to thinking of the best possible outcome and the obstacles that may come in the way, as well as pre-planning that “if A should come up, then I should do B.”

Great, that is one tool in a reader’s toolbox. But below are other books that could give you more tools on dreaming big and overcoming obstacles.


Books Like Rethinking Positive Thinking

Without further ado, I’d like to suggest the following four books:

1. The Magic Of Thinking Big

The reason I suggest this book is because most people are not taught to dream big. In the beginning, Gabriele Oettingen tells the reader to think of their big goals and dreams. However, she never tells the reader how to correctly visualize what they want to do with their life.

Further along, the author has the reader think of all the things that would get in the way of achieving that dream. The reality is obstacles will get in the way – many that are not known yet – but why should that stop a person from wanting to achieve it. If that is someone’s big hairy audacious goal, why should anything crush that dream?

The Magic of Thinking Big by David J Schwartz shows the reader how to really dream BIG! Furthermore, the author tackles how to take steps to achieve the goal and get over excusitis.

The Magic of Thinking Big one of my favorite books. It was included in my 10 Books That Are ALWAYS On My Bookshelf. I think it is a great beginner books as well, which makes it easy to recommend.

Purchase now: AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleTargetWalmart


2. The Success Intersection

A dream should be big, but it should also be something you are interested in doing.

Pat Williams suggest that your dream should be at the crossroads of talent and passion. That is where a person will be the most successful.

You can read my full review here to understand why talent and passion are so critical to your dream. But once you are at the intersection, I believe no obstacle should get in your way!

Purchase now: Amazon • Barnes & NobleTargetWalmart

3. Secrets for Getting Things Done

In Rethinking Positive Thinking, Oettingen makes that case that thinking positively is not enough. You have to take action. But she never explains what action should be taken, how people should divide their time, or how to keep going when it feels like you are going nowhere (a big life goal is not going to be easy).

Another component of taking action is getting more done, and getting it done efficiently. I’ve harped about this book before, but Secrets for Getting Things Done is definitely my to-do when I feel like I’m stressing over not getting things done.

Coming in with a whopping 132 pages, I highly recommend Secrets for Getting Things Done by Vincent Harris.

Purchase now: Amazon • Barnes & Noble


4. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Action is great, but we all only have 24 hours in our day. How do we decide what actions to take?

Well, Stephen R. Covey breaks down tasks into four quadrants: important, not important, urgent, and not urgent. With this, a reader learns how to prioritize the week to get the most important items done.

Additionally, he teaches how to set your own priorities instead of your priorities being set by other things such as family, friends, church, your spouse, etc.. YOU set your priorities and where you take action.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People is recommended everywhere by everyone. However, I think the contents are of high value and importance. I don’t think it can be recommended enough. If I can get leaps and bounds closer to my goal by following Covey’s advice, I think it is worth it.

And if you have already read this book on your bookshelf, read it again.

Purchase now: Amazon • AudibleBarnes & NobleTargetWalmart


While Rethinking Positive Thinking has the best intentions and backed up by studies, I believe so much is missing.

What do you think? Would/Do these books help you take action, find your dream, set your priorities, dream big, get more done, overcoming obstacles, and find success?

What are other books that you’d suggest?



Before writing this post, I recording a rambling about Rethinking Positive Thinking and these four books I’d suggest. Ignore the “like”s and enjoy.


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  1. Pingback: July Reading Wrap-Up and Links - Miss Kristine's Reviews

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