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How Important is Positive Thinking?

Scott 2I subscribe to a lot of newsletters, I read a lot of magazines and I visit a lot of websites as I do research on a daily basis for new and innovative information that I’m able to use on my own or that I’ll pass along to athletes that I’m working with – some of what floods my inbox on a daily basis is good, much of it not so good and every once in a blue moon I’ll read something that really gets me thinking.

The latest installment of Mike Mahler’s Aggressive Strength Magazine contained one of those pieces that really got me thinking.  Mahler is a widely recognized kettlebell expert who does wonders in the world of strength and conditioning, and while some people may not agree with every single thing Mike Mahler might says, there is no doubt that he knows how to get results.  This issue of the Aggressive Strength magazine featured an article on the importance of attitude in terms of yielding results and achieving your goals.

This struck me as an interesting topic because so many people seem to struggle with making headway in terms of their overall health desires, normally I chalk the failure up to lack of performance but there are many people out there who will tell you that you will never achieve your goals without a positive attitude, or that you can achieve any goal that you put your mind to by simply believing that you can do it.

Attitude has never been a problem for me in terms of training, hell I’d gladly spend more time in the gym working if I had the time for it and I always thought that there was a possibility that the drive, which was always backed by my love for working out, had at least something to do with my success.  I know that some people don’t enjoy getting to the gym and working out as much as I do and I’ve noticed that a lot of those people, who are always moping and complaining about their workout, often had problems achieving the results that they wanted from their workout.

I understand perfectly that those who don’t do the work won’t get the results, but I always attributed at least a little bit of my success to my positive attitude, now Mr. Mahler has got me second guessing that.

In Mike’s latest article he illustrates, with some very good examples, that a subject with the best attitude in the world 25/365 Another Headshotcan still miss the mark on results if they aren’t following the best course of action to yield those results.  Conversely, the most miserable bastard in the world, with the most piss poor attitude you’ve ever seen can transform himself into a Greek God by simply putting his nose to the grindstone until the properly prescribed workout has drawn to a close.  The argument is that you don’t necessarily have to enjoy or be happy about something to be successful at it.

Mahler goes on to illustrate how an overly positive attitude could potentially even be a detriment to your success in the gym, arguing that putting on a happy face when the results aren’t coming as quickly as they could or should be could potentially prevent a trainee from making the necessary changes in their program to yield the results that they are seeking.

This was the part that came as the biggest surprise to me, if someone had told me that a miserable bastard could achieve good results, I’d believe that because I’ve seen it happen – but could a positive attitude actually be a detriment?

After reading the article and doing some thinking, it made perfect sense – I’ve seen plenty of clouded judgment hurting people’s chances for success in all types of endeavors, I just never connected the fact in the connotation of getting healthier.  You could absolutely hurt your progress by thinking happy thoughts instead of truly focusing on what’s going on in your workout program and attacking and changing the problems areas.

Even the best laid workout plans sometimes need tweaking once they get underway, and you’ll always need to make adjustments in order to continue to make progress.  If you’re more focused on your positive attitude than you are on how your workout plan is working for you, you may be hurting your chances of achieving your goals.

So, ask yourself this, could your overly positive attitude potentially be inhibiting your chances of achieving your health and fitness goals?  Or are you one of those guys who doesn’t bother to go to the gym because you know you won’t be able to really get into it and your feel that you won’t get any results because of this.

BoxerWhat I get from Mike Mahler’s latest piece is that it doesn’t matter if you’re Captain Positive or some dude who hates the gym and everyone in it, including yourself; if you do what you have to do while you’re there you are going to get the results.  I’m sure that I’ll continue on with my positive attitude, because I can’t really help it, and I can’t see how it’s going to do me any damage because I have enough experience to know when  need something different and when I have to change things up.  This theory could potentially change the way many people view they way they go about achieving their health and fitness goals though and it could conceivably lead to many more people breaking away from convention and doing what they need to do to better themselves.

Love your workout or hate it with a passion, if it’s well designed for the goal that you have set for yourself and you perform it according to plan – you will get the results that you are looking for, plain and simple.


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About Jeff Wilson Jeff Wilson has been involved in some form of sports and athletic training for more than two decades: as an athlete, a trainer and a writer.

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