Episode 47 S2-12
Your Survival Attitude, Positive vs. Rational Thinking
Without Land Ch 12
New opportunities are coming Erika's way in the Without Land story but she has been facing a series of extreme adversities that have been imposed upon her against her will. Maintaining a forward thinking survival attitude and not falling prey to depression can be a major challenge given these circumstances. Here to discuss survival attitudes and knowing the difference between positive and rational outlooks is John Vespasian a self help author.
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John has been writing since 2008 and now has over seven books available on the topics of self help. The main subjects of his books are rational living: thinking rationally with logic. His latest books look at characters throughout history and how their thought processes helped or hindered them.
When I asked John how we could possibly stay positive when if we were up against such adversity, he warned against the idea of positive thinking. He states that goals set through the use of positive thinking alone may not be realistic or achievable, setting you up for failure again and again. Instead, he stresses rational thinking. Where positive thinking can lead you in a direction that your resources can't support, rational thinking can build self confidence and motivation because your decisions will be supported by hard evidence. Rational thinking allows you to stay calm and assess your resources to choose a course of action that is more likely to work out in your favor.
John explains that you have to prepare mentally for disaster as well as physically and he uses the choices of historic individuals to support his theories on rational thinking. John sites Russian chess player Mikhail Tal. This individual took high risk chances because he was willing to take the initiative to win. He tried to look at the big picture to gain victory instead of dwelling on the small details of the game. By applying this strategy Mikhail was able to avoid emotional and physical paralysis to gain the upper hand.
John references another German chess player's rational thought pattern to expand his concept further. This man played a prudent, solid, slow game. When he saw threats he would reinforce his position, minimize his problems and stay calm until the problem solved itself. This concept lends itself well to survival thinking. When dealing with a threat, natural, man-made or personal if you can reinforce your position, enhance your ability to stay calm and manage your emotions you will do well and stay operational.
Among other examples John referenced a French soldier from the Nepolean Army. He was among an invasion force of over 100,000 soldiers that attempted to invade Russia. He was captured with many others. Most of the other captors died but this soldier was eventually released and walked all the way back to Belgium. Upon his return home he write one of the very first self help books. He was familiar with survival stories and shared them. These same stories are what allowed him to think rationally during his imprisonment. He compared his situation to that of others and thought to himself "if they survived I can too." He rationally assessed all of the resources available to him and survived off of them.
John's philosophies are for individuals who are serious about learning how to change their thought patterns. His techniques are not a quick fix but rather how to manage your life to be successful in the long term. He suggests that you start thinking in terms of a lifetime because short term thinking can cause panic. Try to plan a very long way ahead and develop discipline to stay focused on your goals and achieve long term happiness. This is counter-intuitive to human nature but it will help you avoid huge mistakes in the future.
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JOHN VESPASIAN is the author of seven books about rational living, including "When Everything Fails, Try This" (2009), "Rationality Is the Way to Happiness" (2009), "The Philosophy of Builders: How to Build a Great Future with the Pieces from Your Past" (2010), "The 10 Principles of Rational Living" (2012), "Rational Living, Rational Working: How to Make Winning Moves When Things Are Falling Apart" (2013), "Consistency: The Key to Permanent Stress Relief" (2014), and "On Becoming Unbreakable: How Normal People Become Extraordinarily Self-Confident" (2015)
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