“Spirit” – The Statistical study spoiler

There’s often a very large dead moose under the table at which Folks in the world of “academia” and Folks in the “Real World” sit.

The root of the problem is that identifying “Cause and effect” for much of what happens (Good and/or Bad) can be very elusive.

The academics want to know WHY. They perform studies, compile statistics, develop complex formulas and theories to explain what often turns out to be unexplainable.

In the “Real World,” folks can take different roads. Words like “Kharma, and “Positive Thinking” – “the Power of thought” – “Faith” – start showing up especially when “unexplainable” things happen.

There are critics of this Positive thinking approach. I have even been known to caution people of “Positive spin” of statistics . . . there is such a thing as too much positive – that point at which it invites delusions of grandeur.

I’m reading a book that is somewhat difficult for me to read in part due to the fact that I haven’t yet (and I’m almost finished) found the author’s point . . . or seen evidence that she has any constructive advice or solutions. I continue to read because I am very intrigued by her 200+ pages of relentless “Positive thinking” bashing.

Bright-Sided – How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America” by Barbara Ehrenreich

The Author actually makes some insightful observations . . . and some ridiculous ones . . . Especially her criticism of Martin Seligman’s “Happiness Equation


  • H – Your enduring level of Happiness
  • S – Your Set Range
  • C – The circumstances of your life
  • V – Factors under your voluntary control
She boils it down to what “would occur to any first-year physics student: “What are the units of measurement?
Seligman’s formula isn’t a number crunching formula – Who CARES what the units of measurement are?
It is when I read this chapter that I lost faith that Barbara would come to any rational conclusions and realized that I had been entertained for 155 pages with not much more than “academia Rant”
Having said all of that . . . If you are “into” the Power of Positive Thinking, I highly recommend that you grab a copy of this book for some perspective from “the Dark side.”
What bothered me?
I believe there are enough “Unexplainables” in our lives – Miracles – Disasters – that we MUST give some (Non-quantitative) credence to the appearance of Spirit (Capital “S”) and faith, and Positive Thinking.
How has Positive Thinking influenced your Life Rhythm?

Published by Barry Owen

Residential Real Estate sales Strategist Search - Analysis - Negotiation - CLOSED Inviter-Facilitator-Practicer of Open Space Technology Opening safe space for people & organizations to self-organize around issues & opportunities BarryOwen.co Invite-Listen-Love

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