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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Positive Power of Negative Thinking

Bruhaspati Samal
Secretary, AIPEU, Group-C

In the great mythological battle of Kurukshetra, Partha requested Lord Shree Krishna to take the chariot to the middle of both the armies (“SENAYORUBHAYORMADHYE RATHAN STHAPAYA MECHYUTA”)  for assessing the situation before entering into direct battle. Observing the whole situation, Partha’s mind became full of negativity and he decided not to go for the war. 

“I don’t want victory ……….. I won’t fight” told Partha.


The battle field was ready. The chariots and the charioteers were ready. The fatal consequence of not going to the war was known to Partha and all other Pandavas. A mammoth destruction of religious and social values must be there if the Kouravas would win. After all, the battle of Mahabharat was more significant for the existence of religion, truth and justice rather than power to conquer and rule Indraprastha. A change was becoming inevitable for progress and prosperity.

Though surprised with the negative attitude of Partha who had a definite role to play in the preordained change,  Lord Shree Krishna smiled and took it very positively and gave the solution to all the negativities of Partha which the whole world latter knew as “Sreemad Bhagbat Geeta”. Had Arjun not argued negatively in the battle field of Kurukshetra, the whole Universe would have been deprived of getting its all-time sacred epic in the name of “Sreemad Bhagbat Geeta”, a doctrine of universal truth encompassing every aspect of life, showing path to the lost, answering to the confused and giving wisdom to all.

The transformation of the negative attitudes of Partha affirmative through the power of positive thinking of Lord Shree Krishna with a lesson that change is the law of the universe and thus a part of life could  lead to win the battle and achieve success. 

There are hundreds and thousands of such examples in mythology and history where marching towards success has been originated from a negative thinking. In the field of Trade Union we simply call this negative attitude a protest, an agitation intended not to allow injustices to proceed as it happens by / through the Govt/management. Had our ancestors not registered their negative attitude against the British empire, today’s freedom would have been a dream for us. Had Babu Tarapada Mukherjee, Henery Barton, Dada Ghosh and such other leaders not raised their voice which were considered negative at that time against the administrators, the fixed duty hours, defined leave, bonus, Pay Commissions etc. for the employees would not have been there. 

When a person tells something either not supported with rulings or practice, we often broadly remark that he is taking negative. Even when a fact does not suit us, we consider it negative. But unknowingly we commit a blunder. Such remarks are neither correct nor logical even. We should have the patience like Lord Shree Krishna  to realize the origin of such negative thinking so that we can make it positive for the welfare of the society and nation.

It is often believed that while positive thinking being a trademark slogan (fill your mind with positivity, you shall reap the benefits) in business and society is just a  folklore wisdom, negative thinking and negative emotions are just like germs and viruses creating a tendency to avoid things. On average, it is seen that people who never worry have lower job performance than those who worry from time to time. While positive thinking can yield many benefits, the excessive and rigid search for positivity can bring about the opposite effect. Those who practice negative thinking are more able to handle difficult situations. Both styles are deadly at the extreme - while pessimism becomes fatalistic, optimism becomes toxic. The key is to find a sweet spot having more moderate ranges that can combine the benefits of both approaches.

The success in any field is not a matter of thinking positively or negatively, but  it is the choice of strategies that match the thinking styles does matter. Positive thinking without a negative balance hinders a person’s abilities. Real leadership requires both positive and negative thinking. Negative thinking, if strategically pursued can play a definite role too. Negative visualization can be an excellent antidote to anxiety.

Positive employees are seen as team players but negative workers are viewed as outcasts, troublemakers. The consequence is that the realistic and rational people, usually the negative thinkers, remain unheard. But researchers discovered that negative people communicate better, think more clearly, make fewer mistakes, are less gullible and are better at decision-making. The reason is that negative people use the critical part of their brain more successfully than cheerful people. The overall conclusion from researchers is that there’s a place for both positive and negative thinking in every workplace. However, what it all comes down to is that negative people pay more attention to their surroundings. They’re not always negative solely for the sake of being negative. They’re just more cognizant of what’s happening around them and as a result their moods change depending on what they notice. Negative thinking isn’t superior to positive thinking, but neither is positive thinking the panacea for all workplace ills. Sometimes what’s required is a dose of reality. And, it’s the negative thinkers, the ones who are perceived as troublesome, annoying, often provide the cure.

Getting negative can be wonderfully empowering, because it drives a respect for the reality of the situation and limitations. Without negativity you can never even begin to plan strategy for engaging, confronting– problems, limitations. While positive thinking produces amazing dreams, visions, goals, negative thinking produces powerful plans and strategies. Positive thinking and confidence improves performance whereas, negative thinking feels realistic, protects us and lowers our expectations. 

Since progress and development are the rules of the universe , just  a healthy dose of both positive and negative thinking (that of Lord Shree Krishan’s and Partha’s respectively) are required for a successful  organization / society / nation.

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