Can We Build This?

Yes we can! Powerful motivation from Bob the Builder

A wonderful blog called, Barking Up the Wrong Tree – had a post on motivation – how to go from dreaming to doing. (see:

I liked this post and wanted to share it because, as you know, I am not a huge fan of the positive thinking movement. Why? Because positive thinking isn’t enough. If you want something to happen, you have to take some action. Plus, if your positive thinking is delusional – well, don’t get me started.

The article starts out by explaining the WOOP system– which is an acronym for Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan.  Which is that – if you want good things to happen, you have to wish – yes, but don’t stop there. You have to understand what the specific outcome is that you want to achieve, you have to consider what the obstacles are that will prevent that from happening and then you have to plan HOW you are going to overcome those obstacles.  Then, you have to do it.

All good so far. What I want to focus on is the part of the article about Bob the Builder. I loved this show when my son was watching it pretty regularly (don’t judge).   Anyway – the point is that Bob the Builder is a very positive show. It teaches kids to be optimistic and to take on tough projects and get them done.  Good old fashion hard work and stick-to-it-iveness.

The difference between delusional positive thinking and optimistic motivation is that instead of declaring that we will be successful, as if declaring ourselves successful will give us magic powers to succeed, we instead ask ourselves a question. We doubt. Can we do it?  And then answer that question – with a YES WE CAN!

It seems strange that doubt can help us find the motivation to try, but it’s a really powerful tool. It’s not negative at all. When we ask – can we do something, we doubt, but we also are forced to consider our problem realistically. And it’s precisely because our plans are based in reality that we are more likely to be successful and motivated to take on the project in the first place.

So the next time you hear a new age guru telling you to think positive – bring up an image of Bob the Builder instead and ask yourself – can I build this?  Yes you can.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...