Category Archives: Positive Thinking

If You Assume the Worst, You Yourself Will Bring It About

Powerful Mind Part 36
Created November 10, 2023

Read Powerful Mind 35

The latest findings of neuroscience suggest that we as individual human beings interpret our own emotions as they happen. The physical signals we receive may suggest not only the degree to which our emotions are aroused, they may even suggest the valence as either being positive or negative emotion, but then there is a cognitive interpretation layer we impose to further characterize to ourselves the emotions we are feeling.

In my own introspections I had also come to that same conclusion long ago, that my mind had the ability to clarify the emotions I was experiencing. In some cases I felt overwhelming arousal and initially took that to be fear and panic, but then applying Observer state (metacognition) I was able to refine that classification into positive excitement and anticipation rather than negative fear. This was the way I learned to deal with stage fright when my showbiz parents put me on stage at age 4.

The general reason why it is important to be able to bring emotional self-interpretation into play is to avoid making things worse.

There is a proven feedback loop between our expectations and the results we get. If we fear failure, it increases our probability of failure.

This goes beyond psychology. In physics the greatest theorists including Einstein, Wheeler, and Hawking have postulated what Wheeler called the Anthropic Participatory Principle, the ability of consciousness to collapse probability waves into concrete objects. Einstein did not go quite as far but could not describe relativity without including an observer (consciousness) in his equations.

Knowing that our inner emotional content has significant impact on the outcomes in our lives, and that we have the interpretation layer at our disposal in order to clarify exactly which emotions we are feeling, we face the choice of either:

A. Continuing to relinquish control over how we interpret our emotions, leaving that up to our brain’s default network to settle that as it will, and accepting the consequences.
B. Exercising our will power to focus our minds on self-observation and clarifying our emotions based on the pragmatic principle that outcomes will be better to the degree that we classify our emotions more positively.

The ideal mental framework if we choose the “B” option is (1) gratitude for being alive and for the life we have been given, despite perceived imperfections (2) resolute confidence that we shall attain our dreams someday so long as we stay positive toward ourself and toward everyone else.

That’s the gratitude attitude that gives you the greatest chance of success at whatever you do. The word “someday” implies that we ought not be impatient or overly attached to the experience of success, but instead should enjoy the passage of time, the journey rather than the destination. This total package of attitudinal viewpoints is the master cocktail for maximizing success.

The implication is that in any given moment, if you sense your own emotions, the interpretation of those emotions should be the priority. If you are also besieged by your own tumble of thoughts and questions in your mind about various subjects, you might write down the fewest possible trigger words which will serve to remind you of those questions so that you can tackle them later on.

When I was very young, I took a very different path. I greatly esteemed thinking over feeling, for a very long time, and so I paid priority attention to my thoughts and questions of an intellectual and rational nature. I considered my emotions more as animal instincts to be conquered than as valuable signals. I was in my late teens by the time I realized that many of my intellectual questions reduced to aesthetic preferences, i.e. feelings.

My undervaluing of feelings led me to take on a general preference for melancholy in the form of “glamorous cynicism”. I actually felt most comfortable being in a negative mood. Later on this became a hard to break habit but one which I eventually overcame. I had to see the way the negative mindset had ruined a number of great opportunities before I could wake up to, and bring in, the feeling side of the game to my self-recommended life systems (“psychotechnology”).

As we begin the description of Key #10 here, we are entering into the complexities of what goes on in the mind, from the subjective viewpoint of you, the experiencer. In this environment every instant is besieged by qualia (subjective inner phenomena) some of which purport to describe the “outside” world (perceptions) and some of which report signals from the “inner” world (thinking, feelings, intuition, memories, imaginings, images). Operating according to the current norm for homo sapiens on Earth, all of this washes over you and what you pay attention to and do about it all, seems to do itself without much help from you, even when some of it is stuff that you do consciously but automatically, like saying thank you. But some of it riles you up and you over-react negatively and some of it peps you up and you possibly over-react positively… all of it feeling fairly out of control, but you’re used to it, so it doesn’t induce panic most of the time.

Key #10 is completing the granular dissection of Observer state so that you are more fully prepared to deal with life with a far greater degree of conscious control.

We started with the feelings because they are the most powerful and least controllable qualia we experience. Remember the Gratitude Attitude in order to not be overtaken by your feelings, but to leverage your feelings so that you may channel their energies in the directions of your ultimate dreams.

Best to all,

The Art of Neutralizing Negative Emotion

Created June 3, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

Negative emotion serves one pro-survival purpose only: it galvanizes us into action as an alarm system.

Once having detected her/his own negative emotion, the sophisticated Flow state experiencer moves quickly to neutralize the negative emotion and to work rationally and dispassionately on solving the problem which caused it. Like turning off the alarm clock in the morning.

What is a sophisticated Flow state experiencer? A person who has had the benefit of learning how to perform some skill so well that they repeatedly experience the sense of autotelic behavior: behavior that appears to do itself, perfectly, and without the need to put forth any effort for that to occur.

Such a person then invariably begins to contemplate this strange experience that comes and goes and is very welcome to stay longer than it ever does.

In a way, a sophisticated Flow state experiencer is like a lucid dreamer, one who is able to know the she/he is dreaming, and therefore able to control the dreams to a greater degree than the average person. “Life is but a dream” is a line out of the children’s song Row, Row, Row Your Boat. In that metaphor, the lucid dreamer is the sophisticated Flow state experiencer in the dream level we call “real life”.

I know that negative emotion can be neutralized because I do it all the time now. I’m not sure that I can put into words the perfect instructions for how you can do this, but I’ll try.

First, why? Why would you want to learn the trick of neutralizing your own negative emotions?

One obvious answer is that you feel bad when you have negative emotions and it’s obvious that nobody would choose to feel bad when they could otherwise feel good.

Another valid answer is that negative emotions reduce our effectiveness and keep us out of higher states of consciousness, such as the Observer state and the Flow state. 

In the Observer state you can see why you have an impulse that arises in you out of your subconscious. In normal waking consciousness you would either simply act out the impulse or hesitate without knowing what to do.

In Flow state you are beyond all that, your body and mind are doing everything perfectly without any inner heckling or gloating.

Negative emotion blocks both of these higher levels of performance. It also biases choices and decisions we make rather than enable objectivity and rationality in making better decisions.

When I neutralize negative emotion one thing that happens is that I observe what is going on inside me very attentively and put aside emotion entirely. I observe emotion and therefore am not inside it anymore. There is a falling away of my historic passions and motivations into a deferred file to be resumed later. I am highly cognizant of the lack of proof for any position over any other position in terms of human values. I experience sort of an ennui, or boredom, or tiredness with everything I stand for and believe in and am trying to bring about. I have a feeling, unspoken, of something like ho hum so what. I am as if reborn tabula rasa (blank slate). I can see things in new ways I could not before. Consider possibilities I never would have considered before. I have total free will with no mortgages from the past. All of this happens in a moment.

You might try this and see if it works for you the next time that something gives you negative emotion of any kind. Anger, hate, resentment, loathing, fear, guilt, melancholy, depression, sadness, regret, physical pain, loss.

Negativity keeps us from more quickly solving the problem that caused the negativity.

Love to all,



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Created July 23, 2021

Forgive me, I must admit I wasn’t thinking of you, my regular readers, when I wrote this. I was writing this to your kids, or grandkids, or more likely to young people you may know who didn’t grow up nourished by your wisdom. Please do pass this along to anyone you know whom you feel could benefit from it, people who are having a hard time. Thanks!

67.7% of people with a net worth of $30 million or more today were not born into rich families. They made it on their own.

More than ever, some people born in poverty are making it. It’s the best time to be alive if you’re an average person without all the breaks. With the internet all of knowledge is available to you.

Now that I’ve gotten your attention by talking about money, let’s be clear that it isn’t the most important goal, it’s just something you need because of the way the world is set up. California is already beginning to move by cautious partial steps toward a guaranteed minimum income for everyone. Someday that may be the way the world works. For now, money is something to take into account in your planning, but it’s not the purpose of your life.

What’s really important is finding and doing your passion work. That also happens to be the way that you will be happier, more fulfilled, and more effective at everything in life. And it may also wind up making you the most money too, although you’d be happier doing your passion work and just getting by as far as money is concerned, than if you end up doing work that is just so-so for you, while making more money, having more one-night stands (which the culture has brainwashed young people to highly value), and owning more trophy things than your crowd.

While they may all continue to go down the other path of impressing others with mundane things, you ought to take the route that will make the most of your life, and of your gifts.

If you don’t think you are gifted, you haven’t made enough of an objective study of yourself. We all have things that we do better than most people. Things that you enjoy doing and which you do well are the clues to what you are alive to do.

Once you have studied yourself enough and have a vague glimmering or a specific idea of what you want to be doing for the rest of your life, then you need to set a first firm direction in life, select the kind of organization or the specific organization you want to work for, or you want to create. You may change course later on or not, but you need a first base to run to.

You just figure out where you could show your skills to the greatest degree, and go there, humbly learn the ropes, then stay humble.

Humility is another side of nobility.

Human collective unconscious probably programs the brain to enable humans to sense noble people. Such people are respected and their opinions sought.

How can you be noble?

Just take responsibility for doing good in every moment.

Be grateful every moment for being alive.

Be kind to everyone.

That’s all it is!

To summarize, you follow your strengths, envisioning the target state, act nobly with kindness.

A few simple rules that will take you to your destination.

Best to all,


Don’t Work Against Yourself

Created July 16, 2021

The above title seems obvious. “Who would knowingly work against one’s own best interests? Masochists maybe, but no normal person.”

Unfortunately, that is not the case. Practically all of us work against ourselves on a daily basis. The reason we do it is because we don’t realize the power of our own thoughts and feelings to program our behavior in ways that can seriously limit our success.

For example, we may feel and have thoughts about being jealous of another person or persons. As the clock ticks on and we let ourselves stay in that mental/emotional state, we don’t realize the damage we are doing to our self, and so we let it go on, as if there is no cost or consequence involved in spending time that way. The more time goes on without our actively curtailing that state, the more damage it is doing.

Jealousy is defined as “The thoughts or feelings of insecurity, fear, concern, and envy over relative lack of possessions, status or something of great personal value, particularly in reference to a comparator, a rival, or a competitor.”

Every second we allow ourself to dwell in that state we are sending signals to ourself, not only our conscious mind but also our subconscious, not only our left and front brain but also our right brain, not only our cortex but also our limbic system and cerebellum, that we find ourselves to be inadequate (insecurity), fearful, and lesser individuals to those we envy.

Our entire being, our body as well as our mind, get the message. In ways we don’t notice, we project those signals out to the world in our posture, facial and bodily gestures, we are broadcasting our perceived inadequacy to others as well as to our own inner being. If we do this often enough it becomes a self-refueling cycle that mounts and can destroy the achievement of our highest visions for ourself.

We owe it to ourselves to have at least a vague notion of the gifts we have which should determine the kind of work we want to do in the world. And armed with this compass, vague as it may be, to not allow any vagaries of mental habits to delay or destroy our chances of reaching the actualization of those dreams.

Once we form a notion of the direction, that must be the means by which we discipline ourselves to actualize, every second of every day. To do otherwise is to potential casually throw our lives away, and any time we spend in such a mode, is sending signals to our entire being that we don’t believe in our own gifts, we’re just going through the motions but are pretty sure it’s never going to pan out. That becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and not just because we are sending giveaway “tells” of our own lack of self-belief.

Any negative thought or feeling means you are not in your clearest state. If you were in the Flow state you obviously wouldn’t be thinking at all, just acting in total internal external synchrony. If you were in the Observer state you would be able to see that your negative thoughts are the opposite of constructive and that you are wasting time, you should thank your negative feelings for causing you to detect and focus on the solution of some real world problem, and then immediately get on to analyzing and coming up with the best plan of action so that such negative feelings at some point in the future will not arise at all.

If for example jealousy is internally detected, the first question is “If I could trade lives with that person, would I?” That usually brings the jealousy into a clearer context in which you can think about what you might do differently in order to have the things the envied person has without having to become them in any way, since you are likely to like yourself better, and not want the full package of that person’s entire life, you just envy certain things they have, like more money. This turns a fruitless and self-defeating morbid period of thinking and feeling time into a constructive Observer state higher clarity use of time that leads to test actions. A far better way of running your life, more creative, not petty, which makes your mind, resolve, and self-confidence stronger, your ability to achieve stronger. It gets you what you want if you never give up. You are not using your energy against itself.

The optimal moods are gratitude and kindness. Negative moods automatically give more power to the things that hurt you. Cultivate only positive use of your time and nothing can stand in your way.

Love to all,