Pinoy ‘Positive Thinking’ and How It Prevents Positive Change

Everyone these days is blabbing about “positive thinking” as if it’s a new religion of some kind. Well, I guess for some it already is a religion and one that they believe can have beneficial impacts on their lives. I even had a friend who recommended the book “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne, saying that it could change my life for the better.

positive_thinkingNow look, I think positive thinking is good and all but without positive action, positive thinking will just be that: thinking. Thinking that you and everyone around you will become happy and get along together and that natural disasters won’t come to the Philippines anymore isn’t going to do squat unless you do something about it. In the end, all the so-called positive thinking people talk about will just be a fantasy if no one is willing to act on the perceived “positivity”.

Now another issue I’d like to discuss is how, over the years, GRP has been attacked by commenters claiming that GRP is “negative” and that it just causes needless stress in people. Well, I’ve got news for these people:

When in a dangerous forest, closing your eyes and covering your ears won’t make the bears, wolves and snakes that live in it go away. In fact, doing just that will make you easy prey for the said animals.

So what do the topics I mentioned have in common?

They all have to do with just how Filipinos think of “positive thinking” and how it’s supposed to work. The fact that so many people in the country think that just thinking happy thoughts (and doing nothing in the meantime) will make a happy community is a dangerous lie that a lot of Filipinos have put into practice since time immemorial. One can note the many pictures of smiling Yolanda victims being put out today. Are they smiling because they haven’t lost their sense of hope or are they smiling because they have resigned themselves to their fate?

Another point I would like to cite is the way we always make a motto of “walang basagan ng trip” (don’t ruin my enjoyment) as well as more foreign ideas like “they hate us ’cause they ain’t us” and “haters gonna hate”. GRP as well as a lot of other national critics attract a lot of flak for voicing out their opinions in this day and age. These so-called “positive thinkers” seem to think that criticizing the country’s ills is bad because it creates “negativity”. Apparently, the only solution they can offer regarding the country’s problems is deluding oneself into thinking that we all live in a happy and productive country. They somehow think that by pretending or fantasizing that we live in a Utopian Society complete with a royal family (perhaps with Noynoy Aquino as our king and maybe Dingdong and Marian as our Prince and Princess) will somehow make our country just that.

It’s sad to note that the way that most Filipinos cope with the difficulties of their lives is by living in a fairy tale. What’s worse is that they attack anyone who tries to wake them back to reality. Its similar to the way an alcoholic or junkie will refuse to even acknowledge what they are and even attack people when their bad habits are pointed out to them.

It’s quite clear that most Pinoys have a very strange way of defining “positive thinking”. If you ask anyone else, positive thinking is about hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. Its about making the necessary precautions about the negative aspects of life while doing your best for yourself and for others.

Remember always, pretending the bad things in life don’t exist isn’t going to make them go away. Our government will always be corrupt, criminals will always infest our streets and our people will continue to sink deeper into poverty unless we actually do something. You solve problems by confronting them not by ignoring them.

Positivity is about facing the negativity of life and making something positive out of it. Denying and ignoring the negatives has never solved anything. All the positive thinking in the world will amount to nothing if positive actions are not taken.

“La plus belle des ruses du diable est de vous persuader qu’il n’existe pas.”

(“The devil’s finest trick is to persuade you that he does not exist.”)”

― Charles Baudelaire, Paris Spleen


Post Author: Grimwald

I came that you may know PAIN and have it in abundance...

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21 Comments on "Pinoy ‘Positive Thinking’ and How It Prevents Positive Change"

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I’m guessing you have formed your conclusions about the book without having read it.


I’ve seen the original movie of the Secret. And it’s loads of crap. Here’s my take on it. I also read reviews saying the book is further loads of crap.

Robert Haighton

Positive thinking must come with a (positive) plan.
Talk the talk, walk the walk.

Dale Jose Gozar

TRUTH HURTS only if we (Filipino) keep on denying/running away or pretends it’s not happening. Our leaders have to face it, deal with it and hope our condition improve.

Sea Bee
@Dale Jose Gozar: Why would you want our leaders to “hope our condition improves?” We should work towards improving our situation by doing X, Y, and Z. Then evaluate and see if the strategies have been successful. Reject what did not work and try again; this time focusing on what has been demonstrated to be effective. What is needed is public policy based upon social science, and statistical analysis. What is accomplished by HOPE??? It is a quasi- religious. magical concept that Filipinos just will not let go. It does not encourage progress, but hinders it. Why build adequate water… Read more »

Too much positive thinking can lead to self-delusion. You experience a
false sense of growth because you lower your awareness, blinding
yourself to your problems instead of truly facing them (Credits to the author)

Gunther Benavidez

In the context of the film The Matrix, most Filipinos will tend to swallow the blue pill.


In The New Living translation of the Bible Proverbs chapter 13 verse 18 says this- If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept criticism, you will be honored.

Awesome, the Bible is known to be the book of life and it is definitely the book of wisdom. With regards to topic take a look a simple Math lesson, positive signed integer times positive signed integer equals to positive integer, negative integer times negative integer still positive integer but positive integer times negative integer equals to negative integer. in other words, plus thinking times plus action equals to positive result, while plus thinking times minus action is equal to negative result. Many people think that thinking criticism and and doing criticism is ultimately give negative result. They are wrong… Read more »
Even without action, positive thinking is already good as a start. Positive action emanates from positive thinking. And I find it hard to accept that you can have positive thought without positive action. Let me explain. When we have positive thoughts, do we just keep it to our self? How will people know if we have positive thoughts if they don’t know it? Is action the only way we can prove that we have positive thought? I don’t think so. Action does not necessarily mean you have to physically do something in what you think. Positive thinking when shared is… Read more »
Hyden Toro_12h78

I am not a fan of those “Positive Thinkers”. Think Right, but do something about your situation, is my motto.

Filipinos are very sensitive to criticism. You can just see, how many Bloggers, attacked a certain :Mr. Nasty”, last week. when he wrote something about “star struck ignoramuses” Filipinos.

I believe in Solving your problems. Instead, of “Fighting” your problems. Thinking positive can help, but you have to act to solve the problem. Hope for the best; but prepare for the worst.

Sea Bee
The mindset described in this article is an indication of how, despite 500 years of colonization, Filipinos still believe in the aboriginal concept of magic. There is widespread belief in fairies and encantos. Telenovelas who subject is the fairy world are wildly popular. The Christianity of the Spanish and the rationality of the Americans is just so much Filipino window dressing. In terms of magic, positive thinking makes sense. Thinking a negative thought and speaking of negativity out loud will bring negativity into being. There are negative and positive forces in the universe and we are at their mercy. I… Read more »

If you’ve read about The Secret, even if it’s not my article, it’s the same thing – magic. That’s why they have a name for the foolishness: “magical voluntarism.”


It would be so singularly unlike conquered or enslaved people in general if we yielded all of our beliefs at once, or even over a staggered amount of time, though some must yield to modification if not obsolescence in recognition of and response to contemporary events and the societal pressures that accompany them — where are the Tagalog dream-spheres that Rizal wrote about, I wonder?

Hyden Toro_m4gh5

There are many things in the world, we still don’t know. Sometimes, if your mind is focused , on a certain thing…they will manifest themselves. The mind is still a very complex feature in our being. The brain is a very complicated machine.

Belief in Supernatural is there; because, we cannot understand them.

There is an existing Theory in the Scientific World, that: we live in Dimensions and Planes.
And, there are “living manifestations” in these Planes and Dimensions. Maybe, when we will advance further in Science and Technology, that we will understand these Phenomena…


You are essentially who you create yourself to be and all that occurs in your life is the result of your own making.

Sea Bee

d forsaken:

What is that philosophy? Some kind of self reliant mysticism? For the vast majority of people, the accident of their birth has more to do with the outcomes in their life, than any other factor.

Hyden Toro_8k9

This is the reason, we have the:Power of Choice. If this power is taken away from us, thru any means: religion, political indoctrination, brainwashing, wrong choices, etc…we will be what we had chosen…or what we have allowed to happen to us…


Positive Thinking is bullsh-t. Its a book they want to sell you.