The world has changed. The rules are different and the stakes are higher than ever. To the victor go the spoils, and only the savvy need apply. The positive thinking movement transformed the lives of millions, but success in the new economy requires a higher level of thought. Watch this short video I taped in Seattle, Washington, and I’ll look forward to your comments.


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Steve Siebold
Author and Professional Speaker since 1997. Past Chairman of the National Speakers Association's Million Dollar Speakers Group. Author of 11 books with 1.4 million copies in print.

16 thoughts on “Positive Thinking is Dead”

  1. Steve, I get what you’re saying and I agree 100% that things have changed and it’s a new ballgame in a lot of areas. But I think that principles of success and the ability to achieve and move forward in life will never change. Positive thinking is one of those principles…

  2. The traditional definition of “positive thinking” is dangerous. What is the new positive? Let me give you an example….I am positive that without critical thinking our world will change for the worse with the amount of emotion getting in the way of critically important decisions that need to be made in this world.

  3. Thinking itself is what is “dead”. The way of the world is feeling! I don’t think, I feel then often as not I act on the feeling with little regart to thought. Bad idea, Tommy, bad idea! Slowly I am striving to become a principle based thinker. Man, is it tough in a world that doesn’t want principle based thinkers. They are too hard to control and don’t spend as much money on stuff they don’t need.

    Little by little I’m learning to not believe what “I think” unless first filtered through principle. So, instead of thinking positive I seek positive and acknowledge negitive.

    Thank you for your hard work. I’m new to your website and look forward to learning from you.


  4. A lazy mind can be positive all day long. Critical thinking is making the mind not be lazy. Critical thinking is improved when the mind can recognize emotion and has the experience necessarry to expand criteria.

  5. When I was going through US Navy flight training, we were taught early that “positive thinking kills people.” That’s why we trained hard for our missions, and prepared as much as we could for when things go wrong.

    I knew many pilots who flew with the attitude – “I don’t need to worry about that – that won’t happen to me!” Some of them aren’t with us any more.

    I’m not advocating excessive worrying – I’m advocating preparation.

    Thanks for the reminder, Steve!


  6. Steve,
    Great post as usual. Most people in the world are not capable of or they are scared to use critical thinking skills. Thanks to my mentor in college, and to you, I am always thinking critically. Great comments by Mike and Janetta. BTW – I just ordered your Coaching Mental Toughness book and I am rereading 177 Mental Toughness Secrets while on vacation.

    Scott Bodiford
    Kennesaw, GA

  7. What a great podcast, it gave me something to reflect on. The truth of the matter is scientist never made a scientific break through with positive thinking it was critical thinking which equates but not limited to diligence and perseverance.

    I call critical thinking….going back to the basics. What I mean by that is critical thinking is something that our educators tried to foster in grammar school, high school, and even college! But only a small percentage of the students got it because in order to get it you had to push yourself harder and go beyond what is expected of you. Critical thinking was at the end of the chapters after all the routine questions were asked you had 2 or 3 critical thinking questions. These were the questions that you couldn’t look back into the chapter to answer but you had to take your problem solving skills to the next level by THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX. So critical thinking is something we are all capable of attaining but as time goes on we look for the easier less complicated way out and evolved from critical thinker to the hopeful thinker, then wishful thinker, then positive thinker. All of a sudden we no longer utilize critical thinking. But as Steve put it, it is the only way to truly excel!

  8. Steve, you got some response on the mindset ….”Positive Thinking is Dead”.

    How about NEGATIVE THINKING IS DEAD”? (humorous response)

    What alternatives do we have? Very few people can be influenced to use some critical thinking [processes]. Probably only people that are World Class Thinkers can progress to ultimate critical thinking. There remains outlandish opposition to make the changes required which helps the whole world to be a better place.

    What author has processed these ideas into a formula for the enlightened world to use? Steven Brookfield?

  9. Hi Steve and everyone else that reads this…when I first saw your title “Positive Thinking is DEAD!” I have to say it hooked me (which I am sure is by design) and even though I am “Mr. Positive!” I do agree that the way you describe it yes that type of “Positive Thinking” is DEAD!

    However, I think there’s still a tremendous value in having a “Positive Attitude/Outlook” on life and hope for the future. I think without it life becomes pretty bleak.

    Now I learned a long time ago that a “Positive Attitude/Mindset” and $5.00 will get me a cup of coffee at Starbucks and make me feel good but critical thinking, planning and positive action are all required to produce results.

    Steve, I wish you and your blushing bride Dawn the happiest of Holidays and keep these post coming – I love learning from you!

    David Boufford, aka; Mr. Positive!

  10. Steve……Bullseye!!… said it my friend. What is needed now?….creativity, creativity, creativity, higher law, clarity, deeper consciousness, wider connections, service, loss of ego, loss of vanity and large eyes in order to see.
    So, I am going to perform a marriage ceremony…….critical thinkng and unlimited vision…..Cheers.

  11. As a professional business coach, I’ve noticed that many of my clients are positive thinkers. Most of them believe that hope is a key ingredient to making positive events occur in their life. In other words, they believe that maintaining a positive mindset will cause positive events to happen.

    Think about it. Positive thinking is the path of least resistance. It’s easier to think positive and hope for things in life than to develop yourself into a critical thinker and think things through for yourself.

    I’ve come to realize that critical thinkers are thought leaders who take charge and use logic to make things happen in their life.

    There was a time in my life when I was a positive thinker and followed many of the industry gurus who focus on motivation and positive thinking. I didn’t know any better. It wasn’t until meeting Steve that I learned the differences in how successful people think. Since that time, I’ve been working diligently to become more of a critical thinker. I’m now sharing these differences with my coaching clients and family members by having them watch Steve’s videos and television appearances.

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