American culture is filled with examples positive thinking, and Americans are some of the most positive people I know.
But this positivity is also damaging to goal achievement, creating a sense of complacency that hinders efforts. By visualizing and imagining our goals, we often trick ourselves into thinking we have done the necessary work.
Instead of tricking ourselves, we must also imagine the obstacles on our way to achieving these goals.
Students who followed a Wish Outcome Obstacles Plan (WOOP) were better prepared to achieve, succeeded more, and had more relevant goals than those who simply imagined an outcome.
So by overteaching positive thinking, we are teaching our students to fail. Students must learn how to achieve their goals, not just that they can.
Image: US Army