Magical Thinking

I love friends that go to therapy.  They talk with an air of authority and have a rationale for almost all of their emotions.  They still do stupid stuff but now they know WHY they do stupid stuff.

It was in a conversation with such a friend that I learned the term "magical thinking".  We were discussing someone else who thought that everything wrong in his life would suddenly disappear if xyz happened.  His belief that id he could only achieve one thing that other, unrelated problems would be solved exemplified magical thinking.

Magical thinking is seductive.  Instead of wrestling with a myriad of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, we allow ourselves to believe that we can every problem has but one solution.  Pop culture is based on magical thinking:
- If you had a makeover...
- If you had a new job...
- If you were rich...
- If I had that partner...

Even though reality shows show us that none of the above are magic bullets, we imagine a different outcome for ourselves. All the while we are kept from accepting things as they are and working towards  what we want to achieve.

If you suffer from magical thinking, here is an exercise that may give you some perspective.

  1. Concentrate on the ONE thing that you want most of all.
  2. Now imagine you have it.  Really.  
  3. Act as if.  How is your day different.  Your thoughts? Your emotions?

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