Tuesday, November 24, 2009

(part 210) THE NEGATIVITY OF POSITIVE THINKING



For both the RCA deal in the 70's, and the deal with Dennis and George in 1980, I was completely clean and sober. In both cases I was practicing positive thinking techniques prior to the deals becoming reality.

There will be those who say it was coincidental, and those who will say it was intrinsic to each of the deals occurring at all. In my opinion, I did something specific and got a specific result, up to a point.

I concentrated my efforts and my thinking into a chosen subject matter, and initially obtained a desired goal from that effort.

The sticking point in each case was the same. Demands on me by others, about what they would get, and how much I would give up so they could get it.

In both instances I encountered situations where I would have had to make choices I disagreed with personally in order to be successful and profitable.

The RCA deal hinged on my agreeing to be managed by a cocaine dealer from my past, who had become closely involved with Bob Summer, RCA's president, which I chose not to do, and so the deal fell apart.

In 1980 I was asked to give up rights to publishing to Dennis Poulsen, which again I chose not to do, and that deal also fell apart.

So here's my point in this post. Though positive thinking can create all kinds of wonderful outcomes, with those outcomes come the unanticipated, unforeseen problems that can destroy what it is that you created.

With each of those agreements I had the opportunity to decide something which would have insured a better financial outcome for me, but in each case it went against what I could live with comfortably.

My positive dreams had ultimately led me to negative consequences. I had to decide against my own financial interests, and do something that led to my own failure in each of the two instances, but which ultimately proved to be the larger success over the long haul.

Those who made possible my good fortune, to some degree, became the very ones who insured my failure through their persistent demands of control and greed.

I could have gone along, but on thinking it through, arrived at the point of a dilemma, and refused to bend to those demands simply for my own financial benefit.

For those who think in business terms only, I was told I made the wrong decision. Likewise, for those who think that positive thinking is the end all of rational behavior, I was questioned about my conclusions, and my ability to execute successfully there as well.

My opinion is this. You may be able to pray yourself into wealth and prosperity, but once there, you may well encounter unanticipated problems created by the very prosperity you achieve.

All along the way there will be new choices and challenges to resolve, and if one thinks only in terms of their own well being they will surely make decisions they will come to regret later. In some cases those decisions and regrets have the power to completely destroy life.

I am not against positive thinking, but I would say that believing in the positive, to the exclusion of all else, is a dangerous and narrow minded goal that leads to a closed mind, determined only to see what it chooses.

I have dealt for decades with the so-called positive thinking ranks in twelve step programs, and various spiritual philosophy oriented groups, and find one thing similar with each of them.

When challenged about what they believe, their answer is to dismiss the questioner, either on moral, philosophical, or intellectual grounds. This seems to be a way for some to comfortably exclude any disbeliever or challenger to their beliefs.

Their likewise determined goal of always ending up where they decide they have a right to be, short changes anyone and everyone who does not agree with them and their rigid conclusions.

Being obsessed about fulfilling your own desires does not allow one to see the legitimate needs of others. When you abandon the needy and the less fortunate simply to insure your own pleasant way of life, you are just another selfish individual refusing to lend a hand.



(can always make a living) SINGIN LOVE SONGS

Demo from 1980-81... I recorded a number of these using the technique of out of sync vocal tracks for effect.

7 comments:

  1. AMEN! A Music Fan

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  2. Love the subject matter, and your observations of it. I get caught up in believing that I think my way into a very bad frame of mind, but then again when I see someone doing the opposite of that, blocking out all the negativety, I usually get grateful I'm not in that much denial.
    Terri

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  3. I've been re-reading your posts and I don't understand how you went from an agreement to write songs for the 2 lawyers to disagreeing about publishing rights on past songs. Was your first agreement for a specific amount of time and then it ran out? It seems very unreasonable on their part to demand publishing rights on music written before your first agreement. Am I understanding this right? A Music Fan

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  4. Thank you for the explanation. You are so talented and also an honorable man! A Music Fan

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  5. The great journalistic exposé writer, Barbara Ehrenreich, has a new book out called:
    "Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America." Your analysis of the potential damage of "Pollyannaish" positive thinking complements her analysis. You also recognize that purveyors of positive thinking are very much like religious thinkers who argue that if things don't work out it is your fault for "wrong-thinking" or failed faith. This is a fine analysis you offer here,

    Actually, though, I really wanted to comment on the song. This one is very fun. I think your sense of humor is not adequately revealed on this blog because the subject matter does not lend itself to frivolity. You poetry shows plenty of wit and glimpses of humor, but this little ditty is just plain fun, from the yodeling to the punchline of the title. The one place that I think your true sense of humor really shines is in the interview that you did on the "Rastus Site Interview." Your playfulness and sense of humor really shine in that piece. I encourage anyone who has not heard the interview to give it a listen. It's a kick.

    Thanks again, Bobby, for sharing these demos. they give a special insight to your creative process.

    Tim

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  6. Bobby, I have done little else than read your blog during my waking hours since discovering it three days ago. Outstanding writing, intense narrative. Your story is epic and heroic to me for the way you have recounted it as much as for having survived it. Truly inspiring. A couple of observations if I may -- you have an exceptionally high IQ and should really be teaching as an adjunct professor at the university in my opinion.
    Based on one of your posts, I feel you are my true brother based on some similar experiences and pain of my own in the publishing industry. I'd like to tell you more about them sometime. For whatever its worth, you have significantly helped me deal with my own pain. Your honesty is very admirable. Please, whatever you do, keep on writing this blog.

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  7. It's arguments like yours that leave me praying simply, "Thy will be done." It's clear from a lifetime of results that I have no clue what to pray for positively.

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