The Power of Positive Thinking

People tell their children “ You can do anything if you set your mind to it”.  Is it true?  Some people say it is… “mind over matter”, “thoughts are things”, “the law of attraction”, “the power of positive thinking”, “self-fulfilling prophecy”, all curious and compelling concepts.

 A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that directly or indirectly causes itself to become true, by the very terms of the prophecy itself, due to positive feedback between belief and behavior.

After the initial shock wore off after the diagnosis… Ok that’s not true, we were still in shock and still completely without information, however almost immediately made a pact that we would be relentlessly optimistic.  We didn’t know what we were in for or what would soon be happening (we still hadn’t seen a cancer doctor yet), but we knew that there was only one option and that was to beat it.  Nothing else was acceptable.  It may not be easy, but there would always be hope.

Our friends had lent us their well-worn copy of “The Secret”.  I had read part of it before and it had made intuitive sense to me, essentially you get what you give.  Face life with positivity and good energy and that is what will flow back to you.  The book tells stories about people achieving their goals by setting the thought in their mind as if it had already happened.  The end goal was an absolute, they knew it and felt it in their bones as if it was real.  Easy enough, right?

I suggested (demanded?) to my husband that that was what he must do.  It wasn’t good enough to hope for the best, he had to know it.  He had to believe with every cell in his body that he would do it.  And so, my husband set in his mind what he thought was a reasonable goal – cancer free in one year.

Luckily for me, my husband had a track record of setting his mind to a goal and making it happen.  I had every reason to be optimistic now in this crisis.  My husband would find a way, we would find a way together.  Looking back on the year we’ve had I marvel at how mentally strong he stayed through all of this, but I’m not surprised.

If he had told the doctors in the beginning that he would be cancer free in a year, I’m sure they would have either laughed or pitied his delusional self.  He had, what we discovered later, was essentially a full blockage in his colon and inoperable multiple tumors in his liver.

It was almost exactly one year after his diagnosis that my husband was declared cancer free.

We did find a way.  Many things came together to make this happen.  But did my husbands laser focus on his goal and mental toughness throughout this ordeal play a large part?  I have no doubt in my mind.