Tuesday, July 16, 2013
I was reading my old economics textbook from college last Friday night (*). In the chapter on economic philosophy, it talked about positive vs. normative economics. The definitions confused me back then.
I figured positive economics was about an economic paradigm that was about making the economy work as best as possible. Where as normative was just "these are the economic concepts. Do A and, ceteris paribus, B will result."
It's actually the opposite. Normative economics evaluates economic policies against the social norms of a subjectively qualitative definition of good and bad.
Positive economics on the other hand, takes an economic decision or set of decisions and evaluates what will actually happen. Basically if one implements a policy, with all else staying constant, this will definitely happen. It's positive as in, one can be positive that this will be the outcome. (**)
I see a lot of non-positive "positive" thinking. A lot of "You can do it." to someone who really doesn't know how to (and therefore can't until they figure it out). I used to be this way. I know the hopeless hopefulness of it.
I used to think "positively". "I can do this!", "I just need to do this", "OK I'll just do it", etc.. That never got me to my goal. Why? Because there was something standing in my way that was inherently going to stop me. I had a sugar addiction. The only thing I could truly be positive of was that I would never hit my goal until I addressed that. I kind of knew that, but wasn't willing to fully admit it.
I am now overcoming it. I really can stop eating sugar any time. The days in the last month where I ate more sugar than usual still netted half as much as before. I have the weapons that I know (i.e. am Positive) will knock down my desire to eat sugar.
Heck, except for the last three weeks where my weight has been at a plateau, I've been forcing myself to eat enough food to keep the weight loss at 1-2 pounds per week.
Bottom line, I'm not thinking "positively" that I'm going to hit my goal in the next few months. I'm actually positive that what I am doing will lead to that. Once I get there, I don't "think" that I can maintain my weight. I know for sure, Lord willing and barring medical issues, that I will easily be able to as I continue to eat healthier.
Oh and here's the kicker. When I invariably eat too much at the holidays or summer cookouts and have a few candy bars too much. I just go back to the usual healthy foods that are now a part of my life.
I'm not victorious, I'm free.
I'm not going to succeed and maintain, I'm just going to enjoy my life.
If you are trapped in the "think 'positively'" mentality but are being held back by something that has always hindered you (you what it is), address the hindrance. I beg you. Until you do that, all of the "positive thinking" in the world will keep bringing you down when the hindrance keeps holding you back.
Again, I've been there and know the hopelessness of it. Read some of my older blogs and ideas that all invariable failed. I had a "positive attitude" that I'd win the battle/war, but not the weapons to actually win it. As a result, I almost always lost. When I won, the victory was temporary. Both of those led to hopelessness and eventually me not being on SP for a year and a half.
Don't be "positive". Address what's actually holding you back.
Once you've got that you can be Positive that you'll do as well as you can.
- TD Out!
(*) It's what the cool kids do :)
(**) I know, how does he stay single?