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In Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside The New Science Of Motivation, psychologist Gabriele Oettingen shared her findings how those who have stronger, more positive fantasies about reaching their goals are actually less likely to achieve them.

A major review of 422 relevant research studies found that goal intentions accounted for only an average 28% of the variance in achievement of successful outcome (Sheeran, 2002). Subsequent research suggests that even this figure of 28% is an overestimate (Webb and Sheeran, 2006). The conclusion is clear — forming a strong goal intention to achieve some desired outcome in no way guarantees success.” *

Pretty odd isn’t it?

When we are taught to believe that positive thinking enables us to meet our goals.

But does it?

In the WOOP TECHNIQUE that Gabriele and fellow psychologist, Peter Gollwitzer, developed, it takes into account other factors needed to make our dreams a reality.

In part 1, I wrote about the first step: Being clear with your WISH. The second step in the WOOP process is O: Outcome


Now that you have written down your wish in 3–6 words (I.e. to read 40 books by December), the next process is to identify and imagine the best possible outcome.

  • What will be the result of accomplishing your wish?

  • What is the best possible outcome?

  • How do you “see” success on this wish?

  • How do you “hear” success on this wish?

  • How will you “feel” when you succeed on this wish?

  • How will you reward yourself with this success?

“Imagine the relevant events and experiences as vividly as possible. Let your mind go. Don’t hesitate to give your thoughts and images free rein. Take your time.”  — Gabriele Oettingen


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