Attitude Fanaticism – A New Wave of American Delusion


By Winston Wu

A type of "victim-blaming" people are what I call "Attitude fanatics" include various types of people ranging from tough macho types to New Age hippies, positive-thinking fanatics, and pop psychology followers.  These people believe vehemently and live by such following statements


“You create your own reality; thoughts create reality.”


“No one is a victim; everything bad that happens to you happened cause YOU created or chose it. Everything is a choice. You are at fault for everything you complain about.  You are the problem.”


“Attitude is everything.  If anything goes wrong in your life, it must be cause your attitude made it go wrong.”


These mantras go in line with the popular trend in New Age and pop psychology thinking that thoughts create reality, though not all "attitude fanatics" are New Agers.  These people view the world through rose-colored glasses.  Though they do their best to have a positive mindset, they are often in denial of reality (and will deny your reality too if it doesn’t fit in with theirs), and anything that doesn’t fit into the world they choose.  They don’t live in the real world, but rather in a world of their own choosing in which everything and everyone is good and positive.  Such people may be great to hang out with sometimes, but they are difficult to have a realistic discussion with, for they tend to be “deconstructionists” – those who oppose definitions and labels to the point where they will redefine any word in the dictionary that they feel like, making it difficult to have a common frame of reference with them.  Their whole objective is to create THEIR world for themselves to feel good in, rather than to try to understand or unify with others.  Though they may claim to be spiritual, they are not truth seekers, for they only wish to create their own truth, denying any truth out there that doesn’t fit into their world.

Now, though its common sense that thoughts and attitudes influence your reality, these folks carry it much farther than that.  They believe that thoughts and attitudes literally control and shape the physical properties of time and space around you and in your life, as though they were the building blocks of the universe.  According to their logic, you have control and choices over your thoughts and attitudes, which in turn create your reality and all your experiences.  Therefore, whatever happens to you, whatever results and outcomes befall you, MUST be of your choosing, for no one is a victim in their view.  So if ANYTHING goes wrong, you alone must be to blame and you alone are responsible. 


Now, the thing is, there is some research evidence that thought alone, without action, can INFLUENCE reality (e.g. PEAR -, Ganzfeld -  But there is no scientific evidence that suggests that thought CREATES reality.  If it did, we wouldn’t need cars cause we could just teleport ourselves at will wherever we wanted to go! LOL 


I can, for example, challenge these believers to "create their own reality" where they can walk through solid walls or jump off buildings and fly, yet none of them ever rise up to the task.  Or I can invite them to create a reality where they are the President of the United States, firmly believing it themselves, and seeing if they will be treated as Commander in Chief when they walk into the Pentagon.  Such a dose of hard reality usually knocks sense in these new age hippies and wishful thinkers temporarily, before they revert back to their ideology.  All you have to do is challenge these attitude fanatics to do something preposterous with their thoughts, such as flying or moving mountains, and they will look stumped or claim “my mind isn’t powerful enough at this stage in my evolution.”  Nice cop-out.


Such mantras seem to go against all reality.  If we really could all manufacture the physical laws and universe of our own reality, then we would be in a universe of all pleasure, peace, happiness, and no pain.  Plus, it would also mean that those with nothing but kind positive thoughts toward everyone and everything would never suffer misfortunes, for the reality they create could only be good and positive.  But the fact is that they are still victim to accidents and misfortunes resulting in injury and even death.


Therefore, even the most elementary logic refutes this strange mantra that so many persist in.  It's all part of the new "American pseudo-wisdom" which embodies popular mantras among new age hippies and attitude fanatics such as "you create your own reality", "thought creates reality", "no one is a victim" etc.  It's more an American thing though, as the New Agers and hippies in other countries don't tend to spout such mantras.  The strange thing though, is that such mantras don't have much basis in reality, yet many persist in them.


These attitude fanatics tend to be strongest on the West Coast (New Yorkers don't like them either), where the whole culture is all about exuding fake optimism and a positive attitude, which most of them believe in.  It's especially popular in California, where attitudes and fake smiles are supposed to fix everything, as though having one's head in the clouds compensates for all.  There, they’ve even commercialized the slogan "attitude is everything".  There is this crazy notion in the West Coast culture of America that if one is not constantly positive and optimistic 24/7, then there is something wrong with that person and that no one will like him/her.  In other countries though, people do not have such unrealistic and unnatural expectations of others.  Hence, you can be yourself; no need to be fake.  As such, “true positivity” is allowed to bloom.  It is my theory that when a positive attitude and fake optimism is constantly contrived, that a greater chance of backlash is created, resulting in more negativity to compensate.  It's too bad the fake West Coasters are too shallow to see that.  Though pessimists tend to consider themselves “realists” rather than “pessimists”, the West coast style of optimism is more a fad than a case of having a healthy spirit.  

As for me, I am neither a perpetual optimist or pessimist, but a realist who tells it like it is.  West Coast Americans don't like people like me who tell it like it is.  Instead, they like people who are optimistic and positive about everything and everybody 24/7.  However, I don't believe in pretending that I like something I don't just to appease attitude fanatics and politically correct drones.  I simply don't believe in being fake.  And I will not lie to avoid their condemnation.  I would prefer to be “negative” and honest, rather than “positive” by lying.

Naturally, since these attitude fanatics believe that we create everything that happens to you, they have a "victim-blaming" mentality, which is that all “victims” are to blame for their circumstances cause they must have “chosen” them, for no one is a victim.  It doesn't matter if this is a false claim or that it doesn't fit the facts, for this weird mantra makes them irrationally think that way.  They seem to insinuate that nothing bad can happen to you, unless you expect it to!  What imbecile logic!

You'd think the obvious absurdity of this would prevent reasonable educated people from becoming attitude fanatics.  Yet it is surprising how many intelligent and well-meaning people in America think like this, despite its obvious flaws and fallacious reasoning which goes against logic, reality and common sense.  It remains a popular way of thinking among the New Age movement, motivational speakers, and self-help gurus.  However, what these folks don't know is that it seems popular only in the spiritual movement of America.  In other countries, the spiritualists, mystics, and esoterics aren't as into this fallacious and "victim-blaming" type of reasoning, fortunately.  So I don't know why America is so deluded about "attitude" being the building blocks of reality. 


This victim-blaming mentality is very narrow and judgmental.  It's their way of condemning someone they find annoying, but it has nothing to do with reality.  Complaining about some result doesn't create the result in the first place, as if the post-complaint somehow somehow went backwards in time to create the result it complained about.  Yeah right.  The result led to the complaint, not the other way.  To claim it's the other way would be like saying that a baby caused its mother's pregnancy.  It's nonsensical.  This tactic of the attitude fanatic annoys me because they focus on something unrelated to the heart of the problem at hand.  In short, they are always pointing the finger at the wrong cause.

In the attitude fanatic's world, attitude is the cause and solution for everything.  Anytime someone complains about going through bad circumstances, they tell them that their "attitude is the problem" as if it's the magical solution to all.  There are a number of problems with this.

1)  First, it is quite presumptuous for these attitude fanatics and victim-blamers to try to pretend they know what the problem is without seriously investigating it, as if they were omnipotent. 

2)  Second, a bad attitude does not cause bad circumstances in most cases, unless the person is in complete control of all factors around him/her.  Rather, the circumstances cause the attitude usually.  So they have it backwards. 

3)  Third, this ideology presumes that merely fixing one's attitude and making it positive will turn the circumstances positive, which is a vain wish that is not true in reality, only in the hyped imaginary world of the attitude fanatic. 

4)  Finally, if it were true that positive attitude = positive circumstances and negative attitude = negative circumstances, then everyone could get all that they want and produce nothing but advantageous circumstances by merely having a positive attitude.  The simple formula that “attitude cures all” would have been figured out centuries ago and habitually used.  But unfortunately, reality is not like that, hence that's why not everyone has a hokey positive attitude all the time.  I'm not trying to be a pessimist here, just telling how it is.


A lot of these attitude fanatics seem to like to make absurd leaps in logic.  When I describe my results, for example, they prefer to focus on attitude.  For instance, if I complain about constant rejection from women (even those that I have a lot in common with), many automatically claim that I get rejected because I have the "attitude" that I'm getting rejected.  What the @#$%?  What are these people smoking?  That is the most inate logic I've ever seen.  The claim had NOTHING to do with my attitude (since I have projected 100 percent positive attitudes around women, yet they still thought I wasn't their type and made lame ass excuses not to spend time with me), but with results.


Furthermore, with regard to online communication, 95 percent of American girls stop talking to me when they see my picture, even a nice handsome looking one of me.  And this happens even if we have a lot in common or they like my personality/self-description.  On the other hand, European and foreign women don’t tend to disappear after seeing my picture.  It’s a huge and real difference (proving once again for the millionth time, that people are NOT the same everywhere as the naïve and politically correct like to think).  Now, what does that have to do with my attitude, especially since they don’t see me in person?  Nothing of course.  It’s obvious common sense that attitude fanatics always fail to take into account.


The truth is, if I didn't get rejected so much, I wouldn't complain about it.  And not complaining about it doesn't reverse the result.  I don't get rejected due to bad attitude or bad behavior.  I get rejected cause I’m not the type of guy that women want.  Though I’m not ugly, I don’t arouse them, do not project a masculine vibe, am not a macho pig, or they aren’t interested, don’t have feelings for me, don’t feel romantic chemistry.  Sometimes, the women I date are just changeable, even if they were interested in me to begin with.  I’ve never been dumped or flaked out on and told by the girl that it was due to bad attitude or behavior.  In fact, they always tell me that it’s nothing I did, or they give no explanation. 


And technically, it can’t be my attitude, because women online usually tell me they like the attitude in my letters to them and the qualities I describe as well.  But when they see my photo, many of them disappear or lose interest in me.  That has NOTHING to do with my attitude obviously, so this attitude explanation is false and doesn’t apply.


In fact, I don't even have a negative attitude.  I am energetic, enthusiastic, sociable, and a go-getter.  But even if I did, having a positive attitude isn't going to create attraction or make me someone's type.  All it will do is spare me the condemnation of attitude fanatics.


And besides, the whole "positive attitude" thing is a subjective fad anyway.  Often, when people disagree or conflict in some way, they each perceive the other as "negative" when they are simply different or there is a conflict in style.  In fact, even the George Bush administration considers all Americans who oppose their dishonest involvement in the Iraq War, costing many lives on both sides, to be negative!


In America, this positive/negative polarity is overemphasized I think.  In other countries, you aren’t expected to always be “positive” and people don’t try to fix or condemn those who aren’t “positive” (by the American definition).  It's kind of an American thing to always have to be positive.  In fact, I notice that only Americans seem to be calling me “negative” when they disagree.  In other countries, you can just be the way you are.  And even if people disagree with you, they don’t accuse you of being “negative”.  They simply disagree and list reasons why. 


My theory is that Americans are so hung up on being positive because it’s too easy for them to slide down into depression.  They live in a fake world after all, with fake culture, fake entertainment, movies, video games, fake happiness, fake smiles, fake greetings, fake relationships, fake friendships, etc..  Therefore the line between their fakeness that gets them through the day and the depressing emptiness before them is so thin and fragile that they constantly have to overcompensate for being positive out of the subconscious overwhelming fear of the negative.  Thus, anyone who is slightly “negative” by complaining arouses the fear of emptiness in many Americans, especially those who have no “inner life” or richness of soul to fall back on.


Another thing attitude fanatics don’t understand is that life is not meant to be all rosy and perky.  God obviously didn’t intend it to be that way.  Sometimes you are meant to suffer by fate, destiny, or karma whatever.  Therefore, perpetual optimism and happiness isn’t with natural flow of the universe or life, and thus these people are out of touch.


Even the mental health profession admits that you can't always control what happens to you or your circumstances, only how you respond to them, which is one of the aims of therapy.  Yet these "attitude fanatics" still insist on going way beyond that, to the realm of "all that happens is in accordance to your choice of thoughts and attitudes."

No matter how much evidence you present to the contrary, "attitude fanatics" will vehemently defend their position, which is what fanatics do of course.  In debating them, I often challenge them to think or believe that they can fly and see what happens if they jump off a building.  Or I invite them to try walking through solid walls by believing in their firmest attitude that they can.  Amazingly, some have actually responded by saying that they theoretically could fly or walk through walls, if their attitude, belief, or mental focus was strong enough!  Oh my, where does this delusion end?!

So you see, even though the most mundane example could debunk this bizarre belief, they still persist in it as though it were Gospel truth. 

It even extends into the notion that one has control over others and others’ opinions merely by what one chooses to think of him/herself.  Of course, you can't control what others think, even about you, though you can try to influence or persuade them.  But according to the philosophy of attitude fanaticism, you can, because how you perceive yourself is how others perceive you.  So, they claim, if you think positively or negatively about yourself, others will see the same.  And if you act confident, people will like and respect you.  But if you behave vulnerably or think lowly of yourself, that's how you will be treated too. 

Though there are degrees of truth to this, it's very limited in reality, despite what one wishes to believe.  Sure people tend to like confident and positive people, but that isn't the chief reason why one likes or dislikes someone.  Chemistry, taste, looks, perception and synergy are bigger factors in attraction than attitude, for example.  You can like yourself, but that doesn't mean others will like you, for they still have their preference, opinion, taste, and type, all of which are not subject to your attitude or thoughts.  The fattest ugliest person can act confident, try to project the aura of a hunk or goddess, or think of him/herself as beautiful and attractive, yet that is not how others will perceive them.

Any realist who isn't hung up on being politically correct knows and understands that people do treat you VERY differently depending on your looks, image and appearance, hence your looks do create your lifestyle, whether you want to deny it or not.  This is true regardless of your attitude, which brings up my next point.  To all you attitude fanatics, idealists, and even New Agers out there who think that people are treated based on their attitude, let me tell you this.  You are dead WRONG, whether you want to believe it or not.  I have meticulously counted a vast array of my life experiences, and found no real empirical correlation between how someone has treated or viewed me, and my attitude about myself.  In fact, many times the correlation was inversed!  This "attitude" thing is just an excuse fad that a fringe group of Americans religiously cling to, even in the face of empirical evidence against it.

Also, it is utterly false that whatever you think of yourself is what others think of you, and easily testable as well.  I have challenged these attitude fanatics to think of themselves all they want, as the President of the United States, and walk into the Pentagon to see if they will be treated as the Commander in Chief.  Deep down, they know that I am right, yet they remain in denial.

In conclusion, though reality always reveals the folly and delusion of attitude fanaticism, its adherents continue in their denial.  If their delusions affected only themselves, that would be one thing.  But it affects others as well, unfortunately, given the victim-blaming nature of attitude fanaticism.  By pointing fingers and assigning blame to anyone who complains, suffers, or is unfortunate, even due to circumstances beyond their control, they are doing more harm than good.  And the sad thing is that these fanatics don't know it, for they mistakenly think that they are helping others and empowering them, when in fact all they are doing is assigning blame and fault where it is not due.  They are ignorant of the folly of their thinking, and even of their own "attitude".  Their logic only destroys itself, and only serves to alienate these fanatics from reality and from others.

Before any reasoning with them can continue, they first need to "come back down to Earth".


In closing, here is the response to this from one of my cultured readers:


They are seeing only a small part of the picture.  Everything is in fact energy, and matter is only a form of energy, so one does attract more negative stuff to him if one is negative. But it is not that simple. One can see very negative people who are rolling in dough and pussy.

There is karma that is involved and some is very thick. And according to Eastern Philosophies karma comes from past lives- many thousands of them. To get rid or transcend karma is a slow and tedious process.

People who have good karma can improve with things such as attitude. But its is very superficial still. There is some very heavy karma  that will not change just because you smile and feel positive.

It was not a bad attitude that killed people in the Tsunami last year.

Also, I would compare two countries- Kuwait and Iraq- Kuwait is small and wealthy, Iraq is big and poor. They pray the same, believe in the same Allah.  Was it the attitude that made people to be born in places where one has too much oil and one has not?

I have read some such books that would say that scarcity comes from negativity in the mind. OK, granted people who think scarcity will not make efforts to improve, but how do you deal with people who are very young and still have not formed any attitude? Like those kids in Africa; the ones that are starving? Are they starving because they think of scarcity? I do not think so.

The next lie is that generousity creates abundance. I would beg to differ. The Jews and the Chinese are very stingy. And so are the Japanese. And the Brits. And they run the world. Look at Singapore. They pay slave wages to foreign workers and build all those skyscrapers. The generous people are left holding the bag in places like Indonesia. The stingiest people are
the ones that have most abundance.

So, I don't know. I would not study much of such modern Western versions of Orientalism since they get
only a partial picture. More serious studies on karma and how it is formed and how it can be overcome are


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