Magical thinking

Magical thinking is, from my understanding, the imagined relationship between two unrelated things. You got a promotion? That’s because you bought that other guy’s coffee.

I first read about magical thinking in Augusten Burrough’s book, with the same title. My understanding of it at the time was that if you wanted something enough you could will it into being. I drank a lot at the time. It happens.

I’m a big fan of the idea of magical thinking, mostly because I like to think good things happen to good people and bad people are never rewarded. I know this isn’t accurate, but I spend most of my time in a dream world in my head – this happens there.

I do still often revert to my original definition of magical thinking, though, and wonder if it’s possible to will something into being. If I wish for something enough, maybe it will actually happen. Maybe if I combine my wish with enough work, I can accomplish those far-off ideas that are mostly just dreams most of the time.

And then I wonder about the opposite. What about un-magical thinking of sorts? Is it possible I want something so much, it won’t ever actually happen? Is it possible I could will myself to fail? Self-sabotage for some unbeknownst reason, because it felt like the right thing to do?


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