In a recent column, I included a direct excerpt from a book by Denis Waitley that told a story about a man that was such a negative thinker, that he killed himself with his negative thoughts.
Because I have yet to hear from the author of the book to comment about where he got the story and any evidence he has to verify that the story is a true tale rather than a tall tale; let's assume for now that the Snopes site is correct and the story is fake.
For a moment, let's look at the other end of the spectrum of human thought, human willpower. In the past two weeks, there were two stories of people that "miraculously" lived in spite of the odds and predictions that they should not have survived.
The first story is of a young woman that drove her car off the road, suffered significant injuries and managed to live five days. Part of her survival was sipping water gathered from her fingertips outside of her window. (Watch the two videos and read the story from this page.)
The second story is about an autistic young man and his father that were swept to sea and spent more than 15 hours in the ocean. The story and video can be found here. They both, against the odds, survived.
There are plenty of other stories too, about people surviving amazingly bad circumstances. Had they not lived to tell the tale, complete with rescuers to help and serve as witnesses to the miracle - we would not have predicted anyone could survive the ordeals.
Now, what about the people that don't survive bad circumstances? Is it as simple as "no one could survive that situation"? Or, is it that they lacked the will to live, the positive thoughts, that pulled other people through worse situations? We can never really know what they were thinking, unless they leave a note or other evidence of parting thoughts.
What do you think? Do some people end their lives prematurely with negative thoughts? When, perhaps, they might have survived with positive thinking?