Seven Days of Positive

In Blogging, Book, Happy, Uncategorized on September 25, 2014 at 10:32 pm


I’ve started a new blog. Not to replace this one, as well as.

It started when a friend put me up for the Facebook challenge ‘Seven Days of Positive’ which is doing the rounds.

It’s based on the long-known – and increasingly scientifically supported – notion that by actively concentrating on the positive things in our life we can reprogram our brains and feel happier, even if nothing in our circumstances has changed.

I’m very interested in neuroscience (really, I’m not kidding). I studied psychology for several years and always found the brain chemistry side of it fascinating.

A book called The Brain That Changes Itself, by Norman Doidge, is one of the most fascinating things I’ve ever read, pulling together scientific research from around the world showing how the brain physically changes with repeated actions. A process called neuroplasticity.


That is more about physical actions and effects, but there is more and more evidence that thought can re-wire the brain in the same way. So it turns out that Norman Peale’s famous book The Power of Positive Thinking, which was very controversial when it was published in 1952 had some basis in fact.


I loved doing the Seven Days of Positive challenge it so much – and felt the benefits so tangibly – I was still going at Day 10 and people were still saying nice things about the Facebook posts, which was when I decided to make it into a blog.

I hope you’ll have a look – and that you might five the Seven Days of Positive Challenge a go yourself.


  1. Great!!!! Dead good…..

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. To the dazzling Maggie Alderson,

    I just wanted to thank you for a bajillion things.

    Thank you for being so incredibly inspiring, down to earth, eloquent, kind, and erudite. There are myriad other adjectives, but I’m learning this thing called “being succinct”.

    As a tiny dancer from the Antipodes, I have always admired and voraciously read anything that you wrote for Fairfax; and I lament your disappearance.

    This basically means that I have been following your delightful body of work for about 20 years, because I am my father’s daughter; and his little sponge when it comes to learning and aspiring and being inspired by The Greats.

    He may think that Barbara Tuchman and Julia Gillard are the things this kid should be inspired by, but I’ve always quietly thought that, “I’d like to be like Maggie when I grow up”. I’m not sure if you or the phenomenal Claudia Jean Cregg and her West Wing walk-and-talk life is more inspiring and soul nourishing – I’m calling it a tie for now.

    So, on the vague eve of my 28th birthday, thank you.

    Ever yours,
    Joanne Violet

    • Evidently, I am a PRINT FOREVER kind of girl. Please excuse any perceived ignorance – I do know where to find you online! x

    • Oh Joanne – you are so so so so so kind. Thank you SO very much. I’m going to add this to one of today’s POSITIVES xxxxxxxx ps of all your lovely compliments, the word that means the most to me is KIND xxxxxxxxxxxx

  3. The Norman Doidge book has been on my must read list for a while, so I’ll gird my (lazy) loins and track it down. Funny, I studied psych, too – I did a double major in Psych and English: they fit together beautifully.

    I love the idea of the positive challenge. It’s made me think back a bit, though – when working in corporate land one of my managers told me that I was too positive, therefore less credible. So I worked at developing a bit of a dark side. Happily, I am now back to being more Pollyannaish.

    And now I will go and read your other undoubtedly excellent blog. Thanks, Maggie, for yet more inspiration.

  4. Good for you Maggie!

    As someone who suffered from the Black Dog in my early 20’s (and aware that there is depression in my family) I have put a few things in place in my life.

    I make sure I surround myself with happy, positive people (this has made a huge difference!), and I am always grateful for the support of close friends (I don’t have any family living near me)

    And whenever I have one of those pathetic “why don’t I have a partner?” moments, or start panicking about my career I am able to put things in perspective and focus on the positive.

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