Do Positive Feelings Improve Results?

Yesterday I was trying to help my university students to identify their feelings towards learning Chinese language. I asked them to write 10 different feelings they associated with learning Chinese as fast as they can. I also asked them to write two or three reasons for each feeling.

The three dominant feelings are proud, stressed and confused. Learning a second or third language, especially Chinese is not easy, so it is understandable that they often feel confused. Most of them feel stressed due to the number of Chinese characters that they have to memorize. Despite the difficulties in learning Chinese, they feel proud because they are seen as being able to take on a ‘hard’ subject. A lot of people perceive them as smart and they receive a lot of praise. 

One thing that drew my attention was how their feelings towards  learning Chinese influenced their performance in class.

There are two classes, Class A and B, with 17-18 students per class. When I tallied the feelings for each class, I found that in Class A, the students have more negative than positive feelings towards learning Chinese. While in Class B, they have more positive feelings than negative ones. Perhaps it is one of the reasons why Class B consistently outperforms Class A.

Does it mean that if we want to be better in something, then we need to have more positive feelings toward it?

Please share in the comments about what you think.

Learn and Grow

Inge Santoso, B. Com

2 thoughts on “Do Positive Feelings Improve Results?

  1. Absolutely. I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard of the book/movie The Secret, but it discusses this idea in it’s entirety. The book and movie both explain is how there is a law of attraction that we create with our brain frequencies and thoughts – (whether one chooses to believe it or not, there are parts of it that definitely sound a little hokey, and there isn’t much scientific background accompanying it). This is part of the reason why when we have a bad morning our day tends to spiral into a mess of unfavorable events – because once the first incident (say you burned your lip on your coffee) happens, we have a negative feeling towards the rest of the day which allows us to only see, interpret, and find bad experiences.

    The book/movie probably explain this idea a lot better, but I can say this for your students – if a student ASSUMES or has NEGATIVE feelings in regards to the chinese language do you think they are more or less likely to take the time to study it? Do you think they are more or less wiling to see the positive outcomes of their efforts?? I would think not. This theory can be applied to other areas of life – it’s why The Secret has been such a successful movie and book – they believe that once you are able to control your thoughts and feelings that you can control your own destiny since you will understand how to control what you attract into your life.

    Anyways, just some food for thought. Please reply if you have further comments/questions. I personally find the topic fascinating, however, sometimes lack the skill of explaining it thoroughly.

    🙂 Ash

    • Thank you for the comment Ash 🙂

      I’ve watched The Secret and I think it is very fascinating how we are able to control our destiny.

      There is one thing that keeps bothering me. Why can’t everybody have the same result when they apply the law of attraction? Is it due to their ability to control their thoughts and feelings?

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