Podcast: Chloe King on the Problem with Positive Thinking

A short time ago I did a podcast with BFM on The Wire with host Xiemna Smith, we focused on the problems with the corporate takeover of spirituality and how so often, mindfulness and other holistic concepts are used in coporate settings to increase worker productivity and profits. We also spoke more broadly about the occupy movement, unions, grassroots activism, and why positive thinking, probably, want magically transform your life — no matter what self-help gurus have to say on the matter. As Xiemna writes,

“We live in an age where we are bombarded with social media messages telling us we can find happiness if we just drink a kale smoothie and have a more positive mindset – if we can fix ourselves, then everything will be OK. But community activist and writer Chloe King thinks this approach is a harmful one.”

If you’d like to hear what I have to say on this subject click here or listen below:


You can follow me on twitter

Published by


I am a 29 year old hailing from Auckland, Aotearoa. I am a community activist, budding writer, teacher and trained artist. I started this blog, after spending a year blogging for The Daily Blog, Aotearoa's largest left wing blogging site. I was hired as the editor of a magazine recently but I quit - I didn’t suit the corporate bullying culture. So here I am, I have started my own blog, so between working anywhere between 2-3 jobs, generally being paid minimum wage, I will be writing words on social justice, poverty, youth unemployment and other issues that I am passionate about.

One thought on “Podcast: Chloe King on the Problem with Positive Thinking”

  1. Chloe,
    Good podcast.
    I agree all this spiritual stuff is not working. But it’s all designed to sell you stuff. The latest fad drink, or feel good exercise, or Oprah’s next book, its’ all a lie. (In Oprah’s defense if her show said everything sucks I doubt she would have good ratings.)
    True satisfaction comes only from personal fulfillment, of achievement or the job well done. We really have to do something worth that feeling of achievement. This is why all those other things are hollow. If everyone can do or have it, how did I achieve anything?

    I think you hit on why so many people are unhappy. They are told having that kale smoothie (if I may borrow from you) will make them happy, when true satisfaction takes work and most of all critical self-reflection.

    Now where I disagree is where you say people in lousy situation (bad or low paying jobs) is not their fault. Here you are playing Oprah. You blame it on a system. How about blaming it on that persons bad choices. Yes, the vast majority of the time when you look at someone in a lousy situation ( not counting things like bad health, people do get very sick for no reason) you can draw a straight line back to a LOT of very bad decisions.

    Shall I list a few:
    I wanted to hang out with my friends so I dropped out of high school.
    When am I ever going to use math.
    I don’t need to study I’m pretty.
    Drugs are safe and besides I like to party.
    I’m going to get back at my parents.
    I’m going to follow my dreams. I’m not worried about money.

    I could go on and on. Granted sometimes people do come from bad backgrounds and have very bad parents. But at some point you have to become an adult and make the changes necessary in your life. For some its too late. For others you can keep others from making the same mistake. Not every life is to be looked up to, however every life has a lesson to be learned from.

    Waking up from a crappy life is the same as waking up from addiction. At some point you say “Hello, I am an addict.” You must say “Hello, my life is horrible and its my fault because of the choices I made.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s