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On Making Wishes Come True

psychologytoday.com

The Tale of Every Wish

Gabriele Oettingen, an NYU psychologist, studied the curious mechanisms of wish fulfillment from inception to realization for over two decaades. It appears that the journey of wish fulfillment revolves four main protagonists: the dreamer, the dream, the fantasy, and the obstacle.

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Self-regulatory cognitive wish-making pattern

With the study having thousands of participants, she discovered that there was a pattern that people typically follow:

  1. Indulging - People spend many hours fantasizing that they're fulfilling their dreams
  2. Dwelling - People brood over the possibl...

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Fantasies Are A Double-Edged Sword

In Oettingen's finding with her research, she was shocked when she found out that the very images that allowed us to virtually live through our heart's desire actually had hampering effects on our realizations.

We then ask, "why would fantasizing about fulfilling a wish hinder the pursuit o...

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Mental Contrasting Helps Us Achieve Our Dreams

By knowing the fact that fantasizing about our dreams have hampering effects, it can be offset by mental contrasting. 

Mental contrasting gives us a healthy dose of reality even when we fantasize therefore giving us energy to pursue our dreams.

When we identify the o...

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Wish-Fulfilment Strategy

Gabriele Oettingen's research bore this wish-fulfilment strategy called Wish Outcome Obstacle Plan, WOOP for short.

WOOP is a mental contrasting action where we place the four protagonists (the dreamer, the dream, the fantasy, and the obstacle) tog...

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