The Positive Power of Negative Thinking with Will Gadd

July 27, 2017


Contrary to popular belief...

There may be a positive power in negative thinking. We caught up with Canadian outdoor adventurer and ice climber, Will Gadd, during the production of the Risk Factor documentary.  Will had a clear opinion about the positive power of negative thinking.  He believes that, “there is a mantra right now you know think positively and the universe will reward you. This is not true. It’s your ability to think negatively and think the consequences of your actions through that ultimately determines success.”


Of course, it’s nice to think positively about the outcomes of your actions, but this doesn’t realistically prepare you for other possible outcomes. Will Gadd’s idea of risk management used to be “you go first.” However, having lost more than 30 friends, he’s professed that he has to look at things a little bit more objectively when he partakes in his outdoor adventures.


There’s a trend within our society that has gained incredible amount of popularity; think positive and it will come to you. This mantra suggest that being positive and seeing the good side of things in life will attract more of it. However, it also seems reasonable and beneficial to think negatively of situations because when you do, you’re preparing yourself for all the possible outcomes, rather than only positive ones.


What does Will Gadd do? He says, “I run away half the time I go out to try new things. I fail all the time but then I go back and examine what I did wrong, what I did right, what I read wrong what I read right and I try to do better the next time.”


So IT IS okay to think negatively of situations sometimes because this mentality could help you get through challenges successfully in the long run. Will asserts that, “there is one thing I’ve learned in terms of managing risk is your ability to think negatively, not positively that actually matters.”

We explore the risk of hundreds of activies in our fun Risk Navigator app. We worked with experts from accross the globe to help us put the "positive power of negative thinking" to work by looking at the statistics and chances of fatality for each activity. By understanding what might go wrong, you can benefit from making more informed decisions about risk. Download it for free.



Watch a clip of our discussion with Will below. His insight on how to manage risk is invaluable.