Rethinking positive thinking – WOOP until your dreams come true

Stephen Thaxter
Sovereign Wealth Partners
24 September 2017


If our role is to help our clients achieve more from their wealth, we need to keep up with the latest thinking in goal setting, motivation and achievement.  The WOOP technique is the brainchild of Professor Gabriele Oettingen of New York University and is the culmination of her 20 years of research into the psychological keys to success.   She says in planning for achievement, we should go much further than think positively. In fact traditional positive thinking techniques on their own may be fun and pleasurable initially but actually detract from our chances of success over the long term.  To maximise our chance of success she says that we need to adopt a mental process that pays equal attention to four steps.   These are:


W  Wish – we focus on our dearest wish

O   Outcome – we define the outcomes, benefits and consequences of fulfilling it

O   Obstacles – we focus on and define the INNER obstacles that might hold us back from fulfilment.  It might be an emotion, a bad habit, an irrational fear or lack of knowledge.

P    Plan – we make a plan that that overcomes the obstacle.  It could be as simple as a single thought or action.


From here we let our sub-conscious brain link them together and guide us to better outcomes.  The theory is that the contrast between the outcome and the obstacle is more motivating than the outcome on its own and adding the planning element increases the chances of starting and succeeding.  It’s a simple process that can be used in our career, personal lives, finances and health.  Like so many things these days, there is the book, the video and the website.


But what does this really have to do with wealth management?  We believe that setting defined goals for your wealth is the key to deciding on wealth strategies and getting better outcomes.  We need to understand those goals to help you achieve them.  For all of us, goals should be realistic, but a little stretching too if we are to make the best of ourselves.  We all have weaknesses and blind spots that can hold us back but we hope that working together can provide a consistency of process, a sounding board and technical resource to help you achieve more from your wealth.  So we’re more than happy to have WOOP style conversations with you in our meetings. We can WOOP it up together!


Like This