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Rob Oglesby

Positive Thinking

Healing,Life Experience,Mens Mental Health,Motivation,Negative Thoughts,Psychology

Date : July 5, 2016Comments : 0

Some years ago I heard a story which gave me pause for thought, and which has stuck with me ever since.  A British ship was out in a foreign sea in rough weather, being battered from left to right all night by the wind, rain and waves.  Eventually, the storm became too much and the ship capsized, drowning all but two sailors who awoke the next morning to find themselves washed up on the sandy beach of a tiny island.  They found fresh water in the form of a stream, and several boxes of supplies washed up on the sand.

Dry Biscuits

Upon opening the boxes, the two men found that they all contained nothing but the dry, unappetising ship’s biscuits.  Their experience had been remarkably similar up until this point, yet now the men’s view of the situation was vastly different.  Each mealtime, the two men would sit down with the biscuits and plain water in front of them and would eat until they were full.  The first man, known by many for his pessimism, constantly complained about the poor meal and bland flavour, bemoaning the fact that all the appealing food had gone down with the ship.  He sat and ate his dry biscuits with little enthusiasm.

Roast Beef

The second survivor, however, had a reputation for being an upbeat man, and approached each mealtime with relish.  He would describe out loud, both to himself and his shipmate, how the biscuits he was eating were not biscuits at all, but thick slices of roast beef with rich gravy, accompanied by tasty potatoes and fresh vegetables.  Each mouthful would be a pleasure for this second sailor, and at each meal he would ‘eat’ something different.  The first sailor, sick of his ship’s biscuits, thought his companion to be foolish to go on in such a ridiculous way every time he had his food.


This went on for some time until finally, many weeks after the shipwreck and near to the end of the meagre rations, the two men were rescued by a passing vessel.  When the medical officer of this ship examined both men, he found the first to be in very poor physical condition owing to an inadequate diet, yet was amazed that the second man seemed much stronger and was showing fewer signs of difficulty.

Power Over The Outcome

When I see clients in therapy, sometimes the circumstances of their situation are fixed and unchangeable.  The power of positive thought, and the ability to be flexible in approach and expectation have proved many times to be the staffs upon which many clients have learnt to lean on to weather their own personal storms.  It has been my experience that they often discover they have more power over the outcome of their situation than they first thought.

~ Rob Oglesby MBACP B.A. (Hons) BSc | Ashwood Therapy


[Ashwood Therapy provides a discreet, confidential and professional online counselling service by encrypted video call, live instant messaging and secure email.  More details, including tips on wellbeing and information on current counselling session pricing, can be found at]

Author Name : Rob Oglesby

Rob Oglesby MBACP is a fully qualified and insured therapeutic counsellor who is a registered member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP). He is a member of the executive committee for the Association for Counselling and Therapy Online (ACTO), and is involved in the development and furthering of online counselling provision here in the U.K. Rob has extensive experience working alongside clients facing mental wellbeing issues such as depression and anxiety, and is experienced in supporting those facing bereavement, particularly after the death of a child or young person. Ashwood Therapy is Rob's private counselling practice in which he offers exclusively online therapy via secure video call, encrypted email and live instant messaging. He has a keen interest in technology and how this impacts on the therapeutic relationship, and aims to improve access to counselling for those who may be unable to attend a consulting room in person due to other commitments or disability. Rob writes weekly of his reflections on the world of therapy, and invites contact from people interested in wellbeing issues though his Twitter and Facebook accounts.

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