Allan here – founder of Zen&now. This is my first post on Thrive Global – no pressure.

I have down days like anyone but I have big mission and I have to think I can have the massive impact I believe the world needs right now.

I have to be an optimist to move forward, one door in front of the other.

And frankly I think sometimes I annoy people by being so damn positive.

So the question is this: does being constantly positive work?

The answer is: absolutely NOT!

It is insanity and frankly dangerous to only see the positive side. It makes you blind.

“But wait … you always tell us to think positive and to visualize amazing things. Have you been tricking us?”


What is crucial, is to know the TRUTH.

And to know the truth, you have to be honest and self aware. In addition, those around need the permission to be brutally honest with you.

You’ve messed things up.

You’ve made mistakes.

There are some things you suck at. You need to get better at those or delegate them.

The BIGGEST truth that most people are blind to is that the world is ABUNDANT, not scarce.

Collaboration not competition.

Here’s the deal.

Most of society is biased to the negative. For whatever reason, if it bleeds, it leads.

We’ve had trauma and it creates a certain view of the world. And we are constantly seeking to confirm this negative view because this alignment makes us comfortable. It is congruent.

“What is this world coming to?”

“The world is going to hell.”

“It has never been worse”

blah blah blah.

We are so biased to the negative that we jump on any confirmation that the world sucks – because … get this, it makes us feel better. Confirming the world sucks can make us feel better!

But the truth is that world has NEVER been better.

So you have to positive for three BIG reasons:

1) The world is more positive than negative

We live better than kings did a few hundred years ago. We are royalty.

Most people are good and have the best intentions. Even if they cut you off in traffic. You don’t know what they are going through – stop making it so personal.

2) Counter-Balance the negative bias
Basically you have to counteract the negative bias and develop a positive bias.

Because the world is not the horrible place many make it out to be.

You didn’t get that promotion? Perfect – you might have dodged a bullet, a couple of extra bucks for twice the stress.

2) You CAN turn negative into positive
If you can develop an instant reflex like”YUP … THIS SUCKS … this really freaking sucks and then in less than a second, turn it into “How do I capitalize on it”

Then you win!

No matter what.

So is only thinking POSITIVE complete BULL?

YUP. It is delusional and not that very helpful

But thinking the world is horrible and jumping on every opportunity to confirm it is not the truth either.

Turn the news off and do your own research. You’re being lied to. Don’t fall for it.

Look to turn every negative into a positive and you’ll start learning that it is possible, without lying to yourself.

Like I say to my incredible wife EVERY MORNING as I open the blinds:

“Its going to be a BEAUUUUUUTIFUL DAY!!”

Because it is up to me, whether it is sunny or not.

And if something crappy happens, I turn it to my advantage.

Start with gratitude and abundance, be honest and embrace the suck and then turn everything to your advantage.



  • Allan Isfan

    Tech Entrepreneur, Co-founder Zen&Now

    I'm a lover of life and was put on this planet to create products and experiences that move civilization forward. I'm an electrical engineer, start-up entrepreneur, husband and father of three amazing daughters in their late teens and early twenties. I was born in Romania, lived in France and spent most of my formative years in Quebec and Ottawa Canada and now make Los Angeles my playground. I have co-founded several startups including a successful app company. Despite the success, the experience was extremely stressful and it nearly killed me. I re-kindled my love for meditation, a practice I had developed 20 years earlier when I contracted Myasthenia Gravis. Meditation saved my life then and it saved my life now. I promised myself and the world that I would do everything humanly possible to bring meditation and mindfulness into the workplace. This is my gift. I co-founded Zen&Now with my wife and high school sweetheart because, in this fast paced, anxious society, we can all benefit from a mindfulness practice and special space to practice. We launched mindset meditation hikes in the Los Angeles area and saw with our own eyes the massive mindset shift experienced by participants, form tired and a bit lost at first, to energized, happy and hopeful at the end of the long hike. These hikes are now part of AirBnb experiences! We then created an online program to help participants experience our unique approach which combines mindset and mindfulness. When this program started changing lives, we knew it was time launch phase 3: creating unique meditation spaces and programs in corporate offices. These programs consist of online programs, outdoor events and a unique zen space any employee can go to, complete with meditation pods, pillows, essential oil diffusers, special lighting and premium headphones. Over time, we will add advanced tech like biofeedback to help participants accelerate and deepen their practice. The first space is launching in spring 2019. It is an absolute thrill and privilege to have been invited by Arianna Huffington to share our story with you.