The Power of Positive Thinking


Norman Vincent Peale shows us how to live a happy life with a faith-based inspiration behind his examples. Believe in yourself, take care of the little things, thoughts have a self-fulfilling prophecy and send love to yourself and those around you.

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Key Takeaways
  1. Don't ever be defeated, aim for peace of mind, improved health and endless energy
    1. These characteristics help achieve a happy and self-fulfilling life
  2. Attitudes are more important than facts
  3. Body is designed to give us all the energy we will ever need if we take care of it
  4. It is a well-defined and authentic principle that what the mind profoundly expects it tends to receive
    1. But remember that your subconscious mind in a sense is one of the greatest liars in existence
  5. Anxiety is the great modern plague
  6. The little things matter - cut out the small fears/worries/anxieties and this will quickly get rid of your big problems
  7. Give everything your best and do things right and let the results take care of themselves. it will be the right thing even if you don't immediately recognize it
What I got out of it
  1. Peale details many faith-based practices which are pragmatic and immediately implementable. Nothing he discusses is revolutionary, but if you can actually put into action a handful of these practices, it is sure to make a noticeable difference in your relationships and general happiness.
1 - Believe in Yourself
  • If have feelings of doubt one must identify why they are there
  • We can create simply by power of thought the condition we fear most or worry about. On the flip side, we can create ours deal goal too
  • If God is with you who can be against you? - should be a big confidence boost
  • "Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Great tips - Come up with a successful mental image of yourself and never let it go, override a negative thought immediately with a positive one, do not build up obstacles, do not be awestruck or try to copy anyone, get a great mentor/counselor, make a true estimate of your abilities and then raise that bar 10%, if you do all you can everything will work out
2 - A Peaceful Mind Generates Power
  • Peale refers his patients to Romans 12: 2 but forces them to look it up. It reads "… be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind …"
    • Cleansing of your mind will help you gain mental peace
  • Peale recommends mind emptying twice a day - letting go of all fear, distractions, anger, etc. and fill with positive and happy thoughts
  • Talk and think peaceful to be peaceful
  • Get a minimum of 15 minutes of absolute silence every day
3 - How to Have Constant Energy
  • Think powerful energy-enhancing thoughts
  • The body is designed to produce all needed energy over an amazingly long period of time. If the individual takes reasonable care of his body from the standpoint of proper diet, exercise, sleep , no physical abuse, the body will produce and maintain astonishing energy and sustain itself in good health.
  • Thomas Edison drew his energy from emotional self-mastery, the ability to relax completely. His amazingly harmonious relationship with the universe caused nature to reveal to him its inscrutable secrets
  • Get in rhythm with nature and the universe - do not use energy unnecessarily
  • The surest way not to become tired is to lose yourself in something in which you have a profound conviction
  • The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have
  • One never does wrong by doing right
4 - Try Prayer Power
  • Affirmative prayers release powers by which positive results are accomplished.
  • Talks a ton about prayer with the goal of being aware of your problems and getting them off your chest so that you are not troubled by them or brooding about them without even knowing it. What resists persists
  • Prayerize - Picturize - Actualize
  • "When you send out a prayer for another person, you employ the force inherent in a spiritual universe. You transport from yourself to the other person a sense of love, helpfulness, support— a sympathetic, powerful understanding— and in this process you awaken vibrations in the universe through which God brings to pass the good objectives prayed for. Experiment with this principle and you will know its amazing results."
  • Shoot 'flash prayers' at passersby. Send love to random people on the bus, on the street, colleagues, friends, anyone and everyone
  • We can send off power by prayer which acts as both a sending and receiving station
  • Every night I begin my prayers by listing all the things for which I am grateful, little things that happened during the day which added to the happiness of my day. I know that this habit has geared my mind to pick out the nice things and forget the unpleasant ones
  • 10 Rules for Getting effective results from prayer
    1. Set aside a few minutes every day. Do not say anything. Simply practice thinking about God. This will make your mind spiritually receptive.
    2. Pray orally, using simple, natural words - telling God anything that is on your mind.
    3. Pray as you go about the business of the day, on the subway or bus or at your desk. The more you do this every day the nearer you will feel God’s presence
    4. Do not always ask when you pray, but instead affirm that God’s blessings are being given, and spend most of your prayers giving thanks.
    5. Pray with the belief that sincere prayers can reach out and surround your loved ones with God’s love and protection
    6. Never use a negative thought in prayer. Only positive thoughts get results.
    7. Always express willingness to accept God’s will. Ask for what you want, but be willing to take what God gives you. It may be better than what you ask for.
    8. Practice the attitude of putting everything in God’s hands. Ask for the ability to do your best and to leave the results confidently to God
    9. Pray for people you do not like or who have mistreated you. Resentment is blockade number one of spiritual power
    10. Make a list of people for whom to pray. The more you pray for other people, especially those not connected with you, the more prayer results will come back to you.
5 - How to Create Your Own Happiness
  • You have the choice to be happy. Make it a habit and practice thinking happy thoughts
  • Immediately upon waking - today will be a great day. I will be happy, productive and successful. I feel good emotionally, physically and emotionally. I can handle anything that comes my way
  • In order to create happiness one must practice love.
  • "Where love is, God is." - Leo Tolstoy
  • Way to happiness - keep your heart free from worry, live simply, expect little and give much, fill your life with love, scatter sunshine. Forget self and think of others. Do as you would be done by
  • You can create a happiness so strong you will wonder if you are from the same world
6 - Stop Fuming and Fretting
  • Getting away from daily life and being in nature, quiet and distant is so healthy and so healing that it is vital to happiness
  • "Muddied water, let stand will become clear." - Lao Tze
    • Sometimes you just need stillness and quiet to fix your problems
7 - Expect the Best and Get It
  • Truly expect the best. expect to be successful. expect to achieve your goals. expect to be happy. actively expect 
  • Throw everything you have into what you want to accomplish. leave no stone unturned and have no regrets
  • Life cannot deny itself to the person who gives life his all
  • "Beware of what you want for you will get it." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Lots of people get nowhere because they don't know exactly where they want to go
  • “A man who is self-reliant, positive, optimistic, and undertakes his work with the assurance of success magnetizes his condition. He draws to himself the creative powers of the universe.” 
  • It is a well-defined and authentic principle that what the mind profoundly expects it tends to receive. 
8 - I Don't Believe in Defeat
  • There are people who have overcome every conceivable difficult situation, even the one in which you now find yourself and which to you seems utterly hopeless
    • But remember that your subconscious mind in a sense is one of the greatest liars in existence. 
  • Little negatives (thoughts, actions) turn into big problems
  • A fundamental doctrine of Emerson is that the human personality can be touched with Divine power and thus greatness can be released from it. William James pointed out that the greatest factor in any undertaking is one’s belief about it. Thoreau told us that the secret of achievement is to hold a picture of a successful outcome in mind.
9 - How to Break the Worry Habit
  • Anxiety is the great modern plague
  • If you fear something continuously you tend to create conditions in your mind propitious to the development of that which you fear
  • The little things matter - cut out the small fears/worries/anxieties and this will quickly get rid of your big problems
  • Fill your mind with positives and happiness to the point that worries and negatives just don't have room
  • Worry is just a bad mental habit
10  - Power to Solve Personal Problems
  • Don't try to force answers - the right ones will come and you will know them immediately
  • Trust in the faculty of insight and intuition
11 - N/A
12 - When Vitality Sags, Try This Health Formula
  • Keep emotions in check, do not fly off the handle or hold grudges. These truly do hurt one's health
13 - Inflow of New Thoughts Can Remake You
  • Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind
  • "A man's life is what his thoughts make of it." - Marcus Aurelius
  • "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’” (John 8: 32)
14 - Relax for Easy Power
  • Self-correction begins with self-knowledge
  • 3 times per day collapse physically and let every muscle hang loose, do a mental drain
  • Don't take yourself so seriously, determine to like your work, work efficiently and do not postpone things
15 - How to Get People to Like You
  • One of the deepest human desires is to be appreciated
  • Learn people's names
  • Build people up whenever possible - a little bit here goes a long way
16 - Prescription for Heartache
  • Mental and physical exercise
  • Get back to your normal routine 
  • Gives a lot of examples of dying people who see heaven or dead relatives just before passing
17 - How to Draw Upon that Higher Power
  • Do not overwork or try too hard
  • Take an optimistic view to all problems
  • Never belittle anybody else's experiences

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