THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING
A Practical Guide To Mastering The Problems Of Everyday Living
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
The Power of Positive Thinking is a self-help book by Norman Vincent Peale, originally published in 1952. It makes use of positive case histories and practical instructions to propose the method of positive thinking. Peale's work describes how to achieve a permanent and optimistic attitude through unending positive conscious thought, usually through affirmations or visualizations. Peale writes that such techniques will give the reader a higher satisfaction and quality of life. Though negatively reviewed by scholars and health experts, The Power of Positive Thinking became popular in public opinion when first published and continues in popularity today.
Peale begins by stating ten rules for "overcoming inadequacy attitudes and learning to practice faith". The rules include the following: picture yourself as succeeding, think a positive thought to drown out a negative thought, minimize obstacles, do not attempt to copy others, repeat "If God be for us, who can be against us?" ten times every day, work with a counselor, repeat "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" ten times every day, develop a strong self-respect, affirm that you are in God's hands, and believe that you receive power from God. The next chapter describes the importance of creating a peaceful mind, which can be done through inspirational reading, clearing one's mind, or visualization. Peale continues with how to obtain consistent energy, saying that "God is the source of all energy". The mind controls how the body feels; thus, letting go of negative energy and emotions will give infinite energy through God. Next, Peale speaks of the healing power of prayer, and how it will heal physical and emotional problems that arise from negative circumstances. In chapters five and six, Peale asserts that happiness is created by choice and that worrying only inhibits it and should be stopped. The next step in thinking positively is to always believe in success and not to believe in defeat because most obstacles are "mental in character". Habitual worrying is the next obstacle to overcome through emptying the mind and positive affirmations. Peale then states that asking God for help can solve one's personal problems and physically and emotionally heal them.
In chapter twelve, Peale states that letting go of anger and embracing a sense of calm can help with physical illnesses, such as eczema. Next, Peale states that letting positive thoughts in can change one's outlook on life drastically and that practicing relaxation through God's help will lead to a content life. Chapter fifteen gives concrete examples on how to get others to like you, including the following: remember names, praise others generously, become a people person, and resolve problems calmly as soon as they appear. Peale then continues with how to overcome heartache - through prayer, meditation, social interactions, and keeping a daily routine. The final chapter restates the importance of reaching out to a Higher Power for help in living a peaceful, positive life. Peale ends The Power of Positive Thinking with an epilogue encouraging readers to follow his techniques and live more fulfilled lives. Peale writes, "I pray for you. God will help you so believe and live successfully
About the author
Norman Vincent Peale, born in 1898 in southwestern Ohio, graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University and later received his bachelor's and master's degrees in sacred theology from Boston University's School of Theology. Peale then attended Syracuse University where he received a doctor of divinity degree. After serving 10 years as a Methodist clergyman in New York, Peale became the pastor of New York City's Marble Collegiate Church where he stayed for 52 years, until his retirement in 1984. Throughout h