I recently read The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. Below are the quotes I found most interesting. If you like the quotes, buy the book here.
“If you feel that you are defeated and have lost confidence in your ability to win, sit down, take a piece of paper and make a list, not of the factors that are against you, but of those that are for you.”
“People who were carrying worries in their minds might go to the stern of the vessel and imaginatively take each anxious thought out of the mind, drop it overboard, and watch it disappear in the wake of the ship.” (18)
“How we think we feel has a definite effect on how we actually feel physically. If your mind tells you that you are tired, the body mechanism, the nerves, and the muscles accept the fact. If your mind is intensely interested, you can keep on at an activity indefinitely.” (29)
“It is not hard work that drains off energy but emotional upheaval.” (31)
“Relax physically. Then conceive of your mind as likewise relaxing.” (34)
“He was pouring himself out, and you never lose energy and vitality in so doing. You only lose energy when life becomes dull in your mind. Your mind gets bored and therefore tired doing nothing. You don’t have to be tired. Get interested in something. Get absolutely enthralled in something. Throw yourself into it with abandon. Get out of yourself. Be somebody. Do something. Don’t sit around moaning about things, reading the papers, and saying, “Why don’t they do something?” The man who is out doing something isn’t tired. If you’re not getting into good causes, no wonder you’re tired. You’re disintegrating. You’re deteriorating. You’re dying on the vine. The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have. You won’t have time to think about yourself and get bogged down in your emotional difficulties.” (35)
“Energy drainage occasioned by fear and guilt is of such an amount as to leave little power to be applied to a person’s job. The result is that he tires quickly.” (37)
“The basic factor in psychology is the realizable wish. The man who assumes success tends already to have success. People who assume failure tend to have failure. When either failure or success is picturized it strongly tends to actualize in terms equivalent to the mental image pictured.” (46)
“Following are ten rules for getting effective results from prayer:
Set aside a few minutes every day. Do not say anything. Simply practice thinking about God. This will make your mind spiritually receptive.
Then pray orally, using simple, natural words. Tell God anything that is on your mind. Do not think you must use stereotyped pious phrases. Talk to God in your own language. He understands it.
Pray as you go about the business of the day, on the subway or bus or at your desk. Utilize minute prayers by closing your eyes to shut out the world and concentrating briefly on God’s presence. The more you do this every day the nearer you will feel God’s presence.
Do not always ask when you pray, but instead affirm that God’s blessings are being vien, and spend most of your prayers giving thanks.
Pray with the belief that sincere prayers can reach out and surround your loved ones with God’s love and protection.
Never use a negative thought in prayer. Only positive thoughts get results.
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.
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.
Pray for people you do not like or who have mistreated you. Resentment is blockade number one of spiritual power.
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.” (56)
“You can be unhappy if you want to be. It is the easiest thing in the world to accomplish. Just choose unhappiness. Go around telling yourself that things aren’t going well, that nothing is satisfactory, and you can be quite sure of being unhappy. But say to yourself, “Things are going nicely. Life is good. I choose happiness,” and you can be quite certain of having your choice.” (58)
“Children are more expert in happiness than adults. The adult who can carry the spirit of a child into middle and old age is a genius, for he will preserve the truly happy spirit for which God endowed the young.” (58)
“We manufacture our own unhappiness by thinking unhappy thoughts, by the attitudes which we habitually take, such as the negative feeling that everything is going to turn out badly, or that other people are getting what they do not deserve and we are failing to get what we do deserve.
Our unhappiness is further distilled by saturating the consciousness with feelings of resentment, ill will, and hate. The unhappiness-producing process always makes important use of the ingredients of fear and worry.” (60)
“Make a mental list of happy thoughts and pass them through your mind several times every day. If an unhappiness thought should enter your mind, immediately stop, consciously eject it, and substitute a happiness thought. Every morning before arising, lie relaxed in bed and deliberately drop happy thoughts into your conscious mind.” (61)
“While dressing or shaving or getting breakfast, say aloud a few such remarks as the following, “I believe this is going to be a wonderful day. I believe I can successfully handle all the problems that will arise today. I feel good physically, mentally, emotionally. It is wonderful to be alive. I am grateful for all that I have had, for all that I now have, and for all that I shall have. Things aren’t going to fall apart. God is here and He is with me and He will see me through. I thank God for every good thing.”” (62)
“The way to happiness: keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Fill your life with love. Scatter sunshine. Forget self, think of others. Do as you would be done by. Try this for a week and you will be surprised.” (64)
“If happiness is determined by our thoughts it is necessary to drive off the thoughts which make for depression and discouragement.” (67)
“Accumulated problems had swamped his mind which was seeking release in retreat from a world which was too much for his depleted energy. His principal trouble was in his depressed thought pattern.” (67)
“Life is so daily.” (72)
“To go fast, row slowly.” (77)
“Slow down, for whatever you really want will be there when you get there if you work toward it without stress, without pressing.” (77)
“1. Sit relaxed in a chair. Completely yield yourself to the chair. Starting with your toes and proceeding ot the top of your head, conceive of every portion of the body as relaxing. Affirm relaxation by saying, “my toes are relaxed-my fingers-my facial muscles.”
2. Think of your mind as the surface of a lake in a storm, tossed by waves and in tumult. But now the waves subside, and the surface of the lake is placid and unruffled.
3. Spend two or three minutes thinking of the most beautiful and peaceful scenes you have ever beheld, as for example, a mountain at sunset, or a deep valley filled with the hush of early morning, or a woods at noonday, or moonlight upon rippling waters. In memory relive these scenes.
4. Repeat slowly, quietly, bringing out the melody in each, a series of words which express quietness and peace, as for example, (a) tranquility (say it very deliberately and in a tranquil manner); (b) serenity; © quietness. Think of other such words and repeat them.
5. Make a mental list of times in your life when you have been conscious of God’s watchful care and recall how, when you were worried and anxious, He brought things out right and took care of you.” (82-83)
“When you expect the best, you release a magnetic force in your mind which by a law of attraction tends to bring the best to you. But if you expect the worst, you release from your mind the power of repulsion which tends to force the best from you. It is amazing how a sustained expectation of the best sets in motion forces which cause the best to materialize.” (86)
“A famous Canadian athletic coach, Ace Percival, says that most people, athletes as well as nonathletes, are “holdouts,” that is to say, they are always keeping something in reserve. They do not invest themselves 100 percent in competition. Because of that fact they never achieve the highest of which they are capable.” (88)
“Throw your heart over the bar and your body will follow.” (89)
“Whenever you have a bar, that is to say a barrier, in front of you, stop, close your eyes, visualize everything that is above the bar and nothing that is below it, then imaginatively throw “your heart” over that bar and see yourself as being given lifting power to rise above it. Believe that you are experiencing this upthrust of force. You will be amazed at the lifting force you will receive. If in the depth of your mind you visualize the best and employ the powers of faith and energy, you will get the best.” (93)
“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.” (94)
“What the mind profoundly expects it tends to receive. Perhaps this is true because what you really expect is what you actually want. Unless you really want something sufficiently to create an atmosphere of positive factors by your dynamic desire, it is likely to elude you.” (96)
““He was never defeated by the discouraging vicissitudes of the game.” It means, does it not, that when the game seemed to go against him he did not let discouragement creep in nor negative thoughts dominate and thus lose the power needed to win. This mental and spiritual quality made that man a champion. He was able to face obstacles, to stand up to them and overcome them.” (104)
“If you are far down as you can get there is no further down you can go. There is only one direction you can take from this position, and that is up. So your situation is quite encouraging.” (104)
“Most of our obstacles, as a matter of fact, are mental in character.
“Ah,” you may object, “mine are not mental, mine are real.”
Perhaps so, but your attitude toward them is mental. The only possible way you can have an attitude is by the mental process, and what you think about your obstacles largely determines what you do about them.” (107)
“I believe I am always divinely guided. I believe I will always take the right turn of the road. I believe God will always make a way where there is no way.” (113)
“What is worry? It is simply an unhealthy and destructive mental habit. You were not born with the worry habit. You acquired it. And because you can change any habit and any acquired attitude, you can cast worry from your mind.” (114)
“Conceive of yourself as actually emptying your mind of all anxiety and fear. Picture all worry thoughts as flowing out as you would let water flow from a basin by removing the stopper. Repeat the following affirmation during this visualization: “With God’s help I am now emptying my mind of all anxiety, all fear, all sense of insecurity.” Repeat this slowly five times, then add, “I believe that my mind is now emptied of all anxiety, all fear, all sense of insecurity.” (116)
“The world in which you live is not primarily determined by outward conditions and circumstances but by thoughts that habitually occupy your mind.” (164)
“If you think in negative terms you will get negative results. If you think in positive terms you will achieve positive results.” (165)
“1. For the next twenty-four hours, deliberately speak hopefully about everything, about your job, about your health, about your future. Go out of your way to talk optimistically about everything. This will be difficult, for possibly it is your habit to talk pessimistically. From this negative habit you must restrain yourself even if it requires an act of will.
2. After speaking hopefully for twenty-four hours, continue the practice for one week, then you can be permitted to be “realistic” for a day or two. You will discover that what you meant by “realistic” a week ago was actually pessimistic, but what you now mean by “realistic’ is something entirely different; it is the dawning of the positive outlook. When most people say they are being “realistic” they delude themselves: they are simply being negative.
3. You must feed your mind even as you feed your body, and to make your mind healthy you must feed it nourishing, wholesome thoughts…
5. Make a list of your friends to determine who is the most positive thinker among them and deliberately cultivate his society. Do not abandon your negative friends, but get closer to those with a positive point of view for a while, until you have absorbed their spirit, then you can go back among your negative friends and give them your newly acquired thought pattern without taking on their negativism.
6. Avoid argument, but whenever a negative attitude is expressed, counter with a positive and optimistic opinion.” (173-174)
“First, collapse physically. Practice this several times a day. Let go every muscle in the body. Conceive of yourself as a jellyfish, getting your body into complete looseness. Form a mental picutre of a huge burlpa bag of potatoes. Then mentally cut the bag, allowing the potatoes to roll out. Think of yourself as the bag.
What is more relaxed than an empty burlap bag?
The second element in the formula is to “drain the mind.” Several times each day drain the mind of all irritation, all resentment, disappointment, frustration, and annoyance. Unless you drain the mind of all irritation, all resentment, disappointment, frustration, and annoyance. Unless you drain the mind frequently and regularly, these unhappy thoughts will accumulate until a major blasting-out process will be necessary. Keep the mind drained of all factors which would impede the flow of relaxed power.” (182)
“Dale Carnegie spends a quarter-hour in meditation. He says he leaves his office for this purpose when busiest. This demonstrates control of time rather than being controlled by it.” (183)
“1. Don’t get the idea that you are Atlas carrying the world on your shoulders. Don’t strain so hard. Don’t take yourself so seriously.
2. Determine to like your work. Then it will become a pleasure, not drudgery. Perhaps you do not need to change your job. Change yourself and your work will seem different.
3. Plan your work-work your plan. Lack of system produces that “I’m swamped” feeling.
4. Don’t try to do everything at once. That is why time is spread out. Heed that wise advice from the Bible, “This one thing I do.”
5. Get a correct mental attitude, remembering that ease or difficulty in your work depends upon how you think about it. Think it’s hard and you make it hard. Think it’s easy and it tends to become easy.
6. Become efficient in your work. “Knowledge is power” (over your job). It is always easier to do a thing right.
7. Practice being relaxed. Easy always does it. Don’t press or tug. Take it in your stride.
8. Discipline yourself not to put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Accumulation of undone jobs makes your work harder. Keep your work up to schedule.” (184-185)
“He liked himself too well, and to build up his self-esteem he disliked others. He was suffering from self-love, a chief cure for which is the practice of love for others.” (192)
“Getting people to like you is merely the other side of liking them.” (193)
“Don’t deflate people. Build them up and they will love you for it.” (195)
“1. Learn to remember names. Inefficiency at this point may indicate that your interest is not sufficiently outgoing. A man’s name is very important to him.
2. Be a comfortable person so there is no strain in being with you-be and old-shoe, old-hat kind of individual. Be homey.
3. Acquire the quality fo relaxed easy-goingness so that things do not ruffle you.
4. Don’t be egotistical. Guard against giving the impression that you know it all. Be natural and normally humble.
5. Cultivate the quality of being interesting so that people will want to be with you and get something of stimulating value from their association with you.
6. Study to get the “scratchy” elements out of your personality, even those of which you may be unconscious.
7. Sincerely attempt to heal, on an honest Christian basis, every misunderstanding you have had or now have. Drain off your grievances.
8. Practice liking people until you learn to do so genuinely. Remember what Will Rogers said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” Try to be that way.
9. Never miss an opportunity to say a word of congratulation upon anyone’s achievement, or express sympathy in sorrow or disappointment.
10. Get a deep spiritual experience so that you have something to give people that will help them to be stronger and meet life more effectively. Give strength to people and they will give affection to you.” (197)
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