The Power of Positive Thinking

The Power of Positive Thinking

by Norman Vincent Peale

If you’re looking to achieve fulfillment in your life, The Power of Positive Thinking is the book for you. This book will teach you how to believe in yourself so you can achieve all that you desire, as well as guide you towards discovering how you can develop the power to tackle any obstacles that come your way. No longer will you have to live with stress and dissatisfaction!

Summary Notes

Believe In Yourself

Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.

A lack of self-confidence is one of the biggest problems besetting people today. This can lead to the development of an inferiority complex, which often causes people to become discouraged and depressed. Inferiority complexes are exceedingly common and mostly stem from childhood. However, once you eliminate your inferiority complex, you will develop a more positive outlook and gain confidence in your abilities. 

An inferiority complex is essentially a deep and profound doubt in yourself and your capabilities. For example, if you were to grow up in the shadow of an elder sibling who excelled academically, you may develop an inferiority complex about your intelligence. As this complex develops and you spend more energy thinking about your perceived inabilities, your mind will eventually become consumed with negative thoughts. The longer these sorts of thoughts dominate your mind, the harder it is to let go of them. To effectively get rid of your inferiority complex, you must establish new, positive patterns as a replacement.

Actions to take

A Peaceful Mind Generates Power

The life of inner peace, being harmonious and without stress, is the easiest type of existence.

When we look at a beautiful painting of lush scenery, don’t we feel calm and peaceful? That feeling of peace can actually be achieved at all times, by tapping into your inner peace. Once you access this state, you will be able to exist harmoniously and without stress.

To achieve this state of inner peace, you need to learn how to empty your mind. This will remove the feelings of fear, hatred, insecurities, regret, guilt, etc. Once your mind is empty of these negative emotions which plague you, you can fill it with positive emotions and thoughts instead. Remember that your mind is not a vacuum - you can empty it, but only temporarily. If you don't re-fill it with thoughts of positivity, those negative feelings will start creeping back in. 

As you get better at emptying your mind and accessing your inner peace, you'll notice tremendous benefits on your mood and physical health. Not only will you feel relaxed and rejuvenated, you will be happier and more energetic. As you practice this skill more and more, your past insecurities and inferiority complex will disappear.

Actions to take

How to Have Constant Energy

You only lose energy when life becomes dull in your mind.

How we think we feel has a huge impact on how we physically feel. If you tell yourself that you are tired, your body will accept it and you will start to actually feel tired. On the other hand, when your mind is actively interested in something, you can keep on at it for a long time without losing energy. The good news is that we can access a reservoir of boundless power within our consciousness and no longer suffer from a depletion of energy. Neither age nor circumstance will deplete your energy once you access this power, and the best way to access it is to lose yourself in something bigger than yourself. 

When you take good care of your body by eating right, sleeping enough, exercising regularly, and so on, your body will produce more than enough energy for you. However, when you allow yourelf to feel negative emotions such as insecurity and anxiety, you spend a lot of energy and achieve very little for it. Similar to how you take care of your body, when you take care of your mental health and balance your emotions, you'll end up saving energy that can be used for more productive tasks.

The specific method used to access the inner reservoir of boundless energy differs from person to person, but the core concept is the same. Take care of your health - all aspects of it - and you won't waste energy on things that lead you nowhere.

Actions to take

How to Create Your Own Happiness

We manufacture our unhappiness by thinking unhappy thoughts, by the attitudes 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.

Many people manufacture their own unhappiness. Some problems may be due to factors out of our control, but our reactions will always be in our control. When you think unhappy thoughts, stay stuck in bad habits, tell yourself that things will go wrong, or feel like you are not getting what you deserve, you are manufacturing your own unhappiness. This unhappiness then infects your mind with fear, worry, anxiety, etc. 

Happiness is more about perspective than anything else. It is determined by our thoughts, which is why it is so important to drive out the thoughts that do not bring us happiness. Instead, fill your mind with positivity - it will then manifest in your life.

You are the only person who gets to decide whether you will be happy or unhappy. Remember, being happy is a conscious decision that you have to make; one that you can make no matter the situation you are in. If you make the decision to be happy every morning, when you wake up, you will be guaranteed to feel happiness all day long. This will be a gradual process at first, but as you keep trying, it will become second nature to you.

Actions to take

Stop Fuming and Fretting

Many people make life unnecessarily difficult for them by dissipating power and energy through fuming and fretting.

One of the quickest ways to waste energy is to get angry and agitated. When you force your mind to frantically jump from thought to thought, you are in fact overstimulating it. This leads to an imbalance of your emotions and acts a huge black hole within you, sucking away all your energy. Fuming and fretting about things will not actually change them, all it does is divert your energy away from more productive tasks and keep you feeling negative emotions.

Sometimes, we may find ourselves going too fast in life. This is especially common in the workplace, where you might get so overwhelmed with tasks that you have to work late almost every day. This sort of lifestyle is unsustainable and you will burn out eventually. Additionally, the stress it brings into your life will affect your physical and mental health. 

Although it may not be possible to change the circumstances which are causing you to fume and fret, you can control how you respond to them. With enough practice, you will be able to regulate your emotions and not feel angry or agitated so often. This will also keep your head clear and allow you to think and work without negative emotions clouding your mind.

Actions to take

Expect the Best and Get It

Our belief at the beginning of a doubtful undertaking is the one thing that insures the successful outcome of your venture.

When you expect the worst, you will get the worst. Similarly, when you expect the best, you will get the best! To achieve your goals, you need to free yourself from self-doubt so that you can put your whole self into any endeavour you undertake. Remember, any difficulties you face are simply a manifestation of disunity between your physical, emotional, and spiritual forces. Once you unite all these forces and eliminate self-doubt, you will expect the best and get it.

When you learn to expect and not doubt, you bring everything into the realm of possibility. Of course, you may not get everything that you want, but you many things that once seemed impossible will be very possible. More often than not, people are not defeated because they were incapable, rather, they did not believe they could win and it simply became the reality. 

When you immerse yourself in a task or goal and wholeheartedly work towards it with the expectation of success, that is what will happen. You can overcome any obstacle by simply flipping your perspective to an optimistic one - the right way forward will come naturally to you.

Actions to take

I Don’t Believe in Defeat

Most of our obstacles are mental in nature.

When you adopt the “I don’t believe in defeat” attitude, you will realize you can work twice as hard at any task set before you - and you will achieve whatever you desire. This is because this is a positive attitude; it will give you the strength to stand up to any obstacle in your path. After all, most obstacles only become impossible to overcome when we believe they are impossible to overcome.

Most people cannot overcome obstacles because they are too afraid of it to even try. However, when they stand up to them and truly face them, they realize that these obstacles don't have even half the power they thought they did. Others may feel like you have been defeated so many times that you have hit rock bottom, but the good news is, now there's nowhere to go but up. Whatever your obstacle is, it is not undefeatable - you are.

Actions to take

How to Break the Worry Habit

Many people fail to overcome such troubles as worry because they allow the problem to seem complicated and do not attack it with some simple technique.

Worry is a destructive and unhealthy habit. In fact, it is often a common factor in the development of physical illnesses such as arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, and ulcers. So, not only does it affect your mental state, it can affect your physical body too! Therefore, it is imperative that you break this habit of worrying.

Some methods to eliminate feelings of worry have been discussed in previous chapters. For example, regularly emptying your mind will help reduce the amount of worry you feel, along with other negative emotions. But there are other methods that target the feeling of worry specifically too. It will be challenging at first, so it's best to start with smaller worries, and work your way up to the harder ones. Once you start on this path of freeing your mind from worry, your self-confidence will increase as you see the results of it. Eventually, this feeling will be eliminated entirely.

Actions to take

Power to Solve Personal Problems

"Animosity not only corrodes the soul, but disorganizes thought processes as well."

Many people rely on a hit-and-miss method when trying to solve their problems. However, this method is rather ineffective as you will encounter several failures before you manage to solve your problem. A more effective way to solve your problems is to come up with a plan of action that clearly details the steps you must take.

To do this, it's important to keep a clear head and not let emotions cloud your judgement. This can be hard, especially when you feel as though you were wronged or that you deserve more than what you have. However, if you nip these sorts of thoughts in the bud and don't waste energy on negative emotions, you will keep working towards your goal with the right mindset. Eventually, you will achieve it. On the other hand, giving into emotions of anger, anxiety, fear, depression and general negativity will keep you from ever achieving your goals.

Actions to take

When Vitality Sags, Try This Health Formula

Resentment, hate, grudge, ill will, jealous, and vindictiveness, are attitudes which produce ill-health.

Whenever you have an emotional outburst, the chemical reactions that occur in your body will result in uncomfortable physical feelings. The sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you have a fit of anger is a good example of this. Over the long term, frequently having emotional outbursts can lead to serious health issues.

When you direct your energy towards feeling these negative emotions, you do not have enough energy to overcome your physical illnesses and you will start to become more and more unhappy. Overall, you're actually doing your body and mind a lot of damage - even though it may not feel that way right now.

Actions to take

Inflow of New Thoughts Can Remake You

Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.

If what you're currently doing isn't working, why would you keep doing it? Logically, if you want new results, you need to try new approaches in tackling the same situation. For this, you will need to shift your way of thinking entirely and adopt an attitude more suited to the goal you want to achieve.

For example, if you are aiming for a promotion at your job, but you feel like your work is not recognized, you are underappreciated, you can't get even the simplest things right, etc, you'll likely find that you will never achieve your target. Instead, if you adopt a more positive attitude and work hard to improve your skills, you'll be able to get that promotion.

Shifting your way of thinking does not mean that you have to accept unsatisfactory circumstances. Instead, it means that you are defining what a satisfactory circumstance is to you, and acknowledging that you will work singlemindedly towards it.

Just like you can think your way into failure, you can think your way into success. If you want to live a better and more successful life, you must cast out your old, negative views and replace them with positive ones. Any difficulty you face can be overcome by allowing new, better thoughts to enter your mind.

Actions to take

Relax For Easy Power

The secret is to keep the mind quiet, avoiding all hectic reactions of haste, and to practice peaceful thinking.

More than six million sleeping tablets are required every day to put the American people to sleep. There are approximately fifty headaches per American every year. Multiple illnesses have been linked to unhealthy mental states. It is clear that people are physically affected by their emotional health, and that this problem is a common but serious one.

Regulating your emotional health is the only way to prevent it from destroying your physical health. However, that is certainly a challenge in today's fast-paced world, and tension is likely to build within you. That's why it's extremely important to figure out what methods work for you to reduce tension. Make sure you practice them regularly!

Actions to take

How to Get People to Like You

The feeling of not being wanted or needed is one of the most devastating of all human reactions.

Nearly everyone wants to be liked by others - after all, being liked can vastly improve your self-confidence. Likeable people are generally more successful too, as they'll easily form professional connections and develop a strong network in their industry. If you focus on developing your interpersonal skills and charisma, people will naturally be drawn to you and want to help you.

Beyond helping you achieve success, being likable will allow you to expand your social circle. No man is an island, and we all need human company. Feeling lonely and allowing these feelings to snowball into anger, resentment and hatred is a vicious cycle that only keeps people further away from you. Let go of a negative mindset and focus on nurturing your relationships - you'll be a lot happier for it.

Actions to take

Prescription for Heartache

Sorrow comes to everyone.

Everyone experiences heartache, however, many people find themselves unequipped to deal with it, which can lead to feelings of disability and suffering. This is especially the case when it comes to losing a loved one - this type of grief seems almost impossible to overcome. Unfortunately, there is no physical medicine to cure heartache, but there are other steps you can take to remedy it.

When you restrain grief and bottle it up, you will one day explode. Although you think you may have buried those feelings deep down, they will manifest in your life in other ways. The only way out of grief is to go through it. Although it may be easier to simply avoid thinking about your grief and staying away from anything that could remind you of it, this way of living is simply not sustainable. Eventually, you will have to process and cope with your grief.

Actions to take

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