Hit The “Pause” Button and Daydream on Your Way to Greater Achievement
How Much Energy Does It Take to Make a Million Dollars?

Success Is the Choice between the Power of Positive and Negative Thinking

Test your ability to think positively:

Rating scale: Give yourself 10 points for each yes and no points for each no. Add the total.

1. Do you think you are a happy and lucky person? [] Yes [] No
2. Have you experienced positive thoughts today? [] Yes [] No
3. Have you smiled at a stranger today for no reason? [] Yes [] No
4. Are you able to maintain a positive attitude even when you are with negative people? [] Yes [] No
5. Have you read, listened to, or watched a positive story within the past 24 hours? [] Yes [] No
6. Have you decided this morning to have a great day? [] Yes [] No
7. Do you believe in your positive qualities enough to expand on them? [] Yes [] No
8. Do you believe that every problem contains the seed to its own solution? [] Yes [] No
9. Do you believe that a positive state of mind has a positive impact on your health? [] Yes [] No
10. Do you use the power of positive praise daily in your work? [] Yes [] No
11. Do you seek out positive people? [] Yes [] No
12. Do you plan to fill your free time with positive experiences? [] Yes [] No

Total your score. A score of 100 or more means that your ability to approach life from a positive perspective is helping you win. Get back to work; you don’t need to read more. If you scored lower than 100, it means that you have many opportunities to learn more about the power of positive thinking. Get Dr. Peale’s best-selling book; it’s your first step to a more positive life.

Lessons I learned about positive thinking from Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

Peale When I first started Selling Power magazine in 1981, I wasn't too confident our publication would make it through the first year. Then I learned about the humble beginnings of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale's career and requested an interview with the author of the worldwide best seller The Power of Positive Thinking. The book was first published in 1952 and sold more than 20 million copies in 41 languages. What impressed me most was the fact that he was very familiar with the challenges of selling.

First, for one summer he sold aluminumware kitchen utensils, a house-to-house canvassing job. He learned early how to deal with rejection, reluctant prospects, and call reluctance. Second, he sold people on the power of positive thinking in a negative world.

I recall reading every article and 16 of the books he had written before calling his office. I also remember worrying and saying to myself, "He'll never take the time to talk to a little guy like me." But I was surprised that he was only too happy to visit with me in his New York office on Fifth Avenue.

I recall sitting in the elegant waiting room going over my questions and wondering, "What if I don't get any new information from him because I am not really trained to interview people?" I was wrong again, because Dr. Peale's enthusiasm was contagious. He answered all of my questions thoughtfully, and his reassuring voice wiped away my own negative thoughts.

Dr. Peale explained that our thoughts and images are mainly responsible for how we feel. He suggested, "You can make yourself sick with your thoughts, and you can make yourself well with them. A positive emotion is created by positive thoughts and images. You can say, 'This is a great day. I am fortunate to sell a wonderful product. I look forward to meeting many interesting people today. I'll be able to help some of these people, and I look forward to learning a great deal today.' You see, thinking and talking that way adds to your enthusiasm and vitality. Your mind is expanding, and all this contributes to your well-being."

Dr. Peale shared examples of people who wore themselves out by the debilitating quality of their thoughts. He explained that many people take a dim view of enthusiasm, and some of them show real pride when their negative views begin to irritate other people. I asked Dr. Peale about those people who confuse negative thinking with realistic thinking. He answered, "When most people say that they are being 'realistic,' they actually delude themselves, for they are simply being negative. These people don't realize that if you put yourself down mentally, you are reducing the vitality of your system."

I asked Dr. Peale how salespeople can be more successful in dealing with problems. He answered, "A problem is a concentrated opportunity. The only people that I ever have known to have no problems are in the cemetery. The more problems you have, the more alive you are. Every problem contains the seeds of its own solution. I often say, when the Lord wants to give you the greatest value in this world, he doesn't wrap it in a sophisticated package and hand it to you on a silver platter. He is too subtle, too adroit, for that. He takes this big value and buries it at the heart of a big, tough problem. How he must watch you with delight when you've got what it takes to break that problem apart and find at its heart what the Bible calls 'the pearl of great price.' Everybody I've ever known who succeeded in a big way in life has done so by breaking problems apart and finding the value that was there."

Many people often wondered how Dr. Peale developed all this energy for a healthy, creative, purposeful and meaningful life – a life that included lectures and worldwide travels, even past his 90th birthday! (He passed away at age 95.) Dr. Peale once said, "Successful old age is built on earlier years lived right. In old age you will be just about the kind of person you are now, only more so. If you are positive and enthusiastic at thirty, you will be that way when you are eighty. If you are a grouch and negative at thirty, imagine what you will be when you grow old."

He and his wife, Ruth, practiced a healthy, positive lifestyle, and they enjoyed going on regular walks together. Dr. Peale said, "Walking activates blood circulation. It tones up the system and refreshes the mind. Walking also activates your enthusiasm. It shakes down worries and increases our capacity to exercise faith."

Dr. Peale helped me realize that I needed to change my tendency to predict negative results. On several occasions he sent a friendly note of encouragement, complimenting us on the positive qualities of Selling Power magazine. Over time I learned how to silence the "misfortune-teller" within me, and I found Dr. Peale's techniques for positive thinking to be a very practical, successful, and meaningful way of managing a business and enjoying life.

More on that subject:

Watch this interesting interview with Dr. Alex Pattakos, the author of the best-selling book Prisoners of Our Thoughts. In less than three minutes you’ll learn how to apply the power of your thoughts to improve your attitude.

Prisoners of Our Thoughts is a great self-help book that contains powerful insights about leading a successful and meaningful life.


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