Saturday, August 7, 2010

Book Report: Norman Vincent Peale, Positive Thinking Every Day

August 7, 2010 Book Report: Norman Vincent Peale, Positive Thinking Every Day

This is one of my favorite books of all time. It's small, large-print, easy to read, pages flow past really quickly, and every page has pertinent information on it. There is an index to search for topics. -The entire book is worthy of study. I will undoubtedly end up with 2/3 of the content here in my summary. However, the thoughts are really that important. Read on.

  • STRENGTH: You can be greater than anything that can happen to you. Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven't half the strength you think they have. Constantly reemphasize the great fact that God built potential strength into your nature. By affirming it and practicing it, this basic strength will toughen up as muscles do.
  • SELF-AFFIRMATION: Every day remind yourself of your own ability, of your good mind, and affirm that you can make something really good out of your life.
  • PLENTY: Stress the thoughts of plenty. Thoughts of plenty help create plenty. If you think lack, you tend to create a condition of lack. Shift your thought pattern to one of abundance and believe that God is now in the process of giving you the abundance you need. Never think or talk lack for in doing so you are decreeing lack. Every day flush lack thoughts out of your mind and refill with dynamic thoughts of abundance. Expect generous benefits in never failing supply.
  • SELF-KNOWLEDGE: The great secret of getting what you want from life is to know what you want and believe you can have it. Always do something for others, then ask God to help you, and get at it! Drop the idea that you are Atlas carrying the world on your shoulders. The world would go on even without you. Don't take yourself so seriously. There is a reason why you do what you do, and it is an important day in your life experience when at last you discover the reason. Self-knowledge is the beginning of self-correction.
  • WILL-POWER: Cultivate will power, that massive creative force that God the creator built into you. Do not let it remain flabby but strengthen it by use and exercise.
  • DEFEAT: Never talk defeat. Use words like hope, belief, faith, victory. Why be defeated when you are free to draw upon a Higher Power that can do everything for you? When you emphasize and reemphasize a positive attitude, you will finally convince your own consciousness that you can do something about difficulties. Do not let circumstances defeat you. You can if you think you can. Never bog down in defeat psychology. Always, in the midst of defeat, keep looking for victory. Think defeat and you are bound to feel defeated. But practice thinking confident thoughts, and you will develop such a strong sense of capacity that regardless of what difficulties arise you will be able to overcome them.
  • ENTHUSIASM: Life's blows cannot break a person whose spirit is warmed at the fire of enthusiasm. Cushion the painful effects of hard blows by keeping enthusiasm going strong, even if doing so requires struggle. Act courageous; act happy; act enthusiastic. When you expect the best, you release a magnetic force in your mind which by law of attraction tends to bring the best to you. Never forget that all the enthusiasm you need is in your mind. Let it out - let it live - let it motivate you. Go at life with abandon; give it all you've got. And life will give all it has to you. The secret of changing one's personality, regardless of the problem, is to think in new categories, reeducating your thought pattern so that enthusiasm is put into the top-priority category. To keep the magic of enthusiasm working for you, have an eye for the charm and romance of living and practice aliveness. If you are out of enthusiasm, get reborn spiritually. That experience will make you come alive. The vital secret of successful living is to get turned on with self-repeating enthusiasm, in-depth enthusiasm, and to keep the positive principle going. At least 10 times every day, affirm, "I expect the best and with God's help will attain the best."
  • GOD: Let go and let God. Let Him take over your life and run it. He knows how. You'll like the results better than your own self-management. (Amen!) Know that with God's help you can take what you have to take courageously and victoriously. God will always take care of those who love Him and trust Him and sincerely do His will. Take God as your partner in every enterprise. Know for a fact that you are never alone. A great Someone is with you always. Contact with God establishes within us a flow of the same type of energy that re-creates the world and that renews springtime every year. Commit the following statement to memory and say it now and then: "I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears." (Psalm 34:4). God's peace deeply embedded in your mind can often have a tranquilizing and healing effect upon nerves and tension. God's peace is itself medicinal. Do not spurn God's help, for He has broad shoulders, strong arms, and wonderful ideas. Pray big; God will grant big things if you ask for them and are big enough to receive them. Practice believing that God is as real and actual as your spouse, or your business partner, or your closest friend. Practice talking matters over with Him; believe that He hears and gives thought to your problem. Persevere in your search for God. When you find Him, zest and enthusiasm will fill your mind to overflowing. There is only one real security in this world, only one: identification of the soul with the ultimate reality - God, our refuge and strength. To help reduce tension, practice "the peace of God which passeth all understanding." Then note the quiet power that wells up within you. If you sit and relax and get yourself in tune with God and open yourself to the flow of His power, then sitting is not laziness; in fact, it is about the best way to renew power. Keep your mental and spiritual "contact points" cleaned so that God can operate through your mind. Simply practice thinking about God. This will make your mind spiritually receptive. Develop a tremendous faith in God and that will give you a humble yet soundly realistic faith in yourself. Trust God and live a day at a time. The secret of having prosperity and enjoying life is the unshakable conviction that God will take care of those who love and trust Him. Put your trust in God and just go calmly on your way. One of the greatest techniques of human well-being is surrendering yourself to the recuperative power of God. Do your best and leave the results to God.
  • PROBLEMS: Help other people to cope with their problems, and your own will be easier to cope with. One of the few greatest satisfactions of this life is to handle problems efficiently and well. In every difficult situation is potential value. Believe this, then begin looking for it. Break the tension of a problem by shifting your thoughts completely from it and instead think only about God. When you return to the problem your insight will sharpen, your understanding deepen. The more problems you have, the more alive you are. How you think about a problem is more important than the problem itself - so always think positively! Don't let any obstacle stop you. Always remember that you have spiritual and mental qualities within you that can overcome even the seemingly impossible. The attitude you take toward problems and difficulties is far and away the most important factor in controlling and mastering them. Always affirm there is an answer to any problem and that you can find it; indeed, that you are now finding that answer. Believe it is possible to solve your problem. Tremendous things happen to the believer. So believe the answer will come. It will. Believe that problems do have answers, that they can be overcome, that you can solve them. These positive belief thoughts strongly tend to bring back belief results. Problems are to the mind what exercise is to the muscles; they toughen and make strong. The tough-minded optimist views any problem as a challenge to his intelligence, ingenuity and faith. He keeps thinking, praying and believing. He knows there is a solution and so he finally finds it. Organize your difficulties and problems. Then you will have half the solution, and the rest will come more surely and easily. The positive thinker is a hard-headed, tough-minded and factual realist. He sees all the difficulties clearly, but he sees more than difficulties - he tries to see the solutions of those difficulties.
  • HAPPINESS: Our happiness depends upon the habit of mind we cultivate. So practice happy thinking every day. Cultivate the merry heart, develop the happiness habit, and life will become a continual feast. You have not only the right but the duty to be happy and successful. 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. When you get up in the morning, you have 2 choices - either to be happy or to be unhappy. Just choose to be happy.
  • POSITIVE PRINCIPLE: Thoughts of a kind have a natural affinity. The positive thinker activates the world around him positively. Become a positive thinker. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see the possibilities - they're always there. YOU CAN IF YOU THINK YOU CAN (powerful 7 words). The positive thinker constantly sends out positive thoughts, together with vital mental images of hope, optimism and creativity. He therefore activates the world around him positively and strongly tends to draw back to himself positive results. The positive principle creates, believes, goes for victory.
  • BELIEF: Believe that all the resources you need are in your mind. That is a formula that really works! First thing every morning before you arise say out loud, "I believe," three times. God wants to give you great things, but even He cannot give you greater blessing than you can believe in. You can make your life what you want it to be through belief in God and in yourself. Practice believing in people and SHOW them that you believe in them. Believe that you are bigger than your difficulties, for indeed, you are.
  • SELF-ESTEEM: It is of practical value to learn to like yourself. Since you must spend so much time with yourself, you might as well get some satisfaction out of the relationship. If you've never really found the extraordinary person within you, do so. Then you'll start liking yourself, and with good reason.
  • AFFIRMATIONS: Watch your manner of speech if you wish to develop a peaceful state of mind. Start each day by affirming peaceful, contented and happy attitudes, and your days will tend to be pleasant and successful. Go to sleep using the conscious thought and affirmation that whatever you may be called upon to handle the next day, God and you will be able to do it together. Make a mental list of happy thoughts and pass them through your mind several times every day.
  • WORDS: Practice word therapy - serenity, urbanity (refined courtesy or politeness), imperturbability, equanimity. Say those powerful, mind-healing words to yourself every day. Let them recondition your stressful attitudes. Thoughts and words form your mental image. And since we become what we picture, be sure your thoughts and words express prosperity and blessing rather than poverty and defeat. The power of words to change your life comes to top helpfulness in the 7 magic words: "I can do all things through God." It isn't always necessary to say words when you pray. Spend a minute just thinking about God. Think how good he is, how kindly, and that He is right by your side guiding you and watching over you.
  • HOPE: For the next 24 hours, deliberately speak hopefully about everything, about your job, about your health, about your future. Practice hope. As hopefulness becomes a habit, you can achieve a permanently happy spirit. Always maintain hopefulness, especially when the going is hard.
  • FAITH: Faith plus dynamic dreams plus real working at it is a go-ahead formula that gets you where you want to go. The unconquered and unconquerable in this world are those who hold ever fresh in their hearts an abiding faith in a Higher Power and in their own destiny. Never participate in a worry conversation. Shoot an injection of faith into all your conversations. Faith is the most powerful of all forces operating in humanity, and when you have it in depth, nothing can get you down. Nothing. Directly in proportion to the faith that you have and use will you get results. Two great forces operate in the mind: fear and faith. Fear is very powerful, but faith is more powerful. The greatest power available to a human is in-depth faith, the force by which you can move mountains of difficulty. Faith produces results. You can become free of worry by practicing the opposite and stronger habit of faith. With all the strength and perseverance you can command, start practicing faith.
  • CHANGE: Change yourself and your work will seem different. The great secret of successful living is to change your thinking from wrong to right, from error to truth. If you want things to be different, perhaps the answer is to become different yourself.
  • HELPING: When you become detached mentally from yourself and concentrate on helping people with their difficulties, you will be able to cope with your own more effectively. Somehow, the act of self-giving is a personal power-releasing factor. To be successful is to be helpful, caring, and constructive, to make everything and everyone you touch a little bit better. The best thing you have to give is yourself.
  • MOTIVATION: To keep motivation going strong, begin at once the mental practice of seeing yourself as an altogether new individual - one who is always vital, vigorous ond excited. In adversity keep motivated, for often the best comes from difficulty.
  • ENERGY: The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have. Prayerize, visualize, energize, actualize.
  • LOVE: When you are in an upsetting situation, try loving everyone involved and pray for them, hard as that may be. Loving doesn't mean sentimentality but rather a rational esteem for them as persons. If you love people, you inevitably get back love in return and thereby experience a joy that makes you a happy person. Love life and life will love you back.
  • MIND: The mind can only give you back what it was first given. So fill your mind with all peaceful experiences possible, then make planned and deliberate excursions to them in memory. It isn't important what the condition of your body is; the important factor is the condition of your mind and soul. To make your mind healthy you must feed it nourishing, wholesome thoughts. Take the best into your mind and only that. Nurture it, concentrate on it, visualize it, prayerize it, surround it with faith. Make it your obsession. Spiritually creative mind power aided by God power will produce the best. An effective technique in developing a peaceful mind is the daily practice of silence. Feed your mind with thoughts that cause it to be peaceful. To have a mind full of peace merely fill it full of peace. It's as simple as that. Quiet your mind so that inspirations may rise from its depths. An inflow of new thoughts can remake you regardless of every difficulty you may face now. Practice emptying the mind. At least twice a day, empty your mind of fears, hates, insecurities, regrets, and guilt feelings. When you actually learn to release the potential power of your mind, you will discover that it contains ideas of such creative value that you need not lack anything.
  • THOUGHTS: Every night empty your mind of unhappy thoughts as you empty your pockets, and come alive. What you think you will become - good or bad, weak or strong, defeated or victorious - so practice being a positive thinker in a time like this. The world in which you live is not primarily determined by outward conditions and circumstances but by thoughts that habitually occupy your mind. Give thanks daily for your blessings. Get the habit of thinking happy thoughts. Go out of your way to make other people happy. There is your formula for real happiness and enthusiasm. Take the bright view that if you do your part, the very best you know how, and always think and work positively, bountiful supply and abundant living will come. Take charge of your thoughts instead of allowing them to control you. Rid yourself of all sick thoughts - hate, resentment, inferiority, and the like. Try living one day without any unhealthy thoughts. It may be very difficult, but try another day, until it becomes habitual, and life will move in the direction of becoming healthy, vital and alive. Old unhealthy thoughts can block off inspiration and motivation. Dropping them releases a strong flow of power through the mind.
  • HURT FEELINGS: The minute your feelings are hurt, do just as when you hurt your finger. Put some spiritual iodine on the hurt at once by saying a prayer of love and forgiveness. When a hurt feeling arises, apply grievance drainage to your mind. Pour it out to someone you trust until not a vestige of it remains within you. Then forget it.
  • PEACE: Saturate your thoughts with peaceful experiences, peaceful words and ideas, and ultimately you will have a storehouse of peace-producing experiences to which you may turn for refreshment and renewal of your spirit. To drop tension from your life, practice the getting of tranquility by passing peaceful words and thoughts through your mind daily and nightly. They have a strange healing quality. The chief struggle in gaining mental peace is the effort of revamping your thinking to the relaxed attitude of acceptance of God's gift of peace.
  • ADVERSITY: When you become mentally convinced that you can make a comeback from any adversity, then all of your creative forces will come to your aid. As you develop and hold the thought that any adversity can actually be turned to your advantage, you then have an immense mental asset going for you. To every disadvantage there is a corresponding advantage.
  • SELF-CONFIDENCE: Tackle life with abandon. Go all out, hold nothing back. Your self-confidence will draw results. We are not meant to be worms crawling defeated in the presence of a difficult situation. We are men, women and children of God, who can take charge of our thoughts and do what we will with them. We may live victoriously, not because we have any power within ourselves, but because when we give ourselves to God, He gives Himself to us. This is the great key to humble self-confidence. If you have lost confidence in your ability to win, make a list, not of the factors that are against you, butof those that are for you. Your inner power will reassert itself and lift you from defeat to victory.
  • THANKSGIVING: Start and end every day, and in between times too, by thanking God for everything. Always let your prayer take the form of thanksgiving on the assumption that God is giving you great and wonderful things; for if you think he is, He surely is. Whatever you do, do not make all your prayers into the form of asking God for something. The prayer of thanksgiving is much more powerful. 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.
  • LACK: Stand up to any defeating lack thoughts and tell them to get out of your mind!
  • BLESSINGS: As you go through life, do not practice subtraction; but instead add up your blessings, opportunities, possibilities. In doing so, you will be relaxed, outgoing, and successful.
  • PRAYER: Prayer can freshen you up every evening and send you out renewed each morning. It releases and keeps power flowing freely and seems able even to normalize the aging process. The secret of prayer is to find the process that will most effectively open your mind humbly to God. So experiment with fresh prayer formulas. Practice new skills and get new insights. When you pray, ask the Lord for directions as to what to do and how to do it. Then believe what he tells you. Do as He says. Instead of trying to destroy all your anger, snip away by prayer each annoyance that feeds your anger. In so doing you will weaken it to such a point, that presently you will have control over it. Never start a day or any job without praying about it. You will get some of your best ideas that way. Pray for people you do not like or who have mistreated you. Resentment is blockade number one of spiritual power.
  • WORK: Tell yourself that you like your work. This will tend to make it a pleasure instead of a drudgery. Don't write off the importance of hard work, the guts to keep at it, a definite goal, and the ability to have fun in the process. If there's no fun in it, something's wrong with all you're doing.
  • FEAR: While fear thoughts can destroy creative capacity, and bring to pass things that are constantly feared, faith and positivism can create and develop. Take a long, straight look at your fear. Know it for the ghostly thing it is and stand firmly up to it. Then practice strong action. When you are afraid, do the thing you are afraid of and soon you will lose your fear of it.
  • PROSPERITY: Prosperity is not always or even usually to be conceived in terms of money, but as a constant flow of God's blessings. Do your honest best, think prosperity, and the Lord will, for a fact, provide. He will do the providing through you.
  • HEALTH: You can make yourself sick or well by the habitual thoughts you think. Don't drain back into your body the diseased thoughts of your mind. Right eating, right exercising, right thinking, right praying, right living - these tone up vitality. God has arranged two remedies for all illness. One is healing through natural laws applicable by science, and the other brings healing by spiritual law applicable through faith. For health, vitality, and aliveness, keep on affirming that the powerful life force of God is flowing through your mind, your spirit, your body.
  • JOY: Get with the philosophy which teaches us to "Rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy" (1 Peter 1:8). Joy increases as you give it, and diminishes as you try to keep it for yourself. In giving it you will accumulate a deposit of joy greater than you ever believed possible.
  • LIFE: The secret of life isn't in what happens to you, but what you do with what happens to you. The tests of life are not to break you, but to make you.
  • VISUALIZATION: Picture yourself as the kind of person you wish to be, affirm that you are that, then practice being it. Hold the image of the life you want, and make the image become fact.
  • HUMILITY: Be humble, be big in mind and soul, be kindly; you will like yourself that way and so will other people.
  • WORRY: See how many people you can help to cure their own worry habit. In helping another to overcome worry, you get greater power over it within yourself. Say to yourself, "Worry is just a very bad mental habit. And I can change any habit with God's help."
  • ABILITY: Every day remind yourself of your own ability, of your good mind, and affirm that you can make something really good out of your life. Thinking positively about your abilities tends to release positive mental forces that produce effective action. Make a true estimate of your own ability, then raise it 10 percent.
  • MISTAKES: Never let any mistake cause you to stop believing in yourself. Learn from it and go on.
  • PAST: Don't waste mental energy brooding over past events or worrying about the future. Live a day at a time and do a job at a time.
  • SELF-ACTUALIZATION: Keep probing for the tremendous quality built into you which has not yet emerged. Each of us has a big piece of good news deep within us - the fact that with God's help we have what it takes to meet all upsetting situations and react creatively to them.
  • EFFORT: You will never know what great things you can do until you try - really try.
  • SPIRITUALITY: Get the spiritual experience that really changes things: the in-depth type that brings you alive and keeps you alive every day all the way. Spiritual commitment is not for oddballs but for "with-it" people.
  • DARING: Dare to be what your best self knows you ought to be; dare to be a bigger human being than you have ever been. The more you venture to live greatly, the more you will find within you what it takes to get on top of things and stay there.
  • CRITICISM: Never react emotionally to criticism. Analyze yourself to determine whether it is justified. If it is, correct yourself. Otherwise, go on about your business.
  • RESENTMENT: Never allow sick attitudes to poison your thinking, nor let ill will make you ill. Avoid making your mind "sore" by that painful rehurting called resentment. Resentment or grudges do no harm to the person against whom you hold these feelings, but every day and every night of your life they are eating at you.
  • ARGUMENTS: Avoid arguments, but whenever a negative attitude is expressed, counter with a positive and optimistic opinion.
  • REBIRTH: Follow a steady program of renewing and revitalizing your positive attitudes. Never allow your reactions to become dull or insipid. Keep them new, fresh, vital.
  • OPTIMISM: Go out of your way to talk optimistically about everything.
  • MEDITATION: Sincere and practical meditation upon God and His truth acts as a medication for the soul and body.
  • RELAXATION: The relaxed person is the powerful person.
  • MIRACLES: Know that you are yourself a miracle, and believe you can make miracles happen - by thinking, praying, believing, working, and by helping people.
  • FORGIVENESS: Remember that you will never be spiritually blessed until you forgive. Good will cannot flow toward you unless it flows from you.
  • LISTENING: Practice a daily quiet time in which to listen intently for God's direction; listen more deeply than your own thoughts.
  • BOLDNESS: Be bold, and mighty powers will come to your aid.
  • POWER: One can impel his personality powers into action by intense desire, intense belief, and intense prayer - "intense" differentiating these factors from the usual bland attitudes of so many.
  • DECISIONS: Never force a decision. Let it simmer. If you properly condition the mind the decision will emerge when completely done.
  • SUCCESS: Success requires a humble yet real sense of adequacy, a normal sense of self-respect, and with it the conviction that you can accomplish what you want to do. By acting as you wish yourself to be, in due course you will become as you act.
  • ACCEPTANCE: Ask for what you want, but be willing to take what God gives you. It may be better than what you ask for.
  • NATURE: Take pleasure in the pattern of sunlight falling through the trees or the sound of the crunch of snow under your foot. Relish these things which are the essence of life and they will make your heart sing with in you. Nature siphons off boredom.
  • KINDNESS: Do kindly things for people, for nothing can so completely erase gloom and create new vigor as the practice of caring and goodwill. Select a few people to be particularly kind to today, those you were a little harsh with yesterday.
  • EMOTIONS: Never react emotionally to what happens but always look for and find in every circumstance the good that's surely present there.


  1. This is fantastic. Would be a good exercise to read through once a day! :)

    1. That's what I've been doing, reading a quote a day! :)