Friday Book in a Page: The Power of Positive Thinking


The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale

Changing our life by changing our thinking is now a common tenet of self help and personal productivity books.  However, in the mid-20th century, The Power of Positive Thinking was one of the first of its kind and the messages and practices outlined here are still relevant today and form the backbone of many of the philosophies outlined in other personal growth books in our series.

Key Messages of the Book:

  • When you say I will do something versus I’d like to do something (like affect change in your life or maybe just stop eating chocolate chip cookies for breakfast) you are making a decision to do something versus a wish to do something - and that is a key distinction in making it happen.
  • Because of the strength of existing habits, sometimes changing behaviour can be incredibly hard.  We need to associate unwanted habits with pain and wanted habits with pleasure. (You can read more on this in Book in a Page: The Power of Habit)
  • The way we view the world is a result of our habitual beliefs.  Examine the way that you view the world and see what beliefs are stopping you from seeing the world in the most positive light and full of opportunities,  These are the beliefs to change.
  • Key to changing our beliefs and creating new habits is the words that we use to describe our emotions, our life situation, the way we experience life.  The way we describe our experiences defines our experiences.
  • To improve the quality of your thinking, ask positive questions:  What can I learn here? versus Why do bad things happen to me?
  • Start your day on a positive note by asking great questions like, What am I proud of?
  • In order to live up to your true potential, you must be crystal clear on what your core values are and in what priority.  Align every one of your life decisions with these values.
  • We all have ‘rules’ about how we think we and others in our life should behave.  Communicate these rules within the important relationships in your life.
  • When you are experiencing an emotion, look for the root cause of that emotion.  With this understanding, you can gain control over your emotions.

A real decision is measured by the fact that you've taken a new action. If there's no action, you haven't truly decided.

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