The Power of Positive Thinking Book Summary - The Power of Positive Thinking Book explained in key points
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The Power of Positive Thinking summary

Norman Vincent Peale

Think positively and get what you want

4.1 (220 ratings)
19 mins
10 key ideas
Audio & text

What is The Power of Positive Thinking about?

The Power of Positive Thinking is a self-declared manual for achieving happiness and overcoming even the most difficult problems. Focusing on our attitudes toward our life situations as well as our faith, the book acts as a guide to the way we can change our lives through a steadfast focus on positive outcomes – if we’re willing to make that choice.

About the Author

Norman Vincent Peale was a minister in New York City, famous for such bestsellers as The Art of Living, Inspiring Messages for Daily Living, and A Guide to Confident Living. He was also active on TV and radio, and was the founder of the Positive Thinking Foundation.

Table of Contents

    The Power of Positive Thinking
    summarized in 10 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 10

    Believe in yourself: why self-confidence leads to success.

    Feelings of anxiety and inferiority are like a modern plague. Many people feel as though there are problems everywhere they look, then get overwhelmed before trying to shift the blame for their situation onto others or their circumstances, rather than actively fighting to change it.

    In some ways, this is true: if you feel inferior, or suffer from negative thinking, then you’re more likely to experience negative outcomes.

    For example, if you start your new job thinking that you’ll never fit in and that no one will like you, then you will have created a self-fulfilling prophecy. Once your feeling of inferiority has been vindicated, you’re more likely to have negative feelings about the future, which only leads to a vicious circle that feels impossible to escape.

    Yet it’s not impossible! If you have self-confidence, then you have the power to shape your life the way you want it. For example, the author knew a man who had lost everything, but was able to regain his energy and the willingness to continue living simply by making a list of all positive things he still had in his life. By focusing on these aspects, he proactively changed his perspective to a healthier one.

    But if you want to change your circumstances, then you have to change your thinking instead of passively accepting your situation.

    Just like the man in the example, you too can use the power of focusing on the positive and believing in success in order to overcome any obstacles in your life.

    One way to do this is by visualizing the possible positive outcomes that you want for yourself, and then visualizing your problems. By comparison, they seem smaller and more easily solvable.

    For example, the author’s magazine, Guideposts, underwent a serious crisis that was solved in a curious way: during a meeting, the staff actively visualized having more subscribers. That’s it. And yet, this wishful thinking was followed by a real increase in their readership!

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    Best quote from The Power of Positive Thinking

    Getting people to like you is merely the other side of liking them.

    —Norman Vincent Peale
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    Who should read The Power of Positive Thinking

    • Anyone interested in living a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life
    • Anyone with a historical interest in religious and spiritual practices in the USA in the 1950s
    • Anyone interested in discovering a mix of psychological and religious thought and practices that lead to happiness and health

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