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The Power of Positive Thinking

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"This book is written with the sole objective of helping the reader achieve a happy, satisfying, and worthwhile life."

-- Norman Vincent Peale

The precursor to The Secret, The Power of Positive Thinking has helped millions of men and women to achieve fulfillment in their lives. In this phenomenal bestseller, Dr. Peale demonstrates the power of faith in action. With the practical techniques outlined in this book, you can energize your life -- and give yourself the initiative needed to carry out your ambitions and hopes. You'll learn how to:

Expect the best and get it

Believe in yourself and in everything you do

Develop the power to reach your goals

Break the worry habit and achieve a relaxed life

Improve your personal and professional relationships

Assume control over your circumstances

Be kind to yourself

128 pages, Hardcover

First published October 1, 1952

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About the author

Norman Vincent Peale

312 books1,077 followers
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale (1898–1993) was a minister and author (most notably of The Power of Positive Thinking) and a progenitor of the theory of "positive thinking".

Peale was born in Bowersville, Ohio. He graduated from Bellefontaine High School, Bellefontaine, Ohio. He has earned degrees at Ohio Wesleyan University (where he became a brother of the Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta) and Boston University School of Theology.

Raised as a Methodist and ordained as a Methodist minister in 1922, Peale changed his religious affiliation to the Reformed Church in America in 1932 and began a 52-year tenure as pastor of Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan. During that time the church's membership grew from 600 to over 5000, and he became one of New York City's most famous preachers.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,897 reviews
Profile Image for Bilal.
3 reviews23 followers
October 11, 2012
Altough i am a muslim but i found this book equally revealing, all of the methods and techniques i read in this book are easily applicable to any one regard less of their religion and faith. the thought which Mr Norman discussed in this book is already known to every muslim, but are long lost and forgotten, But thanks to him that i am now again connected to my roots and living at peace. I recommend reading this book with an open mind so that your cast, culture and religion will not interfear in your intellectual growth and understanding of the laws of universe.
Profile Image for Michelle.
36 reviews2 followers
July 16, 2013
WARNING: DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THE TITLE OF THIS BOOK! I love books about positivity, self-improvement, etc. and after hearing so much about how this is one of the most inspirational and positive books ever written, I finally read it and promptly regretted it. This book is nothing more than propaganda and shameless marketing for the author's "church" (i.e., business). Just when I started thinking, "oh, I can get behind the concept he's teaching" -- BAM! -- there goes another sneaky advertising for his "church". He found every opportunity to sneak in the FULL ADDRESS of his "church", even though it was completely and obviously irrelevant and unnecessary. I'd be more than happy to cite specific pages and paragraphs from the book that show this, but I can tell you right now, there are TONS and I can fill this space with them! I got so sick of seeing the FULL ADDRESS of his "church"'s headquarters that I refused to finish it and put it in the recycle bin! It wasn't a cheap book (hardcover) and didn't want to donate it to my local library or shelter because I didn't want to subject folks who may be vulnerable or gullible to such propaganda. I found it almost immoral and disgusting to use religion and people's need for positive guidance! I know this book is considered a "classic" and is beloved by many people, so I guess I must not be seeing something that a lot do, or I'm just too cynical, but if you read (or re-read) the book, pay attention to the references to the author's "church" and tell me they don't read like an advertisement for a business!
Profile Image for Shelly.
26 reviews
July 22, 2012
This is a book that I am constantly reading on and off. I found it on a trip in Sante Fe, New Mexico. It turned up right in front of me while I was shopping at a local book store. You know how a book comes into your life just at the right time, well this is the book for me. It has helped change my life at a point when I needed it the most, I should say a very negative time in my life. I would recommend it to anyone. It is one of those books that you highlight and go back to reread parts of it again.
Profile Image for Joanna Jones.
4 reviews12 followers
April 16, 2019
If you are looking for a religious solution to your troubles, this is a fantastic book. The proven and time-tested practices outlined in this book should lead anyone to a life of mental and emotional health through faith in Jesus Christ. You can find the best edition here: https://www.amazon.com/Power-Positive...
Profile Image for Michael Todd.
39 reviews8 followers
September 17, 2009
Though written over 50 years before "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne, it almost exactly mirrors that book. The terminology may be different ("pictureize" instead of "visualize") but the techniques are similar.

I've used techniques put forth in "The Secret" and in this book and they do work. Put bluntly, it has to be believed to work in order to work.

If nothing else, there is practical advice for the aid of sleeping, clearing your mind and reducing your level of anger in tense situations. Additionally, I think anyone would be happier and be more pleasant to be around when they shift their thinking to a more positive mindset. This gives exercises to help accomplish that goal.

Again, I feel Mr. Peale's book and Ms. Byrne's book compliment each other. If someone is turned off by "The Secret," believing it to be "Oprahesque," New Age thinking, than read "The Power of Positive Thinking." There aren't many who are more mainstream than he, who comes from a traditional, American religious background.

At the same time, if someone is turned off by a traditional, religious point of view, read "The Secret" (which instead of "God" uses the term "The Universe," when referencing a Higher Power, therefore allowing for many faiths and beliefs). However, if both books are read, I believe a person not only reinforces the basic principles in their mind but also gains additional techniques to achieve their goals.

Again, the caveat is, you have to believe for it to work. You have to remember to use it. If you try for a week and give up, this won't do you any good. However, if you're committed to continually practice what you've learned, be ready to see some amazing things happen in your life!
Profile Image for Viraj.
124 reviews61 followers
May 5, 2012
No citations. When an author says: "here is a story when a woman/man who had XYZ difficulty, used these principles had remarkable results", it turns me off. Any random person can come up with such stories. No citations / no names. The mantra given are fine and ok style too, but I felt that the emphasis on Christianity was unnecessary. Not that it offended me, I don't care, but it implies unnecessary that other religions don't have the same / good teachings.
Anyway, put me to sleep too. :(
There are better ways to write self-help books, the author should have asked Dale Carnegie...
Profile Image for Neha Lathr.
49 reviews29 followers
May 12, 2022
I left in the middle, not for me. I did give this book a chance for nearly around 100 pages but I find it difficult to ignore the emphasis paid to a particular religion ( don't get me wrong, I am not against any religion, it's just that the book doesn't do any justice to the title given. )

I picked up this book for its “can’t be ignored “ title, perhaps next time I’ll be more careful. Trying to be creative enough, I imagined the relevant and well-suited name for this book and that has to be “ The Power Of Reading Bible “. Although, little that I tried to see positive learnings from this one are as follows:

Excerpt 1: “ Thoughts create words, for words are the vehicles of ideas. But words also affect thoughts and help to condition if not create attitudes. “

I have read something similar to this in many self-help and motivational books, by that I mean, what it implied, if not the exact words. But there is no denying into saying that these are some impactful words.

Excerpt 2: “ In fact, when you return
to it(mesmerizing beautiful place you have been to) in memory, the mind tends to remove any unpleasant factors present in the actual situation. The memory visit is often an improvement over the actual for the mind tends to reproduce only the beauty in the remembered scene? “

Now that is something that really raised my brows. Because, if you truly give it a thought, it actually is true. It was said in the context of staying silent every day for about 15-20 mins or more. And for that, you don't need to be close to nature or in the beauty or peace of it. You can simply just visit that place in your memory.

And Finally one of my favorite excerpt i.e.

Excerpt 3: Nobody can be you as efficiently as YOU can.

And this one needs no elaboration, as it clarifies itself perfectly. So, for these teachings, I kept on with it. But being way too much religious-specific is the sole reason that gave this novel away.
Profile Image for C.
1,090 reviews1,050 followers
August 21, 2019
A few people told me that that this was among the great self-improvement books. Not knowing anything about the book or author, I decided to read it. Because of the recommendations I had received, I was very surprised at how explicitly Christian the book is; I was expecting a secular "pull yourself up by your own bootstraps" kind of self-improvement book. Instead, the author focuses on prayer and involving God in every aspect of your life; and not just in one or two chapters, but all of them.

I'm a Christian, so I wasn't opposed to the religious content; it just wasn't what I thought I'd find. With that said, I didn't like how Peale pushed the "health and wealth" gospel. Rather than showing the Christian faith as primarily focused on the spiritual life, Peale described how to use prayer and your relationship with God to succeed materially.

Peale outlines his main formula near the beginning:
1. Prayerize: constantly pray to God, and treat him as your close associate
2. Picturize: believe in your realizable wish, and hold strongly to that mental image
3. Actualize: praying and picturing leads to the wish becoming a reality

The book contains what I would consider paranormal or pseudo-science. I included some examples below. Near the beginning, Peale explains that one can use a positive mindset to combat the inferiority complex that many people suffer. He mentions many studies throughout the book, but I don't believe any of them were cited. Every chapter is chock full of anecdotes and stories. There were a few good tips in the book, but overall it lacked enough practical advice to make it worth reading.

Advice I liked
• Do something you're passionate about and you'll find you have unlimited energy to do it.
• Don't think you're so important. Learn to slow your pace and delegate work.
• Descriptions of the power of mind over matter; how people can become sick or well based largely on their state of mind. Explanations of psychosomatic issues.
• Find moments to completely relax throughout the day, even if only for a few minutes.
• "Don't get the idea that you are Atlas carrying the world on your shoulders. Don't strain so hard. Don't take yourself so seriously."

• "Determine to like your work. Then it will become a pleasure, not drudgery. Perhaps you do not need to change your job. Change yourself and your work will seem different."
• Become a comfortable person; easy-going, natural, pleasant, kindly, gentle.
• Remember people's names.
• Don't be an egotistical know-it-all.
• Practice liking people until you genuinely do.

Parts I didn't like
• Description of sending magnetic power to people by "shooting" prayers at them.
• The entire chapter "Prescription for Heartache". It tells about death experiences, people hearing or seeing the dead, and other paranormal activities.
Profile Image for Liong.
120 reviews69 followers
May 20, 2022
I discovered this book when my cousin put it on my table when he stayed temporarily in my place.

He suggested I read when I was in college.

Another must-read classical self-help book.
Profile Image for Michael.
504 reviews23 followers
September 11, 2010
Prior to reading this, I didn't know that is was a Christianity based self-help book. The information in this book has been rehashed in The Secret and many other self-help books. Why? Because it works.

I don't know when cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) was introduced, but this books has lots of techniques from that as well, and CBT has been proven to help eliminate anxiety and depression.

In summary, one has to renew our thoughts and speech and this will in turn change our thinking process, which in turn will eliminate worry and inner strife.
Profile Image for Kathleen.
76 reviews1 follower
September 18, 2008
I found this book pretty useless. I understand the power of faith in God, but if you're going to write a whole book you need to have something other than that mantra repeated on every page. There are no practical tips and its written as if he's a grade school teacher talking to his students. Read Pema Chodron instead, or even Martin Seligman's books about optimism and happiness.
Profile Image for Tharindu Dissanayake.
279 reviews486 followers
August 26, 2020
"One never does wrong by doing right."

Dr Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking is a very analytical yet mostly religious approach to conditioning a one's mind toward successful living. Instead of recommending a set of superficial instructions, author reaches a much deeper level to provide the reader with an excellent set of guidelines, to be adopted in to our core habits.

"our physical condition is determined very largely by our emotional condition, and our emotional life is profoundly regulated by our thought life."

It's true that almost all the lessons are based on teachings of Bible, which might repel some readers, especially non-Christians. But I believe the teachings explained are universal in nature, in that, they can be easily adopted and interpreted using any religion. I, for one, being a Buddhist, was able to read the book in that way.

Move beyond that, and you will find this book to be an amazing guide, giving the reader an innumerable amount of valuable material.

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

"We are in eternity now. We are citizens of eternity."

Profile Image for Sally George.
112 reviews2 followers
November 4, 2012
I read this book over 35 years ago, at a stage in my life when I needed to leave home and go out into the world. It did help me then. I decided to re-read it as I am at a different stage in life, will soon be the big 60 and don't want to turn into a grumpy old woman! It is easy to lapse into grumbling and groaning - especially when it is all you hear at work and from the friends who have become negative. Well, I did enjoy the book and it has reminded me that looking at life positively (every cloud has a silver lining) gives you happiness and confidence. Just one sentence in the book makes a difference "every time you have a negative thought, replace it with a positive one". As this book was written in 1952, I am now reading a similar book, with excellent reviews, that was written recently, which should be a good contrast. As I will always want my friends and family to enjoy my company, rather than come and see me out of duty, I aim to grow old gracefully and in a good mood :-)
Profile Image for Ammit P Chawda.
61 reviews17 followers
June 20, 2022
5.0 ⭐


Posting a book after a long time however this is one of those books which one would enjoy nice and slow!!
I got this book as gift from my Principal during my graduation of high school back in 2004 I never kept track of it had almost lost it and got it back from my friend who happened to read it and keep it in his library.
Norman Vincent Peale a pastor has shared his experience as a healer and motivational speaker, he has in this book picked up a lot of references from the bible and connected it with real life events and shared his experience in this book.
A highly recommended book if you are a Catholic as well as for those readers who are looking forward to reading self help books!!
The author has provided exercises in this book that are easy to follow, also one of those books which I will keep returning to until I perfect the exercises mentioned in this book.

Thank you ❤️
Profile Image for Khayal Mahsum.
197 reviews19 followers
July 29, 2014
كتاب جميل جدا ، عبارة عن حديث القدسي ( انا عند الظن عبدي بي فليظن بي ماشاء) .... وفي المسيحية (بحسب ايمانكما ليكن لكما ) بمعني انك اذا امنت بهذا الشئ الذي تتمناه فأنت تحقق هذا ،
و ما حثني علي قراءته مضمون افكار ايجابية ، كتاب بسيط ولكن الي حابب يقراءة افضل ان يكون لديه بعض معلومات عن ايجابية كأسلوب الحياة و كيفية عمل العقل.
عجبني كثيرا حين عرفت بعض معلومات عن افكار مسيحية يتبين لك من خلال بعض اقتباس من كتاب المقدس في المسيحية ( العهد الجديد) ان احنا كلنا ممكن ان نتقرب من الله بغض النظر عن ديانتنا .... و تتيقن ان الله لم يبعثك علي الدنيا كي تتعذب فاكل ارادات و افكار موجودة داخلك انت وليس غيرك انت تدير حياتك فقط بإيمانك
انني قرأت في هذا المجال و هذا الكتاب ساعدني كي يتحفر هذا افكار في عقلك
Profile Image for Asha Seth.
633 reviews314 followers
January 27, 2014
The Power of Positive Thinking was my first book for 2014 and I am glad I chose to start the year surfing on positive sails. Lately, I have turned quite picky about the books I read owing to the very little time I get to spare. So, just when I find all but raving reviews about this book, I get fortunate enough to receive an audiobook from Reado and all I have to do is plug the earphones and there I go!

About this book, I can write for pages together since there is so much the author has generously shared with his readers. Consistent selfless efforts poured in the pages only with a purview of improving lives gets me all emotional. Seriously, how often do we think about others while moaning about our own miseries?

The central message of this book by the great inspirational writer, Dr. Vincent Peale, is being positive and transforming life, not just your own, but of all those associated with you.

Now, I like to read inspirational books. Quite honestly, recollecting a quote every now and then gets my day going. But this book is a whole ocean of positive punch. Yes, it is meant for all those moments when you are on the verge of giving up, frustrated and of course, mostly angry.

So, when someone asked if I enjoyed the book, I said, “I am not sure if I enjoyed it. It was not meant to enjoy, it isn't a comic book, for God’s sake. But yes, I’ll surely keep going back to it each time I feel that I need a dose of positivity.”

The Power of Positive thinking nails in your conscience the idea of sailing the boat of life while rowing with an oar of positivity. It’s simple, it’s effective, it gets the sleeping cells of your head awake and maybe, it makes you want to try on a new pair of glasses and look at the world anew.

Having said that, it is almost undeniable that through most part, the book takes a religious course and that can get the not-so-religious-crowd of readers a little put off.

Lessons to learn though would be how one should perceive problems and worries as opportunities for self-improvement. Anger and fear are perhaps, the most destructive of weapons. Killing them needs a lot of love, faith, patience and forgiveness.

What I certainly pack away from this book is the author’s take on happiness which is so imperative and yet always overlooked. “The way to happiness: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Scatter sunshine, forget self, think of others. Try this for a week and you will be surprised.”

Having tried this, I have been witness to its transforming power. Truly, it doesn't take magic to work miracles, it takes faith.

Profile Image for Mitch C..
465 reviews43 followers
July 3, 2020
Things I’ve learned from this book. Rather, things that this book slapped me back to reality;

1. Follow the laws of God.

2. Remember the three formula: Prayerize, Picturize, Actualize.

3. Practice the attitude of putting everything in God’s hands. Pray a great deal and always let your prayer take the form of thanksgiving on the assumption that God is giving you great and wonderful things, because He surely is. But do ask too for the ability to do your best and leave the results confidently to God.

4. Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding. Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind. Whenever a negative thought comes to mind, deliberately voice out a positive thought to cancel it out. Put an end to that misery-producing process. How we think we feel has a definite effect on how we actually feel.

5. We always have choices - either to be happy or to be unhappy. Always choose to be happy because that’s all there is to it. This may seem an oversimplification, but as once said; “People were just about as happy as they made up their minds to be.”

6. Use moderation in all things. Reduce the tempo of your pace. Many people are destroying their physical bodies by this pace, but what’s even more tragic, they are tearing their minds and souls to shreds as well. It’s impossible to have peace if the pace is so feverishly accelerated. God never go that fast and He will not endeavor to keep up with you. So plan your work, work your plan. Don’t try to do everything at once. That is why time is spread out.

7. Fear is the most disintegrating enemy of human personality. Anxiety is the great modern plague. So keep calm. Believe that for every problem there is a solution. Relax. Don’t think you’re Atlas carrying the world on your shoulders. Don’t press or tug. Take it in stride.
Profile Image for Winston Jen.
115 reviews32 followers
May 26, 2013
My father forced me to listen to this drivel for weeks on end when I was 12. Even then, I did not find the ideas in this book the least bit persuasive or helpful.

One of Peale's friends is quoted as saying "Every day when I wake up I realise I have a choice. I can be happy or unhappy. So what do I do? I'm not dumb. I just CHOOSE to be happy." What nonsense. I am reminded of a particularly callous sermon I had the misfortune of listening to in Japan back in 2010, where a pampered pastor described the Haiti earthquake victims as happy. If they were so happy, why were they collecting money for them? How someone can live with such blatant mountains of cognitive dissonance is simultaneously disturbing and infuriating.

Peale's friend could easily be shown the error of his ways by someone with more life experience. If I knew someone like that, I would punch him until he realised that happiness is not something that can be "chosen." We would not need psychologists, psychiatrists or people willing to listen and help each other if happiness was that simple. NVP tries to strengthen this platitude with another from former US President Lincoln: "People are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be." What nonsense. All this shows is that even charismatic leaders can be incredibly shallow at times.

NVP trots out prayer and dependence on Jesus as a solution (when in actual fact, it is the calming of one's mind that actually helps, not the prayer itself). This is nonsense, as numerous prayer studies and the utter dearth of regenerated amputees has already demonstrated.

If you want your life to improve, go out there and do something to make things better. Don't expect this travesty of a book or wishful thinking to do it for you.
Profile Image for Julian Worker.
Author 33 books341 followers
September 29, 2022
This book wasn't what I was expecting...Norman Vincent Peale was a Protestant clergyman. His advice may seem like 'preaching', but there are nuggets of useful information in what he writes even for those people who are non-believers. He's right it is everyone's choice to be either happy or unhappy and the reason is, like Stoicism says, is that people are reacting to events in a certain way.

An example of the style is as follows:

"Worry is a destructive process of occupying the mind with thoughts contrary to God's love and care. Basically, that is all worry is. The cure is to fill the mind with thoughts of God's power, His (sic) protection, and His (sic) goodness. So spend fifteen minutes daily filling your mind full of God. Cram your mind full of the 'I believe philosophy' and you will have no mental room left to accommodate thoughts of worry and lack of faith."

Norman Vincent Peale had a good sense of humour because he writes that he "must report that the American people are so nervous and high-strung that now it is almost next to impossible to put them to sleep with a sermon. It has been years since I have seen anyone sleep in church."
Profile Image for Heidi.
1,065 reviews32 followers
May 31, 2020
Every time I read this book, I tell myself I should read it every year. And then I forget for seven or eight years before stumbling across it again. But it always seems to appear in my life when I need it, so I guess that's okay.

Norman Vincent Peale gives chapter after chapter of tangible ways to feel happier. Some of the examples are a little dated now (those darned Communists better not take over the country!) but most of it is still practicable today. Coming from an unapologetically Christian point of view, Peale talks about improving self-image (repeat ten times a day, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."), finding peace, stopping the worry cycle, defusing anger, using prayer to solve problems, having constant energy, etc.

Much more helpful to me than the modern Secret-type self-help books.
Profile Image for Tom Barnes.
Author 11 books21 followers
October 25, 2008

Norman Vincent Peale, one of America’s most distinguished speakers was not born with that gift. As a child Norman was shy and retiring and had a terrible inferiority complex. Then to add to those feelings of inferiority, he was a preacher’s son and believed that he was expected to be perfect. Well, he didn’t want to be perfect he wanted to be hard-boiled and something else, he vowed never to become a preacher. He grew up in a religious family and as part of the church community from time to time they were all called upon to make public speeches. Norman was urged to join the others in their activities, but the thought of speaking in public scared him to death.
Eventually though, with the urging of his father, reading the Bible and interacting with other family members he began to shed those feelings of inferiority. Then once he got over his shyness and began to connect with an audience he became a very effective public speaker and writer. He also became a preacher, something that he had vowed earlier in life not to ever do.
After a number of years of interaction with church members as their minister he determined several simple truths about life. You must believe in yourself because, ‘without a humble and reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.’ Basil King once said, “Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid.” Emerson declared a tremendous truth. “They conquer who believe they can.”
Dr. Peale tells the story of a day on the golf course. It seems he hit the ball into some tall grass and when he finally located the almost hidden ball, he lamented about his chances of hitting it out. Well, his golf partner saw his dilemma and talked him through the problem. Dr. Peale took a swing, as instructed, and wound up hitting the ball near the green. He was delighted with the results and always remembered a comment made by his playing partner that day, ‘the rough is only mental.’
Now while The Power of Positive Thinking is based on Dr. Peale’s belief in God, he also says that belief in your own abilities play a large part in individual success or failure.
Self-confidence or the lack of it plays an important part in our lives. A survey of college students when asked to state their most difficult personal problem seventy five percent answered that it was a lack of confidence.
One of the ways to self-confidence is to expect the best. 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.
When you buy and read this remarkable book your attitude will change, and you’ll find success -- sometimes in the most unexpected places.
Profile Image for Carl.
52 reviews5 followers
February 24, 2016
A bit too religious. Norman Vincent Peele has written dozens of books. This is perhaps his most widely known one. As I said, it is a bit to laden with religion for my taste. He is a preacher, so a certain amount is to be expected, but I was excited when I came across the book in a store, and disappointed by the time I finished it...

4 reviews
April 5, 2012
I have always considered myself to be optimistic and positive. I’m the one in the group that always find inspiration in the bright side, sometimes annoyingly so to everyone else. I had high hopes for The Power of Positive Thinking when I started reading the book, but no matter how hard I tried to stay positive I just could not get passed how ridiculous I felt for reading it. Don’t get me wrong, I pride myself for my positivity in adverse situations, but this book seriously made me want to stab my eyes out with a fork.

In 1952, Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking found a spot on the New York Times bestseller list, where it remained for three years. Peale was famous for his blend of psychotherapy and religion, and believed that all of life’s basic problems were generally personal in nature. The Power of Positive Thinking is a step-by-step solution guide for solving all of life’s problems like feelings of inferiority, restlessness, exhaustion, worrying, making friends, and being happy. The general premise of this book is to think about the things that you want or need, pray, go see a counselor, and God will provide for you. Peale offers up easy and simplistic 15-minute practical formulas, coupled with simple steps and rules to make life better. After the first hundred pages, I was fairly confident that I understood the message of the book: think positive, quit stressing out, put your fears in God’s hands, and you’ll be just fine.

In Chapter 4, Peale provides “a three-point program” for prayers, which is really nothing more than basic psychology. Peale suggests that using this three-point-program, Peale harnessing the power of prayer will help you manifest untapped energy. He argues that Prayer Power is the solution for most of life’s problems. The first point is to “Prayerize,” meaning that one should develop a daily system of creative prayer, talking to God as if he would your best buddy, coworker, or relative with normal speech and phrasing. He suggests that those who maintain a constant conversation with God are happier because they know that God is always with them. The next step is to “Picturize.” In this step, you should paint a portrait in your head of exactly what you want, and then ingrain it into your mind. Peale posits the basics of psychology here, arguing that a realizable wish and a vivid picture in your mind are all you need. The third step is to “Actualize” the things that you have “prayerized” and “picturized,” and they will come true. Again, this is basic psychology. If you envision and plan on success, you’ll be successful. If you picture failure, you will fail. Peale’s simple guide to a better life is really nothing more than basic ideas on the human mind: confidence and feeling good stem from blocking out negative thoughts and visualizing happier times. Honestly, I really didn’t need to read hundreds of pages to tell me that thinking about wishes, dreams, sparkles, unicorns and rainbows will make me happier.

What drove me nuts about this book was that Peale repeatedly says that he’s offering some solid steps for living a better life, yet he doesn’t really say anything other than, ‘think about it, go see a counselor, and pray, pray, pray!” It’s also obvious that Peale believes that mothers are the root of all evil and trauma in life. In this book, Peale references hundreds of anonymous scholars and professionals who all endorse his ideas, but he rarely goes beyond basic namedropping to gain credibility for his ideas. Peale also repeatedly reminds us that thousands of people have had good results by using these proven methods for better living, but it sounds so vague and braggadocios that it’s hard to take seriously.

I didn’t hate this book. No, I am far too peppy and positive in my real life to waste energy on hating things. It just bored me. The repetition of the same basic idea over and over and over with reference to vague and anonymous herds of people who have found great results didn’t inspire me. Perhaps I have always understood the concept of “mind of matter,” so this book isn’t a groundbreaking revelation for me. However, if you’re looking for simplified methods for changing your mindset and pulling yourself out of the dumps, you may find some use for this book.
Profile Image for Barb.
662 reviews35 followers
August 10, 2018
A physician friend of mine told of a patient he had who was suffering with severe stomach pains. He told that patient: "the bible says; What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” That man went on to become the top salesman at his company!

Listening to this audio book, read by the author, was a lot like having your great-grandfather read the passage above. But I don't mean to diminish the power of reading the bible or the power of thinking positively. One point that stuck with me was that if you are expecting the worse outcome your actions will unconsciously bring that about. He stated it better: “We build up the feeling of insecurity or security by how we think. If in our thoughts we constantly fix attention upon sinister expectations of dire events that might happen, the result will be constantly to feel insecure. And what is even more serious is the tendency to create, by the power of thought, the very condition we fear.” I truly believe that. There was a lot of good stuff here. Though, like most self-help books, it became a little repetitive. But, I think the advice is solid and it is worth a read. Better yet, listen to it read by the author.
196 reviews23 followers
December 3, 2021
This book is a self-help guide for people dealing with difficult situations in their lives as it's during these times that self-doubt is high while problem solving skills are low. It mentions the methods to manage and reduce stress and anger when a person feels stuck in unavoidable situations. There are examples of such circumstances along with the solutions one can use. The main focus of this book is on positive thinking and how that can be the first step towards finding one's way out of even the toughest situations.
Profile Image for Jason.
4 reviews
April 10, 2012
Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking was first published in 1952 after World War II. His book tried to give optimism to a post war culture; it also began the self-help genre. Peale’s book is based on the title as it encourages the reader to try his method of positive thinking to live a richer and more rewarding life. But explicit in the title is not just mere change, but instead his approach preachers power to transform the reader’s life. So how does he say that this is possible?

Peale’s whole philosophy is ground in a sort of religiosity. Peale was a Christian, but he did not preach pure Christianity to the people. Instead he spoke about faith in God as the basis for achieving what one needs in life. Peale used the Bible as a basis for many of his claims, and he said that if you have any amount of faith, great things could happen for you.

Peale’s style of writing is simple and straightforward. He makes claims to the reader and expects the reader to believe and not doubt. The essence of each chapter is Peale presenting his principles, and then he gives stories as examples of people who have put his principles into practice with success. This twofold technique of practical principle and story is good for the reader for a number of reasons.

The main issue with the book is the question: will his method of positive thinking work for everyone. He states in his book that it has worked for some or even many people, but he has had a lot of readers, and it can be doubted whether or not it will work for everyone. If it did, then there would probably be a lot more religious people than there are.

His message of positive thinking is so ingrained in our culture that we can take it for granted. Much of his message is simple and common sense, although buried within his book are elements of complexity. Most people know that if they are going to succeed at anything, then they must want to and believe they will succeed. These two ideas are really implicit in the quest for success. But in writing his book, Peale found many people burdened by psychological problems of fear, self doubt, and other obstacles preventing them from succeeding. He believed that if these core problems can be weeded out with faith affirmations, then the person could be free to succeed. The problem is that even if belief is necessary for success, it is not sufficient for success, as it does not guarantee that each person will succeed. Attitude may be a major component of success, but it is not everything. Peale would argue that it is everything. People can fail due to a bad or negative attitude, but even with a good attitude, many people fail at trying to be successful. There are several elements that go into being successful such as talent, work ethic, education, background, motivation, desire, opportunity, and luck. Peale wants to disregard many components of success and say it is mainly faith in your self and God. This is a simplified explanation and it is a simplified approach by Peale to becoming a success.

But Peale looks at several aspects of the individual person and not just at the notion of success. He wants to rejuvenate the whole person and eliminate negative problems and become whole, healthy, and happy. Some of his principles are worthy of being put into practice and some may even work. But they are not the whole picture, and no one can capture what that would be in one book. Everyone does not try to become a great success, but everyone has to deal with problems in this world of which we all look for solutions and better ways of coping and dealing with issues. Given all of this, Peale’s book is a classic and a good read and can help people find ways of dealing with problems and become whole and healthy.
Profile Image for Rosie Nguyễn.
Author 6 books5,869 followers
September 3, 2015
It's said that Norman is the father of positive thinking. I don't know if it's true but this book is really helpful.

The book utilizes many quotes in the Bible as the author is a pastor, which may cause some kind of discomfort for layman. But emphasizes many principles of life that one cannot neglect on his way to progress: the power of prayer, expecting the best, having faith, believe in the Higher Power (God), relax to get work done, being a comfortable person and interested in people to get people like you..., just to name a few.

But it's also said that reading without practicing won't do you much good. I'm on my way to apply positive thinking to my daily life. See you next year with my report :)
Profile Image for imane.
463 reviews378 followers
June 3, 2018
أَمَا عَرَفْتَ أَمْ لَمْ تَسْمَعْ؟ إِلهُ الدَّهْرِ الرَّبُّ خَالِقُ أَطْرَافِ الأَرْضِ لاَ يَكِلُّ وَلاَ يَعْيَا. لَيْسَ عَنْ فَهْمِه�� فَحْصٌ. يُعْطِي الْمُعْيِيَ قُدْرَةً، وَلِعَدِيمِ الْقُوَّةِ يُكَثِّرُ شِدَّةً. اَلْغِلْمَانُ يُعْيُونَ وَيَتْعَبُونَ، وَالْفِتْيَانُ يَتَعَثَّرُونَ تَعَثُّرًا. وَأَمَّا مُنْتَظِرُو الرَّبِّ فَيُجَدِّدُونَ قُوَّةً. يَرْفَعُونَ أَجْنِحَةً كَالنُّسُورِ. يَرْكُضُونَ وَلاَ يَتْعَبُونَ. يَمْشُونَ وَلاَ يُعْيُونَ.

بِحَسَب إِيمَانِكُمَا لِيَكُنْ لَكُمَا
Profile Image for Jennifer Holland.
10 reviews5 followers
August 20, 2007
Oh boy. I didn't actually read this one, I just listened to the audio book during a long car ride. It's read by the author, bless his heart, who was ninety-five years young when he recorded it, but doesn't sound a day over ninety-four. It's really more like a good old-fashioned Protestant sermon with a lot of anecdotal evidence and feel-good testimonials. Recommended for terminally upbeat people with the bi-annual blues.
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