Last modified on 7 June 2014, at 16:23

Norman Vincent Peale

People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success.

Norman Vincent Peale (31 May 189824 December 1993) was the author of The Power of Positive Thinking and chief progenitor of the theory of positive thinking. With his wife, Ruth Stafford Peale, he founded Guideposts magazine in 1945.

QuotesEdit

It must also be taken into consideration that people are people regardless of who they are or what their backgrounds may be. There are certain deep universal appeals to human interest and to these human nature always responds.
I've got great faith in the essential fairness and decency — you may say goodness — of the human being.
I found eternal peace in a Shinto shrine ... I've been to Shinto shrines and God is everywhere. ... Christ is one of the ways! God is everywhere.
  • In a large congregation, while there is a wide diversification of interest, it is also true that there are only a few basic human problems. It must also be taken into consideration that people are people regardless of who they are or what their backgrounds may be. There are certain deep universal appeals to human interest and to these human nature always responds.
    • Confident Living (1948), p. 5
  • Faced with the election of a Catholic, our culture is at stake.
    • Opposing the candidacy of ‪John F. Kennedy‬‎ for US President, as quoted in "The Religious Issue: Hot and Getting Hotter" in Newsweek (19 September 1960)
  • Every human being is a child of God and has more good in him than evil — but circumstances and associates can step up the bad and reduce the good. I've got great faith in the essential fairness and decency — you may say goodness — of the human being.
    • Interview in Modern Maturity magazine (December-January 1975-76)
  • It's not necessary to be born again. You have your way to God, I have mine. I found eternal peace in a Shinto shrine ... I've been to Shinto shrines and God is everywhere. ... Christ is one of the ways! God is everywhere.
  • Our problem is to become acquainted with our own selves, letting our personalities loose upon the world for the sheer adventure of their full development and in the positive hope that they may in their own way lift the level of humanity.
    • The New Art of Living (1986), p. 13
  • When obstacles or difficulties arise, the positive thinker takes them as creative opportunities. He welcomes the challenge of a tough problem and looks for ways to turn it to advantage.
    • Have a Great Day (1986), p. 2
  • Optimism is a philosophy based on the belief that basically life is good, that, in the long run, the good in life overbalances the evil.
    • Have a Great Day (1986), p. 14
  • Who is God? Some theological being? He is so much greater than theology. God is vitality. God is life. God is energy. As you breathe God in, as you visualize His energy, you will be reenergized!
    • "No More Stress or Tension" in Plus : The Magazine of Positive Thinking (May 1986), p. 22
  • Believe that problems do have answers. Believe that they can be overcome. Believe that they can be handled. And finally, believe that you can solve them.
    • ‪You Can If You Think You Can‬ (1987), p. 36
  • People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success.
    • Positive Thinking Every Day : An Inspiration for Each Day of the Year (1993), "April 13"
    • Earlier variant: People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. And those who have learned to have a realistic, nonegotistical belief in themselves, who possess a deep and sound self-confidence, are assets to mankind, too, for they transmit their dynamic quality to those lacking it.
    • ‪You Can If You Think You Can‬ (1987), p. 84
  • Happiness will never come if it's a goal in itself; happiness is a by-product of a commitment to worthy causes.
    • The Power of Positive Living (1992), p. 63
  • If you put off everything till you're sure of it, you'll get nothing done.
    • As quoted in Behavior in Organizations : Understanding & Managing the Human Side of Work (1995) by Jerald Greenberg and Robert A. Baron, p. 371
  • Change your thoughts and you can change the world.
    • As quoted in Back on Track : How to Straighten Out Your Life When It Throws You a Curve (1997) by Deborah Norville, p. 201
  • Empty pockets never held anyone back...it's only empty heads and empty hearts that do it.
    • "Enthusiasm makes the difference" (2003), p. 58

Stay Alive All Your Life (1957)Edit

By success, of course, I do not mean that you may become rich, famous, or powerful for that does not, of necessity, represent achievement. Indeed, not infrequently, such individuals represent pathetic failure as persons.
  • Every individual forms his own estimate of himself and that basic estimate goes far toward determining what he becomes. You can do no more than you believe you can. You can be no more than you believe you are. Belief stimulates power within yourself. Have faith in faith. Don't be afraid to trust faith.
  • The dynamic and positive attitude is a strong magnetic force which, by its very nature, attracts good results.
    This, of course, does not mean you will get everything you want. When you live on a faith basis your desire will be only for that which you can ask in God's name. But whatever you should have, whatever is good for you will be granted.
  • By success, of course, I do not mean that you may become rich, famous, or powerful for that does not, of necessity, represent achievement. Indeed, not infrequently, such individuals represent pathetic failure as persons. By success I mean the development of mature and constructive personality.
    Through the application of the principle of constructive thinking you can attain your worthy goals. The natural outcome of living by creative principles is creative results. Believe and create is a basic fact of successful living.
  • The more jealousy one has in his nature the more critical he is of those who have accomplished things.
    If you are critical and mouthing negativisms it could be that your own failures are caused by a mixed-up, hate-filled mind. A sign of mental health is to be glad when others achieve, and to rejoice with them. Never compare yourself or your achievements with others, but make your comparisons only with yourself. Maintain a constant competition with yourself This will force you to attain higher standards and achievements. do not defeat yourself by holding spiteful or jealous thoughts. Think straight, with love, hope and optimism and you will attain victory in life.

Power of the Plus Factor (1987)Edit

Power of the Plus Factor : The Little Extra That Makes You a Winner (1987)
Now we get down to two magic words that tell us how to accomplish just about anything we want to accomplish, two powerful words that can change any situation, two dynamic words that all too few people use. And what are these two amazing words? Do it!
  • The power of the Plus Factor is potential but it is not self-activating. It is latent in human beings and will remain latent until it is activated.
  • The Plus Factor makes its appearance in a person's life in proportion as that person is in harmony with God and His universal laws.
  • And now we get down to two magic words that tell us how to accomplish just about anything we want to accomplish, two powerful words that can change any situation, two dynamic words that all too few people use. And what are these two amazing words? Do it!
  • So what are you afraid of? What is holding you back? What is it that stands in your way? Do it!
  • Sometimes we see people persevering in the face of what seem to be insuperable odds. When that happens, I can't help but think that through their Plus Factor information has been conveyed to them that even they are unaware of.
  • Of vast importance in achieving peace of mind is dealing with the contents of mind itself: the mass of all ill thoughts you have stored up over the years, all the regrets, all the futilities, all the hidden sins, all the hates, all the grudges, all the vindictiveness. The minds of many people are filled with pockets of poison.
  • Tell yourself every morning as you go to work that you love your job. Think of it as interesting, even fascinating. By so doing you will ultimately get enthusiastic about your work — and you will undoubtedly do a better job.
  • Just a moment ago nature put on one of its most spectacular demonstrations.The widest rainbow I have ever seen stretched from the lake over a high snow-clad mountain to touch down in a deep valley in the Alps. There was about this gigantic rainbow a deep benediction of peace and hope. But as ineffable as nature is in the effect of natural beauty on the mind, it cannot match the peace of God in its healing effect on the human mind.



MisattributedEdit

  • It is inconceivable that a Roman Catholic president would not be under extreme pressure by the hierarchy of his church to accede to its policies with respect to foreign relations in matters, including representation to the Vatican.
    • Formal statement of the committee of 150 Protestant clergymen he represented, opposing the candidacy of ‪John F. Kennedy‬‎ for US President in September 1960, quoted in The Religious Issue: Hot and Getting Hotter in Newsweek (19 September 1960), and in ‪A Question of Character : A Life of John F. Kennedy‬ (1992) by Thomas C. Reeves, p. 191; though as a primary spokesman of the committee, he endorsed the statement, and it is likely he had major influence on its drafting, he was not cited as its author.

Quotes about PealeEdit

  • Norman Peale saw psychology and Christian experience as very compatible… he had the courage to stand pat on this position in spite of the opposition of the entire Christian church for nearly half a century. His genius was that he… translated psycho-theology into the language of the people.
  • With saccharine terrorism, Mr. Peale refuses to allow his followers to hear, speak or see any evil. For him real human suffering does not exist; there is no such thing as murderous rage, suicidal despair, cruelty, lust, greed, mass poverty, or illiteracy. All these things he would dismiss as trivial mental processes which will evaporate if thoughts are simply turned into more cheerful channels. This attitude is so unpleasant it bears some search for its real meaning. It is clearly not a genuine denial of evil but rather a horror of it. A person turns his eyes away from human bestiality and the suffering it evokes only if he cannot stand to look at it. By doing so he affirms the evil to be absolute, he looks away only when he feels that nothing can be done about it ... The belief in pure evil, an area of experience beyond the possibility of help or redemption, is automatically a summons to action: "evil" means "that which must be attacked ..." Between races for instance, this belief leads to prejudice. In child-rearing it drives parents into trying to obliterate rather than trying to nurture one or another area of the child's emerging personality ... In international relationships it leads to war. As soon as a religious as a religious authority endorses our capacity for hatred, either by refusing to recognize unpleasantness in the style of Mr Peale or in the more classical style of setting up a nice comfortable Satan to hate, it lulls our struggles for growth to a standstill ... Thus Mr Peale's book is not only inadequate for our needs but even undertakes to drown out the fragile inner voice which is the spur to inner growth.
    • R. C. Murphy, in "Think Right : Reverend Peale's Panacea." in The Nation (7 May 1955), p. 398
  • The man who has impacted and influenced my thinking and my theology and my life more than any other living person
  • Well, speaking as a Christian, I would like to say that I find the Apostle Paul appealing and the Apostle Peale appalling.
    • Adlai Stevenson, in the opening sentence of remarks to a Baptist convention in Texas during his 1952 Presidential campaign, after the host had declared that Stevenson had been asked to speak "just as a courtesy, because Dr. Norman Vincent Peale has already instructed us to vote for your opponent." As quoted in Humor in the White House: The Wit of Five American Presidents (2001) by Arthur A. Sloane

External linksEdit

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