Monday, September 10, 2012

Does Positive Thinking Really Work?

I am a student of positive thinking. I first began my study of positive thinking about 10 years ago.  I was introduced to the power of positive thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, Founder of Guidepost Foundation along with his wife, Ruth. I was most amazed to find that Dr. Peale, an ordained minister, spoke openly about self-actualization, positive thinking, and applying that concept to different situations.

So does positive thinking really work? I would say it depends on your ideas, expectations, and desired outcomes. First of all, positive thinking is not simply wishing, dreaming, and hoping that things will be better. Positive thinking is a systematic approach to examining all of the pieces of a problem and looking for solutions -- by concentrating on the most beneficial parts of the problem itself. Another way of looking at the problem is to poke along all of the areas of the hardball in order to find the soft spot.

In his book, the “Amazing Power of Positive Thinking”, Dr. Peale  gave numerous examples about people struggling with real problems and how they overcame their issues. Many of the people in  Peale’s book experienced issues of divorce, job loss, loss of a business, health issues, and loss of self-esteem. [almost every known problem that could be exhibited by human being]  Peale  wrote that: “as human beings on this planet, we can never expect to just have roses (of life) without thorns. Life itself is the training ground to help us to build endurance.”

The key to being a positive thinker is to focus on three strategies as simple keys to success. Keep in mind that success does not come quickly or overnight without a struggle. Dr.  Peale’s three keys are: 1) Trying, 2) Thinking, and 3) Believing. These three simple keys are part of the great solution to overcoming any problem. They are the foundations of positive thinking and having been an ordained minister, Dr. Peele always believed that all positive thinking should be anchored in a connection to a higher consciousness -- a higher thinking -- and in his mind, that “Higher” would be a connection to an Almighty God.

Dr. Peale  referenced the three keys as to try… Really Try! He said to think… Really Think! And to believe [which is perhaps the hardest]… Really Believe! Once we get to the third key – believing -- we have to know that what we hold true will actually happen. We have to ignore naysayers, do-gooders, and people who have our best intentions at heart. Positive Thinking is tapping into that of Almighty God and coming to that place where we come to a belief. Purified and tested, enduring is not a simple process. Some people believe that by simply clicking their heels and snapping their fingers [and thinking positively] that that is all that there is to positive thing.

To really exercise the power of positive thinking we all must apply its power by living it – as promoted by Norman Vincent  Peale  – rather than exercising the fallacy of wishful thinking and dreaming.