The Power of Positive Thinking Book Summary, by Norman Vincent Peale

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1-Page Summary of The Power of Positive Thinking


Positive thinking is a way to achieve happiness and success in life. It involves faith, which can be found through Christianity. Positive thinkers are able to control their minds and bodies, which leads them to have peace of mind and better health. These ideas have been around for thousands of years, but they’re just as important today as they were then. They can help people live more relaxed lives with less stress, greater happiness, and inner peace. This idea can also be drawn from biblical passages that talk about having faith in God; there are even meditative prayers that focus on positive thoughts instead of negative ones.

Positive thinking helps people to change their lives for the better. It requires stopping negative thoughts and expecting positive outcomes in any situation. People can also learn to relax, believe that they will be successful, and not worry about problems or things going wrong. Positive thinking is a powerful tool that has helped many people improve their health as well.

This book was first published in 1952. It has been revised and updated several times, including this edition from 2003. The concepts are still as relevant today as they were when the book was first written by Norman Vincent Peale.

Key Takeaways

Believing in oneself is crucial to success and happiness.

People create their own success and happiness. They can find inner peace by practicing faith and thinking positively.

Positive thinking is a part of positive mental attitude. Positive thinkers visualize successful scenarios and then try to make those things happen in real life. Religion has often been thought of as something that’s out-dated, but it can be looked at differently as a science because it teaches you how to control your body and mind so you can achieve success.

If you slow down your life, you will be able to think positively. Negative thoughts can lead to mental and emotional issues that could result in physical symptoms. Positive thinking means believing that you won’t fail and perceiving obstacles as challenges instead of roadblocks.

Key Takeaway 1: Believing in oneself is crucial to the mindset needed for success and happiness.

People with low self-esteem find it difficult to achieve their goals. They tend to settle for less than they’re capable of achieving because they don’t trust themselves and are afraid that they might not succeed. Positive outcomes arise from positive thoughts, which in turn come from a positive mindset, which is built on the foundation of faith in God.

It’s important to have confidence in yourself, especially when you’re trying to accomplish something. If you don’t believe in yourself, then it will be harder for you to achieve your goals. For example, if a husband doesn’t feel good about himself because his wife is more successful than he is or makes more money than him, that can affect both his relationship and career. He might not speak up at work or do the best job possible because he lacks self-confidence and believes that he’ll fail anyway. Then when he gets home from work, maybe even before speaking with his wife, he’ll start an argument with her over something small just so that they can fight and get angry together instead of being disappointed by their lives alone.

A friend tells the husband that he is bringing negativity into his life and needs to be more positive. By strengthening his faith in God, he can reverse the negative trends in his life and find happiness. He prays for strength to find positive thoughts when times are hard. At work, he performs better and is more open with his wife at home.

Key Takeaway 2: People can create their own success and happiness, which begins in their mind with positive thoughts.


By cultivating positive thoughts, people are able to attract the right people into their lives and set in motion a series of events that makes them happier and more successful. They also have more control over their lives.

A man was unhappy in his marriage because he had a negative mindset. His negativity made him feel bad and he didn’t want to be that way anymore, so he did something about it. He recognized when negative thoughts came up and he learned how to change them into positive ones. That’s important because everyone has times when they’re unhappy or stressed, but we can all learn from this man’s experience and use the same techniques if we want to have more energy, motivation, and happiness in life.

Following his friend’s advice, the husband did a thorough study of the Bible to find lines that resonated with him and could combat these negative thoughts. A less religious person might look to other sources for words that can alter their unique set of common negative thoughts and feelings.

A positive attitude at work helped him come up with new ideas and work more collaboratively with his colleagues. This boosted his reputation at work, which led to a promotion when an unexpected position became available. He didn’t see his wife’s career as dominating or threatening, but instead admired her skills and dedication. This brought them closer together, which eased tensions between the two of them and enabled the husband to spend time with his family.

Key Takeaway 3: Finding inner peace, which can be done through fervent prayer and practicing faith, often results when people create more positive mindsets for themselves.

Many people strive to be more positive. They often do so by emptying their mind of negative thoughts and filling the space with only positive thoughts. Christians believe that God helps bring inner peace to troubled minds through prayer and faith practice, which can lead to outer peace as well. Inner peace leads to emotional well-being, which in turn fosters feelings of energy and efficiency in one’s life.

Prayer is a tool that Christians and other spiritual groups use to communicate with their higher power. It can be helpful for people who are depressed or suffering from mental illnesses because it provides them with a way to talk about their problems without burdening another person. Instead of speaking to someone else, they can direct these thoughts directly to God, the higher power they believe will listen without judging them.

Regardless of how people view the higher power, they can achieve inner peace through positive thinking. They may empty their minds to a colleague or friend and feel better about themselves. Or they could talk to someone close to them in order to clear their heads. Either way, banning negative thoughts from one’s mind leads to true inner peace, which anyone can try for themselves.

Key Takeaway 4: Part of positive thinking is visualization. If a person visualizes a happy and successful scenario, then it could be more likely to happen.

Visualizing success is critical to achieving it. When people visualize their goals, they often complete the picture in their mind and take action toward those goals. The more successful they are at visualizing success, the more likely they’ll achieve that goal.

Visualization is a popular topic for athletes and businesspeople. In sports, they often visualize themselves doing something great or achieving a goal. For instance, an athlete might imagine scoring points or making the winning play in his head before it happens during a game. The Telegraph reports that this mental rehearsal actually triggers neural firings in the muscles and creates a blueprint that can ultimately facilitate future performance. Visualizing prepares both mind and body to react appropriately to problems during games or other pressures that arise.

In business, it’s essential to see the failures as a learning experience and something that can make your company better. The same is true for setbacks. When you visualize these challenges as opportunities to learn from your mistakes, grow your company, and achieve even more success than you originally imagined in the first place, then you’re on the right track. Changing negative thoughts of failure into positive ones will help get you there faster.

On an individual level, a person can set goals for themselves by visualizing what they want to be or how they would like their life to look. For example, someone might visualize that they’re more physically fit and healthy. They could also visualize that their workday is ideal—they’re working from home while having the time and money to travel around the world. It’s important that people stay focused on these mental images because it will inspire them to take action towards achieving those goals.

Key Takeaway 5: Religion is often thought of as a stuffy, socio-cultural tradition with a history plagued with wars and tensions. However, religion can be thought of in a more practical sense, even as a science.

There are many people who believe that religion is applicable to everyday life, but others may feel that it’s not. Some think science and religion can’t go together. Others feel that religious teachings are scientific in nature. Religion has a set of rules for how to live a good life, which have been developed over generations and should be followed just like any other science.

Those who don’t believe in God might not think that prayer is effective. They may say that even if God existed, he couldn’t possibly answer the prayers of everyone at once, since some people’s wishes conflict with others’. In addition, they may believe that prayer power is just a coincidence or an internal technique like meditation and visualization. But those who do believe in it swear by its effectiveness for making good things happen in their lives.

Other people who are not religious do not believe in God because science has yet to prove that He exists. Some religious people may have a strong faith but don’t understand why certain passages of the Bible apply today when they were written thousands of years ago. However, there are also those who think religion is practical and can be explained by theology and philosophy as well as specific rules, such as the Ten Commandments or the Golden Rule, which say that we should treat others how we want to be treated—in practice this means leading good lives.

Key Takeaway 6: Slowing the pace of one’s life will enable positive thoughts to enter the mind.


People can maintain a fast pace in their lives, but that can be harmful to the mind. They should stop worrying about everything and focus on positive thoughts. That will help them come up with solutions to problems and appreciate things more.

To slow down life’s pace, one must first realize how fast-paced it is. This realization alone can make a lasting impact on how people choose to spend their time. For example, a work-from-home entrepreneur with a husband and two children might not be aware of the fact that she’s missing out on many important events in her family’s lives because of the pace at which she moves through life. She might be distracted by emails at family dinners or miss date nights with her husband because of her jam-packed schedule. If someone were to ask her to think about how quickly she was moving through life and what she was missing out on, it could prompt change in her work-life balance.

When people slow down, they have more time to respond to a negative situation and make better decisions. They are less likely to react rashly when something bad happens, because they have the chance to think about it and consider their options. In this way, slowing down can help us be happier with our lives by making us appreciate small things that happen every day, like a smile from a stranger or hearing an interesting story at dinner.

Key Takeaway 7: Negative thinking can lead to mental or emotional illnesses, which can manifest as physical symptoms that can negatively impact physical health and performance.

Negative thoughts, such as ruminations about fear, failure, and anger can either be dismissed as passing thoughts or cause negative emotions. These emotions can manifest themselves in physical symptoms that may then impact a person’s ability to carry out their day at home, work, or out in public.

The mind-body connection has been studied extensively over the years, and it’s a popular topic in self-improvement today. The chronic diseases that plague our country are likely caused by both poor diet and exercise habits as well as stress. From a biological standpoint, stress is often caused by negative thoughts, which release hormones that cause damage to the body such as excessive muscle tension. On the other hand, positive thinking can lower levels of those hormones and stimulate healing, meaning it can have an impact on not just mental health but physical health too.

Positive thoughts can have a positive impact on your health. This is because of visualization, which means that you imagine yourself getting better and being healthy. Positive thinking isn’t a miracle cure, but it could help people feel better about themselves and decrease stress levels. It might also contribute to greater well-being in the case of illness or disease, regardless of whether they get better or not. A study showed that students who wrote down positive experiences for three days in a row had fewer illnesses than those who didn’t do this exercise.

Key Takeaway 8: Positive thinking means adopting an attitude that doesn’t believe in defeat as a possibility, and that perceives obstacles not as roadblocks but as challenges to be overcome.

A negative attitude can hurt you in any situation. If you’re trying to achieve something, it’s important not to let obstacles get the best of you. Just because there are obstacles doesn’t mean that your goal is unattainable.

Complaining about obstacles doesn’t help anyone. Instead, a conversation should recognize what’s in the way and come up with ways to overcome it. Bigger obstacles can be more difficult to handle, but you can find solutions for them if you look hard enough. It all comes down to your mindset: If you think negatively, then everything will seem harder than it really is; however, positive thinking makes things easier and helps you get through challenges faster.

Book Structure

The author, Norman Vincent Peale, is a minister who discusses the importance of positive thinking. He often uses Bible passages to support his points and tell others how they can use their faith in God to make themselves better people. Sometimes he will quote a passage that another person has found helpful or inspiring in order to reinforce its meaning.

The book is made up of stories that either involve the author or are told to him by friends, members of his church, and people he met while traveling. These stories illustrate how positive thinking can help you be happier and overcome your fears.

The author not only explains the different aspects of positive thinking, but also backs up his ideas with personal stories and analysis. He includes tips on how to apply these concepts in your own life. Some of these appear within the chapters themselves or at the end of several chapters. At the end, he includes a list that you can follow to improve your mindset and health by applying positive thinking.

The writing style is simple and straightforward, so it’s easy to read. Also, the book was published in a time when positive thinking wasn’t as popularized as it is today. The chapter themes are different enough to organize the personal stories and tips that the author includes, but they flow logically from one to another and stay within the realm of self-improvement through more positive thought processes.

About the Author

Norman Vincent Peale was a minister of the Reformed Church in America. He served as pastor of Marble Collegiate Church in New York City for 52 years, beginning in 1932. There he became one of the city’s most famous preachers. However, Peale also wrote about mental health issues and founded an outpatient clinic next to his church called the American Foundation for Religion and Psychiatry. Although other psychiatrists were against some of his techniques, they still used them due to their effectiveness with patients at that time.

Full Summary of The Power of Positive Thinking

Banish Self-Doubt

Many people are plagued with feelings of inferiority and self-doubt. These feelings usually originate in childhood, but they can be overcome by using psychology to help them gain confidence and achieve inner peace.

To combat an inferiority complex, first make a commitment to faith. Use the Bible and prayer to overcome self-doubt. Let your spiritual adviser guide you about ways to utilize faith in order to eliminate misgivings and worries. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones by thinking that you will succeed rather than fail when approaching new challenges.

Believe that God will help you succeed in life by believing that He is with you and guiding you. Repeat several times each day, “God is with me; God is helping me; God is guiding me.” If you repeat it often enough, you’ll start to believe it. You can also work with a counselor or therapist so they can help replace negative self-images with positive ones. Remind yourself often of the fact that God will never leave your side.

The Power of Peace

How can you feel more peaceful? Release and discard all negative thoughts. Replace them with positive ones. Repeat this several times a day to change your thought process. Focus on calming images, say soothing words aloud and read poetry or quote the scriptures. Change your conversation by using optimistic language and eliminating defeated words from your vocabulary. Find a quiet place; be silent for 15 minutes every day and tune into tranquility.

Energy Renewed

Negative thoughts can cause you to feel tired or exhausted. However, if you believe God is energy, you can tap into a limitless supply of vitality and health. This is because your diet, exercise and rest depend on a well-balanced spiritual life.

Some people feel tired because they don’t have any compelling interests. They worry about small things and get overwhelmed by their concerns. To avoid that, you can devote yourself to something meaningful outside of your own troubles, like volunteering or praying for forgiveness.

“Prayer Power”

Hard work, a positive attitude and honesty are important in achieving your goals. Prayer will help you develop spiritually and draw upon holy forces to release spiritual energy. Any process that opens the mind to God and lets His power flow through you will help you achieve anything.

  1. “Prayerize” – Develop a daily system of practical prayer. 2. “Picturize” – Visualize the thing for which you are praying. 3. “Actualize” – Make the picture a reality. Other prayer techniques that will give you encouraging results include praying out loud; thanking God for your blessings rather than asking for something; and opening your heart to accept God’s will, among others.

Mustering Inner Happiness

Happiness is a choice. It’s not something that happens to you, but rather it’s something that comes from within. You can’t force yourself to be happy; instead, you must choose happiness and make it your goal in life. Happiness comes when we think positive thoughts about ourselves and others, so if you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, reject them immediately by replacing them with happier ones. If you want to feel good more often throughout the day, then focus on positive experiences and emotions instead of dwelling on the bad ones. As the Bible says: “This is a wonderful day! We will celebrate!”

The Antidote to Anxiety

People often get anxious and tense. They’re preoccupied with their lives and can’t think straight because of this. They need to slow down, relax, and focus on peaceful thoughts. People should take a few minutes out of their day to do this by thinking about beautiful things or places that they enjoy, as well as the good things in their life. This will help them stay calm in stressful situations.

“Expect the Best”

If you believe that you will fail at something, then you probably will. If, instead, you believe that you’ll be successful at it, then there’s a good chance of success. To have an optimistic outlook on life and to be more likely to succeed in your goals and aspirations, read the New Testament (a book from the Bible) and memorize some of its passages about faith. Then adopt a mindset based on faith so that positive energy can fuel your efforts towards achieving what you want out of life. Decide what outcomes or goals are right for you; make sure they’re things that truly interest or motivate you; pursue those goals enthusiastically with all the resources available to help achieve them; let “faith power” drive your actions towards attaining those goals and aspirations. Remember this affirmation: “I believe God gives me power to attain what I really want.”

Worry Not!

Don’t let your thoughts be affected by destructive emotions. Believe that you can overcome obstacles with God’s help. Don’t be afraid of what might happen or worry about things beyond your control. Doctors and psychologists agree that worrying is bad for the body, and it shortens life spans as well as damages the body in other ways.

Before you go to sleep, clear your mind of all worries. Imagine the water from a glass flowing out of your body and think about how with God’s help, you’re emptying your mind of all anxiety, fear and insecurity.

Problem Solving

A common spiritual way to deal with a problem is to put it in God’s hands. This involves sitting quietly and praying for guidance, as well as gathering with others who also want help. We should look at the teachings of Jesus, asking for His help and support when dealing with our problems.

Here are some steps you can take to solve a problem: 1. Believe that there is always a solution for every problem, and seek it out. 2. Try to maintain your serenity as you tackle a problem, even if it’s difficult. 3. Don’t try too hard to find an answer; let the answer come naturally instead of forcing one on yourself 4. Gather all the relevant information about the situation so that you have everything at hand when trying to solve it 5. Write down all of the facts about what happened in order to get them straight 6. Pray over your issue and ask God for help 7. Trust in your spiritual gifts (insight and intuition) 8. Go somewhere where you can listen peacefully 9. Let your subconscious work on solving the problem

  1. The answer that you come up with or the one that happens is correct.

“Faith in Healing”

Faith is important for physical healing. Modern medicine and the “science of faith” can help people recover from illnesses. Negative emotions such as fear, worry, anger, guilt, hate and anxiety can affect your health negatively.

Optimism is the best way to counterattack problems. Having a strong mind, body and soul connection can help one deal with challenges. People who benefit from this combination of medical and spiritual healing have several factors in common: submitting themselves to God’s will, repenting of their sins and having unconditional faith in Him.

The author suggests that these lessons can be applied to your life and work. He says they have helped others in their lives as well. One woman, for example, sold more vacuum cleaners after she adopted the practice of approaching every house expecting to make a sale.

A businessman, who was exhausted and anxious about his work, found relief when he prayed. He felt a sense of peace and healing that helped him relax. A salesman’s colleagues were unable to sleep because they were too stressed out. They needed medication until the salesman advised them to read the Bible instead. The student found himself turned away from college due to his negative thoughts that kept him from applying for admission or even believing in himself enough to apply.

Love to be Loved

Human beings want to be liked. That is natural, but it can make it harder for them to succeed and become happy. To be more likeable, try these tips:

  • The author recommends that we get along better with others by becoming more self-confident and appreciative of them. We should also try to boost their confidence in the future whenever possible.

How to Handle Heartache

Everyone experiences heartache. To resist it, stay busy and do not brood over the loss or defeat. Return to normal activities as soon as possible after a loss or defeat. Do not succumb to the temptation of feeling sorry for yourself.

It’s not healthy or natural to suppress your feelings, so express and experience them. Allow God to help you get through the grieving process. Develop a personal philosophy about life and death for consolation.

“The Power of Positive Thinking”

If you think negatively, you will get negative results. If you think positively, however, your life will be better and more positive. People who are optimistic have a more fulfilling life because they expect good things to happen in their lives. Therefore, if we change our mindsets to be full of positivity and optimism we can achieve great things. One way to start thinking positively is by reciting New Testament verses that talk about faith and love. Spending time with other people who are also positive helps too because it spreads optimism like a disease! Another thing that’s important is counting your blessings every day so that you don’t take the little things for granted (e.g., having food on the table).

The Power of Positive Thinking Book Summary, by Norman Vincent Peale

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