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on 4 December 2009
It's such a simple and effective concept, that positive thinking creates a positive life, yet hard to do at times- which is a good reason alone to read this book.

Most everything we accomplish each day starts out as a thought. Thoughts flash across our minds each day, all day long, and directly influence how we feel and what we do. So, if you spend your day thinking about negative things, expect to feel bad. On the other hand, if you spend your day concentrating on positive things, good things will happen. And that's basically the purposeand premise of this book- to change your thinking for the better, which in turn will influences your life. The book will "reset your sights" so to speak.

Each chapter of the book tackles important life issues, such as worrying, creating happiness, having energy, etc. Examples of the principles abound, and each chapter ends with a nice summary.

An inspiring and entertaining read, I recommend this book to anyone who needs a little nudge in the direction of positive thinking. Know though, that there is a definite religious tone throughout the book, which could bother some. Those looking for something a little more in the physical rather than cognitive realm to pick you up, might be better off with a book like Exercise Beats Depression.
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on 20 February 2016
The book is loaded with biblical quotes, christian science and traditional religious innuendos.

There are several ways to approach and read this book and take a look at the life and work of the author Norman Vincent Peale.
1. In Retrospect:
’Confessions of a Minister ‘- This is the self-glorified testimony of how a Methodist Minister Managed his flock of sheepish parishioners.

2. In Ratio Aspect:
The Power Of Positive Thinking By Norman Vincent Peale follows the NIV scripture layout of 1 Corinthians 1:23…but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, …
Peale: But ‘I’ preach ’christ crucified’ as ‘Positive Thinking’, a stumbling block to those with knowledge and foolishness to the uneducated.

3. As Suspect:
In later life Peale changed his religious affiliations from Methodist to Reformist - Why?
Methodists are big on faith and works working simultaneously, while Reformists are big on the individual conscience reaching a common understanding with the collective of its members.
Most people do change their religious affiliations when they have become disillusioned with one religion and are still on the path of ’soul searching’ for a sense of ‘belonging’ - the kind that only a church or religious group can provide, but Norman Vincent Peale was raised as a Methodist and ordained as a Methodist Minister, so why the change to The Reformed Church?
It’s only in recent years that history has exposed the abolitionists, the abusers, the philanderers, the war heroes and war criminals within the Church and State.

4. With Respect?
Information from various websites in favour of Peale state:
Peale developed a fascination with psychiatry.
Dr. Peale told how, in his youth, he had “the worst inferiority complex of all,” which led him to develop his positive thinking/positive confession philosophy and theology. In 1937, Peale established a mental health clinic with Freudian psychiatrist Dr. Smiley Blanton in the basement of the Marble Collegiate Church. The “Religio-Psychiatric Clinic” has been described by Carol George as having “a theoretical base that was Jungian, with a strong evidence of neo- and post-Freudianism. Peale applied Christianity to everyday problems as an answer, or partial answer, to his congregant’s problems, and is credited with bringing psychology into the professing Church, blending its principles into a message of “positive thinking.” In Peale’s words, “through prayer you ... make use of the great factor within yourself, the deep subconscious mind ... the kingdom of God within you ... Positive thinking is just another term for faith.” Dr. Peale also cited Blanton to provide a psychological basis for the power of positive thinking. Dr. Smiley Blanton would say, "God presides in the subconscious.’ Therefore, an affirmation, being a positive form of prayer to God, stimulates power in the inward state that is manifested in the outward state to produce well-being.” The Clinic grew to an operation with dozens of psychiatrists and pastoral counselors, and in 1951 became known as the American Foundation for Religion and Psychiatry. In 1972, it merged with the Academy of Religion and Mental Health to form the Institutes of Religion and Health (IRH). In the 1970s, the organization was renamed in honor of its co-founders as the 'Blanton-Peale' Institute and Counselling Centre. Until his death, Peale remained affiliated with the 'Blanton-Peale Institute & Counselling Centre, as president of the board and chief fund raiser.

Peale authored 46 books, and the most successful by far was The Power of Positive Thinking. Published in 1952, it stayed on the New York Times list of bestsellers for 186 consecutive weeks and sold 5 million copies, making it one of the bestselling religious books of all-time. It began with these words: This book is written to suggest techniques and to give examples which demonstrate that you do not need to be defeated by anything, that you can have peace of mind, improved health, and a never-ceasing flow of energy. In short, that your life can be fully of joy and satisfaction. The book had chapters with titles such as “I Don’t Believe in Defeat,” “How to Have Faith in Healing,” and “Power to Solve Personal Problems.” Each chapter contained sections titled “energy-producing thoughts,” “spirit-lifters,” or “faith attitudes.” Much of his teaching was distilled to lists of eight practical formulas or seven simple steps. This book rocketed Peale to new levels of fame and acclaim, and elevated his message with him. He became one of the most influential Christian leaders in the world, gaining a voice into business and politics, even officiating at the wedding of David Eisenhower and Julie Nixon. On March 26, 1984 President Ronald Reagan awarded him the highest civilian honour in the United States, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, for his contributions to theology.

Peale retired as senior pastor in 1984 and died of a stroke on December 24, 1993 in Pawling, New York. He was ninety-five years old. President Bill Clinton honoured him with these words: “While the Clinton family and all Americans mourn his loss, there is some poetry in his passing on a day when the world celebrates the birth of Christ, an idea that was central to Dr. Peale’s message and Dr. Peale’s work. He will be missed.”

5. With Prospects?
A Summary Of Peale's Alliances.
Although Dr Norman Vincent Peale - a Minister/Pastor/Reverend - remained dedicated to the work he started together with Dr Smiley Blanton - a psychoanalyst and psychiatrist - Peale's strong alliance with Blanton didn't last.
Peale's Positive Thinking methods came under attack from Mental Health groups. So when ‘push comes to shove’, Blanton distanced himself from Peale and wouldn’t endorse many of the books they co-wrote together. Peale had 'no defence' and no credentials or professional training to speak of, in either psychiatry or with real Mental Health issues. Peale had the title of Dr, but spent much of his time being a minister.
As we know there are doctors with doctorates and there are Dr's who practice or do research.

The Power of Positive Thinking has stood the test of time as we have now ingratiated this 1950s approach to life into our societies through self-help books of 'new age spirituality'. Just like we look at Freud and Jung as mentors of psychology, Peale, perhaps, a mentor who dons the vocational skills of being a professional businessman in psychiatric and religious disciplines - maybe a new approach is needed from another mentor that has the ability to show those with mental health issues how they can reach their optimum potential to be healed of their afflictions.

Thank You!
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on 8 February 2011
I bought this book for three reasons. The first reason is because it featured in '50 self-help classics' by Tom Butler-Bowdon and having read many self-help books which all emphasise the importance of positive thinking, I was interested in reading one of the most famous and best-selling books on the topic.

The second reason is because I watched a documentary on the billionaire Donald Trump and discovered that Norman Vincent Peale was actually his preacher in New York!

The final reason which persuaded me to finally buy the book is when I watched another documentary, a BBC one, called 'the American Dream.' A priest gave an interview for the documentary explaining how the principles in the book had inspired him to achieve an olympic medal, I think it was for pole vaulting, but I cannot remember for sure!

In terms of the positive thinking aspects of the book, I did not really learn anything that was of any significant difference from what I had already learnt from other self-help books. The one way in which the book did help me however was by helping me to re-discover my faith.

The author of the book was a preacher and he often cites bible passages which he recommends that people memorise, passages such as: 'I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me' and 'according to your faith be it unto you.' I am usually very sceptical and reluctant to try out exercises such as these which are proposed in self-help books (which I suppose defeats the purpose of reading them!) but I gave it a shot and it has really helped me.

I use to go to church regularly but limited my worship to the church service. It wasn't until I read this book that I realised faith could be applied on a daily basis and to anything. I now use some of those recommended verses to empower my thinking and it has helped me not only in my studies but in my physical exercise too. I have definitely noticed an increase in performance and I feel less stressed. The book actually inspired me to buy a copy of the bible again after I gave my last one away. I had never really thought of the bible as a self-help book before but that's exactly what it is and there are some really great lessons and verses in there which can benefit anyone, regardless of their beliefs.

If you don't believe in God then this book probably isn't for you due to the heavy religious content but some people prefer to think of it as a 'power of the universe' or 'flow'. Either way positive thinking is a sound concept. Gandhi said 'if you can change your thoughts, you can change the world.' I use to be very negative and pessimistic but I have managed to re-condition my mind to thinking more optimistically through reading books like this and it has definitely changed my life for the better.
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on 4 April 2000
I heard about this book on the radio. Since then I have recommended it to several people. And I am about to buy another copy for a relative. The audio is clear and deals with everyday life. It has helped me think about life in a different way. I unconditionally recommend the book/audio
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on 10 August 2010
An interesting read based on Christian faith. I believe the book helps those who already have some basic Christian beliefs. It helps to focus on particular Bible verses which promote positive thinking. It also gives numerous examples which reinforce the power of prayer. I found it an uplifting book with guidance to developing a positive attitude and confidence.It is a book that one can read random chapters of at any time.
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on 9 March 2011
I bought this book after i read some quotes from the author, Normal V Peale does come out with some nice little quotes from time to time but this book is a dishappoinment.

Firstly, if you're a non-christian you wont appreciate this book because its basicly a sermon. Although im a Christian myself Mr Peales idea of helping someone is putting his hand on their head, feeling the energy from God and praying "Dear Jesus..." (he does this many times in the book to people he claims he's helped. Oh, yes, another thing is the people he mentions dont have names. It's always "a man i met", "a prominent scientist" or "an influential man"... i cant help thinking that these claims are unfounded and hard to substantiate.

Secondly, littered throughout the book are things like "you live in America, the greatest country in the world... another reason to be happy" and "no one abhors communism more than i do..." - although the mans entitles to his own opinion, as a religios teacher surely he should be neutral in world affairs and rely on God?

I got 20 pages in, closed the book and dropped it into my local charity shop.
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on 6 March 1999
The best thing you will ever do in life is to read this book.I read it when I was a clild of 12 years old, had I not I do not know where I would be today. I am now 30 and saw somebody I loved go through realy bad times. I gave it to her for a christmas present. Now she laughts again, when I was certain all was gone. The are no word to express my thanks. read it .If you see somebody in need give it.
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on 24 December 2010
After already buying two copies of what turned out to be a miniature version of this book (from the French Amazon site) I bought two copies of this one from UK Amazon, only to find that it does not have as many pages as my original copy (bought in USA and which has smaller print so quite a big difference in the amount of pages). I am left wondering if some things have been left out? (I was giving them as a presents so did not have time to check). It is wonderful book though and hopefully the main messages are still there.
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On my journey to enriching my life, I came across Peale's the power of positive thinking as I found that I had been stuck in a 'belief system' of holding on to the daily stresses of life which many of us face in regards to work, taking care of the family, relationships studying or within ourselves. Having a profound effect on us that we may beginning to expect the worst or simply harbour a negative vide.

Although we don't have control over what happens in our life's, our thinking which becomes and extension of how we feel and sometimes a result in our actions, must be trained if we want a positive result 'to be happier and healthier they need a renewing of there minds, that is change in the pattern of thoughts' - Peale

Peale addresses important issues in each chapter such as believing in yourself, expecting the best and worrying. He uses a simple style of repetitive writing to manifest positive thinking, which hammers home. There are a mix of quotations from the bible, which are used as affirmations as a reminder planting the seed of positivity. Although I am not a Christian I was able to identify with understanding. Whatever your faith or not, these points can be easily adapted to suit you individually.

I recommend this book to anyone that is on the road to limitless living!
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on 18 February 2009
From the description of the book it wasn't clear exactly how the author planned to persuade you think more positively. After getting a few chapters in I was surprised that the book has religious overtones. Once I got to the point where religious mantras were being used I stopped listening. I'm not a religious person and have no interest in this sort of thing so I feel I've wasted a lot of money on this cd. If you are open to Christian teachings then I'm sure it's great but if not then do not buy this book.
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