The Power Of Positive Thinking

Ever since the publication of "The Power Of Positive Thinking" by Norman Vincent Peale, the practise of positive thinking is one of the first things that many people think of when it comes to most questions related to how to change your life.

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This makes sense as the nature and quality of your thoughts does have a significant bearing on your experience and interpretation of life.

The following video clip by motivational speaker Brian Tracy summarises the traditional view of the power of positive thinking.







Professor Richard Wiseman has undertaken a number of studies on "luck" over a 10 year period culminating in the publication of his findings in his book, "The Luck Factor".

In summary, his findings show that "lucky" people are people who have consciously or unconsciously mastered the art of the power of positive thinking. Lucky people generate their own good fortune via four basic principles:

[1] They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities.

[2] They make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition.

[3] They create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations.

[4] They adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.

Read the summary in this short popular article.




This site is focused on two basic skills, learning how to think and learning how to not think.

Learning the art of positive thinking and developing the power of positive thinking falls very much into the category of learning how to think.

As we have discussed in other articles, the bulk of what we do think is repetitive and goes un-noticed and "under the radar" in our unconscious minds.

Arguably one of the first things we can do to assist the quality of our recurrent thoughts is to pay very close attention to our "self talk" those repetitive thought patterns, the inner narrative, the "voices in our head".

There are two ways of achieving this, firstly by paying close attention to those things that we resist and secondly by developing a daily mindfulness practise developing a daily mindfulness practise that enables us to gain conscious awareness and visibility of our thoughts and states as they arise and specifically to consciously observe our resistance as it arises.







The most important aspect of our conscious mind is the faculty of choice and the setting of an intention to change the habits of our thoughts.

This is the start point for developing the power of positive thinking.

99.9% of our thoughts are habit-driven and in order to be able to benefit from the power of positive thinking we need to be able to change those thought-habits.

We do have the conscious choice over what we choose to think about, we have the capacity to set an intention to seek help and employ proven tools, techniques and processes to change our thoughts and thus to benefit from the power of positive thinking.







A very important caveat

It is a complete mistake to believe that the power of positive thinking - or the "law of attraction" for that matter - will give you complete control of your life and destiny and that you can have or become just about anything you want.

As we have discussed in the article "powers of the mind":

"The powers of the mind in the subconscious areas are considerable and can make a significant difference to how you interpret and respond to what happens to you, to the things that you attract, and to your overall quality of life experience.

But, and this is a very big "but", these subconscious powers do NOT create everything that happens to you.

In the bigger picture scheme of things these powers of the mind are actually very limited.

The real powers of the mind lie elsewhere..."




As with all the insights and practises we are discussing and sharing here on this site, balance in both perspective and practise is essential.

So from a developmental perspective it is very important that we understand how our minds function and that we do all that we can to ensure that our minds are working for us and not against us.

In this context I am a big advocate for all proven tools and processes(such as those featured on this site) that can further that end, and I encourage everyone to become acquainted with them and to gain a reasonable degree of mastery over their subconscious minds and thus to be able to benefit the power of positive thinking.

But let us also hold in mind the other side of the equation - the realm beyond our re-programmed subconscious minds - that we can only access by learning how to stop thinking.


    "Act without doing
    work without effort...

    Rushing into action you fail.
    Trying to grasp things, you lose them.
    Forcing a project to completion,
    you ruin what was almost ripe...

    Therefore the Master takes action
    By letting things take their course."

    [Tao Te Ching]








So what are the basics of the power of positive thinking?

Well here is my list of some of the fundamentals that underpin the power of positive thinking and that form the basis of what is involved in consciously selecting what you choose to focus on:


    (1) Know what you want - develop clarity about an objective that really lights your fire - something that you really want to pursue "as if your life depended on it".

    If you are not passionate about your objective, if you can't feel in the core of your being then don't bother because if your life-force/survival instinct is not aroused you won't stick with it.

    (2) Feel it now - if you don't have the feeling of your goal having already been achieved, you will not be giving off the energy of a successful outcome.

    People are extremely sensitive to the energy or vibe that you give off - largely unconsciously - and it attracts or repels them into support, blocking or indifference.

    (3) Maintain an attitude of positive expectation - a significant component of the power of your positive thinking lies in the belief that you will achieve your goal or objective.

    We invariably rise to the limits of our own expectations in life.

    (4) Cultivate a mindset of gratitude - I know this sounds a bit "motherhood-and-apple-pie" yet the daily practise of an attitude and expression of thankfulness has a two-fold benefit:

    Gratitude releases you from your attachment and "stuckness" to negative feelings, and it automatically generates a positive energy within you.

    An advanced refinement to this is to be thankful for that which you have not yet received. Sounds counter intuitive I know, but it is very powerful for engendering a deeply positive energy.

    (5) Drop the "how's this gonna happen" and trust that it will all come together.

    This is often the hardest bit. You need to find something bigger or beyond yourself to trust in. It could be destiny, life, higher self, God, fate or in fact anything that helps you feel that you can let go and, let's just say it as, "trust the process".

    The importance and power of this is that it stops you thinking and gets you "out of your own way" as you align yourself with the far greater consciousness that is already at work in the situation.

    (6) Act on inner prompts and intuitions as they arise. Check-in regularly with yourself and see if you feel an inner prompting to do something - and when you do, then act on it to very the best of your ability.

    Counter intuitive as this may sound, don't overdo the detailed written lists and goals.

    When you do, just do it. Don't think about it or worry about the outcome. Just do it as soon as possible and to the best of your ability.

    (7) Always "go the extra mile" - add as much value as you can in your interactions with people. Exceed their expectations.

    Doing this weakens your own ego-centricity and generates a higher energy within you - and this in turn helps create the conditions within you to receive the manifestation of your objective.

    (8) Accept the gestation period. This may be brief but frequently is longer. It could take months and often years for your goals to come to fruition. Remember that whether you like it or not life works in cycles and that does involve waiting.

    (9) Hang on in there.

    Persistence coupled with consistence is everything.

    You will almost certainly experience hold ups, road blocks and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. That is the nature of life. It is designed to sort out the truly committed from the waverers.

    The attrition factor is what wears so many people down and causes them to "throw in the towel". Be prepared for this and accept it.

    The degree to which you can develop acceptance of this, proceed mindfully, and act as you feel inwardly prompted to do so, is the degree to which you will learn and benefit from the deeper purpose that lies behind what you think is your goal.

    Acceptance is the hidden key to real mastery of the power of positive thinking.








The GESTATION PERIOD - understanding it, having faith in it, accepting it and persisting through it.

how to change your life,change your life,your life change, Life works in cycles and that does involve waiting, in other words, a gestation period.

Given that it can take months and often years for your goals to come to fruition, persistence - coupled with consistence - is everything.

Then there are the hold ups, blockages and setbacks. There is much "trial and error", this is period of deep learning, development and putting down deep roots. It IS hard.

This attrition factor is what wears so many people down and causes them to doubt their purpose, or worse, to "throw in the towel".

So our whole attitude to the gestation period is the critical variable in developing our knowledge and skills, and putting down the roots that will enable us to attain our objective.

The bedrock foundation of the power of positive thinking is our ability to stay persistent even when - especially when - we are unable to see any growth on the surface.

In a culture driven by instant gratification – this is our biggest challenge.

This insight is powerfully illustrated by the true story of the Chinese Bamboo Tree:




Matt Morris expands on this story and draws out some powerful lessons:
How Success is Like a Chinese Bamboo Tree.




How to think - Main Themes

Managing personal change

Self improvement and motivation

Self motivation tips




Supporting Articles

The following articles develop and support the main themes and should be read in conjunction with the main pages under the relevant theme. Please see:

Supporting Articles







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