Having recently moved house, I have been thinning out the books in my study. It has just one bookcase and I decided that my books should all fit into it. Painful as it always is for me to get rid of books, some of them just had to go. I just had far too many, so the local charity shop got some good titles and I hope they will benefit someone somewhere.
Whilst engaged in this sifting operation, I came across a book by Norman Vincent Peale. It is actually a signed copy of his classic The Power of Positive Thinking. When I think of the subject of positive thinking, Norman Vincent Peale always comes to mind because, essentially, that’s what his books were all about. It was not that many years ago that the idea of positive thinking was all the rage in self development literature.
Sales courses advocated the importance of developing a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA), self improvement books talked about knowledge (what to do), skill (how to do) and attitude (want to do) as being the fundamental building blocks of developing a habit. These days, a lot of personal development authors seem to have jumped on the Law of Attraction bandwagon.
However, the essential concept of improving your own attitude is guaranteed to bring you results because it operates at, what I like to think of as, the business end of the process of achieving success. The much misunderstood Law of Attraction operates at the level of your vision and that is of course very important, but getting your attitude right operates at the level of action.
So what kind of attitude should you be developing? Here are seven aspects of developing the winning attitude that I believe you need to cultivate to assist you in achieving your goals.
The Winner’s Mindset:
- Positive Attitude – I can do it
- Enthusiastic Spirit – I love what I do
- A Grateful Heart – I am thankful
- The Abundance Mentality – I am happy when others do well
- Self-Confidence – I believe in myself
- A Trusting Heart – I have faith
- A Forgiving Heart – I forgive others
Now although that’s a nice little list, we ought now to consider how you go about developing such an attitude, and that’s where I have always liked the Norman Vincent Peale approach. He would always suggest the use of affirmation. Don’t allow the simplicity of the approach to fool you, this is a deceptively powerful tool when used correctly. In addition, his affirmations often came from the Bible.
An affirmation is a simple statement that has a particular structure, usually beginning with the words ‘I am’, though not always. ‘I can’ or ‘I do’ make equally good openings for affirmation. You should always use the personal pronoun though.
Here is an example of an affirmation that Peale once suggested:
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
No doubt, you will recognise that this affirmation comes from the Bible and actually, it is taken from St Paul’s letter to the Philippians.
As Peale’s books were about positive thinking and developing a positive attitude, it is not surprising to find an affirmation that makes use of the words ‘I can’. That is the essence of being positive, believing that you can do something. Does it seem crazy, the idea that just saying this statement over and over again to yourself could make a difference to your attitude? If so, well perhaps you might like to try it and see if it works for you.
The suggestion is to say the affirmation at least three times and repeat this three times per day, so that’s nine times in total each day. As I said above, that is a very simple thing to do and it will take you hardly any time.
Now, if you take another look at our list above, you not only have seven aspects of the winning attitude there, you also have the beginning of seven positive affirmations. Even those short sentences can make a difference, however you might like to try lengthening or changing each one of them in the same way that Norman Vincent Peale changed ‘I can do it’ to ‘I can do all things through him who strengthens me’.
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