7 Practical Steps for Changing your Mental Attitudes from Negative to Positive Thoughts
(excerpt from the book “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale)
“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.” – William James
As you think, so shall you be. So flush out all old, tire, worn-out thoughts. Fill your mind with fresh, new creative thoughts of faith, love and goodness. By this process you can actually remake your life.
Negative Thoughts = Negative Actions = Negative Results
Positive Thoughts = Positive Actions = Positive Results
It all starts with thought and if your thoughts contain negative thinking, then it will always lead to negative actions and results.
Following are seven practical steps for changing your mental attitudes from negative to positive, for releasing creative new thoughts, and for shifting from error patterns to truth patterns. Try them-keep on trying them. The will work.
1.) For the next twenty-four hours, deliberately speak hopefully about everything, about your job, about your health, about your future. Go out your way to talk optimistically about everything. This will be difficult, for possibly it is your habit to talk pessimistically. From this negative habit you must restrain yourself even if it requires an act of will.
2.) After speaking hopefully for twenty-four hours, continue the practice for one week, then you can be permitted to be “realistic” for a day or two. You will discover that what you meant by “realistic” a week ago was actually pessimistic, but what you now mean by “realistic” is something entirely different; it is the dawning of the positive outlook. When most people say they are being “realistic” they delude themselves: they are simply being negative.
3.) You must feed your mind even as you feed your body, and to make your mind healthy you must feed it nourishing, wholesome thoughts. Therefore, today start to shift your mind from negative to positive thinking. Start at the beginning of the New Testament and underscore every sentence about faith. Continue doing this until you have marked every such passage in the four books, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Particularly not Mark 11, verses 22, 23, 24. They will serve as samples of the verses you are to underscore and fix deeply in your consciousness.
4.) Then commit the underscored passages to memory. Commit one each day until you can recite the entire list from memory. This will take time, but remember you have consumed much more time becoming a negative thinker than this will require. Effort and time will be needed to unlearn your negative pattern.
5.) Make a list of your friends to determine who is the most positive thinker among them and deliberately cultivate his society. Do not abandon your negative friends, but get closer to those with a positive point of view for a while, until you have absorbed their spirit, then you can go back among your negative friends and give them your newly acquired thought pattern without taking on their negativism.
6.) Avoid argument, but whenever a negative attitude is expressed, counter with a positive and optimistic opinion.
7.) Pray a great deal and always let your prayer take the form of thanksgiving on the assumption that God is giving you great and wonderful things; for if you think He is, He surely is. God will not give you any greater blessing than you can believe in. He wants to give you great things, but even He cannot make you take anything greater than you are equipped by faith to receive “According to your faith (that is, in proportion to) be it unto you” (Matthew 9:29)/
The secret of a better and more successful life is to cast out those old, dead, unhealthy thoughts. Substitute them new, vital, dynamic faith thoughts. You can depend upon it – an inflow of new thought will remake you and your life.