It Can Only Help: Thoughts on the Power of Positive Thinking

by Dan Smith

Most of our blog posts offer solid information, advice and tips, or announce newsworthy occurrences. This post is much different. Forgive my preachiness for a moment, roll along with my ramblings, and hopefully you’ll like it.

Most of you probably have heard of the Rev. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking. First published in 1952, it stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for 186 consecutive weeks, and has sold over 5 million copies.

While Dr. Peale certainly has his critics, his simple yet powerful views on the real, actual power of positive thought has transformed many lives. While he wrote the book with a heavy religious tone, his core message – as I see it – was about projecting positive thought and energy in every part of your life, and by doing so, encouraging and attracting positive things back to you.

Do Dr. Peale’s positivity affirmations mean nothing negative ever happens? Of course not. Life is hard, he said, and we face enough challenges in our life as it is, so why not try to live as positively as you can and be as happy as you can?

It can only help.

To me, it’s really a no-brainer. How can maintaining a positive attitude and living, acting, and being as positive not have an impact on your life?

It can only help.

There’s so much negativity in the world today. (Although, I must add, it’s important to remember what radio broadcasting legend Paul Harvey said: “In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these.”) With the click of a button a disgruntled customer can wreak havoc on a business with a review rather than actually talk with a business owner. People hide behind the anonymity of the Internet. Social media activity, rather than being an amazing communicative tool to connect with others, too often becomes nasty and negative. Our political climate is insane; a constant, 24/7 stream of negativity.

On and on it goes.

It can seem impossible to stay positive in this world, but the reality is that there is so much good in this world, so much for which we should be thankful. Life itself is so precious, so fleeting, and as I know from my own personal experience, life is so, so very short.

Of course, not everyone’s life is good. So many people in this country and around the world are struggling, and bad things are happening all the time, somewhere.

But the possibility, the genuine beauty of life is there, always, if we find it and help others find it. Part of being positive, and one of the most rewarding aspects of life, is doing what you can to help others.

The fact that we are alive is good. That we are here, now, and have the opportunity to engage in … living; it’s a wonderful thing. Think about that. Think that way.

It can only help.

Try something Dr. Peale wrote in his book. It seems easy, but it’s actually very difficult: For the next 24 hours, find something positive in everything that happens, every thing you encounter – from an obnoxious driver on the highway to getting flat-out bad news about something – anything and everything … find something positive.

What you’ll find is that it’s you’ll get tripped up, but that’s the point. When something negative happens, you catch yourself in the process or thinking something negative, you’re forced to stop, think about why whatever happened is causing negative thoughts, and do your best to be positive. It’s a very helpful exercise. Try it.

It can only help.

We all have crappy days. We all encounter stress. We all encounter sadness and loss. But why make it “easy” for life to become a chore and something to endure rather than finding the good in life? Fight for your happiness. Fight for your satisfaction with life. Fight all the darkness and negatively around you, in the news, on the Internet, on social media.It can only help.

Choose happiness. If you don’t have something nice to say (or write online!) about someone or a business, don’t say it. Catch yourself and don’t do it.

Have a bad meal and poor service at a restaurant? Don’t go online and hide behind the Internet and potentially cause someone to lose a job. Be human. Actually talk to people. Talk to that restaurant manager. Express your concerns. Choose as positive route as you can. I can almost guarantee you’ll feel better than spewing negativity online.

Don’t tell the world what you’re against; don’t troll online trying to antagonize. Be “pro” something, not “anti” something.

It can only help.

Now I’ll try to loop this all back into book marketing! However you promote your book, go into the ordeal knowing this could be a once-in-a-lifetime thing. A wonderful thing. You might not cross this way again, so enjoy the ride. Have fun. Go in knowing that book publicity isn’t easy, but that good things can and will happen.

Think positively about your book and your marketing efforts, however they’re being carried out. Look for the good, brush off the bad, and forge ahead. Go in with clear eyes and a full heart. (yes, that’s a Friday Night Lights referenceJ)

It can only help.

Go ahead. Choose to be happy. Make it a hobby. Fight for it.

Don’t take my word for it, or Dr. Peale’s. Take Yogi Berra’s:

 “Be calm, don’t over-worry. Good things can happen if you persevere. Nothing’s final or official until it’s final or official.”

It can only help.