How to harness the power of positive thinking.
Posted in , Dec 11, 2008
The most powerful force in this universe is a positive thought properly used. Outward circumstances or conditions do not determine what our lives become nearly as much as the thoughts that dominate our minds. No one can ever overcome anything until her thoughts are creative and positive.
Mentally, as you raise your mind above the conflicts you face, your personality will receive help from God in the form of clear thinking, resolute reaching out toward happiness, deeper understanding and renewed strength. When your thoughts are in confusion or you feel depressed, you live in an unreal world, you cannot see your way out.
Here are three ways you can replace confusion and depression with the courage and insight to face your problems and overcome them.
1. Monitor your moods.
These days on the financial websites and in newspapers, there’s often a chart showing stocks going up and or down. Understandably, whenever the graph goes down, people get worried; when it goes up, they’re happy.
Well, everything in this universe moves according to a rhythm. This is true not only of the stock market but also of human moods. A person need not be overly concerned when his mood drops a little; that’s normal. Nor need he be overly elated when his mood rises. That, too, is normal. Our present consideration is when your mood goes down and stays down. That’s when you need real help; you need an answer to the question, "How can I lift my spirit?"
2. Think of the sun.
When you’re discouraged, despairing, or in a time of darkness, never forget that the sun will ultimately shine again; its absence is never permanent. Hang on to your faith, know that soon you will rise into the light again.
There was once an old Scotsman, one of those philosophical characters from whom you can learn a great deal. He said, "The human spirit perishes without the sun. I once sailed on a vessel for three weeks and did not see a crack in the clouds. The crew became morose, gloomy and sick. But I had a secret that kept me up. Every day I would go out when the clouds hung low and do two things. First, I remembered the golden sunlight of days past; second, I thought of the golden sunlight that would come when those clouds had rolled away. Thus, I made my own sunlight. I distilled it in my heart. I manufactured it in my mind. I could feel it warming my bones, entering into the essence of my being."
Nothing can happen in a human life that is so bad that the sun will not shine again. Remember all the good things that God has done for you in the past. That is the sunlight of the past. Then visualize—and never let the visualization become dim—the sunlight of the future, all the good that God will do for you and your loved ones in the future. Always remember the sunlight of the past, and the sunlight of the future, in the dark days.
3. Clear your mind.
Another way to lift your spirit is to empty your mind of all negative thoughts—all hateful, apprehensive and fearful thoughts. Note how much better you feel, how your spirit is lifted.
You can hardly expect your spirits to soar, when they are weighed down with resentment, self-pity and ill will. If you carry negative thoughts, your spirit is held down. The mind of an average person can be like a scratched cd or dvd. It skips over and over. Some people's minds go around and around, constantly repeating, like a mantra, their self-pity and fears.
So what to do? Lift up your eyes to the high places, get your mind off destructive attitudes toward other people. Get your minds off yourself, your failures and resentments. Look fearlessly at all the gloom and remind yourself that it is not permanent. “This too shall pass.” We must lift up our minds to God and let faith pour down into us. Then our spirits will rise like birds on the wing; life will be fascinating and good every day, all our days.
Remember all the good God has done for you in the past; visualize all the good God will do for you in the future.
This article was adapted from a booklet by the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale.