Norman Vincent Peale on Practicing Happiness

The pastor, best-selling author and founder of Guideposts explains how acting as if you are happy, even when you are not, can lead to positive change.

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A happy mature woman smiles broadly

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. . . .’” Matthew 25:23

A man offered to drive me to the airport if I would talk with him about a personal problem. On the way there, he confided all his troubles, worries, disappointments, and unhappiness.

I said to him, “The only way to free yourself from it is to stand up against it now and practice happiness.” “How do you practice happiness?” he asked.

I cited the example of John Wesley, who, in his maturity, was one of the greatest men of faith in all the world. At an earlier time in his life, Wesley had no faith whatsoever. So he hit upon the device of acting as though he did have faith. And in due time, he did have faith. You can bring about the ideal condition by persistently acting as though that ideal condition already existed.

Our Heavenly Father, help us never to be discouraged nor overcome. Grant that we may enter into the life of our time with creative power to make it a better world. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Excerpted from Positive Living Day by Day, copyright © 2011 by Guideposts. All rights reserved.

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