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What I Learned as a 9-year-old: The Power of Positive Thinking

By Debi Katsmar

Posted in Blogs, Book Reviews

A book that started influencing my life as a 9-year-old, continues to be how I live my life today - positively!

positive thinking - glass half full

Most of you did not know me as a child, but if you did, you would know I always had my nose in a book. Just ask my father how many times he had to eat burnt potatoes because I was too deep into my book to realize they had boiled dry. I read everything and anything - I just had to be reading. I've read the dictionary and probably a good portion of the Collier's Encyclopedia set we had when I was growing up.  

Most of what I read was fiction, and at 9 years-old, generally it wouldn't be a self-help book. But -- one day I found myself with nothing to read and no way to go out to get another book, so I started looking at the books my mother had on her shelf in her make-shift office area. She sold real estate at the time. As I scanned the titles, I found one that looked interesting, grabbed it and started reading. Years later I realized this one book changed the way I looked at everything in my life and became part of who I am today. 

Recently, I found myself telling people about this book and how it influenced me at such a young age -- and for those who know me, I'm always positive, finding the bright side of everything. My glass is always half full, never half empty. But, what I realized was, I read the book so long ago, I couldn't actually remember what the book said and why it influenced me - so I bought the book and re-read it!

Funny, I don't recall the book being written by a preacher, nor the faith-based scriptures throughout. I only recall the overall message of positive thinking. I am not a religious person, I believe their is a power greater than us, but that is about the extent of it. As I read the book the second time, I remember thinking the same thoughts as I did as a 9 year old -- why am I reading this? I don't want to read passages from the Bible. I am not going to pray, go to church or read more of the bible for direction (as recommended throughout the book), yet I kept reading. 

Regardless of the faith, the book had a 'positive' affect on the way I think and live my life - below are MY key takeaways: 

The Power of Positive Thinking

by Norman Vincent Peale

  1. Believe In Yourself - and that I do! Building confidence in yourself is key to positive thinking, if you think you will succeed. You will.  Think about - what was that children's book called. "The Little Train that Could" or something like that. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I CAN! 
  2. Keep Calm - I am always calm, to the point some think I am cold and uncaring. In reality, I care deeply but rarely show grand emotion -- it is just me staying calm. I do not stress. Sh!# Happens, deal with it.
  3. Mind Over Matter - what you think and feel generally relates to what happens. If you think you are tired, you will feel tired. If you think you are happy, you will feel happy. I choose to think I am happy regardless of what curve ball is thrown at me. 
  4. Vision - could it be the vision boards of today were founded on what Mr. Peale wrote in 1953? "Prayerize. Picturize. Actualize". In my case it is: "Think It. Picture It. Make It Happen".
  5. Think Happy - I think Bob Marley said it, rather sang it best "Don't worry be happy". Although, I am not one to show emotion all that much, I am always happy regardless of what life throws at me. Why? Because I know I am doing the best that I can and it isn't worth the stress. 
  6. It's Not Worth It - dwelling on matters in or out of your control does not accomplish anything but stress - leave it alone, it will take care of itself. 
  7. Don't Doubt - "Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will". ~ Thomas Edison
  8. Take the Path of Least Resistance - yes I'm sure you're thinking this goes against the power of positive thinking, but not really. Too often, we make things much more difficult than they need to be. Analyze and plow through it. Defeat is not acceptable. 
  9. Don't Stress - I do not worry about anything until I need to (often the need to worry never arises) -- this sometimes gets me in trouble because when I decide to tackle the issue, sometimes it is too late to do anything about it. Strange -- all usually works out in the end. 
  10. Anger Gets You No Where - it just isn't worth the stress. On the rare occasion I get 'angry', I sit with a piece of paper and notepad, write out why I'm angry, the frustrations it is causing and what I would like to do to dissipate the anger - often by the time I get to the what to do about it stage, the anger is gone. 
  11. Anything Is Possible - when you set your mind on it.
  12. Be Efficient - plan the tasks at hand, know what you need to do and when you need to do it. I am a firm believer in a to-do list. It keeps me organized and on a clear path. In my case, I always put more on the list than I can accomplish on any given day. A) because I love crossing off what is done and seeing the result at the end of day. B) the more I have to do, the more I will accomplish. A positive outcome at a glance. 
  13. Relax - take time for yourself to sit and do nothing - clear your mind 
  14. A Good Night of Sleep - clear your mind and do not take your troubles to bed with you at night. Leave them at the bedroom door. I'm sure you've heard the story about the man with a stressful job that he hated, yet when he came home to his family at the end of the day, he hung the day on the tree before entering the house to be with his family -- same idea! 
  15. THINK POSITIVE - a favourite quote from the book "Think it's hard, you make it hard. Think it's easy, and it tends to become easy".

The stories told throughout the book in some cases were miraculous, definitely inspirational and motivating. Reading the book for a second time (I generally have a rule, not to read the same book twice), reconfirmed the influence The Power of Positive Thinking had on my life at such a young age. 

This positive outlook has brought me through some pretty troubling times and circumstances in my life. I am thankful for the ability to live in a positive manner, reducing stress and an overall happiness with my life and with myself. 

If only everyone could see and be POSITIVE! 

Just reported by Avis Favaro, Medical Correspondent, CTV National News on August 26th, 2019 

Editor's Note: Worthy of another article, another day -- writing then and now. I also found the words, terminology as well as the stories told in the book quite interesting.. How times have changed from 1953 until today.  Oh how times have changed.... but yet, the same. 

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