Dr. Norman Vincent Peale (May 31, 1898 – December 24, 1993) was a minister and author (most notably of The Power of Positive Thinking) and a progenitor of the theory of "positive thinking".
Raised as a Methodist and ordained as a Methodist minister in 1922, Peale changed his religious affiliation to the Reformed Church in America in 1932 and began a 52-year tenure as pastor of Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan. During that time the church's membership grew from 600 to over 5000, and he became one of New York City's most famous preachers.
The Rev. Billy Graham said at the National Council of Churches on June 12, 1966 that "I don't know of anyone who had done more for the kingdom of God than Norman and Ruth Peale or have meant any more in my life for the encouragement they have given me."
Upon hearing of Dr. Peale's death, U.S. President Bill Clinton had this to say: The name of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale will forever be associated with the wondrously American values of optimism and service. Dr. Peale was an optimist who believed that, whatever the antagonisms and complexities of modern life brought us, anyone could prevail by approaching life with a simple sense of faith. And he served us by instilling that optimism in every Christian and every other person who came in contact with his writings or his hopeful soul. In a productive and giving life that spanned the 20th century, Dr. Peale lifted the spirits of millions and millions of people who were nourished and sustained by his example, his teaching, and his giving. While the Clinton family and all Americans mourn his loss, there is some poetry in his passing on a day when the world celebrates the birth of Christ, an idea that was central to Dr. Peale's message and Dr. Peale's work. He will be missed.
Here’s a collection of some of the finest sayings of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale:
One of the greatest moments in anybody's developing experience is when he no longer tries to hide from himself but determines to get acquainted with himself as he really is.
Part of the happiness of life consists not in fighting battles, but in avoiding them. A masterly retreat is in itself a victory.
Promises are like crying babies in a theater, they should be carried out at once.
Repetition of the same thought or physical action develops into a habit which, repeated frequently enough, becomes an automatic reflex.
Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven't half the strength you think they have.
The Gateway to Christianity is not through an intricate labyrinth of dogma, but by a simple belief in the person of Christ.
The life of inner peace, being harmonious and without stress, is the easiest type of existence.
The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have.
The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.
There is a real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment.
Understanding can overcome any situation, however mysterious or insurmountable it may appear to be.
Watch your manner of speech if you wish to develop a peaceful state of mind. Start each day by affirming peaceful, contented and happy attitudes and your days will tend to be pleasant and successful.
We struggle with the complexities and avoid the simplicities.
We tend to get what we expect.
We've all heard that we have to learn from our mistakes, but I think it's more important to learn from successes. If you learn only from your mistakes, you are inclined to learn only errors.
When every physical and mental resources is focused, one's power to solve a problem multiplies tremendously.
When you pray for anyone you tend to modify your personal attitude toward him.
You will soon break the bow if you keep it always stretched.
Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow. But any action is better than no action at all.
Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude toward it, for that determines our success or failure. The way you think about a fact may defeat you before you ever do anything about it. You are overcome by the fact because you think you are.
Be interesting, be enthusiastic... and don't talk too much.
Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.
Change your thoughts and you change your world.
Change yourself and your work will seem different.
Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.
Don't take tomorrow to bed with you.
Drop the idea that you are Atlas carrying the world on your shoulders. The world would go on even without you. Don't take yourself so seriously.
Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.
Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don't have any problems, you don't get any seeds.
Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding. Hold this picture tenaciously. Never permit it to fade. Your mind will seek to develop the picture... Do not build up obstacles in your imagination.
Four things for success: work and pray, think and believe.
Getting people to like you is merely the other side of liking them.
If you have zest and enthusiasm you attract zest and enthusiasm. Life does give back in kind.
If you paint in your mind a picture of bright and happy expectations, you put yourself into a condition conducive to your goal.
If you put off everything till you're sure of it, you'll never get anything done.
Imagination is the true magic carpet.
It is of practical value to learn to like yourself. Since you must spend so much time with yourself you might as well get some satisfaction out of the relationship.
It's always too early to quit.