Beneath the Clutter: The Power of Positive Thinking


Last week, while we [my sister, Mom and I] were de-cluttering our room [uhm, yes we share a room (: ], this book pictured above caught my attention. It is by the late minister and author Norman Vincent Peale. Flipping the cover, I saw it dated 02 July '79 written in blue ink. This book was actually from the 1970's and is still in a pretty fine condition! Wow. My mother is such a keeper. She never throws even the littlest things that my Dad already considers as garbage. Thanks to her I still have my notebooks and exam papers back in first grade, which was like 13 years ago! I also must say that I have an exceptionally neat handwriting back then. I had high scores in exams and quizzes too! Weee! :)

Going back, the book's title just struck me! Being an occasional pessimist, I thought I needed some inspiration to retrieve my full-optimist-self back. And being a nice person that I am, I also thought of sharing it to you! :) If you're living a lot under gray clouds lately (if you know what I mean), I hope this could somehow lead you towards the brighter side of life.

It's fourteen chapters that make up the 215 pages of the book. I was thinking of putting a summary, some of my own insights, plus quotes and passages per chapter in a single post but I can already see that it is going to be reaaaaallllllllyyyy long. So I'm making this as a weekly post under the tag 'Beneath the Clutter' (featuring the wonderful and share-able things that obviously are found beneath my clutter. haha). That would make 14 (or more) posts all in all. :) I hope you'll enjoy this and find it inspirational as much as I do.


"Trust yourself. You cannot be successful or happy without confidence in your own powers and abilities.

Sometimes, I would doubt myself about doing things. I would doubt if I could really do something like deliver a speech in a crowd full of eager faces. In other words, I have a lack of self-confidence and trust.Which leads to saying 'No' at times when given an offer. I would always think about 'what if?'. What if I fail? What if I make a mistake and people will laugh at me? What if I do something wrong? Growing up with so much expectation from my family and the people around me, I had made myself think that 'I must always be on the upperhand'. That leads me to the 'No' part because 1) I had no trust in myself and 2) I don't want to disappoint people who trust me. 

But I realized that:
  • You can't really please everyone even if they allow themselves be; 
  • People trust you because they know that you ahve complete trust in yourself too;
  • You must never be the first one to let yourself down; and
  • Ask the Lord to give you the confidence and self-trust that you need.

Sometimes, the negative spirits still whisper. But now, whenever I'm about to do anything, I shoo all the negative thoughts away and tell myself that 'I CAN DO THIS!'. There you go, Mary! 

"As you walk home tonight, repeat the words I am going to give you over and over. Repeat them after you have gone to bed. When you awaken tomorrow morning, repeat them before you get up. Say them on the way to work or school." -NV Peale

And these words are:

I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me. - Philippians 4:13

I remember this quote stuck on my binder when I was still in high school. Whenever I had exams or contests,  I would say it in my head after a prayer. And believe me guys, it works! 102%!!  I usually get really nervous when going onstage but after I chant these words, I feel as light as a cloud!

Other sayings from Peale's book:

  • The practice of positive thinking is one of the greatest laws of successful living.
  • The greatest secret for eliminating the inferiority complex (deep and profound self-doubt) is to fill your mind to overflowing with faith.
  • If ye have faith...nothing shall be impossible unto you - Matthew 17:20
  • If God be for us, who can be against us? - Romans 8:31
  • Any fact facing us, however difficult, even seemingly hopeless, is not so important as our attitude toward the fact.

Coming up: Still on chapter 1 are 10 workable rules for overcoming inadequacy attitudes and learning to practice faith which already summarizes chapter 1 of the book. Stay tuned! :)


PS: Last week, I suggested my little sister (aged 11) 'Why don't you make a blog?'. It was half-meant. In other words, a joke. :) But today, she asked me how to get started and she's already had her first post up! I've just read it and she's totally typed in her whole name! Uh oh! I guess I better brief her with the protocols. :)

PPS: My mother just informed me that my grade school music teacher (and music instructor) will be reviving the Rondalla Club! This is gonna be great! I missed strumming the little dude.

PPPS: (Last!) If you want a copy of the whole book, just email me and I'd be happy to scan it for you! :)


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