Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Born - May 31, 1898 United States / Died - December 24, 1993
Norman Vincent Peale is best known for his accomplishments in the field of positive thinking. He wrote the best-selling book The Power of Positive Thinking and openly lectured about the ability to change the quality of life just by changing thoughts.
Born on May 31, 1898 to a Methodist family in Bowersville, Ohio, Norman Vincent Peale spent his childhood delivering newspapers, working in a local grocery store, and selling pots and pans to help support his family. When he finished grade school, Peale attended Ohio Wesleyan University and Boston University. In 1922 Peale became ordained as a minister with the Methodist Church and served as pastor in churches in Rhode Island, Brooklyn, and Syracuse until 1932 when he changed his religious affiliation to the Reformed Church in America. As a result, Peale became pastor of the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan.
In 1935 Norman Vincent Peale began working on a radio program called "The Art of Living". It lasted for 54 years.
In 1937 Peale, along with the Freudian psychiatrist Dr. Smiley Blanton, began a religious-psychiatric outpatient clinic affiliated with the church. Many of the practices were based on Peale's own philosophies and practices of positive thinking. Over the years the clinic grew and attracted an additional 20 doctors and trained ministers to help teach and treat patients. In 1951 the clinic became known as the American Foundation for Religion and Psychiatry and later merged with the Academy of Religion and Mental Health to become the Institutes of Religion and Health.
In 1945 Norman Vincent Peale launched his publishing career with development of the magazine Guideposts, a non-denominational, inspirational publication. Seven years later in 1952, Peale published his best-selling work The Power of Positive Thinking based on his teachings at the clinic and his core beliefs that positive thinking can change lives. It remained on the bestseller list for 182 consecutive weeks and has since sold 7 million copies. He also wrote The Art of Living, A Guide to Confident Living, The Tough-Minded Optimist, and Inspiring Messages for Daily Living. He also established Guideposts Publications, the Positive Thinking Foundation, and the Peale Center.
On March 26, 1984, President Ronald Reagan awarded Norman Vincent Peale with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his contributions to the field of theology. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest honor awarded to civilians in the United States.
Norman Vincent Peale's teachings were based on a set of "techniques" in which individuals repeated positive affirmations in order to bypass negative programming. He believed that, by reaching past the conscious mind, people could begin to reprogram their brains and begin living more positive, successful lives. Many of his affirmations are similar to prayers used for thousands of years by religions from all over the globe.
Peale's teachings came under scrutiny starting with the election of JFK when the minister warned Americans against voting for a catholic president. As a result of the backlash, Peale shied away from later political dealings. Critics, however, continued to analyze Peale's teachings and scholars, theologians and health experts began labeling him as a fraud.
Norman Vincent Peale suffered a stroke and died on December 24, 1993 at the age of 95. He is survived by his wife, Ruth Stafford Peale.
The really happy people are those who have broken the chains of procrastination, those who find satisfaction in doing the job at hand. They're full of eagerness, zest, productivity. You can be, too.
Norman Vincent Peale - Procrastination - Happiness
Nothing of great value in this life comes easily. The things of highest value sometimes come hard. The gold that has the greatest value lies deepest in the earth, as do the diamonds.
Norman Vincent Peale - Life - Motivational - Work