Own My Growth

Helping folks with practical tips to manage themselves better

Weekend Story-See The Positive


This is a story narrated by Norman Vincent Peale, the author of The Power Of Positive Thinking.

A man once called on Norman Vincent Peale. Despondent, he told the reverend that he was very depressed and had nothing left to live for. 

 “Everything is gone, hopeless,” the man said, ” I am living in the deepest darkness. I have lost my will to live altogether.”

Smiling sympathetically, Dr. Peale said, “Let’s take a look at your situation.”

Picking up a sheet of paper, he drew a vertical line down the middle. Then looking at the man, Dr. Peale suggested that they draw out a balance sheet- of things the man had lost on the left side of the line and the things he had left on the right side. 

When he saw what Dr. Peale was doing, wallowing in his misery, the man lamented, “I won’t need that space on the right side. I have nothing positive to write about.!! ” 

Hearing this, Dr. Peale asked the man, “When did your wife leave you?”

“What do you mean? She hasn’t left me. My wife loves me!”

“That’s great!” said Dr. Peale enthusiastically. “Then we do have the first item to add on the right-hand column.” So saying, Dr. Peale wrote on paper – Wife hasn’t left, still loves me. 

“Now, when were your children jailed?” continued Dr. Peale.

“That’s silly. My children aren’t in jail!”

“Good! That’s gives us the second item to add in the right-hand column – Children not in jail,” said Dr. Peale, jotting it down.

After a couple of questions more in the same vein, the penny finally dropped for Dr. Peale’s visitor. 

Smiling ruefully, he said, “I get what you are trying to tell me. I have not lost everything. There is a lot of positive in my life that I can be grateful for. Thank you for opening my mind.” 

This story by Dr. Peale emphasizes the spirit of looking at the positive- Taking a glass half full view. We all encounter challenging situations, and it is a normal human tendency to imagine the worst sometimes. However, all we have to do is shift perspective, and we can begin to see all that good stuff that is happening despite the challenges.

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