Every now and again, I use this platform to “talk psychology”. I have many friends who send me stuff on Whatsapp and email, some of which is so appropriate for the time. I read it, try to memorise it but in the end, I just enjoy it by appropriating it into my season of life. Sometimes, like you, I let it just wash over me – humour, psychology, healthy foods, exercise and sleep, positive thinking, and the role of dreams, thoughts and actions. Sometimes it’s what I internalised from years of study and self-analysis but other times, it’s so recent, so up to date, that it’s just fresh and new and vibrant.

If I tell you that there were two great books my Father made me read, they are: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie and the other is, The Power of Positive Thinking by Reverend Norman Vincent Peale. Funnily enough, the first was on top of the bookshelf of the house in which we stayed over the weekend with our children and grandson. The second, Vincent put out Peale’s famous words in his daily Thought for Today email. Serendipity, coincidence or, for me, God-incidence? I’m just going to briefly “pen” my thoughts as I have experienced them in these two books and beyond.

Thank you, Norman Vincent Peale!

Be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

How strong is that? What has life thrown you that seemed impossible to escape or overcome? Did you feel the knot in your tummy as you ploughed through the storm? But, the big but, did you get through? Are you the living proof that you can face the storms of life and succeed? Did you learn, prosper, develop character, gain the capacity to share with others, from a place of understanding and strength? Was the “nothing” good for you or in the process of enduring did you learn that forgiveness is not passive but a quiet gift of powerful release? Did you experience that Love does “endure in every circumstance”? Is your mind now at peace, reconciled to the facts and yet powerfully inclined to the future?

Talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.

We’ve written so much about health and sleep. Exercise is not an additional extra, movement is fundamental to your body and to your mind. I have struggled with a shoulder operation for the past 5 months and have missed gym entirely. I cannot tell you the aggravation that makes me feel – I’m unfit, and stressed. In the process, I have enjoyed Christmas and eaten seafood [I see food and I eat it ☺]. But now I’m cutting back, disciplining control, and feeling better. I have the go-ahead from the Orthopod to gym in February. I’m happy just thinking about it. But, you see, I could have a body like Marc Buckner, but Peale says, “Talk…to every person you meet.” Why? Because many of them need to hear your falling and standing up, that prosperity matters, and they can be prosperous again and that health may be recuperated and they will not stay like they’re feeling now. Encourage, encourage and encourage again – you may not need it, or one day you will – just keep talking to people about “health, happiness and prosperity.”

Make all your friends feel there is something special in them.

Ever heard of “sparks”? I learned the word when my niece brought home a group of friends. They chattered and giggled away and every now and again the chit-chat mentioned boys. I realised then that there are two kinds of men, those who give them “sparks” and those who don’t ☺. But everyone has “special”, you have special! Some call it charm or a talent, others may think it’s your dimple, maybe it’s a quirky smile, perhaps your random acts of kindness – who knows? But everyone has “special”. Are you or I so self-centred that we cannot find it in everyone? Of course, we like some more than others but that’s not the point. In the same way you like someone pointing out positive about you, so do they. Lift your head, even this morning, and chat to someone at the coffee machine. Find their special and make their day. I bet you, they’ll start looking for yours and others’ to compliment. Happiness goes viral.

Look at the sunny side of everything.

This is hard. Eggs are sunny side up. East is where the sun rises. But everything!? You know you get those people who walk around all day with a perpetual grin, cheery and smiley and attentive. You find them in a few McDonalds and often in a Vidae. They make me uncomfortable after a while but, they’re doing their job. This much I can say, there are people I know who are never negative. The most famous is Gail Kelly of Australian fame – positive, forward-thinking, solutions-orientated and forever learning and developing herself and others. What a privilege to have worked with her, and no wonder she became Australia’s most successful banker even in the midst of sub-Prime. She tells in her book that her father never allowed anything but a positive answer and lived as her role model to that truth. What about you and I? How do we score in others’ minds on a scale of 1-10?

Think only the best,

You see, it’s often the genesis of your thinking that sets the scene. I often say that it’s your attitude at the beginning of a task that determines 50%+ of its outcome. From washing breakfast dishes to having a successful day at work. Nothing is too little to not be thought of as “the best.” That includes you. Cheesy and as timed as you believe, you are the best. Start within and exude without. Your worst competition is inside, and you can’t preach the measles if you’ve got the mumps. You are who you are, but you don’t need to remain who you are. You have all the life in you to make a success and you are the best…for your children, your colleagues, your elderly parents. And if you got this far, you are sufficient for the journey forward. In many cases, you are the only thing that others have to hope in. “Think only the best” is not a well-worn cliché; it can often be the only mindset that can get you out of where you’re at and take you up to heights you’ve never scaled before. Nothing beats an attitude of gratitude and there is a power to positive thinking. I’ve said it many times, we are the sum total of our thoughts to any point in time.

be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

For some of us with a root of jealousy, this is really hard. The success of others drives us to drink. I enjoy the success of others – business partners, friends, family, whoever – I congratulate and honour their success. For those still struggling to reach their objectives, a word of encouragement and, as far as possible, assistance with the obstacles they face. I would love to see them properly on their feet again. By the way, you may say, “I don’t have this problem,” but I see it a lot in the world of estate agency. It’s called “competition” and it’s a fight to the end. “My commission, your commission..”, “my sale, your lead..” and on and on.. Sad to see it wrapped in “competition”, coming through as we slate each other “in a dignified manner.” Stop it, rid your system of it! Enjoy the success of others and you may be amazed how your success improves. Co-opetition is also a sound business practice.

Forget the mistakes of the past and

Did you and I read that? Do you know what “forget” means? Of course, we all battle in this area. “I’ve forgiven him….but I’ll never forget….Huff! Puff!” And the problem is that we apply that to ourselves as well. We denigrate and debilitate ourselves with issues and vows [I swear I will never allow that to happen to me..again!] and self-limiting beliefs to the point that we have nothing but a brittle platform from which to relaunch our lives. Please, step back from your mistakes. They were only intended to construct the reinforcement of learning.

Quoting from yesterday’s email of quotes that I received:

You build on failure. You use it as a steppingstone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.
Johnny Cash

You may remember Johnny Cash. He was the rich singer who went wild and then converted his life back to hope and prosperity in every sense of the word.

Press on to the greater achievements of the future.

Attraction is the gist of this thought. “Concentrate on the rewards of success rather than the penalties of failure”, said Dr Dennis Waitley who was then the team psychologist of the NASA space programme. You scared of being fried in a botched rocket lift-off? Let’s focus on being the first man to walk in space; a forerunner of many who will do it for a living. Attraction: what you think about most and execute upon. We’ve often used the analogy of falling in love – she is all you every think about and you do anything for her happiness. Success is like that…I love the Nedbank ad where this guy talks to this beautiful “baby” in his garage and it turns out to be [not a lady, not a bike, not a car], his fledgling business that he started there. You see many will tell you that you get what you think about most. Truth is you won’t if you don’t but so many positive stories start with a tiny thought; Walt Disney’s quote always comes to mind: “Don’t despise little things. After all, this began with a mouse.” So, Press with all the energy you can muster.

Give everyone a smile.

It really is free. If the only thing we do today is give one person a smile, then we have achieved much. I walked into a petrol station café yesterday and the two ladies were so cheerful that I commented later to my wife how great it was to buy cooldrinks there. I would return for those friendly people and their smiles. Two things for those of us in business: Customers return to smiles and, customers avoid rudeness. Let the one into your business, and avoid the other like the plague. That was not the only café in the street, and I may buy there again sometime.

Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others.

I really think this is self-explanatory. I have a friend who personifies this. Faced with many challenges and always trying to build new businesses, he is a constant learner and self-developer. He seldom criticizes others and if it seems he has, it is just a sojourn to have learnt from what they might have done. Try it, it works.

Be too big for worry and

This is huge. I think we all worry, don’t we? If we didn’t have some stress, we would have no stress and that’s also dangerous. Many things are achieved when driven. What’s obvious in the gym is just as obvious in our heads and hearts. But, it’s the focus on worry as a thought pattern that becomes the problem. Think of it this way, if it gets you launched into good action, it’s positive; if it bogs you down into inaction, it’s negative.

Too noble for anger.

Peale finishes his quote here. The Good Book says, “Be angry and sin not” [Eph 4:26]. I love the way Peale puts it, be “too noble”. “Having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles”, is the way Google dictionary puts it. I like that. Anger festers, apology and forgiveness heal especially over time.

I trust you may read these books or blow the dust off if you own them. On many bookshelves, I’m sure they have custard coloured pages but they’re worth a read. In any case, if you’ve got something from this blog, it was well-intended. We don’t need scientists to tell us we use a small proportion of our brains; we can just take what we have and keep pressing forward to become what we desire to be. Success, as you journey and may 2020 allow you all the space and positive energy to achieve everything you set out to do.

Yours in Property.

PS: The full quote from Vincent, in case you missed it:

Be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. Make all your friends feel there is something special in them. Look at the sunny side of everything. Think only the best, be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give everyone a smile. Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others. Be too big for worry and too noble for anger.

Norman Vincent Peale

Jack Trevena
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