The Power Behind Positive Thinking is Emotion

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Dr. Norman Vincent Peal’s blockbuster book, The Power of Positive Thinking, honed in on the importance of a positive mental outlook in living a happy, successful life.

Millions around the world jumped on the Positive Thinking bandwagon, employing positive self-talk and daily affirmations, in the hope of transforming their lives.

Some succeeded.

But, most didn’t.

The vast majority of Dr. Peal’s Positive Thinking adherents did not realize the results they had hoped for by practicing the positive self-talk/affirmation-strategies he championed. As a result, many disappointed followers became Dr. Peale’s biggest antagonists and considered The Power of Positive Thinking just another fraud perpetrated on the gullible.

To a large extent, these antagonists were right and had a reason to feel used.

What Dr. Peal failed to highlight, was the critical factor that makes The Power of Positive Thinking Self-Talk/Affirmation-Strategy actually work – Emotion.

Positive Self-Talk and Affirmations, without Emotion, are just more CO2 being released into the atmosphere.

The catalyst that makes Positive Self-Talk and Affirmations work, is the triggering of positive emotions. You must emotionally experience positive emotions in order for self-talk and affirmations to work.

How do you do that?

Firstly, any affirmation strategy you use must be tied to something that triggers strong emotions – a Dream, a Goal or something you are strongly Passionate about. You then build your self-talk and daily affirmations around each of your emotionally-charged Dreams, Goals or Passions.

Example: “I am a successful bestselling author”.

I used this Emotionally-Charged, Power of Positive Thinking Self Talk/Affirmation during my promotional efforts around my first book Rich Habits.

Every morning, upon waking, I would repeat, “I am a successful bestselling author,” ten times. At night, right before sleep, I would repeat it again ten times.

My book eventually took off in 2013, due to my obsessive media promotion efforts, and its strong sales continue to this day, in nine countries around the world.

Here’s Why Emotionally-Charged Affirmations Work

We literally have two brains: The Conscious Brain and The Subconscious Brain.

  • The Conscious Brain -The conscious brain is the newest part of the brain. It has been around for approximately 300,000 years. It is located in the brain’s topmost layers and includes the neocortex and the lobes. More specifically, it is located at the top and sides of our brain. Some neuroscientists refer to it as the upper brain or new brain.  It is responsible for voluntary thought, awareness, self-control (willpower) and planning. It can overpower habits (automatic routines). It can mute our emotions and sudden impulses or act upon our emotions and sudden impulses.
  • The Subconscious Brain – The subconscious brain includes: the limbic system, brain stem and cerebellum. Some neuroscientists refer to it as the lower brain or old brain. It’s been with us for millions of years longer than the Conscious Brain. Our old brain has massive computing power. It operates constantly, solving complex problems offline (without conscious effort). It is responsible for autonomic nervous system (controlling our internal organs), forging and managing all habits, it is the birthplace of insight and creativity and it is where our emotions reside. The Subconscious Brain is much faster and more efficient than the Conscious Brain. It gives us the ability to make quick decisions. While our Conscious Brain is at rest, our Subconscious Brain is hard at work, helping to keep us alive and solve problems, alerting us to opportunities through intuition, helping us comprehend the incomprehensible, solidifying memory and nudging us into doing something or advising us to stop doing something.

Every time you repeat an emotionally-charged affirmation, you toggle on an important component of the all-powerful Subconscious Brain, called the Amygdala. Once activated, the Amygdala will infiltrate and overpower the Conscious Brain. The Conscious Mind will then take actions that help to make the Positive Affirmations become a reality.



  1. Diane on November 11, 2021 at 9:00 AM

    Enjoyed this article, thanks!