Prosperity Chapter XIX
The Positive Versus The Negative Man
Prosperity Chapter XIX:
If we could only learn always to talk and think decisively, constructively, what a wonderful civilization this would be! It
is the strong, optimistic, expectant-of-good-things mind, the mind of
faith, and of hope and confidence, belief in the good, that attracts the
good. The mind of the pessimist attracts pessimistic products.
If you do not learn to decide firmly and finally and then act on.
your decision; if you waver and dilly-dally, allow yourself to be
carried this way and that by conflicting circumstances, your life ship
will always be adrift; you will never be anchored. You will always be at
the mercy of storms and tempests, and will never make the port of
When a young man asks my opinion of his chances for success in life, I
try to find out something about his ability to decide things. If he can
do this quickly, firmly, and finally, I am very sure he will win out.
There is no other one quality which plays such an important part in
business careers especially as the ability to decide things wisely,
quickly, firmly, and finally.
The man who is made of winning material does not hesitate and dawdle
and waver and balance on the fence. He jumps right in and tackles the
hardest thing first, and goes through with it. Voltaire tells us that
vacillation is the most prominent feature of weakness of character.
What we get out of life we do not get by physical force, but by the subtle power of mental attraction. We bring it to ourselves by making our minds magnets to attract it out of the great cosmic storehouse of intelligence.
Out of the great ocean of supply that surrounds us we attract the
things for which our mental attitude has an affinity. Some attract
success, some failure; some attract opulence, plenty; others, poverty
and lack. It all depends upon the difference in thought whether it is
positive or negative, constructive or destructive, Negative thoughts
demagnetize the mind so that it attracts just the opposite of what we
People who plod along in mediocrity, or who fail in life, might make a
very creditable life record if they could only keep the things out of
their minds which make them negative. It is their discouraging moods and
all of their enemy thoughts, — their doubts, fears, worries,
uncertainties, and their lack of confidence in themselves that kill the
creative power of the mind and make it negative.
The negative mind never gets anywhere. It is the positive mind that
radiates force and pushes its way in the world. A negative mind can only
destroy, tear down.
Many people dwell so much upon their failure to get on in the world,
their poverty, their misfortunes, that they develop a real failure
atmosphere; they surround themselves with destructive, tearing-down
thoughts, disintegrating suggestions, until they make impossible that
mental condition, that positive mental attitude which creates, produces.
"It is very easy to
develop a negative state of mind, and it is very fatal to success. We
must get rid of it before we can attract prosperity or develop
- O.S. Marden
We are just beginning to learn that we cannot only control our moods
and all of our thoughts, but that we can also control our environment,
because our environment is largely our objectified thought, feeling,
emotion, and mental attitude. We make our own world by our thoughts, our
As long as you keep your mind positive and creative you will have
courage, initiative, and sound judgment, you will be a producer. But the
moment you become discouraged and blue, your ability, your mind,
becomes demagnetized, negative, and you are no longer a creator or a
producer. Your decision wobbles, your judgment is weak and uncertain,
your whole mental kingdom is demoralized.
Keep your mind positive by refusing to admit to it such traitors
as doubt, discouragement, fear or worry. They are your fatal enemies.
You can never succeed while you entertain them. Drive them out. Don't
leave the doors of your mind open to them.
Be known as a man of great faith regarding everything in the world;
believe that everything is right in the world because God made it, God
ordered it. Believe only in the best. Live success; walk about among
your fellows as though you were successful, with a triumphant,
victorious air; show that you are victory organized. Never fear failure;
don't visualize it; don't picture poverty or have a horror of it, for
this tends to make it a reality and keeps away from you the very things
"What is the use of dreaming about the wonderful things I am going to do
in the future? There is no such achievement in store for me. I am not a
genius. I must content myself with an ordinary career." These negative
thoughts and assertions permeate the atmosphere of most homes and chill
the youthful ardor of the children with the result that their ambition
sags, their ideals shrivel, and, having no great life incentive, they
drop into a humdrum routine and fall far below the level they might have
"It is not only
necessary to keep your mind positive, but to be immune from all the
enemies of prosperity and happiness, it must be vigorously positive."
It is criminal not to correct the tendency to negatives in a child's
mind. It is not very difficult to cultivate a positive habit of thinking
and acting if undertaken when a child is young. With the adult it is
not so easy, but it is possible.
When you long for something that it is perfectly legitimate for you
to have, sow your affirmation seed in perfect confidence that it will
bloom in reality. Say to yourself, "God is no respecter of persons. He
is not partial in his treatment of His children. They all have the same
rights, the same privileges. He will give me through my own effort what I
need, what I ask for. The poorest, most ragged wretch that crawls has
just as many hours in his day as has the richest and most powerful
magnate. I can and I will do what I long to do. I will be what I desire to be."
Whatever you do, don't set up in your mind and in that of others, a
picture of yourself as a weak, ineffective, negative personality.
If you are constantly depreciating yourself, other people will think
there is a reason for it, that you are not worthy, that there is
something about you that they do not know about as a basis of your own
judgment. Why should not others think meanly of you if you do yourself?
"Even if sometimes wrong, it is better to decide positively and carry
out your decision with energy than to be forever hanging in the
balance, contemplating, and procrastinating."
- Orison Swett Marden
Prosperity Chapter XIX , continued...
If you carry about with you a negative mental attitude yours will be a
negative life. You cannot act negatively without getting negative
Negative people do not start vigorous, positive vibrations; they are
so passive and so susceptible to the influences about them that their
negative minds take off all of the negative vibrations from all the
cross currents from other negative minds.
It is perfectly possible to make our mentality so vigorously positive
that, no matter what conflicting currents or vibrations from other
negative, discordant minds strike us, they find no response. Then we are
immune to all negative thoughts; we can walk through all sorts of
adverse conditions about us without responding, because we do not
vibrate to the negative thought and the negative condition, and we can
still keep our robust, positive poise.
Living in the stronger thought makes us stronger. People with a
vigorous, positive mental attitude, people with a strong, firm
decision, people with great faith, have a much stronger mentality than
do negative minds, because they habitually live in a more vigorous
mental attitude, and a positive mental attitude makes for growth, for
We all know the negative man, the man who never has any opinion of
his own, who is always asking other people's advice and depending upon
others. The negative character is always a weakling. The negative man in
any community is the nobody. It is the positive, vigorous mentality
that does things, that makes things move, which puts things through. It
is the positive man who does his own thinking; who dares to step out of
the beaten path and blaze his own way; who dares to have opinions of his
own and dares to express them. This is the sort of man who gains the
respect and confidence of mankind.
A lot of people go through life doing little things, because their negative thought paralyzes their initiative; they do not dare undertake anything important. The negative mind, the man who is afraid to act, who is always deliberating or hesitating, never accomplishes much.
The leader is always characterized by positive qualities. He rules by his vigorous affirmatives. There is nothing negative or minus about him. The positive man, the natural leader, is always assertive, while the negative man shrinks, and effaces himself, waits for someone else to take the initiative.
"It is the positive, vigorous mentality that does things, that makes things move."
One of the most pathetic sights in the world is the man who never has any opinion of his own, — the backboneless, shiftless, slovenly, negative man, who never differs from you, whose only opinion is assent to the one you express. We instinctively despise such a weakling, a man who never opposes us, who always says "yes, yes," to everything we say.
We want leaders and originators more than we want followers or imitators. We have enough, and to spare, of those who are willing to lean on others. We want our young people to depend on themselves. We want them to be so educated and trained that their qualities of leadership, their originality and their individuality, will be emphasized and strengthened instead of obliterated.
All negative thinking, all negative mental attitudes, such as
doubting one's ability, hesitating to undertake things, the habit of
putting off, waiting for more favorable conditions, and of reconsidering
one's decisions, are deadly enemies of initiative.
If one does not cultivate a positive mental attitude he will have
a weak, wishy-washy initiative, and initiative is the executive officer
of the other faculties. It is the brain leader.
Do not forget that the force that is going to project you to the
success and prosperity goal is actually inside of you. Do not look to
others to push you, to give you a pull or to use their influence. Your
resources, your assets, are right inside of you; they are nowhere else.
If you feel paralyzed by the very responsibility of deciding things,
beginning things of your own accord, make up your mind that if you ever
are to amount to anything in the world you must strangle this habit. The
only way to do this is to form the counter-habit of starting out every
morning with the grim resolution not to allow yourself, during the day,
to waver, to wait for somebody to show you the way.
"The vacillating man,
however strong in other respects, is always pushed aside in the race of
life by the determined, positive, decisive man who knows what he wants
to do, and does it."
Resolve that during the entire day you are going to be a pusher, a
leader; that you are not going to be a trailer, not going to wait for
somebody to tell you what to do and how to do it; that you are going to
take the initiative, start things yourself, put them through without
advice. Determine to carry a positive mental attitude. This will sharpen
the faculties, put a keen edge upon them, and make the mind alert and
eager for opportunities.
It is not only necessary to keep your mind positive, but to be immune
from all the enemies of your success and happiness it must be
vigorously positive. When the mind is saturated with all sorts of
negation, with the thoughts of sickness, of failure and poverty, it
beomes chronically discordant, and gradually deteriorates.
Form the habit of talking up, not down, of talking optimism instead of pessimism.
Cut criticism, fault-finding and blame out of your vocabulary. One of
the first signs of deterioration in many minds is a tendency to be
negative; to hold the discordant, belligerent, envious, jealous mental
attitude. This is just as abnormal as is chronic melancholy, gloom, and
despondency. These indicate an abnormal or diseased condition of the
mind. Try to see things from a large, generous standpoint; hold a large
consciousness. Show everybody that you have a great faith in humanity,
in your calling, and in yourself. Resolve to keep the negatives out of
You are too large for jealousy or envy, too big for worry, or to be anxious about your career, or about your future.
Making yourself positive to everybody and everything you contact
within life is what counts. This is the key to mastership, to success
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