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A Guide to Confident Living By Norman Vincent Peale

“Change your thoughts and you change your life”

is Norman Peale’s central message in this book. In A Guide to Confident Living, the author identifies an inner power and shows how to release this inner power to achieve confidence and contentment.

The book speaks to readers on communicating to the outside the troubles that plague them, ways to lose inferiority complex; because the opposite of confidence, is inferiority. In its far-reaching guide, Norman also talks more about attracting marital, professional, and personal happiness as they are the key to having a confidence boost.

As always, Norman finds a way to piece together valuable suggestions that counter situations that may arise to undermine one’s value in life. Although, it may come under criticism as it relies on the audience putting much effort into what the book lays out for them to practice, and given that people react to things differently, challenges whatever the author holds as relevant in attaining confidence in certain situations.

This criticism may come from how Peale reframes basic Christian beliefs to craft something of power and relevance to result-oriented Americans. He begins with a lesson on listening to God in what the book terms ‘Creative Silence’, and that in solitude, a person can tap into God’s thoughts and overcome challenges in life.

The book’s teachings ask for the development of expectations in expecting the best and not the worst. This explains breaks the worry habit and imbues confidence. But what this book fails to address is what happens should our expectations not come with the outcomes we expect, wouldn’t that lead to depression or lesser self-esteem? Norman elaborates further by taking readers through his many writings to bring out a recurring theme found in them. He speaks on supplanting destructive thoughts with good ones, diseased thoughts with healthy ones.

Norman then gives credit to the ability of the mind to create. Though an enticing read, impatient readers may develop problems with this book as it comes off as slow to build its points, then again, Peale’s books take patience to be fully appreciated.



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