Pattern For Positive Living

( Originally Published 1950 )

YOUR PATTERN FOR a more positive way of life emerges from the development of true maturity of mind and experience from which you derive your daily education. This pattern can be used for reference in checking on the attitudes with which we face our problems in all walks of life.

You realize of course that all negatives cannot be omitted and that the important thing is to have a positive attitude of mind, a positive outlook, and positive goals that provide control over the necessary negatives. The magazine editor must be negative in rejecting one thousand manuscripts for one that he accepts in support of the positive project of regular publication. The housewife must be negative in culling the bad strawberries from the good to attain the end result of a good shortcake. The positive attitude has positive good objectives.


From these negatives




Hesitation Suppression Sour views Defeat

Frustration Confusion Loneliness Inhibition Skepticism

Evasive rationalizing Alibiing


To these positives Courage

Achievement Optimism Decision

Fulfillment Enthusiasm Victory

Gratification Clear thinking Friendship Daring


Realistic fact facing Productive performance Hope

If you are mature or are in the process of attaining full-fledged maturity, you must desire and want to understand more fully the astonishing magic and power in the development of these capacities required for fully living:

1. The capacity to think and act confidently and ask for what you want. You test your desire by asking: Is it good? Is it just? Am I ready for it? If the answers are clearly "Yes," you are entitled to it: Then you ask for your desire, and with surprising frequency you attain it. If, however, you are blocked in its attainment by the negative attitude of others or circumstances entirely beyond your control, it is far better to realize this situation at once and take positive steps to attain your desires in other ways than to go on being indefinitely barred from the fruits you are entitled to.

If you don't know clearly what you want and are capable of having and holding, but don't ask for it, others are justified in believing that you are satisfied with the situation as it stands.

I know one man who applied this test and took the positive step of asking for what he wanted, supported by clear-cut reasoning and a positive program that resulted in an immediate promotion and a doubled income. I also know an executive who was buoyed up for three years by the promises of an employer. He applied the test and asked for fulfillment of the promises. Denied, he soon left, established his own business, acquired a fortune larger than that of his former employer, and achieved independence and happiness beyond anything he had formerly contemplated. Oddly enough, the pod.- live thinking and positive approach involved in sane use of this capacity usually work out for the mutual benefit of the recipient and the grantor. The principle is broad and workable in various phases of life and its proper application brings fruitful results. The wise man or woman develops the capacity to think and act confidently and ask for what is desired if it is good and just and now due.

2. The capacity not only to accept but to assume responsibility with self-starting initiative, to make decisions, and to act upon those decisions. A revealing index to the effectiveness of an individual is found in the amount of supervision required for his daily tasks and the results achieved by the performance of those tasks. The man or woman with a predominant negative attitude is usually the one doing the least desirable chores, following a rote set up by someone else. The more positive you are, the greater the responsibility you are able to accept and the better able you are to reach out for more responsibility on your own initiative. The more negative you are, the more indecisive you are. You await the decisions of the folk with the positive attitude. Persons who have mastered the positive attitude are the ones who carry the heaviest responsibilities and take initiative in making and acting upon decisions.

3. The capacity to do work that needs to be done simply because it needs to be done, even though your own immediate desires are sidetracked temporarily. The truly positive individual will, if necessary, perform required tasks even though they may be dull and yet will not become discouraged and will not give way to feelings of futility. But while performing the needed and uninspiring tasks he will evolve plans that support hope and so will work toward escape, so far as it may be possible, from the humdrum necessities of daily living.

4. The capacity to take it on the chin. If you are a mature and positive person, you will be able to bounce back from the blows life deals out. You will draw on your inner power to withstand unreasonable impositions, stupid leadership, the blindly struck blows, without becoming a frustrated, bitter, self-defeating individual. The positive man or woman will develop the resources to rise above circumstances, to develop positive plans and goals, and strive persistently toward their attainment.

5. The capacity to reveal appreciation, affection, love for others beyond your own selfish ends, and devotion to good causes. Mere appreciation and love within your heart are not enough. There must be development of the capacity to reveal what is in your heart, to reveal it by word and by act as a positive force. Negative hoarding within of such impulses makes them sterile.

It is the unselfish revealing by positive word and act that enables us to attract the best of love.

6. The capacity to banish loneliness and to make and hold friends. Freedom from loneliness can be attained only by the performance of positive acts and revelation of the desire for friendship. The lonely sit and yearn within, longing for someone to come and be friendly, and by their very negative inaction build a wall against what they secretly desire.

There is no such quality as negative friendship. No one ever wrapped up a bundle of friends and left them on a doorstep. The gift of popularity is asked for; it is sought positively. Study the lives of the most popular people you know, and you will soon see clearly that they reach out for friendship. There is no magic about it. Anyone can have the rewards of friendship if he takes positive steps to attain them. The most popular people in any community are the ones who perform acts of friendship. They don't simply sit and wish. They share a cake. They write notes. They send clippings of interest to others. They organize meetings. They perform a thousand and one inconspicuous little acts of warm kindness. They make telephone calls. They smile as though they meant it. They congratulate others. They are interested in others and what others are doing. They express that interest. They remember birthdays and other anniversaries and events and do something about it. And remember that like attracts like. It is virtually an axiom that positive persons are popular, negative persons are lonely.

7. The capacity to minimize or even rise completely above feelings of envy and jealousy, remorse and self-pity , worry and cynicism. These are all negative termites that destroy self-confidence and inspire feelings of inferiority. They involve negative factors and emotions that make life miserable for all who possess them and all who come in contact with their victims.

8. The capacity to cooperate with enthusiasm and carry a full share of the load even under the most trying of circumstances. The mature and positive person is never a shirker, never a parasite. He uses his abilities positively, effectively, fearlessly toward accomplishment of good results. He carries his own weight and his own full share of the load without dodging or whining. He does worth-while work within his own area, not necessarily spectacular work, but good work toward good ends.

9. The capacity to face life and its daily problems realistically, without rationalization and self-deception. This capacity is developed fully by adoption of the positive attitude of mind that rejects the negative expectation of failure, expectation of unhappiness, expectation of rejection, expectation of trouble that so often is attracted by the expectation, just as the loadstone is attracted by the magnet. Clinical psychologists have revealed that there is a success type of personality and a failure type of personality. The positive man or woman is dominated by the WILL TO SUCCEED, while the negative individual is governed by the WILL TO FAIL. Dr. Karl Menninger, eminent psychiatrist, declares that many people are actually "afraid of success."

10. The capacity to yield in unimportant matters but still fight to the wall and then go on fighting to the end in defense of your dignity of heart and integrity of character.

The truly positive-minded man or woman is fully capable of rising above the petty bickerings of little people; but all too often minor compromises wash away the foundations of self-esteem and make it easy to surrender conviction to expediency until the sound structure of integrity is rotten.

A man has paid me the compliment of thrice reading my book Make the Most of Your Life, and we are in perfect agreement over this paragraph in that book:

"Think back over incidents in your own life, and you will see with piercing, honest eyes that your gravest difficulties have arisen through your own shortcomings. When you have been weak and not given full force to the fine faith and power of character that lies within you, the result has been failure, a failure of your own asking. As you examine these incidents, be perfectly honest, banish the easy alibis, and you can almost mark on your mental calendar the point at which you stopped wanting hard enough to hold to what you believed within your heart. Note that point where you stopped striving and gave up the fight and became the victim of circumstance. You know in your heart of hearts that there was a definite moment when you let your faith falter and your character ran up the white flag of dangerous compromise or surrender."

My reader nodded in full agreement and became retrospective. When he was a young and inexperienced man associated with an older businessman he brands as utterly unscrupulous, they were discussing the possibility of paying dividends from their business to widows and other inactive stockholders. The young man knew that the dividends should be paid, but the older man, driven by false positive desires, exclaimed, "If we pay fat dividends, we'll never be able to get hold of that stock and win full control of the company." Because of youthful negative hesitation and indecision the young man let the decision go by default, entirely against the dictates of his own conscience. It was all perfectly "legal" and well rationalized, even though it was a questionable practice. The dividends were not paid, and later the older businessman acquired the holdings of the discouraged stockholders and control of the company. He proceeded to strip his young associate of a fortune through perfectly legal," though unscrupulous, "management." It is regret of the surrender, not the loss of large sums, that haunts my acquaintance today. The negative attitude exacts a high price from its vassals.

Development of these capacities wins for anyone the power of positive living that is the one best and immediately workable opportunity to win:

Freedom from fear and worry

Freedom from remorse

Freedom from self-pity

Freedom from loneliness

Freedom from envy and jealousy

Freedom from self-hatred

Freedom from cynicism

Freedom from emotional insecurity

Freedom from inferiority

Freedom from indecision and evasion

Freedom from negativism that in any form sours the milk of good human relations

The art of positive living requires that we be specific. That we know what we want. That we ask for what we want. That we have well-based plans that we support with sound decision and persistent action. That we be optimistic in outlook. That we be constantly on guard against negative thoughts and negative practices. That we practice the positive approach to life until it is automatic. The power of positive living is limitless.

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