Inspirational Living: Life Lessons for Success & Happiness

The Art of Clear Thinking | Positive vs. Negative Thoughts

May 2, 2019

Listen to episode 367 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Art of Clear Thinking. Edited and adapted from Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. You can now support our podcast by purchasing our new official podcast t-shirt. Check out the new design by visiting LivingHour.org/clothing. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude by Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone.

You have heard me say in the past that you are what you think. But what DO you think? How orderly are your thought processes? How straight is your thinking? And how clean are your thoughts? There are certain mental cobwebs that clutter up the thinking of almost everyone, even the most brilliant minds. Negative feelings, emotions, passions — habits, beliefs and prejudices. Our thoughts become entangled in these webs.

Sometimes we have undesirable habits and we want to correct them. And there are times when we are strongly tempted to do wrong. Then, like an insect caught in a spider's web, we struggle to get free. Our conscious will is in conflict with our imagination and the will of our subconscious mind. The more we struggle, the more we become entrapped.

However, we can avoid mental cobwebs. We can clear them. And we can sweep them away as they begin to develop. We can free ourselves when once enmeshed. And we can remain free by thinking accurately with a positive mental attitude.

Accurate thinking is a critical success principle. To think accurately we must use reason. The science of reasoning or accurate thinking is called logic. One can learn it from books written specifically on this subject, such as: The Art of Clear Thinking, by Rudolf Flesch; Your Most Enchanted Listener by Wendell Johnson; Introduction to Logic by Irving Copi; and The Art of Straight Thinking by Edwin Leavitt Clarke.

These books can be of immense practical help. But we don't act from reason alone. And action based on common sense is the result of more than just reason. It depends upon habits of thought and action, intuitions, experiences, and other influences such as tendencies and environment.