August 2007
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The optimistic leader | Workplace

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The optimistic leader

by Karen L. Cates, Ph.D.
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Much ado has been made about Rhonda Byrne's book The Secret and its accompanying film of the same name. Born of the New Thought Movement, which originated in the U.S. during the late 19th century, The Secret details the law of attraction principle that proposes the power of thought can spur change and innovation. New and positive thoughts, according to the New Thought Movement, can help advance humanity and protect against illness. With the book and film attracting media attention, the New Thought Movement has been reinvigorated and moved into the realm of personal and professional fulfillment.

Precepts of the New Thought Movement indicate if you think positively, you are more likely to succeed. Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Co., is an example of someone who bucked convention, acted on his ideas about successful business processes and accomplished great things. Author Norman Vincent Peale also achieved success with his books about positive thought, including The Power of Positive Thinking. Written in 1952, this book has sold more than 7 million copies. Apparently, personal success awaits you if you think positively.

Positive psychology

Although it can be easy to dismiss the New Thought Movement, don't completely disregard this philosophy. For decades, social psychologists have been studying the power positive thinking has on our...



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