Don’t Build Up Your Troubles

There may be in your life many black dots, but never forget there is also a large amount of white space.

By Norman Vincent Peale

Usually, the person who worries reflects so constantly upon his troubles, those he has and those he expects, that his whole sky seems dark and gloomy. Now let him begin to affirm and dwell upon the good things in his life and he will find them better company. Herein lies the secret of effectiveness in living.
A sales manager in a large company was faced with the problem of declining sales by some of his representatives. He called them in to the home office for a conference, which was very short and simple. On the wall he had tacked a large sheet of white paper, in the center of which he had placed a black dot. He asked each salesman in turn what he saw on the paper and each replied, “A black dot.” When he had gone the rounds, he asked, ”Now, does any man here see anything on the paper but a black dot?” In concert and individually they all affirmed that they could only see a back dot. The sales manager said, “Can’t any of you see the white space on the paper?” and added: “That is the trouble with you men. You can see only the black dot and you miss the extensive white space where there are no black dots.”
Then he told them to go back to their territories and look for the white space, for the opportunities that were there. There may be in your life many black dots, but never forget there is also a large amount of white space, and it behooves us to form the habit of mind by which we look for the good instead of the bad, for opportunities rather than difficulties. The final result will be to restore life to its true proportions and relieve us from the foolishness of worry.”
​(From Norman Vincent Peale’s, ​The New Art of Living)

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