Book Review — The Optimist Creed








Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin

Larsen was one of the founding fathers of Positive Thinking. It was at the turn of a century (1900 not 2000) that he abandoned plans to be a Lutheran minister, moved to California, and became one of the most popular proponents of the New Thought movement, influencing such famous people as Ernest Holmes and Norman Vincent Peale.

Larson died in 1962, before the world changing events of the Sixties opened the door for a revival of alternative spirituality. Yet his words leap off the pages of this collection of his works as if they were written yesterday. He is one of the great inspirational writers of all times. But rather than stir people up and then leave them with nothing but simplistic slogans, he provides real directions for putting Positive Thinking into practice. As he tells us that desire to achieve a goal will win in the end as long as we maintain faith, he also cautions that achieving the goal will require perseverance sustained over months, even years. Miracles occur but not always instantly. He tells us that to reach our highest potential we must reach the lofty heights of our superconscious, but that the forces we find there must be applied with practical action in the physical world. He tells us that to focus on resisting temptation is “…to fix attention on the very thing that you do not want to do…” His twelve Paths to Happiness include simplicity, serenity, forgiveness, usefulness, and staying in the present.

Born and educated in the Judeo-Christian world, his insight and vision transcend the limits of religion. His words remain as powerful today as they were almost a century ago when they were written. It’s a perfect time to have them back in print and all together in one place. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2012 Anna Jedrziewski and

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