As the eldest child of Charles and Anna Peale, Peale was born on May 31, 1898, in Bowersville, Ohio. So, he and his siblings were raised as Methodists by their Methodist father, a physician who later became an Ohio Methodist minister.
While attending Ohio Wesleyan University, Peale was an active member of the fraternity Phi Gamma Delta; after graduating from Bellefontaine High School in Ohio. At Boston University’s School of Theology, Peale also studied.
One of New York City’s best-known preachers was Dr. Norman Vincent Peale who accepted the call to Marble Collegiate Church at the age of 34 and served for 52 years.
From 600 to more than 5,000 members when he resigned in 1984, the congregation benefited from his leadership. His sermon was a draw for tourists, who gathered along the street. At the age of 90, he was still giving speeches to over 100 groups a year.
Guideposts Magazine was launched in 1945 by Peale, his wife Ruth Stafford Peale, and Pawling resident and businessman Raymond Thornburg. One hundred and twenty dollars came from J. Howard Pew (the Philadelphia businessman), Frank Gannett (the founder of Gannett newspapers), and Branco Rickey (owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers).
The goal of Guideposts was to provide a free platform for anyone (celebrities included) to share their inspirational experiences with the hope that it would serve as a source of inspiration for others.
Under the guidance of Ruth Stafford Peale (who died in 2008 at the age of 101), the 48-page full-color magazine was the 13th most popular paid publication in the country, with a circulation of over 4 million.
It wasn’t long before Peale put his talents to use. It was published in 1952 and has sold over 20 million copies and has been translated into 41 languages. His best-selling inspiration of all time was completed at the age of 54 by Dr. Peale.
When it comes to the frustrated writers who have submitted their manuscripts repeatedly only to receive grades and rejections, this anecdote offers a lesson in optimistic thinking.
Norman Vincent Peale Quotes
1. “Problems are to the mind what exercise is to the muscles, they toughen and make strong.” – Norman Vincent Peale
2. “Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities – always see them, for they’re always there.” – Norman Vincent Peale
3. “Don’t duck the most difficult problems. That just ensures that the hardest part will be left when you are most tired. Get the big one done—it’s downhill from then on.” – Norman Vincent Peale
4. “Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don’t have any problems, you don’t get any seeds.” – Norman Vincent Peale
5. “I’ve got great faith in the essential fairness and decency — you may say goodness — of the human being.” – Norman Vincent Peale
6. “In every difficult situation is potential value. Believe this, then begin looking for it.” – Norman Vincent Peale
7. “Never talk defeat. Use words like hope, belief, faith, victory.” – Norman Vincent Peale
8. “People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success.” – Norman Vincent Peale
9. “The life of inner peace, being harmonious and without stress, is the easiest type of existence.” – Norman Vincent Peale