The Possibilitarian
Norman Vincent Peale

  

I man I have always greatly admired was the late Charles F. "Boss" Kettering, scientific genius of General Motors.  The creator of the self-starter, the Duco paint process for automobiles and many other modern devices, Kettering was one of the most stimulating thinkers I ever knew.

To his aides at General Motors, Kettering often said, "Problems are the price of progress.  Don't bring me anything but trouble.  Good news weakens me."

What a dynamic philosophy!

I knew another man, the late Harlow B. Andrews of Syracuse, New York, who had this same kind of approach.  "Let's see what possibilities there are in this situation," he would say, while others sat around taking dismal views of everything.

It was amazing how often he found possibilities, too, and then the gloom artists would wonder why they hadn't seen them.  The answer was that the possibilitarian was always looking for answers and they never were.  You usually find just about what you really look for.

Harlow Andrews, whom I like to call a possibilitarian, was a wholesale grocer, a banker and an inventor.  Some say he invented the electric dishwasher.  I recall his wife complaining about the number of dishes he broke while experimenting with this "contraption."  He had one of the first supermarkets in the United States.  Years ago, he brought perishable food from California to Syracuse by fast refrigerator train and sold it five days later in his store.

They say he used to drive the fastest horses in Syracuse--not so much because he liked speed, but because he was always hurrying to keep engagements with people who needed his help.  In wintertime, he would enter the sleigh races on Onandaga Lake.  Though he had but three grades of schooling, he was a dauntless man, rugged, wise, and urbane.

You just couldn't disturb this man with difficulties no matter how high you piled them.  He never seemed to have more fun than when he went into action against a tough problem.

Much of his wisdom, I know, came from the Bible.  He knew it from cover to cover, lived with its characters and marked the most unusual and striking comments on the page margins of his Bible.

The big question isn't whether you have problems; the all important factor is your attitude toward problems.  How you think of the problem is more important than the problem itself.

If you want to be a possibilitiarian, visualize your difficulty realistically as a challenge to your intelligence, to your ingenuity, and to your faith.  Then ask God for insight and guidance in dealing with the hard fact.  Keep on praying and believing.  Know that there is an answer and, with God's help, you will find it.

More thoughts and quotes on potential.

  
    


 
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