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  • Jeff Somers 5:00 am on 2016/10/11 Permalink
    Tags: , , joel osteen, ,   

    Joel Osteen’s New Book is a Blast of Positivity 

    Pastor Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, is one of the most recognizable—and popular—religious figures in the country today. His “megachurch” in Lakewood attracts more than 50,000 worshippers every weekend, the televised services have audiences of more than 20 million worldwide, and he has already written eight bestselling books. For nearly 20 years, Osteen has forged a unique identity as a Protestant preacher who focuses on optimism and positivity. As Osteen himself put it, “Most people are beaten down enough by life. They already feel guilty enough….So I want them to come to Lakewood or our meetings and be lifted up.”

    That positive message is reinforced in Osteen’s new book, Think Better, Live Better. Osteen offers not just platitudes about our purpose and seeing the bright side of things, but a spiritual roadmap that even those who aren’t particularly religious can use. The most surprising aspect of Osteen’s new book, in fact, is how practical it is. Whether you’re familiar with his preaching style and message or not, whether you consider yourself religious or not, Think Better, Live Better has a simple and effective lesson that’s both refreshing and useful.

    Our Mind is Like a Computer
    The concept of the power of positive thinking isn’t new, and Osteen doesn’t pretend it is. What’s new in his book is the concise way he boils it down. The first line of the book lays it out: “Our mind is like a computer.” Osteen makes the argument that our minds are like software. And just as software can be infected with a virus and “contaminated,” so can our thoughts. We come to accept things like our limitations or our failures, and these negative concepts about ourselves spread until every part of us is bogged down, running slow, crashing.

    Delete the Negatives
    Osteen’s advice here seems simple: delete those negative thoughts—literally, when you find yourself thinking something negative, stop and assert the opposite to yourself. If someone applies a negative label to you, don’t accept it—remove it, mentally, and replace it with something more positive. While Osteen roots all of his advice and insight in scripture, this deceptively simple advice goes beyond religion. What he’s saying, basically, is that we often allow other people to control our “program.” We let what they say about us and do to us affect us far beyond the immediate effect. He cites the example of bullied kids who experience negative effects well into middle age, pointing out that something said to them when they were children still holds them back decades later—when in reality they were just words from other people.

    A Guide
    Osteen doesn’t, however, pretend breaking these patterns and removing these labels and negative thoughts is simple or easy. Part of the appeal and power of his message is the acknowledgement that work must be done. Unlike preachers who tell their followers all they must do is pray, Osteen writes that God has given everyone the “right software,” but it’s up to us to use it properly. The bulk of this book is a guide to deleting these negatives and replacing them with positives, mainly through a series of positive assertions about yourself. Over the course of the book Osteen offers various techniques; for example, he suggests that everything we take in is a seed—some of these seeds will take root and grow into destructive weeds, others into wonderful opportunities. It’s up to us, he says, to choose which ones to water and which to rip out. It’s a simple concept with potentially powerful effects.

    The Cheerleader
    One thing about Joel Osteen that has fueled his success is that he’s not simply blindly cheerful; he uses positivity with skill and purpose. Reading this book could have been like listening to a lecture, a series of admonitions that you’re “doing it wrong.” Osteen avoids this by filling his book with powerful statements of faith—in you. His overall message is that you are amazing, you have all the tools you need to succeed, and you have a great life ahead of you, if only you can get to work deleting negatives and seeing the positives all around you. These bumps of energy encourage you to keep reading, keep working, and keep moving toward your goal.

    The Personal Touch
    Osteen references God and the scripture frequently, but you don’t need to share his faith or specific beliefs to benefit from this book. That’s because he also draws on his own life, and his own failings. Often in the book he’ll illustrate a point by reflecting on an earlier time in his own life and how he could only move past a blockage or a problem when he removed negatives, or realized he already had what he needed to move forward. This gives the book an intimate aspect that anyone, from any background, can identify with.

    The bottom line: Think Better, Live Better is a blast of positivity anyone who finds themselves struggling will benefit from. It not only offers a moment of comfort in the midst of the storm, it also outlines a way forward—and that’s something everyone needs from time to time.

    The post Joel Osteen’s New Book is a Blast of Positivity appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • BN Editors 6:35 pm on 2015/09/25 Permalink
    Tags: joel osteen, , simple truths, the power of i am   

    5 Secrets to Unlocking Your Potential from Joel Osteen’s The Power of I Am 

    Christian self-improvement guru Joel Osteen has helped millions of people forge better lives through faith-based positive thinking in six New York Times bestselling books, but his latest may present his simplest, most powerful message yet: you can change your entire life for the better, and all it takes is two little words—I am.

    ”Rather than being down on ourselves and…focusing on our flaws, I wonder what would happen if all through the day, we were to be as bold as David and say, ‘I am amazing. I am wonderful. I am valuable,” Osteen writes. If you redirect your thoughts and constantly remind yourself that you are worthy of doing good, you will.

    Does it sound too simple? Here are but five ways Osteen is ready to change your life with The Power of I Am.

    Be Positive or Be Quiet
    “Words are like seeds,” Osteen says. Whatever you put out there is going to take root and flower. So why not make sure it is something positive, something that will inspire you, and inspire others, to look at the world in the best light and to be your best self? “Whether you realize it or not, you are prophesying your future. This is great when we’re saying things such as, ‘I am blessed. I am strong. I will accomplish my dreams.’ But too many people go around prophesying just the opposite. ‘I never get any good breaks.’ ‘Business is slow. I’ll probably get laid off.’ ‘Flu season is here. I always get it.'”

    Be a Magnet for Blessings
    By keeping faith front and center in your life, and putting God first, Osteen says you’ll be granted “a commanded blessing.” What this means: you’ll become a magnet for blessings. You’ll meet the right kind of people to enrich your life. You’ll get a job that will help keep you happy and fulfilled. Like heat-seeking missiles, blessings will follow you wherever you go, and you don’t even need to do anything to attract them—other than earning that commanded blessing.

    Live Every Year Like It’s Your Seventh
    Biblical teachings say that God commanded the ancient Israelistes to release every Hebrew slave after seven years of bondage, whatever their crime and no matter how great their debts. That seventh year was an opportunity for a clean slate and a fresh start. Osteen believes it’s an opportunity we all have, each and every day: to wake up and throw off whatever bonds are keeping us in servitude—addiction, negative thinking, money problems—and start fresh. That doesn’t mean, of course, that our problems will magically vanish. But instead of living like they are never going to go away, the seventh year mindset puts us on the path to making sure that they do—all it takes is a little bit of perspective, the belief that nothing is permanent, and the faith that things can (and will) change.

    See Yourself as a Masterpiece
    Osteen thinks that far too many of us spend our lives wishing we were different people: taller, more attractive, thinner, smarter. But wishing we were different means we never realize that what we have to work with is pretty great too—whatever burdens we may bear. Realize what you have, he says. After all, “when God created you, He went to great lengths to make you exactly as He wanted.” Don’t waste your energy envying how someone else was made. Be proud of what you were made to be, because you are one of a kind.

    Have an Abundant Mentality
    Maybe you’ve been struggling with hardship all of your life: never with enough money to change your life, an inability to provide your kids with the kind of future you dream of for them. That’s okay, because that’s not where you have to stay, Osteen says: “Your life is moving toward what you’re constantly thinking about. If you’re always thinking thoughts of lack…you’re moving toward the wrong things.” God doesn’t want you to live in the land of Barely Enough. He wants you to live in the Land of Plenty. Don’t settle for the bare minimum. Set a new standard for your life, and pursue it.

    That’s just a glimpse of the ways two words—I am—can change everything. Maybe it is that simple.

     
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