Willie Nelson? Dale Carnegie? Norman Vincent Peale? James K. Van Fleet? John C. Maxwell?
Dear Quote Investigator: Did country music star Willie Nelson say something about replacing negative thoughts with positive ones to achieve positive results?
Quote Investigator: In 2006 Willie Nelson with Turk Pipkin published “The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart”. Two epigraphs appeared at the beginning of the book: 1
When something positive occurs, it contains within it the seeds of negative and positive.
—The Tao Te Ching
Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.
This general notion has a long history in self-help literature. For example, in 1948 the popular volume “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” by Dale Carnegie mentioned replacing negative thoughts: 2
Even if we don’t succeed, the mere attempt to turn our minus into a plus will cause us to look forward instead of backward; it will replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts; it will release creative energy and spur us to get so busy that we won’t have either the time or the inclination to mourn over what is past and forever gone
Below are additional selected citations in chronological order. Continue reading
- 2006, The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart by Willie Nelson with Turk Pipkin, (Epigraph of book), Quote Page vii, Gotham Books, New York: A Division of Penguin Group. (Verified on paper) ↩
- 1948, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie, Quote Page 134, Simon and Schuster, New York. (Verified on paper) ↩