The idea of positve thinking is intrinsically wrapped up with the concepts of affirmation and personal self-development. There is conflict about who first made the idea popular with the general public. Was it Napoleon Hill or Dr. Norman Vincent Peale?

Napolean Hill published his book Think and Grow Rich in 1937. And Dr Peal did not publish his book The Power of Positive Thinking until 1952.  But this book was the outgrowth of his radio program "The Art of Living", which began in 1935 and lasted for 54 years. It is entirely posible that Hill was influenced by the radio program.

The Power of Positive Thinking stayed on the New York Timesbestseller list for 186 consecutive weeks and, according to the publisher, it has sold over five million copies.

Positive thinking is the philosophy that having an optimistic disposition in every situation in one's life attracts positive changes and increases achievement. Adherents employ a state of mind that continues to seek, find and execute ways to win, or find a desirable outcome, regardless of the circumstances. It opposes negativity, defeatism and hopelessness.

 But, “positive thinking” is also a soft and fluffy term that is easy to dismiss. In the real world, it rarely carries the same weight as words like “work ethic” or “persistence.”
  Here are four of the most important elements in achieving a positive life.

Visualization. Whatever you believe, you can achieve. Your thoughts become things. Visualize with emotion and it will come to you.But, as St. James said, "Faith without works is dead." You should have the dream, but most people who create great incomes, or create deep love relationships, do it by working really hard. A positive mindset is only 20% of the achievement of your goal.

Forgiving Forgiving others is simply a decision that we make, by turning the other cheek.. Of course, the real world application is not that simple. We must first make the decision, but we forgive people first by going deeply into our anger, resentment, rage, sadness… And once all of those emotions are cleared out, then, and only then, does forgiveness take place.

Overcoming addiction. Addiction, even alcoholism, is caused by our inability to deal with emotions like peer pressure, shame, guilt, anger, rage and more. Once we have worked out these problems, addiction can be readily conquered.

Finding the perfect mate. Write down the person that you're looking to share your life with, all of the positive characteristics, visualize and you will attract that person into your life. But this ideal person may not be compatible with you. One of the most important and critical considerations for staying in a long time relationship, is making sure that your partner of choice does not have any personal factors that could destroy the perfection of the relationship. In other words,  if someone has a long history of addiction, no matter what the compatibility is, that relationship will be filled with chaos and drama.  On average, if the person you're choosing to be in a relationship with, has extreme anger at their mother or father that has not been resolved… You are in for a battle with chaos and drama for the rest of your relationship.

So choose wisely.