This is not a book just for people with life-threatening illnesses. It's a book for anyone afflicted with one of the primary diseases of our time: negative thinking.

I come before you a certified expert on the subject: I'm a confirmed negaholic. I don't just see a glass that's half-full and call it half-empty; I see a glass that's completely full and worry that someone's going to tip it over.

Negative thinking is always expensive-dragging us down mentally, emotionally, and physically-hence I refer to any indulgence in it as a luxury. When, however, we have the symptoms of a life-threatening illness-be it AIDS, heart trouble, cancer, high blood pressure, or any of the others-negative thinking is a luxury we can no longer afford.

I remember a bumper sticker from the 1960s-"Death Is Nature's Way of Telling You to Slow Down." Well, the signs of a life-threatening illness are nature's way of telling you to-as we say in California-lighten up.

Be easier on yourself. Think better of yourself. Learn to forgive yourself and others.

This is a book about getting behind on your worrying. Way, way behind. The further behind on your worrying you get, the further ahead you'll be.

My favorite quote on worry: "Worrying is the interest paid on a debt you may not owe."

This is not so much a book to be read as it is a book to be used. It doesn't have to be read cover to cover. I like to think you can flip it open at any time to any page and get something of value from it. This is especially true of the second-and longest-section of the book.

This book has two sections: The Disease and The Cure.

The disease is not any specific illness, but what I believe to be a precursor of all life-threatening illnesses-negative thinking.

The cure is not a wonder drug or a vaccinationor The Magic Bullet. The cure is very simple: (1) spend more time focusing on the positive things in your life (Accentuate the Positive); (2) spend less time thinking negatively (Eliminate the Negative); and (3) enjoy each and every moment you can (Latch on to the Affirmative).

That's it. Simple, but far from easy.

It's the aim of this book to make the process simple and, if not easy, at least easier.

Please don't use anything in this book against yourself. Don't interpret anything I say in The Disease as blame. When I use the word responsibility, for example, I simply mean you have the ability to respond. (And you are responding or you wouldn't be reading this book.)

And please don't take any of the suggestions in The Cure as "musts," "shoulds," or "have-tos." Think of them as joyful activity, creative play, curious exploration-not as additional burdens in an already burdensome life.

This book is not designed to replace proper medical care. Please use this book in conjunction with whatever course of treatment your doctor or health-care provider prescribes. If you have a life-threatening illness, you will have to take some life-supporting actions, and naturally these include proper medical attention.

You are far more powerful than you ever dreamed.

You are a marvelous, wonderful, worthwhile person-just because you are. That's the point of view I'll be taking. Please join me for a while-an hour, a week, a lifetime-at that viewing point.


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Copyright © 1988-1996 Peter McWilliams & Prelude Press, Inc.

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