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Positive mental attitude

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Positive mental attitude (PMA) is a concept first introduced in 1937 by Napoleon Hill in the book Think and Grow Rich. The book never actually uses the term, but discusses the importance of positive thinking as a contributing factor of success.[1] Napoleon, who along with W. Clement Stone, founder of Combined Insurance, later wrote Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, defines positive mental attitude as comprising the 'plus' characteristics represented by words as faith, integrity, hope, optimism, courage, initiative, generosity, tolerance, tact, kindliness and good common sense.[2]

Positive mental attitude is that philosophy which asserts that having an optimistic disposition in every situation in one's life attracts positive changes and increases achievement.[3] 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. This concept is the opposite of negativity, defeatism and hopelessness. Optimism and hope are vital to the development of PMA.[4]

Positive mental attitude (PMA) is the philosophy of finding greater joy in small joys, to live without hesitation or holding back our most cherished, held in high esteem, and highest personal virtues and values. Empirical research suggests that individuals who engage in positive self-talk and maintain a mindful approach to their internal dialogues tend to exhibit greater self-control and resilience which is crucial for personal and professional growth, highlighting the significance of self-regulation and mindfulness in fostering a positive mental attitude.[5] Furthermore, research on leadership strategies suggest that a positive mental attitude, characterized by a proactive approach to personal and organizational challenges, significantly improves leadership effectiveness and success in leadership roles.[6]


PMA is under the umbrella of positive psychology. In positive psychology, high self-efficacy can help in gaining learned optimism which ultimately leads to PMA. PMA is considered an internal focus of control that influences external factors. Research has shown that through emotional intelligence training and positive psychology therapy, a person's attitudes and perceptions can be modified to improve one's personal and professional life.[7]


A study of Major League Baseball players indicated that a key component that separates major league players from the minor leagues and all other levels is their ability to develop mental characteristics and mental skills. Among them were mental toughness, confidence, maintaining a positive attitude, dealing with failure, expectations, and positive self-talk.[8]


Well-meaning friends in the US and similar cultures routinely encourage people with Disease to maintain a positive attitude.[9] However, although a positive attitude confers some immediate advantages and is more comfortable for other people, it does not result in a greater chance of cure or longer survival times.[10][11]

A study done with HIV-positive individuals found that a high health self-efficacy, a task-oriented coping style, and a positive mental attitude were strong predictors for a health-promoting lifestyle which has a significant effect on overall health (coping and surviving).[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hill, Napoleon (1960). Think and grow rich (Rev. ed.). Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett Crest. ISBN 0449214923.
  2. ^ Hill, Napoleon; Stone, W. Clement Stone; preface by Og Mandino; with a new introduction by W. Clement (1987). Success through a positive mental attitude. New York: Pocket Books. ISBN 0671743228.
  3. ^ Eagleson, Claire (March 2016). "The power of positive thinking: Pathological worry is reduced by thought replacement in Generalized Anxiety Disorder". Behaviour Research and Therapy. 78: 13–18. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2015.12.017. PMC 4760272. PMID 26802793.
  4. ^ Chang, Edward C., ed. (2001). Optimism & pessimism implications for theory, research, and practice (1st ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. pp. 101–125. ISBN 1-55798-691-6.
  5. ^ Racy, Famira; Morin, Alain (January 2024). "Relationships between Self-Talk, Inner Speech, Mind Wandering, Mindfulness, Self-Concept Clarity, and Self-Regulation in University Students". Behavioral Sciences. 14 (1): 55. doi:10.3390/bs14010055. ISSN 2076-328X. PMC 10813701. PMID 38247707.
  6. ^ Dobbins, R.; Pettman, B.O. (1997-01-01). "Self-development: the nine basic skills for business success". Journal of Management Development. 16 (8): 521–667. doi:10.1108/02621719710174011. ISSN 0262-1711.
  7. ^ Ellis, Ross; Ryan, J. A. (2005). "Emotional Intelligence and Positive Psychology: Therapist Tools for Training/Coaching Clients to Move Beyond Emotional Relief". Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association. 8 (3): 42–43.
  8. ^ Wagner, Kimberly (2011). "The mental skills and characteristics related to a major league baseball player's performance: A qualitative study". Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering. 71 (8–B): 5150.
  9. ^ Flanagan, Caitlin (2021-08-23). "I'll Tell You the Secret of Cancer". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2021-08-23.
  10. ^ Sulik, Gayle A. (2011). Pink ribbon blues : how breast cancer culture undermines women's health. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 243–244. ISBN 978-0-19-974993-5. OCLC 669499803.
  11. ^ Hopewood, Peter; Milroy, Mary J. (2018-05-29). Quality Cancer Care: Survivorship Before, During and After Treatment. Springer. p. 157. ISBN 978-3-319-78649-0. ...longer survival time is not directly linked to being in a cancer support group
  12. ^ Larry, R. S. (2010). "Exploring the relationships between perceived health self-efficacy, coping and health-promoting behaviors among non-substance abusing vs. substance abusing patients with HIV disease". Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering. 71 (1–B): 661.