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A Problem? Terrific !


W. Clement Stone was a remarkable man and went by “Clem.” He built a major insurance company in Chicago and wrote the best selling book “Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude.”

He had an incredible policy. Whenever he was confronted with a problem he would say “Terrific!” – frequently in a startling way. Sometimes, he would even shout it out.

He became good friends with Dr. Norman Vincent Peale in New York City, whom my father worked for and were good friends for two decades. One day Dr. Peale called Clem on the phone and said,

“Well, we have got a serious problem.”

Clem shouts back in the phone at him “Terrific!”

Again, Dr. Peale says, “No, no, no, you don’t understand. This is a real problem!”

Clem immediately comes back at him again and says, “TERRIFIC!”

Dr. Peale says again, “No, no, no, wait a minute. This is really a very major problem and I need your attention!”

This time, Clem explains to him about saying “Terrific!” when there is a problem:

“The problem is just an opportunity that you’re seeing and, when you explain it to me, I’ll probably be seeing the opportunity, too. That is all a problem is – it is where the opportunity lies.”

Earlier this week I faced what life would certainly call a “problem.” My first response was very negative. Then I remembered Clement Stone’s “Terrific” and I shouted “TERRIFIC!” to myself.

WOW! Clement Stone was right! The results were Spectacular!

How it works is when you are on a downhill glide and you yell back “TERRIFIC!,” it totally changes the momentum, reverses the flow, and changes the energy.

It opens the door for the opportunity to come out!

It is like poking a balloon with a pin. It pops it and throws it back the other way. It is really dramatic. This works with little things or big things. All we have to do is remember to use it.

So I suggest that next time you find yourself faced with a “problem,” stand up, face your situation, shout ‘TERIFFIC!’ and watch your attitude and flow of your energy change dramatically! You will be stronger and better focused to clearly solve your “problem.”

~ The author is John Carpenter Dealey who is a speaker and personal coach. His company is called MasterMind Advisory Council with additional information on his website at ~

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