How ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’ Shaped One Family’s Future

Cindy Abel shares the impact Dr. Norman Vincent Peale had on her father—and their entire family.

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- Posted on Jan 15, 2020

Cindy Abel

In 2020, Guideposts celebrates 75 years of spreading hope and positivity. We hear all the time from readers about the impact our publications and the work of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale have had on their lives. We recently heard from long-time subscriber Cindy Abel about her family's long relationship with Guideposts. Here is her story:

For Cindy Abel, Guideposts has always been a family affair.

Her father, Richard Savage, was a Guideposts magazine subscriber for years and gifted each of his daughters and daughters-in-law Daily Guideposts every year.

But it wasn’t until her father passed away in 2017 that Abel and her siblings discovered just how much of an impact Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, founder of Guideposts, had on him. While going through his things the family discovered a well-worn copy of The Power of Positive Thinking and Positive Thinking Every Day.

“We all knew that my father had a tremendous amount of faith and that's what got him through some challenging times in his life,” Abel told Guideposts.org. “But it became very apparent as we went through all of his [things]…that his faith was much stronger than we ever realized.”

In the early 1980s, Savage was going through a challenging time in his personal and professional life, Abel said, adding that it was then he got Dr. Peale's Book, The Power of Positive Thinking and “just poured himself into this book.”

“Then [he] started getting all the other Guideposts publications,” she said. “[He] spent every morning and every night reading these pieces and…starting with that foundation of thinking positive and believing in yourself.”

The book is full of notes and underlined passages. Some of the notes are dated, showcasing all the years her father spent with the book—dating all the way back to 1982. The notes show that Savage read the book almost every year in the 1980s. He read his copy of The Power of Positive Thinking so many times that the cover came off and he had to tape it back on.  

Abel always knew faith was important to her dad, but discovering his Guideposts memorabilia brought home just how much of a prayer warrior he was. Among his belongings was a collection of letters he had received from Guideposts after sending in prayer requests.

“Dad always saw the glass half full rather than half empty,” Abel said. “And I guarantee you that was impacted by Dr. Peale's writings in all the Guideposts publications.”

Abel credits her dad’s commitment to his faith and positive thinking for their close-knit family. Her and her siblings all work for their family-owned company.

 “We have a very tight family and that foundation comes from my father,” Abel said. “He was the start of all this. It [was] just a great foundation.”

Abel misses her father tremendously. She carries on his legacy by donating to Guideposts and gifting her own family Daily Guideposts every year.

“[Guideposts has] become kind of a second family to me,” Abel explained.  “I know how important it was to my father and to be able to…keep that tradition going with my family means the world to me.”

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