Positive Thinking and the ACT

After working with thousands of students, we are convinced that a positive mental approach is one of the most important elements of ACT success. Students who think positively about the test and have confidence in their abilities ultimately do well, while those who dread the experience and make self-deprecating statements usually meet their own expectations and perform poorly. Despite providing our students with every tool needed to master this test, we still hear the occasional “I hate the ACT,” and “I’m terrible at math,” and “I’m going to bomb this thing.” In all likelihood, these students do not achieve the scores they want because they don’t believe that they can.

You must start thinking positively about the ACT itself and about your ability to succeed when taking it. If you believe you will do well, your chances for success increase dramatically. To illustrate this point, we’ve collected quotations from dozens of famous authors, leaders, speakers, athletes, and others who believe in the power of positive thinking. When you realize just how many of these people credit their outstanding success to positive thinking, you can start to see the potential force of your thoughts. Whether leading a global peace movement (Gandhi), running a media empire (Oprah), or just preparing for a standardized test (insert your name here), positive thinking is an important key to achievement.

“A man is but the product of his thoughts; what he thinks, he becomes.”

Mahatma Gandhi


“There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.”

W. Clement Stone


"Every thought of yours is a real thing—a force." 

Prentice Mulford


"You create your own universe as you go along."

Winston Churchill


"Everyone visualizes whether he knows it or not. Visualizing is the great secret of success." 

Genevieve Behrend


"Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions." 

Albert Einstein


"Whatever the mind can conceive it can achieve." 

W. Clement Stone


"Success comes from within, not from without." 

Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Ninety-nine percent of who you are is invisible and untouchable." 

R. Buckminster-Fuller


"All power is from within and therefore under our control."

Robert Collier


"Whether you think you can or think you can't, either way you are right." 

Henry Ford


"The real secret of power is consciousness of power." 

Charles Haanel


“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

Winston Churchill


“You've done it before and you can do it now. See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination.”

Ralph Marston


“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results.”

Willie Nelson


“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.”

Oprah Winfrey


“For myself I am an optimist - it does not seem to be much use being anything else.”

Winston Churchill


“Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.”

Zig Zigler


“Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” 

William James


“Man is what he believes.” 

Anton Chekhov


“The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.” 

Frank Lloyd Wright


“In the province of the mind, what one believes to be true either is true or becomes true.”

John Lilly


“Some things have to be believed to be seen.”

Ralph Hodgson


“They can conquer who believe they can.” 

Virgil


“The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.” 

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus


“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”

Norman Vincent Peale


“There are admirable potentialities in every human being. Believe in your strength and your youth. Learn to repeat endlessly to yourself, 'It all depends on me.' “

Andre Gide


“I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence, but it comes from within. It is there all the time.”

Anna Freud


“Having once decided to achieve a certain task, achieve it at all costs of tedium and distaste. The gain in self-confidence of having accomplished a tiresome labor is immense.”  

Arnold Bennett


“Concentration comes out of a combination of confidence and hunger.” 

Arnold Palmer


“If I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me.”  

Ralph Waldo Emerson


“Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.” 

Samuel Johnson


“Act as if it were impossible to fail.” 

Dorothea Brande


“Desire, ask, believe, receive.” 

Stella Terrill Mann


“If you think you can win, you can win. Faith is necessary to victory.” 

William Hazlitt


“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” 

Colin Powell


“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”  

Benjamin Franklin


“That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has become easier, but that our ability to perform it has improved.” 

Ralph Waldo Emerson


“Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power.”   

Seneca


“Knowledge is power.”

Sir Francis Bacon


“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.”

Abraham Lincoln


“The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.”

Unknown


“Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.”

Samuel Johnson


“You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.” 

Rosalynn Carter


“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”

Norman Vincent Peale


“If I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me.” 

Ralph Waldo Emerson


“I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence, but it comes from within. It is there all the time.” 

Anna Freud


“It is confidence in our bodies, minds and spirits that allows us to keep looking for new adventures, new directions to grow in, and new lessons to learn - which is what life is all about.” 

Oprah Winfrey


“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.”

Eleanor Roosevelt


“When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things.” 

Joe Namath


“If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started.” 

Marcus Garvey


“Skill and confidence are an unconquered army.” 

George Herbert


“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” 

Dale Carnegie


“Often we don't even realize who we're meant to be because we're so busy trying to live out someone else's ideas. But other people and their opinions hold no power in defining our destiny.” 

Oprah Winfrey


“Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.” 

Samuel Johnson


“Getting ahead in a difficult profession requires avid faith in yourself. That is why some people with mediocre talent, but with great inner drive, go much further than people with vastly superior talent.” 

Sophia Loren


“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.”

Abraham Lincoln


“To follow, without halt, one aim: There's the secret of success.” 

Anna Pavlova


“The person who makes a success of living is the one who see his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.”

Cecil B. DeMille


“We succeed only as we identify in life, or in war, or in anything else, a single overriding objective, and make all other considerations bend to that one objective.” 

Dwight D. Eisenhower


“Men are born to succeed, not fail.”

Henry David Thoreau


“Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding. Hold this picture tenaciously. Never permit it to fade. Your mind will seek to develop the picture... Do not build up obstacles in your imagination.”

Norman Vincent Peale


“Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.”

Reggie Leach


“Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Thomas A. Edison


“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”

Albert Einstein


“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

Winston Churchill


“See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination.”

Ralph Marston


“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results.”

Willie Nelson


“For myself I am an optimist - it does not seem to be much use being anything else”

Winston Churchill



“Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.”

Swedish proverb


“Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.”

Chinese Proverb


“Every thought is a seed.  If you plant crab apples, don't count on harvesting Golden Delicious.” 

Bill Meyer



“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.” 

William James



“Success is due less to ability than to zeal.” 

Charles Buxton


"The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man's determination."

Tommy Lasorda


"The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur."

Vince Lombardi


"It doesn't matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always."

Oprah Winfrey


"The man who has no imagination has no wings."

Muhammad Ali


"Vision is perhaps our greatest strength.. it has kept us alive to the power and continuity of thought through the centuries, it makes us peer into the future and lends shape to the unknown."

Li Ka Shing


"Continuous effort--not strength or intelligence--is the key to unlocking our potential."

Winston Churchill


"Knowledge is the antidote to fear."

Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you're going to do now and do it."

William Durant


“What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - it's the size of the fight in the dog.” 

Dwight Eisenhower,


“I have learned to use the word impossible with the greatest caution.” 

Wernher von Braun


“We all live under the same sky, but we don't all have the same horizon.” 

Konrad Adenauer


“The impossible can always be broken down into possibilities.” 

Author Unknown


“He started to sing

as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done,

and he did it.”
Edgar A. Guest


“Impossible is a word only to be found in the dictionary of fools.” 

Napoleon


“Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles.” 

Alex Karras


“Champions aren't made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them -- a desire, a dream, a vision.”

Muhammad Ali, American Boxer


“All winning teams are goal-oriented. Teams like these win consistently because everyone connected with them concentrates on specific objectives. They go about their business with blinders on; nothing will distract them from achieving their aims.”

Lou Holtz


“The more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in battle.” 

Author Unknown


“The more I practice, the luckier I get.” 

Jerry Barber


“All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts.”

James Allen


“The soul never thinks without a picture.”

Aristotle


“The human mind prefers to be spoon-fed with the thoughts of others, but deprived of such nourishment it will, reluctantly, begin to think for itself-and such thinking, remember, is original thinking and may have valuable results.”

Agatha Christie


“A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels.”

Albert Einstein


“All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts.”

James Allen


“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”

Mahatma Gandhi

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