25 Jul 2008

Achieving [Insert Life-long Dream Here]

Napoleon Hill’s book Think and Grow Rich is a must-read. I’m saying this and I’m only 2 chapters in. It’s fantastic. The insight into the psychology of human decision making is fantastic. My last post, Escaping Paralysis-Thinking, offers a few excerpts from Timothy Ferriss’ brain child The 4-Hour Workweek and details possible steps to define your fears and how to get over them.

Similarly, Hill offers 6 ways to turn your ultimate desires into gold. He learned these six steps (or the principles behind them) from Andrew Carnegie, the early 20th century steel tycoon who created U.S. Steel, a company that earned over twenty billion dollars by today’s rates. Although in the steps he illustrates that the goal is a certain dollar amount of money to gain, I strongly believe that these steps can and do apply to ANY goal or desire we wish to achieve. The psychology of the human brain is the same no matter what the end goal may be. So keep in mind that whenever he says “riches”, or “money”, you can insert your own life goals or desires and the effect should be the same.

The method by which your desire for riches can be transmuted into its financial equivalent consists of six definite practical steps:

  1. Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire. It is not sufficient merely to say, “I want plenty of money”. Be definite about the amount. There is a psychological reason for such definiteness explained in subsequent chapters.
  1. Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire. There is no such reality as something for nothing.
  1. Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money you desire.
  1. Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.
  1. Now write it out. Write a clear concise statement of the amount of money you intend to acquire. Name the time limit for its acquisition. State what you intend to give in return for the money, and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to accumulate it.
  1. Read your written statement aloud, twice daily. Read it once just before retiring at night, and read it once after arising in the morning. As you read, see, and feel, and believe yourself already in possession of the money.

It is important that you follow the instructions in these six steps. It is especially important that you observe and follow the instructions in the sixth step. You may complain that it is impossible for you to “see yourself in possession of money” before you actually have it. Here is where a burning desire will come to your aid. If you truly desire money so keenly that your desire is an obsession, you will have no difficulty in convincing yourself that you will acquire it. The object is to want money, and to become so determined to have it that you convince yourself you will have it.

If you have not been schooled in the workings of the human mind, these instructions may appear impractical. It may help you to know that the information they convey was given to me by Andrew Carnegie, who made himself into one of the most successful men in American history. […] It may be of further help to know that the six steps were carefully scrutinized by the famed inventor and successful business man Thomas A. Edison. He gave his stamp of approval, saying that they are not only the steps essential for the accumulation of money, but also for the attainment of any goal.

There is so much more after that I wanted to transpose, but my fingers are tired. I highly recommend picking up this book. This material is where many many motivational speakers (see Anthony Robins) have gathered much of their curriculum and teachings. Even the cult hit The Secret uses near-verbatim teaching of Hill’s concepts, though technically Hill’s concepts are not his own, but are the concepts he learned from many successful people whom he met with and studied.

As for myself, I intend to follow Hill’s instructions to the letter. Hundreds (or thousands, or millions) of successful people can’t be wrong, can they?