By JLP | February 13, 2012
So here we go with the first chapter of the first book in what I’m calling the “Motivational Monday” series.
I picked Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich as our first book because it’s considered a classic in the personal development realm.
Before we begin, let me say that some of the ideas presented in the book will seem old fashioned and even hokey. That’s due to the fact that the book was first published in 1937. Also, some of the events in the book may look different to us now that we have the benefit of hindsight. That said, let’s dive into chapter one of Think and Grow Rich.
Chapter One – Introduction
The book opens with the story of Edwin C. Barnes. A man who basically started with nothing and “thought” his way into a business partnership with Thomas Edison selling Edison’s dictating machine. The point of the story—and the point of the book—is that Barnes first thought about what he wanted (DESIRED) before he pursued it. He didn’t get his desire fulfilled immediately. Rather, Edison gave him a job and Barnes worked hard until the opportunity presented itself. This brings me to one of my favorite quotes from the first chapter:
That is one of the tricks of opportunity. It has a sly habit of slipping in by the back door, and often it comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat. Perhaps this is why so many fail to recognize opportunity.
It’s Hill’s contention that knowing what you want first is the starting point to success. The second point is internalizing that want to the point that you can think of nothing else. The third important point to take home from chapter one is that one must be will to push through temporary defeat in pursuit of success. He illustrates this point with a story about a man named Darby who set out to mine gold. He discovered a vein of gold that disappeared during his mining activities. So, he quit and sold his mining equipment. The person who bought that land from Darby, brought in an engineer who figured out that a fault line had disrupted the vein of gold and that it continued three feet from where Darby had stopped mining. The point: don’t give up. The second point: surround yourself with experts.
That is the bulk of chapter one. I left out several other details that you’ll want to read about in the book.
So, that brings us to the main question:
What is your desire? What is it that you want for your life?
This is a tough question for me. I simply don’t know. That’s been a problem all my life. I have never had a major definitue purpose other than “I want to be well-off,” which is way too vague.