Archives For Motivational Mondays

Napoleon Hill has faith as his second step toward attaining riches.

What is faith?

From the book…

FAITH is a state of mind which may be induced, or created, by affirmation or repeated instructions to the subconscious mind, through the principle of auto-suggestion.

When I think of the word faith, I think about the definition found in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

The bottom line is faith is belief. In order for a person to accomplish anything in life, they must first have faith (believe) that they can actually accomplish what they set out to do. Of course, the opposite of that is also true:

There are millions of people who BELIEVE themselves “doomed” to poverty and failure, because of some strange force over which they BELIEVE they have no control. They are the creators of their own “misfortunes,” because of this negative BELIEF, which is picked up by the subconscious mind, and translated into its physical equivalent.

That’s what I took as the point to chapter 3.

Further into the chapter, Hill offers up his prescription for developing faith. Hill’s instructions are to write out the following, memorize, and repeat until they are part of your subconscious mind:

1. I know that I have the ability to achieve the object of my Definite Purpose in life, therefore, I DEMAND of myself persistent, continuous action toward its attainment, and I here and now promise to render such action.

2. I realize that dominating thoughts of my mind will eventually reproduce themselves in outward, physical action, and gradually transform themselves into physical reality, therefore, I will concentrate my thoughts for thirty minutes daily, upon the task of thinking of the person I intend to become, thereby creating in my mind a clear mental picture of that person.

3. I know through the principle of auto-suggestion, any desire that I persistently hold in my mind will eventually see expression through some pratcial means of attaining the object back of it, therefore, I will devote ten minutes daily to demanding of myself the development of SELF-CONFIDENCE.

4. I have clearly written down a description of my DEFINITE CHIEF AIM in life, and I will never stop trying, until I shall have developed sufficient self-confidence for its attainment.

5. I fully realize that no wealth or position can long endure, unless built upon truth and justice, therefore, I will engage in no transaction which does not benefit all whom it affects. I will succeed by attracting to myself the forces I wish to use, and the cooperation of other people. I will induce others to serve me, because of my willingness to serve others. I will eliminate hatred, envy, jealousy, selfishness, and cynicism, by developing love for all humanity, because I know that a negative attitude toward others can never bring me success. I will cause others to believe in me, because I will believe in them, and in myself.

I will sign my name to this formula, commit it to memory, and repeat it aloud once a day, with full FAITH that it will gradually influence my THOUGHTS and ACTIONS so that I will become a self-reliant, and successful person.

He closes the chapter with the story of Carnegie’s steel company was sold to form the US Steel Corporation. An interesting story.

Finally, I’ll leave you with this poem I liked from chapter 3:

If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don’t
If you like to win, but you think you can’t,
It is almost certain you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost,
For out of the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will—
It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are,
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late the man who wins


Think and Grow Rich – Chapter 1: Introduction

Think and Grow Rich – Chapter 2: Desire

We continue our chapter-by-cpater review of Napoleon Hill’s classic work, “Think and Grow Rich.”

Chapter 2 is titled “Desire – The Starting Point of All Achievement”

Hill opens the chapter by referring back to the story of Edwin Barnes, the man who “thought” his way into a business partnership with Thomas Edison…

Today, people who know Barnes envy him, because of the “break” life yielded him. They see him in the days of his triumph, without taking the trouble to investigate the cause of his success.

Barnes succeeded because he chose a definite goal, placed all his energy, all his will power, all his effort, everything back of that goal. He did not become the partner of Edison the day he arrived. He was content to start in the most menial work, as long as it provided an opportunity to take even one step toward his cherished goal.

Five years passed before the chance he had been seeking made its appearance. During all those years not one ray of hope, not one promise of attainment of his DESIRE had been held out to him.

I think that’s the way it is with most success when we look at it from the outside after the success has already occurred. We don’t look at all the hard work that went into creating that success.

Anyway, the chapter is about how desire is the starting point of all achievement.

Further into the chapter, Hill lists his method for turning desire into success. In his steps, Hill focuses on the attainment on money but this method can work for any goal:

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 as to the amount. (There is a psychological reeason for definiteness which will be described in a subsequent chapter).

2. Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you deisre. (There is no such reality as “something for nothing.”)

3. Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money you deisre.

4. 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.

5. Write out a clear, concise statement of the amoutn of money you intend to acquire, nae the time limit for its acquisition, state what you intend to give in return for th emoney, and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to accumulate it.

6. Read you rwritten statement aloud, twice daily, once just before retiring at night, and once after arising in the morning. As you read–see and feel and believe yourself already in possession of the money.

Reading over those steps, I’ll admit they sound a tad hokey. However, if you take them as a whole and adjust them for your particular goal, they make a lot of sense. Basically, figure out what you want, decide what you will give, write it down, and review it.

The final third of the chapter is about achieving goals no matter what other people say. He closes the chapter with an inspiring story about his son, Blair, who was born without ears but used his “gift” to become a salesman for a hearing aid company.

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.