By Brandon Cook
“What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”–Napoleon Hill
“All the breaks you need in life wait within your imagination. Imagination is the workshop of your mind, capable of turning mind energy into accomplishment and wealth.” – Napoleon Hill
Hey there, hope you’re doing great! I’m pretty excited because this is the first post, in a series of posts, I’m doing on one of my favorite authors and ‘virtual’ mentors Napoleon Hill. Now, if you’re familiar with Napoleon Hill, you know that he is the author of the classic literary work entitled “Think and Grow Rich.”
Napoleon Hill is largely considered to be one of the greatest writers of all time on the subject of success and achievement and many even consider him to be the pioneer of the field of personal development.
His book, “Think and Grow Rich”, was first published in 1937 and has gone on to be one of the best-selling books of all time, selling over 20 million copies by the time of his death in 1970. That number is probably a lot larger now!
These past couple weeks at breakfast I’ve been watching a series of short video recordings where Napoleon Hill is explaining his success principles. Then all of a sudden, the desire to share them with you came over me. A large percentage of you have expressed interest in personal growth and development, wealth building and success strategies and so I think you will find these posts rather interesting and enlightening.
Even so, the majority of readers coming to this site express the desire to grow muscle and therefore I want to tie it back to this goal of ours. For that reason, I took the liberty of adding a little twist to Hill’s original title calling this series of posts THINK & GROW HUGE!!!
Negative Beliefs About Money and Wealth
Now, many people have developed a negative attitude towards money, as well as, to the wealthy people that possess lots of it. That’s why it’s no wonder that many of the people with negative attitudes towards money are NOT currently rich.
In fact, many people are struggling with money and have struggled all of their lives. Some religions even encourage poverty and have twisted the idea that you can’t be truly spiritual or a good person and simultaneously have lots of money.
This is complete bull shit! I’m just sayin’
This has created a warped perception around the idea of wealth generation.
Old cliché’s like “Money is the root of all evil”, “Money doesn’t grow on trees”, “Rich people are greedy and dishonest” and many, many, many more financial fallacies permeate our subconscious minds and value systems that we are totally unaware of.
You have to understand that money is a neutral energy. You can do good OR bad things with it. You can hoard it, steal it, or start wars over it OR you can share it, donate it to worthy causes, and use it to improve the quality of people’s lives.
It is the person’s character and values that determine whether they use money for good or evil (if you will.) Money itself is just little green pieces of paper that we assign value to; Nothing more, nothing less.
These negative beliefs have been taught to us by our parents, teachers, friends, family and the culture and environment that we grew up in. You can’t teach what you don’t know and thus many of us have inadvertently been taught to live in poverty or perhaps middle class at best.
There’s nothing wrong with that!
Having lots of money doesn’t make you a better person than someone who has less of it. In fact, you’d be wise to learn to be content with the simple things in life and to be extremely grateful for what you do have. There are many people who are worse off than you and would be extremely happy to trade places with you in a heartbeat.
That being said, I like to look at money as a tool. It is a tool through which I can use to live my life to the fullest and to give back to the world. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have a lot of it! Just keep things in perspective.
What Does it Mean to Be Truly Rich?
Now that I’ve cleared up some misconceptions around money, I want to explain what it means to be truly rich according to Mr. Hill. You have to understand that money is only one small facet of what it means to live in abundance or to be rich.
Consider that you may have millions of dollars in the bank, yet if you’re a lonely, negative, angry person… are you truly rich?
Consider that you may have billions of dollars, and yet you’ve neglected your health over the years and are now bed ridden and unable to enjoy it…. Would you trade all of your wealth just to have your health back?
Consider that you’ve spent the last thirty years working at a job you hate just to become a multi-millionaire. Your wife divorced you because you worked late hours neglecting your family and now you fear that you may even lose all of the money you’ve worked so hard to earn because a business partner double crossed you…. Was it worth it all?
In each scenario above, the person has millions of dollars in their bank accounts and yet their lives do not reflect what it means to be truly rich.
True abundance is a state of mind and a way of being that reaches far beyond financial security alone.
Napoleon Hill’s 12 Qualities of True Riches:
- A Positive Mental Attitude
- Sound Physical Health
- Harmony in your Relationships
- Freedom from Fear and Worry
- Hope of Future Achievement
- A Capacity for Applied Faith & Wisdom
- A Willingness to share one’s blessings with others
- To be engaged in a labor of love (enjoy your work)
- An open mind on all subjects towards all people
- Complete Self-Discipline and Mastery
- Wisdom with which to understand people
- Financial Security
Note that “financial security” comes at the end of the list and if you truly think about it is actually a by-product or result of attaining the eleven qualities that come before it. In other words, by integrating these qualities into part of your personality you will naturally attract wealth and financial abundance.
Sure you can say “to hell with that” and focus solely on acquiring money, although in the end you may not be happy, fulfilled or truly rich as per our definition here.
A truly rich person is one that is healthy, wealthy, wise and fulfilled and most importantly adds value to the lives of those he or she comes into contact with.
What’s This Have to Do with Building Muscle?
Napoleon Hill’s teachings are not directly about building muscle in any way, shape or form… however, indirectly, the lessons and principles he teaches can be applied to your training in the gym.
So, what I plan to do is start the lesson off with a video of Napoleon Hill explaining one of his success principles and then follow that with a written article of how we can apply this information to Think and Grow HUGE!!!
Napoleon’s principles are lessons on success and achievement and so can be applied to any endeavor that you decide to undertake, whether that is building a business or building your body.
Many bodybuilders and athletes got into their chosen sport for a variety of different reasons. Yet, those that persist and continue on to greatness realize that the lessons they learned through training and sport taught them many valuable qualities that they were able to take away and apply to other areas of their lives.
In this case, we’re simply doing the reverse by examining the principles of success that Mr. Hill spent his whole life studying, documenting, and interviewing the most successful men of his era in an effort to condense and distill all of this wisdom into a single system of success and achievement.
Transforming your body and transforming your life both require similar mindsets, strategies and insights in order to accomplish the objectives and goals you have set for yourself. True, the application and techniques vary greatly depending on your purpose. However, all successful transformation starts within your own mind.
Remember that many people join gyms throughout the world everyday in the hopes of building muscle and transforming their bodies…. And yet, most are unsuccessful and never achieve what they initially set out to do.
Why do you think that is?
Successful people THINK differently than average people. They act differently. They view mistakes and failures differently. It’s these differences in thinking and behavior that lead them to achieve what most people spend their entire lives only dreaming about.
You can either be a dreamer or a doer…. And in order to LIVE THE DREAM you have to take possession of your own mind and direct it to the aims of your choosing, whether that is gaining 30 pounds of muscle or 30 million dollars!
To finish off today’s introductory lesson to Napoleon Hill I would like to leave you with a description that I have in my workspace describing Hill’s ten characteristics of a successful person.
The Successful Person…
- The successful person knows precisely what he desires, has a plan for getting it, believes in his ability to get it, and devotes a major portion of his time to acquiring it.
- The successful person is a master salesperson who has learned the art of influencing others to cooperate in a friendly spirit to carry out his plans and purposes.
- The successful person thinks before he speaks. He weighs his words carefully and he emphasizes his likes concerning people, minimizing his dislikes or not mentioning them at all.
- The successful person expresses opinions only after having informed himself so he can do so intelligently.
- The successful person budgets time, income and expenditures. He lives within his means.
- The successful person takes a keen interest in people, especially those with whom he has something in common, and cultivates a bond of friendship with them.
- The successful person is open-minded and tolerant on all subjects, toward all people.
- The successful person keeps abreast of the times and makes it an important responsibility to know what is going on, not only in his own business, profession or community but throughout the entire world.
- The successful person keeps his mind and outlook on life positive at all times. He recognizes that the space he occupies in the world and the success he enjoys depend upon the quality and quantity of service he renders. He makes it a habit to render more service than he promises.
- The successful person has a keen respect for the Creator and expresses it frequently through prayers, meditation and/or deeds of helpfulness to others.
It may be interesting for you to know that I was the total opposite of the successful person in my teens and early twenties. I had a very negative attitude and outlook on life. I was selfish and concerned mainly with my own desires and wants. This led me down a path of self-destruction and dissolution, which eventually and fortunately brought me to a moment of clarity and awakening. Over the past decade I’ve been making the transition and evolving into a new person… a successful person!
No matter where you currently find yourself in this life, realize that you are the one that is in full control over your fate and destiny. By harnessing the power of your subconscious mind, you can create your own reality.
Breaking it down
Napoleon Hill spent his whole life studying the noticeable characteristics of the top dogs that had achieved success in his time. He spoke with and interviewed over 500 entrepreneurs and some of the most notable and powerful men that helped to shaped the future of the United States.
Including; Alexander Graham Bell, William Jennings Bryant, Andrew Carnegie, George Eastman, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, Theodore Roosevelt, Charles M. Schwab, F.W. Woolworth, William Wrigley Jr., and John Wanamaker just to name a few.
If you would like to be successful in any endeavor, I implore you to listen to the wisdom of Napoleon Hill and apply his principles to your training and life goals.
Stay tuned for the first principle!
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