I’ve (finally) begun reading Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. This was recommended to me about a year ago when I was thinking of starting my own virtual assistant business. It was written in 1937 and is one of the top selling books of all time, having sold 15 million copies. I was told that it had transformed a friend’s view of finances and money and had allowed her to pursue passions without money as the main aim, but in the end making far more than when she started. Obviously this sounds enticing!
I’m not sure about everything that I have found in the book so far. It’s incredibly interesting to read something that was written at the end of the great depression; the practical advice is often funny and stories not quite up to date, but the principles remain sound. Hill emphasizes having a burning desire that turns to obsession as the starting point to build on in the creation of wealth. Actually, he uses the word riches, which is perhaps a concept that I’m not quite comfortable with. I am not seeking riches; I am seeking wealth that goes beyond just money. I originally bought the book, yes, to have insight into personal finances and money. I am nearing 30 and don’t have retirement savings (or really much other savings of which to speak), live little more than paycheck to paycheck (this has gotten better since I bought the book, but it’s not like I could go more than a couple weeks without working) and just generally was looking for a new perspective on making, saving and investing money. I would like to pay off my credit card and loans quicker, be able to have some (or even one, lol) investments, and travel.
Think and Grow Rich, however, is much more about wealth creating and the steps to take to achieve this. It’s definitely got me brainstorming and starting to think about future plans and possibilities. While this is all ruminating, however, I am really interested in how the basic principles of this book relate to and align with the mindset piece that yoga and Buddhism develop. Hill states:
“Man may become the master of himself, and of his environment, because he has the power to influence his own subconscious mind, and through it, gain the cooperation of Infinite Intelligence.”
In yoga we focus on quieting the mind and learning to be in control of one’s thoughts. Being able to ‘turn off’ negative thoughts and find inner peace is a skill that can be improved upon with practice. I think that this is very close to what Hill means by influencing our subconscious mind. He states that the conscious mind is the gateway to the subconscious mind and that the only thoughts that will make their way to the subconscious are the ones we let in – these can be positive or destructive and we have the power to control which it is. Have power over your mind, rather than giving your thoughts power over you. This is so hard, but so very important. Hill recommends doing this by repeating a written statement of your purpose at least twice daily. By doing this you eventually begin to believe and have faith in the truth of that statement, even if it hasn’t yet entirely come to fruition. You are influencing you subconscious to believe it and through this you will be able to manifest it. This is, functionally, your financial mantra (Hill’s statement is of your financial goals and plans to achieve them). Mantras always make me think of the relationship between smiling and happiness. If you force yourself to smile, eventually you will feel happy. You may be faking it at first, but eventually your body comes to believe it and you feel happy. I think that small thing is absolutely incredible! You can trick your mind into being happy just by forcing yourself to smile! To me, the smile is your mantra and if you repeat it enough eventually it will be true.
Hill’s statement also incorporates karma; the universe will reflect back that which you give. You manifest your future and dreams via the energy forces that will help to create it. I’m really working on implementing this in my life by always trying to be the best version of myself. I don’t always succeed, obviously. I have the Pitta quality of fire and can be grumpy and snippy (especially when hungry!), but I am trying to get better at manifesting positive energy.
My last observation from this book is Hill’s statement
“Both success and failure are largely the result of habit!”
Pretty serendipitous considering my Foundations project! Perhaps I am on the right track, after all.
For today, Namaste.