Have you heard of Napoleon Hill?
Napoleon Hill spent over 25 years of his life researching over 25,000 people, including over 500 of America’s wealthiest men to learn how wealthy people became that way. In 1938 he published his findings in a book titled “Think and Grow Rich.” The men he got to know were the Mark Zukerburgs of his day, and the concepts he discovered still apply today, almost 80 years later. The copyright on his book has expired and the work is now part of the public domain.
In this post I am going to tell you about the first principle of getting rich.
My saying that there is a FIRST principle implies that there are more of them. In fact, there are thirteen principles that Napoleon Hill uncovered, but right now I am only going to mention the first. The others will come in later posts.
The first principle of success is DESIRE.
Not just a wish, but an intense, burning desire for a certain goal. His book talks about wealth, gaining great wealth. You can’t just wish for it. He says, “You may as well know, right here, that you can never have riches in great quantities, UNLESS you can work yourself into a white heat of DESIRE for money, and actually BELIEVE you will possess it.”
Hill says, “If you do not see great riches in your imagination, you will never see them in your bank balance.”
Success comes to those who are success conscious. Failure comes to those who indifferently allow themselves to become failure conscious.
“Every human being who reaches the age of understanding of the purpose of money, wishes for it. Wishing will not bring riches. But desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways and means to acquire riches, and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure, will bring riches.”
Every failure contains the seeds of an equivalent success
The 6 key steps by which DESIRE for riches can be turned into ACTUAL riches are:
- 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 reason for being definite which will be described in a later post.)
- Determine EXACTLY what you intend to give in return for the money you desire. (There is no such thing as something for nothing.)
- Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money you desire.
- 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.
- Write out 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.
- Read your written statement aloud, twice daily, once just before retiring at night, and once after rising in the morning. AS YOU READ – SEE AND FEEL AND BELIEVE YOURSELF ALREADY IN POSSESSION OF THE MONEY.
It’s important to follow all six steps, especially step 6. You may think that it’s a silly thing to do, but the power of visualization is real and will focus you on your goal.
Here are three more significant quotes from the chapter on DESIRE.
“To the uninitiated, who has not been schooled in the working principles of the human mind, these instructions may appear impractical. It may be helpful, to all who fail to recognize the soundness of the six steps, to know that the information they convey, was received from Andrew Carnegie, who began as an ordinary laborer in the steel mills, but managed, despite his humble beginnings, to make these principles yield him a fortune of considerably more than one hundred million dollars.”
“The steps call for no “hard labor.” They call for no sacrifice. They do not require one to become ridiculous, or credulous. To apply them calls for no great amount of education. But the successful application of these six steps does call for sufficient imagination to enable one to see, and to understand, that accumulation of money cannot be left to chance, good fortune, and luck. One must realize that all who have accumulated great fortunes, first did a certain amount of dreaming, hoping, wishing, DESIRING, and PLANNING before they acquired money.”
“In planning to acquire your share of the riches, let no one influence you to scorn the dreamer. To win the big stakes in this changed world, you must catch the spirit of the great pioneers of the past, whose dreams have given to civilization all that it has of value, the spirit which serves as the life-blood of our own country – your opportunity and mine, to develop and market our talents.
Are you willing to burn your bridges?
Napoleon Hill tells of a man who, when he knew what he wanted, burned all his bridges behind him and staked his entire future on his ability to get what he wanted.
He also tells of a great warrior who faced a decision about success or failure on the battlefield. The warrior was about to face an enemy more powerful and numerous than his own. He loaded his soldiers into boats and sailed to the enemy’s country, disembarkeed his men and equipment, then gave the order to burn the ships that had brought his men to hostile shores. Before the first battle, he addressed his men and said, “You see the boats going up in smoke. That means that we cannot leave these shores alive unless we win! We now have no choice – we win or we perish!” They won.
It goes against our instincts to burn our bridges. It goes against what we have been told all our lives. We like to leave ourselves an out in case things go bad and we need to retreat to where we were before. One thing it does do, though, it demonstrates our committment to our new goals. Others can see our commitment, and we can feel our commitment also. If we have no fall-back position, we have no choice but to move forward.
When I first read the chapter on DESIRE from Think And Grow Rich, I had a bit of a problem. My belief system tells me that there are more important things than money, like honor, integrety, and love. I felt that if my burning desire was for riches, that I would be subordinating the more important things.
After pondering on this dilemma for a while, I have decided that it is possible, reasonable, and right to have a burning desire for wealth and also maintain my commitment to the more important values in life too. I think the key lies in steps 2 and 4 above. In Step 2, while determining EXACTLY what you are willing to give to reach your wealth goals, and you can plan without compromising your values.
In step 4, you can create a plan that is legal, honorable, and above board for obtaining wealth. By living according to your values and standards, and not compromising them, you can obtain wealth honorably.
I think that it is also important to be free with your wealth by helping others after you obtain it. It will give me great joy to be able to help my family and friends financially when I am wealthy.
Am I going to apply the six steps myself?
Yes, I am. I have determined the exact amount of money I want to obtain. I won’t publish it, because it’s private to me.
I intend to give a minimum of 4 hours a day working toward my goal, excluding Sundays.
I have set a date for when I want to have it. That date is November 26, 2018, my birthday next year. I guess I’ll have a post to write that day on how I did.
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Thanks for taking the time to read my post. I’d appreciate any comment you would like to make.