What is FAITH and BELIEF?

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This post is about Napoleon Hill’s second step toward riches as described in his book  Think and Grow Rich, the step of FAITH.

If you missed my post about the first step, DESIRE, you can read about it HERE.

Mr Hill describes FAITH, LOVE, and SEX as the three most powerful positive emotions.  Faith and Love are expressed as spiritual emotions, sex as physical only.  The blending of these three positive emotions opens “a direct line of communication between the finite, thinking mind of man, and Infinite Intelligence.”

According to Hill, FAITH can be cultivated by repeated instructions to the subconscious mind.  The principle involved is known as “auto-suggestion.”

So, what are we trying to accomplish is to convert our desires for riches into actual money.  Our objective, then, is to convince the subconscious mind through auto-suggestion, that we will receive what we ask for.  Our subconscious will then act on that belief and increase our faith that we will receive what we desire.

Repetition of affirmation of orders to your subconscious mind is the ONLY known method of voluntary development of the emotion of FAITH.

The principle here is that if you continue to give your subconscious mind the same thoughts or “affirmations,” your mind will in time accept these thoughts as fact and will act upon them.  Your mind will then convert these thoughts into their physical equivalents as practically as it can.

So, the key here is to “emotionalize” your thoughts, or combine them with emotions, and then repeat them to your subconscious mind, then they, with faith, begin to come true.

This might sound like a lot of hocus-pocus, but people have been living by faith throughout the history of humankind.  I guess we should consider if there is a difference between the faith Napoleon Hill is advocating, and religious faith.  Hill does recognize the part that Infinite Intelligence plays in cultivation and acting on, or with, faith.  Religious faith has more to do with the belief in a supreme being, Hill’s definition of faith concerns the power of the mind.

The subconscious mind is the key

the subconscious mind is the key

If you believe you are doomed to poverty and failure, then your subconscious mind will develop habits of poverty and failure.

If you believe you are going to be a great success, your subconscious will guide you to the success you believe you will achieve.  If you tell your subconscious mind what to do, in faith, then your mind will do its best to carry out the orders you have given it.


Hill believes that you can “train” your mind to focus on your goals, and that mental focus, combined with repeated affirmations, will attract the success you are focusing on.  In time, that attraction will translate into material results.  He believes that there is real power in such a combination of focus and repeated affirmations that causes the physical world to open up opportunities for the success sought by the person who really wants it.

Your greatest weakness is a lack of self confidence

Of all the weaknesses you may have, a lack of self conficence is the most debilitating for success.  This weakness can be overcome, and timidity changed to courage, through the process of auto-suggestion.  Hill recommends 5 steps that should be written, memorized, and repeated until they become a part of “a part of the working equipment of the subconscious faculty of your mind.”  The following list is taken from Hill’s book and is quoted verbatim.

  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 the 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 seek expression through some practical 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-reliatn, and successful person.

The above formula is another of the list of affirmations that can be found in Mr. HIll’s book.  He is a firm believer in the power of thoughts to produce actions, and also to produce results.

This was the second principle mentioned in Napoleon Hill’s book “Think and Grow Rich.”   The other ten principles will be discussed in later posts.

If you found this interesting, or have a comment, please leave it below.  Thanks.

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