I recently purchased the new version of the timeless classic, “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill (1937). Through the years, the original text had been edited to make it more contemporary. But current wisdom says the original message stands the test of time, so the version I read is the original manuscript fully restored, annotated, indexed and revised by Ross Cornwell.
When I first read this book, it profoundly changed my life. That first reading took place more than 20 years ago, and I have reread the book many times since. And through the years, as I study more and more information about success and the power of the mind, I am pleasantly surprised to discover that the principles revealed in Napoleon Hill’s work are present in almost every piece of self-help material I come across.
Every time I read Hill’s book I gain new insights and wisdom that I did not pick up in previous readings. Take, for instance, the chapter on faith. Faith has been a very strong tool responsible for my success, and yet this time around I noticed a passage in Chapter 2 that I had never really paid much attention to.
This particular passage is so powerful that the author asks you to read it not once, not twice, but four times-even reading it aloud until you “hear” it.
“FAITH is the ‘eternal elixir’ which gives life, power and action to the impulse of thought!
FAITH is the starting point of all accumulation of riches!
FAITH is the basis of all ‘miracles’.
FAITH is the only known antidote for FAILURE.
FAITH is the element; the “chemical” which when mixed with prayer gives one direct communication with infinite intelligence.
FAITH is the element which transforms the ordinary ‘vibration of thought’, created by the finite human mind, into its spiritual equivalent.
FAITH is the only agency through which the cosmic force of infinite intelligence can be harnessed and used by humanity.
I don’t know about you, but the ability to harness infinite intelligence sounds like a pretty powerful tool to me.
Another profound quote from the book–a quote that changed my life–says, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
I use to conceive all kinds of ideas but had a great deal of difficulty with believing. Consequently, I was not achieving all that I desired. In short, I lacked the faith.
This brings me to the part I never really noticed in chapter 2 about FAITH. Hill explains that, the principle of autosuggestion (self suggestion of thoughts through the conscious mind to influence the subconscious mind):
“FAITH is a state of mind, which may be induced or created, by affirmations or repeated instructions to the subconscious mind, through the principle of autosuggestion.” In other words, if you repeat desired ideas or suggestions to yourself, you convince your subconscious mind that you believe it is true.
Because you have faith that it is going to happen those thoughts become things in your experience. The subconscious mind, in which all thought impulses are combined and made ready for translation to physical reality, makes no distinction between negative or positive thoughts. It just delivers (vibrationally) whatever you think about most.
I’ve learned to use autosuggestion to consciously install thoughts about what I want to attract in my life-including the faith I need to succeed.Our thoughts are vibrations of energy transferred through some mysterious current.
We are constantly attracting those thoughts (vibrations) that harmonize with the thoughts that dominate our mind.
The subconscious, through repetition and emotion, will translate into reality your thoughts driven by fear just as readily as it will translate your thoughts driven by courage. It’s not that if you worry endlessly about losing your job you will necessarily lose your job. But you will manifest an event or circumstance that vibrationally feels the same as if you lost your job.
So, if you are filling your mind with fear, doubt and disbelief, the Law of Autosuggestion will deliver circumstances and events filled with fear, doubt and disbelief to you. If you fill your mind with positive, courageous and expectant thoughts, it will deliver circumstances and events filled with positive, courageous and expectant results.
These days, we hear about Law of Attraction as if it’s a new concept. But there it is, all spelled out in a book written over 75 years ago.
Hill goes on to talk about how Mahatma Gandhi was one of the most powerful examples of faith in action. He inspired two hundred million people to move in unison through the influence of faith. Abraham Lincoln was another.
You must first be able to sell yourself on your own ideas before you can ever sell anyone else on the same ideas. You can learn to strengthen your faith by using autosuggestion to influence your thoughts.
Remember, faith is indispensable for success. Resolve to put out of your mind those negative thoughts that will compromise your faith.
Ask yourself, “Which beliefs do I need to have more faith in before I can reach my goal?”
Once you identify the beliefs write down affirmations you can input into your subconscious to increase your faith.
Steve Kennedy is a professionally trained and certified co-active coach with a passion for “The Game of Business.” Steve new book, ‘Winning the Game of Business: The Entrepreneur’s Quest for Ultimate Success’, is due late Spring 2007. To learn more visit: http://www.winningthegameofbusiness.com