Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill
I am currently reading Napoleon Hill’s book Think and Grow Rich. It has been probably 20 years or so since I read it last. I can point back to a few things in my life that have impacted me greatly… and this book is on that list.
As I read the preface and the introductory chapter, I think back 20+ years to that young man in his late 20’s. He was trying to figure out what he wanted in life.
I was married and had three young kids. I had been working in the telecom business and was making pretty darn good money. I was a hard charging young sales professional who would not allow things to get in his way. Yes I was VERY rough around the edges.
Anyway: the book. I remember the first time I read Thing and Grow Rich. The concepts, though they were foreign to me, really resonated.
Hill was commissioned by Andrew Carnegie to study the most successful people of his time, determine what made them successful and share his findings.
Desire, Determination and a Definite Major Purpose
I remember well what I was doing when I read about these concepts. I had recently made a HUGE move from Dallas to the Twin Cities, gotten married, bought a house, had kids and was very overwhelmed with life.
My desire was to care for and provide for my family. I was determined to make something of myself in the world of sales. My definite major purpose was to be a millionaire by the time I turned 30. I thought long and hard about this and was willing to hold onto that dream until it came to be.
I love what Hill says about opportunity. He says that, “It has a sly habit of slipping in through the back door, and often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat.” He goes on to say, “Perhaps this is why so many fail to recognize opportunity.”
I sort of fell into the telecommunications business, that’s the subject of another post some day.
I had been baptized by fire… I was a 22-year-old kid with a ton of responsibility with lots of pressure on me to make things happen. One day the owner of the company (must have been raining, because he wasn’t on the gold course) and I found ourselves at odds (to put it mildly).
Well that was when I had the “opportunity” to see, first-hand what Hill was talking about. My “opportunity” did come disguised as misfortune. Thank God I recognized it.
I did the “Jed Clampett” thing… loaded up the car and headed north. I know, Jed went west, but you get the picture.
Hill talks about transmuting (transforming) your thoughts and desires into their physical counterpart… My desire was to build a future for my “future” family. I went to Minnesota to capture an opportunity. Turning my thoughts and desires into reality was the purpose.
Three feet from Gold
Hill tells a story of a gold miner who found a very rich claim. One day the gold vein disappeared. He gave up, sold his equipment to a junk dealer and went home. That junk dealer hired an expert and they determined that one of the richest veins in that area continued just 3 feet away from where the miner gave up.
Having arrived in Minnesota less than 24 hours before, I went in to my “new employer” to “get” my job. I answered all of his questions and told him everything I knew about the wide world of telecommunications. To which he replied, “Thanks for dropping by, I’ll let you know something in the next few weeks.”
WHAT!! I drove 16 hours, to the frozen tundra to transmute my thoughts and desires into their physical counterpart! This would not stand! I knew that I was “three feet from gold” I told him that if I didn’t have an opportunity with his company, I was going to gas up the car and head back to Texas. – I started working there the following Monday! Eureka!
I knew that I was standing at the precipice of great opportunity and I was not willing to accept anything but the fulfillment of my Definite Major Purpose. Period.
The opportunity that slipped into the back door disguised as misfortune, was a life-changing event. I didn’t have any concept of Napoleon Hill or his book at the time but his principles were played out right there in my life.
What about you?
- What is your desire?
- What is it that you invest your thoughts on?
- What is your Definite Major Purpose?
Hill says,” Before success comes in any man’s (woman’s) life, he (she) is sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and perhaps some failure. When defeat overtakes a man (woman) the easiest and most logical thing to do is to quit. That is exactly what most do.”
Don’t quit. You might be three feet from gold.
If you haven’t read Napoleon Hill, “Think and Grow Rich” lately… or ever… Google it… you can download a free copy.