Why are some people always successful at everything they do, while others always seem prone to failure?
Where does the journey towards success and riches start?
These are important questions I think Napoleon Hill asks in the introduction of Think and Grow Rich. Having read the introduction, I was again amazed at the idea Hill presents. He suggests that all wealth, all achievements, and all success people achieve in life flows from human ideas.
It is logical that ideas flow from the thoughts of people. Throughout the book; Hill tells several stories of people thinking themselves into riches.
One story Hill tells is the story of how Edwin C. Barnes, with no notable funds at his disposal, arrived at the offices of Thomas Edison in order to go into business with Edison. Barnes had only a definite idea and a BURNING DESIRE to go into business with Edison.
He also did what was needed in order to make the idea happen, he lefts his home town to go to Edison. Only after many months Barnes was presented with the opportunity to market one of Edison's inventions. This made him very wealthy and successful.
Hill maintains that the starting point of Barnes' success was his thoughts and persistence. But persistence could only work after thoughts and definite purpose was displayed.
We have to remember that Hill wrote Think and Grow Rich as a philosophy of success. It seems that the starting point of this philosophy may be summarised in three ideas:
1. Cultivation of a wealth mindset (displaying 'wealthy' thoughts).
3. Learning from failure.
Hill best describes this best as follows:
SUCCESS COMES TO THOSE WHO BECOME SUCCESS CONSCIOUS.
FAILURE COMES TO THOSE WHO INDIFFERENTLY ALLOW THEMSELVES TO BECOME FAILURE CONSCIOUS.
After pondering this statement I see that it is really easy to become failure conscious. Failing requires you not to do anything. You can simply not do anything and be taken over by failure.
Becoming success conscious takes hard work. It requires one to unlearn many of the bad thought habits, assumptions, beliefs you pick up during the normal course of life.
I know this from experience, working at my own business as an entrepreneur. I realize that success in any area of business will only come if you have cultivated the correct mindset that draws success to you.
This challenged me to change my own lazy, default thought habits. This is not easy and takes a lot of self discipline. Hill's next chapter (Desire the starting point of achievement) outlines methods to cultivate such a wealth mindset.
We'll get to that in my next article.