You’ve almost certainly heard of ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill and the concept of ‘the law of attraction’ which states that:
“positive thinking can create life-changing results such as increased happiness, health, and wealth.”
Think and Grow Rich was a hugely successful best seller and there’s no question that Hill made (and lost) a lot of money throughout his life with his various business ventures. However, his wealth did not come about by practising what he preaches. He sold shares that didn’t exist, he bought goods on credit with the intention of reselling them and never paying his creditors, and much more. He was accused many times of running fraudulent schemes and had to go on the run to avoid arrest warrants.
Even his best-selling book (which brought him more wealth than any of his apparently fraudulent business ventures) – Think and Grow Rich, was said to have been not truly his own work. His 4th wife, Rosa Lee, played a big part in both the writing and the editing of that book.
Hill claims that he was frequently visited by spirits and by a ‘Master’ who spoke to him audibly to reveal secret knowledge. What’s more likely is that Hill knew he could cash in by passing on this ‘secret knowledge’ to those willing to pay for it!
If nothing else, he was a very accomplished salesman and the very same could be said about the ‘gurus’ and teachers of ‘the law of attraction’.
However, I’m a great believer in positive thinking and every accomplishment always begins with a thought. There is definitely truth in the saying:
‘If you think you can, you can, and if you think you can’t, you can’t’.
Mindset is very important in relation to success, which is why I invested a lot of time into my own ‘personal development’ and mindset back when I first started out in online business.
…but thoughts alone do not manifest into ‘things’. You can think as much as you like about being wealthy, about having a better lifestyle, about being healthier, slimmer, about gaining recognition, about anything you want, but it won’t happen – unless by some ‘one in a million’ random stroke of luck!
We can’t think ourselves rich and we can’t ‘attract’ what we want in life just by focusing our thoughts. The law of attraction teaches ‘visualisation’, which is a stronger thought, but it’s still only a thought. There’s also the notion that by speaking our goals and desires out loud and repeating them over and over, we increase the chance of them coming true. This stems from the science of sound and vibration and while it’s true that sound can alter things physically – that’s not quite the same as claiming that speaking our desires out loud, will cause them to manifest.
You could say “I will win the lottery” 1000 times today and 1000 times a day for the next year, but your chances of winning the lottery will still be 20 million to 1.
To accomplish something worthwhile takes effort, it takes tenacity, determination and often a willingness to really challenge ourselves and push through the obstacles and the failed attempts. Maybe it can mean changing the habits of a lifetime, which as we all know, is not easy to do. Sometimes we need to develop a ‘do or die’ attitude!
This is why most people dream about what they want, but never actually get it. Many people dream about winning the lottery – but actually, they’re dreaming about the lifestyle they could have if they had significantly more money than they have now.
It’s incredible that even though the chances of winning the lottery are something like 20 million to 1, many people see this as their ONLY hope of achieving their dreams. Therefore, they focus all their thoughts of prosperity on winning the lottery. Because of this, they will probably miss 100 opportunities to realise their dreams in another way!
Don’t dream, DO. Decide what you want – visualise it if it helps – and then take the necessary action to get it. Age doesn’t need to be a barrier either.
Sometimes a student will complain that they’re too old to learn something new, that they didn’t grow up with computers and the Internet. Well, neither did I. When I was in school we had typewriters and something called ‘Secretarial Studies’ for girls. I remember getting a score of minus 11 (yes minus) out of 100 in my final exam for that subject. Apparently, it was not only the lowest score ever, but I was the only student in history to have scored a minus in the exam – or at least that’s what they told me. It’s true that learning a new skill when we are older often takes longer than it would have done had we learned that skill as a younger person – but that doesn’t mean we can’t do it AND get really good at it!
The message is NOT to stop thinking about what you want – but to think about it (not for too long!), decide how you are going to get it, and then take the necessary action. Because thoughts without action are nothing more than ‘dreams’ or ‘fantasies’, just like winning the lottery 🙂