Archives For Think and Grow Rich

What do you know? What is your specialized knowledge? Why do you consider that your area of expertise? Most consider the field they went to school to study is their specialized knowledge and unfortunately some think that is when the knowledge gathering ends.

General knowledge, although important, won’t necessarily get you to the level of success you want. Specialized knowledge could get you to the top of your field.

Now don’t let me mislead you, just because you went to college for a specific field doesn’t really make you one of the experts in the field. Education is a great start but to truly become a subject matter expert (SME) you need to devote time into REALLY learning about your field. Anyone can go to school to receive a piece of paper to get you in the door for a job, specialized knowledge may keep you in that job, or better yet, get you that advancement.

Earle Nightingale stated that you need to have about 10,000 hours in studying a subject before you can become known as an industry expert. That means if you want to become an expert in your area within a year you’ll need to put in 27 hours a DAY. The last time I looked a day isn’t 27 hours long so that’s unrealistic, even in two years that’s about 14 hours a day, still again not very realistic.

With that, a four year degree, if you went to school 5 days a week, would still mean your daily commitment would equal about 9 hours. That’s why most people don’t become experts in their major because they don’t continue increasing their knowledge in their area of expertise after they get that degree.

Bottom line, you really need to dedicate yourself to a daily commitment to feed your knowledge. How many hours a day can you dedicate to increasing your specialized knowledge? Even if you spend two hours daily it’ll take you about 13 years to get in 10,000 hours of training.

Consistency is one of the keys to being recognized as having specialized knowledge? At work do you spend time each day learning something new about your job? What do you do in the evening? Watch television or dedicate time to learning. Now I’m not knocking television, there are some great programs, but there are also some great time wasters.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2013 Americans spent on average 2.8 hours a day watching television, the most popular leisure activity. The second most frequent was spending time socializing with others at 43 minutes per day. In reference to leisure activities Americans participated in the joy of reading at about 27 minutes for men and 40 minutes for women.

What’s the lesson for this chapter of Think and Grow Rich? A college education doesn’t necessarily mean you have the knowledge level you need for your chosen field. It will give you the same edge as other students grabbing their diplomas, however what will set you apart is the time you spend learning your profession after you get out of school.

This information should be a relief for those that haven’t dedicated money into a formal education. A degree may be needed to get you in the seat of certain jobs, but to become a recognized expert you need to put the time in to your profession.

Now here’s a thought, if you’re not interested in investing money into a formal education, take that time you would spend sitting in a classroom and work for free. Contact one of the top people in the field and ask if you can be their personal assistant. But let them know the reason why you want to work for free. I know this sounds like an internship, but most of the time that’s linked to an educational center. Napoleon Hill even worked for President Eisenhower for only one dollar a year in order to increase his knowledge on what successful people do.

Another source of free education is the internet. There are a number of web sites that offer college level courses. It may not get you that diploma but it can give you specialized knowledge, because you get to choose what classes to focus on. Coursera is one of the on-line companies that offer classes.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” He helped all of us increase our specialized knowledge by starting the first public library. A free source of information that not only offers the information but a place to study. His contribution to our nation’s knowledge opened many doors, including more libraries, which allowed many to learn. Although the PEW Institute reported in 2013 that only 48% of Americans have visited a public library in the past 12 months, down from 53% in 2012.

What areas of your life do you need more knowledge in?

What are you telling yourself? I never really considered what I was thinking could actually program my subconscious mind to do what I was thinking. I don’t know about you but I can remember thinking of some negative things about myself. Yet when I reflect back at the good things I’ve done, it was a result of first thinking about what I saw the outcome being, and somehow it materialized.

I know, that sounds suspicious or fantastic, it didn’t really ‘materialize.’ If I hadn’t taken certain steps along the way it wouldn’t have happened. Once again when I think back through the time frame between thinking about what I saw in the future and doing it, I made decisions along the way to increase my knowledge, skills and abilities. At times something inside me just wouldn’t stop turning until I made the decision. I don’t think it was indigestion, I think it was my subconscious screaming at me, “Dude, if you’re going to achieve what you see, you need to do this.” Most of the time these decisions involved massive time commitments and money, but like Dr. John Maxwell says, “You have to give up, to go up.”

Some of the worst kinds of auto-suggestions are handed down to us from those closest to us, aren’t they? How many times have you heard a parent criticize their child and tell them their bad or can’t do something. I know we need to discipline unruly and disrespectful kids, but they are learning that behavior from somewhere, and sometimes I wonder who’s disciplining the ones who are supposed to be setting the example.

If you have a hard time thinking positive thoughts, or getting into the habit of doing it, there are some other options to help fill your subconscious with positivity.

Subliminals are the most common way to have certain habits or lifestyle changes consistently played over and over in your head. You can find hundreds of companies that offer their versions of how to stop smoking, lose weight, be healthier, make money, etc., etc. I admit that I have some of these and haven’t used them all that much.

The other way is with paraliminals which are messages at a frequency you can’t hear but your brain can. They use different types of sounds in the background like ocean waves, rain, or music. There aren’t as many companies that offer paraliminals, and some will even use your own voice. If you go this route make sure you use emotions when you tape your auto-suggestions so you get the most impact.

Don’t want to go through all that? Here are some thoughts;

Follow what is outlined in the chapters Faith and Auto-suggestions. Write out who you see yourself being and then, at a minimum repeat it to yourself in the morning and evening.
Cleanse your environment of negativity. That may be difficult if you have to work with, or even live with a negative person, but maybe they’ll chose to become more positive if they see you doing so.
Turn the news off in the morning. Do we really need to know what’s going on in the world three times a day? I know we need to be kept informed on what is going on in the world, just be careful who you’re getting your information from.
Subscribe to a daily positive and/or your purpose related information. If you want to lose weight or stop smoking, read daily on how unhealthy it is and what you can do to change habits. If you want to be a better leader, listen to a podcast or read daily.
The most important ingredient is,

You have to believe you can be before you will be!

The more I dig into all this self-improvement stuff it all comes down to that. You can have all the processes, techniques, pills, teachers, or money, you may achieve it for a period of time, but your self-image, your internal auto-pilot, will always guide you back to your internal self-image. If you’re self-image isn’t the person who you really want to be, you’ll always fly back to who you really see.

When I start to think about faith I think about religion. But real faith starts within us, it’s not external. We may represent our faith externally through our actions and the symbols we display. So if faith starts internally, why do so many people lack the faith in themselves to set goals or even believe that they can achieve what they desire?

When I’m facilitating a course and the topic of goals or self-improvement comes up I ask if people set goals for themselves and most people don’t. Now I have to admit, I need improving in this area also.  That’s one reason why I have a goal to write monthly, it forces me to learn and hopefully start applying what I know.

So I ask;

Is the reluctance to set goals due to our lack of faith in ourselves?

If you do believe in God, or your form of a higher power, don’t you basically believe in something someone else told you about? Something that is not physical, you can’t touch, smell, or really see?

So why do we struggle to have faith in what is physical? You can smell, feel and see yourself. You can even control your decisions and actions, at least at the conscious level. But we still don’t have faith enough in ourselves to believe that we can accomplish our dreams.

One way of telling if someone has faith in themselves is how they view their future, especially in times when they face adversity. Do they see negative setbacks as learning experiences that they can grow from? Do they always have a positive outlook on their future because they have enough faith in what they’re creating?

In Think and Grow Rich (T&GR) Mr. Hill states that faith is the visualization of and belief in attainment of desire.”  You need to have faith that what you desire is even possible before you can even began to do it, don’t you? He continues to state that describing faith is like describing the color red to a blind person, it’s a state of mind. But if you don’t have faith in yourself, don’t be discouraged because the emotion of faith can be developed through repetition of affirmations to your subconscious mind. You have to reframe the negative into a positive. You need to convince yourself that you can do it.

Isn’t that what the children’s story “The Little Engine That Could” was all about, repetition of affirmations, “I think I can, I think I can, I know I can, I know I can.” How many adults do you know that need to read that story again? Is “I can’t” in your vocabulary?

“Every man is what he is because of the dominating thoughts which he permits to occupy his mind.”

~ Napoleon Hill

James Allan in his book The Life Triumphant published in 1907 states, “The man of faith does not succumb when difficulties present themselves; he does not despair when troubles overtake him. However steep and dark his path may seem, he looks forward to a brighter pathway ahead; sees a destination of rest and light beyond it.”

On the opposite side, have you ever meet someone who always looked at the negatives and dwelled on how bad it was going to make their life. Some people call these folks pessimists, but maybe they just don’t have any faith in themselves. Faith that no matter what happens to them, life will be better. James Allan also says, “There are those who, having yielded to defeat in the battle of life, talk thoughtlessly about the wrongs they have suffered at the hands of others.”

If the Law of Attraction is correct, if you dwell on the negative outcomes won’t you get negative outcomes? But if you focus on positive outcomes, if you have faith, aren’t you more likely to have positive outcomes?

Here is a poem written by Walter D. Wintle that can help you improve the faith in yourself.


If you think you are beaten, you are,

If you think you dare not, you don’t

If you like to win, but you think you can’t,

It is almost certain you won’t.


If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost

For out of the world we find,

Success begins with a fellow’s will—

It’s all in the state of mind.


If you think you are outclassed, you are,

You’ve got to think high to rise,

You’ve got to be sure of yourself before

You can ever win a prize.


Life’s battles don’t always go

To the stronger or faster man,

But soon or late the man who wins


What areas of your life do you need to improve your faith in? What opportunities will appear if you just have the faith that what you desire will come true?


Opportunities are the stepping stones through life, have faith in your dreams and the stones will appear.

What areas of your life do you need more faith in?

What do you desire? Is it that trip you’ve always dreamed of or that million dollars you can live comfortably on for the rest of your life? If you don’t know what your desires are, are you living life by design or by default. Without a driving desire do we let our life just slip by?

Napoleon Hill in his book “Think and Grow Rich” states that desire is the starting point to all achievement, it’s the first step to riches. Why does he make such a bold statement? Because without desire you can’t even get out of bed in the morning, less suffer criticism and setbacks while achieving it.

People with a strong desire to accomplish something have changed the world. Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, and Gandhi are a few names that come to mind. What makes them different from the common person? Their desire to make a difference outweighed their desire to protect their own ego or security.

I think we would all agree that there is both good and bad desires. But what really makes them good or bad, is it what that desire does for us? Sure the bad desires may make us feel good in the short term, but they eventually creep up on us and let us know why they were ultimately bad desires.

I used to enjoy drinking alcohol. I had a desire to consume it because it made me feel good in the short term. But when I started to evaluate the effects of my drinking on the long term, I realized those short term desires for alcohol was actually bad desires. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not against alcohol consumption, as long as it’s not in excess and creates bad consequences.

Bad desires usually result in harming other people. A desire to be wealthy isn’t bad unless you do it at the expense of others. Some people criticize all wealthy people, I criticize the ones that become wealthy at the expense of others.

So how do you turn your personal desires into positive desires? You need to move from concentrating on success and focus on increasing your significance.

Success may be going to school to get a college education, it will add to your personal success. It’s significant if you become a tutor while going to school and help other students be more successful.

When you’re pursuing your desires you become successful, but when you use your success to help others become successful you become significant.

Like most things in life, desires are achieved by adopting habits.

Some desires are the result of good habits and some desires are the result of bad habits.

Habits form to our satisfy our desires, if you desire something strong enough you will develop habits to fulfill that desire. In order to break free from bad habits you need to see the negative side of the desire. In James Allen book “Man: King of Mind, Body, and Circumstances” he states;

“A man is powerless to overcome the wrong and unhappy elements in himself only so long as he regards himself as powerless. If to the bad habit is added the thought “I cannot,” the bad habit will remain. Nothing can be overcome till the thought of powerlessness is uprooted and abolished from the mind.”

In order to break bad habits and unhealthy desires you have to develop the ability to control your mind, and in controlling your mind you control YOU!

Here are my final thoughts on desire to close out december’s thought letter and year 2014. I ask many people throughout the year what their goals are, and most don’t set any. This tells me that they really don’t have any desires. If you had a desire for something wouldn’t you set a goal to achieve it?

The assignment for the rest of the month is to make a list of your desires, what do you want most out of life? Does it consist of adding value to others, or only yourself?

Next month is the beginning of a new season in your life, start to think of what seeds of success you want to plant and grow throughout the year in order to achieve that desire