Archive for the ‘action’ Category

Napoleon Hill’s missing link, and the other side of the coin

Friday, February 12th, 2010

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I was writing the other day about mental attitudes in , and that made me extrapolate a bit on the idea of taking action. I thought about popular books I read on law of attraction, positive thinking, re-conditioning of the mind, believe that you can, and things of this sort; and realized there is a missing link between thoughts like this and success.

Do you remember the great classic “Think and Grow Rich”? In it, Napoleon Hill made the famous claim: “Whatever your mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.” He got it wrong, or at least incomplete. It was indeed a revolutionary book, right after the Great Depression; people desperatley needed such a philosophy. It has been a great inspiration for many that achieved their dreams and reached further. And it has been a great disappointment for many that followed the word and failed terribly.

Here’s why. There’s another side of the coin of success, that Napoleon did not see: ACTION. I don’t care how long you visualize fancy cars and pretty mansions, or piles of money; until you take massive action to change the circumstances, it’s nothing but wishful thinking and fantasy. This is the major flaw, the missing link in Napoleon’s book, and many other books that followed.

Taking action is hard to do. Especially when we talk “massive”. We are programmed with a tendency to resist. We make it for a big start, and we don’t even realize what stops us. Here are a few tips to succeed in taking action:

  • Don’t make it for a big start; instead, start small and spare your energy for the long run;
  • Once the problem defined, don’t focus on it again; instead, focus on the solution. In other words, don’t be “against war”, but be “pro peace”;
  • Devide the action plan into small steps; the whole can be overwhelming;
  • Make small conscious actions. For example, if you are to write a book – thinking of the whole book can be overwhelming. Instead, think of a series of small actions like: now I raise my right hand, now I grab the pen, now I lay it on the paper, now I write the next word, the next sentence, etc. As silly as it sounds, you can move mountains with this non-resistance approach;
  • Come up with a belief system of your own to help you succeed; and make sure you always follow with action.

If you’ve read great books that motivated you to take action, share them with us in the comments below!

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