lauantai 16. heinäkuuta 2011

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Some time ago I presented Napoleon Hill's list of major attributes of leadership. Now I finalized that post by adding the 10 major causes of failure in leadership.

Napoleon Hill (1937), Think and Grow Rich

Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich is an old-school classic of self-leadership and personal development. Although it was written a long before Robert T Kiyosaki's and others trainers' books, it is still well known and widely read. Personally I prefer Hill's book to for example Kiyosaki's. Hill gets deeper into people's mind and psychology and states that the success always starts by thinking. You must desire for better before you can reach your goal.

Hill's method by which desire for riches can be transmuted into its financial equivalent consists of six definite, practical steps:

  1. Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire. It is not sufficient merely to say “I want plenty of money”.
  2. Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire. There is no such reality as “something for nothing”.
  3. Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money you desire.
  4. Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.
  5. Write out a clear, concise statement of the amount of money you intend to acquire. Name the time limit for its acquisition. State what you intend to give in return for the money, and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to accumulate it.
  6. Read your statement aloud.

The 30 Major Causes of Failure

Fairly often people fail to meet their desires. According to Hill the major causes for failure are:

  1. Unfavorable hereditary background
  2. Lack of a well-defined purpose in life
  3. Lack of ambition to aim above mediocrity
  4. Insufficient education
  5. Lack of self-discipline
  6. Ill heart
  7. Unfavorable environmental influences during childhood
  8. Procrastination
  9. Lack of persistence
  10. Negative personality
  11. Lack of controlled sexual urge
  12. Uncontrolled desire for “something for nothing”
  13. Lack of a well-defined power of decision
  14. One or more of the six fears
  15. Wrong selection of mate in marriage
  16. Over-caution
  17. Wrong selection of associates in business
  18. Superstition and prejudice
  19. Wrong selection of vocation
  20. Lack of concentration of effort
  21. The habit of indiscriminate spending
  22. Lack of enthusiasm
  23. Intolerance
  24. Intemperance
  25. Inability to cooperate with others
  26. Possession of power not acquired through self-effort
  27. Intentional dishonesty
  28. Egotism and vanity
  29. Guessing instead of thinking
  30. Lack of capital

The Seven Major Positive Emotions

Hill highlights the importance of positive thinking. He presents his listing of major positive and negative emotions and basic fears.

  1. The emotion of desire
  2. The emotion of faith
  3. The emotion of love
  4. The emotion of sex
  5. The emotion of enthusiasm
  6. The emotion of romance
  7. The emotion of hope

The Seven Major Negative Emotions

  1. The emotion of fear
  2. The emotion of jealously
  3. The emotion of hatred
  4. The emotion of revenge
  5. The emotion of greed
  6. The emotion of superstition
  7. The emotion of anger

The Six Basic Fears

  1. The fear of poverty
  2. The fear of criticism
  3. The fear of ill health
  4. The fear of loss of love of someone
  5. The fear of old age
  6. The fear of death

Hill on Capital

There is one chapter in which Hill presents his ideas on capitalism. Here is how he see it: "The name of the mysterious benefactor of humankind is capital. Capital consists not of money alone, but more particularly of highly organized, intelligent groups of people who plan ways and means of using money efficiently for the good of the public, and profitably for themselves. These groups consists of scientists, educators, transportation experts, accountants, lawyers, doctors, and both men and women who have highly specialized knowledge in all fields of industry and business. They pioneer, experiment and blaze trails in new fields of endeavor. They support colleges, hospitals and schools, build good roads, publish newspapers, pay most of the cost of government, and take care of the multitudinous detail essential to human progress. Stated briefly, the capitalists are the brains of civilization because they supply the entire fabric of which all education, enlightenment and human progress consist.

Money without brains is always dangerous. Properly used, it is the most important essential of civilization. A simple breakfast for a city family could not be provided at a reasonable price if organized capital had not supplied the machinery, the ships, the railways, and the huge armies of trained people to operate them. Some slight idea of the importance of organized capital may be had by trying to imagine yourself burdened with the responsibility of collecting and delivering a simple breakfast to the above-mentioned city family, without the aid of capital.

The sum of money required for the building and maintenance of the railways and ships used in the delivery of that simple breakfast is so huge that it staggers one’s imagination. Ships and railways do not spring up from the earth and function automatically. They come in response to the call of civilization, trough the labor and ingenuity and organizing ability of people who have imagination, faith, enthusiasm, decision and persistence. These people are known as capitalists. They are motivated by the desire to build, construct, achieve, provide useful service, earn profits and accumulate riches. And, because they provide service without which there would be no civilization, they put themselves in the way of great riches."

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