Monday, June 6, 2011

Think and Grow Rich, Turn Your Life Around Through Self Analysis

Think and Grow RichIn Napoleon Hill’s book Think and Grow Rich, he devotes an entire chapter on “The Six Ghosts of Fears”; it’s his second longest chapter (out of fifteen) and he saves it for last.  He lists Six Basic Fears:

The fear of poverty
The fear of criticism
The fear of ill health
The fear of loss of love of someone
The fear of old age
The fear of death

Under “The Most Destructive Fear” he writes:

Fear of poverty is a state of mind, nothing else! But it is sufficient to destroy one's chances of achievement in any undertaking, a truth which became painfully evident during the depression.

This fear paralyzes the faculty of reason, destroys the faculty of imagination, kills off self-reliance, undermines enthusiasm, discourages initiative, leads to uncertainty of purpose, encourages procrastination, wipes out enthusiasm and makes self-control an impossibility. It takes the charm from one's personality, destroys the possibility of accurate thinking, diverts concentration of effort, it masters persistence, turns the will-power into nothingness, destroys ambition, beclouds the memory and invites failure in every conceivable form; it kills love and assassinates the finer emotions of the heart, discourages friendship and invites disaster in a hundred forms, leads to sleeplessness, misery and unhappiness-and all this despite the obvious truth that we live in a world of over-abundance of everything the heart could desire, with nothing standing between us and our desires, excepting lack of a definite purpose.

That’s a lot, and that’s just one fear.  (It seems an awful lot of this fear is circulating around the US the last couple of years, a panic of how bad things are and how worse it's going to get, as if its never going to end.)  By the way, it was Napoleon Hill who gave FDR the Great Depression-slogan:  The Only Thing We Have to Fear, is Fear Itself.  To combat these fears, and to turn your life around, Hill recommends that “Self-analysis may disclose weaknesses which one does not like to acknowledge.  This form of examination is essential to all who demand of life more than mediocrity and poverty.”

He adds:
Without doubt, the most common weakness of all human beings is the habit of leaving their minds open to the negative influence of other people. This weakness is all the more damaging, because most people do not recognize that they are cursed by it, and many who acknowledge it, neglect or refuse to correct the evil until it becomes an uncontrollable part of their daily habits.

News stories, newspapers, and the Internet are chock full of negative influences about what's all wrong with the world today (including all that crime, celebrity and political meltdowns, and how innocent people like you and me are wronged, instilling the fear that you might be next, so beware!) 

To aid those who wish to see themselves as they really are, the following list of questions has been prepared. Read the questions and state your answers aloud, so you can hear your own voice. This will make it easier for you to be truthful with yourself.

Having read Think and Grow Rich for the third time, and after finding myself once again procrastinating on a task that I vowed to complete last week (is there a subconscious fear working against me?), I thought it high time that I complete this self-analysis to see what’s going on . . . . I’m half way through right now—taking a break since I’m being so brutal on myself, taking full responsibility for all that I’m doing and not doing effectively (I’ve already written seven, single-spaced pages of answers!). 

I’ll warn you, it’s tough on the ego, but every now and then you need to take stock of yourself, especially if you feel you are holding yourself back (even subconsciously).  This way, based on your truthful answers, you’ll know exactly how to move forward, and that’s exactly what I aim to do. Move forward.  Already I’m anxious to get back to the rest of those questions!  Just reading through the questions will make you think, but the real power comes with your answers, and what you do next now that you know the truth about yourself!

Do you complain often of  'feeling bad," and if so, what is the cause?
Do you find fault with other people at the slightest provocation?
Do you frequently make mistakes in your work, and if so, why?
Are you sarcastic and offensive in your conversation?
Do you deliberately avoid the association of anyone, and if so, why?
Do you suffer frequently with indigestion? If so, what is the cause?
Does life seem futile and the future hopeless to you? If so, why?
Do you like your occupation? If not, why?
Do you often feel self-pity, and if so why?
Are you envious of those who excel you?
To which do you devote most time, thinking of SUCCESS, or of FAILURE?
Are you gaining or losing self-confidence as you grow older?
Do you learn something of value from all mistakes?
Are you permitting some relative or acquaintance to worry you? If so, why?
Are you sometimes "in the clouds" and at other times in the depths of despondency?
Who has the most inspiring influence upon you? What is the cause?
Do you tolerate negative or discouraging influences which you can avoid?
Are you careless of your personal appearance? If so, when and why?
Have you learned how to "drown your troubles" by being too busy to be annoyed by them?
Would you call yourself a "spineless weakling" if you permitted others to do your thinking for you?
Do you neglect internal bathing until auto-intoxication makes you ill-tempered and irritable?
How many preventable disturbances annoy you, and why do you tolerate them?
Do you resort to liquor, narcotics, or cigarettes to "quiet your nerves"? If so, why do you not try will-power instead?
Does anyone "nag" you, and if so, for what reason?
Do you have a DEFINITE MAJOR PURPOSE, and if so, what is it, and what plan have you for achieving it?
Do you suffer from any of the Six Basic Fears? If so, which ones?
Have you a method by which you can shield yourself against the negative influence of others?
Do you make deliberate use of auto-suggestion to make your mind positive?
Which do you value most, your material possessions, or your privilege of controlling your own thoughts?
Are you easily influenced by others, against your own judgment?
Has today added anything of value to your stock of knowledge or state of mind?
Do you face squarely the circumstances which make you unhappy, or sidestep the responsibility?
Do you analyze all mistakes and failures and try to profit by them or, do you take the attitude that this is not your duty?
Can you name three of your most damaging weaknesses?
What are you doing to correct them?
Do  you encourage other people to bring their worries to you for sympathy?
Do you choose, from your daily experiences, lessons or influences which aid in your personal advancement?
Does your presence have a negative influence on other people as a rule?
What habits of other people annoy you most?
Do you form your own opinions or permit yourself to be influenced by other people?
Have you learned how to create a mental state of mind with which you can shield yourself against all discouraging influences?
Does your occupation inspire you with faith and hope?
Are you conscious of possessing spiritual forces of sufficient power to enable you to keep your mind free from all forms of FEAR?
Does your religion help you to keep your own mind positive?
Do you feel it your duty to share other people's worries? If so, why?
If you believe that "birds of a feather flock together" what have you learned about yourself by studying the friends whom you attract?
What connection, if any, do you see between the  people with whom you associate most closely, and any unhappiness you may experience?
Could it be possible that some person whom you consider to be a friend is, in reality, your worst enemy, because of his negative influence on your mind?
By what rules do you judge who is helpful and who is damaging to you?
Are your intimate associates mentally superior or inferior to you?
How much time out of every 24 hours do you devote to:
a. your occupation
b. sleep
c. play and relaxation
d. acquiring useful knowledge
e. plain waste

Who among your acquaintances,
a. encourages you most
b. cautions you most
c. discourages you most
d. helps you most in other ways

What is your greatest worry? Why do you tolerate it?
When others offer you free, unsolicited advice, do you accept it without question, or analyze their motive?
What, above all else, do you most DESIRE? Do you intend to acquire it?
Are you willing to subordinate all other desires for this one?
How much time daily do you devote to acquiring it?
Do you change your mind often? If so, why?
Do you usually finish everything you begin?
Are you easily impressed by other people's business or professional titles, college degrees, or wealth?
Are you easily influenced by what other people think or say of you?
Do  you cater to people because of their social or financial status?
Whom do you believe to be the greatest person living?
In what respect is this person superior to yourself?
How much time have you devoted to studying and answering these questions? (At least one day is necessary for the analysis and the answering of the entire list.)

By the way here’s a short video of these same questions, with pleasant and soothing images and music to accompany them!

Hill then adds:

If you have answered all these questions truthfully, you know more about yourself than the majority of people. Study the questions carefully, come back to them once each week for several months, and be astounded at the amount of additional knowledge of great value to yourself, you will have gained by the simple method of answering the questions truthfully. If you are not certain concerning the answers to some of the questions, seek the counsel of those who know you well, especially those who have no motive in flattering you, and see yourself through their eyes. The experience will be astonishing.

Good luck, and if you want to read the whole book on line, here’s a website that allows you to do exactly that, which I just now found while posting this blog! Good luck.

*It took a few days but I finally managed to answer all 61 questions.  The first direct outcome was to create a new work schedule, when I do certain tasks, in the morning, afternoon, evening, since this was an on-going problem and certain important tasks were not getting done.  It has also fired me up in many different ways now that I understand what was holding me back; it reminded me of my priorities, plus it strengthened my resolve.    
            Borneo Expat Writer

**Here the link to my website, to MPH online for orders for all three of my books, including my latest, Spirit of Malaysia and for Trois autres Malaisie.

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