Personal control is possible over being, doing, achieving and acquiring.
“Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you're right.” - Henry Ford.
OK, so now we know and have experienced being able to change our attitudes and control what goes on in our own mind. What I tell you next has been in every self-help book I've opened and is applicable to every person on this planet, regardless of religious beliefs, sex or philosophy:
You can achieve anything you want to; the only limits are what you've set for yourself.
True. Start picking up the books I've already mentioned, or as noted in the appendix, and you'll see it for yourself. Or start roaming through biographies of people who have achieved great things, made a fortune (or several) or were famous for one or more other reasons. Before they started their climb, you'll find some attitude they had which enabled them to overcome any challenge or adversity. Many blind musicians have overcame discrimination and disabilities to become successful and wealthy. College drop-outs currently operate some of the biggest and most financially successful corporations in this county. America is built on the dream of any immigrant or native-born person being able to achieve whatever they wanted and then actually doing it. Modern entertainers are nearly all of this cut, making their way from obscurity to fame and fortune; very few were already rich and famous before they started singing or acting.
You can change anything in your life that you want to. It's all in your own state of mind.
Let's look a bit more in detail how this is accomplished:
• A person thinks – in one's own control or not
• That person's mind is “made up,” it becomes fixed in a series of attitudes as solutions for various situations he/she faces.
• The behavior and personality of that person is then determined and becomes practiced, “set in their ways.”
• Opportunities then come about (or not) because that person seeks them or lets them go. “Luck” is good or bad or indifferent in this same scheme.
• The person has or doesn't have the perseverance and attention to detail/professional attitude to perform exceptionally well at what he/she does.
• More opportunity does or doesn't present itself and is taken advantage of or passed by.
All of this is dependent on the original thinking done to begin with. However, you also see by this point that nothing is “cast in stone” as regards mental state or condition. People maintain, improve or degrade their image of themselves continually during their lives. What we think determines our personality, our achievements and our future or lack of it. Today's failure can become tomorrow's success and vice-versa.
James Allen points this out eloquently in his short text from 1902,
“A man's mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed-seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind. Just as a gardener cultivates his plot, keeping it free from weeds, and growing the flowers and fruits which he requires so may a man tend the garden of his mind, weeding out all the wrong, useless and impure thoughts, and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and fruits of right, useful and pure thoughts. By pursuing this process, a man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life. He also reveals, within himself, the flaws of thought, and understands, with ever-increasing accuracy, how the thought-forces and mind elements operate in the shaping of character, circumstances, and destiny.”
All great corporations were built on the leadership and inspiration of single persons who had confidence in themselves and their actions. This confidence was self-created and self-recognized. In any such successful company, you never see a “puppet” in some CEO or Board Chairman position who is told by some other person how to act and what decision to make. CEO's got there because they think they can do something and do.
That is the key – their own thoughts.
And any such success can be yours. You just have to be willing to change your thoughts and then do it.
There are a few more details to it, more tools that we will be bringing to you to study in succeeding chapters, but the steps to study here are these:
• Thought creates the state of mind.
• Mind monitors personality.
• Personality affords personal success or lack of it.
• A person can control his own thoughts.
• So one can improve his attitudes and so his personality.
• And so, attain success from the same available factors in his/her life, or new factors which then accrue.
Steven Covey covers this in some detail in his 7 Habits book, giving very thorough theory and practical examples of how and why this occurs. More examples can be found in Dr. Peale's book.
Napoleon Hill precedes both of these with his Think and Grow Rich. Hill was working as a reporter and was assigned to do a series of articles on successful people. He first interviewed Andrew Carnegie. This interview which normally would have taken only a few hours, took three days. At the end of that time, Mr. Carnegie commissioned Hill to interview over 500 millionaires to find a success formula that could be used by the average person. Some of these included Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Henry Ford, Charles M. Schwab, Theodore Roosevelt, William Wrigley Jr, George Eastman, Woodrow Wilson, William H. Taft, John D. Rockefeller, F. W. Woolworth. The result was a book which took Hill over 20 years to research and write, but has gone on to sell over 7 million copies (while one publisher estimates this at 30 million).
Hill gives this advice in improving persistence, a useful personality attribute:
“HOW TO DEVELOP PERSISTENCE
“There are four simple steps which lead to the habit of PERSISTENCE. They call for no great amount of intelligence, no particular amount of education, and but little time or effort. The necessary steps are:
“1. A DEFINITE PURPOSE BACKED BY BURNING DESIRE FOR ITS FULFILLMENT.
“2. A DEFINATE PLAN, EXPRESSED IN CONTINUOUS ACTION.
“3. A MIND CLOSED TIGHTLY AGAINST ALL NEGATIVE AND DISCOURAGING INFLUENCES, including negative suggestions of relatives, friends and acquaintances.
“4. A FRIENDLY ALLIANCE WITH ONE OR MORE PERSONS WHO WILL ENCOURAGE ONE TO FOLLOW THROUGH WITH BOTH PLAN AND PURPOSE.”
You can see, using what we have already covered, these steps are pretty simply achieved by anyone who wants to improve their life and develop persistence, much less be successful, happy and/or wealthy in doing so.
You just have to “make up your mind” to do so and then do so.
Day 5 Exercises
Try this –
1. Take that original idea which you wrote down on day one. This is something you wanted to accomplish or achieve or have.
a. Now, figure out what you would have to do to get this. This can be general terms right now – just an idea of the actions you are going to have to take to make this happen.
b. Then, once this list of things to do is complete, figure out what personality you would have to create or develop in order to do those actions.
c. Lastly, look around mentally and see if there are some thoughts or mental habits that might need to be changed in order for that personality to surface.
2. In Day 4, we visualized a photo of a friend or acquaintance. Sitting in that same chair, visualize this person completely, including the last conversation you had, what he looked like, how he dressed, his mannerisms. Now, in your mind, talk to him about some subject you are interested in and elicit his response. Can you get him excited about what you are talking about – do you see his eyes light up as he leans forward to find out all you have to say on the subject? This is the next step to improve on. You'll be achieving control over what you are thinking and creating in your own mind. This is an important skill which you'll develop more in the succeeding days of material coming up.