The second principle of “Think and Grow Rich” is Faith. My own “Lifewriting” system was simply an attempt to organize resources in an ideal syntax or order. It derived from the observation of Joseph Campbell that all the world’s great stories followed or reacted to a pattern, with my interpretation as follows:
1) The hero is confronted with a challenge
2) Initially they reject the challenge
3) They are allowed or impelled to accept it.
4) They set out along the Road of Trials
5) They meet allies and gain powers.
6)They have their initial confrontation with evil and are defeated.
7) They enter the Dark Night of the Soul
8) They take the Leap of Faith
9) They confront evil again, and this time, succeed.
10) The Student Becomes the Teacher.
We’ll go into this again and again, but note the position of “Faith” in this pattern: it is the only known way to move beyond terror and depression of total defeat. Without Faith, you will slide backwards instead of moving forward, and this is what you will see if you look at your own life, in any arena in which you have consistently failed to progress.
In his book “Mastery” George Leonard states that the reason most people never achieve high levels of skill in anything is that they cannot survive the period when it seems they are not learning, like measuring the growth of seeds by whether you can see the shoots, or opening an oven to check on a scuffle…then slamming the door when you don’t like what you see. Oops.
We are not speaking only of spiritual or religious faith, although I have found that a disproportionate number of high achievers have such beliefs, in one form or another. My theory: when you run into a serious failure, it can damage your belief in yourself. But if you believe in, or are committed to something larger than you (God, country, team), or more important than you (family, cause, etc.) you can access new reserves of strength and keep going.
Napoleon Hill makes a fascinating comment here, to the effect that the combined emotions of Faith, Love, and Sex together unleash deep reserves of creativity, intuition, courage and energy, and create a form of genius. Trust me: we’ll come back to this.
The “Morning Ritual” and reading your statement aloud are both designed to PRODUCE faith, purely through emotionalized repetition. But remember: you are working to access your emotions, not “merely” your intellect. The emotions “step up” the mental focus. How do you know when you’ve tapped into this wellspring?
When you take action. When that action feels as natural as any basic function in your life, and as effortless as breathing, and with as little resistance as rolling into bed with a lover. Faith. Love. Sex.
Here is a powerful statement of his thesis:
“FAITH is the “eternal elixir” which gives life, power, and action to the impulse of thought!
The foregoing sentence is worth reading a second time, and a third, and a fourth. It is worth reading aloud!
FAITH is the starting point of all accumulation of riches! FAITH is the basis of all “miracles,” and all mysteries which cannot be analyzed by the rules of science!
FAITH is the only known antidote for FAILURE!
FAITH is the element, the “chemical” which, when mixed with prayer, gives one direct communication with Infinite Intelligence. FAITH is the element which transforms the ordinary vibration of thought, created by the finite mind of man, into the spiritual equivalent.
FAITH is the only agency through which the cosmic force of Infinite Intelligence can be harnessed and used by man.”
You can examine that statement from a purely atheistic point of view, and say that Hill’s analysis of 500 successful men was really speaking of psychological qualities, unconscious mental functions.
There is no need at all to consider this in any supernatural context to extract value. But if you DO have spiritual beliefs, the application is obvious. Words like “miracle” can merely mean “effects we do not understand” and “Infinite Intelligence” is just “unusual qualities of mind.” Take it any way you want, but I suggest that you empty your cup and look for ways to use it rather than mock it.
In other words…have a little faith. So go back to the beginning. Check over your statement of purpose, and your spoken/visualized aspect of the Morning Ritual. Be sure that every word is in alignment with BOTH your personal goals AND your dreams of social progress. That you intend to benefit everyone, and hurt no one.
That allows you to “take your brakes off” and also provides protection from those who will mock and criticize you…and trust me, there will be plenty of them.
Then begin. Every day recite your statement aloud, as Bruce Lee and Octavia Butler did. Fill your words with emotion. See the positive change in your own life, and in the world.
And have faith. Let’s close this with a wonderful poem Hill quotes:
“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
Is the man WHO THINKS HE CAN!”
Connect this with our basic principles to connect personal dreams with social change:
1) Love yourself, protect yourself, challenge yourself. Accept your own failures and flaws without guilt, blame, or shame.
2) Love others. See yourself in their eyes and THROUGH their eyes.
3) Understand the flow of history, and current events, without guilt, blame, or shame.
4) Recognize tribe members, sleeping children, and smiling monsters. Share your heart only with tribe members. Form “masterminds” with these, avoid the others.
5) Succeed to the limit of your capacity, in alignment with both childhood dreams and deathbed values.
Heal yourself, heal the world.