“Analysis of several hundred people who had accumulated fortunes well beyond the million dollar mark, disclosed the fact that every one of them had the habit of REACHING DECISIONS PROMPTLY, and of changing these decisions SLOWLY, if, and when they were changed. People who fail to accumulate money, without exception, have the habit of reaching decisions, IF AT ALL, very slowly, and of changing these decisions quickly and often.”–Napoleon Hill
The famous “OODA” loop of aerial combat fame strikes me as pertinent to this seventh principle of Think And Grow Rich.
“Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.” When you act first, you force your opponent to react to you. If your actions are sequenced properly, your initial movements will cause pain, forcing your opponent to react to your behavior rather than make his own initial movement. You’ve stolen a beat of time from him, and if you immediately move to your next action, you can stay ahead of him, forcing him to react, react, react…instead of act. And that moment of stolen time can be the difference between life and death.
In life, in the attempt to create success, your opponent is time. If you wait too long, you end up “in reaction” to the natural deterioration of entropy and the distractions of life: age, bills, other people getting your ideas to market first.
The “Five point plan” I’ve suggested for the advancement of any righteous cause (specifically applying this to black-white racial justice in America) is:
1) Love yourself. This allows you to begin from a point of happiness and low stress, which helps you to see clearly.
2) Expand your sense of “self” to include others. If you start with love, this will create friendships, lovers, mastermind partnerships. Critical to having a healthy life, or accomplishing anything of note.
3) Understand the patterns of history so you can understand the oppression or dysfunction WITHOUT recourse to belief in inferiority/superiority on a genetic level. No bashing allowed. IMO, if you don’t understand how human beings get into a snarl, you don’t understand yourself at all.
4) Recognize tribe, sleepers, and monsters. Concentrate on creating tribe, not arguing with the sleepers. DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME. But…respect their humanity and protect their rights. They will protest if you don’t listen to them, stop your actions to debate them, or whatever. Think “OODA” loop—if they can keep you reacting to them, you will NEVER act. And therefore not risk awakening them from their dream. But you and your tribe MUST be capable of acting briskly when a “smiling monster” appears. If you are strong enough, you can meet the monstrosity directly. If not, form alliances of friends and tribe strong enough to back you up. But as Patrick Swayze said in “Road House”: Be polite.
Until its time to NOT be polite.
5) Aim to succeed massively, in alignment with BOTH your childhood dreams and your deathbed values.
For the SJWs among us (and yeah, despite the snark, they exist on both sides of the political aisle, and one’s commitment to social justice is on a separate axis from one’s honesty or integrity in action. I support only honest, forthright actions and words) this means putting your goals in alignment with your values top to bottom, so that you can see how EVERYTHING you do benefits EVERYTHING you care about. This unleashes a level of power you may never have experienced.
And if you ACT quickly, you will get feedback from the environment, and can make rapid adjustments.
In a writing career, for instance, how might this work?
1) Love yourself enough to give yourself permission to have your dreams.
2) Extend your humanity to the writers you love, so that you see them as human, not “golden gods” with capacities you cannot have. Model their success. A primary model: write a story a week/every other week. Read 10X what you write. Submit what you write and keep them in the mail until you sell. Get to story #100 before you even BEGIN to question your process.
3) Understand the flow of history and humanity. Develop your own philosophy of life, and be prepared to defend it. There are only two things to write about: human beings, and the world they inhabit. “What is Man, that Thou art mindful of him?” and “What is true?” Go deep. Tie your beliefs into your heart, until they help you understand every social, psychological or historical incident with clarity, and allowing you to see humanity as an extension of nature (or a discontinuity, if you must—but be sure you can love yourself while thinking this way)
4) By understanding your “Unique Selling Proposition” (the unique “flavor” of your work) and your Avatar (Ideal reader) you don’t try to write for everyone—just those who think the way you do. In a world of seven billion, trust me, they’re out there, and if you are honestly presenting your own perspective with love in your heart, what you have to say will resonate with them. Don’t try to appeal to everyone, don’t bog yourself down debating with Haters.
4) Succeed. Publish stories, novels, work in Hollywood…whatever your goal is. By doing so you will gain opportunities to speak of your success path, and thereby nurture others.
The initial DECISION to act must be followed by ACTION. You will have your own doubts, and don’t need those of others. If you MUST listen to negatives, be sure you are ONLY accepting them from people who have actually accomplished the goal you seek. Otherwise, you are better off closing your mind tightly, taking a hundred steps, and seeing how the universe responds to you, only THEN making an adjustment.
DECIDE. Take a bold position. Shut your mind tightly. If your ultimate goals are for the good of humanity, the planet, our country, your community and tribe, your family…and your own deepest dreams, then “failure” is just the gathering of data. REAL data.
Edison’s “10,000 failures” to make a light bulb merely taught him about the universe. He had a goal to be the greatest inventor in the world, to make money, to turn humanity’s nights into day, to learn how the universe works. The child-like wonder in the “What is true?” question was combined with a hard-nosed adult businessman that allowed him to discipline himself through disappointment. His personal power was such that he was able to surround himself with other men of genius (some would say greater genius) who hadn’t the same level of power and integration.
And this is another result of this:
If you ignite your desire
If you have great faith
If you align your conscious and unconscious minds
If you gain the specific knowledge about how to accomplish
If you can clearly imagine the positive values of achieving your intentions
If you can create organized plans to accomplish your dreams
If you can DECIDE to act, and begin to do so AT ONCE…
Frankly, you will tap into a kind of power that is extraordinary, one that people SMARTER than you will want to be a part of, if they don’t have the same internal integration.
And you know what that means? It means you will be able to accomplish things beyond your level of talent, intelligence, or “native capacity.” And of course, people who don’t have that level of integration will not see what you are doing, and it will seem “unfair”, “magical”, like “mere luck.”
While NO plans can guarantee success, you would be hard-pressed to show me a successful person in any field where I cannot show you how these principles are being applied deliberately or accidentally, consciously or unconsciously. Some people have NATURAL belief in themselves, inherited alliances (this is VERY true in social and racial contexts—alliances across tribal lines are by definition alone, rarer and pricklier), aligned beliefs and values, role models that clearly mark a path, the ability to belief their efforts will bring more pleasure than pain.
Show me ANY “lazy” person (and most “depressed” ones as well) and I’ll show you people who have these aspects badly tangled. Un-tangle them, and suddenly you have what I call a “room temperature superconductor”, their wiring suddenly no longer knotted and burning through their own insulation.
Their actions become more powerful, efficient, effective. They, AS AN INDIVIDUAL may or may not “enter the promised land” and achieve their goals, but they blaze a path for others to follow.
Remember: as individuals, humans aren’t much smarter than Chimps. It is by SHARING information from generation to generation, by hooking our “computers” together through books, language, electronic communications and role modeling that we move forward.
All you have to do to change the world, is change YOUR world with passion and love and care…but without taking crap from the Sleepers or Monsters. Be sure your goals are healthy, and the methods of accomplishing them are in alignment with your values, so that you can concentrate so much on accomplishing that your days pass in a flow state.
Be happy, and healthy, and loving…and successful.
Light the fire.