Posts Tagged ‘Napoleon Hill’
A MasterMind Group is sometimes known as a peer group mentoring forum or a Boardroom forum.
These groups simulate the many different roles that it takes to run a successful business and giving a business owner independent advice from people with no hidden agenda.
I often get asked, “Why would anyone want to join a mentoring group with people who know nothing about each other’s businesses?”
There are three excellent answers to this:
1) The product or service a business delivers may be different but the process of running and growing a business has many generic activities. Almost everyone who starts a business has had experience of other businesses and brings many skills and lots of expertise to a group.
2) The process used in the most successful MasterMind Groups produces a situation where solutions are created from the combined efforts of the group members and do not rely on one person’s pre-existing knowledge.
3) One of the major benefits of a well run MasterMind Group is accountability. The members commit to certain actions and keep each other on track.
If people have heard of MasterMind Groups its usually in relation to Napoleon Hill’s book “Think and Grow Rich”.
Hill established that many of the successful people he interviewed in the 1930s attributed part of their success to meeting with a peer group on a regular basis to discuss ideas and create new solutions to problems. He describes the process as ” When two people come together to discuss ideas it is a s though a third person appears with ideas that the others would not have thought of on their own.”
What do a potter, a metalworker, a doctor an engineer and a preacher have in common?
There are many wonderful examples of MasterMind Groups working to create success for their members but for me, one of the most powerful examples occurred long before Napoleon Hill wrote his famous book.
When the potter is Josiah Wedgewood, the metalworker is Matthew Boulton, the doctor is Erasmus Darwin, the engineer is James Watt and the preacher is Joseph Priestly the ideas produced quite literally changed the world.
Steam trains, electricity, canals, mass manufacturing, the discovery of new gases, processes and materials accompanied dramatic social and educational reforms in the middle of the 18th Century that brought about the Industrial Revolution and great wealth but for the original group of friends the support they gave each other was crucial.
Known as the Lunar Society because they met when the moon was full to aid their journeys, these men worked together to break down physical, social and educational barriers.
The internet has brought down even more of these barriers and made it easy to collaborate, to produce great ideas and to take the idea of MasterMinds to new levels.
When Napoleon Hill wrote “Think and Grow Rich” he meant think as in develop the ability to think, to process ideas and solve problems. By rich he meant not just monetary wealth but knowledge, discipline and fulfilment of potential.
All of this is achieved by mastery of the mind.
A Master Mind Group is exactly that: an opportunity for you to develop mastery of your mind, to think and grow rich with the support of a peer group.
If you would like to join us or have questions about how to get involved, just give me a call on 07711 705038.
In the 1920′s and 30′s, a young journalist called Napoleon Hill, interviewed 500 of the most successful people in America. He found that people who create success have many things in common. These are some of them as described in his best-selling book, “Think and Grow Rich”
- Decide what you want. Desire is the starting point of all achievement. Desire is a crazy mad emotion that you absolutely have to satisfy, not a rational reasoned argument for doing something.
- Believe in yourself. Self doubt will prevent you from taking action. No-one is born with a sense of what they can’t do. Limiting beliefs are learned and they can and must be unlearned. It is usually easier to overcome other people’s judgements than our own.
- You don’t have to do it all yourself. As Mother Teresa famously told Bob Geldof, “I can’t do what you do and you can’t do what I do but together we can change the world.” Surround yourself with people who can do what you can’t and who respect you for what you can do. Start or join a MasterMind Group with like minded people.
- Make practical use your imagination. Work out how to turn your dreams into reality. Everything, everything, starts out as an idea. Ideas are the beginning point of all achievement but they need to be harnessed into practical action.
- Create a plan, organise your ideas and take continuous action. Most people put more effort into planning a holiday than planning their life. Successful people don’t just react to things that happen to them, they question whether something will take them closer to their goal before acting on it or rejecting it.
- Avoid procrastination and make decisions. The ability to make decisions comes back to understanding exactly what it is that you want, to the burning desire and definite purpose that underpins all achievement. Successful people in all walks of life decide quickly and firmly and the world has a habit of making room for the person who knows where they are going and why.
- Persist. Things will go wrong, people will let you down. If your desire is strong enough you will find a way through all difficulties to achieve your desire. Don’t keep doing the same things and expecting different results. Find different ways to achieve your goals. Paulo Coelho was committed to a mental asylum by his parents three times and subjected to electro-convulsive therapy because they thought he must be mad to want to become a writer instead of a lawyer. He persisted and his book, The Alchemist, sold over 40 million copies.
- Aquire power and learn how to use it. The ability to lead others in a spirit of harmony to achieve a definite objective is a major source of success but successful people say that personal power and self mastery are most important.
- Understand that sex is the most powerful of human desires. When this desire is harnessed into a creative process it can be the source of genius. It can also be a huge temptation and has destroyed many great people. Successful people say that they are able to transmute its power into a creative force that helps them to produce and action ideas that in many instances makes their fortunes.
- Learn to use the power of the subconscious mind. Everything we have ever experienced is kept in the vast storehouse of our sub-conscious. It can work for or against us but when we learn how to harness this power it makes us unstoppable. What we think of the world and ourselves makes us not only who we are but who we can be.
- Develop and learn to trust the ‘sixth sense’. Intuition can help us to avoid dangers and grasp opportunities. Intuition is part of our nature and many successful people admit that intuition is a big part of their success including Donald Trump, Oprah, Richard Branson and even Bill Gates. Einstein and Edison described their creative process as having original ideas that didn’t come from the rational foundation of the mind. Jonas Salk, the inventor of the polio vaccine, says, ‘The intuitive mind tells the logical mind where to look next.’
- Deal with fear, the major obstacle to achievement. Almost every feeling of fear we experience is as the result of an IMAGINED situation, not a real one. In almost every case, the imagined situation that we most fear never happens. When a situation that we had feared actually materialised, most of us deal with it without any real consequences. The only thing holding most people back is their own imagination!
Is it ever too late to do the things you once dreamed of doing?
Mary Wesley, best-selling author, took up writing at 70
Charles Darwin’s first book wasn’t published until he was in his 50’s
Colonel Sanders was in this 60’s when he franchised Kentucky Fried Chicken
Ray Kroc was in his 50’s when he launched McDonalds
Agatha Christie was 62 when she wrote The Mousetrap
Julia Child was 50 before she took up cooking professionally
Benjamin Franklin was 78 when he invented bifocals.
Life expectancy has doubled in the last 100 years. There is no longer an official retirement age. If you go to college at 40 and qualify at 45 you could still have half your life left to work at what you love. It’s never too late to become an achiever instead of a dreamer!
You can see more about my mentoring services here: http://annhawkins.com/mentoring/
Where do good ideas come from?
Some people are creative and some people aren’t, right?
Look, we can prove it:
Put your palms together, interlace your fingers, note which thumb is on top.
If your left thumb is on top of the right one you are very creative.
If the right one is on top you aren’t. Do you believe that?
The exercise above is a complete lie. It’s just made up.
Everyone is born equally creative but the older we get and the more schooling we have, the more we believe we are either academic or creative but rarely both.
This isn’t a fault with us. It’s a fault with the system of education in most western cultures. The system is still based on the 19th Century requirement for factory fodder which needed people to do as they are told, start and end work in response to a whistle or bell, not talk to each other or collaborate and accept a judgement on their aptitudes and abilities based on a very narrow set of tests.
How do you think a child feels when they are told at school that they’re not very good at drawing, or singing or playing an instrument? Mostly they believe it. They often believe it for the rest of their lives.
Creativity is most often associated with the arts but scientists and engineers are amongst the most creative and innovative people in the world and yet most education systems segregate the arts from the sciences so that students have to choose to be one or the other.
“Most great achievers are practical dreamers” said Napoleon Hill in 1937 after interviewing 500 amazingly successful people. So why do we tell our children and our staff to stop daydreaming and get on with what they are ‘told’ to do? Do you believe that you are creative? Or do you believe that you aren’t? To paraphrase Henry Ford, whatever you believe, you’re probably right.
Lots of things could be open to you that you believe might not be.
What does this mean for you if you are running a business?
Everyone wants their business to stand out from the crowd, to be noticed, to attract customers but how do you do this if your business is basically the same as your competitors?
Everyone wants their business to stand out from the crowd, to be noticed, to attract customers but how do you do this if your business is basically the same as your competitors?
Telling everyone about your great customer service doesn’t work. It’s what they expect.
Telling them you are passionate about what you do doesn’t work. Who cares except you?
Your products, your packaging or your pricing could be unique for a while but if they’re any good they’ll be copied.
Being unique is more than having a USP.
There are some great examples of people who have used their own unique style to stand out from the crowd:
The Wine Critic
increased the turnover of his family business by several million dollars by recording wine reviews on YouTube. His brash, straight talking style was so different to the elite mystique of the wine world that he stood out a mile just by being himself.
In a world of bullying, egotistical chefs braying about ‘classical training’, young Jamie Oliver, an Essex lad to the core, scruffy, almost inarticulate and severely dyslexic made good, uncomplicated cooking available to millions of people. His vulnerability, curiosity and ability to connect to people through a shared delight in food has revealed a young man of exceptional values, who has grown into a great role and a powerful campaigner for social change.
Accountancy isn’t usually associated with fun but if you were to meet Kelly Anstee, a beautiful young woman who likes to party and who also happens to be an accountant, you might take another view of this world. Kelly connects with people on Facebook and Twitter by talking about music, parties and social gatherings as well as her work. The warmth of her personality shines and the referrals come tumbling in. Her employers at Tyrrell and Company in Cambridge are savvy enough to encourage her to just be herself and don’t try and make her fit the mould of traditional accountant and so everybody wins.
The Professional Speaker
The presentation that inspired this article was given by profession speaker, Ayd Instone. There are many thousands of motivational speakers in the world with slick PowerPoint presentations, a holier than thou attitude and a slew of improving proverbs but Ayd’s performance is unique because he doesn’t preach, he sings. He doesn’t borrow tired aphorisms, he writes his own thought provoking songs. Most importantly, he teaches creativity by being creative and does it all with a light touch that brings laughter and fun to his audience.
Innovation and creativity are often thought to be the result of a ‘eureka’ moment but they can also be the result of a ‘slow hunch’ that takes time and the right circumstances to develop. Finding the right people with whom to collaborate, regularly seeking ways to be inspired, being open to new ideas, taking time out for ‘re-creation’ are all proven ways of increasing creativity.
Making ‘space’ for creativity is important
This is increasingly being recognised as so important that a number of innovative ideas are growing to accommodate it, one of which is called a ‘jelly’. It’s an informal gathering of people who usually work alone who come together with no agenda, just to see who they meet and what’s going on. There is no obligation to talk to anyone or share anything but just being in a collaborative space can be very inspiring. There’s a great example of this at CamJelly at Ideas Space in Cambridge.
Ayd Instone asks these questions:
- How can YOU be more innovative and imaginative to create a better future?
- What untapped resources do you have, linked to your own uniqueness?
- What great ideas are lurking just our of your conscious reach?
Share your thoughts with us, add to the discussion, be creative!
Who has power over you and how do you use your personal power?
Power and success seem to be inevitably entwined and yet successful people are the first to acknowledge that the most important part of this is to learn how to have power over themselves.
Self mastery of thoughts, emotions and actions are more important than any power we have over others.
There is much complexity behind power. Why do people comply with power? What motivates people to allow others to have power? It might be the promise of riches, a share in the power, or meeting other personal needs. It might be part of a plot to form a coup to wrest power from the incumbent.
From the reasons for compliance we learn much about personal motivation and reward.
What are the positive uses of power in business? What examples do you have of its use in creating success?
Why making decisions is crucial to success
The procrastination I’m talking about is not about putting things off but rather about not making decisions. Until a decision is taken no action is possible and it is the lack of action that causes most failures. Procrastination is a complex psychological behavior that affects everyone to some degree or other. While it can be a minor irritation for some people it is a source of considerable stress and anxiety for others.
Procrastination is sometimes confused with time management but this is not really the issue.
An analysis of over 25,000 people who had experienced some kind of failure revealed that the inability to make decisions was near the top of the list of reasons. (Napoleon Hill ‘Think and Grow Rich’)
Henry Ford was renowned for attributing his success to his ability to make decisions quickly and stick to them, often despite fierce opposition from his advisors.
Are you easily swayed by others?
If you find you are easily swayed by the opinions of others and constantly change your mind because you are afraid of what others might say or think about you, procrastination will cripple you and stop you from making a decision and more importantly, from taking action. The ability to make decisions comes back to understanding exactly what it is that you want, to the burning desire and definite purpose that underpins all achievement.
Leaders in all walks of life decide quickly and firmly and the world has a habit of making room for the person who knows where they are going and why.
Have you worked out how you make decisions?
Do you work from logic, from gut instinct or do you take advice from others? Recent studies have shown that decision making can be affected by our prejudices, our past experience and even our surroundings.
However, the reason that most people put off making a decision is the fear of getting it WRONG.
Procrastination leads to inaction. Inaction leads to failure. Failure leads to loss of confidence which make it hard to make decisions. The only way out of this loop is to have courage, make a decision in the full knowledge that whatever happens you will deal with it and remember that most fears are about things that never happen.
Steps to Success
(Inspired by Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich”)
1. Decide what you want. Desire is the starting point of all achievement.
2. Believe that you can get what you want. Self doubt will prevent you from taking action.
3. You don’t have to do it all yourself. Surround yourself with people who know what you don’t know and who can do what you can’t do.
4. Make practical use your imagination. Work out how to turn your dreams into reality.
5. Create a plan, organise your ideas and take continuous action.
6. Avoid procrastination and make decisions. Use information and knowledge from others but let the decisions be your own.
7. Persist. Things will go wrong, people will let you down. If your desire is strong enough you will find a way through all difficulties to achieve your desire.
8. Aquire power and learn how to use it. The ability to lead others in a spirit of harmony to achieve a definite objective is a major source of success.
9. Understand that sex is the most powerful of human desires. When this desire is harnessed into a creative process it can be the source of genius.
10. Learn to use the power of the subconscious mind which can work for or against you but which can be controlled.
11. Develop and learn to trust the ‘sixth sense’. Intuition can help us to avoid dangers and grasp opportunities.
12. Deal with fear, the major obstacle to achievement.
Join us at our next event for more Inspirational Ideas
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”
Franklin D Roosevelt
You don’t have to look far to find something to be afraid of – the internet is full of dire warnings and also, strangely enough, its also full of people who’d like to sell you the things that can protect you from the very things of which they tried to make you afraid.
Newspapers TV and radio are no better except that they often seem to peddle fear just for the hell of it, under the guise of ‘news’.
Everyone must, at some time in their lives, have experienced the gut wrenching, heart stopping sensation that we call fear and yet, for all the scary stuff that is manufactured by others we are the main culprit when it comes to creating our own fears.
It is the thing that most people acknowledge is the major factor that holds them back from achieving their full potential and they give it all sorts of names: fear of failure, fear of success, fear of losing what they’ve got, fear of the unknown, etc., etc., etc.
What are most people afraid of?
Writing at the end of the Great Depression in 1937, Napoleon Hill suggests that most people have six basic fears. They are: fear of poverty, criticism, ill health, loss of love, old age and death.
When questioned if these are still relevant today, it was fear of poverty that caused the most dissent amongst a group of business owners. There was a strong argument that in our modern Western world, poverty is a relative term, even when we have lost all our material possessions. However, there was an equally strong argument that it is this fear of losing everything that is the biggest driver in our society, especially for people in business who seek to create a sense of security by being in control of their own means of earning a living.
Looking at Hill’s list again, all those fears related to losing something: our material possessions, pride, independence, status, love, connection, and of course, life itself.
What became clear is that almost every feeling of fear we experience is the result of an IMAGINED situation, not a real one.
Moreover, in almost every case, the imagined situation that we most fear never happens.
When a situation that we had feared actually materialised, most of us dealt with it without any real consequences.
Beyond the survival instincts that keep us safe, there appears to be only one real fear and that is the fear that we won’t be able to handle whatever happens to us. The fact that most people do handle even the most horrendous occurrences indicates that most fear, which usually concerns a future event that never happens, is completely unnecessary.
Bob Newhart had his own suggestion for how to deal with this:
In all the suggestions that proliferate in how to deal with the physical symptoms of fear (usually manifested as stress) no one mentions, booze, sex, drugs or rock ‘n’ roll but I’m guessing that at some point, most people will use at least one of these in an attempt to banish fears and anxiety.
The thing that everyone agreed on was what doesn’t work is trying to ignore it, suppress it or pretending the fear doesn’t exist. This can often result in real physical damage – perhaps that’s why booze, sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll weren’t offered as serious means of coping!
Strategies to cope with fear usually involved taking action to arrive at a point where the fear is no longer felt as a physical sensation. This involved a whole range of activities from talking and sharing the fear – being talked off the ledge, as one person described it, to strenuous exercise to deal with the excess adrenaline. Some people are able to use relaxation techniques or meditation to calm themselves while others seek the help of a range of physical therapies that often results in them being able to talk about their fears.
Why do we need strategies to cope with IMAGINATION?
Having established that most fears are about thing we only imagine MIGHT happen or how we imagine we’ll cope if our worst fears are realised it seems a little strange that we need external coping mechanisms.
If we create the fear in our heads, surely we can get rid of it the same way? The six ghosts of fear (or however many we allow ourselves to have) are just that – GHOSTS. They aren’t real, they only exist in our heads.
Human beings have control over only one thing – our thoughts. Whatever we allow into our heads creates emotions and physical reactions and so the person who is able to discipline their thoughts has a huge advantage in controlling how they deal with both real and imagined situations.
This is not the same as the parroted phrase that has become popular with fans of The Law of Attraction – the one that says “Thoughts Become Things”. If that were true, teenage boys would get lucky several times a day, no-one would be sick and everyone would have as much money as they wanted.
Many unexpected and unwanted things happen to us in a lifetime and they are not the result of what we think. It is the way we choose to deal with them that is in our control and this means we need to exercise discipline over our thoughts. To catch a thought as it is formed and ask, “Is this useful to me or not?” and develop it or reject it accordingly means that the time wasted on fearful thoughts that paralyze and impoverish us can be freed to use on creating new ideas and enriching our lives.
When we believe and prove to ourselves that by controlling out thoughts we will cope with whatever life throws at us we truly have nothing to fear.
Look below the surface – you’ll be amazed at what you find!
Napoleon Hill suggested that one of the things that successful people do is to create a belief in themselves that they can achieve their goals. This can sometimes mean that we need to be aware of the messages coming from our subconscious mind that can interfere with this belief and stop us from taking action.
The subconscious mind is protected
– which is usually a good thing as it contains all the things we have ever learned and we wouldn’t want to have to re-learn most of them. However, it also contains less useful things that may stop us from achieving all that we might otherwise be capable of.
Fear of failure, of taking risks, of criticism, of losing, of being thought pushy or arrogant or proud are all stored there along with beliefs about whether we are entitled to expect, or deserve, more than we already have.
Anything that comes to us through our five senses is unlikely to affect the subconscious so how do we reach and change those things that are not useful to us?
Hill suggests (long before NLP was invented) that in order to create the belief that we can have something we must imbue it with emotion, imagine that we already have it and create the experience of already having it and then – and this is the really important part – go and DO the things that are necessary to make it happen.
Vividly imagine having whatever it is you desire and experience how that will feel and what you will see, hear, taste and smell. The emotions and physical reactions caused by these thoughts are generated internally rather than coming to us externally through our senses (and could be described as non-sense) and so are more likely to escape the gatekeeper of the subconscious mind.
The subconscious has no critical faculty. It doesn’t decide whether a thought is good or bad, useful or destructive and so once the thought is lodged there it can be useful as a new belief enabling us to do things we previously thought impossible.
There has been vigorous research into how emotions cause physical reactions, how physical sensations trigger emotions and how both emotions and physical reactions can be produced by thought alone. Belief may not move mountains but it can remove limitations and control physical experiences.
One of the most popular sayings arising from these theories is that “Thoughts Become Things” and while it is undoubtedly true that this can be the case, it is also much too simplistic as simply thinking or wishing will not make anything happen and this does not take into account the completely random things that happen to people. I have seen already distressed people puzzled and hurt at the implication that they have brought misfortune on themselves because their thoughts are not positive enough. Moreover, if we all got what we focused on most of the time, teenage boys would live in a constant state of bliss!
However, that doesn’t change the fact that by creating useful thoughts and stopping less useful ones, especially around the area of what we are capable of achieving, there is no doubt that we can make life easier and more satisfying.
Edwin C Barnes was a penniless salesman who had a DESIRE to go into partnership with the inventor Thomas Edison.
He had the chance to be one of Edison’s salesmen but that wasn’t what he wanted. He waited until the opportunity came and Edison’s other salesmen decided that they couldn’t sell the latest invention – a dictating machine.
Barnes showed Edison that he could market and distribute the machine in partnership with Edison and made a fortune.
When his opportunity came, it was in a different form and in a different way to what Barnes was expecting.
Barnes knew what he wanted and had the determination to stand by his desire. Opportunity has a habit of slipping in the back door and can sometimes come disguised as misfortune or temporary defeat. Perhaps that is why opportunities are sometimes not recognised and missed.
What is it that you have a burning desire to be, do or have?