As Napoleon Hill’s book – Think and Grow Rich is one of my Top 10 books, I was really excited to get started with Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude and it surely did not disappoint. The self-help and self-improvement market is truly massive – because people really want to know what will make them better, more successful people
Perhaps I am not alone in that my energy and drive sometimes wane with the days or seasons. Going to the gym in the summer is easy; but not so easy on a dark, wet winters morning.
On a day when things are going well, I can be marching through my ‘Today List’ with gusto and then the very next day, without any great reason, can find myself in front of the TV with a bag of crisps actively participating in a Netflix marathon.
I know that you cannot stay on a motivational high all the time and that balance is required. But for me; the draw of the couch or any sort of procrastinating always feels stronger than it’s opposite. Why is this?
In Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude; Napoleon Hill went a long way to help me out.
The three most powerful points I took from the book were;
The level of your success directly corresponds to whether you nurture your Positive Mental Attitude
People who care about developing their PMA see setbacks as a challenge to be taken
Rather than blaming all your difficulties on the world, you should set about changing it into a place you want to live in. You can only do this with a PMA.
Your Positive Mental Attitude (PMA).
The self-help and self-improvement market is truly massive – because people really want to know what will make them better, more successful people. The level of your success directly corresponds to whether you nurture your PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) – or its rival, your negative mental attitude (NMA).To many of us, success is a mysterious thing. Is it the result of favourable conditions over which we have no real control? Does it come down to knowing the right people, or having the right timing? No, no and no. In fact, success is about having a positive mental attitude (PMA). People with PMA are success magnets. They approach life with positivity, and they’re unfazed by failures or mistakes; in fact, they see missteps as opportunities. To someone with a PMA, each failure is a step that brings you closer to a solution.
Because they’re unafraid of failure, such people are unafraid of trying, even if success seems unlikely. They’re eager to try and hungry for self-improvement. Those with a PMA achieve greatness because they burn to accomplish new goals and ascend to new heights. Take Henry Ford, a prime example of a man with a PMA. He wanted to develop a cheap V8 engine suitable for mass production. To that point, eight-cylinder engines were only used in luxury cars, and Ford’s engineers criticized his dream, claiming it was impossible. Nevertheless, he continued to fight for his idea, and after a year, he achieved the unachievable: the mass production of the V8 prototype.
The V8 was a massive hit – the innovation that established Ford’s brand, making him one of the most successful businessmen in history. And all thanks to his PMA. The great news is, it’s never too late to improve your mental outlook. Anyone who starts working at the age of 25 will work roughly 100,000 hours before retiring at around the age 67. This means you have plenty of time to start cultivating your PMA.
Problems should be seen as opportunities for success.
Success is all about confronting and solving problems. Just think of history’s greatest minds and business moguls: behind every great invention or innovation was a problem that someone faced and tried to solve. It’s precisely our mental attitude that dictates how we handle problems. When you encounter a challenge, do you resign yourself to failure and throw your hands up, or do you find the positive in the problem and take it upon yourself to fix it?
Obviously, those who succeed adopt a PMA and therefore take the more productive approach. Conversely, those with an NMA will fall short of their goals, as they admit defeat at the first sign of trouble. People who care about developing their PMA see setbacks as a challenge to be taken. So, instead of giving up, they try harder. This reaction is known as inspirational dissatisfaction and those who have it use it to rise above even the most desperate and hopeless situations.
So, says Hill; literally any problem, whether professional or personal, can be conquered with a PMA.
Mental Near- and Farsightedness.
What is mental nearsightedness? It means you’re unable to see the possibilities lying in your future. Perhaps you fail to understand the importance of planning and having goals to strive for, or you waste all your energy tackling problems that are right in front of you and are blind to the bigger picture. But being able to plan for the future is one of our biggest evolutionary advantages.
And it’s not just nearsightedness that hurts your success: mentally farsighted people have problems, too. They want to leap immediately to the top. They dream of the future but forget to work on the things they need to get there. Consequently, they fail to reach their goals and don't take the opportunities that are right in front of them every day.
So, if you want to be successful, you must notice the opportunities in front of you, but also plan out how you want to make your mark in the world. And such everyday opportunities are often the most lucrative.
A PMA gives you a solid grounding for success but it must be accompanied by determination and motivation. Rather than blaming all your difficulties on the world, you should set about changing it into a place you want to live in. When you feel determined to make a difference, your motivation will soar, which will allow you to reach new heights in your life.
But keep in mind that along with your determination, you’ll also need goals. It’s best to write your goals down and attach a deadline to them. For example, noting what you want to achieve by the end of the year. The higher you set your goals, the more you’ll fight for them and the more you’ll achieve. If you have a particularly challenging goal, you should break it down into smaller goals that you can achieve in the next week or month to build up to the end goal.
Make use of autosuggestion.
Thankfully, we can harness our subconscious power and use it to our advantage using autosuggestion. One definition of autosuggestion is that it is a psychological technique related to the placebo effect. It is a form of self-induced suggestion in which individuals guide their own thoughts, feelings, or behaviour. You imprint a vision in your mind by reminding yourself of your goal regularly.
With autosuggestion, we can anchor goals and wishes to our subconscious. This, in turn, will influence our thoughts and, thus, our life. It’s true that our actions are the result of our conscious decisions, but our subconscious mind wields a powerful influence over us, too, affecting our dreams, desires and needs, as well as driving our behaviour.
Whether it’s about health, finances or relationships, autosuggestion can help us reach any of our goals. So how do you do this? You can start by reading a sentence aloud twice a day, for instance about how much money you wish to earn this year. Your subconscious will remember this and influence your conscious mind to seek out things that will get you there, such as new work opportunities.
The same method applies to adapting your mental attitude. If you tell yourself that you’ll feel happier every day, this feeling will gain momentum and, after a while, your mental attitude will show a vast improvement, and you’ll feel happier.
You Are Your Habits; therefore develop better habits.
We’ve seen how we can have more control over our mind, but what about our behaviour? Good actions are what make us good people – and improving the way we act is merely a matter of the right training. We know that our feelings influence our actions. But the converse is also true: our actions influence our feelings.
So by modifying our behaviour, we can influence and change our feelings. By changing our behaviour in this way, we change ourselves, too. And the more we work on these virtues, the more they become part of us.
Motivate others by motivating yourself.
When it comes to motivation, we all play two roles – we’re motivated by others and, in turn, give others motivation. First, though, you need to be able to motivate yourself. Motivation is what governs your choices; without it you won’t make any progress toward success. Therefore, it’s paramount to your journey.
To ignite your motivation, list all the things you want to achieve as well as by when you want to achieve them, and then go out and change your habits. There are many ways to get motivated, but the key is simply to get moving. Don’t sit back down after reading this and tell yourself you’ll get around to it later. Get up! And while you’re at it, why not try helping someone else, too?
So, if you want an employee to know that you’re assigning them an important task, speak to them. Say that the fate of the project is in their hands because they can be trusted with it.
Finally, as a bonus to motivating others, the more of your PMA you can offer to other people, the more others will reciprocate.
What I took from it.
A positive mental attitude, coupled with the right habits and the right approach to your goals, will help you achieve anything you set out to do. And that’s really all there is to success!
Trade in your NMA for a PMA. What are you unhappy about in your life? If you think a negative mental attitude is a reason behind your dissatisfaction, why not make some small, positive changes to your thinking? You could start small, adjusting your thinking in one area of life, such as work, and build up from there!
Success through a positive mental attitude is not the kind of book where you find lot of inspirational quotes to inspire you for a quick fix. It helps you to get moving – take action. And we all know that knowledge without action is futile. A lot of reference is made to Think and Grow Rich, so it would be better to read that first.