Think and Grow a Future

Good morning everyone! This week I’m writing a series of posts on balancing the past, present, and the future. This post is about the Future!

I had to put this image in!

During my acupuncture sessions, one of the things we talk about is finding purpose. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to start this blog with Erin. I’m passionate about healthy living and creative writing. This blog gives me a sense of creative purpose. At the same time, I wonder is it possible to make a career out of doing something I love?

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy many aspects of my job. I have great bosses and coworkers. I’m treated with respect and there are many perks and benefits. Suffice it to say, I’m grateful for my job.

That being said, I’m not passionate about being a bookkeeper. So I’m trying to figure out how to lead a more purposeful life. Can I improve and excel at my current job? Could I own a restaurant or business? Write cookbooks? I’m not sure of the details, but I’m on a journey to discover more.

My acupuncturist recommended two books which are helping me on my journey, and I want to share them with you. They’re easy to find and cheap, especially if you have an E-reader. The only problem is they have terrible titles! If you can get past the titles and some of the dated references than these books have superb content.

Bluntly put, the idea of both books is this: if you put your whole mind, body and spirit into achieving a goal (such as being rich) you will make it happen. They both harp on the importance of hard work and gratefulness, as well. In other words, you must send out positive energy to get back positive energy. This is a trite summary, so if you’re slightly interested in following your own dreams, I hope you’ll take a look at these books and form your own opinions.

Both authors have a Christian background which I find helpful, however, you don’t need to be Christian to appreciate what they’re saying because it’s universal to many religions and societies.

The book to read first is more philosophical and theoretical: Wallace D Wattle’s The Science of Getting Rich. It’s only about 60 pages. There are free PDFs available as well as cheap electronic and paperback versions often packaged with his other books.

Original Version

The second book is Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. Be sure to get the original, unabridged version with only Napoleon Hill as the author (there are many reprints with other authors trying to bank off his name). Here is an example. I’m reading this currently, but couldn’t wait to share it.

Do you think it’s possible to achieve your dreams and/or be rich if you truly want it and work harder at it than anything else? 

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10 comments

  1. I feel like maybe I should change my name for comments to “Resident Contrarian” 🙂

    Disclaimer: A lot of my outlook on life is shaped by the environment I grew up in (lower middle class) and the faith (Mennonite) that brought with it. I am not trying to force my worldview on others.

    Your question is hard to answer. Yes, I think it’s usually possible to achieve your dreams if you work hard — if your dreams are realistic, especially. Big, but realistic.

    Rich? Define rich. That means wildly different things to different people. I don’t ever need to be a millionaire; I want to have financial comfort, though, and that’s a result of a some luck and a lot of smart decisions. I feel like relying on God to make you rich is sort of like relying on the lottery. I find the prosperity doctrine a bit dangerous. (I do not know if those books reflect that worldview or not.)

    1. I definitely think your critiques of many get rich books are accurate. That’s why the titles for these books are so annoying! To me it’s less about becoming a millionaire and more about achieving my dreams and goals. Or finding more satisfaction and success in the job I have. Or realizing that I can make things happen for myself…not just wait for God, the universe, the government, or someone else to give them to me.

      For example, if my goal is to open my own restaurant someday, I know I can do it. That doesn’t mean giving up at my job, but doing the best I can at my current job so I will learn, establish contacts, develop a reputation, etc so I have future success in my own business.

      For me it’s a shift from asking “When will my dreams come true? Will they come true? How is that possible” to “I will work hard and make my dreams come true. I am grateful for everything I have. God, please give me the strength to do what is right” etc

      These books have helped me find focus and direction. As well as faith in God’s plan and myself.

      All of that was hard to explain in a short post, which is why I love your comments!

  2. I love thinking about stuff like this. One of the books I’m editing right now deals with the idea of changing your mindset and becoming more open to things in your life. He uses the metaphor of a spiral staircase…even though you can’t see that you’re going up, you trust that that’s where the stairs are taking you. (Once the book is released, I’ll definitely share details here.)

    There’s definitely a difference between sitting at home, praying for a million dollar check to show up in the mail, and deciding that having a million dollars is a goal you want to achieve and then working for it, and I think both of these books are probably in the latter category, especially since they both do focus on the importance of hard work and being grateful for the things you have. Napoleon Hill is a weird guy, though, in that he wasn’t very successful himself until he wrote the book, he just surrounded himself with successful people and wrote about them…which apparently worked out for him! 🙂

    I completely believe this is possible. So many people now just sort of accept the position that they’re in, and fall into the trap of complaining or being negative, because they think that makes them feel better, or they’ve been doing it for so long, they forget how to be grateful for the things they do have. Isn’t it better to put out positive energy and try to alter the things that are making you unhappy? I have to think yes.

    1. Thanks for the clarity, Erin. I obviously haven’t read these books so I didn’t want to sound like I was criticizing them specifically. I would agree that positivity and persistence are really important. Gratitude for what you DO have is also very important to me.

      I mean, I personally (warning: religious content ahead) try to see what God’s path is for me, and pray for guidance, etc. But I don’t expect him to do the work for me. (Substitute universe, fate, higher power, etc as needed)

      1. In the Introduction to Think and Grow Rich Napoleon Hill explains that Andrew Carnegie hired him to find out how successful people became that way. So he researched and interviewed a bunch of successful people. The book is anecdotal but also connects the dots on the similarities all these people share. Many of the people he talks about are still famous today for what they accomplished, created, invented, etc.

        I like my theories heavily dosed with anecdotal evidence from real people!

        It’s also important to note that both books, especially the Science of Getting Rich talk about being fair in business. As in paying people the real value or more of a product or service. Wattles does not condone shady or heartless business dealings. He claims if you become successful (rich) in the way he indicates, then it will be for the good of society as well. I think this is a very interesting argument.

  3. I think it’s possible to achieve your dreams if you work hard and stay focused. Deciding, “I want X”‘, isn’t the hard part. The hard part is deciding, “I want X bad enough that that I’m willing to forgo A, B, and C.” Of course, semi-reasonable dreams help, but if someone is passionate and focused, he/she will be able to achieve more than most people would predict.

    1. That’s something else Think and Grow Rich talks about, what are you willing to give up for your dreams? I think sacrifice is an important component to achieving your dreams. I agree, people can often achieve more than they or others might realize. Thanks for weighing in!

  4. […] morning! This week I wrote a series of posts on balancing the past and future. Today’s post is all about the […]

  5. The book that I’m working on talks a little about that too, the idea that you have to give things up to achieve your dreams. He also talks about the importance of making sure you have a very clear idea of what your dream actually is. So not just “I want to be rich” but “I want to have enough money to start my own company, buy a house in Seattle, and take a vacation to Hawaii twice a year.” The idea that actually visualizing what you want is beneficial, because then you’ll know when you’ve achieved it.

  6. […] I’m cooking for health and entertainment. Currently, I’m reading a few books Jane Eyre, Think and Grow Rich, and all my new cookbooks. May I also recommend yarn […]

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