In this lesson you need to coordinate the four previous lesson: definite purpose, self-confidence, leadership and imagination. You need to take them all together to create action. In The Laws of Success, Napoleon Hill states that it is not only the statement "knowledge is power" but that "organized knowledge expressed in action is power."
If you only have the knowledge without taking action there is no power.
You may have a definite purpose that you have set in your mind. You may have self confidence in abundance. You may have the ability to be a leader. You may have the imagination to create your definite purpose. But until you put them together and take action on them you might as well know nothing. Your education is useless to you until you go out and do something with it.
There is the old saying that you can't get anything for nothing. And this true about your definite purpose also. How can you get to something that you desire without doing anything? And not doing anything is termed procrastination. Most people will say that the world/society/their boss/spouse, etc. never gave them a chance. Sometimes we need to take a chance or make the chance rather than wait for someone or something to give us something.
Procrastinating is our worst enemy and I think that expecting others to give you a chance is the second worst. Go out and make your own opportunities.
Now I must confess that in this actual lesson in the book, Mr Hill goes into great detail about the importance of keeping the intestines clean. I found this very amusing until I began to look at it from my nutrition background. If the intestines are clogged your entire body system will become sluggish. Toxins can build up in the intestinal tract and cause many types of diseases that can affect the entire body. Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity can be linked to problems caused by what we eat, how we eat and the responses of the Gastrointestinal System. The thing to be aware of is that the processing of nutrients by our body is a function that requires energy and energy that is clogged does not produce efficient energy or effort.
Now, I will not suggest, as does Mr. Hill, that you take an enema for a headache but I do suggest that you use natural means to produce a bowel movement every single day. Anything less and waste product (feces) will accumulate in the rectum which can then back up into the colon. As this waste festers it can become the first step in colon cancer.
So, back to the lesson of action. One of this biggest setbacks to you producing action is worry. Worry, envy, jealousy, hatred doubt and fear are all states of mind that can lead to inactivity. Any type of negativity will keep you from action, therefore you need to keep yourself in a positive frame of mind. And one of the best ways to make this happen is to smile! Keep something with you at all times that will always put a smile on your face. Find something to make you laugh. When you feel like moping around the house, find or put on a movie that will make you laugh. It is amazing how even forcing yourself to laugh can free your mind from thoughts of the negative.
The action that Mr. Hill talks about is not just in the physical sense but also in the mental sense. Keep your mind active; be always thinking of the next way to get to your definite purpose. And the thinking about how you will get there will drive your physical body to perform actions to get to that goal.
In the book, we are given some suggestions on how to become active and not procrastinate.
Next Lesson: Enthusiasm
What you think creates the life that you have. For this first lesson I like to use the model and concept originated by Dr. Thurman Fleet of San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Fleet was the founder of Concept Therapy. This works out to the same idea as thoughts become things only on a more physiological level. The actual functioning of the mind. Now I know what you are "thinking". If thoughts become things then why am I not a millionaire, or why haven't I met the perfect mate, or why are my children struggling, why am I struggling? Look at those verbal representations of your thoughts. See the negative connotations there? I am not a doctor, nor am I a professed self-help speaker or even a talk-type therapist. I am a student! And my studies tell me that this "stuff" works. As Henry Ford once said: If you think you can't, you're right!
Let's look at the mind as divided between the conscious and sub-conscious. And yes as an anatomy instructor I realize that it is not that simple, but humor me here and just stick with me for a bit. The conscious mind is the thinking mind. This is your free will. The thoughts that you choose to accept are most definitely the ones that determine your life. If you determine that life is going to be hard and that you will never get ahead without (fill in the blank) then I can guarantee that is how your life will turn out. You are a product of your environment and what you have set as your beliefs.
The sub-conscious mind is the conditioned mind. This is where everything that you have accepted as true from your conscious mind is stored. There is no free will here. Whatever you accept at the conscious level gets stored here - good, bad or indifferent. If you look around you right now you will find that what you see are a reflection of your thoughts up to this point - good, bad or indifferent.
Once the sub-conscious accepts a thought, that idea will continue to express itself without any conscious assistance. They become habits. And the way these habits are expressed are through your body's actions. Those thoughts or ideas that you have consciously chosen and imprinted upon the sub-conscious move your body into actions through the emotions that they create in you. The actions that are taken determine the results - the things of your life. To paraphrase Napoleon Hill, What the mind can perceive, the body can achieve.
Thoughts build ideas, ideas stir emotions, emotions create action, actions are the physical manifestation of the original thought. Tada! Thoughts become things!
To change the result you need to change your thoughts, emotions and actions. Keep it simple.
So what have you created up till now, what are you creating now and what will you create for your future?
Your Past Thoughts: Think of at least one example of thoughts you have had about some of the following:
Your Present Thoughts: Now think about what you currently think about in your life? Are these thoughts positive or negative, empowering or limiting, loving or fearful. Be honest with yourself. Negative thoughts are normal so don't beat yourself up about them. But take some time and think of some examples for the following:
Where are you in life currently based on your thoughts about these things? Add any more things that are some of the constants in your thoughts currently - the economy, state of the environment, etc.
So what can we do about the negative thoughts that we may have? AND we ALL have them! Worrying about anything gives it power. Do your best to stop them and keep yourself positive. If you are watching a program on TV and it becomes boring what do you do? You change the channel! That is exactly what you need to do with negative thoughts. Bring back a happy, pleasant or uplifting memory from the past and think about that. If money is an issue, start thinking about tens, twenties or even fifties in your wallet rather than the thought of running out. If you job is boring or you think people don't like you; begin to imagine a job where you are excited to get up every morning and people being drawn to you because you are so outgoing and positive. Tony Robbins calls this a state change. Change the state of mind you are in and move to a different state. Will tell you that when my daughters were younger we used this in an even more fun way. Since they had traveled a bit when they were younger, they got used to "state" change if they were being fussy or arguing as a way to think about a different state they may have traveled to and the fun they had there! Are you reading this Tony!
One caveat - as Genie says in Aladdin "and ixnay on the wishing for more wishes and you can't make someone love you!" In other words you can't force or manipulate other people, they have their own thoughts! But this also means that no one can force or manipulate you also, unless you let them. You can, however, attract like-minded people to you - that potential mate or business partner, client or customer. If you are trying to attract someone into your life, don't concentrate on a specific person but rather on the type of person you want, the way you want to feel with them and then allow the best person to be attracted to you based on those thoughts and feelings.
Your Future Thoughts: So what are some positive, empowering, loving thoughts that you would like to have for the future? Ignore what is currently happening in your life and write down the thoughts you would have if you life was already fantastic in these areas:
Guidelines for Visualizing (from the Infinite Possibilities Workbook)
Emotion is pure power. It is the emotion associated with a thing that drives the body to manifest what the mind is creating. Start practicing visualization today!
So if you've never been to EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow according to Walt!) you have no idea who the little guy to the left is. He is Figment and is the guy that takes you through the Imagination ride at EPCOT. There is a song that goes with it that is pretty catchy too! Anyway, he is the first thing that came to mind when I knew that I wanted to write a post about Lesson 4 of Napoleon Hill's book, The Law of Success.
Imagination is the creative power of the soul according to Hill and every lesson uses this lesson to build on. Without an imagination we could not create our Definite Purpose because it is what we imagine that lets us design what we want to do. We create everything in our life and all of our other qualities using the quality of imagination. Our organized plans are created in our imagination. And remember that like attracts like so our imaginative thoughts need to be of a positive nature.
In his book, Mr. Hill talks about something that he calls telepathy. Not in the way you usually think about telepathy but that every thought we release is registering itself in the minds of other people. When you talk about something in a group doesn't it cause that group to comment and talk about it? And how does that then affect their thinking? Imagine, if you will, what would happen if a large group of people thought the same positive thoughts. How would that affect society? Hmmmmm.
All great inventions began with an idea, a thought, the imagination of the person thinking. Nothing was ever created that was not first conceived in the imagination, through desire, and transformed into reality through concentration and thought.
Using your imagination you can conceive of anything that you would wish to have in your life. In fact, you could create a whole new life by building on those thoughts. There is an old poem that is attrituted to both Ella Wheeler Wilcox and Henry Van Dyke that I think applies here.
I hold it true that thoughts are things;
They're endowed with bodies and breath and wings;
And that we send them forth to fill
The World with good results or ill.
That which we call our secret thought
Speeds forth to earth's remotest spot,
Leaves its blessings or its woes,
Like tracks behind it as it goes.
We build our future, thought by though,
For good or ill, yet know it not,
Yet so the universe was wrought.
Thought is another name for fate;
Chose, then, thy destiny and wait,
For love brings love and hate brings hate."
Paula J. Kaprocki, LMT, BS, CPC
Life Coach, Massage Therapist, Infinite Possibilities Trainer, Author