Tag Archives: think and grow rich

He was rated "dull, slow, and impractical" by his teachers and was asked to leave college. Despite this negative start, he was awarded a patent for the rotary steam engine before he turned twenty. His next invention, a device that put derailed trails back on track, was purchased by virtually every railroad in his country. Before this man's creative life was over, he patented over four hundred inventions and amassed an industrial empire that few have equalled. 
Even though he was disabled near the end of his life, he continued to invent, using his wheelchair to transport him from one project to another. He died surrounded by the sketches of his latest project - the motorized wheelchair.
The man labeled as "impractical and dull" was named George Westinghouse. He refused to accept the negative opinions of those around him and instead chose to become one of the richest and most creative men in history. I hope you choose to believe in yourself and strive for your goals even if others express negative opinions of your abilities.

With the right attitude and a touch of humor you can do what Mal Hancock did. Mal took the proverbial lemon of a paralyzing fall and turned that tragedy into real-life lemonade. Mal was in high school, facing a promising career in athletics, when a fall paralyzed him from the waist down. He endured some heartbreaking days trying to make the mental and physical adjustments.
There are no guarantees, as Mal Hancock learned, that life will be a bed of roses. On the contrary, you can count on facing some very strange events, but if you learn to face the unexpected with humor and optimism, you too can come out on top. While in the hospital Mal began to draw the scenes around him. Rather than complain about the nurse waking him at 3:00 A.M. for a sleeping pill, he drew a cartoon about it that made the point with a laugh. Soon all the nurses in the hospital were coming by to see what Mal had chosen to draw.
It wasn't long before he had sold one of those cartoons to a magazine. That single sale launched him into a successful career as a cartoonist. Today Mal Hancock's name can be read on cartoons in the Saturday Evening Post and T.V. Guide. Incidentally, his first book was called - you guessed it - Hospital Humor. (See full story here).
Mal learned a lesson which can be important to all of us. Even when you can't do anything about a situation (such as being paralyzed), you can do a lot about your attitude toward the situation.
As you begin your day, think about this and complete the second sentence:
  1. Today I will laugh with others as often as possible, remembering to take my family and my business seriously, but not to take myself too seriously.
  2. Today I will _____________________________________.

Are you "Money Conscious" or "Poverty Conscious"?
Poverty is attracted to the one whose mind is favorable to it, as money is attracted to him whose mind has been deliberately prepared to attract it, and through the same laws. Poverty consciousness will voluntarily seize the mind which is not occupied with the money consciousness. A poverty consciousness develops without conscious application of habits favorable to it. The money consciousness must be created to order, unless one is born with such a conscience. 
Catch the full significance of the statements in the preceding paragraph, and you will understand the importance of persistence in the accumulation of a fortune. Without persistence, you will be defeated, even before you start. With persistence you will win.
If you have ever experienced a nightmare, you will realize the value of persistence. You are lying in bed, half awake, with a feeling that you are about to smother. You are unable to turn over, or to move a muscle. You realize that you must begin to regain control over your muscles. Through persistent effort of will-power, you finally manage to move the fingers of one hand. By continuing to move your fingers, you extend your control to the muscles of one arm, until you lift it. Then you gain control over the muscles of one leg, and then extend it to the other leg. Then - with one supreme effort of will - you regain complete control over your muscular system, and "snap" out of your nightmare. The trick has been turned step by step.
How to "Snap Out of" Mental Inertia.
You may find it necessary to "snap out of" your mental inertia, through similar procedure, moving slowly at first, then increasing your speed, until you gain complete control over your will. Be persistent no matter how slowly you may, at first, have to move. With persistence will come success.
If you select your "Master Mind" group with care, you will have in it at least one person who will aid you in the development of persistence. Some men who have accumulated great fortunes did so because of necessity. They developed the habit of persistence, because they were so closely driven by circumstances, that they had to become persistent. 
Those who have cultivated the habit of persistence seem to enjoy insurance against failure. No matter how many times they are defeated, they finally arrive up toward the top of the ladder. Sometimes it appears that there is a hidden Guide whose duty is to test men through all sorts of discouraging experiences. Those who pick themselves up after defeat and keep on trying, arrive; and the world cries.  "Bravo! I knew you could do it!" The hidden Guide lets no one enjoy great achievement without passing the persistence test. Those who can't take it simply do not make the grade. 
Those who can "take it" are bountifully rewarded for their persistence. They receive, as their compensation, whatever goal they are pursuing. That is not all! They receive something infinitely more important than material compensation - the knowledge that "every failure with it the seed of an equivalent advantage."

Developing your attitude is like developing a skill on a musical instrument - it takes consistent practice to improve.
When the great Polish pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski was elected Prime Minister of his country, he made one request before accepting the prestigious office. He would lead the country, but he must be allowed to practice his scales for two hours every day. Guitar virtuoso Andres Segovia requires the same of his students - two hours a day of playing scales.

And yet, who plays scales in a concert? You've never heard of a composition by Mozart or Brahms called "The Aelian Scale" or "Major Scale." However, without being thoroughly familiar with scales, a musician would remain remedial in his or her art. It is the complete mastery of the basics that gives birth to freedom of expression, ease of movement and cohesiveness in the delivery of each phrase.
So it is with each of us in our attitudes. Though we may have excelled in our approach to life, we must continue to develop every day. We need to practice having an excellent attitude in each and every endeavor, for it will always be true that we can improve the way we see problems, people and life.
After World War II, General Douglas MacArthur went to Japan to evaluate the rebuilding of the war-torn nation. The economy of Japan was in dire straits; the nation was struggling, having to use leftover resources just to stay afloat. As a result, any toy or appliance labeled "Made in Japan" was to be a trademark for one thing: poor quality. So General MacArthur brought in one of America's leading quality control experts, Dr. W. Edward Demming. 
After much evaluation and scrutiny, Demming came up with a set of business principles to help turn around Japan's economy. He called the country's most influential businessmen together and offered them a promise. He basically said, "If you will improve something about yourself and your product every day and make quality not merely something to be maintained but an achievement and a way of living, you will turn the economy of Japan around in 10 years. Then if you continue to improve something each day, even if it is a miniscule amount, in three decades you will become an economy world power."
That was quite a tall promise to make to this struggling nation, but they took it, hook, line and sinker. They even coined a new word for this approach: kaizen. The word means a constant, ever-increasing improvement that defines quality not as something to be maintained but something to be lived on a daily basis.
Over the next 10 years, the businesses of Japan did exactly that. They examined the American automobile; then they improved on it and sold it to American consumers. People began buying everything Japan produced because of the improved quality. Japanese ingenuity increased, and they improved on existing bands of appliances, electronics, tools, cameras and watches. Soon their products were in demand the world over.
In 10 years, the economy of Japan had reversed itself, and within three decades the country had become an economic world power. To this day, one of the most prestigious business awards is the W. Edward Demming Award.
If a change in attitude can do that for a nation's economy, how much more should we seek to do the same for our own personal economy? 
(From Wayne Cordeiro's "Atttitudes that Attract Success")
For a lot of times we neglect quality improvement, as we just think of being average, being just the way things are. Average. No wonder then that we're stuck. If each Filipino would strive to improve every day, we too can turn our country's economy around, in 10 years. 
It's been quite a while that we have slept over our economy's concern. Time to get up, and start making our brand in demand across the globe! 

This post, will not be tackling sex as a moral issue, but as something that has an effect on our mind. In Napoleon Hill's book, he recognized that man is a sexual being, and with it may come some good things (transmutation). 
To a lay man who is conservative, this post may be disturbing, but the book of Napoleon actually well defended what he is saying. This would somehow intrigued many, and perhaps, the reason why you are here, because you were curious what this post have to say. So let me just share what I've read from Napoleon's book "Think and Grow Rich". 
Geniuses are created through the responses to stimuli. What are the stimuli to which the mind responds freely?
The emotion of sex has back of it the possibility of three constructive potentialities. They are:
  1. The perpetuation of mankind.
  2. The maintenance of health (as a therapeutic agency, it has no equal).
  3. The transformation of mediocrity into genius through transmutation. 

Sex transmutation is simple and easily explained. It means the switching of the mind from thoughts of physical expression, to thoughts of some other nature.
Sex desire is the most powerful of human desires. When driven by this desire, men develop keenness of imagination, courage, will-power, persistence, and creative ability unknown to them at other times. So strong and impelling is the desire for sexual contact that men freely run the risk of life and reputation to indulge it. When harnessed, and redirected along other lines, this motivating force maintains all of its attributes of keenness of imagination, courage, etc., which may be used as powerful creative forces in literature, art, or in any other profession or calling, including, of course, the accumulation of riches.
The transmutation of sex energy calls for the exercise of willpower, to be sure, but the reward is worth the effort. The desire for sexual expression is inborn and natural. The desire cannot, and should not be submerged or eliminated. But it should be given an outlet through forms of expression which enrich the body, mind and spirit of man.  If not given this form of outlet, through transmutation, it will seek outlets through purely physical channels.
A river may be dammed, and its water controlled for a time, but eventually, it will force an outlet. The same is true of the emotion of sex. It may be submerged and controlled for a time, but its very nature causes it to be ever seeking means of expression. If it is not transmuted into some creative effort it will find a less worthy outlet.
Ten Stimuli of the Mind

The human mind responds to stimuli, through which it may be "keyed up" to high rates of vibration, known as enthusiasm, creative imagination, intense desire, etc. The stimuli to which the mind responds most freely are:

  1. The desire for sex expression.
  2. Love.
  3. A burning desire for fame, power, or financial gain, money.
  4. Music.
  5. Friendship between either those of the same sex, or those of the opposite sex.
  6. A Master Mind alliance based upon the harmony of two or more people who ally themselves for spiritual or temporal advancement.
  7. Mutual suffering, such as that experienced by people who are persecuted.
  8. Autosuggestion.
  9. Fear.
  10. Narcotics and alcohol.
The desire for sex expression comes at the head of the list of stimuli, which most effectively "step up" the mind and start the "wheels" of physical action. Eight of these stimuli are natural and constructive. Two are destructive. The list is here presented for the purpose of enabling you to make a comparative study of the major sources of mind stimulation. From this study, it will be readily seen that the emotion of sex is, by great odds, the most intense and powerful of all mind stimuli.
Some wiseacre has said that a genius is a man who "wears long hair, eats queer food, lives alone, and serves as a target for the joke makers." A better definition of a genius is, "a man who discovered how to increase the intensity of thought to the point where he can freely communicate with sources of knowledge not available through the ordinary rate of thought."
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If you learned, believed or disturbed about this post, please feel free to buy and read Napoleon Hill's book. There are practical applications of his book into life, which helped couple of successful attain the peak of their mountainous goals.
(photo grabbed online. I don't own them. http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/200803/r235728_948390.jpg) 
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According to Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich" there are thirty-one major reasons or failure. As you go over the list, check yourself by it, point by point, for the purpose of discovering how many of these causes-of-failure stand between you and success.

  1. Unfavorable hereditary background. There is but little, if anything, which can be done for people who are born with a deficiency in brain power. This philosophy offers but one method of bridging this weakness - through the aid of the Master Mind. Observe with profit, however, that this is the only one of the thirty-one causes of failure which may not be easily corrected by any individual.
  2. Lack of a well-defined purpose in life. There is no hope of success for the person who does not have a central purpose, or a definite goal at which to aim. Ninety-eight out of every hundred of those whom I have analyzed had no such aim. Perhaps this was the major cause of their failure. 
  3. Lack of ambition to aim above mediocrity. We offer no hope for the person who is so indifferent as not to want to get ahead in life, and who is not willing to pay the price. 
  4. Insufficient education. This is a handicap which may be overcome with comparative ease. Experience has proven that the best-educated people are often those who are known as "self-made," or self-educated. It takes more than a college degree to make one a person of education. Any person who is educated is one who has learned to get whatever he wants in life without violating the rights of others. Education consists, not so much of knowledge, but of knowledge effectively and persistently applied. Men are paid, not merely for what they know, but more particularly for what they do with that which they know.
  5. Lack of self-discipline. Discipline comes through self control. This means that one must control all negative qualities. Before you can control conditions, you must first control yourself. Self-mastery is the hardest job you will ever tackle. If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self. You may see at one and the same time both your best friend and your greatest enemy, by stepping in front of a mirror.
  6. Ill health. No person may enjoy outstanding success without good health. Many of the causes of ill health are subject to mastery and control. These in the main are, (a) overeating of foods not conducive to health. (b) wrong habits of thought; giving expression to negatives. (c) wrong use of, and over-indulgence in sex. (d) lack of proper physical exercise. (e) an inadequate supply of fresh air, due to improper breathing.
  7. Unfavorable environmental influences during childhood. "As the twig is bent, so shall the tree grow." Most people who have criminal tendencies acquire them as the result of bad environment, and improper associates during childhood.
  8. Procrastination. This is one of the most common causes of failure. "Old Man Procrastination" stands within the shadow of every human being, waiting his opportunity to spoil one's chances of success. Most of us go through life as failures, because we are waiting for the "time to be right" to start doing something worthwhile. Do not wait. The time will never be "just right." Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.
  9. Lack of persistence. Most of us good "starters" but poor "finishers" of everything we begin. Moreover, people are prone to give up at the first signs of defeat. There is no substitute for persistence. The person who makes persistence his watch-word, discovers that "Old Man Failure" finally becomes tired, and makes his departure. Failure cannot cope with persistence.
  10. Negative personality. There is no hope of success for the person who repels people through a negative personality. Success comes through the application of power, and power is attained through the cooperative efforts of other people. A negative personality will not induce cooperation. 
  11. Lack of controlled sexual urge. Sex energy is the most powerful of all the stimuli which move people into action. Because it is the most powerful of the emotions, it must be controlled, through    transmutation, and converted into other channels.
  12. Uncontrolled desire for "something for nothing." The gambling instinct describes millions of people to failure. Evidence of this may be found in a study of the Wall Street crash of '29 , during which millions of people tried to make money by gambling on stock margin.
  13. Lack of a well defined power of decision. Men who succeed reach decisions promptly, and change them, if at all, very slowly and change them frequently, and quickly. Indecision and procrastination are twin brothers. Where one is found, the other may usually be found also. Kill off this pair before they completely "hog-tie" yo to the treadmill of failure.
  14. One or more of the six basic fears. These fears have been analyzed for you in a later in a separate blog. They must be mastered before you can market your services effectively.
  15. Wrong selection of a mate in a marriage. This is a most common cause of failure. The relationship of marriage brings people intimately into contact. Unless this relationship is harmonious, failure is likely to follow. Moreover, it will be a form of failure that is marked by misery and unhappiness, destroying all signs of ambition.
  16. Over-caution. The person who takes no chances generally has to take whatever is left when others are through choosing. Over-caution is as bad as under-caution. Both are extremes to be guarded against. Life itself is filled with the element of chance. 
  17. Wrong selection of associates in business. This is one of the most common causes of failure in business. In marketing personal services, one should use great care to select an employer who will be inspiration, and who is, himself, intelligent and successful. We emulate those with whom we associate most closely. Pick an employer who is worth emulating.
  18. Superstition and prejudice. Superstition is a form of fear. It is also a sign of ignorance. Men who succeed keep on minds are afraid of nothing.
  19. Wrong selection of vocation. No man can succeed in a line of endeavor which he does not like. The most essential step in the marketing of personal services is that of selecting an occupation into which you can throw yourself wholeheartedly. 
  20. Lack of concentration of effort. The jack-of-all-trade seldom is good at any. Concentrate all your efforts on one definite chief aim.
  21. The habit of indiscriminate spending. The spendthrift cannot succeed, mainly because he stands eternally in fear of poverty. Form the habit of systematic saving by putting aside a definite percentage of your income. Money in the bank gives one a very safe foundation of courage when bargaining for the sale of personal services. Without money, one must take what one is offered, and be glad to get it.
  22. Lack of enthusiasm. Without enthusiasm one cannot be convincing. Moreover, enthusiasm is contagious, and the person who has it, under control, is generally welcome in any group of people.
  23. Intolerance. The person with a closed mind on any subject seldom gets ahead. Intolerance means that one has stopped acquiring knowledge. The most damaging forms of intolerance are those connected with religious, racial and political differences of opinion. 
  24. Intemperance. The most damaging forms of intemperance are connected with eating, strong drink, and sexual activities. Over-indulgence in any of these is fatal to success.
  25. Inability to cooperate with others. More people lose their positions and their big opportunities in life, because of this fault, than for all other reasons combined. It is a fault which no well-informed businessman or leader will tolerate.
  26. Possession of power that was not acquired through self-effort. (Sons and daughters of wealthy men, and others who inherit money which they did not earn). Power in the hands of one who did not acquire it gradually is often fatal to success. Quick riches are more dangerous than poverty.
  27. Intentional dishonesty. There is no substitute for honesty. One may be temporarily dishonest by force of circumstances over which one has no control, without permanent damage. But, there is no hope for the person who is dishonest by choice. Sooner or later, his deeds will catch up with him, and he will pay by loss of reputation, and perhaps even loss of liberty.
  28. Egotism and vanity. These qualities serve as red lights which warn others to keep away. They are fatal to success.
  29. Guessing instead of thinking. Most people are too indifferent or lazy to acquire facts with which to think accurately. They prefer to act on "opinions" created by guesswork or snap-judgments.
  30. Lack of capital. This is a common cause of failure among those who start out in business for the first time, without sufficient reserve of capital to absorb the shock of their mistakes, and to carry them over until they have established a reputation.
  31. Under this, name any particular cause of failure from which you have suffered has not been included in the forgoing list. 
In these thirty-one major causes of failure is found a description of the tragedy of life, which obtains for practically every person who tries and fails. It will be helpful if you can induce someone who knows you well to go over this list with you, and help to analyze you by the thirty-one causes of failure. It may be beneficial if you try this alone. Most people cannot see themselves as others see them. You may be one who cannot.

According to Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich" book, if there are important factors of a leadership, there are also major causes of failure of a leader, and he enumerated the causes below:
See if you fit into it, or someone you know. . .

  1. Inability to organize details. Efficient leadership calls for ability to organize and to master details. No genuine leader is ever "too busy" to do anything which may be required of him in his capacity as leader. When a man, whether he is a leader or follower, admits that he is "too busy" to change his plans, or to give attention to any emergency, he admits his inefficiency. The successful leader must be the master of all details connected with his position. That means, of course, that he must acquire the habit of relegating details to capable lieutenants.
  2. Unwillingness to render humble service. Truly great leaders are willing, when occasion demands, to perform any sort of labor which they would ask another to perform. "The greatest among ye shall be the servant of all" is a truth which all able leaders observe and respect.
  3. Expectation of pay for what they "know" instead of what they do with that which they know. The world does not pay men for that which they "know". It pays them for what they do, or induce others to do.
  4. Fear of competition from followers. The leader who fears that one of his followers may take his position is practically sure to realize that fear sooner or later. The able leader trains understudies to whom he may delegate, at will, any of the details of his position. Only in this way may a leader multiply himself and prepare himself to be at many places, and give attention to many things at one time. It is an eternal truth that men receive more pay for their ability to get others to perform, than they could possibly earn by their own efforts. An efficient leader may, through his knowledge of his job and the magnetism of his personality, greatly increase the efficiency of others, and induce them to render more service than they could render without his aid.
  5. Lack of imagination. Without imagination, the leader is incapable of meeting emergencies, and of creating plans by which to guide his followers efficiently.
  6. Selfishness. The leader who claims all the honor for the work of his followers is sure to be met by resentment. The really great leader claims none of the honors. He is contented to see the honors, when there are any, go to his followers, because he knows that most men will work harder for commendation and recognition than they will for money alone.
  7. Intemperance. Followers do not respect an intemperate leader. Moreover, intemperance in any of its various forms, destroys the endurance and the vitality of all who indulge in it.
  8. Disloyalty. Perhaps this should have come at the head of the list. The leader who is not loyal to his trust, and to his associates, those above him, and those below him, cannot long maintain his leadership. Disloyalty marks one as being less than the dust of the earth, and brings down on one's head the contempt he deserves. Lack of loyalty is one of the major causes of failure in every walk of life.
  9. Emphasis of the "authority" of leadership. The efficient leader leads by encouraging, and not by trying to instill fear in the hearts of his followers. The leader who tries to impress his followers with his "authority" comes within the category of leadership through force. If a leader is a real leader, he will have no need to advertise that fact except by his conduct - his sympathy, understanding, fairness, and a demonstration that he knows his job.
  10. Emphasis of title. The competent leader requires no "title" to give him the respect of his followers. The man who makes too much over his title generally has little else to emphasize. The doors to the office of the real leader are open to all who wish to enter, and his working quarters are free from formality and ostentation.
These are among the more common of the causes of failure in leadership. Any one of these faults is sufficient to induce failure. Study the list carefully if you aspire to leadership and make sure that you are free of these faults.

Analysis of over 25,000 men and women who had experienced failure disclosed the fact that lack of decision was near the head of the thirty-one major causes of failure.
Procrastination, the opposite of decision, is a common enemy which practically every man must conquer. 
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.
One of Henry Ford's most outstanding qualities was his habit of reaching decisions quickly and definitely, and changing them slowly. This quality was so pronounced in Mr. Ford, that it gave him the reputation of being obstinate. It was this quality which prompted Mr. Ford to continue to manufacture his famous Model T (the world's ugliest car), when all of his advisors, and many of the purchasers of the car, were urging him to change it.
Perhaps Mr. Ford delayed too long in making the change, but the other side of the story is that Mr. Ford's firmness of decision yielded a huge fortune, before the change in model became necessary. There is but little doubt that Mr. Ford's habit of definiteness of decision assumed the proportion of obstinacy, but this quality is preferable to slowness in reaching decisions and quickness in changing them.
The majority of people who fail to accumulate money sufficient for their needs are, generally, easily influenced by the opinions of others. They permit the newspapers and the gossiping neighbors to do their thinking for them. Opinions are the cheapest commodities on earth. Everyone has a flock of opinions ready to be wished upon anyone who will accept them. If you are influenced by opinions when you reach decisions, you will not succeed in any undertaking, much less in that of transmuting your own desire into money.
If you are influenced by the opinions of others, you will have no desire of your own.
Keep your own counsel, when you begin to put into practice the principles described here, by reaching your own decisions and following them. Take no one into your confidence, except the members of your "Master Mind" group , and be very sure in your selection of this group, that you choose only those who will be in complete sympathy and harmony with your purpose.
Close friends and relatives, while not meaning to do so, often handicap one through "opinions" and sometimes through ridicule, which is meant to be humorous. Thousands of men and women carry inferiority complexes with them all through life, because some well-meaning but ignorant person destroyed their confidence through "opinions" or ridicule.
You have a brain and mind of your own. Use it, and reach your own decisions. If you need facts or information from other people to enable you to reach decisions, as you probably will in many instances, acquire these facts or secure the information you need quietly, without disclosing your purpose. 
It is characteristic of people who have but a smattering or veneer of knowledge to try to give the impression that they have much knowledge. Such people generally do too much talking, and too little listening. Keep your eyes and ears wide open - and your mouth closed, if you wish to acquire the habit of prompt decision. Those who talk too much do little else. IF you talk more than you listen, you not only deprive yourself of many opportunities to accumulate useful knowledge, but you also disclose your plans and purposes to people who will take great delight in defeating you, because they envy you.
Remember, also, that every time you open your mouth in the presence of a person who has an abundance of knowledge, you display to that person your exact stock of knowledge, or your lack of it! Genuine wisdom is usually conspicuous through modesty and silence.
Keep in mind the fact that every person with whom you associate is, like yourself, seeking the opportunity to accumulate money. If you talk about your plans too freely, you may be surprised when you learn that some other person has beaten you to your goal by putting into action ahead of you, the plans of which you talked unwisely.
Let one of your first decisions be to keep a closed mouth and open ears and eyes.
As a reminder to yourself to follow this advice, it will be helpful if you copy the following epigram in large letters and place it where you will see it daily: "Tell the world what you tend to do, but first show it."
This is the equivalent of saying that "Deeds, and not words, are what counts most."
(From Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich")
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GA long while ago, a great warrior faced a situation which made it necessary for him to make a decision which insured his success on the battlefield. He was about to send his armies against a powerful foe, whose men outnumbered his own. He loaded his soldiers into boats, sailed to the enemy's country, unloaded soldiers and equipment, then gave the order to burn the ships that had carried them. Addressing his men before the first battle, he said, "You see the boats going up in smoke. That means that we cannot leave these shores alive unless we win! We now have no choice - we win - or we perish!"
They won.
Every person who wins in any undertaking must be willing to burn his ships and cut all sources of retreat. Only by so doing can one be sure of maintaining that state of mind known as a burning desire to win, essential to success.
The morning after the great Chicago fire, a group of merchants stood on State Street, looking at the smoking remains of what had been their stores. They went into a conference to decide if they would try to rebuild, or leave Chicago and start over in a more promising section of the country. They reached a decision - all except one - to leave Chicago.
The merchant who decided to stay and rebuild pointed a finger at the remains of his store, and said, "Gentlemen, on that very spot I will build the world's greatest store, no matter how many times it may burn down."
That was almost a century ago. The store was built. It stands there today, a towering monument to the power of that state of mind known as a burning desire. The easy thing for Marshall Field to have done would have been exactly what his fellow merchants did. When the going was hard, and the future looked dismal, they pulled up and went where the going seemed easier.
Mark well this difference between Marshall Field and the other merchants, because it is the same difference which distinguishes practically all who succeed from those who fail.
Every human being who reaches the age of understanding of the purpose of money wishes for it. Wishing will not bring riches. But desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways and means to acquire riches, and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure, will bring riches.
(From Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich")

When Henley wrote the prophetic lines, "I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul," he should have informed us that we are the masters of our fate, the captains of our souls, because we have the power to control our thoughts.
He should have told us that our brains become magnetized with the dominating thoughts which we hold in our minds, and, by means with which no man is familiar, these "magnets" attract to us the forces, the people, the circumstances of life which harmonize with the nature of our dominating thoughts.
He should have told us that before we can accumulate riches in great abundance, that we must magnetize our minds with intense desire for riches, that we must become "money conscious" until the desire for money drives us to create definite plans for acquiring it.
But, being a poet, and not a philosopher, Henley contented himself by stating a great truth in poetic form, leaving those who followed him to interpret the philosophical meaning of his lines.
Little by little, the truth has unfolded itself, until it now appears certain that the principles described in Napoleon's book hold the secret of mastery over our economic fate.
Let's look at the story of Napoleon's listener Jennings Randolph in his speech in a college commencement address. In his address he emphasized the principle described in his book with so much intensity that one of the members of the graduating class definitely appropriated it, and made it part of his own philosophy. The young man became a congressman and an important factor in Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. He wrote him a letter in which he so clearly stated his opinion of the principle outlined in the book that he had chosen to publish the letter as an introduction to one of the chapters. 
It gives you an idea of the rewards to come.

My dear Napoleon,

My service as a member of Congress having given me an insight into the problems of men and women, I am writing to offer a suggestion which may become helpful to thousands of worthy people.

In 1922, you delivered the commencement address at Salem College, when I was a member of the graduating class. In that address, you planted in my mind an idea which has been responsible for the opportunity I now have to serve the people of my state, and will be responsible, in a very large measure, for whatever success I may have in the future.

I recall, as though it were yesterday, the marvelous description you gave of the method by which Henry Ford, with but little schooling, without a dollar, with no influential friends, rose to great heights. I made up my mind then, even before you had finished your speech, that I would make a place for myself, no matter how many difficulties I had to surmount.

Thousands of young people will finish their schooling this year, and within the next few years. Every one of them will be seeking just such a message of practical encouragement as the one I received from you. They will want to know where to turn, what to do, to get started in life. You can tell them, because you have helped to solve the problems of so many, many people.

There are thousands of people in America today who would like to know how they can convert ideas into money, people who must start at scratch, without finances, and recoup their losses. If anyone can help them, you can.

If you publish the book, I would like to own the first copy that comes from the press, personally autographed by you.

With best wishes, believe me.

Cordially yours,

Jennings Randolph 

Thirty-five years after he made that speech, it was his pleasure to return to Salem College in 1957 and deliver the bacalaureate sermon. At that time, he received an honorary Doctor of Literature degree from Salem College.
Since that time in 1922, he watched Jennings Randolph rise to become one of the nation's leading airlines executives, a great inspirational speaker and United States Senator from West Virginia.