Successful people come in all shapes and sizes, from all backgrounds and cultures, each making their own kind of impact on a very diverse field. Perhaps the only thing they have in common is the mind – more specifically, a successful mindset.
If you took the time to interview 500 multi-millionaire businessmen, you’d find that most (if not all) of them think very much alike when it comes to certain things: they plan stuff out, they persevere in the face of adversity, they have a clear vision of where they want to be and so forth.
Don’t worry if neither you nor your bank account are there yet – we have been blessed with a plethora of reading material meant to help us grow and shoot for the stars. Before we can go on to accomplish the things we consider great, our mind first needs to be fine-tuned into working with us rather than against us. To that end, here are 4 great books to read on mindset and the power of thought.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill: Ask anyone with a penchant for business-oriented self-development what their favorite book is, and the answer will more than likely be Napoleon Hill’s timeless classic, Think and Grow Rich. Fully understanding the need for wealth (having known it all-too-well himself), Hill assembles an extensive step-by-step on how to get rich, making it available to anyone. It’s no scam or scheme – with this book, you will learn how to gear your mind towards success.
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne: Too many people have dismissed this book as a fad, or the latest Oprah Special. In truth, the information it holds is precious – The Secret gathers teachings that have been around for a while and gives them an appearance that appeals to the masses. The premise is simple, yet amazingly powerful: our mind creates the circumstances in our own life. Think positive hard enough, and positive things will come to you – the same goes for negativity.
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle: Among the people familiar with his ideas, Tolle commands absolute respect. After a colorful lifetime of striving to understand life, Tolle has a simple message for us: live in the now. Forget the past and the future, and as you do so, you’ll become free of stresses and troubles. Just watching this man speak makes it clear that he operates at a different, more peaceful frequency than the rest of us, and we could all learn a thing or two from his great self-help book.
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra: Chopra condenses many Hindu principles and translates them in a way that is useful for everyday life. It features many ideas found in the books mentioned above on top of introducing other concepts like the Butterfly Effect. If you’ve ever wondered why things happen the way they do and how you can create a better life for yourself and others solely with your mind, you should give this book a go.
It’s been said time and again that a person’s mindset is the key to their success. Many of the world’s top businessmen and entrepreneurs would agree – you won’t get far if you’re always thinking small, or if you’re always wrestling with negative thoughts. I recently went over these 3 mindset shifts with a business owner that I mentor at Boerne Carpet Cleaning Pros. He was open to the mindset shifts because he was eager to take his business to the next level.
Let’s say you have the basics of a successful mindset down. What are some specific modes of thinking that will help forward your career and boost your profits all on their own? Here are 3 mindset shifts to grow your business.
You are the one who decides what the limits are. Most business founders start out small. Some never expand a lot, while others go on to establish a global presence. You probably wouldn’t believe how humble IKEA’s beginnings were… The bottom line is, if you tell yourself your business can’t move past a certain point, it won’t. While everyone can do with a healthy dose of realism, never get caught up thinking you can’t compete with the big boys, or even that you don’t deserve more money and success. Henry Ford said it best: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” Given the man’s accomplishments, it’s a safe bet he knew what he was talking about.
Don’t get caught up in your failures. This is often a very difficult mindset to adopt – we tend to sweep our wins under the rug, sometimes even thinking that we “got lucky” or “struck gold”. When we lose, however, we’ll tell ourselves all sorts of negative nonsense instead of appreciating the failure for what it was – a lesson. No man on this Earth starts something with mastery over it, and everyone – even the moguls and tycoons – gets to where they are through trial and error. If you don’t try, you won’t succeed, so remember – whenever you experience a loss, learn what you can from it and move on.
Never get discouraged. This is an even harder mindset to form than the previous one, but it’s perhaps the most rewarding of them all. The overwhelming majority of people who are now riding high – A-list actors, CEOs, athletes, innovators – experienced some pretty soul-crushing lows in their time. What do they all have in common? They never gave up, not even once. Sure, they might have thought about it, but at the end of the day, they all kept going. The saying that we are our own worst enemy is true on many different levels. Aside from rare events of catastrophic magnitude, nothing can devastate your career or business as much as a single “I give up” from your lips. Is your business struggling to a point where you’re thinking about going back to the drudgery of your 9-to-5? Are you having doubts about ‘having what it takes’? The following might sound like a cliche, but it’s true: the next big break could be right around the corner, but you’ll never reach it if you quit. Keep working on your business even when you feel like you should close up shop – eventually, it’ll pay off.
Never in the history of time has information been as abundant as it is today. Thanks to the internet, we have the opportunity to learn things that can truly be called ‘invaluable’ for free (or next-to-nothing), and with minimal effort.
So why is it that so many people still struggle financially their whole lives, even in well-developed countries like the U.S., called the land of opportunity? The answer to that is certainly complicated and a debate of its own, but the very thing that enables us to get rich could also be what is preventing us from doing so: an (over)abundance of information.
Everyone has an opinion, even when they don’t know what they’re talking about. Following the wrong advice can quickly lead you astray and discourage you from going further, and sometimes, there’s no telling good advice from bad.
Fortunately, it’s easy to discern that Napoleon Hill’s famous book, Think and Grow Rich, falls heavily on the good side. Despite being published nearly 80 years ago, the literal interpretation of this ‘millionaire’s book’ is still every bit as true as it was in 1937, which speaks volumes about its power. If you haven’t read it yet and have your mind set on success, the bookstore (or its online equivalent) should be your next stop. Here are 4 incredible takeaways from Think and Grow Rich.
You will go as far as your imagination takes you. As children and young teenagers, we are sometimes discouraged from getting lost in our own imagination – ‘daydreaming’, as our elders called it. Yet Napoleon Hill ascertains that the ability to imagine your success and its rewards is instrumental to actually getting there. Being born into poverty didn’t stop Hill from dreaming big, and his dreams helped countless people achieve theirs.
Don’t be afraid of desire. Having too much desire is yet another thing that’s rarely considered good – some would call you greedy or covetous for it. Hill, on the other hand, calls desire “the starting point of all achievement”. To get what you want, your desire needs to be strong – perhaps stronger than any other emotion you have.
Persistence is the key to riches. Hill talks about it almost as an alchemical process, saying you will “transmute” the aforementioned desire into wealth mainly through persistence. Persisting means exercising your willpower and pushing forward against all odds and, sometimes, even your own feelings, until you finally have everything you want.
You will activate your ‘sixth sense’ when you rid yourself of negative emotions. The wording might seem a bit strange, but the message is clear – before you can take Hill’s principles as your own, you must first eliminate the negative emotions built up over the years. Hill calls indecision, doubt and fear the ‘three enemies’ you must eliminate, and he’s right – save for when engaging in dangerous extreme sports, nobody’s ever benefitted from these emotions. Recognize these feelings and states of mind for what they are the next time they show up, and make a decision to get rid of them – slowly, but fully.