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Mitch Horowitz

The Power of a Definite Aim

Rediscovering the Core Lesson of a Motivational Classic

I have spent more than twenty years as an author, publisher, and personal seeker in the world of positive-mind metaphysics and motivational philosophy. Experience has taught me this: No single factor under human control is of greater consequence in your life than one passionately felt and clearly formed aim. And no modern writer has been more persuasive on this point than Napoleon Hill.


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About the Author

Mitch HorowitzMitch Horowitz is a PEN Award-winning historian and author of One Simple Idea: How the Lessons of Positive Thinking Can Transform Your Life. Mitch is vice president and executive editor at TarcherPerigee, where he recently reissued Think and Grow Rich: The Classic Edition. Visit him at www.MitchHorowitz.com.

Jeffrey Gitomer

The slight difference in thinking is money.

Have you ever thought about the way you think? How do thoughts just pop into your head? How do you create an idea?

Most people take thinking for granted, or at least never look beyond the surface of what makes it happen. What are the triggers for your thoughts? Are you a reactive thinker or an original thinker? That’s an interesting thought all by itself.

You watch the news, and you have thoughts about it – that’s reactive. When an idea about something you’ve been working on enters your mind – that’s proactive.

All of a sudden, proactive thinking seems better. But reactive thinking is the norm. The great thinkers of the world are all proactive. That should be your first clue.

My personal development, and real creative thinking, began when I read Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill, in 1971. Actually I did more than read it; I devoured it, reread it several times, studied it, and then applied it to my life.

Think and Grow Rich impacted me and led me to all the other works of Napoleon Hill. Most notable to me are How to Sell Your Way Through Life (the best sales book of all time), and The Master Key to Riches (the follow-on elaboration of Think and Grow Rich). Hill filmed The Master Key to Riches and as I was watching it again last week, I thought this below piece was worthy enough to share with you. It’s about thinking, or should I say accurate thinking, or should I say YOUR accurate thinking.

Here are Hill’s exact words (keep in mind this was written 60 years ago)…

Rules for Accurate Thinking by Napoleon Hill

Now I will give you seven rules to follow which, if you memorize them and follow them as a daily habit, may bring you top-rating as an ACCURATE THINKER.

1. Never accept the opinions of other people as being facts until you have learned the source of those opinions and satisfied yourself of their accuracy.

2. Remember that FREE ADVICE, no matter from whom it is received, will bear the closest of examination before it is acted upon as safe, and generally speaking this sort of advice is worth exactly what it costs.

3. Alert yourself immediately when you hear anyone speaking of others in a discourteous or slanderous spirit because this very fact should put you on notice that what you are hearing is BIASED to say the least about it, and it may be out and out misstatements.

4. In asking others for information DO NOT DISCLOSE TO THEM WHAT YOU WISH THE INFORMATION TO BE, because most people have the bad habit of trying to please under such circumstances. Well measured, tactful questions can be of great benefit to you in THINKING ACCURATELY.

5. Remember that ANYTHING WHICH EXISTS ANYWHERE THROUGHOUT THE UNIVERSE IS CAPABLE OF PROOF, and where no such proof is available it is safer to assume that NOTHING EXISTS!

6. One of the great inexplicable miracles consists in the fact that both truth and false-hood, no matter by what means they may be expressed, carry with them silent, invisible means of identifying themselves as such. Therefore, remember this truth and begin developing the necessary intuitive faculty to enable you to “sense” what is false and what is true.

7. Follow the habit of asking “HOW DO YOU KNOW?” when anyone makes a statement you cannot identify as true. Follow this habit faithfully and you will see many persons squirm and turn red in the face when you insist upon a direct reply.

The most ACCURATE THINKERS are the scientists. They investigate with open minds and never allow their WISHES TO BECOME THE FATHERS OF FACTS, but deal with each fact as it is – not as they would like it to be.

Now, one final word of warning I feel I should leave with you: STUDY YOURSELF CAREFULLY AND YOU MAY DISCOVER THAT YOUR OWN EMOTIONS ARE YOUR GREATEST HANDICAP IN THE BUSINESS OF ACCURATE THINKING. It is easy to believe that which you wish to believe, and unfortunately that is precisely what most people do!

It’s interesting the way that Hill distinguishes between fact and fantasy, true and false, logic and emotion, and accurate and inaccurate.

It’s about challenging your own thinking, and having the courage to challenge others about their thinking. It’s about doing so in a positive way, and challenging yourself to rely on your senses, not just your beliefs.

‘Think’ is a very powerful word in our language, and it’s an even more powerful action. I recommend that you set aside at least 10 minutes a day to think. Put it on your calendar. Daily. Document your thoughts, and then put them into action.

When you dedicate time to yourself, and have a relaxing, creative atmosphere that allows you to dig deep into your own thoughts, and you have some recording device or keyboarding device to document your thinking and your thoughts, after a few months you will begin to blossom as both a thinker and a person of action.

You will begin to feel your genuine power. Thought power. And that power will manifest itself into stronger relationships, stronger sales, and a stronger bank account.

Reprinted with permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer.


About the Author

Jeffrey GitomerJeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website, www.gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].

Jeffrey Gitomer

Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich is full of timeless lessons.

“Thoughts are things” is the title and the first words of the first chapter of the book.

When I first read those words, I didn’t really understand what they meant – even when I read the first chapter and the examples offered in Napoleon Hill’s classic Think and Grow Rich. It didn’t resonate until I got to the end of the chapter and read, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive, and believe, it can achieve.” Then I started to get it. That was 1972.

By coincidence, it was only a few days later that I heard the late, great Earl Nightingale say, “You become what you think about.” At that moment, I got it. It clicked. And it has clicked ever since then.

More reading and studying about thinking and the thought process revealed that neither Hill nor Nightingale had the original thought.

From Socrates to Samuel Smiles, to Orison Swett Marden, to Elbert Hubbard, to Dale Carnegie, to Napoleon Hill, to Earl Nightingale, to Jim Rohn – they all had their own way of saying THE SAME thing.

Your thinking becomes your actions. And it’s those dedicated, well-planned, and directed actions that lead to your outcomes. Your reality. Better stated, your success.

All of these legendary scholars can’t be wrong.

All of them told me in their writings – the same way I’m telling you – that positive thought leads to positive actions and positive results, if the aim and the purpose are passionately believed.

Orison Swett Marden’s book, He Who Thinks He Can, written in 1908, says it in the title. It’s plain as day right on the cover of his book. It was Marden, by the way, that FOUNDED Success Magazine in 1888.

Hill’s title THINK and GROW RICH tells you first you gotta THINK! Your thinking will affect your BELIEF, your belief will help you create your MAJOR PURPOSE, your major purpose will clarify your DIRECTED ACTIONS, and your actions, combined with your DESIRE, your DEDICATION, and your DETERMINATION will determine your WEALTH.
First THINK, then GROW RICH.

Got it? Sure you do. Getting it, that’s the easy part. First you get it, you understand it THEN you agree with it. Easy so far. THEN the harder part, you have to believe you can do it. You have to THINK YOU CAN. Finally, the HARDEST part is you have to be willing to TAKE ACTION! Do it! That’s chapter one. Read it lately?

The rest of Think and Grow Rich contains the ideas, the definitions, and the clarifications that provide the ANSWERS. Hill describes it as the roadmap to riches. I’m telling you, it’s the most important success thinking you’ll ever be exposed to – as long as you repeat it until it becomes your reality.

But I have to stop here and clarify the book. Think and Grow Rich, and Hill’s writing, is not written in today’s language. There are no references to computers, email, the web, Facebook, social media, credit cards, or even television. Because none of those things existed when Hill penned this classic self-help book. Yet somehow the book has managed to sell more than 100 MILLION copies over the past seven decades.

To receive all the wealth in the book, you have to get over the fact Think and Grow Rich was written 70 years ago. As a country, we were fresh out of the Depression and the stock market crash of 1929. World War II was in full swing, the mood of the country was nervous, and Napoleon Hill – and his colleague Dale Carnegie – were screaming, “Make friends, be positive, believe in yourself, be influential, develop a goal and a plan, articulate yourself clearly, dedicate yourself to excellence, take directed action, and encourage others to do the same.” Pretty cool, eh?

These books aren’t 70 years old, rather they were 70 years ahead of their time. Maybe that’s why Hill’s Think and Grow Rich and Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence People have been on bestseller lists for 70 years.

The first chapter ends the same way it began. With one sentence of immortal wisdom. “Whatever the mind of man can conceive, and believe, it can achieve.”

I’m sharing this information today in the hopes you will read or re-read this timeless classic. Rededicate yourself to YOUR best thinking (first), so you can do your best for others (second).

That’s the secret! Please tell everyone.

Reprinted with permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer.


About the Author

Jeffrey GitomerJeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website, www.gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].

Three Feet from Gold

Given the current economic roller coaster, does it feel like you are taking two steps backwards for every one step forward? Have you ever felt like quitting? Even though you knew you were on the right track?

Once a highly coveted and symbol of ultimate success, the job of CEO today has been tarnished in the public’s opinion by the news stories of corporate scandals and executive excess.

Napoleon Hill, wrote “Many successful people have found opportunities in failure and adversity that they could not recognize in more favorable circumstances.” It is through perseverance, and definiteness of purpose that the truly talented CEOs of today will identify those opportunities and reach even greater heights of success than ever imagined.


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About the Authors

Sharon L. Lechter, co-author of Three Feet from Gold is co-author of the #1 New York Times and international bestseller Rich Dad, Poor Dad and 15 other books in the Rich Dad series of books. Sharon works with the Napoleon Hill Foundation to promote Napoleon Hill’s principles for success around the globe. In January 2008, President Bush appointed Sharon to the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. She serves on the National Boards of Childhelp and Women Presidents’ Organization and speaks internationally as an advocate for financial literacy. To read Sharon’s complete biography, click here.

Greg S. Reid is an author, speaker, filmmaker, CEO of several successful corporations, and co-author of Three Feet from Gold. His prior books include The Millionaire Mentor (2003) and Positive Impact co-authored with Charlie “Tremendous” Jones. In addition, he is co-founder of Personal Development magazine and his work has appeared in more than 30 books. Reid has been featured on local and nationally syndicated programs across the country. He also speaks frequently at corporations, universities, and charitable organizations. To read Greg’s complete biography, click here.