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I can recall speaking by phone once to the legendary motivational speaker Bob Proctor. I was awestruck and amazed by this elderly mans financial success, his energy and his ambition for the future. I asked him how he went from making $70,000 a year to $1,000,000 in just two years.

‘Its quite simple. I came in possession of a book that utterly changed my paradigm on making money and achieving goals’.

I couldn’t contain myself. ‘Would you be good enough to tell me the name of it Bob?’

‘Sure. It was called ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill.

I was deeply disappointed. ‘Ah Bob, I read that book myself and I’m no where near a million a year’.

‘How many times did you read it Pádraic?’

‘What do you mean Bob! I read it once’.

‘That may be the difference Padraic. I read that book forty times the first year I got it and as many more times since’.

‘I recorded my major definite purpose on an old cassette recorder and I played it day and night for two years. My wife thought I was mad. My business colleagues thought I was crazy. If the truth be known, I frequently questioned my own sanity.

‘Napoleon Hill had spent twenty five years researching the success secrets behind the most extraordinary achievers of his generation and he laid

bare those secrets in the book. I committed to following the secrets to the letter of the law and never questioned their validity. I can vouch, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that they work as powerfully as Hill discovered they did’.

‘To paraphrase Hill, the book ‘should convince you that riches are not beyond your reach, that you can still be what you wish to be, that money, fame, recognition and happiness can be had by all who are ready and determined to have those blessings’.

But I’d been busy, being busy, and never got to read that book a second time.

Last weekend, I resolved to return and study that book. As I flicked through the pages it opened up on page 85 under the chapter on ‘Specialised Knowledge’. There, underlined in yellow highlighter, was the sentence. ‘Any man is educated who knows where to get knowledge when he needs it, and how to organise that knowledge into definite plans of action. It pays to know how to purchase knowledge’.

I frequently quote Churchill’s wonderful take on discovering the truth. ‘Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened’.

This time would be different. This time I would not just read the book but summarise it. This places a far higher onus on having to learn the material.

I set about my task with scientific zeal. There were three hundred pages in the book. I estimated that by using my speed learning methodology I could scan a page each thirty seconds. That would take two and a half hours to complete a full scan of the book.

I recalled Bob Proctor telling me he’d read the book forty times in one year. I wondered would it be possible to summarise it on one page that I could review each day?

As the ‘Hill’ famously said ‘whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve’.

Central Theme:

Hill concluded, after twenty five years gruelling research, that ‘our brains become magnetised 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 harmonise with the nature of our dominating thoughts’. In addition he concluded that there are fourteen major principles through which people create fortunes. These are:

  1. Thoughts Are Things:

Referring to Henley’s prophetic lines ‘I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul’, Hill suggested that we are simply because we have the power to control our thoughts.

2. Desire:

Think back to a time when you were besotted with love. It was an all consuming obsession. It was not necessary to remind yourself you were in love. Your goals should be similar – they should drive you with a burning fervour. If they don’t they’re not ‘Hill’ goals.

3. Faith:

Emerson said that ‘the whole course of things goes to teach us faith. We need only obey. There is guidance for each one of us, and by lowly listening, we shall hear the right word’. Katie Taylor affirmed all day long on the day of the Olympic final ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthened me’ (Philippians)

4. Self suggestion:

Your subconscious mind resembles a fertile garden. Seeds planted there with emotion will thrive – irrespective of whether they’re nutritious or poisonous.

5. Specialised Knowledge:

Fools learn from their own mistakes. Wise people learn from the mistakes of others. Knowledge is power. Find it. Buy it. Steal it. But get your hands on it.

6. Imagination.

Einstein put it best when he said. ‘Imagination is more important than fact’

7. Organised Planning:

Earl Nightingale defined success as ‘the progressive realisation of worthy ideals’.

8. Decisions:

Take Henry Ford’s advice – make decisions quickly and often and change them slowly.

9. Persistence:

Calvin Coolidge produced a classic on this.

‘Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent’. (Midas later added that if Coolidge had been reared on Inis Oírr that he’d have called persistence ‘SMACHT’.)

10. The Master Mind:

‘You are the average of the four or five people you are surrounded by most’ said Jim Rohn. Make sure you get the right people on the bus and the wrong people off the bus.

11. Sex is Good.

Most successful people are endowed with a strong sexual desire. Ray Dooley would have approved.

12. The Subconscious Mind:

‘Beyond your own mind lies an Infinite Intelligence to which your mind can be tuned like a radio set, both sending and receiving.

13. The Sixth Sense:

This is the creative part of the mind creating hunches and inspiration. It can be enhanced and refined.

14. Fear:

Three enemies you have to banish are indecision, doubt and fear. Fear of poverty is a state of mind, nothing else. But it is sufficient to destroy ones chances of achievement in any undertaking.

All you need is SMACHT.


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