If you have never read the book, Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill, I will start off this article by saying, Go Read It.
The lessons conveyed are simple, yet profound and applicable. One lesson has stuck with me the most since reading his book and it has impacted all the experiences that make up my Life.
“Persistence plus Desire will result in Success.”
Positive outcomes at scale are generally a result of consistent effort over time by a dedicated individual or group of individuals.
This principle is evident throughout history, whether it is the Civil Rights movement or development of the Personal Computer – success, would have not been achieved without the earnest desire to overcome any forthcoming adversity.
Persistence is the mechanism by which steps may be taken in a predefined direction. However, it is one’s desire to progress that fuels persistence.
Without desire, persistence is unsustainable.
Desire is purely internal.
Desire must be derived from something personally motivating. It may be acquiring money, as Mr. Hill describes in his book; however your personal motivation could also be to build stronger relationships, to connect more deeply to a spiritual source or to provide care and support to others in some meaningful way.
The process of value creation is a gradual one; it takes time – a lot of time.
Imagine your goal, as a house made of bricks. It is apparent that there is unseen value in the completed structure, however, as an independent builder, you must place each brick one at a time.
Every moment you spend dedicating energy towards a particular desire in your life, you are laying a brick that will ultimately, through consistency, turn into the house you always envisioned.
The combination of passionate desire and consistent action is a formula for progress. This formula can be applied to every experience in our lives.
In the following sections, I lay out some of my own desires in each experiential element. Being mindful of your energy allocation will result in accelerated progress in all areas of your life – it is just a matter of taking the time to organize your thinking.
Excelling Physically: I desire to be fit and nutritionally clean.
With this in mind, I allocate time in my week to exercise. In addition, food choices are made with a preconceived thought, “Will this meal lay a brick for my house?”
Slipping now and again to indulge in life’s bounties is totally acceptable; I do it every week. However, the goal is to look back at your week and honestly say to yourself, “I consistently ate natural foods and was physically active.”
Exhibiting Emotional Control: I desire to consistently overcome adversity.
It is tough to handle everything life throws at us. However, with through consistent practice of patience and an End State Mentality, I am developing a mindset in which adversity is viewed not as an obstacle, but as an opportunity.
My house is far from built, as I am still occasionally overwhelmed. It is inevitable however, that life will continue to be difficult and thus, I will have many more opportunities to lay down my bricks.
Maintaining Spiritual Connectedness: I desire to share a Reciprocal relationship with a spiritual Source.
Connecting to your spiritual Source does not happen overnight; your Source must be communicated with consistently over time to develop a reciprocal relationship.
I am not far along on my journey. While I understand I will one day have the relationship I desire, it will only come through consistent connection. To do this, I have developed the habit of connecting in place of listening to music.
We listen to music on probably five separate occasions each day – commuting to work, exercising, relaxing at home, grocery shopping. I still listen to and love music, however by opting out of headphone use one time a day, I persist in developing the deep relationship I sincerely long to have with my spiritual Source.
Finding Social Satisfaction: I desire to be part of meaningful relationships with people who are interested in sharing experiences.
I truly believe that without sharing experiences, relationships tend to sputter. The sharing does not need to be frequent, however the interest in sharing must be directly expressed.
Life is dynamic, yet can be consistent – we can choose to do anything we want, however, often times the same choices are made over and over again. I make the choice each week to connect with a friend. Whether it is someone I knew well or in passing – I have faith that persistence in sharing experiences will ultimately result in the development and sustentation of meaningful relationships.
Realizing Occupational Growth: I desire to be a thought leader in my fields of interest.
It is not easy to climb to a position of occupational status in America; be it a Doctor or Project Manager – it takes time to develop yourself into a person who can excel. It is also not easy to realize immediate success when launching an independent venture; it takes market analysis, product development and dedication to create something valuable, out of nothing.
Experience is the most important thing that will result in increased credibility and more intelligent decision-making. However, the only way to get experience is to pick your field and work at it, every single day.
In my case, I desire to lead Population Health initiatives that will result in a more coordinated and overall better healthcare experience for patients. Fortunately, that is my job – I am a healthcare consultant. That being said, I understand that I have a long way to go until I am a leader in this space; all I can do now, is show up each day eager to learn and garner relevant experiences.
In addition, I aspire to communicate the concept of Holistic Wellness to people interested in working towards an ideal version of themselves. This is why I created the Reciprocity Wellness Community; this is why I write.
Maintaining Intellectual Rigor: I desire to learn about capturing an audience.
Skills are not formed without practice. To work towards my desire, I have started listening to podcasts. Podcasts are such an easy way to passively learn. If focused on a skill you desire, they add value to time that would have previously gone to waste.
There are a lot of people in this world, and they all have a lot to say. Find your niche and get in the habit of listening to one a day. I do it on my lunch break.
Promoting Environmentalism: I desire to experience nature and raise awareness of conservation.
Just as the mountains were formed over time by consistent pressure from beneath and degradation from above, conservation is also an endeavor that must be consistent, and every generation must take on this mentality.
I enjoy nature for its magnificence. It is undeniable to me that nature is everlasting. While landscapes may change, their purpose is static – they are there to simply exist.
Nothing that man creates will share this purpose. With this in mind, I strive to promote outdoor activism at every opportunity I get. I opt-outside – always.
I hope to lead by example and inspire others to appreciate the environment. And as a result, my hope is that they begin to understand we have a duty to leave the natural world around us the same or better for future generations.
By applying Napoleon Hill’s rule to every part of your life, you will start yourself on a progressive path that leads to true holistic wellness and personal betterment. Every experience you have will be in some way productive, so when you rest, you will feel fulfilled.
Let yourself Discover your Desires – Let your Desires Fuel your Actions
Let your Actions Become your Reality