By Raymond J. Ohlson, CLU, CRC
Napoleon Hill’s seminal book, Think & Grow Rich, has played a very important role in my personal and professional life. Hill not only addresses monetary riches but also personal and family fortunes. Over the years, I have purchased more than one hundred copies of this book! It was required reading for all of my career agents. I also loaned this book to many friends and associates, and it appears that these readers have enjoyed it as much as I have. How do I know? No one ever returned the book!
So not too long ago I finally said, “Enough!” I went to my local Barnes and Noble and found one paperback edition on the shelf. I quickly snatched it up and rushed to the checkout line. I couldn’t wait to get back home and start reading. It’s probably been ten years or so since I re-explored this classic. If you haven’t read it, I’ll give you a sample… I don’t want to you everything, because I want you to have a personal satisfaction of reading it yourself. Let me give you fair warning, however. You will need a highlighter and a pen. Your mind will race!
To give readers who are unfamiliar with Hill’s book some background, it’s important to understand the definition of “The Master Mind.” I’ll let Mr. Hill speak for himself:
“The Master Mind is an alliance of two or more minds blended in a spirit of perfect harmony and cooperating for the attainment of a definite purpose.” Napoleon Hill always felt that support from others was of extreme importance in obtaining riches. He also felt that you get out of life what you put into it … not more; not less. Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? So why is it that we have such a rough time achieving our desired success level?
Hill helps us by defining the “Twelve Riches of Life”:
- 1A Positive Mental Attitude
- Sound Physical Health
- Harmony in Human Relationships
- Freedom from Fears
- The Hope of Achievement
- The Capacity of Faith
- Willingness to Share One’s Blessings
- A Labor of Love
- An Open Mind on All Subjects
- The Capacity to Understand People
- Economic Security
I don’t think it’s an accident that Hill lists Economic Security last on his list at #12. Could it be that the first eleven riches are the foundation blocks that lead to number #12? I believe so. Many if not most of us too often spend all of our resources focusing on #12 – Economic Security – while failing to focus first on the preceding eleven. It’s easy not to recognize that we already possess many of the Twelve Riches. We must recognize what we have, relish the moment, vow to keep those thoughts in the front of our mind, and build on those riches for our future.
Over many years in the financial services business, I am confident that I have bored many of my associates by constantly referring to my Master Mind Group. But I think that it is necessary to define this powerful alliance frequently:
- • they are people who are truly sympathetic and empathetic with my goals, visions, and desires; and
- • they are people who truly want me to obtain “The Twelve Riches”
Unfortunately, you won’t find many people whom you would accept into your Master Mind Group; most won’t qualify for membership. In my group, my spouse, a few family members, and a couple of good friends are members. If you can have a group of five, you are fortunate. I also need to remember that I need to do a better job of being sympathetic and empathetic toward my Master Mind members’ goals, wishes and desires.
Hill first published his book in 1937, but his message is as relevant today as it was then. I hope you will borrow the book and let me know how it helps you. I also encourage you to cultivate, nourish and appreciate the member of you Master Mind Group. A lot to think about isn’t it? Maybe that’s why Hill’s most famous work is entitled, Think & Grow Rich! -Stay Safe