‘Think and Grow Rich’ is a very cliché title, at least that is what I thought whenever I saw the book recommended over and over again. But nonetheless, I am reading it and it has got me thinking about a lot of things.
Let me just say I am a very self-conscious person, especially when it comes to my actions and thoughts. Some say it is a bad trait, but I find it more of a strength since it keeps me in a constant search for a better version of myself. I had a very crazy week at work, with everything just happening out of my control. The final nail to the coffin was when I got a bad review from someone about my department. Okay, it wasn’t exactly a complaint or bad review, more like ‘raising a concern’. But given my aforementioned personality disorder, it felt the same.
I pride myself in not being a people-pleaser, but I like to do a good job when I am being paid to do so and a comment like that given the week I had just had, led me down a dangerous road. It got me doubting my personal abilities and at some (very low) point, my own self-worth. I know…it’s sad that we let what we do determine our worth.
I just happened to be reading Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and it is what reminded me that everyone fails at some point, and it is all part of the beautiful journey to success. It is interesting where we derive our support and inspiration!
One of the stories it mentions is the one of Mary Kay, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics. It says that in an article for Personal Excellence she suggested exercises to help create an image of excellence. I did not review the original article but the ones highlighted in the book were;
1. Imagine yourself successful; This suggests that you imagine and visualise yourself as successful, focusing on your desires and goals despite your present circumstances.
2. Reflect on your past success; This actually helped me snap out of my self-doubt. I thought of all that I had achieved before in my life and at my job, and I decided that a single failure (or even a couple of them) couldn’t disqualify me all of a sudden.
3. Set definite goals; It is much easier to reach a destination when you had one in mind to start with. I don’t know if it is the constant failure or the deeply-set pessimism about the future, however it seems safer to just imagine what you would want the future to hold for you but refrain from putting it down on paper in definite goals. We feel as though setting goals, and trying to have a little control over our futures will piss off the Holy Maker and jinx our plans all together. Well, I don’t know what this achieves, but I sure know what it doesn’t. Failure to set goals takes away all commitment and accountability to them, something that keeps us praying for the same things year in year out, and receiving totally different things every year. Mary Kay also recommends keeping a look out for when you start deviating from these goals and taking a corrective action.
4. Respond positively to life: Here she encourages us to develop a positive self-image. Your image, reactions and decisions in life are totally within your control. It is up to you to decide how people’s comments and reviews affect you. In my case, I realised that I could either choose to look at the bad review as a personal attack or as a way to improve our service as a department.
Despite its title, I believe Think and Grow Rich has a little something for everyone, even a nun with zero interest in worldly riches.