Tag Archives: Napoleon Hill

Dominating Thoughts and Achieving

12 Mar



Two weeks ago, a forceful crisis of confidence took hold and set me back about six weeks in terms of my writing. I spent a sorry week restructuring my story, reworking my scenes, changing the plot direction and the fundamental motivations of my characters. As I worked frantically to resolve the issues that arose in my manuscript, I began to seriously doubt that my story had any other value beyond being a story that I felt compelled to write and that I wanted to read as a reader. Failure seeped into my thoughts and I became so anxious at the thought that perhaps I had dedicated so much of my time and efforts over the past year to something that may turn out to be an unworkable disaster.

When the fear peaked to this advanced state of realization that I may have wasted so much time on something so speculative, I clung tightly to a quote by Napoleon Hill – ”You are but the sum of your dominating or most prominent thoughts.”  It’s a pretty famous quote from his book ‘The Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons’ published in 1928. The theory is similar to the law of attraction and positive thinking, but no quote on this topic has held more resonance for me than Napoleon Hill’s.

Every morning when I got up – daunted by the writing task at hand for the day – I repeated this quote over and over in my mind. If I allowed myself to dwell on the fear that my manuscript to date was so flawed that it was beyond saving, I would descend into panic and desolation. I had to be convinced that my manuscript was save-able, even as the further I went into the editing, the worse the structural problems seemed to get.  The knock-on effect resulting from the alteration of a simple piece of dialogue or the tweaking of one action or response almost toppled me into the sea of self-doubt.

I developed two personalities over these two weeks. One personality kept telling me that I would complete my novel, that it would all work out in the end, that I was right to dedicate serious time and effort into the project and that it would not all be the biggest mistake I ever made. The other personality told me I would regret wasting the past fourteen months, that I had wrongly steered myself into a perilous financial situation because of my commitment to the project and that I was naive to think I could call myself an aspiring novelist, never mind that anyone might read what I wrote.

Napoleon Hill kept me going, solidified a steely determination within me so as not to allow the negative thoughts dominate my thinking. I completed all the restructuring and I’m now well on my way to completing a much better story all round (for now anyway), streets ahead of where it was five weeks ago. Strangely, something innocuous also happened around the same time to assure me I kept focused on the positive thoughts. I developed an irrational fear that I was going to wake up one morning to find a spider on my pillow as I lay in bed. And you guessed it, three weeks later I woke up to find a spider on my pillow, a bit unsure as to why he was there.

I’m sticking with Napoleon.


Main Image via here

An unfocused means to an undefined end

6 Mar

Purpose and Determination – both these words have taken on significant new meanings for me in the last few days. I do have the Oxford English dictionary and I do know the definition of both words, however something Napoleon Hill said cast both words in a tremendous new light.

My life for the past few years has been marred with failures and let downs despite my very best efforts for more favorable outcomes. It seemed no matter how hard I tried to make my career, my relationships and my management of finances work, it appeared they were conspiring against me. I powered ahead, my sole purpose was to make ends meet and to survive. There was little, if any satisfaction in my endeavors and I believed that my sole purpose was to keep going with the faith that eventually everything would work out for me. My unhappiness with my life was further fueled by the fact that I really didn’t know what I wanted from life, what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be. I was aimless and purposeless despite my determination.

My litany of failures hung over me like a dark cloud, chipping away at my self-confidence. I even tried allowing someone else to have access to my deepest thoughts, both conscious and subconscious, to examine if together, we could understand why I seemed completely incapable of making anything work out for me.

What I have learned over the past few days is that I have wandered aimlessly through all aspects of life. I had no plan, no desire for some final tangible outcome – I had an unfocused means to an undefined end. I was higgledy-piggledy in a maze with no exit.

So what has changed? I have finally realized what I want to do with my life. I was aware of this for some time, but not in the purposeful and determined way as outlined by Napoleon Hill. I was blinded by the barriers, the obstacles, the lack of this and the lack of that; all of which I truly believed would keep me from my fanciful goal. My failures have made me realize that I was on the wrong path all along and now I know that I have ignored lessons I should have examined for their greater meaning. I guess you could say I had an epiphany. You can’t go anywhere unless you know where you want to go – otherwise it is called wandering.

And so, with purpose and determination, I will now begin construction of my master plan for fulfillment. It feels great to finally know what I want from life and to believe that, if I let nothing stand in my way, I can achieve the greatness and success my soul always told me I had.


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