The premise behind books like Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, and films like The Secret, is that there is a secret behind wealth. This is not a difficult sell for the average person, because most of us don’t personally know anyone of great wealth. We assume there must be a secret, because we go to work everyday, but that doesn’t appear to be enough to kick us up and out of the lower and middle class.
For a lot us, we don’t feel we have any unique talent, or skill, that would make us “rich and famous,” so we continue to be baffled at how a select few are swimming in money.
It must be a secret. Rich people discovered some magical method to abundance that they’re keeping from the rest of us.
This sense of mystery gives rise to success gurus who claim to know these secrets. We listen because the gurus are rich too. They must also know the secrets, but they’re willing to share them with us. How wonderful!
Selling Snake Oil
Not really. The gurus are rich, but the reason is no secret. The gurus are selling snake oil, and the reason they can so easily sell the snake oil is because they prey upon two things:
- The fact that most people can’t figure out how to get rich so they assume there’s a secret to it.
- The laziness of people that are looking for a short cut to wealth.
While I have your attention, let me say a couple of things. First, I’ve never believed that striving for great wealth as end in itself was a worthy pursuit, but so much of success teaching addresses wealth that I’ve framed the issue in those terms.
For me, true success is to maximize your resources for a purpose greater than yourself. I’m much more interested in releasing the full potential of my talents, skills, and interests than I am accruing lots of money.
Can You Attract Money with Your Mind?
There is no secret to success—there is only ignorance of the principles that govern achievement. If you don’t understand these principles, then a guru can tell you there’s a secret to success. Most of them will say it’s something like holding certain thoughts in your mind, or repeating certain mantras over and over until the wealth materializes.
Can you attract money with your mind? No, I don’t believe you can. Money is not attracted. Money is earned by innovation, strategy, and work. Money is earned by your direct ability to solve problems for someone else. Solving problems for a company is earning by a paycheck. Solving problems for many is earning by sales. Both can bring you a lot of money, but it depends upon your performance.
Wealth Follows Problem-Solving
It does matter how you think, but not in the way that some success gurus teach. I am naturally an optimistic person, but my real “mind power” is in my ability to create, conceive, and conceptualize. I am an idea man. I create things that solve problems for many, and this is what will carry me to the top.
We all have to believe in ourselves, but there must be a valid reason to believe in yourself. If your performance is poor, then there’s no reason to be positive about it. Granted, don’t hate yourself for it—just change it. Use your frustration as fuel for your self-improvement. Take classes. Practice. Do what you have to do to better your performance. Just don’t condemn yourself.
There is no mystery to this. If you don’t work, you don’t eat. It’s that simple. If you spend all of your time envisioning wealth, that’s about all you’ll be doing—other than buying the next book claiming to have revealed the mystery to success.
If you can solve problems for the right people, you’ll make more money. If you can solve problems for a lot of people, you’ll make more money. Either way, it comes down to work, but it has to be the right kind of work. It has to be work that solves the kind of problems that earn the kind of money you want.