Welcome back to PART 6, EPISODE #196 and our final episode of this series, where we will cover the final chapters and add “The Neuroscience Behind the Timeless Goal-Setting Principles” in Napoleon Hill’s Classic book, Think and Grow Rich to ensure we make 2022 Our Best Year Ever with brain-science in mind.
This episode I’m dedicating to the man who has been reading this book for his entire life, who I have mentioned often in this series and podcast, Bob Proctor, who was the first person to see more in me than I could see in myself. It was Bob who asked me “What do you really want?” when I was in my late 20s, and just figuring it all out. He did catch me off guard with this question, but it didn’t take long to map out the vision, as crazy as it seemed at the time, when you have someone who believes in you to push you along the way, the vision becomes clear. Once you know what you want, and have a crystal-clear vision of it, it really is our duty to make it happen in our lifetime. Bob is the perfect example of someone who took action, inspiring millions globally, and someone I will forever be grateful that I crossed paths with. I found out that Bob was gravely ill, while finishing this episode, thought it was important to recognize his influence as an example for all of us, to put something into our goals this year that we have never done. Using Bob’s example, do something wildly different this year, than you ever have previously. He said many things that are forever stuck in my head, but I found a quote that makes sense to close out our book study that I think will stick with all of us.
He said, “You can’t just THINK and GROW RICH, you’ve got to do something with those thoughts.”
I’m hoping that this year, we are all looking for quantum leap results, that take us far beyond where we’ve ever been before. I have been studying success principles, and how successful people became that way, since the late 1990s when my paths crossed with Proctor. I saw these ideas could transform results for our students in the classroom, years before we talked about how important our mindset was after Carol Dweck’s[i] work made its impact on the field of education, and I wrote my first book, The Secret for Teens Revealed[ii] to document these success principles that are echoed throughout Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich book, and aren’t difficult to understand, but implementing them in our daily life is where the hard work comes in.
Here’s my challenge to you—to go through each of the PARTS in this series and see what you can do to truly make a difference and impact with whatever it is you are doing this year. We’ve covered the 15 principles used by some of the wisest people in the world, and I want to add a sense of urgency for all of us to kick it into high gear this year. Think and act in a wildly different way than we have previously. This will take some focus, but the results will be well worth the effort. Remember that Hill says you haven’t read this book until you’ve read it 3 times? We can come back to this series next year and continue to apply the principles with the new experiences built over this year. This series is not only for you, the listener, I am doing the work right along with you!
If you want to see my interview with Bob Proctor, and where my vision began, go back to episode #66[iii] and EPISODE #67[iv] on the Top Lessons learned working with him for 6 years which is one of our most downloaded episodes, and one I still receive feedback and messages about.
With this episode today, I knew I had to tie in the most current brain research, so that we can look at ways to improve our current goal-setting/achieving process, with strategies that will take the guess work out of our year, to make a difference for all of us, since the strategies I will share are all peer reviewed, and have been proven scientifically to be the most effective way to achieve whatever it is that we are working on this year. When I say I want us to make this our best year ever, I really do mean it and wouldn’t spend the time to create this episode, if I didn’t think it could make a difference for all of us. There is a neuroscience to setting and achieving goals, for habit formation and habit breaking, and I hope this episode will help break down the science, and make these principles applicable in your daily life, for the results that will inevitably come as a result.
Remember, it is our duty to take action, and use the potential that we each have. This is not just a mere wish, or hope, it’s for us to all take action on whatever it is that we want (our burning desire) in a way that we’ve never done in past years. What will we do differently this year?
We have covered an introduction to how our brain forms and breaks habits on an earlier episode #35[v] way back from January 2020 that’s a good episode to review in addition to what I will share with you here.
On this episode, you will learn:
✔︎ Review PART 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 to all 15 Success Principles of Think and Grow Rich.
✔︎ Strategies and action steps that tie the most current brain research to these 15 Success Principles.
✔︎ Tools and resources you can use to immediately implement these success strategies into your life so you can move quickly and easily towards your goals.
If you have made it this far in this 6 PART SERIES, I’ve got to congratulate you, as most people don’t ever even finish this book, let alone read it 3 times, like Hill suggests. I can tell that each time I’ve read this book, I stopped at Chapter 12, The Subconscious Mind, probably because we covered this concept thoroughly when I worked with Proctor, that I missed reading Chapter 13 on The Brain, Chapter 14 on the Sixth Sense and Chapter 15 on How to Outwit the Six Ghosts of Fear that I’ll highlight at the end of this episode. I can tell that I didn’t read these chapters, as there are no notes written on these pages, and then the edition that I have, when I got to the end of the book, there was a surprise. There was a Chapter 16 that I didn’t know existed. If you will recall, there were only 15 Principles that we were going to cover, so when I saw the 16th chapter, I was confused and immediately sent a message to my good friend Alan Lindeman[vi], from Ohio, who has taught this book for years, and I knew he would reply to me immediately, which he did.
Alan filled me in and reminded me that Napoleon Hill wrote another book shortly after Think and Grow Rich was published, but his wife wouldn’t let him publish it at the time. It depends on the version of the book that you have, but mine has this 16th chapter that Alan thinks was included in the newer editions. I won’t review it, because I’m superstitious with what I think and talk about and prefer to stick to positive angles, steering clear of dark thoughts, or perspectives, even if I know it’s important to be aware of them. I would just prefer to keep this work focused in the light, and would never speak or think of anything outside of positive thoughts for anyone and this self-awareness will keep me from covering this final chapter. If you want to know what it’s about, just Google Chapter 16 of Think and Grow Rich, and you can see for yourself, if you are curious. Just remember the power of autosuggestion, and that your nonconscious mind will take in whatever you offer it, so I highly recommend skipping it, and focusing on the 15 principles we have covered. There is a power of thought, and if Hill didn’t think it was important to guard our thoughts, I don’t think he would have covered this in his first chapter.
For this episode, I want to review each of the 5 PARTS that we covered in this series and see how the most current brain research ties into the timeless principles Hill wrote about, to give us more belief as we push forward with whatever it is we are working on this year, which was the goal of covering this book to launch our year, in the first place. I’ll add the final 2 chapters (15 and 16) at the end to complete our book study before our final review to bring these principles all together.
Remember that PART 1 began with a reminder from Grant Cardone that “in order to get to the next level of whatever it is that we are doing, we must think and act in a wildly different way than we previously have been.”[vii] We’ve talked about Price Pritchett’s You2 book around this time last year on the podcast, where he explains that “if you want to accelerate your results rapidly, you must search out and vigorously employ new behaviors” (Pritchett, You2, Page 7). That’s what I am hoping this book study has inspired us to all do. What will we do DIFFERENTLY this year? I’m hoping some of the strategies I share will inspire us to take NEW actions, that will yield NEW results and that we continue to look at everything we are doing, with our brain in mind.
Using Neuroscience to Learn Something New
Have you ever wondered what happens at the brain level when we are taking new behaviors like Pritchett recommends, or thinking in a wildly different way than we ever have been? Or when we are learning something new? Maybe you say “no, Andrea, I’ve never wondered this” and I’ll say “that’s ok” but just for a second, think in a wildly different way than you ever have previously, from how we have been taught learning occurs, (the old method where we sit in class and I teach you something from the front of the classroom) and maybe you’ll learn it by actually doing it when you take what I’ve taught you, and apply it.
Instead of this old way of learning, I want us to think inside of the skull of our brain, to our neural networks, as we are learning something new, or if you are teaching students in the classroom, or coaching a sport, and see if this understanding can help you to see how new information is acquired at the brain level first, before giving us the new results we all want to achieve. Just think differently.
Look at the image in the show notes, and let’s take a trip inside our skulls. When learning something new, (in the classroom, at home, or a new sport) neurons in the brain begin to slowly extend an axon out to other axons, connecting to other neurons (which is a slow process).
We have oligodendrocytes (green in the image) that wrap myelin around the axons to allow information to move faster. We have astrocytes (shaped like stars, and red in the image) that play an active role in memory and learning as they wrap around the blood vessel serving as gatekeepers at the blood brain barrier, providing homeostasis and regulating blood flow in the brain.[viii]
For learning to occur, Eva Kynt, as associate professor at the University of Antwerp in Belgium shares that we must have “motivation and willingness to learn (as) the basic elements”[ix] and “one way to motivate the brain is to expose it something new and unfamiliar.”[x]
“The ability to learn new things—whether that’s calculus or hitting a fast ball—requires stretching our brain past the point of what’s familiar or comfortable” (Cal Newport, Georgetown University) and “that stretch requires unbroken concentration.” Think of all the actions happening in the brain, and the focus that’s required to make these connections happen. Cal Newport from Georgetown University says “the amount of concentration a person requires to learn something new depends on the complexity of the material. The more complex something is, the more sustained focus a person will likely need to grasp it” and that there are “habits of mind to facilitate learning, such as curiosity, and diligence.”
As we are teaching or coaching new skills, think of the neural networks that are being created, the myelin that’s formed each time a student reinforces the skill they are learning and ways that you can inspire students to become curious with what they are learning.
What is interesting to me is that the research shows that there is nothing inspiring about doing something we know we can do. There’s no motivation in that and requires us to use our imagination (Chapter 6 of TAGR) to push ourselves, and those we are teaching, to new limits. American neuroscientist and tenured professor at the Department of Neurobiology at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, Dr. Andrew Huberman’s research said that “the data shows the probability of achieving the goal depends on whether the goal is easy, moderate or impossible. If the goal is too easy, or difficult we won’t use enough of our autonomic nervous system to recruit our action” and these goals won’t lean you towards readiness, “but when goals are moderate” or something that everyone can “see” as possible something happens to our blood pressure to prepare our body to take the needed action. Huberman says “when goals are moderate, or in range, there’s a near doubling of the systolic blood pressure” that helps the body to lean into the goal. Your body becomes primed for the action it’s about to take.
If we are looking to achieve quantum level results, or achieve something that we have never done before, I think it’s direly important to make what we are going for to be achievable, or something we can see ourselves doing, for the leaning in to occur physiologically. That’s why reading and writing our goals out twice a day and having a crystal-clear vision of what we want, that burning desire that anyone can spot when you are talking about what you are working towards, is so important. When we can connect what the research says to our goal-achieving process, it makes more sense.
Put This into Action: Breaking Past to Where We’ve Never Been Before
Think about the sports team in last place, who has a vision of winning, and had to stretch their mind beyond their past results. Like the Cincinnati Bengals who according to NFL research “no team in NFL history had overcome a halftime deficit of 10-plus points to win in multiple games against an opponent in a single season (including playoffs).[xi] This team suffered year after year with their performance and haven’t been a good team since they made the playoffs in 1988. 2 years ago, they were the worst team in the NFL, until they got a new head coach and quarterback, and whatever they did changed the trajectory of the team. The QB had previously won the college national championship so he brought the winning mindset to the team. Only they know what they did to achieve this milestone and will be interesting to see how it plays out moving forward, but I think it just takes one person of influence to turn a team around, with a new mindset, encouraging new actions, and to think in a wildly different way than they ever had previously, so they can get to where they have never been before.
This concept can be applied in the workplace if we want a new position at work and the salary is 3 times higher than our current salary. We must be able to see beyond what we know we can do, using our imagination, to break through where our results currently are sitting to achieve these quantum leap results. We must be unwavering with our vision for what we want.
This is how history is made in the sports world, and how we can transfer this skill to our personal and professional lives.
PART 2[xii] we looked at the importance of positive thinking, being crystal clear with what we want, and I’m going to add something Price Pritchett warns us of in his You2 book, that “most people confuse wishing and wanting with pursuing” their goals and that “quantum leaps require you to take the offensive. You can’t achieve exponential gains in your success from a defensive position. You can’t make a passive stance and make a quantum jump…and leave the safety that goes along with merely wishing for something. You must place your trust in action.” (Pritchett, You Squared, Page 24).
The Neuroscience of Action Taking/Executing Your Goals
So, what is the neuroscience behind taking action with our goals? American neuroscientist from Stanford University’s School of Medicine, the well respected Dr. Andrew Huberman discusses the science of setting, assessing and executing goals on his recent podcast.[xiii] Dr. Huberman reminds us that there’s only ONE basic system in the brain related to setting goals and there are common brain circuits that help move us towards our goals (short and long-term) and that humans can juggle many different types of goals (financial, health, work related etc.) but usually when we put all of our focus on one area, we lack in other areas. Like our health can suffer if we focus too much on our work goals, and vice versa.
Setting, Assessing and Executing Goals and Our Brain:
To reduce the stress with the goal setting process, Huberman tells us that when we are going after our goals there are only four parts (or circuits) of the brain involved and understanding how these four areas work together can help us to find ways to move towards our goals, more intentionally, with increased focused and with brain-science involved.
No matter what the goal is (an executive building a multi-million-dollar company, or a teacher creating their lesson plans) there, are only these four common circuits involved in the goal seeking areas of the brain[xiv]:
Goal-Seeking Areas of the Brain:
The amygdala: often associated with fear, anxiety or avoidance of pain.
Initiating Action/Preventing Action Basal Ganglia: A circuit Involving the initiation or prevention of action (go or no-go circuit).
Executive Functions like Thinking/Planning (Now and Future) Circuits: Lateral Prefrontal Cortex
Orbitofrontal Cortex: Meshing Emotionality to Our Current State (where we sit now without our goals vs how it will feel when we achieve our goals).
How Do We Assess the Value of the Goal and Know What Action to Take? What happens in these circuits depends on what value is placed on a goal, and given the value of the goal, we decide which action to take, or not take and the neurotransmitter dopamine will be used in our brain depending on this value of the goal we deem as important.
Which brings us back to why a book like Think and Grow Rich could help us in the first place. If I think about the four goal-seeking areas of the brain, and how they are activated during the goal setting/achieving process, it makes sense to me that having a solid plan to stay on track would keep these 4 areas of the brain working for me, instead of against me. The chapter on choosing faith over fear will help prevent my amygdala from shutting down my brain when obstacles come my way, because I will have a plan to move past them. Then I can imagine the Basal Ganglia saying “go Andrea, keep going!” and cheering me on past whatever obstacles come my way like procrastination, and the persistence chapter will remind me why I must keep going, use my executive functions as I think, plan and add the final goal setting part of my brain to add emotion to how incredible it will feel when I achieve what I have worked so hard for, or the pain and frustration I will feel if I miss the goal.
This book was designed to support the four goal seeking areas of the brain. No wonder it works so well.
What I thought was fascinating with the research that Dr. Huberman mentioned is there are ways that we can further “improve our focus and cognitive attention” and our ability to stay focused on what we want, and that’s by focusing on an external point, and the minute we focus on a point (outside of our body) it requires effort, and something happens at the brain level that prepares us further for the action we are about to take. Remember Pritchett said we can’t achieve exponential gains in our success from a defensive position. We must be primed and ready for action.
Then Use Your Visual Focus to Achieve Your Goals Quicker and With Less Perceived Effort
Huberman’s focusing activity helps us to be prepared mentally for the action we must take, by leaning into the goal, when we do this. He gave an example of a study where one group looked at the goal line in a goal-achieving exercise they had to move to (narrowing their attention to what they wanted-move themselves to the goal line wearing 15 lb weights), while the other group did not look at the goal line, or their final destination. The group that used their focused attention towards the goal they wanted, (they could see exactly where they were going, with no doubts at all) were more primed for that goal physiologically. He explained on a deeper level what happens to the brain and body when we focus on the goal ahead of time, but the results showed the group that looked at the goal line, were able to move towards the goal line with less perceived effort (17% less effort) and quicker (23%) faster than the other group that did not look at the goal line.
Put This into Action:
So how does Dr. Huberman’s research tie into PART 2 of our book study? He said that just by changing where a person looks, they changed their perceived effort and their ability to achieve their goal more quickly.
Do you have your eye on your goal? Are you clear about your END point, or where you are going? There really is a science behind setting and achieving our goals.
As we are working through PART 2 of the series, where we took our goal, that is not a wish, nor a hope, but a burning desire, remember that desire that Edison saw in Barnes’ eyes? Barnes was clear about what he wanted. He had his eyes on the end goal, and Edison saw it just as clearly as Barnes did. That energy radiated from Barnes, and Edison picked it up. He didn’t let it waver (with doubts, fears or worries) and never took his eyes off his goal.
I put an image in the show notes of a roadmap I created in the Level Up Program[xv] (that I created for schools) to help us to break down our goal into quarters. It helps to bring clarity to where you are now, with a vision of where you are going, and a place for action steps you can take along the way, breaking the goal into smaller chunks. You might have a process for breaking down your goals that you prefer, but I put I wanted to share this strategy with you in the show notes as an example to map out your year, with a clear path, keeping in mind that the research shows this clarity (or your eye on the end goal) is so vitally important.
Our brain will pick up on the value we place on our goal, (our clarity and definiteness of purpose) and provide you with the dopamine needed to take the action necessary for the attainment of that goal. That’s mind-blowing to me, to think about WHY the principle of desire (knowing clearly where we are going) pushes us towards what we want. It’s happening on a biological and physiological level. Thanks to Dr. Huberman’s podcast, I was able to make this connection, and many more on a deeper level.
REMEMBER: When we are clear about WHAT we want, and WHY we want it, this will drive our behavior and our brain will produce the neurotransmitter dopamine to push us towards action of what we want. When we can keep our eye clearly on the end goal, we will get there with less perceived effort and quicker than if we didn’t have this clear vision. This reminded me that Brendon Burchard chose clarity as one of the habits in his book, High Performance Habits, as one of the habits that moves the needle the most for habits of high achievers, and now I can see why.
PART 3[xvi] we examined the importance of putting these goals on autopilot with what Hill calls “autosuggestion” and then further honing our craft by studying, learning, and developing specialized knowledge that will separate you from others, making you truly unique with your talent that you’ll continue to perfect in your lifetime, while using your imagination to keep building and perfecting whatever it is that you want to create in your life. What we are doing here is creating NEW behaviors that will become automatic and work for us and make our pursuit towards our goals much easier with time.
The Neuroscience of Habit Building
We mentioned at the start of this episode that we have covered an introduction to how our brain forms and breaks habits on an earlier episode #35[xvii] from January 2020 that’s a good episode to review in addition to what I will share with you here.
PART 3 is all about putting our goals on autopilot, and Hill suggests reading and writing our goals every day, twice a day. What he is doing, is helping us to prime our brain to become crystal clear with our vision, that after a certain amount of time of repeating our goals, they begin to become automatic in our brain. They no longer feel like pipe dreams, but we become familiar with them, and this is not far off from the habit-building literature you will find when you research “How to Build New Habits” with the hundreds of books, research and articles on this subject online.
What I liked about Dr.Huberman’s work is that he explains that there are certain habits that will give us more “limbic friction”[xviii] or are more difficult to do. This is going to be different for everyone. For me, getting up and exercising every day is easy to do, and requires very little limbic friction because it’s become a habit for me over many years, but to sit at my desk and read through Neuroscience Articles on Pubmed is excruciatingly difficult and when we have something that we find difficult to do, we can end up procrastinating, and not doing it at all. Dr. Huberman makes this daunting task simple and easier to tackle by diving the day up into phases, like Phase 1 being the early morning, (0-8 hours after waking up) where you can “overcome this limbic friction” and do the things that are most difficult for you if you tackle them in this early window of the day to help you to push past something that’s difficult, which will eventually form a habit. This was the main idea of Brian Tracey’s popular book Eat That Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time.[xix]It was about tackling those difficult tasks first.
Put This into Action:
I’ve always liked the idea of picking one habit you will form (or break) every 90 days, and if you can check off each day you do the new habit (if it’s exercise, reading articles on pubmed, or trading coffee for hot lemon water) whatever it is, you pick one habit, and focus on that for 90 days. At the end of the 90 days, you will have formed a new habit, and will have a heightened level of self-awareness as you go through this process. I highly suggest this activity but will say that if you are looking to eliminate a habit you don’t want anymore, and can’t do it, then a good episode to revisit is Dr. Anna Lembke from EPISODE #162[xx] who explains how certain habits can become addictive, and how to break them. You can use the chart in the show notes to pick one habit and make it stick, or break a habit this way over a 90-day period.
I listened to another incredible podcast with Kristen Holmes from Whoop.com who we had on for episode #134[xxi] on “Measuring Sleep, Recovery and Strain” and she was speaking with Dr. Hazel Wallace on “Nutrition and Habit Formation[xxii]” and they discussed some similar habit forming/breaking strategies. I loved the example that Kristen Holmes used when talking about ways to break habits she didn’t want (like looking at your phone while driving) and she mentioned that thinking of the negative consequences of the action can help you to break these habits. Dr. Huberman mentioned this strategy of his “The Science Behind Setting and Achieving Goals”[xxiii] podcast with the idea of visualizing failure as being an effective goal achieving strategy, instead of the usual visualizing success strategy. He makes the distinction that predicting failure is much different than visualizing failure as predicting failure, or what happens if you don’t achieve what you are going for, can help you lean into your goal. When you are on track, you can reward yourself along the way, and withhold rewards when you veer off track, to keep your dopamine reward center active. The best reward is always the unexpected reward that you could also use to further motivate someone and amplify their system.
Take a look at the image in the show notes and pick one habit that you will form or break over the next 90 days, and see if you can use Dr. Huberman’s strategy of tackling the new habit in Phase 1 of your day, to make it easier on you and your brain, as you attempt to create a new habit.
PART 4[xxiv] we dove deep into why organized planning, decision-making and persistence are important and timeless leadership characteristics, with strategies to help all of us to improve our persistence muscles.
The Neuroscience of Focus
There is a way to focus in on our habits, using our persistence to turn them into stronger habits that stick, and use up “less limbic friction” (Dr. Huberman) or how difficult a habit is to carry out, when we think about the habits we do every day (like brushing our teeth) that are automatic, easy to do, and we can easily perform them at any time. They are strong habits.
Putting This into Action: and Increase the Likelihood That We’ll Build Strong Habits That Stick
A study identifies “neurons that fire at the beginning and end of a behavior”[xxv] become a habit.
Remember the 4 parts of the brain involved in goal-seeking? For this strategy, we are involving the basal ganglia (action execution or suppression or the do/don’t do) circuits of the brain for something Dr. Huberman shared is called “Task Bracketing” and happens any time we are learning a new habit/skill or trying to break a new habit or skill. Most of us will find some things easy to do, and others more difficult, depending on whether they are habits or not.
It matters what we are doing BEFORE and AFTER the skill, to bracket it, because parts of the brain (in the Basal Ganglia that determine whether we are taking an action or not) will become more active (before and after a particular habit) so it “brackets” the habit to make it stronger. I do remember hearing this in a past episode with Dr. Ratey, the author of Spark: The New Science of Exercise and the Brain on EPISODE #116[xxvi] where he mentioned that any time exercise is done BEFORE a new habit you are trying to form, it will make that habit stick. It made sense to me that exercise could be used to frame the habit or think of this imaginary bracket around the habit adding more focus to it, with our brain primed with neurotransmitters, strengthening what we are doing, so it can be performed at any given time.
If we have habits that are “bracketed (with physical exercise, or any other strategy you can think of to prime your brain to what you are about to do) like viewing sunlight, cold exposure, caffeine, fasting, or ways to increase norepinephrine, and dopamine) this will help you to engage in activates with high limbic friction”[xxvii] (or the activities that you find difficult to do). So even if we got a terrible sleep, or aren’t operating optimally, we will still move forward and perform what we set out to do, since we have placed a higher value on this habit we’ve bracketed, just like habits we don’t think as necessary, we could skip. This creates a neural imprint on our brain of the value of whatever habit it is we want to maintain. Preparing our brain for this habit that we want to create by initiating it when our brain and body are in the right state, like early in the first 8 hours of the day when we are less tired, is another way to “bracket” the habit we want to stick with less “limbic friction.”
Another way to strengthen a habit is to think of the neural pathway that’s created each time we do the thing that we want since “neurons that fire together, wire together” and neuroscience and the literature in psychology support that doing what you want to accomplish once or twice in your mind BEFORE hand, can help you to create the neural circuit before you even begin the habit creation process.
Do you know how you bracket your “high limbic friction” habits? Here’s how I do this. In order to read, research and write complex ideas involving neuroscience, I start my day around 4am with coffee (half caffeine and half decaf), use exercise and intermittent fasting that I break after my morning hikes. This way my brain in primed to sit at my desk and create content that I sometimes find difficult to learn, understand and explain. After my interview with Dr. Ratey, I was aware of the fact that I knew I needed to do certain things for me to focus on work that I find difficult to do, but I had no idea it was a brain strategy called “bracketing” until I learned that from Dr. Andrew Huberman.
Example of how Andrea brackets her difficult work (reading/writing neuroscience articles) with caffeine, exercise and intermittent fasting.
PART 5[xxviii] we looked at the incredible power of the Mastermind, when two or more minds come together, creating what Hill called a third, invisible, intangible force that may be likened to a third mind. Next, we took the mystery out of sex transmutation showing that we can use this energy, the most powerful of human desires, to develop keenness of imagination, courage, willpower, persistence, and a creative ability that can become a motivating force to propel any profession to new heights. Finally, we reviewed the importance of linking ALL Parts of our mind together and reminding us about the power of autosuggestion and reading/writing our goals out twice a day.
This part of the book showed me how important it is to bring our understanding of the brain and mind together. One of our earlier episodes from October 2019 focused on “The Difference Between the Mind and Brain”[xxix] so we can see how energy and information comes into our body, and how we can use this information.
There’s an incredible power that is formed when we can tap into our creative mind whether it’s through a mastermind team, or transmuting your energy, we all have the ability to take our results to a new level with this concept.
THE FINAL CHAPTERS OF THINK AND GROW RICH, REVIEW AND CONCLUSION
Chapter 14: Talks about the importance of our sixth sense or developing our intuition that “will open to you at all times the door to the Temple of Wisdom.” (CH 16, Page 248, TAGR). Hill says “the ability to use this power comes slowly, through application of the other principles outlined in this book. Seldom does any individual come into workable knowledge of the sixth sense (or intuition) before the age of 40. More often the knowledge is not available until one is well past 50.” (CH 16, Page 257, TAGR).
I first became interested in this topic years before I read this book, and there are many useful books I have found that have helped me to further develop this skill, like Shakti Gawain’s Developing Intuition: Practical Guidance for Daily Life[xxx] that has a section for using intuition in the workplace. When you become good at listening to what feels right vs what feels wrong, and science ties into this as we will feel it throughout our entire body (interoception) then we will become quicker and more efficient at making decisions and will never need to ask someone else “what do you think about this?” because you will know with certainty what the answer is. This skill does require practice.
The final principle we will cover is Chapter 15 and How to Outwit the Six Ghosts of Fear that Hill says is mandatory, or else none of the other principles will work. He says “before you can put any portion of this philosophy into successful use, your mind must be prepared to receive it. The preparation is not difficult. It begins with study, analysis and understanding of three enemies you need to clear out. These are indecision, doubt and fear.” (CH 15, Page 262, TAGR). Before we can even get to the Six Ghosts of Fear, we must eliminate all doubts and fears that make us indecisive. Do you see how ALL chapters of the book work together like the colors of the rainbow?
Are you decisive or indecisive? If you have learned to trust your intuition, you will be decisive, and not attached to what other people think or as Hill said not “easily influenced by the opinion of others.” Once you have used your sixth sense to move past these three enemies, there are Six Basic Fears (or Ghosts of Fear) that we must outwit.
Fear of Poverty
Fear of Criticism
Fear of Ill Health
Fear of Loss of Love of Someone
Fear of Old Age
Fear of Death
“Fears are nothing more than states of mind” (CH 15, Page 263, TAGR) and all six of these fears should be examined and eliminated for you to reach your highest potential.
As we come to a close of this chapter, we are brought back to remember how important our thoughts are in chapter 1, and that we must build the life we want with a clear mental image of our goals. We need to be careful who we surround ourselves with, not stay clear of negative thinking, complaining, or worrying. And once we have followed all the steps Hill suggests, in each of the 15 chapters, and eliminate all doubts and fears, we will move steadily in the direction of our goals and THINK for ourselves.
REVIEW, ACTION STEPS AND INSIGHTS
To bring this final episode into a close, I want to review each PART with some thoughts on what action we will take to make use of this book study. I had no idea these episodes would keep me busy for the entire month of January, but I did learn that instead of relying on someone else to walk me through the book, teaching it on the podcast helped me to understand the principles on a deeper lever than any other year I have done with study with someone else leading it.
PART 1: We talked about stretching our brain past what’s familiar or comfortable and think in a wildly different way than we previously have been. The amount of concentration we require to learn something new depends on the complexity of the material, and we must think of learning from a new angle, from within our skull, right down to the neurons, and axons in the brain, and how they are forming neural circuits, depending on the effort we are putting in to form a new habit or create a new circuit that with repetition will eventually become easier. What will you do differently this year?How will you break through to new levels and achieve something you have NEVER done before?
PART 2: We looked at being crystal-clear with our goal, knowing where we are now, and where we want to go, and the action steps we will take, and how focusing on our end point or goal, will help us to get there with less perceived effort and time. I gave you a roadmap to use to map out your year and break it up into quarters so that at any given point of time, if you are asked where you are in the process, you are unwavering with your response.
Is your year clearly mapped out from where you are now, to where you are going?
PART 3: We looked at how autosuggestion puts our goals on autopilot and some ways to break habits that don’t serve us, and how to form new ones. What strategies will you use this year to break or form new habits? I put the 100 Days to Habit worksheet in the show notes you can use for this strategy.
PART 4: We talked about the neuroscience of focus and how to add “task bracketing” to make difficult “high friction limbic” tasks easier to accomplish, while setting the brain on a path to creating a new habit with whatever it is you find difficult. What are your “high friction limbic” tasks? How do you task bracket them to make them less difficult?
PART 5: Puts all of the parts of the brain together and leads us into the final chapters of the book that I admit I hadn’t read until doing this book study. Learning how our brain works is something we can do with new learning, applying new research and honing our skills and craft along the way. It’s all a process, which takes time.
To close out this episode, I’ll end with a quote that I saw the other night on one of Bob Proctor’s social media accounts. I know it wasn’t him posting this, but his team, as he never had time for that sort of thing, but whoever picked this quote, got it right. It said
“What story do you want to tell? What scenes do you want to shoot? How do you want the movie to end? Be the director of your life.”
Whatever it is you are going after, you’ll do it when you believe it.
Napoleon Hill had an unwavering belief in his vision when Andrew Carnegie, one of the richest men in American history challenged him to write a book on the laws of achievement, and Hill told him “Andrew Carnegie, I’m not only going to equal your achievements in life, but I am going to challenge you at the post and pass you at the grandstand.” [xxxi]
I’m sure that Carnegie saw the belief in his eyes.
Do you have an unwavering belief in whatever it is you want to achieve?
I would seriously put some thought into this. It’s the last chapter of the book I wrote, inspired by my work with Proctor, The Secret for Teens Revealed, I took the principles I learned while working with Bob in the seminar industry, and created an action plan for teens to use. The last chapter in this book is What Difference Will You Make in Your Lifetime? We should all know the legacy we want to create, and the difference we will make in our lifetime. It’s not what we GET in our lifetime, it’s who we become and it’s up to us to make this happen. The 15 principles of this book that we have studied are a solid roadmap to help guide us there. I think we can now all agree how these principles are backed by science and why they are effective.
With that, I complete our Book Study of the powerful book, Think and Grow Rich, that has been studied by some of the wisest people in the world, and if you’ve made it this far, you can add yourself to this list as well. I would love to hear any feedback on this episode and what you think. Did this study help you to refine your year? Now that we have completed the study, what action steps will you take? Do you feel the sense of urgency that I tried to convey that this MUST be the year we ALL do things differently to attain new results, and that as each year comes to a close, we revisit these 15 principles to further refine our plans? If this was the last year of your life what would you do to make an imprint of the world with your talents and abilities?
See you next week as we move into some interviews with a returning guest, David Sousa and his new edition of How the Brain Learns, as well as a fascinating story of Erika Ferszt[xxxii], who founded Moodally.com and turned to neuroscience after she experienced work burnout after 10 years of working for Ray-Ban in Global Advertising and Media. We continue our season in pursuit of our goals, with health and wellbeing at the core of our message.