Welcome back to PART 4 of Making 2022 You Best Year Ever with EPISODE #194 on “Perfecting the Skills of Organized Planning, Decision-Making and Persistence” as we continue our deep dive into Napoleon Hill’s Classic book, Think and Grow Rich, that has sold over 15 million copies worldwide.
On this episode, you will learn:
✔︎ Review PART 1, 2, 3 to Reinforce the First 6 Chapters of Think and Grow Rich.
✔︎ Why the Skills of Organized Planning , Decision-Making and Persistence are important and Timeless Leadership Characteristics.
✔︎The Major Attributes of Leadership.
✔︎ The Major Causes of Failure in Leadership.
✔︎ Strategies to Improve Your Decision-Making and Persistence Muscles.
For those new, or returning guests, welcome back. I'm Andrea Samadi, author, and educator from Toronto, Canada, now in Arizona, and like many of you who tune in, have been fascinated with learning, understanding, and applying the most current brain research to improve productivity in our schools, our sports, and workplace environments. This month, I decided to share my notes with you on a book that I have been studying every January since 2018, with Paul Martinelli, who has studied this book for most of his career. It was the book that my mentor Bob Proctor has studied for his entire life, over 57 years, and a book that some of the wisest people in the world have studied.
If you have been following our episodes of Napoleon Hill’s Classic book, you will recall how
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.”[i] We outlined all of the 15 principles that we will be diving into and in
PART 2[ii] we looked at the importance of positive thinking, being crystal clear with what we want, and choosing faith over fear in pursuit of our goals.
PART 3[iii] 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.
Now we move into Chapter 7 on Organized Planning, Chapter 8 on Decision, and Chapter 9, my all-time favorite, on Persistence. If you think about it, we have developed our vision in the first six chapters, have probably created a plan to move towards what we want, and are using our mind, our five senses, and even thinking beyond our five senses with our 6 faculties of the mind that we reviewed on episode #67.[iv] These next three chapters are integral for making sure our plans stay on track, that we take continual action steps towards our crystal-clear vision, with a never give up attitude. Which leads us to…
Chapter 7 Organized Planning
This chapter holds some timeless secrets for success that are so important, you can go to Amazon and find hundreds of books that focus on “organization” whether in your personal or professional life. You can browse through Netflix and find shows based on the importance of keeping your home “organized” with the show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo[v] where she explains the energy that frees up when your home goes from disorderly to orderly.
Hill reminds us in the beginning of this chapter on the importance of organized planning when he states “if the plan you adopt does not work successfully, replace it with a new plan” (CH7, Page 117, TAGR) and that “temporary defeat should only mean one thing—the certain knowledge that there is something wrong with your plan.” (CH7, Page 117, TAGR). Remember Thomas Edison “failed” 10,000 times before he perfected the incandescent light bulb.
“A QUITTER NEVER WINS AND A WINNER NEVER QUITS” Hill suggests writing this sentence out on a piece of paper “and place it where you will see it every night before you go to sleep, and every morning before you go to work.” (CH7, Page 118, TAGR). I remember in 6th grade, my teacher, Mr. Ron Walker had a poster above the clock in our classroom at Norman Ingram Public School in Toronto, with a beat-up kid trying to learn hockey. He has band aids all over him, cuts, and bruises, but at the top of the poster was written that phrase “A QUITTER NEVER WINS AND A WINNER NEVER QUITS.” I used to stare at that poster often, not because I wanted to learn that sport, maybe a bit because it was right over the clock that I kept my eye on, but that phrase would later be something that would become a habit and would lead me to places that most people would never see, because the win often occurs AFTER most people would typically give up. We’ll examine this on a deeper level in the Persistence chapter.
In this chapter, on Organized Planning, Hill writes about the TOP11 Major Attributes of Leadership, and while all of them are important, the ones that stood out to me are that leaders possess:
Unwavering Courage “that comes from knowledge of self and of one’s occupation”(CH 7, Page 120, TAGR)
Self-control “people who cannot control themselves cannot control others”(CH 7, Page 120, TAGR)
Definiteness of Decision “People who waver in their decisions show that they are not sure of themselves” (CH 7, Page 120, TAGR)
Definiteness of Plans “The successful leader must plan the work and work the plan.”(CH 7, Page 120, TAGR)
The Habit of Doing More Than Paid For “One of the penalties of leadership is the necessity and of willingness, upon the part of the leaders, to do more than they require of their followers” (CH 7, Page 120, TAGR) and
Mastery of Detail of everything that pertains to “the leader’s position” (CH 7, Page 120, TAGR)
You will see how these characteristics of leadership all tie into the next few chapters we will be looking at.
Napoleon Hill also lists the TOP 10 Major Causes of Failure in Leadership in this chapter, and the first one is “The inability to organize details” (CH.7, page 122, TAGR) where “the successful leader must be the master of all details connected to that position” (CH.7, page 123, TAGR).
While I think ALL the 10 Major Causes of Failure are important to read through, and take an honest look at, the first one will set you up for success if you can master organization in your personal and professional life as the ability to organize details in our workplace begins with the ability to organize details within ALL the major areas of our life. I covered the nine environments of our life, on our episode that launched 2021 last January, on EPISODE #103 “3 Ways to Reset, Refuel and Recharge Your Brain”[vi] and I do highly recommend taking a 360 look at our life every year to evaluate where energy might be leaking that could be directed somewhere else. Our environments (that surround us) either inspire us or expire us. They either add energy and move you ahead or drain your energy and hold you back.
Whether this is fair or not, it’s easy to walk past someone’s work environment and notice if it’s organized, (giving energy vs draining energy) or sit in their car, and look around and notice if it’s kept clean, (giving energy vs draining energy) or open up their closet and see how their clothes are organized, (you get the picture) Our environments and how we keep them give anyone a glimpse into how we value organization in the major areas of our life.
The statement “How you do anything is how you do everything” which says a lot and means that the small details matter. Hill put the inability to organize details as his first Major Cause of Failure and he even leaves a spot open for you to add you own idea to this list, in spot #31.
He reminds us to “know thyself” and we couldn’t agree more. Our second episode on this podcast was called “Know Thyself”[vii] still remains as one of our most popular episodes. We launched our podcast with the topic of Self-Awareness to kick off our first social and emotional learning competency since to “know thyself” is the most substantial achievement we can have in our lifetime.
“The major value in life is not what you get. It’s what you become.” (Jim Rohn, American author, speaker and entrepreneur).
Hill reminds us that “you should know all of your weaknesses so that you may either bridge them or eliminate them entirely…you can know yourself only through accurate analysis.” (CH 7, Page 144, TAGR).
Do you know yourself? Your strengths AND weaknesses?
Hill offers a 28-question inventory to help us to self-assess ourselves, decrease our faults, and increase our virtues.
Chapter 8 Decision
Hill opens up this chapter by sharing that an “accurate analysis of over 25,000 men and women who had experienced failure disclosed the fact that lack of decision was near the head of the list of the 30 major causes of failure.” (CH 8, Page 157, TAGR). He says that this is not a statement of theory, but a fact and that successful people “had the habit of reaching decisions promptly and of changing these decisions slowly, if and when they were changed.” (CH 8, Page 157, TAGR)
He shared that one of Henry Ford’s outstanding qualities was “his habit of reaching decisions quickly and definitely and changing them slowly.” (CH 8, Page 158, TAGR)
How do you make decisions? Remember that you “have a brain and mind of your own. Use it and reach your own decisions.” (CH 8, Page 159, TAGR).
Making decisions requires courage and “the great decisions which served as the foundation of civilization were reached by assuming great risks.” (CH 8, Page 160, TAGR). You can read through some examples that Hill provides of those famous people in history who made decisions that required courage. Some of them are so moving, that they inspired me many years ago, before deciding to move from Toronto to the United States, to purchase a poster that has been in my office ever since I made this move, with the word Courage is written on the top, along with the poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe that says “The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision which no man could have dreamed would come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.” (Goethe)
This is true (with a committed decision all sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred) and cannot be experienced until AFTER the committed decision is made, and all other options or bridges are burned. Like we mentioned in PART 2 of this study, in Chapter 1 where “Every person who wins in any undertaking must be willing to burn his ships and cut all sources of retreat.” (CH 2, page 21, TAGR). Barnes did this when he found his way to New Jersey to meet with Edison, and Dr. David Sinclair did it when he left Australia for MIT.[viii]
Do you make decisions quickly and change them slowly?
“You have a brain and mind of your own. Use it and reach you own decisions.” (CH8, Page 159, TAGR).
Chapter 9 Persistence
This chapter is to me, the most important chapter of the book. It’s so important that I put a tab labelled PERSISTENCE instead of just a chapter number so I could refer to this chapter often when needed.
People who reach high levels of success in their life can usually tell you where they have applied persistence to get what they wanted, with the mixture of their will (one of the higher faculties of the mind). Successful people are often “known as cold-blooded and sometimes ruthless. Often they are misunderstood. What they have is willpower, which they mix with persistence” (CH. 9, Page 175, TAGR) to get what they want. The word “persistence” is “to character, what carbon is to steel.” (CH 9, Page 178, TAGR). “Without persistence, you will be defeated, even before you start. With persistence, you will win.” (CH 9, Page 178, TAGR).
STRENGTHENING YOUR “PERSISTENCE” MUSCLES
I was taught to use this skill in my early days of working with Proctor. There was an activity he would have us to do that was meant to develop “Persistence” so that it became a habit. He would have us read this chapter, for 14 days in a row. The entire chapter, every day, for 14 days, and if for some reason, you missed a day, you would need to start over again. This was much easier for me in the days before I had children, and I read this chapter often. Fast forward to 2019 when Paul Martinelli challenged us to read the chapter for 14 days in a row, I thought “that’s a piece of cake” and I took the challenge. I would have to say this was one of the most difficult things I have done in recent years and could see exactly how it builds your persistence muscles. I set my alarm to wake up a bit earlier than usual, and went to my office, and every morning, would read this chapter using the small light in my office, so I didn’t wake anyone else up in the house. I wouldn’t say it was easy but try it yourself and see how you do. It was smooth sailing for me until one morning I was at my desk reading, and one of the kids came into my office not feeling well, and I put my book down to solve her tummy ache and get her ready for school. The day had started, and I had missed reading the chapter. I didn’t have a block of time in the work day to do this, so I had to take something off my schedule, to get back on track. This activity will open your eyes to how different roadblocks will come your way, and take your eye off your goals, and without the use of your will, you would probably let that one thing fall off your radar. And you will have to start over again at day 1 if that happens. Try this challenge, and tick off every day that you read the Persistence chapter from start to finish and see if you can do this 14 days in a row. It’s an eye-opening activity that will give you incredible self-awareness. Try it, and let me know what you notice.
Never underestimate the compounding effect of consistency.
“A good example of the power of persistence is show business. From all over the world people have come to Hollywood seeking fame, fortune, power, love or whatever it is that human beings call success…But Hollywood is not easily nor quickly conquered. It acknowledges talent, recognizes genius and pays off in money only after one has refused to quit. The secret is always inseparably attached to one word—persistence.” (CH 9, Page 180, TAGR).
It requires discipline—the ability to give yourself a command and follow through.
Who do you know who is persistent?
If you are in the profession of sales, someone who is persistent will be conditioned to not take “no” for an answer in the sales cycle. When the customer says “no” the persistent sales representative will ask questions to see if there is any possible way forward. Asking questions helps them to discover if there is an opportunity, or not. They may uncover that the person said no because they just spent their budget with another company and had no more budget left to spend with you, even if they love your product. A persistent salesperson who can develop and maintain strong relationships with their customers would then be able to ask if it would be possible for them to cancel the order with the other company and purchase with you.
It may lead to an opportunity, or not, but without persistence, one would never know.
WHEN TO GIVE UP
There’s always the point where whatever it is we want is out of our reach, and when we have tried all angles, pushed past when most others would have given up, that I think it’s ok to give up, only if you put in your best effort. I don’t quote my Dad (Frank) often, as sometimes our best teachers in life teach us important life lessons the hard way without any sugar coating that would not lead to intended results. My Dad used to always say “What’s for you won’t go by you” which helped me a few times I didn’t get the job I wanted in my early 20s. I do still believe that saying to be true, and remember that force negates, that there is always a time that you will know you’ve given your best shot, and this opportunity just wasn’t for you.
Which leads us to the conclusion of this episode. I’ll see you next week as we move into the final chapters of the book, with Chapter 10 on the Power of the Mastermind, Chapter 11 (one of the most misunderstood chapters in the book) The Mystery of Sex Transmutation, Chapter 12, The Subconscious Mind and Chapter 13, The Brain.
I hope you are finding value in visiting these timeless principles, used by some of the wisest people in the world, to make your 2022, your best year ever. See you next week!