The first self-help book I ever read was “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.
Published in 1937, it inspired tens of thousands of copy-cats and spawned the modern self-help book industry.
Along with “How To Win Friend’s and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, it’s a must read for any self-improvement junky. Both of these books should be mandatory reading in about 8th grade. The wisdom would have saved me years of pain and confusion, possibly transmuted my entire high-school experience and solidified my mindset for the next decade.
Instead, I started a band, partied and chased women.
It wasn’t all that bad.
The main theme of Napoleon’s book:
You are ultimately in control of your own thoughts, feelings and actions.
Napoleon taught me to be aware of my victim mentality, and how it’s toxicity was infecting my life. By sharing mindset examples from some of the most successful leaders of his time, I learned the power of positive thinking, especially when combined with action. Instead of blaming my environment or genetics, I could change my mindset, and do the work.
This concept of being responsible for my thoughts, feeling and actions jolted me out of a long stupor. Was this the reason I was depressed, addicted to video games, miserable at work and lonely?
In the 90’s, mainstream music switched from bombastic glam rock to somber, angry, introspective grunge. Being lazy, apathetic, and sad became cool. I latched my identity to the music, not realizing that these rockstars were the opposite of what they preached. In order to achieve that level of success in music, you had to work hard, be positive, and focus on your goals.
Nobody was going to save me. I wasn’t going to be suddenly discovered and handed a cool job, or a record deal. It was all up to me, and with the right attitude, I could do anything. I could start again.
What a relief to finally know it was all my responsibility.
Nobody had ever told me that before. Not my teachers, my parents, or my friends. It took a seventy year old book.
I also learned it didn’t matter what I did, as long as I did it well.
Do your job, make your art, chase women, work out…do whatever…but do SOMETHING, keep doing it, and DO IT WELL.
The positivity angels are not going to float down and bless you with inspiration, energy and joy. It’s up to you to change your thoughts, feelings and actions.