Habits of the Super Rich (2015)
Chapter 2: Turning thoughts into reality: It All Starts with the Subconscious Mind
The ancestor of every action is a thought.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
Jim and Zach, our friends from the first chapter, were talking one day. By this point in their careers, Zach was on the fast track – his upward spiral – toward an upper management job.
Jim, on the other hand, was experiencing a downward spiral – and he seemed to be plummeting down that rabbit hole quicker than Alice in Wonderland.
For his part, Jim was in shock, wondering how he could have gotten himself in such a position. “Can I speak honestly with you,” Zach offered. After receiving his consent, his pal outlined exactly what he saw.
Jim took a deep breath and said. “It looks pretty hopeless,” he said.
Zach immediately corrected him. “It’s never hopeless. That is if you’re willing to put in some time and effort.” Jim immediately agreed.
“Once you take the first step, your subconscious mind will help you the rest of the way.”
It’s a very simple concept, but one that we tend to overlook. It’s one, though, that our friend Zach seemed to know.
When we do acknowledge it we simply underrate it. But it’s true. Every building constructed, every book written, every business created first began as some one's thoughts.
Many individuals believe that there’s no understanding the subconscious mind. They know ideas pop into their heads, seemingly miraculously, in the middle of the night. They also know that if they don’t write them down they seem to dematerialize into a thin cloud of smoke never to be remembered again. The workings of the mind are a mystery, they believe. It’s a magical, mystical mystery tour.
Ask anyone who thought with great confidence that they would surely remember this life-changing concept that woke them up without warning at two in the morning. They smiled, simply rolled over and went back to sleep. When the alarm woke them up at 7 a.m., they were so close to recalling the idea . . . but couldn’t.
What is the Subconscious Mind?
Your subconscious mind is the repository of the myriad of information that flies by us every day even if we’re not aware of them. Our mind catches them in mid-flight and files them away. It’s amazing how much information the subconscious mind stores for us, even if we aren’t aware we have it stored away somewhere.
But here’s a secret about the subconscious that few know. It works best when we’re not aware of it working. It’s at its most efficient when we aren’t alert. That’s why we wake up with those wonderful ideas at times. When we sleep we don’t have a clue as to what that portion of the mind is doing.
Similarly, it works its magic when we are doing something totally unrelated to what we’re working on. How many times have you walked away from a problem or a glitch in a project to have the answer flash in front of you?
No doubt you’re well aware of those moments. They may differ from person to person, they may even differ for you depending on the problem and the situation. That’s why the eureka moment hits you when you’re taking a shower, watching television or even driving a car.
Ever get in a car and drive through an intersection wondering if you really stopped at that red light? Or maybe while you’re driving you actually forget to turn on the proper street. That’s your subconscious mind working out the details of a project or problem for you.
Ask just about any writer and he’ll tell you he gets his best ideas as soon as he opens his eyes in the morning.
Remember those days in grade school and high school when the teacher admonished you for daydreaming? The implication was that you were wasting your time. These days you probably should be doing more of it. Yes, daydreaming is a wonderful way of exercising your subconscious mind. Others find they can put the subconscious mind to work through hypnosis.
The secret about the subconscious mind that all successful people know is that you can use this portion of your brain to your advantage instead of being at the mercy of its seemingly whimsical nature. Through the deliberate use of the subconscious mind you can use your mind more effectively to influence not only your motivation, but your will power as well. In fact, once you begin to train yourself in the proper procedure of using this portion of your mind, you’ll discover that there’s not much you can’t do.
How Successful People Put the Subconscious to Work
The following are facts every successful person knows about the subconscious mind. Not only does he know these facts, he works within their bounds so he can make the most of this awesome power.
Subconscious Mind Fact #1: The subconscious mind has no agenda of its own.
This layer of your mind has no will of its own. It doesn’t have a “hidden agenda” that is trying to persuade you to its side of an argument or perspective. Its one and only one function:
The subconscious exists solely to produce ideas according to the beliefs and the images you place in it.
Unlike other areas of our brain, such as the ego or the conscious mind, it doesn’t judge these images, beliefs or thoughts. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? You might be thinking right about now that it should be your best friend.
Indeed it should. But then you have to learn that because it doesn’t judge, it will manifest anything you place into it. That means it will as readily give you the lack of money you’ve been thinking about as well as the prosperity you desire. The subconscious mind will hand you illness as quickly as it will hand you health.
To put it in more concrete terms, your subconscious mind is essentially working off the blueprint of your life that you’re feeding – whether you realize it or not. It won’t stop to examine your thoughts and censor out the negative ones then chastise you for thinking them.
The subconscious mind receives all that you feed it, then begins to bring them to life. Think about it! It could be an awesome tool. If you’re thinking prosperity, visualizing the life you dream of, it’s not about to judge you. Instead, it quietly goes to work bringing it about. In this way, Emerson was right on the mark. A thought really is the ancestor of every action.
The opposite of this is true as well though. If you go to bed at night – or spend the best part of your day – worrying over your debts, affirming that you live from paycheck to paycheck, then what do you believe your subconscious will deliver you on a silver platter. Exactly what you’ve been thinking about: more debt.
Instead of finding that fact depressing, you should view it as liberating. Just by changing what you think about – especially right before you go to bed at night and as soon as you wake up in the morning – can actually be the catalyst for the successful life you’ve been hungering for.
Napoleon Hill knew this when, in the 1930s he wrote Think and Grow Rich. After interviewing the most productive and most successful business people of his day, he recognized how to use the subconscious mind to produce the success. In his book, he speaks about manifesting “riches” into your life, this same six-step process, based on the nonjudgmental actions of the subconscious mind, can work the same type of magic in your life that it did for others – bring them untold success.
Napoleon Hill’s proven Six-Step Process to Success
- Decide on the specific amount of money you want
This is a very important step. When Hill writes “exact amount’ he means it. The more specific you can be in your mind, the better. Don’t be wishy-washy about this. Don’t waffle. Just decide on how much you want.
Notice I didn’t say “need.” Don’t make the mistake many individuals do at this point of the process. They don’t decide on enough. Catherine Ponder a motivational speaker once said, “It’s as easy to manifest a button as it is to a castle.”
Do yourself a favor from the very beginning, never settle for the button when you really want the castle.
- Decide what you’re going to give in return for receiving this money.
Many people expect at this point money will just rain down from heaven for them, just like in the Old Testament story of the Hebrews in the desert and the manna or bread. Don’t expect that you’re going to receive your riches through hitting the lottery. Be prepared to start working on an idea – if you haven’t already.
Are you going to start offering your services as a writer? Or are you going to start an online business? Now is the time to follow your passion.
- Establish a deadline.
Go ahead, don’t be afraid. You’re not going to insult your subconscious mind by presenting it with a deadline. If you don’t do this, you’ll discover that these “riches” or whatever you desire will always be just out of your reach.
- Make a detailed plan of action.
Again, don’t expect these riches just to fall from heaven. Don’t expect your business plan to materialize in front of you with the wave of a magic wand. Instead, you’ll want to write out in detail how you plan to carry out your business or your services.
Remember, every good business person started off this way. Think of it as a map. You’re here, where “x” marks the spot. There’s no use decrying where you are at the moment. Just accept this is your location and your resources for the moment and know – without any reservation of doubt – that you will get to exactly where you’ll want to be.
You want to be here, where the map indicates the “treasure” is waiting for you. Besides, a well thought out business plan is the first thing any bank asks for when a person requests a business loan. Where do you plan to be in the next five years? How do you plan to acquire your riches?
That’s right. Get a pen and paper. It’s better, by the way, to do this initially in long-hand instead of on a computer. This makes it seem more of a serious commitment. Make sure when you do this you include all the necessary facts. This includes the exact amount of money you intend to manifest in your life. Give it a deadline, then write down what services you’re going to provide in return for this money. Not only that, but accurately detail the plan you have for bringing all of this to fruition. At this point you may believe you’re done. Not quite.
- Read this statement twice a day.
Use the power of the spoken word and spend time reading your written account twice a day. Make of a habit of doing this first thing in the morning, before you place any other ideas in your mind and again in the evening, so it’s the last idea you think about before going to bed.
But here’s the catch. When you do read it, visualize it in your mind. Feel the excitement of success coursing through your body. Believe that the riches you desire, the business you’re willing to build to receive it are already manifest in your life. In other words believe with all the fiber of your body that you already have the money.
TRUTH #2 – The Subconscious can’t tell the real from the imagined
For such a potentially powerful organ, the subconscious seems to be “naive.” It can’t tell he real from the imagined, it only “lives” in the present and understands the present. When people first learn these facts, they try to deny them. After all, your mind is so miraculous, it seems incredulous you can manipulate it so easily.
Think about what was just said. “You can manipulate it – the subconscious mind – so easily.” Again, this is difficult to believe. But once you can overcome your disbelief, you may begin to kick yourself. After all, if this is true, then why didn’t you learn this earlier in life? It seems like a fairly simple method to help kick start your success.
As we learn to work with this portion of the brain and learn habits of the rich and famous, you’ll discover how important this concept is to your own overcoming bad habits, acquiring good ones and marching forward to success.
TRUTH #3 – The Subconscious only understands the present
The key to true success lies in the “present tense.” When you start giving instructions to your brain, you’re always going to talk to it in the present tense. When you write out your affirmations, they’ll always be written in the present tense. Have you gone through Napoleon Hill’s six steps yet? If you have, stop right here and review them. Make sure everything you want is phrased in the present tense. Don’t use the future tense.
By now you can probably guess what that would do. That would mean you can see your riches, but they would always be just beyond your reach because you keep asking for them in the future. The future never arrives. By the time it gets here, we call it today. Again, the subconscious is a literal creature.
How Did you get to this Point?
Let’s take a step back here for a moment. We should rephrase this. Theoretically, it should be easy to manipulate your subconscious. The problem for many of us, if not all of us, is that others have already manipulated it before we even thought doing this was possible.
Or perhaps you’ve had a hand in manipulating it yourself and now you have to undo the “damage.” What do we mean by that? Perhaps you’ve been told by your parents growing up that you’re not going to succeed in a certain occupation. The competition is fierce and, quite frankly, you’re just not smart enough. Think about the field day your subconscious mind had with that statement.
The results? Two possible ones could have manifested. First, you may have avoided that vocation all together believing that you would never succeed. Or perhaps you were smart enough to ignore your parents and enter the occupation of your dreams only to find yourself failing desperately in it. Why? Because your subconscious mind was already imprinted with the thoughts of failure.
TRUTH #3 - Habits Are the Footprints of the Subconscious
This is an elaborate way of saying that all of your habits are dictated by your subconscious mind. Depending on your point of view, this could be good news or bad news.
Habits are just actions that have been ingrained into our system – some of them since childhood. Think about the habit of brushing your teeth. When you were a youngster your parents probably drilled into you the necessity of that habit. It wasn’t something your mind told you to do. But one day, after your parents reminded you for so long, something in your mind clicked. Your parents no longer needed to remind you – and it became a habit.
Ask any person who works at home for a living. These individuals had to establish good habits in order to keep on track every day. These activities are dictated by their job. If it weren’t for these “work habits” they never would have been able to sustain such a thriving business.
The truth be told, habits drive all successful people and the subconscious mind drives habits. In order to change your bad habits into good ones, you’ll have to manipulate your subconscious. We’ve already seen that given the attributes of the mind, what may sound difficult, may actually be much easier than you think.
Exercises to Direct the Power of your Subconscious
The beauty of the power of your subconscious is that it is easily trainable. For the longest time, the majority of individuals seeking success were unaware of the power of this awesome aspect of the mind. We thought our bad luck was just that “bad luck.” We thought our limited income was somehow dictated by the gods of prosperity or by some fundamental lack of currency in the world.
Neither of these concepts would be further from the truth. Are you ready to start training your subconscious mind to work for you, to bring you your deepest desires, including success in your career and the prosperity that accompanies that, great relationships – both professional and personal – and the power to dictate your moods?
If you’ve personalized the six steps of Napoleon Hill’s found earlier in this chapter, congratulations. You’ve already take the first step. But just like exercising any other muscles, you have to perform a variety of exercises to create the habits you’ll need in order to get what you want.
The following three exercises will help you reach your goals. You can start using these immediately, while you’re reading and studying the rest of this book.
Subconscious Exercise 1: Create Your Vision of a Successful life
Prior to reading this book you probably didn’t realize you were the person responsible for the financial or emotional state of your life at this very moment. You may have wanted to blame it on being in the wrong place at the wrong time or a lack of money or even a lack of love.
As we move forward in these chapters you’ll learn about the law of abundance. Succinctly this universal law states that there is no lack in the universe, but only an abundance. And it really doesn’t matter an abundance of what. You can live the life you’ve been dreaming of without depriving someone else of their abundant and rich vision of their live. Once you quit thinking that this life is a competition among every one else you meet or even a rat race, you’ll be amazed at how doors, once locked, open easily to your touch.
Even before you learn the workings of this law, you can put it to use. Simply visualize the life you want. That’s right! Instead of dwelling in the vision of your life as it is now, begin to imagine the life you want to lead. See it now: the ideal career, the ideal house, the ideal family.
But don’t just see it, feel it with every fiber of your body. Get excited about what you’re seeing. Feel as if you were living it right now.
Start this visualization process now, and when we talk more about this in a later chapter you’ll be that much farther along in the process and, of course, closer to your goals.
When is the best time to visualize? Right before you go to sleep at night and as soon as you wake up in the morning.
Exercise 2: Write Your 10 Goals Daily
Imagine this statistic. Less than three percent of Harvard University students have set goals. At one of the most competitive schools in the nation, that seems to be a small percentage of the students.
Yet, we know that one of the most effective ways to get where you want to go and to enjoy your success, is through the creation of goals. If you’ve thought about setting written goals, you should consider it right now.
Do more than just consider it, though. You should write them down. Think about all the daydreams you’ve had since you were a child. Consider what you would be doing today if you knew you couldn’t fail. If you knew that you could take that leap of faith and succeed, what would you be doing with your life?
Take ten of these goals and write them done. Now, read these out loud several times a day. You may already be a step ahead of me knowing that two of these recitations should be before you go to bed at night and when you wake up in the morning.
Now, take the first step toward one of these goals. You’ll see almost immediately your subconscious working perfectly in sync with the universe as events unfold that facilitate you manifesting these long-held desires.
What can’t be repeated to many times at this point of your planning is that you must take the first step. You can take it tentatively and hesitantly, that’s fine. You can take action with a small measure of doubt that you’re actually taking the correct action. The truth is as long as you take action it’s the right action.
If it should be the wrong step, your subconscious mind and the universe will work together to set you on the proper path. Guaranteed!
Exercise 3: Use Positive Affirmations to Nourish your Subconscious Mind
This exercise practically goes hand in hand with the previous one. Using those goals you’ve written, write out positive affirmations that will help you achieve those goals. You’re going to create affirmations that, above all, are written in the present tense even though you may not have seen these goals met yet.
For example, I have a friend who has one affirmation is simply: I am a New York Times Best Selling author. She isn’t, not yet there. But as you recall her subconscious can’t tell the real world from the imagined world. As she recites these words throughout the day, she visualizes what it would feel like to be a bestselling author.
The combination of spoken and written word as well as projecting her emotions into the situation will eventually propel her to that status.
Decide on one or two areas you’d like to work on first. Review your list of goals and create a positive, present tense affirmation to suit your specific needs. This is now yours. Write it out daily and be sure to speak it daily. Yes, especially in the morning when you wake up and in the evening as part of your ritual before you retire.
Believe it or not, you’ve now created another habit of the successful person. Continue to do this. You may only want to concentrate on one or two affirmations at a time so you can truly focus on them. Congratulations.
In the chapters that follow, we’re going to learn more about the laws of the universe, how they work and especially how you can use these to create habits of success and prosperity. But in the meantime begin to put everything you’ve learned up to now into practice. Your excitement will only mount as you begin to see how your mind is beginning to stir up the long-buried dreams and goals.
Are you ready to continue upon your success journey? There’s no time like the present.