This series of 12 articles have been my most successful in the 14 years of my experience writing The Religion Corner column for The Washington Informer. My life changed 36 years ago as a result of reading a book.
Though I’m the daughter of two preachers, my clarity became much clearer once I read the principles as outlined in “Think and Grow Rich,” the book researched for 20 years by Napoleon Hill. He teaches how our thoughts control our actions and thus can make or break us. Here is how it all began.
In 1908, a young man named Napoleon Hill was invited to the mansion of America’s first billionaire, Andrew Carnegie. As a young and ambitious reporter with plans to write his way to success, Hill quizzed Carnegie about his success for an article he planned to write to make money to pay his way through college.
Carnegie, impressed by the young writer, offered him a position the average man would have rejected. He said, “Mr. Hill, I would like to commission you to study the lives of 500 of the greatest achievers of our time. These men will include men in the industrial field, business owners, inventors, merchants, farmers, statesmen, artists of all types and many others.”
“Take as much time as you need; observe them; interview them; and learn from them,” Carnegie told Hill. “Then, write an article; one in which you validate the beliefs that success is based on universal laws others can achieve. From those great achievers, you might learn and be able to describe the process of making steel or the process of providing a service used. In a similar manner, I want you to describe in this article, the process of the laws to success.
“You will accomplish this mission by documenting the beliefs and behaviors of all these great men and women by sharing what it is they have in common with each other,” he said. “I will not pay you any money; during this project, you must support your own self while discovering these new ideas. Your goal will be the publication of a ‘success type’ book, similar to an encyclopedia in the category of laws of success.
“This book will share laws and every step one must take in order to use a thought and make it into a success,” Carnegie said. “Include all spiritual components of faith that are required. Notice how each person had unwavering faith in order to accomplish their idea.”
Napoleon Hill only had 60 seconds to accept, and he said yes. More than 100 years later, incredibly, over 20 million people have learned the principles of success because of Hill’s decision, and all of his principles are based on Christianity. In fact, he wrote an entire chapter on faith. Hill teaches us how to put our faith to work. Scripture teaches us that “faith without works, is dead.”
In one of my favorite Hill video seminars, he said he spent three hours each morning and three hours each night reading the Bible, meditating and visualizing the goals and dreams he wanted to accomplish for that day.
Pay close attention to what his research has taught millions: The first of those 12 principles that causes men to be rich is the value of having a positive mental attitude. Notice how this principle heads the list — and is not about money. Look for details in my column next week.
Lyndia Grant is a speaker/writer living in the D.C. area. Her radio show, “Think on These Things,” airs Fridays at 6 p.m. on 1340 AM (WYCB), a Radio One station. To reach Grant, visit her website, www.lyndiagrantshow.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-602-6295. Follow her on Twitter @LyndiaGrant and on Facebook.