Life Lessons from Think and Grow Rich: Death and Life Are In Your Tongue But Also Out Of Your Control
When Napoleon Hill starts the chapter on how to outwit the six ghosts of fear in Think and Grow Rich, he suggests to the reader to take inventory on the fear(s) holding him back and cure himself of these fears.
According to Hill, there are six basic fears which are the fear of poverty, criticism, ill health, loss of the love of someone, and fear of death. We are in a time where all these fears are at a play due to the current world situation.
I’ve had my own shares of fears, which have brought their own share of anxieties. I certainly didn’t expect to read about fear and anxiety in a finance and self-help development book, but I did and it has been a lifeline for the last two months.
Your Indecision Is The Source Of Your Anxiety
When you delay in making a decision, you weigh different options and each seems like a viable decision to make. The longer you take the decision, the more feasible all the options seem, and the more the weight they carry.
You don’t want to make the wrong decision and fail, thus you delay making that decision which makes you doubt your options. This doubt makes you feel fear and anxiety, which isn’t a good decision making state.
Societal Standards Are A Major Source of People’s Fear and Anxiety
We want to be accepted. We want to adhere to societal standards of beauty, education, career, and other standards. We look down upon anything or anyone that goes against those standards, and we consider what people will think if we go against the norm.
When we buy into the belief that beauty and sex appeal die with age, we ignore the wisdom that comes with age. We ignore the fact that some people fall in love with depth, personality, and the charm and beauty that comes with old age.
We perceive black men and women in dreadlocks in a dark light, because they chose to grow out their hair. Societal standards influence the careers we choose, the people we choose for partners, and the parts of us we choose to share with others.
If these choices are against these standards, then we fear change and making decisions.
These standards are a source of fear and anxiety for those who go against them or wish to go against them.
Death and Life Are In Your Tongue But Also Out Of Your Control
Come into my tent, embrace my faith, accept my dogmas, and I will give you a ticket that you will admit you straightaway into heaven when you die. _ Napoleon Hill.
Death is inevitable. As Oswald Chambers says, death and life are the decrees of God, but a man makes his own distress or joy in between. No one has died, gone to heaven or hell, and come back to tell us about the experience.
Some claim to have done it and have shared their stories, but these stories need one to have a strong faith to believe as not all faiths are created equal in terms of strength.
I loved these chapters because it clearly defines the symptoms of each type of fear and I could clearly see myself there. Do you always anticipate for diseases, accidents and think about death? Napoleon suggests finding or creating the burning desire for achievement, to rouse you from this state of fear.
Your Mind Is Susceptible To Suggestions Which Blend To Create Fear and Anxiety
Recognize the fact that you and every human being are by nature lazy, indifferent, and susceptible to all suggestions which harmonize with your weakness. ~Napoleon Hill.
Have you ever entered a room and your mood changed in accordance with that room? Have you been next to an anxious person and found yourself anxious?
When we admire people, we admire them because of how they’re able to accept their shortcomings, weaknesses, learn from them, and sometimes make jokes from them.
We admire them because we’d want to get to a point where we can wholly accept our weaknesses, know them, learn from them and how they’ve sabotaged us in the past and use them as stepping stones to growth.
I love calling one of my friends because instead of allowing me to throw a pity party, they offer constructive suggestions and criticism which I can learn from and rise up. Sometimes they wallow with me as that’s what I need at that time. I love a good pity party as much as the next person but when you find yourself complaining too much, change something.
There’s too much going on in the world right now, and it’s so hard to stay online especially if you’re a writer, blogger, digital marketer, or social media expert.
It’s your job to stay plugged in and show up even when you’d rather not show up. Unplug when you can. Read a book. Watch 3 episodes of a Netflix series. Engage in things that feed your soul and take comfort in them.
I have read and reread this chapter on fear and I’m still reading. I highly suggest you read it especially in the current crisis, where it seems everything is going wrong. Maybe it’s not going wrong, maybe it’s falling into place. We swept everything under the rug long enough to create a mountain, which we now have to level.
I hope you find ways, books, songs, or movies to help you cope, feel what you need to feel, and deal with what you need to feel.