Think And Grow Rich – Chapter 3: Faith

Continuing my analysis of Think and Grow Rich.

This is for Chapter 3, Faith.

(Go here to start from the beginning.)

First I’ll go through a bunch of quoted text from the book and give thoughts on those specifically. And then after that I’ll mention some ideas that occurred to me while reading this chapter.

Quote and Analysis

“Faith: Visualization of, and Belief in Attainment of Desire”

This is the opening title of the chapter. I specifically wanted to call out “visualization”, just like Barnes was visualizing his meeting with Edison. Another word for this is imagining or “imagination”, another of the chapter titles, or principles.

And then also that “Faith” refers to “Belief in Attainment of Desire”, not a religious connotation. Belief/Confidence that you will get what you want.

Quote and Analysis

“When FAITH is blended with the vibration of thought, the subconscious mind instantly picks up the vibration, translates it into its spiritual equivalent, and transmits it to Infinite Intelligence, as in the case of prayer.”

This is the reason that Faith/Belief/Confidence is needed. Your belief in the thought causes the subconscious to take it as truth. Then Hill is saying that the subconscious passes this “request” on to Infinite Intelligence. A little further down we find out that Infinite Intelligence is the source of the “inspired plans” that he keeps mentioning.

Quote and Analysis

“The emotions of FAITH, LOVE, and SEX are the most powerful of all the major positive emotions. When the three are blended, they have the effect of “coloring” the vibration of thought in such a way that it instantly reaches the subconscious mind, where it is changed into its spiritual equivalent, the only form that induces a response from Infinite Intelligence.”

This is saying that tying emotions to our thoughts will make them happen faster.

The emotion of Faith is belief or certainty that what you are thinking is true.

For an example of how belief feels, think about how you feel when you think about whether or not you have a computer (you’re reading this so I assume you do).

Now, what if you left the room, and couldn’t see the computer anymore?

Do you still believe just as strongly that you have a computer even though you can’t see it?

I do.

Even if someone took the computer while you were out of the room, you would still believe just as strongly that you had one and that it was back in that room.

Think about how that feels. “Of course my computer is in the other room.”

That’s the kind of belief we are talking about with regard to the Definite Chief Aim that you want your subconscious and Infinite Intelligence to help you achieve.

I’m not sure how the emotions of Love or Sex would look, or what examples might be.

Quote and Analysis

“FAITH is a state of mind which may be induced, or created, by affirmation or repeated instructions to the subconscious mind, through the principle of auto-suggestion.”

We can create Faith/Belief/Confidence simply by repeating something to ourselves over and over.

Note that this can cut both ways. If you repeatedly tell yourself bad things, then you will believe those. If you repeatedly tell yourself good things, then you will believe those.

Same for what other people repeatedly tell you, like your parents, spouse, kids, or anyone else that is around you often enough to repeatable tell you something.

Quote and Analysis

“…you may CONVINCE the subconscious mind that you believe you will receive that for which you ask, and it will act upon that belief, which your subconscious mind passes back to you in the form of “FAITH,” followed by definite plans for procuring that which you desire.”

Here it is. The part where he says your subconscious mind is going to pass you the plans for procuring that which you desire.

All you have to do is convince the subconscious mind (by repeatedly telling it) that you believe you will receive what you want.

Then you really will feel confident that you will get what you want. (This is the “FAITH” passed back.)

And then you will receive the definite plans.

Note, none of this happens immediately. First you repeatedly tell yourself you will get what you want, until you feel confident that it is true, which can take some time to finally take hold. Then at some point after that, you will receive the plans.

Quote and Analysis

“Repetition of affirmation of orders to your subconscious mind is the only known method of voluntary development of the emotion of faith. Perhaps the meaning may be made clearer through the following explanation as to the way men sometimes become criminals. Stated in the words of a famous criminologist, “When men first come into contact with crime, they abhor it. If they remain in contact with crime for a time, they become accustomed to it, and endure it. If they remain in contact with it long enough, they finally embrace it, and become influenced by it.””

This is a hint at how important our environment is. And how much we can lean on it to reinforce what we are telling our subconscious minds. Here we see the negative side, but the positive side can be just as powerful. If you hang around people who are succeeding, and you have people telling you that you are doing well and that things are going right for you, then it will make you believe that this is true. And that belief, or faith, will induce your subconscious to give you the plans to make it true.

Quote and Analysis

“Not only thought impulses which have been mixed with FAITH, but those which have been mixed with any of the positive emotions, or any of the negative emotions, may reach, and influence the subconscious mind.”

This is a repeat of the warning to think only positive thoughts. And why you want to focus on success…become Success Conscious. If you focus on Failure, and you feel emotional about it, and/or believe it will happen, then it will.

Quote and Analysis

“There is nothing to hinder you from “deceiving” your subconscious mind when giving it instructions through autosuggestion, as I deceived my son’s subconscious mind.

To make this “deceit” more realistic, conduct yourself just as you would, if you were ALREADY IN POSSESSION OF THE MATERIAL THING WHICH YOU ARE DEMANDING, when you call upon your subconscious mind.”

This is kind of the whole point of the autosuggestion. You’re telling yourself something that you WANT to be true, but that you don’t think is true, in order for it to become true.

I’d also like to point out that it could go the other way. Your environment could be contradicting something that you already know is true, and eventually convince you that it’s not true, and then it won’t be true.

Quote and Analysis

“Surely, enough has been stated to give a starting point from which one may, through experiment and practice, acquire the ability to mix FAITH with any order given to the subconscious mind.

Perfection will come through practice. It cannot come by merely reading instructions.”

Practice makes perfect. You don’t have to do it perfect the first time, or even the hundredth time. Just be “persistent”, and continually try it.

Quote and Analysis

“THOUGHTS WHICH ARE MIXED WITH ANY OF THE FEELINGS OF EMOTIONS, CONSTITUTE A “MAGNETIC” FORCE WHICH ATTRACTS, FROM THE VIBRATIONS OF THE ETHER, OTHER SIMILAR, OR RELATED THOUGHTS.”

Here he may be referring to the plans again. Or he may also be referring to a later part of the book where he talks about telepathy, and the ability to “tune-in” to thoughts in other people’s subconscious minds.

Quote and Analysis

“We are what we are, because of the vibrations of thought which we pick up and register, through the stimuli of our daily environment.

Resolve to throw off the influences of any unfortunate environment, and to build your own life to ORDER. Taking inventory of mental assets and liabilities, you will discover that your greatest weakness is lack of self-confidence. This handicap can be surmounted, and timidity translated into courage, through the aid of the principle of autosuggestion. The application of this principle may be made through a simple arrangement of positive thought impulses stated in writing, memorized, and repeated, until they become a part of the working equipment of the subconscious faculty of your mind.”

Faith, belief, confidence, self-confidence. And the way to create self-confidence if you don’t have it, is to repeat the formula he lays out titled “SELF-CONFIDENCE FORMULA”. I didn’t copy the formula here as I didn’t have any commentary on it, other than to say I will be trying it out.

Quote and Analysis

“The subconscious mind, (the chemical laboratory in which all thought impulses are combined, and made ready for translation into physical reality), makes no distinction between constructive and destructive thought impulses. It works with the material we feed it, through our thought impulses. The subconscious mind will translate into reality a thought driven by FEAR just as readily as it will translate into reality a thought driven by COURAGE, or FAITH.”

This idea of autosuggestion working on positive or negative thoughts is really pounded on over and over in this chapter. But here he mentions that FEAR is an emotion that can drive the subconscious mind to translate a thought into reality, just as readily as FAITH (belief/confidence).

Quote and Analysis

“A man may commit suicide through negative suggestion, just as effectively as by any other means.”

Again, negative thoughts result in negative situations. I called this one out specifically because it is related to the body. I did an experiment on myself that showed a positive application of this idea. I “thought” myself stronger.

Quote and Analysis

“If you fill your mind with FEAR, doubt and unbelief in your ability to connect with, and use the forces of Infinite Intelligence, the law of autosuggestion will take this spirit of unbelief and use it as a pattern by which your subconscious mind will translate it into its physical equivalent.”

This is slightly subtle point. He’s saying if you don’t believe that this autosuggestion stuff will work for you, you’re right…except that you are actually using autosuggestion to make that happen.

Quote and Analysis

“It is a known fact that the emotion of LOVE is closely akin to the state of mind known as FAITH, and this for the reason that Love comes very near to translating one’s thought impulses into their spiritual equivalent. During his work of research, the author discovered, from the analysis of the life-work and achievements of hundreds of men of outstanding accomplishment, that there was the influence of a woman’s love back of nearly EVERY ONE OF THEM. The emotion of love, in the human heart and brain, creates a favorable field of magnetic attraction, which causes an influx of the higher and finer vibrations which are afloat in the ether.”

From above, I’m not sure I fully understand what he means by the “emotion of LOVE”. But, I’ll give it a go.

From this it sounds like he’s saying that being in love makes you feel good (“influx of the higher and finer vibrations”), which attracts more good feelings.

However, he also says “a woman’s love back of nearly EVERY ONE OF THEM”. This implies that the love here is not your feeling of love, but someone else’s feeling of love for you. Which would likely translate into a belief on their part in you. And having them believe in you, can make you believe more in yourself.

Quote and Analysis

“HE CREATED IT OUT OF HIS UNDERSTANDING OF THE PRINCIPLE OF FAITH, AND THROUGH HIS ABILITY TO TRANSPLANT THAT FAITH INTO THE MINDS OF TWO HUNDRED MILLION PEOPLE.”

Here he talks about transplanting faith/belief/confidence to others. Hill did this with his son.

This is one of the benefits of having a coach, or mentor, or as I mentioned above, a lover. They can transfer their belief in you to you.

Quote and Analysis

“Because of the need for faith and cooperation in operating business and industry, it will be both interesting and profitable to analyze an event which provides an excellent understanding of the method by which industrialists and business men accumulate great fortunes, by giving before they try to get.”

The Definite Chief Aim is supposed to mention what it is you intend to give in return for what you want. Here we are seeing that we need to give this first, rather than expecting to give after we get. We need to give the fire wood to get heat, instead of saying “give me heat, and I’ll give you wood.”

Quote and Analysis

“In other words, Charles M. Schwab’s IDEA, plus the FAITH with which he conveyed it to the minds of J. P. Morgan and the others, was marketed for a profit of approximately $600,000,000. Not an insignificant sum for a single IDEA!”

Again, conveying FAITH to someone else. One point here is that it strengthens your faith/belief/confidence if you can convince someone else that what you are saying is true. Meaning, you actually believe it more if you can get someone else to believe it.

Quote and Analysis

“RICHES begin in the form of THOUGHT! The amount is limited only by the person in whose mind the THOUGHT is put into motion. FAITH removes limitations!

Remember this when you are ready to bargain with Life for whatever it is that you ask as your price for having passed this way. Remember, also, that the man who created the United States Steel Corporation was practically unknown at the time. He was merely Andrew Carnegie’s “Man Friday” until he gave birth to his famous IDEA. After that he quickly rose to a position of power, fame, and riches.

THERE ARE NO LIMITATIONS TO THE MIND EXCEPT THOSE WE ACKNOWLEDGE

BOTH POVERTY AND RICHES ARE THE OFFSPRING OF THOUGHT”

In this day and age, we all know Schwab’s name quite well. But here he is telling us that Schwab was a nobody…an “unknown” at the time. So there is no limit to what you can achieve…except the limit you put on it.

Other Ideas

This section starts the other ideas that were inspired by this chapter, but aren’t necessarily specifically mentioned in it.

Power Posing

There’s this great TED Video on Power Posing. Basically you stand in a certain body position (like a Wonder Woman or Superman pose) for two minutes. In the study, this resulted in an increase in testosterone.

It also resulted in an increase in confidence, also known as belief or faith. And the participants felt like they were more likely to win, even at games of chance.

So perhaps while you are reciting your Definite Chief Aim, strike a Power Pose.

Mettle Forger

In the vein of crafting one’s environment, I created this tool to randomly send myself messages that make me feel good.

I loaded it up with compliments that people have given me, reminders of cool things I’ve done that I somehow keep forgetting about, motivational messages, and phrases from my Definite Chief Aim.

The randomness gives it a little serendipity, so it seems to mean more.

Try Mettle Forger out for yourself if you’re interested.

“Assume the same feelings as if you were already in possession”

I found this phrase interesting. I’m trying to think of it like I would ordering food at a restaurant. I expect the food to arrive. I have virtually no doubt that it will. I just need to distract and enjoy myself while I wait and it will feel like it arrives all that much faster.

Confirmation Bias

The Confirmation Bias is our tendency to look for information that confirms our beliefs and to discount information that contradicts our view.

Generally, this is seen as a bad thing. Consider for example a doctor who decides that you have a particular disease, and then starts ignoring symptoms that don’t fit that disease. And paying more attention to symptoms that do fit that disease. He may be treating you for a disease you don’t have, just because some of the initial symptoms looked like that disease. And as he sees more symptoms that support that disease he’s getting more and more confident that you do have that disease, and more and more confident that he should ignore those other symptoms.

However, in light of this chapter, you could use this bias to your advantage. The more “small hints” you can find, or lucky happenings you notice, the more certain you will become that your desire is coming true. The more you will believe, be confident, and have faith.

Coaches, Guides, and Mentors

I mentioned this above, but I want to talk about it more deeply.

One of the benefits of a coach, guide, or mentor, is that they can tell you that you are going the right direction, even when you can’t tell. And more importantly YOU BELIEVE THEM. They’ve been this way before, so they know what it looks like.

Another way to look at this is to call it “invisible results”. Stuff is happening, things are going in the right direction, but you aren’t familiar with how it should look so those things are invisible to you.

The coach, guide or mentor:

  • Can tell you that you are on the right track, even when you can’t tell if you are or not.
  • Has been this route and knows the path, so you feel confident that they know where they are going.
  • Has no doubt about where the destination is.

Think about it like driving somewhere for the first time. It feels far. It feels like it takes a long time. You’re not quite sure if you passed it up, or if you still have a ways to go.

The second time you drive there, it’s much quicker. You have no doubt you’ll get there or where it is. And it doesn’t feel nearly as far.

Employees As Environments

I mentioned that the people around you can also be repeating messages to you, which shape your beliefs about yourself.

It occurred to me that this might be an interesting reason to hire employees.

An employee can often believe more in a business than the owner, since the owner knows about all the finances that the employee might not be privy to. And at the same time the employee BELIEVES that the owner is going to pay the employee and that the job will be there for the foreseeable future.

This belief, faith, confidence could then be transferred back to the owner.

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