Think And Grow Rich – Chapter 4: Auto-Suggestion

Continuing my analysis of Think and Grow Rich.

This is for Chapter 4, Auto-Suggestion.

(Go here to start from the beginning.)

I feel like parts of this chapter could be better ordered, so I’m going to quote parts of it in the order that I think makes sense.

Quote and Analysis

“You are now reading the chapter which represents the keystone to the arch of this philosophy.”

“The other principles are simply tools with which to apply auto-suggestion. Keep this thought in mind, and you will, at all times, be conscious of the important part the principle of auto-suggestion is to play in your efforts to accumulate money through the methods described in this book.”

A “keystone” was the stone that made a stone arch work. If the keystone was removed, the whole arch would fall. And until the keystone was put in place, the arch would not be able to stand on it’s own.

This establishes the importance of this chapter. This chapter is really short compared to other chapters, but it is the most important chapter of the book.

Practicing and mastering the skill of auto-suggestion is the key to this philosophy.

Quote and Analysis

“Auto-Suggestion: The Medium for Influencing the Subconscious Mind”

“Man may become the master of himself, and of his environment, because he has the POWER TO INFLUENCE HIS OWN SUBCONSCIOUS MIND, and through it, gain the cooperation of Infinite Intelligence.”

“When the plans appear, they will probably “flash” into your mind through the sixth sense, in the form of an “inspiration.” This inspiration may be considered a direct “telegram,” or message from Infinite Intelligence.

In the fourth of the six steps [in the chapter on Desire], you were instructed to “Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once to put this plan into action.” You should follow this instruction in the manner described in the preceding paragraph.”

This covers why auto-suggestion is so important.

Auto-suggestion gives you the ability to influence your subconscious mind.

Through your subconscious mind you gain the cooperation of Infinite Intelligence.

The cooperation of Infinite Intelligence gets you plans, definite plans for attaining your desire; the money you want.

Quote and Analysis

“AUTO-SUGGESTION is a term which applies to all suggestions and all self-administered stimuli which reach one’s mind through the five senses. Stated in another way, auto-suggestion is self-suggestion.”

“You were instructed, in the last of the six steps described in the chapter on Desire, to read ALOUD twice daily the WRITTEN statement of your DESIRE FOR MONEY, and to SEE AND FEEL
yourself ALREADY in possession of the money! By following these instructions, you communicate the object of your DESIRE directly to your SUBCONSCIOUS mind in a spirit of absolute FAITH.”

“Here is a most significant fact-the subconscious mind takes any orders given it in a spirit of absolute FAITH, and acts upon those orders, although the orders often have to be presented over and over again, through repetition, before they are interpreted by the subconscious mind.”

Read your written statement (from the chapter on Desire), and imagine how your five senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch) would feel if the statement were true. And do this over and over, day after day.

This repetition is required, and you won’t notice results immediately. It’s like turning on the hot water. At first it comes out cold. If you judged just by that, you would say it was broken. But after you turn on the faucet, it takes the hot water a while to get to you, and to warm up the pipes.

He also mentions that it has to be done with “FAITH”, which again is belief or confidence, and which he considers to be an emotion or feeling.

Quote and Analysis

“Remember, therefore, when reading aloud the statement of your desire (through which you are endeavoring to develop a “money consciousness”), that the mere reading of the words is of NO CONSEQUENCE-UNLESS you mix emotion, or feeling with your words. If you repeat a million times the famous Emil Coue formula, “Day by day, in every way, I am getting better and better,” without mixing emotion and FAITH with your words, you will experience no desirable results. Your subconscious mind recognizes and acts upon ONLY thoughts which have
been well-mixed with emotion or feeling.

This is a fact of such importance as to warrant repetition in practically every chapter, because the lack of understanding of this is the main reason the majority of people who try to apply the principle of auto-suggestion get no desirable results.

Plain, unemotional words do not influence the subconscious mind. You will get no appreciable results until you learn to reach your subconscious mind with thoughts, or spoken words which have been well emotionalized with BELIEF.”

So it’s not enough just to repeat the statement morning and night. You also need to believe (have faith or confidence) that it will be true. To make that happen, “see” it happening in your mind, imagine the way each of your senses will perceive it when it’s true.

Quote and Analysis

“Your ability to use the principle of auto-suggestion will depend, very largely, upon your capacity to CONCENTRATE upon a given DESIRE until that desire becomes a BURNING OBSESSION.”

By concentrate, he means focusing on that statement. He means keeping the feelings, senses, and thoughts present in your mind while you read. And not letting your thoughts drift.

This is a skill. It takes practice. Like learning to type faster. The more you use the skill of concentration, the longer you will be able to sustain concentration.

One way to do this is to set a timer or alarm for 2 minutes.

Then try to concentrate on visualizing and feeling your statement until the timer goes off.

If the timer goes off and you realize your mind was wandering, set it for 1 minute and try again.

Keep shortening the time until you find a time span that you can keep focused for.

Then, the next day, try to go a little longer.

This will allow you to increase your skill at concentration over a number of days.

The chapter on Faith has an exercise where you hold in your mind the person you want to become for 30 minutes a day. So that’s your goal for how long you want to be able to concentrate for…30 minutes.

Try telling your statement to yourself as a story. And sensing (with your senses) the things in the story.

Quote and Analysis

“When visualizing the money you intend to accumulate, (with closed eyes), see yourself rendering the service, or delivering the merchandise you intend to give in return for this money. This is important!”

This is exactly what I mean by telling yourself a story. Visualize and imagine the sensations you will have when you are performing the service, and link in your mind the good feelings about the money you want to the sensations received while doing the service.

This will train your brain to feel good about performing the service.

Quote and Analysis

“…consider the possibility of playing a perfectly legitimate “trick” on your subconscious mind,
by making it believe, because you believe it, that you must have the amount of money you are visualizing, that this money is already awaiting your claim, that the subconscious mind MUST hand over to you practical plans for acquiring the money which is yours.”

And this is the goal of auto-suggestion. You convey to your subconscious that you believe you will get what you want, and that your subconscious needs to give you plans to get that thing.

Quote and Analysis

“SUMMARY OF INSTRUCTIONS …”

This section is a step by step explanation of how to go through the six steps (from the chapter on Desire) while using auto-suggestion.

And an example of how your written statement should look.

(It’s too long for me to copy here, but you should read it and follow it as a recipe for using auto-suggestion.)

Quote and Analysis

“Through the dominating thoughts which one permits to remain in the conscious mind, (whether
these thoughts be negative or positive, is immaterial), the principle of auto-suggestion voluntarily reaches the subconscious mind and influences it with these thoughts.”

“AUTOSUGGESTION is the agency of control through which an individual may voluntarily feed his subconscious mind on thoughts of a creative nature, or, by neglect, permit thoughts of a destructive nature to find their way into this rich garden of the mind.”

This is an idea he has stated in previous chapters.

Choice.

You either choose to feed your subconscious with positive thoughts, or by default, you will get negative thoughts…and thus negative results.

Quote and Analysis

“NO THOUGHT, whether it be negative or positive, CAN ENTER THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND WITHOUT THE AID OF THE PRINCIPLE OF AUTO-SUGGESTION, with the exception of thoughts picked up from the ether. Stated differently, all sense impressions which are perceived through the five senses, are stopped by the CONSCIOUS thinking mind, and maybe either passed on to the subconscious mind, or rejected, at will. The conscious faculty serves, therefore, as an outer-guard to the approach of the subconscious.”

This is quite interesting. He’s pointing out that the world is sending you tons and tons of sense impressions. The temperature in the room, the feel of the seat against your back, the smell of the air, the buzz of the A/C, the taste of your own mouth, the color of the walls. But you don’t notice or pay attention to them all, and you don’t remember them all.

You have the ability to control your attention and only pay attention to the positive aspects of whatever situation you are experiencing. To only allow thoughts of a positive nature to be repeated in your brain.

The best way to avoid thinking about something is to distract yourself with a different thought. Concentrate on some other aspect of the situation, and that will keep your attention and thoughts from the things you don’t want.

Quote and Analysis

“Do not become discouraged, if you cannot control and direct your emotions the first time you try to do so. Remember, there is no such possibility as SOMETHING FOR NOTHING. Ability to reach, and influence your subconscious mind has its price, and you MUST PAY THAT PRICE. You cannot cheat, even if you desire to do so. The price of ability to influence your subconscious mind is everlasting PERSISTENCE in applying the principles described here. You cannot develop the desired ability for a lower price. You, and YOU ALONE, must decide whether or not the reward for which you are striving (the “money consciousness”), is worth the price you must pay for it in effort.”

“Money consciousness” (or success consciousness) from the Introduction is the state of mind that attracts money to you.

So using auto-suggestion is how you develop that state of mind.

And here is also a warning that it may take a little work. To influence your subconscious mind, you will need to control and direct your emotions (your faith/belief/confidence) to get the subconscious to accept the thoughts you are sending it. Controlling and directing your emotions is a skill. It has to be practiced to make it work.

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