Think And Grow Rich – Chapter 8: Decision

Continuing my analysis of Think and Grow Rich.

This is for Chapter 8, Decision.

(Go here to start from the beginning.)

Quote and Analysis

“Decision: the Mastery of Procrastination

You will have an opportunity to test your capacity to reach quick and definite DECISIONS when you finish reading this book, and are ready to begin putting into ACTION the principles which it describes.”

I’m tempted to analyze nothing more about this chapter than this quote because it contains nearly all you need to know about decision.

Decision is the mastery of procrastination, meaning that inaction (procrastination) is the result of indecision. So you will know that you have made a real decision when you take action. Delay of action is delay of decision.

Which means to make a quick decision means to quickly move to taking action. And when you take an action, it is by default and by its very nature specific and definite.

Quote and Analysis

“Analysis of several hundred people who had accumulated fortunes well beyond the million dollar mark, disclosed the fact that every one of them had the habit of REACHING DECISIONS PROMPTLY, and of changing these decisions SLOWLY, if, and when they were changed. People who fail to accumulate money, without exception, have the habit of reaching decisions, IF AT ALL, very slowly, and of changing these decisions quickly and often.”

Make a decision. Move to take action on it quickly. Then, delay changing your mind, or stopping the action.

This will keep you from giving up your desire before it has come to fruition. Remember, the lights are raised so slowly that you might not notice they are being raised until they are almost all the way up. In other words, 90% of the way to what you want, 90% of the time you are doing your action, there might not be any signs that it’s working. So if you allow yourself to falter, and doubt your decision, you’ll stop before it’s done, even though it was working.

Quote and Analysis

“There is but little doubt that Mr. Ford’s habit of definiteness of decision assumes the proportion of obstinacy, but this quality is preferable to slowness in reaching decisions and quickness in changing them.”

Bias your decisiveness toward obstinacy instead of wishy-washy-ness.

Quote and Analysis

“The majority of people who fail to accumulate money sufficient for their needs, are, generally, easily influenced by the “opinions” of others. They permit the newspapers and the “gossiping” neighbors to do their “thinking” for them. “Opinions are the cheapest commodities on earth. Everyone has a flock of opinions ready to be wished upon anyone who will accept them. If you are influenced by “opinions” when you reach DECISIONS, you will not succeed in any undertaking, much less in that of transmuting YOUR OWN DESIRE into money.”

Ignore the opinions of others, which include all forms of “news” and all gossip. Opinions also include all insults and all compliments. Compliments can just as easily lead you into doubt as insults.

Quote and Analysis

“If you are influenced by the opinions of others, you will have no DESIRE of your own. Keep your own counsel, when you begin to put into practice the principles described here, by reaching your own decisions and following them. Take no one into your confidence, EXCEPT the members of your “Master Mind” group, and be very sure in your selection of this group, that you choose ONLY those who will be in COMPLETE SYMPATHY AND HARMONY WITH YOUR PURPOSE.

Close friends and relatives, while not meaning to do so, often handicap one through “opinions” and sometimes through ridicule, which is meant to be humorous. Thousands of men and women carry inferiority complexes with them all through life, because some well-meaning, but ignorant person destroyed their confidence through “opinions” or ridicule.”

Keep your decisions and plans to yourself. Don’t waste your time by sharing them with people who could even potentially disagree with you. Limit your discussions of them to only those in complete sympathy and harmony with your Definite Chief Aim.

And a further point to select only people in your Master Mind that meet that qualification.

And also that just because someone is family, a close friend, or relative does not mean they qualify to be told your decisions or plans.

Quote and Analysis

“You have a brain and mind of your own. USE IT, and reach your own decisions. If you need facts or information from other people, to enable you to reach decisions, as you probably will in many instances; acquire these facts or secure the information you need quietly, without disclosing your purpose.”

Don’t ask for an opinion on whether or not your idea will work. Ask for a specific fact that will help you answer that question for yourself.

Quote and Analysis

“It is characteristic of people who have but a smattering or a veneer of knowledge to try to give the impression that they have much knowledge. Such people generally do TOO MUCH talking, and TOO LITTLE listening. Keep your eyes and ears wide open-and your mouth CLOSED, if you wish to acquire the habit of prompt DECISION. Those who talk too much do little else. If you talk more than you listen, you not only deprive yourself of many opportunities to accumulate useful knowledge, but you also disclose your PLANS and PURPOSES to people who will take great delight in defeating you, because they envy you.”

I quoted this part because I disagree with it. He’s saying “talk less, listen more”. I would say “talk less, listen less”. It protects your confidence in what you are doing because you ignore others’ opinions, and it gives you more time to do. Very little of what you need to know can’t be found by taking action. So if you take action, you get most of what you would get by listening, and you find out the specific things you don’t know or could ask for facts on, and as a bonus you have actual results that you can continue to build on.

Quote and Analysis

“Keep in mind the fact that every person with whom you associate is, like yourself, seeking the opportunity to accumulate money. If you talk about your plans too freely, you may be surprised when you learn that some other person has beaten you to your goal by PUTTING INTO ACTION AHEAD OF YOU, the plans of which you talked unwisely.”

A further point here is that if you are talking, and you haven’t actually done it yet, then you’re just spouting an opinion and possibly damaging someone else’s confidence.

This is the equivalent of saying that “deeds, and not words, are what count most.”

Quote and Analysis

“It was such men as these who, without power, without authority, without military strength, without money, sat in solemn consideration of the destiny of the colonies, beginning at the opening of the First Continental Congress, and continuing at intervals for two years-until on June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee arose, addressed the Chair, and to the startled Assembly made this motion:

Let this happy day give birth to an American Republic. Let her arise, not to devastate and to conquer, but to reestablish the reign of peace, and of law. The eyes of Europe are fixed upon us. She demands of us a living example of freedom, that may exhibit a contrast, in the felicity of the citizen, to the ever increasing tyranny.””

No power, no authority, no military strength, and no money. Evidently there are no excuses for why you can’t have what you want.

Also, note their focus. It wasn’t to create a new kingdom that they could rule over. It was to be an example, to GIVE to the world an example of peace and law. It was unselfish. In their minds, they weren’t just saving themselves; they were saving everyone.

Quote and Analysis

“Throughout this philosophy will be found the suggestion that thought, backed by strong DESIRE, has a tendency to transmute itself into its physical equivalent.”

Ahem, that’s the “secret”. Hill lays it out specifically in the book Grow Rich with Peace of Mind.

Anything the mind of man can conceive and believe, the mind of man can achieve.

Quote and Analysis

“Those who reach DECISIONS promptly and definitely, know what they want, and generally get it. The leaders in every walk of life DECIDE quickly, and firmly. That is the major reason why they are leaders. The world has the habit of making room for the man whose words and actions show that he knows where he is going.”

Know specifically what you want, and you can make decisions easily, and then take action to get that specific thing. And people who don’t know what they want will often move aside to make room for you.

Quote and Analysis

“Ninety-eight out of every hundred people working for wages today, are in the positions they hold, because they lacked the DEFINITENESS OF DECISION to PLAN A DEFINITE POSITION, and the knowledge of how to choose an employer.”

If you’re definite about what you want, and you’re making plans to get it, then out of every 99 people you meet, only 1 is going to be of a similar mindset. That tells you how rarely you should be sharing your desires and plans with other people.

Quote and Analysis

“These instructions will be of no value to you UNLESS YOU DEFINITELY DECIDE to organize them into a plan of action.”

And then carry out that plan.