On the bookshelf - What I'm reading

Close your eyes and imagine your dream life. Are you living in a mountain? Near a beach? On 20 acres with a stream running through your backyard? Do you have a million dollars in the bank? Or five million? Do you own a boat? Are you traveling the world? Or are you traveling around the country in your RV? Do you wake up every morning and pinch yourself because you have the best job in the world? Are you healthy and active? Are you rested because you get a full night’s sleep every single night? Are you surrounded by the love of family and friends? Now open your eyes. Is the life in front of you the life you just pictured?

I just finished reading perhaps one of the best books I have ever read. It’s not on the best seller list and in fact was written more than 50 years ago. But it was on my list of recommended books to read for entrepreneurs. It’s called “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. I checked it out of my local library and loved it so much so, I’m planning on buying a copy. Just so I can highlight and dog ear all the pages I keep going back and re-reading. I plan on making myself read from it at least once a week so I can keep the lessons it teaches on the front of my mind constantly. It was that good.

Ever since I finished it, I have felt more confident, creative, richer and deserving. Did anything in my life change? No, I didn’t get a huge paycheck, or an unexpected compliment from a famous and successful photographer. Nor did I smoke a joint and start photographing my best work. But the conversation I have with myself is different. Because my thoughts changed. 

Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe it can achieve.

Mr Hill breaks down the steps you need to take in order to have the life you dream of. It starts and ends with your thoughts. It doesn’t cost anything. So whether you are rich now or want to be, you can make this happen. You just have to work at it. Daily. Twice daily is better. 

You are what you think. If you are met with luck over and over again, you created the opportunities that make that happen. Keep running into bad luck? Yeah, I’ve met him too. That was all my doing. Change your thoughts and you’ll change the outcome. Guaranteed. If you make a wish with one eye open because you’re not sure you believe it’ll happen, guess what? It won’t. If you tell yourself “you don’t deserve it,” the thing you wish for will find someone else to receive it. Read that again. The thing you wish for will come true for someone else. Someone who believes he or she deserves it. 

Thoughts are things. They respond to energy. And you are energy. Like a radio wave, you put out vibes. These vibes can be negative or positive, depending on what your thoughts are. If you’re putting out self-doubting thoughts, your radio channel will be tuned to that. And what happens? The universe hears it and responds in kind. You wish for a million dollars but think you don’t deserve it. The universe says, ok, I’ll find someone who does. Just like that.

What does this have to do with a pet photographer who wants to build a successful business? Like many of you, I doubt myself. I question my ability to be good at what I want to do. I ponder whether I could ever earn enough just to pay my expenses, let alone live on. I have so many ideas and dreams I want to make happen, but aren’t. Now I know why. 

This book isn’t just for creatives or business owners. It’s also not about being rich as in being a millionaire or a billionaire. Rich is defined so many ways. The line that stood out the most for me is that I can order any life I want. Just like at a restaurant. Place your order and it is delivered to you. You can and should do the same with your life. When you order a stack of pancakes, do you sit there and worry for the next 10 minutes that the waiter is going to bring you an omelet with a side of home fries? No. You placed your order and are confident the waiter conveyed that to the chef who then prepares it just for you.

What is your order?