I've been reading "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoloeon Hill. It's one of five or six "self help" books I've read over the past month, and by far the best. I can see how it has shaped that industry ... you can see its earmarks in the work of Tony Robbins, and in "The Secret," Rhonda Byrne's bestselling world-changer.

Tony Robbins is part of what I now call the NLP camp. Neuro-linguistic programming, in short, is centered on the idea that you can model the behavior of someone and get the same results they're getting (I am, of course, paraphrasing quite a bit). "The Secret," on the other hand, falls into what I'm calling the Law of Attraction camp. The general idea here is that you can infect a universal field with your strongest desires, and those desires will be attracted to you and manifest in your life (again, copious paraphrasing in action).

On the surface, the two camps seem very different, and yet both have "Think and Grow Rich" as a staple reference. Why?

Napoleon Hill's book contains elements that are central to both camps.

Hill was a believer in "Infinite Intelligence." Call it whatever you like — God, the mind of God, the Akashic record, the Force — Hill's belief is that of billions of other humans. Ultimately, at a level beyond our comprehension, there is a creative force in the Universe (or the Omniverse ... a whole 'nother topic). And, according to Hill and practitioners of the Law of Attraction, this force responds to the strong desires of the individual. We, as humans, are continually attracting things into our lives, largely unintentionally. But, according to this group, we can begin deliberate attraction by changing the way we think.

On the NLP side, Hill's book also promotes the concept of modeling. Hill's life work consisted of contacting, interviewing, and studying the richest and most industrious men of his age. He had personal relationships with Dale Carnegie, Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford just to name a few. In the process of his study, he determined that emulating these great men would bring about the same success they enjoyed. You, the average reader, could study Edison and Ford and be like them, and thus earn as they had earned. Emulation breeds like results.

Observe keenly and you discover that these two concepts are complimentary. Hill's study of great minds led him to conclude that they are in communication with Infinite Intelligence, and they are attracting wealth and success to their lives through strong desire. So, by emulating these men, you too can be in communication with Infinite Intelligence. You, too, can direct your own life and success and wealth through strong desire.

Of course, there's more to it than just wanting it. That's 50% of the fight. The other 50% is where I personally believe NLP has a hand over Law of Attraction: Taking action.

Hill is a proponent of taking action. "Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire," he says. "there is no such reality as 'something for nothing.'"

What you give is "action." Taking action is the cost of earning what you desire. Make a plan, work the plan. See the path, take the path. Observe the behavior, perform the behavior.

NLP promotes this concept. And some proponents of Law of Attraction see this as well. In "The Secret," there was a large focus on visualizing and believing and affirming, but little mention of taking direct action. The game was all mental, no practical.

I am a fan of "The Secret." I count it as a landmark work, and an inspiration. I've discovered, through my own personal experiences, just how powerful the Law of Attraction can be. But the significance of "The Secret," for me, is that it opened a window to a new world of thought. Because of that book and film, I have explored the Law of Attraction, and discovered a body of related work that I believe holds the key to success. Learning about the Law of Attraction helped me to better understand NLP, and vice versa. I think these two are parts of a whole, and that whole is explained very well in "Think and Grow Rich."

If you haven't read it, I recommend picking it up. In addition, here is a reading list that I believe can help you become a success in any field. Not all of these are related to either NLP or Law of Attraction. Some are for providing you with people to emulate and model from. Others provide you with a greater understanding of the world and your place in it. Read and enjoy!

- Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller--Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century

- The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

- Unlimited Power : The New Science Of Personal Achievement

- The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

- How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day

- Mozart's Brain and the Fighter Pilot: Unleashing Your Brain's Potential

- On Writing: A memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

- Innovate Like Edison: The Five-Step System for Breakthrough Business Success

- The Alchemist

- The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Success by Achieving More with Less

- Rich Like Them: My Door-to-Door Search for the Secrets of Wealth in America's Richest Neighborhoods

- Millionaire Upgrade: Lessons in Success From Those Who Travel at the Sharp End of the Plane

- Free: The Future of a Radical Price

- Einstein: His Life and Universe


These books are just the beginning. I will always encourage you to read anything and everything you can get your hands on. But there's enough of an education in the books listed here to ignite a passion for learning, growing, and living abundantly.

And if reading is difficult for you, don't be afraid to pick these up as audio books. The impact is the same (I listen to audio books whenever I am driving). As you explore on the links above, you can find audio book versions of each of these titles.

Enjoy!


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Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
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