Thanks a bunch for going through the “Think and Grow Rich” Series with me.
If you’ve been following from the beginning, you know it’s been a big undertaking. I hope you got something out of it.
But what now? What’s next?
I’m glad you asked.
The “Think and Grow Rich” Series taught me a lot. It taught me a lot about planning (and how plans can go out the window). It taught me a lot about managing a team, dealing with setbacks, and being data oriented.
Most importantly, it taught me that I’ve been going about Psychiatry and Religion all wrong.
You heard me right! ALL WRONG!!!
Psychiatry and Religion started out as a passion project. I wanted to offer the world my insights from a Psychiatrist who happens to be Religious. I find my patients benefit a lot from this combined view. The only logical step is to try to reach as many people as possible!
However, in my journey, I learned that Psychiatry and Religion does not exist in a vacuum. It became impossible, as a psychiatrist and a believer, to ignore the very real and obvious economic dynamics that affect our lives. My work eventually evolved from just Psychiatry and Religion to one that recognizes the tension between Capital and Labor as significant contributor to mental health disorders and existential crises.
Sooooo…now what do I do?
I’ve come to learn that if I want to engage the world, I need to engage it as a market. I need to understand marketing in order to reach people the right way.
But I’m not a marketing expert. Boooooooo!
So that means a lot of reading, a lot of research, and a lot of experimentation. Expect big changes to come! I’m excited! I hope you are too!
As always, thanks for reading.
If you haven’t yet, check out my review of “Think and Grow Rich” Chapter 15 (link here). It’s about “How to outwit the Six Ghosts of Fear”. He talks about the six basic fears, the importance of avoiding negative influences, and provides a long list of self-analysis questions for you to reflect on. I make some closing remarks in my paid program that brings everything together. Today, I want to talk about “Thinking and Growing Rich.”
“Think and Grow Rich” represents the capitalistic dream. It’s a dream that no matter where you are, you can become successful. It certainly takes hard work. The capitalistic dream is that it is possible to make even greater gains by thinking the right way or having the mindset. The dream is that you can make a change to significantly improve your life if you only thought differently. What’s there not to love? It’s “free” isn’t it?
I’ve adopted the capitalistic dream, for better or for worse. And I’ve gone on the journey to try to achieve my personal goals through the consumption of those that evangelize the capitalistic dream. However, I’ve been fortunate enough to have been studying psychiatry during that time. So I’ve been able to sort through what works and what doesn’t work.
There are a lot of good concepts to pull out of “Think and Grow Rich.” I personally have benefitted from learning new perspectives. However, perspective changes aren’t as free as you think. They come at a cost. The cost is a possible distortion of reality.
I talk about this a lot but I’m surprised the idea isn’t more commonplace. The true key to success is to have a firm understanding of reality. To the extent that your perspective is too optimistic or too pessimistic, a perspective change will help. But if “Thinking and Growing Rich” means you double down on your misconceptions and distortions about the world, it can only lead to failure.
This is easier said than done. But I don’t think it has to be.
The journey towards understanding reality is a journey of self-discovery. And that is a fulfilling journey to embark on. What is the role of God in this journey of self-discovery? I don’t know. That’s a personal question with a personal answer. But if there is a role, I’m sure it’s an important one.
So what’s the big takeaway from this “Think and Grow Rich” series? What’s the big lesson? I think it’s the following: It’s okay to have a dream. Just make sure you’re awake when you’re working on it.
If you haven’t yet, check out my review of “Think and Grow Rich” Chapter 14 (link here). It’s about “the Sixth Sense”. I talk about intuition in the Paid Program. Today, I want to talk about uncertainty.
Most people dislike uncertainty. There’s risk involved in uncertainty. Risk comes with threat to life and limb. Uncertainty, if tolerated, must be minimized. At least, that’s conventional wisdom.
However, people who “Think and Grow Rich” actually find a way to flourish within uncertainty. All things that are certain have a definite outcome. Thus, it is clear what you pay and what you will get. The detail is fair.
Success is not built upon a series of fair deals. Rather, success is built upon a series of unfair deals in your favor. You are unable to get those deals if everything is certain. When things are uncertain, there needs to be a compelling reason why you chose one side versus the other, especially if you wish to be ahead consistently in the long-run.
There are many ways people master uncertainty. Some use the “sixth sense” (also possibly known as intuition). It’s that feeling in your gut where you make a decision and go for it. Did it do well? Only time will tell. Others do more research to reduce the uncertainty. This is effective to an extent. Some can criticize this method of being too slow. But that’s for you to decide.
Your comfort level with uncertainty will dictate your potential for success. But what does it mean to be certain in the context of faith in God?
Does God eliminate our uncertainty so that we can become more successful? To what end? Does faith in God help us eliminate uncertainty so that we can become victorious? Is God meant to be a diviner of the future? How is this different from astrology?
If the role of God is to be the bringer of your success, then God is a wish-maker God. I have issues with that version with God. I’ve found, in the long run, God does not make all our dreams come true. That is not His role in our lives.
Rather, having a close connection with God means that you have clarity on your purpose. There are many uncertain things in your life but clarity in purpose can help you remain grounded. When you have clarity of purpose, you’re able to work with uncertainty in the deals, thus putting you on a stronger footing to face what life brings you. When you are more comfortable with uncertainty through purpose, success is much easier to achieve.
What’s your purpose? Is it connected to your faith in God?
If you haven’t yet, check out my review of “Think and Grow Rich” Chapter 13 (link here). It’s titled “The Brain” but talks about how we’re all connected through “Intangible forces” as well as a little chat about telepathy. My Paid Program is less “woo-woo” and, instead, I go through how to communicate your vision to others. Today, I want to reflect on how we’re all connected.
As a psychiatrist, I’ve learned that life is a series of experiences, and many experiences are shared among many people. These experiences shape us and, generally speaking, similar experiences will shape people in a similar way. People growing up in the same neighborhood will have similar socio-economic circumstances and their outcomes will be quite aligned. People going to the same school with similar grades will also have similar outcomes. People who suffered trauma will often have similar patterns of behavior and outcomes.
Similar experiences result in similar reactions which results in similar thoughts and, as consequently, similar conclusions. When our experiences are similar to others, we feel connected. When our experiences are too dissimilar, we feel disconnected.
Feeling connected to people who are similar to you is easy. However, to be successful, you need to have connections with a diverse set of views and perspectives. Too much of one perspective leads to a skewed perception of reality and, consequently, poor decision making.
So how do you connect with people who have had dissimilar experiences to you? And how do you have them connect with you?
Feeling connected has nothing to do with knowing that the other person actually experienced what you experienced. Rather, feeling connected has everything to do with feeling understood. The easiest way for someone to understand is to have experienced the same thing. However, there are many instances where that is impossible to do. However, people are often willing to accept the next best thing: Listening.
If you want to “Think and Grow Rich,” you’re going to have to improve your listening skills so much so that people feel connected to you. After people feel connected to you, you can guide them towards your vision of a better future. It takes time, but most of all, it takes love. Listening is an act of love, one that most people don’t get to experience.
If you haven’t yet, check out my review of “Think and Grow Rich” Chapter 12 (link here). It talks about the “subconscious mind” as well as managing positive and negative thoughts. I talk about the appropriate way to process emotions. In my Paid Program, I teach you how to apply the idea of the subconscious to better understand groups of people. Today, we’ll be talking about explicit and implicit social rules.
We’ve long established that there seems to be subconscious dynamics that influence our behavior. That shouldn’t be new to anyone. A large reason for the presence of subconscious dynamics is to ensure that our ego, our sense of self, remains intact. If we have a shattered sense of self, we can’t do much.
However, what happens to the subconscious minds of two individuals when they interact? What is the goal between two people behaving in ways where explicit communication isn’t the norm? What happens when it’s more than 2 people? Or 3? Or a small group? Or a large group? Are people still trying to protect their ego or their sense of self? Is there a group ego or a group identity that begins to merge?
Understanding your own subconscious factors that influences your behavior will help you make better decisions in your life, decisions based on rationale, not an alternate motive that may be counter to your actual goals. Understanding the subconscious factors in other’s behavior will help you understand those people better, giving you an opportunity to teach or to avoid, depending on the scenario. Understanding the subconscious factors in a group will help you navigate the sociological and cultural landscape that your success relies upon.
Yes. Your success relies upon the sociological and cultural landscape of your environment. And understanding that is far more important that the education you’ve received or your ability to execute on a specific task.
But how does one navigate the sociological and cultural landscape? What does society say to you directly? And what facts does it leave out? What are things that we are allowed to say in pleasant company? And what are things we can only say behind closed doors? The unspoken aspects of life are analogous to society’s subconscious. And when we fully understand what society is really saying, we can make more accurate decisions that help us achieve our goals.
Try it out. Take a controversial topic and make a list of things that can be said. Then make a list of things that can’t be said, shouldn’t be said, or would be shameful to say. Compare the two and realize society is saying one thing but believing something else. Then make a prediction of what will happen. Are the predictions more accurate when you follow what society says explicitly or when you connect the dots on what it cannot say? Let me know.
If you haven’t yet, check out my review of “Think and Grow Rich” Chapter 11 (link here). It’s an awkward chapter. Napoleon Hill talks about the mystery of “Sex Transmutation”. In my Paid Program, I talk about the a technique I call “reverse engineering” when it comes to finding a partner. Check it out if you have the chance. Today, we’ll be talking about Freud and why sex was such a central theme in his development of psychoanalysis.
Freud is well known for his crazy theories on how the human mind works. One of his more popular theories is the Oedipus complex where a child often has an unconscious desire to have sex with the parent of the opposite sex while excluding the parent of the same sex.
Many of Freud’s theories had a sexual theme to them. Although shocking, some of them have some potential merit whereas others have been debunked.
There is a very clear relationship between the subconscious desire for sex and human behavior. If you have any doubts, ask any expert (or novice) in advertising. We find that this fundamental biological drive seems to shape our decisions whether we like it or not.
Evolutionary behaviorist will say that this makes sense. Millions of years of evolution will create a system where propagation of the species is paramount. If we had anything less, the species wouldn’t propagate. It’s just how biological systems work. The psychology part is just adding more complexity than necessary.
So, is that it? Are we all just collections of biological bags of meat who just want to propagate our genetics? I think there’s more going on.
Religion has a tendency to ask its most devoted of members to forgo their biological urges. This ranges from fasting to celibacy to poverty and even to self-flagellation. Are all those people being crazy, weird, or unreasonable?
There’s something to be said about having a say over your biological urges. Something happens to your relationship with food when you fast. And, by analogy, something happens to your relationship to meaning and purpose when you’re in control of your subconscious urge to procreate.
There’s nothing inherently immoral about following your biological urges. However, it seems that people have the capacity to be more than just a series of convoluted biological urges. What that looks like seems to be more spiritual in nature than practical. It’s something worth looking into if you’re so inclined.
If you haven’t yet, check out my review of “Think and Grow Rich” Chapter 10 (link here). Napoleon Hill talks about the importance of a Master Mind group. In my Paid Program, I talk about the importance of Vision. Seems random but they’re actually connected. Let’s talk about how.
Why do people work? Most people work for a paycheck, to make ends meet. They work and then they live their lives. Society is built around productive people getting something done.
But what about those that work for more than a paycheck? What about those who enjoy what they do, they have a passion for it, they have a purpose? If there is something “more” than a paycheck, what is it?
When you hire someone, you can pay them for a wage whether it be hourly or annually. And you will sometimes get a fair amount of work for that wage. Sometimes you’ll get more than what you paid for. Sometimes you’ll get less. It depends on the person.
How do you get someone to work for you more than what you paid them? And can all worker motivation be solved with adding more money? What’s the relationship between money and motivation?
We find that money is a motivator up to a point. But after that point, it doesn’t really do much to help people work.
So what do companies do instead? They usually create a mission, something to help people feel they are doing good for the world, something to help people feel connected to the world.
How would you feel if your work day in and day out amounted to nothing? How would you feel if your work made the difference between people dying of starvation and flourishing in society? I think for the majority of people would choose meaning over nihilism.
What happens when you create a vision to send the human race to Mars? You drum up attention to get the greatest minds to work on a project to help the human race colonize on mars within your lifetime. Would people work for you beyond the money? I don’t know. Ask Elon Musk.
Everyone talks about the “Master Mind” but the truth is that “thinking and growing rich” is about getting other people to do useful work for you. You can pay them to do it but it’ll only work up to a point. However, if you inspire them, you’ll get a lot more work done.
What is the relationship between Inspiration and Religion?
If you haven’t yet, check out my review of “Think and Grow Rich” Chapter 9 (link here). Napoleon Hill talks about the importance of Persistence and goes through many lists on how to develop Persistence. In my Paid program, I talk about the relationship of Persistence to Clarity. Today, I want to talk about the relationship between Persistence, Clarity and Love.
When we think about the concept of Persistence, we think about an individual who had to fight against all odds. We have a protagonist who fights against an antagonist. This protagonist had many opportunities to give up and fail but they chose not to. They chose to continue to strive, and in the end, they won.
That’s the classic story from superheroes to romantic comedies to horror movies. There’s a reason why this story resonates with us. We see ourselves as the protagonist, we identify with them, we feel their stress and pain, and we want to overcome our adversities through persistence.
If someone is in an abusive marriage, should they persist in the marriage? I don’t know. That’s a personal question. If someone is in a dead-end job, should they persist and hope for a raise next year? I don’t know. That’s also a personal question. If someone has an unruly teenager who is failing school, should they persist on nagging that teenager to do better in school? I don’t know. Does that even work? If it does, nag away!!
Persistence is not the core and necessary ingredient for success. That’s where people have it all backwards and wrong. Persistence is a symbol of love. And what you love determines the outcome for yourself and the loved one.
If you are in an abusive marriage and you stay, you love that person at the expense of your own health. That’s going to have specific consequences. If you stay in a dead-end job, perhaps you love the co-workers at the expense of your own career growth. That’s also going to have specific consequences. And if you nag your teenager about their grades incessantly, that tells us about the character and nature of your love for them.
Persistence is a symbol of love and has a consequence. Sometimes, one of the consequences of persistence is success. However, to gain the intended consequences of your persistence, you need clarity. Clarity on who you are, what you love, how it all fits in the world, and what you want. If you have all three, it will be very hard not to succeed.
To gain clarity, sometimes you need criticism from people who love you and have achieved what you aspire. If you want to make sure you're persisting properly on a worthy goal, check out my Think and Grow Rich (Chapter 9) deep dive here.
If you haven’t yet, check out my review of “Think and Grow Rich” Chapter 8 (link here). Napoleon Hill talks about the importance of making a decision and outlines the dangers of procrastination. However, he then tells us to only talk to people who agree with us which is something I disagree with. In my Paid program, I talk about the dangers of “Group Think” and how to build a stellar team. If you’ve liked my work so far, you’ll really like those materials.
For today, let’s talk a little about opinions. Everyone has one. They’re very abundant. But how do you filter through good opinions and bad opinions? How do you ensure that you’re not being led astray? Not all opinions were created equal.
To start, we’re going to need to be very clear about the difference between an opinion and a fact. Too elementary for you. Good! But you’d be surprised how many people get this wrong. Facts are pieces of information whose truth can be verified in some way. Opinions are beliefs about the world.
Opinions may or may not be based on fact. However, they are not facts. They are ultimately an assertion that must make an extension beyond the facts that we know. So “Ice cream is cold” is a fact whereas, “Ice cream tastes good” is an opinion. Simple? Good. It should be.
So how do you determine whether an opinion is valid, useful, or helpful? And when do we throw it out? According to Napoleon Hill, you throw it out if it doesn’t have “COMPLETE SYMPATHY AND HARMONY WITH YOUR PURPOSE”. (Sorry for the caps).
There’s a major problem. What if your purpose is absolutely delusional? Then the opinions that could steer you the right way would be immediately ignored. We…have a problem here.
Here’s an alternative…
An opinion reflects your world view. Opinions are stronger when they are based on facts. So let’s use this 3 step method:
• identify the facts you use to form your opinion.
• Absorb all opinions that come to you whether they agree with you or not.
• Determine what facts were used for that opinion.
• If those facts are compelling enough for you to change your opinion, then change it.
• If not, you keep your opinion.
This is very different from Napoleon Hill’s process but I believe this is a superior one. A refined world view is one based on reality. And decisions based on reality will always be better than ones based on delusions. Or, at least, that’s just my opinion. Haha.
If you like to join me on a deep dive about which opinions to follow and why people procrastinate, check out my video on Think and Grow Rich Chapter 8 - Decisions here.
If you haven’t yet, check out my review of “Think and Grow Rich” Chapter 7 (link here). Napoleon Hill talks about “Leadership”. I give my thoughts on Leadership in my Free and Paid programs. But let’s talk about it a bit here in this week’s e-mail.
Leadership is a very popular but also a very broad topic. At the same time, it’s not too complex. We often can identify a good leader from a bad leader. It’s something that doesn’t require too much thinking. It’s almost natural.
However, is there a way to distinguish a good leader from good results? In other words, do all good leaders create good results? If revenue increases or profits rise, does that mean there was good leadership? Or if revenue decreases and profits decline, does that mean there was bad leadership? I imagine it depends. But what does it depend on?
Is there a way to distinguish a good leader from good marketing? In other words, do all good leaders have good marketing and publicists? If there is good news about the actions of a leader, was there good leadership? If there is bad news about the actions of a leader, was there bad leadership? I imagine it depends. But what does it depend on?
We often don’t think about leadership when the world is in a good place. However, when the world is in chaos, the good leaders are the ones that take care of us, that lead us to victory, that reverse the bad things that are happening. However, do we put too much stock into leadership, whether good or bad? Is it possible that our perception of leadership is skewed by factors beyond anyone’s control? What would we say about Bush, Clinton, Obama, Trump, Biden? I’m sure that is a series of political arguments that will never end.
What is the relationship of good leadership to piety? We certainly have a lot of examples of leadership using God as a means to proclaim divine power. However, let’s set those things aside. Is a leader better when they are devoted to God? Is a leader more loving when they are devoted to God? Is a more loving leader a better leader? What are the characteristics of a loving leader?
If you are a High Performer, how do you maintain a close connection to a Higher Power? How do you do so as a leader? It might sound simple enough, except when there are conflicts of interest between you, those you serve, and those you lead.
I don’t have the answers, but I’m looking to develop them with you. Check out my other content to see the bigger picture I’m trying to share.
Chez Eric Media