Photo Copyright of the Napoleon Hill Foundation
Hi Friends. If you are good with it, we are taking a slight detour from Security, AWS for this post. I’d like to talk about one of my mentors, Napoleon Hill – and what he might think about achieving high success in today’s high tech, social media, information abundant, connected world.
First, a quick note: I missed meeting Napoleon Hill in my lifetime by one year. He died in 1971 and I was born in 1972. That has not stopped him from being my mentor. In 1952, a five evening lecture was recorded at the University of Chicago entitled ‘The Science of Success’ – 11 hours of lecture in total – the sum of Napoleon’s Life experience and insight into his own principles in the form of classroom lecture. This recordings were later released as ‘Your Right to Be Rich’ on Compact Disc in the early 2000’s – that is when I found them, and became intimately integrated into Hill’s Philosophy.
One of the core tenants for Success in Napoleon Hill’s Philosophy is ‘Controlled Attention’ – Simply put, this is the practice of focusing your energy and attention onto your definite major purpose. Controlled Attention, combined with imagination, allows us to visualize our desire and goals, bring them into to life, through creating plans, drawing on bar napkins, talking to others about our desire, etc. Controlled attention channels our energies into the one thing we want above any other – and moves us in that direction.
Switching gears; and tying the story together, some pals of mine and I were eating lunch one day and having a conversation about TV and they were astonished I had not seen all Seasons of Game of Thrones, as well as a whole other list of popular nerdy TV series now streaming on Netflix and Amazon which they asked me about. While this was going on, I remember taking a casual glance around the cafe, noticing just about everyone there had their eyes and thumbs glued to their phone. At the moment, my thoughts took a journey down the rabbit hole. . . What would my mentor think about our modern world?
He would see that as a ‘SmartPhone’, ever connected Society, we are continuously distracted. Every last minute of our lives is filled with checking our phones, status updates, twitter, news, who is doing what on Facebook, iFunny memes, Apps, the list goes on and on and on. He would see that Hollywood now has produced more content than we could ever watch in a lifetime and and made all that content available at once so we can now binge watch. He would see that most of us bring our phones to bed at night. He would see our faces are pointed toward all kinds of screens all the time.
He would see that believe automatic, habitual use of all our electronic devices and constant consumption of media erodes our creativity and self-driven ‘Controlled Attention’; Controlled Attention and Creativity that are desparately needed for us to grow, learn and succeed.
Yes, if Napoleon Hill were here, now, today – in this time, he would advocate for long periods of disconnection from our Electronic devices. He would advocate disconnection from Social Media and tell us to turn away from the limitless content on our TVs. He would tell us to spend time writing in our creative journals, getting together with our Mastermind Alliances and use that our time to engage in passionate self-suggestion, to build our Faith in ourselves and our own capabilities. When we do use the internet, Dr. Hill would advocate to use it as a tool of bringing one’s self closer to one’s goal. Ultimately, he would tell us to focus on our Definite Major Purpose!
This message is more for me than it is for you. A message to be mindful of all that time spent swiping your phone, mindlessly surfing – and get back on track. Engage your imagination. Draw a picture. Write in your journal and connect with yourself in a deep meaningful way and ensure you are on track with the great destiny you have imagined for yourself!