I have nothing original this week, but something very powerful.  Three years ago, I read a book called "The 17 Principles to Success" by Napoleon Hill.  I came across an excerpt that I had printed and ready frequently back then and thought, "This is something people need to read."  So, I typed it out for you.  Feel free to discuss, question, or comment...

How to Develop a Positive Mental Attitude - by Napoleon Hill

You must have a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) to make life pay off on your own terms.  Nothing great has ever been achieved without one.  Recognize that your mental attitude is the only thing over which you have complete control.  Exercise that control and direct it by using PMA.  Realize, and prove to your own satisfaction by making it so, that every adversity, sorrow, or defeat, whether or not you caused it to happen, contains the seed of an equivalent benefit which you can nurture into a blessing that soars above the disaster that brought it.  Learn to close the door of your mind on all failures from your past.  Clear your mind of any influence which does not support a PMA. 

Find out what you want most in life, and go after it.  Do it right now by helping others to acquire similar benefits.  This way you put the principle of going the extra mile into action.  Select the person who, in your opinion, is the finest person in all the world, past or present.  Make him or her your pacesetter for the rest of your life, emulating him or her in every possible way.  Determine what kind of resources you need, set up a plan for acquiring them based on the idea of not too much, not too little.  Donít think small, but remember, greed more than anything else has destroyed ambitious people.  Form the habit of saying or doing something every day which will make someone else feel better.  You can do this with a phone call, a postcard, or a simple act of kindness.  Give someone an inspirational book, for instance, and you give that person something that will work wonders in his or her life.  One good deed a day will keep old man gloom away.

Make yourself understand that what whips you isnít defeat, but your mental attitude toward it.  Train yourself to look for the seed of equivalent benefit in every disappointment you face.  Ascertain what you like best to do, and do it as a labor of love with your heart and soul.  Perhaps it will simply be a hobby.  Thatís fine.  Just remember that an idle mind quickly becomes a negative mind; itís called brooding.  Understand that often when you have searched in vain for a solution to a problem, you can find it by helping someone else solve his or her problem.  By the time you have solved the other personís problem, you will have the insight to solve your own.  Study Ralph Waldo Emersonís ďEssay on CompensationĒ once a week until you understand and have assimilated it.  This powerful work will convince you of the benefits you will derive from PMA.

Take a complete inventory of every asset you possess.  You will discover that your greatest asset is a sound mind with which you can shape your own identity.  Communicate with anyone you know whom you have unjustly offended and offer sincere apologies.  The more bitter the assignment is, the more you will be free of negative mental influences when you have completed it.  Acknowledge that the space you occupy in this world is in exact ratio to the quantity and quality of the service you render for the benefit of others, plus the mental attitude in which you render it.  Break bad habits.  Abstain from your vices one at a time for a month until you show yourself who is boss.  If you need help from a counselor or a support group, get it.  Donít let your pride master you.  Comprehend that no one can hurt your feelings, make you angry, or frighten you without your full cooperation and consent.  Close your mind to anyone who wants to exert a destructive influence. 

Perceive that self-pity is an insidious destroyer of self-reliance.  Believe that you are the one person on whom you can and should depend on at all times.  Relate to every circumstance in your life as something that has happened for the best, for it may be that your saddest experience will bring you your greatest assets if you give time a chance to mellow your distress.  Divert any urge for control over others.  Squelch it before it destroys you.  Channel that energy into better control over yourself.  Occupy your mind with doing what you want to do so that no time will be left for it stray to the things you do not want to do.  Attune your mind to attract the things and situations you desire by expressing in a daily prayer your gratitude for what you already have.  Demand a reasonable amount of dividends from life every day, instead of waiting to receive them.  You will be surprised to learn how many of the desirable things in life are already yours, even though you have no noticed them. 

Live in a style that suits your physical and spiritual requirements, and donít waste time keeping up with the Joneses.  Refuse to heed anyoneís advice Ė unless that person is willing to give you satisfactory evidence of the soundness of his or her counsel.  You will save yourself from hucksters, the misguided, and fools.  Discern that personal power does not come from the possession of material things alone.  Mahatma Gandhi led his nation to freedom without a fortune.  Exert yourself so that you keep your body in shape.  Mental ailments can easily spring from physical ones, and your body, like your mind, must be kept active to remain positive.  Reinforce the habit of tolerance, and keep an open mind on all subjects and toward all people no matter what their race or creed.  Learn to like people just as they are, instead of demanding that they be just as you want them to be.  Admit that love is the finest medication for your body and soul.  Love changes the entire chemistry of your body and conditions it for the expression of a positive mental attitude.  It also extends the space you occupy in the hearts of others.  The best way to receive love is to give it.

Return every benefit you receive with one of equal or greater value.  The Law of Increasing Returns will operate in your favor, and eventually Ė or perhaps very soon Ė it will give you the capacity to get everything you are entitled to.  A positive mental attitude works both ways.  Avoid the fear of old age by remembering that nothing is ever taken from you without being replaced by something of equal or greater value.  Youth, for instance, is replaced by wisdom.  Trust that adequate solutions can be found for all your problems, but accept the fact that the solutions may not always be the ones you want.  Rely on the examples of others to remind you that any disadvantages can be overcome.  Thomas Edison had only three months of formal schooling, yet he was the greatest inventor who ever lived.  Helen Keller was without sight, hearing or speech, yet she inspired millions.  A definite major purpose is stronger than any limitation. 

Welcome friendly criticism instead of reacting to it negatively.  Embrace any opportunity to learn how others see you, and use it to take inventory of yourself and look for things which need improvement.  Do not fear criticism, encourage it.  Create a mastermind alliance with others dedicated to the principles of success.  Discuss your progress and insights and gain the benefit of a much wider range of experience.  Always keep these meetings on a positive plane.  Grasp the difference between wishing, hoping, desiring, and having a burning desire to achieve your goal.  Only a burning desire gives you a driving motivation, and it can be fueled only by a positive mental attitude.  Abstain from negative conversations, especially carping, gossip, or tearing apart other peopleís reputations.  These activities condition your mind to think negatively. 

Discipline your mind to shape your destiny toward whatever purpose in life you have chosen.  Seize every one of the benefits in the rewards envelope and make them yours.  Be yourself at all times.  Neither you nor anyone else trusts a phony.  Say nothing that does not reflect your positive mental attitude.  Believe in the existence of infinite intelligence, which makes it possible for you to draw on all the power you need to take possession of your own mind and direct it toward whatever you choose.  Believe in your ability to become free and self-determining, and put that belief to work by acting upon it.  Do it now!  Believe that the American form of government guarantees you the freedom and privileges necessary to pursue your definite major purpose.  Work to defend those freedoms as needed.  Believe in the people you are associated with, and recognize that if they are not worthy of your belief, you have the wrong associates.  And finally: read this lesson once a week for six months.  You will so thoroughly indoctrinate yourself with these habits and mind conditioners that your mental attitude will become and remain positive at all times.   

Thinking good things for you, as always,

Dr. Chad