Before you begin to read this, I’d like you to consider this old saying: “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” I mention this because if you’re not ready to recognize the significance of what follows, the concept will soar right over your head, as it did to me for so many years. I’ve seen it, I’ve read it, I’ve heard about it. But it didn’t mean anything. Maybe I had more lessons to learn first, or maybe the concept was so simple that I just didn’t see it. Regardless, I see it now, and I hope you are ready to see it too, because when you embrace it, it will change your life.
There is a reason why “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer”. It’s not because of a disparity or unfairness in society, and it’s not just luck. It’s not limited government, and it’s not more government. There is really only one reason that rich people tend to increase their wealth and poor people don’t. It’s because successful people take advantage of a principle (whether they know it or not) that eludes the “unsuccessful”. The principle is this:
You become what you think about.
Roman emporor Marcus Aurelius put it this way: “A man’s life are what his thoughts make of it.” Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “A man is what he thinks about all day long.” William James wrote, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.”
The Hidden Secret
Throughout recorded history, this is the hidden, unseen thread that connects the lessons of all the great teachers and wise men who have ever lived, from Plato and Aristotle to the modern-day teachings of P.D. James, Norman Vincent Peale, Claude Bristol, and countless others.
You become what you think about.
Those six words are the most powerful combination in the English language; the most powerful, profound truth in history. James Allen wrote, “All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the result of his own thoughts.”That thought is the reason that goal-setting works, if you do it correctly. It is the basis for the intention-manifestation model, the law of attraction. It is the hidden thread that binds all personal development teaching together. Sure, there are details that make the idea more or less successful in our experience. But the underlying principle is all there is.
So this is the real reason why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. But it’s also the reason behind why some poor get rich, and some rich turn poor. The rich who stay rich, and the poor who manifest riches, do so because they’ve thought about themselves in that way. The less well-off stay that way becuase that’s the way they think. It’s as simple as that. It’s as profound as that.
Your Thoughts Determine Your Experience
I’d really like you to understand the power of your thoughts. Your thoughts determine your experience in life. Your thoughts determine whether you are wealthy or not, physically fit or not, happy, lovable, and pleasant or sad, hateful and dour. Your thoughts are what make you you. It’s not your outside circumstances, or your physical talents. It is only your thought.
So learn to guide your thoughts. Learn to focus on those things that you want and to guide yourself away from thinking about the things that you don’t want. Learn to put your desires in positive terms, rather than the negatives of what you don’t want. In other words, instead of thinking of losing weight, think of being slim. Of being prosperous instead of getting out of debt.
It will take work; it probably won’t come overnight. Then again, if you are good at guiding your mind effectively, there’s no reason why it won’t happen overnight. Your thoughts will determine that.
Search And Learn
Don’t take my word for any of this, please. Do your own research; look for your own answers. This secret-which-isn’t-a-secret is out there wherever you look, if you will only look for it. It may be some other explanation that brings you to clarity. By all means, go looking for it. Seek the knowledge in the sure expectation of receiving it, and you will find it.
“Ask, and it shall be given you. Seek, and ye shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh, receiveth. And he that seeketh, findeth. And to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.”
—From Jesus’ Sermon On The Mount
Earl Nightingale, in The Strangest Secret, said,
“…It’s as marvelous, and as simple as that. In fact, it’s so simple that in our seemingly complicated world it’s difficult for an adult to understand that all he needs is a purpose, and faith.”
Don’t mistake simplicity for simplistic.