In Chapter 2 of Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill describes two individual requirements for creating wealth – desire and the willingness to burn bridges. The following are highlights relating to desire:
-He stood by his DESIRE until it became the dominating obsession of his life—and—finally, a fact.
-Every human being who reaches the age of understanding of the purpose of money, wishes for it. Wishing will not bring riches. But desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways and means to acquire riches, and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure, will bring riches.
Based on the preceding passages I would consider desire synonymous with will. Wishing does not result in wealth, however prolonged concentration of will does. Persistent intellectual concentration eventually results in physical manifestation.
The following are highlights relating to the burning of bridges:
-He left himself no possible way of retreat. He had to win or perish!
-Every person who wins in any undertaking must be willing to burn his ships and cut all sources of retreat. Only by so doing can one be sure of maintaining that state of mind known as a BURNING DESIRE TO WIN, essential to success.
Hill continues on to describe the transmutation of desire to wealth by means of six discrete steps:
1. Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire.
2. Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire.
3. Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money you desire.
4. Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.
5. Write out a clear, concise statement of the amount of money you intend to acquire, name the time limit for its acquisition, state what you intend to give in return for the money, and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to accumulate it.
6. Read your written statement aloud, twice daily, once just before retiring at night, and once after arising in the morning. AS YOU READ—SEE AND FEEL AND BELIEVE YOURSELF ALREADY IN POSSESSION OF THE MONEY.
There are a few interesting aspects relating to the preceding steps. In aggregate these steps at first appear deceptively easy. So much so that many who read these steps will likely dismiss them. The steps themselves may be simple, however it is the concentrated desire over time that may prove challenging. The specific nature of the steps also proves intriguing. It is often easy to speak in abstractions, but nailing down exactly what you want can prove difficult. For example, improving quality of life and making a lot of money are not valid objectives in terms of this process, but require specificity in order to be effective.
The proposed exchange of value identified in Step 2 is also interesting. In order to receive one million dollars, an individual must specifically identify what value they will provide in exchange for one million dollars. Will this value be a new invention, book, or perhaps a work of art? Furthermore, I suspect that the more specific one gets, the greater the chances of success. For example, for whom will the value be provided? A single individual or perhaps a group of individuals comprising a consumer or industrial market?
The final step, the reading of the statement aloud twice daily seems to serve an affirmation type function, or even a binding quality. The things that we take the time to write down and read aloud have a greater probability of coming to fruition.