Last week, we embarked upon a four-part series to share research conducted by author Napoleon Hill, commissioned to study the reasons why one man is successful and another one isn't. Hill studied hundreds of men across America, close up and in person. He discovered a formula utilized by each and every person he interviewed.
The series is designed to share principles that make men rich, with money as the 12th and least important tenet. Last week we shared the first three principles: 1 – A positive mental attitude; 2. Good health; and 3: Harmony in human relations.
Allow me to elaborate just a bit on the original principles before sharing the second set. A positive mental attitude can be controlled by you, except when there are medical reasons. Born the daughter of two Pentecostal preachers on May 6, 1951, let me assure you that the Bible has been an integral part of my life. The research contained in this column must be combined with scripture –I'd have it no other way.
Henry Ford once said, "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right!" Thoughts are powerful. They can impact our health, our journeys and ultimately, how the final chapters of our lives are written.
Studies link a more optimistic outlook with folks who live longer and how those with more positive attitudes toward things that happen to all of us with more favorable health during the aging process. Now for the next three principles:
The 4th principle is 'Freedom from Fear.' Someone who lives in fear can never accomplish anything. In the movie "The Wizard of Oz" the cowardly lion was the opposite of what a lion is known for – courage and strength. The lion is considered the 'king of the jungle.' To be a cowardly lion is just as bad as each of us who live our lives in fear.
Scripture tells us that God made man a little lower than angels and a little higher than the beasts. We have more power than we can imagine; when we tune in, live without fear, live by His Word, consider the Great Commandments: Love God first, and love your neighbor as yourself.
Finally, scripture also reminds us of how He didn't give us a spirit of fear. When we feel fear, we must get on our knees and pray, and rebuke the spirit of fear, because it is not from God.
The 5th principle we have is "Hope of future achievement." First, let's see what scripture has to say about the subject of hope: And now, Lord, what do I wait for and expect? My hope and expectation are in You. Psalm 39:7.
But if we hope for what is still unseen by us, we wait for it with patience and composure. Romans 8:26. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12.
And I love the way the Rev. Jesse Jackson says it, "Keep hope alive!"
The 6th principle is "The capacity for applied faith." To have faith is one thing, but it is only when faith is applied – that's when things change for us.
Capacity means the ability to hold, to have room enough to receive, like the capacity of a restaurant, well the capacity for applied faith simply mean, how much can you believe in without seeing it. As I read Oprah's biography by Kitty Kelley, I noticed how Oprah talked about how she would be famous one day, throughout her childhood. Everyone knew her for that saying, and look at her now. Her capacity for applied faith was rather huge. Not only did she have faith, she applied steps toward achieving those things for which she dreamed.