This is my first attempt of expressing what keeps me up at night, but what helps me wake up early in the morning. I know your first thought is that statement is a juxtaposition, what is he trying to say. It is simply my opinion on how the brain works, and how I have managed to change my perspective on life, religion, and friendships. I just want to start by saying you might not agree fully with everything I say or you might be one of those people who does agree with some of my “discoveries”, but does read this with an open mind and does not allow cultural biases to blind you from the truth or better said my truths.
As humans, there are six basic fears that block us from achieving our financial, physical and spiritual goals. We are in constant battle with our subconscious mind refusing to let go of past experiences and lessons, hindering our personal growth in an ever-changing world. These fears are discussed in full detail by Napoleon Hill in his book Think and Grow Rich, which is a great critique of how we think and have adapted to preconceived notions and ideas. I will summarize each one to give the reader an understanding of what he tries to achieve in this book and how he addresses the issues at hand.
The fear of POVERTY
There can be no compromise between poverty and riches! The two roads that lead to poverty and riches travel in opposite directions. (Napoleon Hill,2004) If you want riches, you must refuse to accept any circumstances that lead to poverty. (The word ‘riches’ is here used in its broadest sense, meaning financial, spiritual, mental and material estates.) He elaborates on how fear of poverty is a state of mind, but it is sufficient enough to destroy one’s chances of achievement in any undertaking. A state of mind is something that a person assumes, It can not be purchased it must be created. The reason why the fear of poverty is so powerful and can corrupt the mind is because of the symptoms that come with it, namely Indifference or lack of ambition, Indecision, Doubt, Worry, Over calculation and Procrastination. Alone each one of these symptoms can be managed, but the combination of all or some of them will corrupt your mind like an illness or ailment.
The fear of CRITICISM
Majority of people are deathly afraid of being criticized or just being in the public eye. This fear of criticism has robbed many people the opportunity to experience and grow their most ambitious qualities like creativity and imagination, which are key forces in being an innovative person. Social media has a massive impact and its extreme growth and popularity in the last 10 years have shaken the constructs of socialism. We are becoming great consumers, but poor producers, we will buy what we can not afford with money that we do not have, to impress people we do not even know, trying to be like everyone else. This merging between real life and your social profile have blurred the lines for a lot of people. When discussions of the internet allowing freedom speech come up I ask you this, with the growth in popularity of “PCism’’ Political Correctness and being aware that companies and Government institutions are monitoring your emails and texts does this not hinder your communication and freedom? Do you never feel a constant battle to hold back on what you post or text because it could be leaked and shown to the world open for people to criticize? Is there no part of you that feels like big brother is always watching and you are not allowed to freely express yourself? If you have found yourself holding back because of any of these worries and questions that my friend is the fear of criticism and the loss of freedom speech in action.
The fear of ILL HEALTH
The fear of Ill Health in itself might not be a major problem as it is human nature and used for survival, but it is a ‘gateway fear’ much like how marijuana is a ‘gateway drug’ if it is misused or blown out of proportion. It is closely associated with the origin of the last two fears(old age & death). In the book, the main point was fear of the unknown and how ill health is correlated to suffering and the disruption of economic boundaries in a globalized world. The seedling of ill health lives in everyone, Worry, fear, discouragement and many other factors cause this seed to germinate and grow.
The fear of LOSS OF LOVE OF SOMEONE
This fears origins do not need any further introduction, it has obviously grown out man’s habits of being polygamous and stealing his fellow man’s mate. This is the most painful of all the six fears. It contributes to most of the damage on the body and the mind in a lot of people. Just like the aforementioned fear of poverty, it is the symptoms that are the major contributors to the majority of man’s problems. Jealousy is one of these and is defined as suspicion of friends and loved ones without any reasonable evidence. It will cause you to have trust issues and loss of faith in anyone and finding faults with friends and family upon the slightest and smallest provocation.
The fear of OLD AGE
Gerascophobia / the fear of growing old. This fear encompasses the fear of ill health and the fear of loss of a loved one. As you get older you fear that as one advance in age one becomes less attractive commonly known as eroticism. There is also a common misconception that with old age there is a loss of freedom and independence as old age diminishes your economical and physical contributions and attributes respectively. The truth is as you get older you are wiser because of all the experiences you have acquired. You have asked all the questions about ‘yourself’ and ‘life’ and your ‘purpose’, and have gotten the answers that align with your morals and ideology. The older stages of life should be looked at as your years of enlightenment and an opportunity to transfer this energy to the younger generation in forms of teachings and life coaching and should not be feared but welcomed with open hands.
The fear of DEATH
And last but not least the fear of Death. For most this is the paradox of being alive, you work your entire life just for everything to be gone when you die so why work when there is no end goal. Why work when we do not know what happens after death. This is where in my opinion religion gets it ‘wrong’. You go your entire life being told about the land of milk and honey after you die and that everything you do on earth has no purpose unless you are following a certain path or book of rules. A study by independent research Dr. Tom Rees, published in the Journal of Religion and Society, suggests that in places without strong social safety nets to provide people with opportunities for upward mobility, people are more likely to rely on religion for comfort.( https://thehumanist.com/news/national/why-are-the-poor-more-religious)As controversial as this may be it is true, instead of teaching people to wait for the land of honey and milk religion should help people fully understand why they call books like The Bible the book of life. Simply it is a ‘self-help book’ written a long time ago to help people deal with all the trials and tribulations with being a self-aware human being. It is a journal of the things you will experience in life written in an expressive way to enlighten people on how to be the best you possible.
There you go, the six basic fears faced by everyone in the world and a brief summary of what each one consists of, with my opinions and inputs all mashed up to critique, add on and analyze one section of Napoleon Hill’s work. I have tried my best not to prime you and mentally sway you in any direction, but have given you a canvas to form your own opinions. I aspire to be the best money manager or investor, whatever you want to call it, but I know the biggest and greatest asset I will ever invest in is myself. The value of the US dollar can decrease but my intrinsic value will stay the same.