Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill was published in 1937 and remains a classic. It applies to all professionals, or anyone who wishes to be successful in all areas of life including business and career.
Although the book focuses on “riches” and money, it could really be described as one of the earlier texts about how to become a very successful person. Such success can apply to us in our law practices, or in relation to anything else that we do.
The Think and Grow Rich book directs us to 6 avenues upon which we can focus to ultimately be successful.
Hill says it is not good enough to wish for something, but that it has to be a burning desire, an obsession. He says get clear on what you want and focus on it obsessively until accomplished. He says if you do not see riches in your imagination (that is, if you do not manifest those riches), you will not acquire them. Think and grow rich is about applying our very thoughts and energy to our ideas of success.
Hill suggests that we repeatedly affirm what we want and through our subconscious mind we will make it possible to attain what we want. Have faith in yourself, have faith in the infinite, and have faith in our goals. You think and grow rich by affirming your goals continuously.
Hill says do not wait for a plan to come your way, but start living as if you have already achieved your dreams. Then when ideas come to you, treat them with respect and act upon them.
Hill makes the point that knowledge in and of itself does not create wealth. Knowledge must be directed through practical plans of action if it is to be a tool in the accumulation of wealth and success. It is not enough to know stuff in order to utilize the think and grow rich method, but you must apply what you know continuously in concrete ways and in action.
He also says that those who are successful in life continually attempt to learn and gain new knowledge. Successful people never feel that they are done with education.
He also says that success and failure in life are largely as a result of the habits we cultivate.
There is synthetic imagination and creative imagination. Synthetic imagination is when you arrange old concepts and ideas in new creative ways. Creative imagination is when the finite mind communicates with infinite intelligence. This is when we feel “hunches” or “intuition.” It is creative imagination that is most powerful.
If the first plan which you adopt does not work successfully, replace it with a new plan; if this new plan fails to work, replace it in turn with still another, and so on, until you find a plan which does work. Right here is the point at which the majority of people meet with failure, because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those plans that fail.
No matter how many failures, always build other plans. Start all over again until you succeed.
In order to succeed, focus on what you can give more than what you can get. It is about being worth more to others.
Hill makes it clear that in order to succeed in anything (and we will include the practice of family law here), that it is not good enough to simply show up at our jobs. We have to do a lot more than get our work done in order to succeed.
Our law practices are our business and we need to work on our businesses not just within them.
We have to think about what we are doing. We have to work not only in our jobs as lawyers, but think about our careers, think about the reputations we want to develop, think about our marketing plan etc.
If we were to boil down all of Hill’s steps in a succinct way we would say that in order to be really successful in life it is not good enough to simply bump along and hope for the best. We have to envision and plan exactly what our success is going to look like, accept no failure or choice about failing, and do everything possible to make our success happen.
To add to that desire is our faith. In order to succed we can believe in nothing else but our success. Hill suggests that both success and failure are stories that we tell ourselves. Whether we succeed or fail depends upon which story is the strongest that we tell ourselves. To that end, the repeated story we should be allowing into our subconscious mind is the story of our success. In addition to our faith, we should start living our lives exactly as if we have already achieved our success.
As lawyers this means that if we want to be a successful litigator, we immediately start behaving as a successful litigator now (regardless of whether or not we already have a track record of winning cases). We simply live and be our success right away and the rest will follow. This is, of course, assuming we continue to grow and develop specialized knowledge in our chosen area and to never decide that we have learned all there is to learn. The most successful people are continual learners.
We also don’t hesitate to use our creative imagination in our law practises, business development, with our clients, and with our cases. We develop and feel our “gut instinct” and “intuition.”
Finally, we plan our success. All success is as a result of knowledge, planning and good habits. If we are not succeeding for some reason, we simply keep coming up with new plans until we succeed. One thing is for sure, we won’t succeed by having such success accidentally happen to us. We have to plan, strive and continually work towards it.
By Val Hemminger, divorce lawyer and owner of Hemminger Law Group
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Val has created this website to share with her colleagues. She is not suggesting, by any means, that she is the best divorce lawyer out there. She is, however, suggesting that she is the best divorce lawyer that she herself can be. Feel free to share anything you find useful.