One of the most powerful principles hidden in the goldmine of knowledge called Think and Grow Rich is what I’ve named “The Pyramid Principle.” Now, I’m not talking about some mystical kind of pyramid power. And I’m not suggesting you go sleep in a pyramid or put a bunch of pyramids around your house or anything like that. No, this is a pyramid of some principles that will create incredible power.
The first chapter in Think and Grow Rich after the introduction contains the very first principle, and it’s the principle that Napoleon Hill calls “Desire.”
Hill taught that, “Desire is the beginning of all achievement.” In countless references throughout the book he describes it as a “white hot desire.” White hot!
That’s a term we don’t often see. But when he introduced the book in 1937 many people in the world were employed in these large factories where big kilns and big fires burned. A hot fire, the hottest fires-had a whitish color. Thus white hot!
So what he was trying to communicate in words of the day was that you needed to have the hottest desire that you could possibly create. That’s the first fundamental principle in whatever it is that you want to achieve.
The second principle of the pyramid also has a chapter named after it – Faith. Or, as some people might understand that term: Belief. Belief and Faith are first cousins. They basically mean the same thing.
Napoleon says Faith is the most powerful force on earth and you find references to that throughout all of the ancient wisdom. If you read the Christian Bible there is a passage in there about faith. It says that faith the size of a mustard seed is enough to move mountains. Since a mustard seed is a very small seed, the message is it doesn’t take much faith to do some amazing things.
He goes on to say that these first two principles, desire and faith, must be present to have any type of success at all. You’re not likely to move forward without both of those.
So you start with those two principles and then you add just one more. The principle of “Action” or what Hill calls “Decision.” With that the pyramid is complete and virtually anything you can imagine can be achieved by using its power.
First, you use the principles in the order presented here:
If you start trying to take action before desire, before faith is present, then you’re not going to act very long. In fact, your actions will be very weak because you won’t have a full commitment.
Now imagine a pyramid for a moment. On the bottom right hand of the base place the principle Desire. On the bottom left hand of the base place the principle Faith. And at the top of the pyramid place the principle Action.
Begin with Desire and once you’ve identified what it is, move to the left and begin working on your Faith in achieving that Desire. Now move to the top and take some Action — any kind of positive action toward your Desire.
And here’s why taking any kind of action is so important. After studying 25,000 failures he determined at the top of the list of their reasons for failure was the lack of decision, a lack of action.
But I’m sure you’ve also experienced as I have at times the feeling of inertia. So here’s a little secret for taking action. It’s based on Newton’s Law of Motion that you might remember from Science class. Newton found that a body at rest tends to remain at rest, while a body in motion tends to remain in motion. As long as you have inertia, you’re likely to continue with that inertia. But if you can create any kind of motion, any kind of action at all, you’re likely to continue in action.
So find some small action you can take toward your desire. Any kind of action counts. Maybe it’s just making an exploratory phone call or doing some web research.
That Action will produce some additional Desire (you move to the bottom right of the pyramid again) and you re-start the cycle. Each time you complete the cycle both your Faith and your Desire will grow. That’s why the Pyramid Principle is so powerful — it rapidly creates a “white hot desire.”
Once you get the Pyramid Principle started it takes on a life of it’s own. Each additional action feeds more desire. More desire feeds more belief. More belief feeds more action. And on and on.
That’s why it’s so powerful and that’s why this may be the most important “secret” to be discovered in Think and Grow Rich.
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