In his 1937 classic Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill revealed his TWENTY-year research project of over 500 self-made millionaires. Hill had been sponsored by Andrew Carnegie, the richest man in the world, to work on the book. In it, he explained that if you wanted to grow rich – indeed achieve ‘riches’ in any area of life – you had to work on influencing your subconscious mind.
1. Understand Your (Brain as a) Garden
He described the subconscious mind as a ‘fertile garden’ where you could plant and grow ‘desirable crops’ or have ‘weeds in abundance’ – and that you might need ‘everlasting persistence’ to get the results you wanted. 85 years ago, this was very abstract stuff because Hill had little science to lean on, ‘only’ an impressive array of case studies.
The science arrived in this century with the advent of neuroscientific technology that can read neural pathways and scan brains. The book that best explained the connection between the physical world and the world of our thoughts – and what to do about it – was John Assaraf and Murray Smith’s The Answer: “Everything is energy – it’s all made of molecules, which are made of atoms…which are made of nothing but vibrating packets of energy.”
They outlined that before matter becomes something physical, it comes from the quantum field. That’s also where ideas start. And that the simple act of observation could influence the behavior of particles (focus!). Beneath this level of energy is a “sea of pure consciousness, from which matter emerges in clustered localities.” The universe is made of consciousness – matter and energy are simply two of the forms it takes.
Their conclusion 72 years after Hill: “THOUGHT creates the physical world.”
While your conscious brain has to come up with your goals and create the vision, astonishingly it only does about 3-5% of the actual work to get you there.
What you MUST understand is that if you want to achieve your goals, it’s your subconscious brain that you need to kick in and help you do the work.
THAT is why you have to be a great gardener and use strategies that influence it so that what you want gets hardwired in your subconscious and converted into action. 95% of your physical and mental habits all lie in the subconscious!
2. Weed Your Garden
The first thing you need to do is to meditate and journal on the thoughts, feelings and emotions that no longer serve you. Joe Dispenza explains in Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself that: “Meditation opens the door between the conscious and subconscious minds.” It gets the right brainwaves flowing.
We have all got suppressed negative emotions and experiences buried in our subconscious and they are the main reason you are not where you most want to be in life. If you’re going to enjoy greater outcomes, you need to elevate how you feel – you don’t make positive change when you’re feeling low or feeling flat!
You literally need to identify which negative emotion/s you have that keep you tethered to feeling a certain way most of the time. Choose ONE of these survival emotions to weaken the hardwiring. It is a familiar feeling for you and something you would like to change. Here are some examples from Dispenza’s book:
Insecurity, hatred, judgment, victimization, worry, guilt, depression, shame, anxiety, regret, suffering, frustration, fear, greed, sadness, disgust, envy, anger, resentment, unworthiness, and lack.
It’s going to be a slow process of observing this, catching it, and redirecting your thoughts. First, pull the weeds!
3. Plant Your Garden
This is the fun part now that you’ve made some room in your mind: What empowered and inspired thoughts do you want to plant in your subconscious? Journal first about what type of person your ideal YOU would be. Then write: How would your ideal you think? Act? Feel? Speak. These ‘flowers’ need planting – then memorizing. This is best done in a relaxed, meditative state either first thing in the morning or right before bed.
4. Water Your Garden
Success comes over time through constant watering – REPETITION AND EMOTIONAL IMPACT are the keys – Napoleon Hill learned this too from his research a hundred years ago: “Your subconscious mind will only act upon instructions that are emotionalized and handed over to it with ‘feeling’.”
Lock in this advice as it’s a common mistake for people not to pump emotion into the experience. You must FEEL IT in your body. You can’t just say to yourself “I am wealthy,” you must FEEL WEALTHY TOO – otherwise, the body gets a mixed message. It’s your emotions that get you to take action, not soulless rhetoric.
5. Keep Tending Your Garden
None of this is easy because by our mid-30s almost all of our thoughts, feelings and actions are on automatic pilot and will get us the same outcomes we’re used to getting. Even more alarming, our bodies have become addicted to the emotions it’s used to having. Unconsciously we become addicted to our problems that feed our survival-oriented emotions. Weeds grow back and your garden always needs water.
In future weeks I’ll be sharing more on this exciting life-changing process; this is a high-level overview of what is involved. It is a leap of faith and your ego is going to protest consistently, so do your best to keep re-focusing back to the ideal you that you’re becoming. Remember! Nothing can change until you change your thoughts, feelings, and actions.
To your beautiful garden!
Founder & President
Matt Anderson International
1177 Oak Ridge Drive, Glencoe, IL 60022, USA
Phone: +001 (312) 622-3121