The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Four Basic Principles

There are four basic principles of THINK AND GROW RICH:

1) A definite purpose backed by a burning desire for its fulfillment.

2) A definite plan expressed in continuous action

3) A mind closed tightly against all negative and discouraging influences, including negative input from friends, family, and acquaintances.

4)A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose.

A huge amount of the rest of the book just tells you how to implant these four steps in your life, so that they function automatically. The whole "Lifewriting" thing came about when I posited that the core mythic story of mankind, the Hero's Journey, can be viewed as the combined wisdom of all the world's cultures on the path from one level of our life to the next. Actually gender neutral and apparently about as pan-cultural as a concept like this can possibly be, it suggests a syntax for organizing whatever resources you possess or must acquire that can be applied to a given task. And what task is that? Well, in my case it was balance, probably because I saw a very real potential for self-destruction in my efforts to succeed.

You might take a close look at these four principles, and ask yourself what happens to people who have NONE of these four in place? Which do you think most important? Which do you have in place in your life, and which do you still need to find a way to apply? Are there any that you find unnecessary, or counterproductive? This is an important conversation, as these four points are at the heart of the most successful success strategy I know of. Ignore it at your peril.

5 comments:

Marty S said...

Principles 1) thru 3) I think are pretty sound in most cases. Principle 4)is helpful when available with certain goals, but in my view less necessary than the first three. I also have some problem with principle 3). Ignoring family's input is fine if you don't care about the consequences, but when its a choice between whatever other goal one has and one's marriage, I would think hard and deep before choosing said goal over my marriage.

Steve Lewis said...

This post really made me think, Steve. As far as my writing career is concerned I have one, three, and four covered pretty well. As for principle number two: my plan right now is to keep doing the story a week and sending it out. I'll be taking workshops next year to fill in information on the business side so that I can more fully flesh out my goals in that arena.

I listened to a teleseminar last night that you did with Andy Duncan and you said something during the call that I think applies here. You mentioned (I'm obviously paraphrasing here) that if you dedicated yourself to something for ten years you could build a career at it. You might not make it to Carnegie Hall but you can make a living. I couldn't agree with you more. I've personally seen people do this in acting and music.

Well I think that's enough for now, my break's over, back to writing.

Steve

Ethiopian_Infidel said...

"when its a choice between whatever other goal"

I'd think that, if the marriage were truly healthy and sound, both partners would wholeheartedly support and strive to further one another's ambitions. If not, then, as with other conflicts, one must make hard choices and sacrifices. Which ultimately is more important and necessary, preserving the marriage or achieving the grand ambition? Simply and brutally put, if you want something badly enough, you will sacrifice WHOMEVER and WHATEVER is necessary to seize it. If not, the burning ambition was merely an amusing dream.

Think hard and deep, and act as conclusions and necessity dictate.

Scott said...

"1) A definite purpose backed by a burning desire for its fulfillment.

2) A definite plan expressed in continuous action

3) A mind closed tightly against all negative and discouraging influences, including negative input from friends, family, and acquaintances.

4)A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose."

I very strongly disapprove of principle #3. I'm bad at principle #4. I'd say principle #1 is of paramount importance, and that #2 makes things quicker, easier, and more fun.

Shady_Grady said...

"Simply and brutally put, if you want something badly enough, you will sacrifice WHOMEVER and WHATEVER is necessary to seize it. If not, the burning ambition was merely an amusing dream".

I can definitely see this when a person is just starting out but not so much when one is married or has children. I wish I could find it online but there was a guitar magazine interview in which Carlos Santana , who's certainly no slouch, talks about (back in the seventies) realizing that to go to what he saw as the next level of musical excellence he would have been unable to maintain a relationship with his wife or build one with his children. He deliberately chose his family. But does that mean his ambitions were just dreams?