An Excerpt From: Napoleon Hill’s Book Think and Grow Rich

“There are six basic fears. Every human suffers from some combination of them at one time or another. Most people are fortunate if they do not suffer from the entire six. Names in the order of their most common appearance, they are:

The fear of POVERTY
The fear of CRITICISM
The fear of ILL HEALTH
The fear of OLD AGE
The fear of DEATH

All other fears are of minor importance and can be grouped under these six headings.

The prevalence of these fears, as a curse to the world, runs in cycles. For almost six years, while the depression was on, we floundered in the cycle of fear of poverty. During the periods when we were at war or faced with terror, we were in the cycle of fear of death. Even in periods of prosperity and peace we are in the cycle of fear of ill health, as evidenced by the epidemic of diseases which spread themselves all over the world.

Fears are nothing more than states of mind. One’s state of mind is subject to control and direction. Doctors, as everyone knows, are less subject to attack by disease than ordinary laymen for the reason that doctors do not fear disease. Doctors have been known to treat hundreds of people suffering from such contagious diseases as smallpox in a day, without becoming infected. Their immunity against the disease consisted largely, if not solely, in their absolute lack of fear.

We can create nothing that is not first conceived in the form of an impulse of thought. Following this statement comes another of still greater importance, namely, THOUGHT IMPULSES BEGIN IMMEDIATELY TO TRANSLATE THEMSELVES INTO THEIR PHYSICAL EQUIVALENT, WHETHER THOSE THOUGHTS ARE VOLUNTARY OR INVOLUNTARY. Thought impulses picked up through the ether by mere chance (thoughts released by other minds) may determine one’s financial, business, professional or social destiny just as surely as the thought impulses one creates by intent and design.

We are here laying the foundation for the presentation of a fact of great importance to the person who does not understand why some people appear to be “lucky” while others of equal or greater ability, training, experience and brain capacity seem destined to ride with misfortune. This may be explained by the statement that human beings have the ability to control their own minds completely. With this control, they may open their minds to the thought impulses released by other brains, or close the doors tightly and admit only thought impulses of his own choice.

Nature has endowed us with absolute control over but one thing, and that is thought. This fact, coupled with the additional fact that everything people create begins in the form of a thought, leads one very near to the principle by which fear may be mastered.

If it is true that all thought has a tendency to clothe itself in its physical equivalent (and this is true beyond any reasonable room for doubt), it is equally true that thought impulses of fear and poverty cannot be translated into terms of courage and financial gain.

Following the Wall Street crash of 1929, the people of America were compelled to think of poverty. Slowly but surely that mass thought was crystallized into its physical equivalent, which was known as a “depression.” This had to happen. It is in conformity with the laws of Nature.” – Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

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