Think & Grow Rich Lessons
Mervyn Drury Casey, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Posted: 2017-04-23

Chapter 1 Thoughts Are Things


As listened to this chapter on the 300km drive to Sydney I came to realise just how powerful Hill’s opening statement is and I quote “TRULY, “thoughts are things,” and powerful things at that, when they are mixed with definiteness of purpose, persistence, and a BURNING DESIRE for their translation into riches, or other material objects”.

How many of us have had a dream, which we have not written down, only to see that dream flourish because another person’s mind was not only receptive to it but they took the time to record it in writing and subsequently turned it by the use of emotion into a passionate desire with a definiteness of purpose, the attainment of which was persuade with persistence. I know I have.

Hill’s first example of this transmuting of dreams is that of Edwin C Barnes whose initial dream was to be an associate of Edison. He did not know Edison, nor did he have the necessary finances to travel to Orange to meet with The Inventor at his office. He overcame the financial situation by travelling by freight train to Orange and just presented himself before Edison announcing that he was “going into business with Edison”.

Hill quotes Edison’s words of that first meeting, “He stood there before me, looking like an ordinary tramp, but there was something in the expression of his face which conveyed the impression that he was determined to get what he had come after. I had learned, from years of experience with men, that when a man really DESIRES a thing so deeply that he is willing to stake his entire future on a single turn of the wheel in order to get it, he is sure to win”. Win he did but not immediately, he had to wait for the right moment to appear, in Barnes case the Edison Dictating Machine (now the Ediphone).

Hill’s second example highlights the requirement of not accepting failure as a possibility and a reason to quit. When Darby and his uncle lost the seam of gold they quit but had they sought specialised knowledge then they would have succeeded as did the Junk Man who sought the specialised knowledge of a mining engineer who pinpointed the seam would be found three feet from where the Darby’s stopped drilling. In my life I have seen many projects fail because people will not seek specialised knowledge or training.

To many of us are only too pleased to quit when we first fail, we are not prepared to take a step forward into the unknown, as the little black girl did, to challenge what could caused the failure. In the little black girls case the Uncles reluctance to part with the fifty cents and his bad temper. Her persistence and determination won the day. Darby also learnt from this encounter that a ”no” is not necessarily the time to quit, it could mean that we have not meet the other person’s needs and a further enquiry could lead to a “yes”.

We have a dream and because someone says it is impossible or it cannot be achieved with present knowledge we quit. I can think of many examples in my own experience where I would have quit or other people would have abandoned a dream because someone said “impossible”. If we change the word just slightly we can change the meaning “I’m Possible. Anything man can conceive he can achieve, as proven with Ford’s demands for a single casting for an eight cylinder engine.

The Linda and Michael Dlouhy for this forum to study this epic work, which I originally read as a novel, not knowing it was a book that would subsequently change my life and fortune. It has taught me many lessons but I think the greatest is never to not write a dream down immediately, it can be lost in as little as 7 seconds.

At the first opportunity mix it with emotion to transform it into a passionate desire and never give up on that desire.

Mervyn Drury

Casey, Australian Capital Territory, Australia.