Self Improvement – Quick and Easy
By Ross Craft
For most people self improvement just doesn’t work. They buy self
improvement books, records and video courses that promise to help
overcome the barriers that keeps the person from success, but while the
course material might sound great, the personal flaw is elusive. The reason
self improvement doesn’t work for them is they are starting from the wrong
premise. Trying to find the personal flaw or personality defect that is
keeping you from achievement is actually a negative approach to achieving
self improvement and it just does not work.
Hi I am Ross Craft and I had a miracle in my life of recovering from two
medical death sentences and in the process learned what I am about to tell
you the hard way. I did not recover by trying to get rid of the blindness,
heart disease and autoimmune disease. I only recovered when I took the
positive approach and forgot about disease and started concentrating on
health. I started concentrating on getting healthy. I ate better food, I found
supplements, and I concentrated my mind on positive ideas for health. That
concentration included meditation and visualization. In my visualizations, I
saw myself telling my family that I was well and heard what they had to say.
I saw myself telling my doctor that I was well and his agreement. That
subtle difference changed my mental attitude and my mind body
communication. I had several medical specialists during my five year ordeal
and I later talked to three of them about my recovery. They all agreed that
changing my mental attitude saved my life. (My story is related in the book
“Learning to Dance in the Rain” available on Amazon).
Since recovering, I have been researching and discovering what others have
written about mental attitude and its effects on health, wealth, happiness
and abundance in general. This article relates the self improvements that
come automatically when you make up your mind to a definite major
purpose to pursue in your life.
One on the most fundamental characteristics of all successful individuals is
the fact that they've decided on what Napoleon Hill, author of Think and
Grow Rich, referred to as a definite major purpose. In addition to Hill’s
observation, a now famous twenty-seven year study was conducted on
graduates of a prestigious Ivy League school (Princeton). This study
followed the lives and progress of all the graduates for twenty seven years.
At the end of the study, the results of were published and it was found that
the three percent of students who had written goals or as I would put it, a
chief major purpose, had more wealth and happiness than all the ninety
seven percent put together. They had decided early in life that their
endeavors in life would be about a major purpose. This was true even
though everyone in the class or school for that matter was the cream of the
crop as far as intelligence was concerned.
My definite major goal now, is to pass on what I learned and help as many
people as I possibly can learn how to consciously create their own reality,
via the books I write. All the outstanding people in history are identified with
their major chief purpose. Bill Gates’, (founder of Microsoft) , definite
objective was to make it possible for everyone to have a powerful laptop or
desktop computer sitting on their desk. Andrew Carnegie's definite major
objective, way back in the late 1800s, was to find a method to mass produce
steel, making steel low-cost to the point that numerous merchandise we now
take for granted might be made utilizing steel.
Jacques Cousteau's definite objective was to educate people concerning the
wonders of the sea. Napoleon Hill's definite objective was to spread his
Philosophy of Personal Achievement around the globe. Muhammad Ali's
definite main purpose was to be the best heavyweight boxer ever known.
Thomas Edison's definite main objective was to see the whole world powered
by electrical energy.
Hill noticed that all successful people the top 2% had a definite objective for
their life, and that the other 98% of people were primarily like rudderless
ships, not truly being aware of exactly where they wanted to go, not even
coming close to obtaining a definite main purpose. This is a tragedy, simply
because as soon as you identify your definite main purpose, a lot of
wonderful self growth happens instantly and automatically, which I'll outline
in a moment. But first, I want to let you know a story about Napoleon Hill.
You may be asking yourself why you should spend time focusing on or
learning about Napoleon Hill, and why he knew so much about achievement,
so I need to let you know more about his story.
Hill was born in 1886; He lost his mother at a really early age, which led to
his being a real problem child. He had a fascinating childhood. His father was
an itinerant preacher who usually left him alone without adult supervision,
during the time he traveled to a variety of congregations. Hill didn't even
own a pair of shoes till he was twelve years old however he did own a
revolver that he carried with him. He was also known as a wild child, a
person to steer clear of especially if didn’t want any trouble.
Fortunately, his father remarried when Hill was in his early teenage years
and when his father introduced his son to his new bride; he did so by saying,
"This is my son, Napoleon, the meanest boy in the county," and then warned
her that he would probably just as soon smack her as look at her. His new
stepmother took Napoleon's chin in her hand, looked him straight in the eye,
and said with a smile, "There's absolutely nothing wrong with this boy. He's
just incredibly smart and still hasn’t found an idea (definite major purpose)
to which to apply his intelligence."
Hill wrote that this was the very first time anybody had ever described his
abilities or prospective in a good way, and it changed his life. His step-
mother played a big role in his life for a lot of years, which includes giving
him a typewriter and encouraging him to write, which eventually led to him
becoming the author of the best-selling book, after the Bible, in history.
In 1908, Hill was a writer for a magazine referred to as The Golden Rule
Magazine. Hill was sent to interview Andrew Carnegie, who at that time was
thought to be the richest man in the world, at Carnegie's estate in upstate
New York. Hill believed he’d be there for probably an afternoon, but
Carnegie took a liking to him and kept him there for three entire days.
Carnegie was nearing the end of his career, and at that point was mainly
concerned with the challenge of giving away most of his fortune. You may
not realize that Carnegie funded most of the public library system of the
United States, and gave away many millions of dollars just before he died.
His estate still continues to donate many millions even to this day.
Throughout the three days Hill was with Carnegie, Carnegie described in
great detail his dream of defining or explaining his philosophy of individual
achievement and making it available to the general public, so that anyone,
no matter what their circumstances, could attain anything at all they wanted
in life. After describing this philosophy for three days, he told Hill that now
that he had described his philosophy in great detail, he had a question for
Hill. According to Hill, this is, word for word, what Carnegie said to him:
"You now have my idea of a new philosophy, and I wish to ask you a
question in connection with it, which I want you to answer with a simple yes
or no. The question is this: If I give you the opportunity to organize the
world’s first philosophy of individual achievement, and introduce you to men
who can and will collaborate with you in the work of organization, do you
want the opportunity, and will you follow through with it to completion if it is
given to you?" He told Hill that it would likely take twenty years to complete
Imagine that you are twenty-one years old, sitting in front from the richest
man on this planet, and he asks you such a question. What would you do?
What Hill didn't know was that Carnegie had already asked exactly the same
question to more than 250 other writers, several whom were considerably
older and more accomplished than he was, and had been unsatisfied with
their answer. He also didn't understand that Carnegie was timing him using
a stop watch he was holding under his desk to determine if, immediately
after hearing each of the facts of his philosophy for three full days, Hill could
make a definite decision about it within one minute. One of Carnegie's
beliefs was that an individual who couldn't make a prompt choice when he or
she had all the facts couldn’t be trusted to follow through using their
decision. Hill, the story goes, took specifically twenty-nine seconds to say
that, yes, he would grab the opportunity, and would finish it.
Within the next two decades, Hill interviewed virtually every successful
person within the United States of America, several of them with Carnegie's
introduction. A few of those he interviewed aren't as well-known these days
as they had been 80-100 years ago, but you'll recognize several names.
They consist of Thomas Edison, Clarence Darrow, the great attorney, William
Wrigley, Jr., Walter Chrysler, Henry Ford, James J. Hill, William Jennings
Bryan, John D. Rockefeller, F.W. Woolworth, Luther Burbank, the great
botanist, and Alexander Graham Bell. Hill also interviewed, and was an
advisor to, Presidents Woodrow Wilson, William Howard Taft, and Franklin
Roosevelt. Hill wrote a number of Roosevelt's famous Fireside Chats, and it
was Hill, who coined Roosevelt's famous phrase, "We have nothing at all to
fear but fear itself."
Hill wrote Think and Grow Rich, he said, during the Great Depression, while
he was an advisor to FDR, "to keep himself positive," he stated, although a
lot of people had been afraid.
Something like thirty or forty million copies of Think and Grow Rich have
been sold, making it the second very best-selling book of all time,
immediately after the Bible, and not a single word of marketing has ever
been used to sell the book. I highly advise you get a copy of Think and Grow
Rich, and any other book by Napoleon Hill, and read them as many times as
you can, if you’re at all considering individual achievement. Other books of
his that are highly recommended reading are The Master Key to Riches,
Grow Rich with Peace of Mind, and Success Through a Positive Mental
Attitude, which he wrote with W. Clement Stone, who, by the way, was one
of Jack Canfield's (Chicken Soup for the Soul) mentors. I've read Think and
Grow Rich more than 10 times, and many other successful folks I know have
read it several times as well.
At any rate, at the end of twenty years, Hill published a set of books referred
to as The Law of Success, which you are able to still get, based on the large
number of interviews along with the relationships he created using the most
successful people of his day. He stated that he actually utilized 621 of the
interviews in making his philosophy of success. The Law of Success outlined
sixteen principles of success he had learned from these successful people,
plus a couple of years later he added a seventeenth principle.
I tell this story at great length simply because I really want you to
understand that Hill's ideas aren't something he just made up. They came
from the actual expertise from the highest achieving, make-it-happen people
on this planet. Since Hill first published these ideas, millions of people have
employed them to become successful, and it's said that Napoleon Hill and his
philosophy have developed many more millionaires than anyone else in
So, with that background, let's examine the first of Hill's principles, that of
Definiteness of Purpose. What Hill was actually noticing in each of the
successful individuals he studied was that every single one of them had
decided on a thing, some purpose, upon which to focus their mind. Your first
step to self improvement is to start looking for a definite purpose to start
focusing your mind on. Hill stated that adopting a definite major purpose
was the beginning point of all achievement. (Although at the time I didn’t
realize it, my decision to get well was my chief major purpose in life. Before
that decision, I was visiting a never ending list of medical specialists and just
trying not to be sick.)
When you decide on your major life’s purpose, it doesn't mean you need to
want to develop a transcontinental railroad or invent the personal computer
or have some large purpose. Your definite major purpose should be what
you want to do, big or little. It's your life and you should do what you
desire. I would like to add, that what you happen to be capable of
undertaking is many times greater than you probably think it truly is. And,
when all is said and done it actually isn't any tougher to accomplish
something big than to do something small.
It's all a matter of what you want to do with your time. To decide on doing
something really big, you may pay a bigger price tag that would mean you
couldn't do something else with the time and resources you'd use in
achieving your goal. Individuals who do something large do so due to the
fact they feel a good deal of passion about doing it, so it doesn't feel like a
sacrifice to them. I work a lot of hours, but I adore what I do, and would
rather do what I do than something else. I understand that Bob Proctor (star
of the movie The Secret), for instance, feels the exact way, even though he's
continuously busy operating on his definite major purpose.
Hill noticed that there are a number of very effective advantages which you
instantly gain whenever you adopt a definite purpose in life that is to say,
when you focus your thoughts on something you genuinely want and take
action to acquire it.
1. The very first of these benefits is that you quickly begin to create several
positive and really valuable qualities, such as self reliance, individual
initiative, imagination, enthusiasm, self-discipline, and concentration of
In the event you’ve ever wondered why particular individuals appear to have
these qualities, and others don't, you now know. Those that have these
qualities have adopted a definite goal. They've decided to focus their
thoughts on the attainment of a definite purpose, and as quickly as they do,
all kinds of inner resources immediately become available. Know this,
whenever you focus your mind on something it is easier to concentrate your
action of carrying it out which makes what you concentrate on take place in
This is partly how that occurs: you mind becomes clearer, you feel self
sufficient, your imagination comes alive, and also you get enthusiasm and
self discipline and are able to see yourself with your goal accomplished. You
are able to visualize the end result because you now know what the goal is.
2. The second benefit of adopting a definite objective and focusing your
mind on it really is that it encourages you to specialize and it attracts to you
the specialized information you need to attain your purpose. When you
concentrate on something you want, your thoughts sends out a type of radar
that attracts you to the information you'll need that will help you get what
Let's say that your goal is to be a wonderful mother or father. As soon as
you adopt that purpose, your mind begins to demonstrate self reliance. You
start taking a personal initiative to be a far better mother/father, in other
words, you develop motivation. Your imagination comes alive, and appears
to effortlessly produce options to difficulties. You create enthusiasm for what
you’re doing, and you enjoy it more. You develop self discipline, and
performing whatever must be done no longer appears like work. You also
create concentration of effort, and don't get distracted by other uses of the
time and resources. And, you start to notice all of the resources of
information about the best way you can be a better father.
If, on the other hand, your purpose could be to develop a thriving company,
exactly the same qualities will come to you as soon as you adopt the
creation of the company as your purpose, however they will provide
information and ideas that will help you develop the organization as opposed
to turn into a much better parent. And, naturally, it is possible to apply these
qualities to different smaller targets. Please don’t assume that you need to
be so focused that you can't do other things in your life.
3. The third benefit of adopting a definite goal is the fact that it induces you
to budget your time and money and plan your day-to-day affairs in such a
way that results in the attainment of your goal. You could even stop wasting
your time watching The Survivor Series and American Idol and actually do
what will genuinely make you into a millionaire or anything else you so
choose to be.
4. The fourth advantage is that focusing your thoughts on a definite purpose
makes your mind much more alert to opportunities associated to your goal
and gives you the courage to act on those opportunities once they appear.
When I decided to go into the house rehabbing business, I remember how I
felt about buying my first house. Since I had a definite purpose and my
thoughts were focused on attaining it, I had the courage to go ahead and
take action even though I have to admit I was afraid.
5. The fifth advantage of obtaining a definite objective and focusing your
mind on it is that it develops the capacity to reach decisions swiftly and
firmly. Effective individuals make choices as quickly as sufficient facts are
offered and adjust them slowly, if ever. The reason they're able to make
such decisions is their thoughts are centered on what they want.
As you read this, I hope you're noticing that several of the qualities you've
probably wanted to possess come, in accordance with Hill's analysis, just by
adopting a definite purpose and focusing your mind on the attainment of
6. The sixth benefit of adopting a definite goal is that doing this so inspires
the cooperation of other individuals and attracts their favorable interest. This
can be one of the keys to getting more resources and more pull that will help
you. This can be how I got my buddy and other investors to invest with me
in my house rehabbing company as I needed them along the way. I had no
more pull than you do with such men and women when I started, but my
definiteness of purpose somehow attracted these as well as other men and
women to assist me, again and again, as I built my organization. The
identical thing will occur to you as you adopt a definite goal. You'll attract
the favorable focus and cooperation of other individuals.
7. The seventh benefit definiteness of purpose, according to Hill also brings
to you the Twelve Great Riches of Life, which are a good mental attitude,
sound physical health, harmony in human relationships, freedom from
worry, the hope of achievement, the capacity for faith, a willingness to share
ones blessings, a labor of love, an open mind on all subjects, self-discipline,
the capacity to understand folks, and financial freedom.
8. The eighth advantage, according to Hill, is that definiteness of purpose
prepares our mind for faith, which makes our thoughts positive, and frees
our minds from fear, doubt, discouragement, indecision, and procrastination.
it is possible to develop the faith you need, and once you feel this way,
absolutely nothing can stop you.
9. Lastly, the ninth benefit is that definiteness of purpose provides you with
an effective awareness and safeguards you from the influences of failure
awareness. Your mind become sold on succeeding and refuses to accept the
possibility of failure.
I don't know about you, but I believe this is quite an impressive list of
advantages, just for adopting a definite purpose and focusing your mind on
attaining it. It's more or less a list of most, if not all, the things an individual
could want in life. So, now it is time for you to adopt a definite purpose, and
begin to work on attaining it so you'll be able to see for yourself exactly how
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