What if you knew the secret to wealth? Would you use it?
We all dream of money. We dream of fame, fortune, and success. We dream of being happy and peaceful. We want a life full of contentment.
We want to be loved. We want a life of happiness.
And we especially avoid pain – we don’t want to be yelled at, or to struggle, or suffer.
But what if these things are wrong. What if the world is lying to you? What if the dreams will lead to misery?
Then what are you supposed to do?
Secret to Wealth – Think Rich
I read a book that really messed with my mind: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. (I’m not linking to it. I don’t recommend it.)
The concept of the book is interesting. 80 years ago (literally) Napoleon Hill was commissioned by Andrew Carnegie – one of history’s wealthiest men – to find the secret of being rich.
Hill successfully interviewed 500 of the richest men in America to find their secret.
The one common denominator – and the actual “secret” Hill uncovered – was these men believed in themselves. They wholeheartedly believed one day they would be rich.
That’s not really much of a secret, but Hill explains it has nothing to do with education or up-bring – just the opposite – it’s whatever confidence you’ve built for yourself and your willingness to succeed at all cost.
Secret to Wealth – Business
Think and Grow Rich should be required reading for any businessman. There are plenty of solid anecdotes and interesting tales about great business triumphs of the 20th century. It’s very interesting.
The book has been updated for today’s generation. New editors have added contemporary stories we’re all familiar with, like the rise of Microsoft and McDonald’s. It’s all compelling and inspiring.
However, Think and Grow Rich takes a whack-a-doo turn half way through. Hill begins to explain the actual method for improving your self-talk.
Hill explains you need to get up every morning and pray to the Money-god. “Money-god” is my terminology and not found in the book, but Hill eloquently shows how you need to recite mantras and prayers of “I will be rich, I will be rich.”
“Dear Money-god – I believe I will be rich one day. Please give me success and wealth. Amen.”
Yep. That sounds like praying to the Money-god to me.
The problem is, this non-sense actually works.
If you’re constantly praying about money, you’re going to get it. If your daily thoughts are consumed with being successful, you’re going to get it.
But you better be careful what you ask for.
Secret to Wealth – Getting It
One of the most difficult times in my life was when I got what I wanted.
I had always wanted to be a writer. That’s all I ever dreamed about – to write, and be rich.
I finally found a job that I liked. While not a writing job, per se, it was slow and there was plenty of time to write for myself and to read. It was an awesome job.
But the problem was, it was the nightshift, and it was ruining my life.
At the time I didn’t know how bad it was. I actually thought everything was great.
For once I looked forward to going to work – something I had always wanted. There was no more dread. It was exciting to be able to write and accomplish my goals. I even went to work on my days off, to use an empty conference room, and write some more.
(Who wants to work on their day off? I mean really…)
And not to mention we were making lots of money. It was the most money we ever had. So life should have been great. I finally figured me and my wife had succeeded, able to chase our dreams and reach our goals.
Secret to Wealth – Miserable
But what’s the saying, “I couldn’t see the forest for the trees?”
All of a sudden, I was never seeing my wife – our schedules were totally opposite. And forget about attending church – both of us were working on Sunday morning.
Suddenly, everything was a mess and our lives felt like a living hell.
But why? I didn’t know.
I blamed a lot of things. I blamed my tiredness. I blamed other people. I blamed her.
It was everyone else’s fault except my own.
Because clearly – I was the only one actually “living my dream.” Everyone else could suck it.
Realizing how bad things had gotten and how “checked out of life” I had become, I quit that job.
I felt bad. Like I was giving up on my dream, and back to failing all over again.
But honestly, there were a lot of other things that mattered more to me than that job – like my wife and my church. My relationship with Christ.
Secret to Wealth – Everything
A grey-haired old man once told me, “You can have anything you want in life. But you can’t have everything.”
It’s true. It’s like a confusing Yoda quote, but it’s very true.
The things we chase will damage us – these goals and dreams – things that stress us out and compel us to action.
But if it’s not Christ we’re pursuing, we’ll end up in a world of hurt.
Paul says in Philippians 4:12, “I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.”
Paul knows. He’s been there. He’s lived in the best of times and the worst. He’s been high and low.
And ultimately, he knows this world has nothing to offer us – NOTHING.
The only thing we should be chasing, the only thing we should have our minds focused on, is that of Christ.
Because everything else is a lie.
You can’t pray to both God and the Money-god.
You have to decide. And there’s only one right choice.