The word commandment means something commanded, according to Webster’s New Encyclopedic Dictionary. It’s a word most people are familiar with due to the popular Ten Commandments in the Holy Book. Coming from God, it stated what is expected of His people. Wealth creation is not a miracle. There are basic rules. Violate any of them and that dream of becoming financially independent will forever remain a dream.
Children come into this world bubbling with ideas, curiosity, creativity and the belief that everything is possible. Yet within a few years, environment and circumstance would have dealt a big blow on them. The parents and teachers will begin to tell them what is possible and what is not possible, killing the zeal in these young minds. I remember the story of a salesman who was releasing white balloons to attract a crowd to the business he was opening. Once in a while the man will release different colours of balloon and they will soar into the air. After sometime, a little black boy who had been watching, came up to him and asked, “Sir, I’ve watched you release different kinds of balloon into the air, tell me if you turn coloured balloons loose, will they go up, too?” The salesman smiled and answered, “Son, it’s not the colour on the outside that makes the balloon rise into the air, it’s what’s on the inside that sends it up.” You see, the power is not on the outside, but within. And that brings us to the first commandment of wealth: your thoughts. You must first see the wealth inside before it becomes a reality. You must control your thoughts. You must think positively.
Contrary to what many people think, most negativity is learned. Some view positive thinking as a genetic feature, like being born (with an eye or 6ft tall), and as a result, there’s nothing that can be done about it. The fact is that most of us are born positive thinkers. Although volumes of research support this premise, simple observation usually clears away all doubt.
In his book, Power of the Plus Factor, Norman Vincent Peale told the following story:
Once walking through the twisted little streets of Kowloon in Hong Kong, I came upon a tattoo studio. In the window were displayed samples of the tattoos available. On the chests or arms you could have tattooed an anchor, a flag, mermaid, or whatever. But what struck me with force were three words that could be tattooed on one’s flesh, Born to Lose.
“I entered the shop in astonishment and, pointing to those words, asked the Chinese tattoo artist, ‘Does anyone really have that terrible phrase, Born to Lose, tattooed on his body?’
“He replied, ‘Yes, sometimes.’
“But,’ I said, ‘I just can’t believe that anyone in his right mind would do that.’
“The Chinese man simply tapped his forehead and in broken English, said, ‘Before tattoo on body, tattoo on mind.’ Did you get that?
Unfortunately for many of us, this natural positive state is not maintained. Due largely to strong influences on us early in life, we move away from our natural positive state and slowly drift into a more unnatural, negative one.
In his book, The Winning Attitude, John C. Maxwell related the following story: A man who lived by the side of the road and sold hot dogs was hard of hearing, so he had no radio. He had trouble with his eyes, so he read no newspapers. But he sold good hot dogs. He put up signs on the highway advertising them. He stood on the side of the road and cried, “Buy a hot dog, mister?” And people bought his hot dogs. He increased his meat and bun orders. He bought a bigger stove to take care of his trade.
He finally got his son to come home from college to help out. But then something happened. “Father, haven’t you been listening to the radio?” his son said. “Haven’t you been reading the newspapers? There’s a big recession on. The European situation is terrible. The domestic situation is worse.” Whereupon the father thought, “Well, my son’s been to college, he reads the papers and he listens to the radio, and he ought to know.” So, the father cut down his meat and bun orders, took down his signs and no longer bothered to stand out on the highway to sell his hot dogs. His sales fell overnight. “You’re right, son,” the father said to the boy. We certainly are in the middle of a big recession.” We can maintain our positive posture if we are careful of who we associate with. The story is told of a man who found an eagle’s egg and put it into the nest of a barnyard chicken. The eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them. All his life, the eagle did what the chickens did. It scratched the dirt for seeds and insects to eat. It clucked and cackled. And it flew no more than a few feet off the ground, in a chicken-like thrashing of wings and flurry of feathers. One day, the eagle saw a magnificent bird far above him in the cloudless sky. He watched as the bird soared gracefully on the powerful wind currents, gliding through the air with scarcely a beat of its powerful wings.
“What a beautiful bird,” the young eagle said. “What is it called?” The chicken next to him said, “Why, that’s an eagle-the king of all birds. But don’t give him any mind. You could never be like him.” So, the young eagle returned to pecking the dirt for seeds, and it died thinking it was a barnyard chicken.
Negativity is essentially a learned behaviour. Children normally hear the word “no” ten times more than the word “yes.” Most of the time, the “nos” are designed to keep them from harm. Too often, though, the “nos” are delivered because of convenience. It is easier to discourage children from trying new things because encouragement often requires an investment of time on our own part. And I think it’s time worth investing on, or what do you think? Let’s explore the thinking of some wise men as regards our first commandment. In the words of Jack Collins, “Life is a self-fulfilling prophecy and as you think so shall it be. You create the life you have by the power of your thinking. You will be as successful as you can imagine and believe. You will be as happy as you think you should be and you will be as rich as you are willing to settle for. This is the ultimate truth of all life.” According to the great inventor, Thomas Edison, “The hardest job in the world is thinking and there is no excuse to which a man will not go to avoid the real labour of thinking.”
Do you want to make more money and create abundant wealth? Then, listen to Robert T. Kiyosaki: “My brain gets stronger every day because I exercise it. The stronger it gets, the more money I can make.” James Allen added, “Thought in the mind hath made us. What we are by thought was wrought and built. If a man’s mind hath evil thoughts, pain comes on him as comes the wheel the ox behind… If one endures in purity of thought, joy follows him as his own shadows – sure.” How about the leadership expert, John C. Maxwell? Hear him: “Your thinking time is like the runway of an airport. Just as larger planes need a longer runway to fly, big ideas need a long runway of thinking to get launched. As I have tried to fly my thoughts, I have found that my thoughts have taken me to new heights.”
Dear reader, I can go on and on to give you one thousand and one thoughts of the wise men, but it won’t make any difference if you do not put them into practice. Anyone can create the kind of wealth he/she desires, but you alone must do the first work, which is to guide your thinking. Nobody on earth can think for you. It’s something you must do for yourself. Follow this first commandment, practice it just like you practice every other art and the result will keep you wondering why you’ve not done it all this while.
You will succeed.
NB: First published September 2014