Eliezer Alperstein, CPA
Dr. Hill’s famous quote, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve” is often misunderstood. On the surface, what he wrote is nothing extraordinary and is simple common sense. If you can conceive of an idea, and believe that you can make it happen, then you will be able to take the steps necessary to carry out your plan to actualize the goal/idea you have.
In Hill’s philosophy of success, ideas were more than ideas, they were actually blueprints Infinite Intelligence would transform into concrete form. In other words, ideas could actually create their physical equivalent in the dimensions of time and space. This idea is the touchstone of Hill’s entire philosophy.
Followed to its logical conclusion, if one sits long enough and thinks about something hard enough, then whatever is being thought about should “appear” in the physical world! Of course, that is not the case, which is why Dr. Hill wrote down his 17 principles of success. It is not enough to conceive of an idea, and believe in it. One has to take action in order to “bring down” the idea from its amorphous, idealized form and turn it into physical reality. This is why Dr. Hill wrote that the most important step in being successful was having a definite major purpose which had to be pursued with a burning desire. Human actions take the idea and bring it into the world of reality.
The expression, “God helps those who help themselves,” has the same idea in mind. Of course God can do whatever he desires. But without human action, nothing will be accomplished, unless a miracle occurs which is by definition an action devoid of human participation. As much as we all hope for miracles, we certainly can’t rely upon them.
The famous minister, Norman Vincent Peale, who wrote The Power of Positive Thinking as well as Positive Imaging, was greatly influenced by Hill. Norman Vincent Peale was a personal friend of W. Clement Stone who became Hill’s partner in their joint effort to bring Hill’s philosophy of success to the American people.
Peale’s entire message was that imaging a desired outcome and thinking positively about what one wanted to accomplish would greatly enhance the probability that it would actually occur. Peale, being a minister, took those ideas and emphasized how Scripture contained the same message. Since Dr. Hill wanted to keep his philosophy nondenominational, he wrote about Infinite Intelligence, but it is the same idea.
There is no guarantee that an idea which one conceives and believes will actually be achieved, but the chances of success when one images success and takes action to actualize success are greatly enhanced. Thoughts are things and often find their way into the real world. The trick is to make sure you have a sound idea and then do whatever you can to actualize it according to the Golden Rule of inflicting no harm on others while pursuing your dream.