How To Be in Control of Your Life Using Accurate Thinking
by John Westley Clayton
You may be asking yourself, “What exactly is Accurate Thinking?” When I was studying Napoleon Hill’s Science of Success and got to the 10th principle, that’s exactly what I was thinking. Sounds easy, but what is it? What does it have to do with me-or you? How does this apply to our lives? What does it mean? Well, here’s how Napoleon Hill described Accurate Thinking; “Accurate thought involves two fundamentals. First, you must separate facts from mere information. Second, you must separate facts into two classes-the important and the unimportant. Only by doing so can you think clearly and accurately. Accurate thinkers permit no one to do their thinking for them. Gather information and listen to the opinions of others, but reserve for yourself the privilege of making decisions. Truth will be truth, regardless of a closed mind, ignorance, or the refusal to believe.” Wow, that sounds easy. Fact vs Fiction; Important vs Unimportant.
Have you ever had someone tell you something that was totally their opinion with no facts to back it up and then it turns out that the facts were contrary to what they said? Here’s an example: February 5, 2017. Some of you know exactly what that is, ESPECIALLY if you live in Atlanta. Super Bowl LI. So, I was doing some work on my computer and my buddy text me that the Atlanta Falcons just beat the New England Patriots, 28-3, in the super bowl. What he didn’t tell me is he stopped watching the game at 2:08 left in the 3rd quarter and [X] the Falcon’s blew a 25 point lead to lose 34-28, the largest lead to ever be lost in a super bowl, to the New England Patriots. You see, he was just angry because us folks down here in “The Big Easy” love us some Saints and hate us some Falcons. I get it. So here’s how this relates; FACT: the Patriots overcome the 25-point deficit and won the game 34-28, FICTION: the Falcons did not win the game 28-3. IMPORTANT: HE thought it was very important, the reason he was so upset and spoke without having the facts. UNIMPORTANT: Me on the other hand, wasn’t so upset. Because I’ve pretty much learned how to control my emotions it didn’t matter much to me. Small example, but you get it.
I agree with Dr Hill’s opinion on how important the principle of Accurate Thinking is. He says “It is a principle which is on the “must list” of all who would attain the master-key to riches and gain entrance to the great state of Happy Valley. It is one of the most important subjects known to mankind; yet, paradoxically, it is one of the least understood.” I believe that one must live the life that they choose to live and not one that is chosen by others. It all starts with having control over your own mind. With out accurate thinking you allow others opinions to affect your thinking and could change the trajectory of your life, and not usually the way you want it to.
So how can using or not using accurate thinking affect your every day life? I’ll tell you a story of how not applying accurate thinking affected my life….. I grew up in an abusive home as a little boy. My dad never had anything good to say, nor was he very encouraging. He always spoke negatively. He always told me how bad I was, that I would never turn out to be anything. I allowed his thinking to influence my thinking (He was doing my thinking for me, even though he may not have been with me). When challenging situations arose, I allowed doubt to sink in; therefore I gave up. Deep inside of me, I always believed I could do anything. So when this doubtful thinking set in it became a good reason to give up. I had a “reason”. Now though, I think that’s just BS. That’s no “reason”, that’s an “excuse”. Big difference.
Here’s how it affected me: Later in life I choose to pursue a career in real estate. If you know anything about the real estate business, you know that it takes quite a while to really get started and making money. Well, just as soon as I got my license, I learned that lesson the hard way. Because I grew up poor and didn’t learn about money yet, I had no money and things were hard right away. I could hear his voice in the back of my head, “You can’t make it. You can’t do it. You’re not good enough. Give up and get a real job”. Guess what I did? Yep, I quit and got a “real job”. Listening to his opinions, not backed by facts has changed the trajectory of my life forever. I know, we shouldn’t have the “should a, could a, would a” attitude; but what would my life have become if I would have not listen to his opinions in my head? I allowed HIM to think and make MY decision for ME about MY life. Not good.
So how can you use accurate thinking to be in control of your life? Here are some of Dr Hill’s points to ponder about the principle of Accurate Thinking:
- Thoughts have power, are under your control, and can be used wisely or unwisely.
- Accurate thinking is a moral duty.
- Nothing great can happen without accurate thinking.
- Accurate thinkers accept no political, religious, or other type of thought, regardless of it’s source, until it is carefully analyzed. (Do your homework).
- Accurate thinkers are the masters of their own emotions. (This is very important. You never want to make decisions based off of emotions).
- Accurate thinking calls for the highest order of self-discipline.
- Accurate thinking involves two fundamentals. First, you must separate facts from information. Second, you must separate facts into two classes, the important and the unimportant.
- It takes concentration to control your attention and focus it on a problem until you have solved it.
- Turn on the full power of your mind, and control your life.
- Your power of thought is the only thing which you have complete control. To use this power effectively, you must think accurately.
- Accurate thinkers allow no one to do their thinking for them.
- Accurate thinkers know that emotions are not always reliable.
Using these 12 points will allow you to be an accurate thinker and be in full control of your life.