Positive Mental Attitude
by Son Trinh
“Whichever wolf you feed will be the one who wins.”
One evening, when a Grandfather and grandson sat at the fire together and talked about what happened during the day the Grandson asked, “Grandpa, what should I do when I grow up to be as successful as you?” The grandfather smiled and slowly said, “Let me tell you, in each of our minds there is always a struggle. It is terrible struggle between two wolves. The black wolf is a very wicked one. He is always angry, jealous, sad, regretful, greedy, selfish, guilty, inferior, deceitful, likes to deceive himself, is arrogant and possesses too high an ego. While the other wolf, the white one, is a good wolf, he is always happy, calm, loving, hopeful, kind, generous, sympathetic, sincere, compassionate and trustworthy. That fierce struggle, that is always taking place inside me and you, and in everyone.” The grandson thought for a moment and then asked him, “Then which wolf will win, grandpa?” He simply replied, “Whichever wolf you raise, feed and care of, he will be the one who wins.”
The white wolf is a Positive Mental Attitude and the black wolf is a negative mental attitude. The good news for us is that Napoleon Hill asserts that “Every human being has the ability to completely control his own mind.” He instructs us that the only way to build and maintain that positive mental attitude is to “Keep your mind on the things you want and off the things you don’t want.”
I enjoyed the way Napoleon Hill taught me through the visualization technique. When talking about Positive and negative mental attitudes, he used the illustration of two sealed envelopes. One is labeled “Rewards” and the other is labeled “Penalties.”
When it comes to “Rewards,” he asserts that every time we take possession of our mind and direct it toward positive and desirable objectives, the ten rewards that automatically run into our lives include: The privilege of placing yourself on the success beam which attracts only the circumstances which make for success, sound health, both physically and mentally, financial independence, a labor of love in which to express ourselves, peace of mind, applied faith which makes fears impossible, enduring friendships, longevity and a well-balanced life, immunity against all forms of self-limitation and the wisdom to understand yourself and others.
And on the contrary, when we refuse to take control of our mind, we live freely, we spite fate, we make no effort to rise early, we accept failure and give up. The second envelope entitled “Penalties” shows up in our lives with the ten consequences Napoleon Hill mentions: poverty and misery all your life, mental and physical ailments of many kinds, self-limitations which bind us to mediocrity all the days of our lives, fear in all its destructive forms, dislike of the occupation by which we earn livings, many enemies but few friends, every brand of worry known to mankind, a victim of every negative influence we encounter, subjection to the influence and control of other people at their will and a wasted life which gives nothing to the betterment of mankind.
I remember the first time when my family and I arrived in Canada. We entered a new living environment, new weather & culture, new language, new people, the way of doing business was also somewhat new and that made me stagger, even though I had carefully prepared psychologically. But in the face of reality, I could not cope. I gradually lost control of my mind, I began to open the door to worries and fears. I began to see the negative side of Canadian society. I began to scorn the culture and their way of working. I began to be disappointed when Canadian businesses did not appreciate my degree as well as my valuable experience. I began to condemn other people. Increasingly I saw the bad, and negative side every moment of the day. And the worse thing was that I began to forget my Definite Major Purpose and I forgot to implement the plan that I had set before coming to Canada.
As a result, I became angry, irritable, and I liked to criticize and argue about every topic. Gradually I lost confidence in myself and I avoided meeting other people. I restricted myself from going out. And I became lazy in my thinking. I didn’t exercise. I drank more coffee and alcohol. My wife and children said “It was a terrible time because we knew you were depressed and we suffered.” And of course, they were “infected” by me. It all happened exactly as Napoleon Hill described in the envelope called “Penalties.”
Fortunately, this time did not last too long. Things changed one day when I attended Sunday Mass. I heard the reading of that day as if the Lord was speaking to me directly. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7, 7-9). Right after that Mass, I decided to reflect on what had been happening with myself. I went alone to a park near the house and sat down near a big maple tree and began pondering. I wondered about what I should ask for. I certainly did not want to ask for more of the same thing that I had been experiencing. I wondered about what I was really seeking. I definitely did not want to be more critical, condemning, or full of complaining. I wondered which door I should knock-on. Certainly not on the door of worry, fear, doubt, and indecisiveness.
As I thought about it, I saw a tremendous change going on in my soul. I began to recall the purpose of life that I once wrote down. I quickly re-wrote my Definite Major Purpose. I silently prayed to God, “Lord, this is what I ask for, this is what I seek, and this is the door I will knock on.” I began reviewing the action plan I had previously set up, adjusting a little to suit the reality, filling in the names of people or organizations that could help me open up my understanding or connect with others and connect with organizations. I lay on the green grass, closed my eyes, and began to visualize the scene where I fulfilled my Definite Major Purpose. I saw the bright smiles and the happiness of many people, including my parents, my wife, and my beloved children. I also saw the happiness of so many brothers, friends, and neighbors.
Suddenly, I woke up and realized that I had just had a peaceful nap, which was refreshing. I stood up and quickly returned home with a big smile and an optimistic and confident soul. I took hopeful footsteps because I was a new person, a man of freedom. I took responsibility for my life and I practiced control over the thoughts in my mind, keeping what is positive with hope, trust, love, attracting success, peace, and happiness to myself, my family, and my community.
If you ask me what lesson I learned from this experience it is the same as what Napoleon Hill instructs us to do:
1. Review and re-establish your Definite Major Purpose of life. One of the best ways is to visualize your own funeral and observe gestures and listen to sincere words from loved ones and friends. Whatever you want to hear, include it in your Definite Major Purpose of life. Most importantly, it is the Definite Major Purpose of life to follow nature, not to harm others directly or indirectly, and to bring joy, peace, success, and happiness to as many people as possible.
2. Review the action plan and adjust it to suit the reality according to the five criteria: Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
3. Form your Mastermind Alliances by searching for and inviting the right people to join in your team so that they can work with you to achieve your Definite Major Purpose. They will share with you their knowledge, ideas and opinions, skills, and especially their valuable experiences.
4. Trust in God. If you don’t follow any religion, believe in a higher power or as Napoleon Hill calls it Infinite Intelligence. Combine living in accordance with the Universal laws and be sure that you live well.
Last but not least, take action now! Do not hesitate, worry, fear, doubt, or be indecisiveness. Just raise, feed, and care for the positive white wolf in your mind so that you can find joy, calmness, love, hope, calm, kindness, sympathy, generosity, sincerity, compassion, and trustworthiness and that is your purpose in life. Take action now so that you can quickly enjoy the ten things that Napoleon Hill describes in the envelope marked “Rewards” because surely “For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”
Newly Certified Instructor
1. Science of Success by Napoleon Hill
2. Two wolves