Think & Grow Rich Lessons
John-Paul Plouffe Worcester, Massachusetts, United States

Posted: 2016-02-19

Chapter 15 – How to Outwit the Six Ghosts of Fear


Someone has said in a poem:

Your mind is a garden,

Your thoughts are the seeds,

You can grow flowers,

Or You can grow weeds. 

The difficulty in knowing our own thoughts is that we are so often unaware of our deep seated fears.  We just don’t recognize when we are thinking negatively.  Once we use our ability of Self-Awareness, we can “catch ourselves in the act”!  One effective way to break this pattern of thought is to give a command yourself in audible words…“STOP!”  Then redirect your thoughts in a positive way.  The only way to overcome the “weeds” of negative thought is to replace them with the positive “seeds” faith, hope and love.  We want the flowers to overtake the weeds, and so we must be always be planting an abundance of the right seeds.  How else can we uproot the seeds of indecision, doubt, and FEAR?      

Hill says to “Take Inventory of Yourself, As You Read This Closing Chapter, and Find Out How Many of the ‘Ghosts” Are Standing in Your Way.”  Towards the end of the chapter, he allows us to do this “Self-Analysis” with questions to ask and answer for ourselves.    

Of the six basic fears, Hill puts the FEAR OF POVERTY at the head of the list!  He said that, “The Fear of Poverty is, without doubt, the most destructive of the six basic fears. It has been placed at the head of the list, because it is the most difficult to master. Considerable courage is required to state the truth about the origin of this fear, and still greater courage to accept the truth after it has been stated.”

“BEFORE you can put any portion of this philosophy into successful use, your mind must be prepared to receive it.  The preparation is not difficult.  It begins with study, analysis, and understanding of three enemies which you shall have to clear out.”

“These are INDECISION, DOUBT, and FEAR!”

“Without doubt, the most common weakness of all human beings is the habit of leaving their minds open to the negative influence of other people. This weakness is all the more damaging, because most people do not recognize that they are cursed by it, and many who acknowledge it, neglect or refuse to correct the evil until it becomes an uncontrollable part of their daily habits.

To aid those who wish to see themselves as they really are, the following list of questions has been prepared.

Read the questions and state your answers aloud, so you can hear your own voice. This will make it easier for you to be truthful with yourself.


Do you complain often of “feeling bad,” and if so, what is the cause?...

To which do you devote most time, thinking of SUCCESS, or of FAILURE?...

Have you a method by which you can shield yourself against the negative influence of others?...

Hill challenges us with this:

“If you have answered all these questions truthfully, you know more about yourself than the majority of people. Study the questions carefully, come back to them once each week for several months, and be astounded at the amount of additional knowledge of great value to yourself, you will have gained by the simple method of answering the questions truthfully. If you are not certain concerning the answers to some of the questions, seek the counsel of those who know you well, especially those who have no motive in flattering you, and see yourself through their eyes. The experience will be astonishing.

You have ABSOLUTE CONTROL over but one thing, and that is your thoughts. This is the most significant and inspiring of all facts known to man! It reflects man’s Divine nature. This Divine prerogative is the sole means by which you may control your own destiny. If you fail to control your own mind, you may be sure you will control nothing else.

If you must be careless with your possessions, let it be in connection with material things. Your mind is your spiritual estate! Protect and use it with the care to which Divine Royalty is entitled.”

Humbly Submitted,

John-Paul Plouffe