Think & Grow Rich Lessons
Pearl Sullivan Bronx, New York, United States

Posted: 2022-07-27

“From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins, live your life in a way that proves repentance; seek God’s purpose for your life], for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 14:17 (AMP)

“And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you]” Romans 12:2

“Remembering that he lost a huge fortune, because he STOPPED three feet from gold, Darby profited by the experience in his chosen work, by the simple method of saying to himself, “I stopped three feet from gold, but I will never stop because men say ‘no’ when I ask them to buy insurance.”

Darby is one of a small group of fewer than fifty men who sell more than a million dollars in life insurance annually. He owes his “stickability” to the lesson he learned from his “quitability” in the gold mining business.

Before success comes in any man’s life, he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and, perhaps, some failure. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to QUIT. That is exactly what the majority of men do. More than five hundred of the most successful men this country has ever known, told the author their greatest success came just one step beyond the point at which defeat had overtaken them. Failure is a trickster with a keen sense of irony and cunning. It takes great delight in tripping one when success is almost within reach.” Napoleon Hill

In the introduction of this book, Mr. Hill talks about the planning of this book. How Mr. Carnegie approached him and he agreed to pursue a course of documenting the success factors of those who had achieved it and became the masters of their own lives, no matter how long it took. It was and still is the critical thinking skills that allow a person to overcome the adversities in life and move into success.

John Dewey wrote a very simple, but redundantly rhetorical book, Experience and Education. This was required reading in my first class of our adult education college program. Most students moaned and groaned about reading the book. They could not focus or concentrate long enough to find the gold in the book. It meant setting aside quiet time to read. I had to look up the meaning of some of the words to get the meat of the points Dewey was trying to show us. I came back to school to get an education or to unlearn and relearn that which I had missed in my earlier educational process. I tackled each assignment for the purpose of learning the why of these books or essays and to get the lessons as they applied to my life.

This started the process of me becoming a lifelong learner, as an adult. The ability to incorporate my experiences and open my mind to the learning process, while reidentifying my life’s purpose was the reason for this introductory course called Experience, Learning and Identity.  At 42, it was not easy coming back to school to accomplish that which most do by 25. I quit the first time I went to college to become a linguist. Because of my placement tests, I was taking Latin III, Spanish II, and my core literature courses. I allowed the difficulties of daily life to overwhelm me.  I struggled with getting to class on time from the northeast Bronx to CCNY on the upper west side of Harlem. It meant 2 buses and a train. Driving was worse because of alternate side of the street parking and my classes were either early morning or late afternoon. No consistent schedule for me to follow like in high school. So, I quit and got a job. I allowed the obstacles of life to make me quit on my dream.

This time my educational process would be different. I was here to learn how to achieve my purpose. I wanted to live a life of purpose; to have more intention in my living and not just sit on the sidelines and let life pass me by. What I didn’t realize was that the process of thinking and learning based on a true liberal arts educational environment would force me to think critically about not only my life, but the world around me and my perception of it.

Mr. Hill states “Again, it may cause you to go back into your past experiences of failure or defeat, and bring to the surface some lesson by which you can regain all that you lost through defeat.” This course forced us to think critically about our past educational process. I had 12 uninterrupted years of Catholic school liberal arts education. Yet, in my mind, I was a failure. I had hit bottom in the bottle of Jack Daniels and needed to know why. What I realize is that it was all part of God’s plan and purpose for my life. As a minister, I see new believers and realize that they need help and instructions, better known as recovery, on how to live a victorious life as a believer. Using all my gifts talents and abilities accumulated over 65 years of living is what I can offer others to lead them out of darkness into the marvelous light of victorious living. It is not about arriving at the destination of success, but continuing on that journey to always remain successful in soul and Spirit. We do not ever arrive at success; we arrive to live a life of purpose. The transformation of my mind to conform with God’s plan is the true burning desire of achieving success. Wealth is just the physical manifestation of never quitting!

Thank you, Linda and Michael Dlouhy, for honoring God and creating this mentoring mastermind group. We come here to learn how to think and not what to think. My lack of success is not my fault, but I now know I can truly think my way to living my best life ever!

Pearl Sullivan, Bronx, NY