7 years. That’s crazy. It only seems like a year. Time sure does fly when you’re having fun.
I think this is the first time I ever wrote a reflections article on my first book. I was too busy learning more and more (and yes there is more after The Hidden Secret in Think and Grow Rich).
So many readers have sent in their testimonials and I’ve stopped uploading them on the order page because people have been complaining they had to scroll too long through the testimonials to get to the order link (yes, there are people who complain about that but to their credit, it is a long scroll).
I just want to share a couple thoughts I had after reflecting on the book.
People seem to go through these stages in self improvement.
Level 1: Life sucks pretty bad. They’re pessimistic, judgmental, have no hope. Life is just awful.
Level 2: They get their first brush with self improvement and because it’s so new, it’s exciting. The seed for change has been planted and they start to get some small noticeable improvements in their life.
Level 3: Information addict. When they see how their lives have changed a little bit, some go all out. They get their hand on every article, magazine, book, seminar they can. They soak it all up but it’s a catch 22 because they just absorb information most of the time but never apply it.
Level 4: Paradigm Shift – They’re no longer an addict thanks to The Hidden Secret in Think and Grow Rich. They’re able to get a birds eye view of the whole natural process of goal achievement and understand how it works and apply it so their own results begin to fuel their motivation – not external sources. It’s sort of like they learned how to build their own solar panels.
Is there a level afterwards?
Yes, there is. Another paradigm shift for Level 5 – the ideas of which are scattered throughout my essays and subscriptions (perhaps I’ll write a follow up book to concentrate it all and describe it in more detail). This level “smoothes out” the kinks in Level 4 that people there don’t even know exist on a conscious level.
Now is there a Level 6? There very well might be. A Level 7? An 8?
Only time will tell.
Now it’s important to note that there are a lot of “little tweaks” in between levels. The big jumps are between levels but in between are the little tweaks of new ways of understanding familiar ideas, analogies that make sense, a more clearer understanding of certain concepts, etc.
Most people who come to this site are on Levels 1-3. Of the people who make it to Level 3, a certain percentage are going to make it to Level 4 and if the Pareto Principle is any indication, it’s going to be 20%. And of that 20%, another 20% will make it to Level 5 so if you’re at Level 5, then you’re in the top 4%.
So why the drop off in between levels? (and there are drop offs starting from Level 1 onward)
Here it is.
They don’t realize they’re trapped by their own level of thinking.
Let’s look at the Level 1 guy. Life sucks, the world is against him, it’s unfair. Let’s say somebody recommends him a self improvement book. Here’s what that Level 1 guy is thinking.
“Self improvement is for losers. It doesn’t work. You can’t change your life with books. It depends on your luck in life, where you were born, who your parents are, etc.”
Can you see the problem here?
Level 1 guy doesn’t realize his own level of thinking is trapping him from ascending to the next level.
So what does he have to do?
He has to be an outside observer of his own thinking and realize what’s going on. His train of thinking has to change if his life is going to change. He has to SUSPEND his own level of thinking and consider another alternative. It’s like Aristotle said – “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
He could think something like – “Hey wait a minute. What’s wrong with learning? There’s no instruction manual that came to know how my mind works. It’s the greatest piece of technology in the known universe. Surely it would only help to read more about it and how I can maximize its potential. Maybe there is something to it. It can’t hurt to try.”
To get to the next level, you have to be able to suspend your current level of thinking and entertain other thoughts. You don’t have to accept it though. Just explore it.
Can you imagine what your life would’ve been like if you were trapped by Level 1 thinking your entire life?
I shudder at the thought.
The same thing applies to each successive level.
Level 2 guy is thinking – “OK, some of this stuff works, it helped change this and that, but eh, that’s the extent of it.” He won’t get to Level 3.
Level 3 guy is thinking – “I learned it ALL. I won’t learn anything new. This is it.”
And he will be trapped at that level.
If you haven’t made the big leap to Level 4, see if you may be trapped by your own level of thinking. I’ve done my best to help assuage people who may be skeptical by proving the hidden secret with the clues Hill gave, pointing out where it is in every chapter, the testimonials, etc., but ultimately it’s not my decision to make.
This brings up another interesting question. Let’s say your life is a Level 1. Can you jump to a Level 4?
Maybe. I don’t think you’ll get the most out of Level 4 if you do the jump without going through the other levels because you probably won’t appreciate the paradigm shift as much but you can try.
What has helped me go from level to level is just to be aware of whether or not I’m trapped by my own level of thinking. It’s way to easy to get sucked in and not have that 3rd party perspective and it’s way easy to think you know everything.
But when you think you know it all – that’s when you’re trapped.
So just be open.
Have the mark of an educated mind who can entertain a thought without accepting it and you’ll find yourself traversing upward through these levels of life.