Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A great many years ago I purchased a fine dictionary. The first thing I did with it was to turn to the word “impossible,” and neatly clip it out of the book. That would not be an unwise thing for you to do. Success comes to those who become success conscious. - Napolean Hill
Wise words from an exceptionally wise man. "Think and Grow Rich" has been circulating around my TBR list for a while now, so for the month of June I decided to pick it up and force myself to become more money conscious. The problem with today's society is that it does not teach you about managing finances. There was no point in high school where I was given a practical lesson about it in math or economics class, rather the lessons were theoretical and more importantly did NOT help me to make money.
Hill's book teaches you how to make money by simply altering your mindset. Those people that are poor have a fixed mindset. It is true that rich people think differently about money. They have a positive outlook on it, and therefore naturally attract it. Napolean Hill explains this concept by stating the following:
The subconscious mind is the "sending station” of the brain, through which vibrations of thought are broadcast. The Creative Imagination is the “receiving set,” through which the vibrations of thought are picked up from the ether.
If we train our mind to think positively about money and fixate on it morning and night, it will naturally penetrate into our subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is like a radio, which receives information, sends it out into the ether and consequently brings about new ideas for the individual to make money.
I have heard of this theory before, more often described as "The Law of Attraction." As a matter of fact, I have watched several videos on YouTube about this theory and can confidently state that this is true. The Law of Attraction is similar to telepathy, except instead of a joined unison where two people can effortlessly read each other's minds, the Law of Attraction allows a person to transmit their subconscious thoughts into the universe and it responds in kind.
It is still early days, but already I am seeing some progress. My viewpoint on money has drastically changed. As a child I was taught that money was "evil" and that a person should not worship it. I was content with the middle class life, but after reading Hill's book I desire more. If a person wants a $100, 000 then they will get that amount. If they want a million they will get a million. If you want ten million, I can assure you that the human mind is more than capable of generating a way to accumulate that amount.
One important thing I learned from this book is the power of imagination. As a writer, I am already a highly creative imaginative being but I never thought I can use this special talent to increase my financial wealth. Hill explains that we must close our eyes at night, meditate and imagine the accumulation of wealth that we desire. He expressed the uttermost importance that we should write these goals down and repeat them nightly. It penetrates into the subconscious mind, and allows our thoughts to travel to the other realm of that unseen ether. Thoughts have power! If I think negatively then I will generate negative outcomes in my life. In the same way, if I wake up in the morning with a positive outlook on life and proclaim my goals aloud, it will motivate me to procure them. There is this one quote by Napolean Hill, which I particularly fancy:
Do not wait for a definite plan, through which you intend to exchange services or merchandise in return for the money you are visualizing, but begin at once to see yourself in possession of the money, demanding and expecting meanwhile, that your subconscious mind will hand over the plan, or plans you need.
I recommend this book to anyone that wants to get rich. If you are looking to evaluate your finances, it would be an excellent read too. I only wish this was a required read in high school, it would have benefited me so much if I had obtained this knowledge ten years ago. My own fault with this book is the repetition, but I suppose that Hill wanted to stress his ideas onto the reader until they really began to believe his ideas in full. I am glad I picked up this book.
Happy reading everyone!
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Screaming Whispers by Shreya Vijay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A heart-felt book full of trauma, darkness, periods of reflection and a hope for a better future.
"Screaming Whispers" does not fit into a single genre, rather it alternates between different ones to keep the reader engaged. The poems acted as mini stories, discussing topics that verged on the edge of hysteria and murderous rage to the simple act of falling in love. The strength of Vijay's poems come from her natural story-telling skills. By far my most favourite poem was "Garden of Eden," mainly because it felt deep philosophical as it questioned the different aspects of human nature. It was nice to see her thoughts verge on my own, which is there is no good or bad person, but we somehow fall in between. One segment of her poem left a profound mark on me, it stated the following:
We are all brought up to believe, that souls are pure,
But that is not the truth, like at all.
Regardless of our believes, souls are not white or black all the way,
What we don’t realize is that more often than not, there are shades of grey.
- Garden of Eden, Shreya Vijay
I would recommend this book of poetry to anyone that enjoys modern-day poems that deal with the struggles of early adolescence. If you want to be immersed in a world of feelings and angst, this is the book for you.
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Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Hazlitt's book is extremely simplistic and accessible for all people beginning their journey in economics. This book should be a recommended read for first year students of Economics and Business, and I would also argue that it would be ideal for young people that want to better understand America's capitalism system.
The thing that I love the most about "Economics in One Lesson," is that it points out the flaws of America's democratic and capitalism system. It highlights the hypocrisy of it all, the failings of the people that rely on the government for everything and the trust and integrity they have for them, but in the end it is the people's taxes that are literally being gambled with it by a reckless hand.
Hazlitt also stresses the importance of looking at the economy as a whole. He explains that new learners that enter the world of economy tend to look at it in small fragments, but he wants them to look at the bigger picture. This is apparent in his final lines of the book, where he states: "To see the problem as a whole, and not in fragments: that is the goal of economic science." Henceforth, he breaks the novels into sections to highlight the underlying issues that will crop up decades later if bureaucrats, government officials, and even economists dismiss the traditional monetary ideas and fixate on specific parts of the system instead of seeing it as a whole.
The topic of inflation felt so relevant to me, especially in today's economy. The real reason I picked up this book is because I started to see the "writing on the wall" and noticed that there is seriously something wrong with the economy as America slowly trudges its way out of the post-pandemic era. I picked up this book because I wanted Hazlitt to educate me further about economy. Without a doubt, I do not regret picking this book up. It is easily readable and the reason for that is Hazlitt's effortless style of writing as he uses picturesque analogies to further his ideas. Hazlitt is a natural storyteller; the topic of economics quickly becomes engaging for the reader, whether they are a novice or an experienced financial investor.
I will leave a quote down below since it really resonated with me this afternoon. I highly recommend this book for people that can see the writing on the wall and know an economic collapse or something close to the 2008 crisis is looming in the near future.
"Before we consider what the consequences of inflation are in specific cases, we should consider what its consequences are in general. Even prior to that, it seems desirable to ask why inflation has been constantly resorted to, why it has had an immemorial popular appeal, and why its siren music has tempted one nation after another down the path to economic disaster." - Hazlitt
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Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"But I do love him!" she told herself.
What difference did it make; she wasn't happy, she'd never been happy! Why did life fall so far short of her expectations, why did whatever she depended on turn instantly to dust beneath her hand? - Flaubert
Emma Roualt, a young and exceptionally beautiful woman catches the eye of a humble country doctor, Charles Bovary. The doctor frequently visits her father's household, and unbeknownst to him he falls in love with her. However brief their encounters might have been, Charles asks for her hand in marriage and Emma's eagerly accept it with a certain child nativity. In her mind's eye, she can already picture a blissful life with Charles, never-ending love and passionate moments just as she has observed in the romance novels that she covetously read in her early adolescence.
Reality sets in, and to Emma's horror she realizes that her hopes and dreams can never come to fruition. Charles is a good, steady lad, but he lacks the ambitions and heroic spirit that epitomizes the romantic lovers in her beloved novels. Dissatisfied with the humdrum quotidian lifestyle that she must endure on their old country farm, Charles decides to relocate to a more populated town to revive her spirits. Little does the poor doctor know the great lengths his wife will take in order to fulfill her passionate dreams, even if she must sacrifice her own family's happiness in the process.
This is the first book that I have ever read by Gustave Flaubert. I am somewhat familiar with his writing style, since I have heard he painstakingly wrote this novel with several drafts, never truly satisfied with the outcome. I suppose all artists are their own worst critics. Flaubert wrote an exceptionally piece of work! His attention to detail is exquisite. I could almost imagine the rolling landscapes, the garden outside of Bovary's household, the exotic aura of the small hotel where Emma frequently engaged in rendezvous with her lover. The dialogue felt so intensely real, it felt as though I was sitting there beside the characters, silently taking in their conversations. Indeed, this French writer has an incredible knack with his attention to detail, a quality that is often lacking in in novice writers.
The frequent allusion to religion was something I thoroughly enjoyed. The constant debate about Christianity in the background of a woman gradually falling into the role of a tempting mistress was highly amusing. I could sense that the author was battling with his own feelings of religion, pitting Christianity against rational idealism and well-known philosophers of that time that extolled a more secular worldview where the Holy texts are merely "moral guidelines" and that "prayers can do no good." I can understand the reasoning's behind the difficulties of publishing this book, it would have been horrendously difficult, especially with the scandalous subject matter of a woman having multiple affairs. I am certainly glad that Faubert was able to publish this book in the end, it was a delightful read.
In relation to this novel, I believe the reader is forced to question their own moral codes; test their own sense of morality when it comes to the hardships and pitfalls that the main character, Emma, inevitably faces in life. Can we really blame her for falling so far from grace? Was it truly the romance books that corrupted her mind? Or was it the men that she encountered, their carnal lust that was gradually transferred onto her? In the end, she spurns all men, and can you really blame her?
"Madame Bovary" is without a doubt a tragedy, but an incredibly beautiful one. Flaubert magnificently pulls the heart-strings of the reader with subtle ease. I confessed at the end I did get a bit teary-eyed. But how could I not? It was truly a wonderful read! Sensational, erotic, shockingly immoral, but wonderful all the same. I highly recommend this to any reader that is looking for a world of escapism, or a deeper reflection upon their own thoughts of morality and extramarital affairs.
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