In chapter 6, Napoleon Hill gives us the impression that ideas can have power in terms of how we can get to the riches we seek. He lays out the tenets that there are two types of imagination.
Time to Think
The first type of imagination that he speaks of is Synthetic Imagination.
“Through this faculty, one may arrange old concepts, ideas, or plans into new combinations. This faculty creates nothing. It merely works with the material of experience, education, and observation with which it is fed. It is the faculty used most by the inventor, with the exception of the “genius” who draws upon the creative imagination, when he cannot solve his problem through synthetic imagination.”1
The other type of imagination that Hill writes about is the Creative Imagination.
“Through the faculty of creative imagination, the finite mind of man has direct communication with infinite intelligence. It is the faculty through which “hunches” and “inspirations” are received is by this faculty that all basic, or new ideas are handed over to man.”2
In making the case for these two different types of imagination and thought process, what is very clear is that creative imagination can be the direct result of synthetic imagination. In other words, taking information that has been previously known and thinking about a different way to use that information to create something that has never been thought of before can be the basis for successful and truly enriching business experience.
Build Your Vision
What I got from reading this chapter pertains to the ability to think and create without tethers. It brought to mind many of the old dictums of how man is only restricted by the bounds of his imagination. If you can think of something it can be done. This is what makes building a business in an entrepreneurial fashion such an exhilarating task. Instead of being put in a situation where you are trading time and experience for money to an employer, now you are using the progeny of your own mind and thinking to create a basis of wealth for your good and the good of your family. There is no higher cause then using your God-given talents, stretching them to the limit and beyond, and making a sustainable income beyond your wildest dreams.
In these endeavors you do not have to be the expert. Again, Hill discusses his relationship with Andrew Carnegie and how the “Steel Baron” had absolutely no idea about the process of steelmaking. What he did have was a genius for pulling in those people who had the information that he needed and using them to create his corporate structure. Although Hill never mentioned this person, another person who used his imagination to the utmost and was a contemporary of Hill’s, was Walt Disney. Disney founded a company based on a mouse. That mouse became the most famous rodent in the history of the world. Imagination can even turn a household pest into a viable corporate structure.
Coke and Learning
In this chapter Hill also gives us two examples where imagination played an incredible role in final success. The first example, of the clerk in the general store, Asa Candler, who pays $500 for a recipe, a kettle and a paddle to stir the kettle, was a lesson in foresight and vision. Candler used this recipe and kettle to make the most famous soft drink in history, Coca-Cola. The other example, was Pastor Frank W. Gunsaulus who used his imagination to craft a homily that was responsible for giving him the $1 million that he needed to build his university, The Armour Institute of Technology (named after the man who gave the $1 million to Pastor Gunsaulus: Phillip D. Armour).
What did Candler and Gunsaulus have in common?
They had a burning desire to be successful and they set their minds to the task of building their dreams by tapping into their imagination.
Imagination, dreams, desires, these are the building blocks that successful entrepreneurs build on. Withstanding the disbelief of others is of paramount importance at this crucial point in time. The people who do not follow their dreams are the ones who are never happy in their employment situation.
Follow your dreams, the going may get tough, but in the end when you reach the successful finish line it will be so worth it!
Napoleon Hill: Think and Grow Rich: 1 & 2
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