By – Dwight Lilly
Almost fifty years ago I had a job that was boring and felt trapped in the payday race. I knew I was not doing what my life work was and my soul cried out to me nearly every waking moment. To say I was miserable is an understatement. When it was said that “most men live lives of quiet desperation” I was the example in every way.
I began early on in high school reading all manner of inspiring books, self help media was reserved somewhat for those in specialty fields and not readily available to the public in general. I’ve always liked bookstores and especially used book stores. There was a tiny musty shop in Olympia, Wa. my hometown, with a little old lady who was more suspicious of a teen wandering her store than whether I was a real customer or not. Every now and then I would find an interesting book that picued my curiosity. And buy it. It was usually a collection of yellowed pages and a well worn cover but the words and thoughts within was what I was buying, not a fancy cover or fresh print. Plus the price fit my ‘teen’ budget. This was the early 60’s, a time for tie die shirts and rebellion not serious contemplation of a life going forward, yet I still was a searcher. This habit stayed with me and in the 70’s I found myself traveling cross country, up and down the coast and to nearly every state in the union.
I spent upwards of ten hours a day on the road and although a variety of programming could be found on the numerous AM radio stations, you can only listen to so many sports events and news shows until it was no longer entertaining – but instead torture. Cassette tapes had replaced the eight-track as technology began to fill the listening options of those using a car radio. I had met a guy in Federal Way, Wa. that owned several large used book stores in the Seattle area. He was hell bent on signing up any warm body he came across to Amway, a multi level marketing company. And he tried daily to hook me to the system. I fought him off but still enjoyed him and he me as we were both searchers in the same vein. He would cull from the new-old books arriving daily for self help books and had stacks of them in his office. Among them were all the classics from “Think And Grow Rich” to “Psycho Cybernetics” and strangely, they all were speaking the same language with a different take. That language centered on one word – thought – thinking. We all think but we rarely consider what we are thinking about. The key to unlocking my potential and your’s too is how you think, and who controls what you think and dwell on.
My friend the bookstore owner would lend out cassette motivational tapes, tapes that were intended to motivate the listener to join the Amway team, and as we would discuss the messages being delivered in his shop, the Nightingale Conant company came up. They were a company that began selling motivational recordings on vinyl records. Earl Nightingale had a voice that was legend, for those my age or older reading this, he was the voice of Sky King on the radio. The company had a program that for a monthly fee they would sell you various motivational tapes that were excerpts from famous motivational authors, sometimes the entire books in a six or eight tape series.
The light-bulb clicked on, I came to the realization that I could replace listening to the radio as I drove across country on these two week routes, to listening to these tapes and tape series.. I would listen to them over, and over, and over and over again, ten hours a day. I could literally recite them word for word. And their messages began to stick with me and reprogram my brain and thoughts. Maybe it was osmosis having it’s affect but regardless, i was a changed man. A bud that had began flowering. My entire outlook and life changed, I was rich in more ways than money can buy, and new found hope had arrived. I believed and still do that I can do whatever I set out to do and become whomever and whatever I wanted to be by controlling my thoughts.
“As Man Thinketh” by James Allen was one such motivational classic. And I believe that ‘like seekth like’. That there is no coincidence.
I received an e-mail yesterday from an organization that I have never heard of. The organization is what? A motivational seminar company similar to the Nightingale Conant company of past years. Included was a PDF copy of this classic, One of the site owners included an updated version of this classic, he said he changed some words and references but left the message intact. Frankly, I prefer leaving masterpieces as they are, I would no more consider re-painting the Mona Lisa than changing a word in this book.
I went to Amazon and ordered a copy of the original, I no longer have my collection of hundreds of motivational books and had donated them along with the cassette tapes to a library decades ago. The words and inspiration had became me and I didn’t need them around. I suggest the readers here give away any of your similar books to another — so the recipient can emulate the process. I wanted the book again as a reminder to the path I took to get where I’m at. Yea, I would most likely give my new copy away if a young man or woman with a burning desire to be all that they can be and more, were to ask for it.
Dwight Lilly – downtherabbitholemedia.com