Truth or New Age Fiction?

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” — Napoleon Hill


Napoleon Hill (1883-1970) wrote this famous line in 1937 in his classic book, Think and Grow Rich.  Hill drew on stories of Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and other millionaires of his generation to illustrate his principles called the “Law of Success.” It was the first book to ask, “What makes a winner?” But of course, a “winner” requires a game to win.  The game that Hill reports on (and is a cheerleader for) is the capitalist game of materialism and imperialism, the acquisition of more regardless of its effect on others.  By making these men paragons of modern virtues, he granted permission for an “ego takes all” approach to life. This has resulted in great harm to much of humanity and the ecology of the planet.

But is his quote true?  Yes and no. Truth is not an axe that divides the world into True or False.  It is a scalpel that, used skillfully, can heal and educate.  So what is true about this quote?  And what is not?


It is true that our beliefs create our experience of reality.  They act as a filter, a colored lens in front of our attention.  Whether you believe  “I’ll never succeed,” or “I always succeed,” you will prove yourself right, because that is the nature of beliefs.  They are always self-verifying.  The sunglasses we wear color the whole world — everything we look at.  Our beliefs do the same.

But is it true that “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve?” Humans dreamt of flight, and using ingenuity, we have jet aircraft flying around the world.  But humans have also dreamt of a peaceful world, the end of hunger, prosperity for all, and we haven’t yet created those states of affairs.  Are they possible? Yes, if we were unified in our dreams, and had the political will, and if the wealthy and powerful among us did not control our media and rule over our congressmen and leaders, we could.

In your own individual life, can you achieve anything you can conceive and believe? Here, the answer is clearly “No.” Otherwise, you would have achieved it.  Conceiving and believing take place at the 7th and 6th chakra levels.  In order to bring anything into reality, you need to move your energy and attention down through the other five chakras: Communication, Relationships, Will and Power, Passion, and Step-by-step Actions.  In other words, you also need a plan, resources, the cooperation of others, the willingness to do whatever it takes to get it done, and daily actions that move your forward to your goal.

In our workshop, Creation is Ecstasy! The Spiritual Technology of Manifestation, we teach the entire manifestation pathway.  The Law of Attraction is true, but if you just wait around for what you want, you could be waiting a long time.   Beliefs do create our reality, but most of us have hundreds of conflicting beliefs, so whenever we take one step forward, there are voices and motivations that take us backward, or keep us stuck.  You have to work constantly with your beliefs to get the old ones out of the way.  We are all a work in progress.

So conceive and believe, and you can achieve.  But don’t forget to make a plan, follow through, and continually work on clearing whatever gets in the way.

For information on our Manifestation Training, visit our website, Sacred Centers.

posted by Lion in Beliefs and have Comment (1)
  • Is it true that our beliefs create our experience of reality – yes and no. Your beliefs can take you on a path of rightiousness that is in perfect dischord or accord with your personality differentials. Belief does have the ability to create reality and this doesn’t mean that your hypothalmus agrees with it. For whose reality is being played out and why the act? Culture influences belief and Napoleon Hill reflected the cultural environment of his particular realitivity in time. Yes his quote is his truth. Yes the lenses of belief do colour the world we live in. “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve?” Yes and no. Adaptation is a a key. Did man truely walk on the moon or do we simply believe it or not believe it or am I truely achieving my conception of life or am I simply believing that the life I have is the conception. Do I have control over either of these statements, yes I guess I do. I can say it or not say it . I can think it and not say it. I may even have the opportunity of not thinking anything. Where would not thinking anything leave the mind of man? I think if the referral about achievement is linked to the accumulation of material wealth, my understanding is that conception has to adapt to cultural expectations. Why? acceptance of the economic environment equates to acceptance of the validity of others who you need to help you achieve the wealth you so desire. This validity may or may not equate to who you truly are deep inside. My experience tells me that to achieve personal fulfillment it is not so much belief that needs to be explored, but feeling. Yes I think people do have conflicting beliefs and I think that inner conflict is one of the worst, if not the worst, feeling in the whole world. How to erase inner conflict? I guess its all in the doing. Thankyou for sharing your thoughts with the world. They are of value and I guess its time for me to get on with my own work now. I have enjoyed sharing your perspective of the world. It is of value and your experience matters.