Gifts in Wolf’s Clothing
Most people know that Napoleon Hill is the author of the self-empowering book “Think and Grow Rich,” written back in 1937. The personal development book is not just about acquiring financial wealth but how to be successful in general as a human being, and it has helped countless people reach their wildest dreams. It was one of the books that helped me many years ago realize that my mind held the power to transform my health and my life. When I read his profound message I was not looking to make a million dollars, I was looking to beat my cancer and stay alive.
Here’s something really interesting and inspirational about Napoleon’s life that I only discovered very recently.
Napoleon was born and raised in the late 1800s in Wise County, Virginia, which, at the time, was a very rural and poor part of the country. In fact most of the people in his community were illiterate.
As if his young life wasn’t hard enough, his mother died when he was just 10-years old, and he and his brother were left to be raised by their father who, as you can imagine, was not equipped to deal with his loss and raise his sons alone. Napoleon became an increasingly difficult child. He became obsessed with the outlaw Jesse James and would go about his small community with a bad attitude and six-shooter on his hip “terrorizing” the local citizens.
But then something extraordinary happened in Napoleon’s life: his father remarried a woman named Martha who was not shy and demure but rather a force to be reckoned with; exactly what young Napoleon needed. Instead of instantly viewing troubled Napoleon as a bad boy, Martha instantly saw his potential and knew he needed to direct all of his anger and frustration of losing his mother toward a positive and worthwhile goal.
She suggested to Napoleon that he use his overactive imagination and become a writer. Napoleon considered the idea and decided it was a good one, and Martha, who was herself well-educated, spent a year tutoring him and promised to buy him a typewriter if he gave up his six-shooter. “If you become as good with a typewriter as you are with that gun,” she said, “you may become rich and famous and known throughout the world.”
Don’t Miss the Gift Right in Front of You
What I find so inspiring about this story is that young Napoleon could have easily turned his back on the gift that was starring him right in the face. No one would have blamed him if he wanted to stay angry at the loss of his mother. No one would have blamed him if he refused to bond with his step-mother or take her advice. And no one would have blamed him if he ended up like so many in his poor, rural community who saw little potential in life and accepted their lot without a fight.
But he chose differently.
He instead recognized the gift he was being given and took it, ran with it, and became one of the greatest thought leaders and writers in history. Can you imagine if he had never written his books, the ones that have helped literally countless people create purposeful lives? How many other great minds, like Bob Proctor and Tony Robbins, have been inspired by Napoleon’s thought and words? Those minds would have never developed in the same way, and perhaps they wouldn’t have gone on to help even more people develop themselves. If Napoleon’s mother had lived, what many would consider the happy ending, the easier life path for her son, he most likely would have never become a writer.
Are You Refusing to Recognize the Gift in Front of You?
There have been times when I have been speaking to people about my cancer and I have described it as a wonderful gift, and people have gotten so mad at me. I have actually had people stop me midsentence and angrily say, “How can you call cancer a gift? Cancer is not a gift, it’s a death sentence?!!” “Well,” I usually say to them, “It was my cancer and my death sentence (I was literally diagnosed and given 6 months to live 28 years ago!), and I’ll call it what I like, thank you very much.”
For me, cancer was a wakeup call of the highest magnitude. It was a message from my higher self that I was not healthy of mind, body or spirit. I could have easily ignored this gift and thrown in the towel and become a victim of cancer. I could have literally lain down and died, but instead I chose to awaken to my full potential.
Because of my cancer, I know the truth, a truth that many people who are seemingly healthy haven’t realized yet: we are incredibly powerful beings. We are not victims unless we want to be. We are creators. As Napoleon Hill himself taught, we create our lives with our thoughts and feelings, LITERALLY.
Because I chose to view my cancer as a gift and experienced my awakening, and because I made changes in my life that brought me back to health and vitality, I can now help others face their dis-ease with the same perspective so they can realize and embrace their own power and change their lives.
If you are facing a serious illness right now, I encourage you from my heart to view it as a gift instead. As my friend and mentor Dr. Bernie Siegel has said many times, “Absolutely everything in our lives has a spiritual cause.” Your dis-ease doesn’t have to be debilitating and it doesn’t have to be a death sentence. It can instead be a profound wakeup call that finally gets you to pay attention to the thoughts you are thinking, the feelings you are feeling, and the choices you are making on a daily basis.
Wishing you a new perspective, one that sees gifts instead of diagnoses.
With love & gratitude,
AKA Wisdom Wellness Guru