This year I read the book, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. If you haven’t read it and you want to learn how to achieve things, obtain things, or become somebody worth any notoriety, you should really read this book.
It’s weird how when you start reading a book, a common theme just starts appearing everywhere. I started to see the common theme in a few things that I was reading and was listening to, and it seemed strange, but almost as if the universe was urging me to write it down and share it. (Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon)
It was kind of like when you played Grand Theft Auto and whatever car you stole and started driving around the city, literally half of the other cars were that very same car that you were driving around.
At any rate, the common theme that I have been constantly stumbling upon lately has been mental transmutation. I know, you’re probably thinking, “duh, everybody hears about that all the time. Have you been living under a rock?”
Seriously though, I hope you stick around to the end of this post, because this one is really important, especially if you start to wrap your head around what it is and what it can do for you in your own life.
Bottom Line Up Front
Mental transmutation is the ability to transmute our thoughts into the manifestation of their physical counterpart, whether it be personal attributes, possessions or achievements.
We can achieve the power of mental transmutation by practicing autosuggestion, and there are various ways to conduct autosuggestion, whether this is through visualization methods, writing, meditation, or reading.
Additionally, there's an infosheet at the end of the article.
What is mental transmutation?
The concept of mental transmutation may seem abstract and difficult to understand, but I assure you, that’s only because it’s such a foreign concept.
First, let’s define transmutation. Here’s the Merriam-Webster definition of the word, transmute.
Many of you may understand transmutation from the pseudoscience of alchemy. The ever-allusive and ultimate goal of alchemy was to obtain the Philosopher’s Stone, which could turn any substance into gold. I think this is a great analogy for what mental transmutation attempts to achieve but with the mind instead. (No, not turn everything into gold with our minds…)
Mental transmutation (sometimes called mental alchemy), is the process of using our mental capacity to change ourselves (and/or our circumstances) in “form, appearance, or nature and especially to a higher form.”
In layman’s terms, we can use our thoughts to change ourselves and our predicament.
The reality though is that we do use our thoughts to change ourselves and our predicament, constantly. The problem is that for most of us, we have such a competition between our negative thoughts and our positive thoughts, and so we’re constantly transmuting a mixture of those results.
Napoleon Hill puts mental transmutation in a different way. He put it simply in a short statement.
"Thoughts are things" - Napoleon Hill
This is the idea that thoughts mixed with the desire for those thoughts, can be transmuted into physical manifestations.
Napoleon Hill explains that good or bad, the things that have obsessed your mind in the past have been turned into a reality, whether they were productive or destructive. The most common examples in our own lives are probably the destructive kind, and I’m not really sure why that is.
Seriously, think about it. The things that you visualize and think about constantly and that you desire, those are the things that are transmuted into their physical counterpart. Obvious examples might be when we decided to purchase that sweet Challenger (or Mustang 5.0 depending on your generation).
Less obvious examples might be dabbling in some form of destructive behavior and how they can consume you, such as alcohol, porn, work, and greed.
Take Ted Bundy for example. He started out as a peeping Tom, over the years it escalated just a bit… if you’re familiar with his story.
It’s strange how I have to explain mental transmutation with destructive examples, and of course, because of our predisposition to negativity, it’s hard to believe that mental transmutation works both ways. Really though, Napoleon Hill’s examples are quite convincing.
He shows repeatedly that all of these successful people (such as Ford, Carnegie, Firestone, Schwab, Edison, and so on…) had one thing in common.
They were all wizards of mental transmutation.
If we can have a little faith, we can use Napoleon Hill’s technique for consciously transmuting our thoughts into things in a positive way.
How can we (consciously) achieve mental transmutation?
Well, just as I said, have some faith. First of all, have faith in the reality of mental transmutation.
So, Think and Grow Rich is not a religious book by any means. Oddly enough though, it peers deep into the human experience. I would argue that religious themes are unavoidable in an endeavor of the subject of the human experience.
At any rate, Napoleon Hill discusses the importance of having faith and he describes it as such:
“Faith is the “eternal elixir” that gives life, power, and action to the impulse of thought!”
So, faith is critical in enabling us to transmute our thoughts into things. It’s interesting if you think about people with low self-esteem, and that they’ll never amount to much success in all their endeavors in life. But it is because, deep down inside, they have such faith, such belief, that they are worthless, or that they only deserve minimum wage. They believe deeply in their bones that their life will result in nothing more than run-of-the-mill, mediocrity.
On a more positive note, what Mr. Hill is saying is, in order to transmute our thoughts into things, we need to attach a deep conviction to those (positive) thoughts, that we want to come to fruition. Well, how can we develop a deep conviction or faith? (It’s hard to believe we will be millionaires when some of us are buried in $100,000+ of student debt)
“Faith is a state of mind that may be induced, or created, by affirmation or repeated instructions to the subconscious mind, through the principle of autosuggestion.”
Enter autosuggestion. (I thought this was a made-up word when I started reading the book, not going to lie)
Napoleon Hill explains this about self-suggestion or autosuggestion.
“It is a well-known fact that one comes, finally, to believe whatever one repeats to one’s self, whether the statement be true or false. If a man repeats a lie over and over, he will eventually accept the lie as truth. Moreover, he will believe it to be the truth. Every man is what he is because of the dominating thoughts that he permits to occupy his mind. Thoughts that a man deliberately places in his own mind, and encourages with sympathy, and with which he mixes any one or more of the motions, constitute the motivating forces that direct and control his every movement, act, and deed!”
Autosuggestion is so crucial to mental transmutation. They are things we constantly tell our own mind or our own subconscious. They are the messages we send intentionally, on a daily basis. As Napoleon Hill explains it, they are the things we constantly tell ourselves that we want to become reality.
What are some practical ways to autosuggest?
Oddly enough, different methods have come up in my previous blog posts and I may have not fully understood what it was that I was speaking about. I used it in my post about how to reverse lifestyle creep. I dabbled in the importance of writing things down for the purpose of autosuggestion in my post about commonplace books.
There are a ton of ways to induce autosuggestion, and I am not convinced that there is only one way to skin this particular cat.
The key is to develop daily habits, and they have to be at least daily. Napoleon Hill actually says they should be habits when we first wake up and before we go to bed. He knows better than I do, but I would say though that if we are conducting these habits on a daily basis, we can achieve some traction in our autosuggestion, in order to conduct mental transmutation.
Here are some methods that we can use to implement autosuggestion every day.
Write down your goals someplace that you will read them every day (maybe in your commonplace book😐)
Create a vision board, which visually depicts all of the qualities of the person you want to be, things you want to achieve, and things you want to acquire. Look at it every morning.
Read your religious text every morning (for me, the Bible). Take notes, when you feel something is speaking to you, and keep a log of it, maybe in that commonplace book I talked about.
Conduct mindful meditation every morning, where you clear your thoughts before you conduct affirmations, or goal reading, etc.
Practice visualization with your goals. Visualize, and attempt to feel that achievement, or success, would feel like. If it is money, imagine that fat stack in your hands. If it is hoisting a ton of weight over your head, visualize that.
Here's an infosheet if you want to save it for future reference or you are a visual learner.
If you don’t do any of these, at the bare minimum, I would say do this. Tell yourself every day that you love yourself, that you acknowledge your faults and all the mistakes that you make, but you recognize those were and are opportunities to learn and improve. But ultimately, just tell yourself every single day, that you love yourself.
Start with that.
The Woke Hack
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” -Jesus of Nazareth
Time to Pay it Forward
Let me know if mental transmutation is something that you personally practice. I want to hear about the daily habits that you use to produce success and achievements in your own life.
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