A Secret
Shhh! I’ve got a secret to share with you.

Well, actually, it is not a ‘secret’ at all. As Napoleon Hill points out in his classic Think and Grow Rich,

Nature, herself, advertises it on the earth on which we live, the stars, the planets suspended within our view, in the elements above and around us, in every blade of grass, and every form within our vision….The conversion of desire into its physical equivalent is, certainly, no more miraculous!

Hill goes on to share his ‘secret’: principles which will open the way for the understanding of imagination. He advises his readers not to stop or grow discouraged until they have read his book three times.

To forestall any discouragement that might arise, Hill tells two stories.

It’s the Real Thing – An Idea
The first is about an enchanted kettle. It seems that an old country doctor drove to town one day, hitched his horse, and slipped into a drug store where he began “dickering” with the young drug clerk.

As a result of that dickering, the young clerk took his entire life’s savings – $500.00 – and gave it to the country doctor in exchange for a large, old fashioned black kettle, a big wooden paddle, and a small slip of paper on which was written a secret formula.

What the clerk really purchased was an idea! The clerk took that IDEA, added one other important ingredient, and produced a drink that is now known world-wide and which has yielded a fortune in exchange for that $500.00 investment

Just remember, Hill tells us, “Whoever you are, wherever you may live, whatever occupation you may be engaged in, just remember in the future, every time you see the words “Coca-Cola,” that its vast empire of wealth and influence grew out of a single IDEA, and that the mysterious ingredient the drug clerk – Asa Candler – mixed with the secret formula was…IMAGINATION!

Stop and think about that for a moment.

The Sermon
The second story proves the old adage, ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way’. In the late 1800′s, a young preacher in Chicago had an idea. All he needed, he thought, was a million dollars and he could create an educational institution in which young men and women could be taught to learn by doing.

I can assure you, from my own experience, that preachers do not have any spare millions of dollars lying around, unless they happened to have inherited it. Such was not the case with the Rev. Frank Gunsaulus. He did not have a million dollars but he did have an idea that wouldn’t leave him alone.

He realized, though, the only limitation is that wich one sets up in one’s own mind. He also knew that DEFINITENESS OF PURPOSE is the starting point from which one must begin. He recognized that definiteness of purpose takes on animation, life, and power when backed by a BURNING DESIRE
to translate that purpose into its material equivalent.

After kicking the idea around for a couple of years and always stumbling over the lack of money on his way to his goal-post, Gunsaulus, knowing that he had been doing nothing but think about the problem, decided that the time had come for ACTION.

He made up his mind that he would get the necessary one million dollars within a week’s time! He still wasn’t sure how he was going to get it, but he made the important decision to get the money within a specified time and he felt assured that somehow he would do it.

He called the newspaper (it must have been a slow news day) and announced that he would preach a sermon the following morning entitled ‘What I would do if I had a Million Dollars.’ He wrote out the sermon and went to bed with a feeling of confidence for, he said, I could see myself already in possession of the million dollars.

The next morning, he read the sermon over, prayed that it might come to the attention of someone who could supply the needed money. He was flooded with such a sense of assurance that the money would be forthcoming that in his excitement he walked out without his sermon.

It was too late to go back for my notes, and what a blessing that I couldn’t go back! Instead, my own subconscious mind yielded the material I needed. When I arose to begin my sermon, I closed my eyes, and spoke with all my heart and soul of my dreams.

Phillip D. Armour was in his congregation that morning. After Rev. Gunsaulus finished his sermon, Mr. Armour stood up and, on the spot, pledged one million dollars. With that money, Rev. Gunsaulus founded the Armour Institute of Technology, which has become the Illinois Institute of Technology.


Both Asa Candler and Frank Gunsaulus had one characteristic in common: they both knew the universal law that IDEAS CAN BE TRANSMUTED INTO CASH THROUGH THE POWER OF DEFINITE PURPOSE PLUS DEFINITE PLANS.

Use Your Imagination!
First, you start with an IDEA. You use your IMAGINATION to flesh it out and develop a plan for reaching your goal. You implement that plan with DETERMINATION, DEFINITENESS OF PURPOSE, the BURNING DESIRE to attain the goal, and with PERSISTENT EFFORT.

But it starts with an IDEA and IMAGINATION.

Author's Bio: 

Sara Dillinger is a Baby Boomer herself and a newbie internet entrepreneur focusing on the Baby Boomer generation because she spent sixteen years serving as pastor in United Methodist congregations all over Kansas. Those congregations were made up primarily of Baby Boomer or older members, so Sara has developed some expertise with the Baby Boomer generation. Sara is now on leave of absence and living in Atchison, Ks. with her almost-thirty year old son and two cats. She also helps her daughter, also living in Atchison, with three sons, ages 8, 6, and 1, while their father is in Afghanistan. Her blogs are found at http://www.for-boomers.com.