Thoughts Are Things: Turning Your Ideas Into Realities

Thoughts Are Things: Turning Your Ideas Into Realities

by Bob Proctor, Greg S. Reid


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Thoughts Are Things is a wonderful, motivational text from two acclaimed public speakers and accomplished authors—Bob Proctor and Greg S. Reid. 

What mind-set determines whether or not a person will be successful? Do successful people think differently from those who never reach their potential? How can we change our thoughts so that the result of every thought—the offspring of thought—sets us up to win rather than lose?

Bob Proctor and Greg S. Reid, authorized by the Napoleon Hill Foundation, delve deeply into the science and psychology of thought, and how thinking is vitally important to a meaningful, successful life. In their interviews with neuroscientists, cardiologists, spiritual teachers, and business leaders, the authors show in Thoughts Are Things how we can think to live!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399174971
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/29/2015
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 248,016
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.57(d)

About the Author

A speaker, author, consultant, coach, and mentor, Bob Proctor was already a legendary figure in the world of personal development long before his appearance in the hit film The Secret. For more than forty years, Proctor has been one of the biggest names in prosperity and personal development, delivering talks throughout the world that help people achieve success and prosperity. Through his work with the Proctor Gallagher Institute, which he cofounded, he has transformed countless lives with his message of prosperity.

Greg S. Reid is a filmmaker, motivational speaker, and bestselling author. He is also an entrepreneur and the CEO of several successful corporations, and has dedicated his life to helping others achieve the ultimate fulfillment of finding and living a life of purpose.

Read an Excerpt


“Thoughts are Things” are the first three words in the quintessential work on success, Think and Grow Rich, and represent the starting point of all achievement. Have you ever had a good idea? Of course you have! But have you ever made money from one of your good ideas?

The most successful businesses are created by solving a problem or serving a need. The initial thought triggers your entrepreneurial spirit, and instantly creates intellectual property that belongs to you. As defined by the World Intellectual Property Organization, “Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.” It is the intangible asset that results from human intellect, creativity, innovation, and know-how and from reputation and goodwill created by relationships with others.

Only a few decades ago, the value of the bulk of US corporate assets was from tangible assets, such as property, plant, and equipment. Intangibles, such as intellectual property, represented only approximately 20 percent of the value of corporate assets. However, by 2005, that ratio of intangible to tangible corporate assets had essentially reversed; the market value of the S&P 500 was approximately 80 percent intangible assets. According to the US Department of Commerce, “[t]he entire U.S. economy relies on some form of intellectual property, because virtually every industry either produces or uses it.”

In other words, the future of our economy depends on intellectual property triggered by entrepreneurial thoughts! No longer do you need vast amounts of capital to start and build a business. With this shift in the importance of intellectual property, combined with the ease of communication provided by the Internet, it has never been easier to build a business around your good ideas.

My business success has come from creating intellectual property related to educational products like books and games and then building the businesses to deliver them. I had the pleasure of working closely with my wonderful husband, Michael Lechter, who is recognized internationally for his intellectual property expertise.

Once you think of a way to solve a problem or serve a need, you may also want to put certain legal protection mechanisms in place (things like patents, trademark and copyright registrations, and contractual agreements) and you will want to create the system that will allow you to deliver the solution or provide the service. That system creates your business . . . a business born from your thoughts.

This book has been written for you at the perfect time. It shares the stories of some incredible people who not only built successful businesses using this model, but made significant positive impacts on their communities in the process. As you read their stories, keep a journal nearby so you can record the thoughts that spring into your mind!

Your next thought could ignite your entrepreneurial spirit, creating intellectual property for you . . . and the beginnings of your next business. Here’s to your million-dollar idea!



Author of Think and Grow Rich for Women and Save Wisely, Spend Happily

Coauthor of Outwitting the Devil, Three Feet from Gold, and Rich Dad Poor Dad


You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct, and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.


Every year has its high points: achievements and advancements that leave an indelible mark upon history and upon society as a whole.

The year 1937 was no exception. In fact, I consider it one of the most significant years in all of human experience.

This was the year that saw the release of Walt Disney’s first full-length animated feature film . . . the emergence of a thrilling and controversial new artist named Pablo Picasso . . . and the completion of the Golden Gate Bridge. Nylon was patented in 1937, and Howard Hughes made his record-breaking coast-to-coast voyage. It was also the year The Hobbit had its literary debut, as well as Of Mice and Men and Out of Africa.

Remarkable as they are, however, it’s not any of these milestones that makes 1937 such a significant historical moment, in my estimation. It was the publication of another groundbreaking book, a book that would go on to profoundly influence tens of millions of lives, right up through this very day, and undoubtedly beyond it.

The story behind the creation of this miraculous work is one of the more fascinating tales of the early twentieth century—one that perfectly captures the near-mythological dynamism, excitement, and can-do spirit of the era.

It all started in the mind of the great steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie’s was the ultimate rags-to-riches tale. Born penniless in Scotland, he emigrated to America with his parents as a boy, and eventually rose to become the wealthiest businessman of his time, founding the company that would eventually form one of the cornerstones of US Steel.

Carnegie knew what he’d done to achieve his enormous wealth and success, and he had a theory. He was convinced that great achievement was a matter of doing a few certain things in a certain way. He believed that these certain things were the common denominator shared by all successful people. And he was convinced that if they could be discerned and delineated in a step-by-step formula, anyone, of any background or circumstance, could become wealthy and successful as well, simply by following it.

So he enlisted the help of a young reporter to help him prove his theory—and perhaps change the world in the process.

In 1908, this reporter, Napoleon Hill, had been assigned to interview the great industrialist as part of his publication’s series on successful men. Originally slated to take three hours, the interview went on for three full days and three full nights before it was complete.

Even more remarkable than the longevity of the interview was the offer Carnegie made to his visitor when the interview wound to a close:

Young man, if you are willing to work for me—for free—for twenty years, I will send you on a mission to meet the most powerful and influential leaders of our time. During these encounters, you will discover and create the first-ever formula for personal success.

It was a stunning proposition, one not many people would have had the guts or foresight to accept. But Napoleon Hill wasn’t just anyone. He was somehow able to comprehend, in just a few seconds, the incredible potential in the opportunity before him—for both himself and the world. He looked the great man squarely in the eye and said, “Mr. Carnegie, not only will I accept your proposal, I promise I will complete it.”

Hill didn’t know it at the time, but he wasn’t the first recipient of Carnegie’s remarkable proposition. More than 250 men had been presented with the great man’s unconventional offer.

He was, however, the first one to accept it.

He also didn’t realize until later just how crucial his decisiveness on the matter had been. A stickler for action, Carnegie had privately decided he would give his guest just sixty seconds to make up his mind once the proposition had been laid on the table. He knew what the job would entail, and he wasn’t interested in wafflers. When Hill walked out of the office, his host pulled from his pocket the stopwatch he had started. There were still thirty-one seconds left.

Clearly, Carnegie had found his man.

Carnegie had promised to furnish Hill a letter of recommendation to the titans of the age, assuring him that when these men saw who had sent him, they would give him all the time he needed. True to his word, he gave the young author access to the brains of the era’s great thought leaders, including Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, and the Rockefellers, among others.

Hill interviewed them all—and hundreds more—over a period of many years, shaping along the way the formula Carnegie had envisioned. In 1937, nearly twenty years after setting out on his quest, he published his findings in what would go on to become one of the best-selling and most influential books of all time—Think and Grow Rich.

In this slim volume, Hill presented the distillation of all he had learned in what he termed the Philosophy of Achievement. This philosophy consisted of thirteen individual principles, or “keys to success,” which included:

   • Definiteness of Purpose
   • The Power of the Master Mind
   • Going the Extra Mile
   • Applied Faith
   • A Pleasing Personality
   • Self-discipline
   • Positive Mental Attitude
   • Enthusiasm
   • Personal Initiative
   • Learning from Adversity and Defeat
   • Creative Vision
   • Accurate Thinking
   • Cosmic Habit Force

Hill theorized that these keys would unlock the door to lifelong success, abundance, and fulfillment for anyone who mastered them. It was a tantalizing promise, of course, but it soon became clear that there was real substance behind it. People who faithfully applied the principles discovered that, lo and behold, they worked—in exactly the way Hill said they would. Indeed, this was a formula for success: solid, reliable, and available to anyone and everyone who wanted it.

Carnegie’s theory was proven . . . and a legend was born.

It is almost impossible to overstate the impact that Think and Grow Rich has had since its publication. At the time of Hill’s death in 1970, it had already sold twenty million copies. Today, that number is estimated at close to seventy million—and those numbers don’t take into account the unknown millions who received the book from someone else, or picked it up at a used-book store or the library. It is one of the cornerstones of the modern self-growth movement and has been openly credited as the inspiration behind many of the most successful corporations, organizations, and careers in the world.

My own first encounter with this life-changing book occurred in 1961, more than half a century after Hill’s momentous first meeting with Andrew Carnegie. Seeing the state my young life was in, an older and much wiser friend (whom I soon came to see as a kind of guardian angel) handed me a copy of Think and Grow Rich and rather strongly suggested I read it.

My life was never the same again.

Up until that point I was, in a word, lost. I had a job that was going nowhere. I was in an amount of debt I couldn’t imagine being able to repay. I had no plans, no ambition of any kind . . . no vision of a future meaningfully different or better than the present situation I was in.

Think and Grow Rich changed all of that. Instantly.

Through Think and Grow Rich, my eyes were opened to a universe of possibilities of whose existence I previously had absolutely no awareness. And the wondrous “aha” at the heart of it all was the sudden understanding of the limitless potential that lay within my own mind—more specifically, the enormous, extraordinary power of my thoughts.

Now, this wasn’t something I’d ever considered before. To the extent that I’d given any consideration at all to the “why” behind my circumstances, I saw myself the way many people in the world do: as a victim. I had no idea that I’d thought myself into the mess I was in. It certainly never occurred to me that I could think my way out of it.

This realization ignited a fierce, profound passion in me. I became ravenous for, sought out, and found as much information and insight on the subject of self-development as I possibly could. I found it in other books, such as James Allen’s immortal As a Man Thinketh and Wallace Wattles’s masterpiece The Science of Getting Rich. I found it in mentors like the legendary “dean of personal development” Earl Nightingale and his business partner, Lloyd Conant, whom I eventually worked with at their pioneering company, Nightingale-Conant.

And over and over again, at every chance I got, I reread the book that started it all for me: Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich.

Table of Contents

Foreword Shaton Lechter, GPA, CGMA ix

Introduction xiii

Chapter 1 The Luck Lie 1

Chapter 2 Overcoming the Obstacles to Action 12

Chapter 3 The Power of Possibility 33

Chapter 4 Feeding Your Dreams 44

Chapter 5 Mapping the Transition from Thoughts to Things 60

Chapter 6 The Origins of Thought 70

Chapter 7 Effective Emotions 84

Chapter 8 Conquering the Mountain 94

Chapter 9 Silencing the Critics 109

Chapter 10 Three Feet from Gold 120

Chapter 11 Failing to Succeed 130

Chapter 12 Leading by Living R.I.C.H. 142

Chapter 13 From Trauma to Triumph 149

Chapter 14 Finding Ideas Fueling Thoughts 158

Chapter 15 Setting the Table for Success 168

Chapter 16 The Common Denominators of Success 177

Acknowledgments 191

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher


“Bob and Greg make a great team—Napoleon Hill’s legacy lives on!”
Brian Tracy, international bestselling author
“An excellent observation on how people create their own reality.”
Dave Liniger, co-founder of RE/MAX
“This book has the ability to impact many lives around the globe.”
Dr. Denis Waitley, author, keynote lecturer, and productivity consultant
“When you're ready to change everything about your life, you have to change your thoughts, which control your actions and your results. This book is where you begin.”
 —Jim Stovall, bestselling author of The Ultimate Gift

“What a great book, I recommend it highly.”
Frank Shankwitz, co-founder, Make-A-Wish Foundation


"Fans of Hill's model will find inspiration in the exhortations to fight entropy, overcome fear, have faith, and innovate."

"This book is worth its weight in gold."
—Richard Cohn, Beyond Word, publisher of The Secret
"Another great release from the Napoleon Hill Foundation—outstanding!”
—Mike Helton, president of NASCAR

“Every patriotic, free-enterprising American must read, absorb, and use this timely wisdom.”
—Mark Victor Hansen, co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul

"A fantastic read."
—Lou Ferrigno

"This crisply written book full of admonishment and encouragement is presented under the auspices of the Napoleon Hill Foundation, which means it coincides with the principles of success first espoused by Napoleon Hill in his seminal self-help book, Think and Grow Rich. Reid’s explanation of the components of stickability, which include maintaining flexibility, overcoming fear, and acting on a desire more than just a wish, are carefully articulated to apply to any reader’s personal circumstances, so that all people can learn to develop the habits and practices that will move them beyond . . . limitations."

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