Napoleon Hill Foundation Yesterday and Today Ezine for October 21 2011

This week's Napoleon Hill Foundation yesterday and Today ezine focuses on the Desire for Material Gain. Ray Stendal is the guest columnist this week.

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Dear Readers,

Whenever I needed money and asked my mother for it she always reminded me that "money does not grow on trees, you know!" Thinking about this admonition now makes me smile because in an indirect way, my mother was preparing me to face my own future and learn about the science of getting rich. As I discussed career options with my children, I also told them that after four years of higher education I wanted them to be able to earn a living at their chosen profession. At the time I reminded them about the sources of income, they too smiled and thought that I didn't understand much. Upon their graduation both my son and daughter were employed full time in the area of their degrees. They now better understand that they need to harvest their living from their profession, not from handouts, loans, or the generosity of others.

Self-sufficiency leads to better self-esteem and a higher quality of life. Career counselors often talk about interests, talents, and the pre-disposition for certain professions, but do they talk enough about potential income? Sometimes students need to be reminded that they have to do something with the education they have acquired and not just accumulate knowledge within themselves. Like money, possessions, or anything else, things are only of value when they are in circulation.

Napoleon Hill states: "True happiness consists not in the possession of things, but in the privilege of self-expression through the use of material things." Ponder this thought a bit and see if you don't agree that things of value are really transferable energy that can be used to make our lives better. Movement creates a certain dynamic that keeps us on our toes. Money may not always grow on trees, but for those of you who own orchards, the apples translate into income. Likewise, whatever we devote our time and energy to, we should be expectant of equal compensation in whatever form we choose.

Be Your Very Best Always,

Judy Williamson

Director of the Napoleon Hill Foundation World Learning Center at Purdue University Calumet

Watch this video of Ray Stendall and Judy Williamson discussing this week's Napoleon Hill Foundation ezine topic.

The Desire for Material Gain

By: Ray Stendall

The desire for material gain is a very powerful motive and is partially responsible for all progress mankind has enjoyed. Material gain can only exist in a consistent manner when three conditions occur simultaneously in a free market:

a) There is a clear demand for a product or service,b) The product or service is delivered with sufficient quality/quantity/positive attitude; and,c) It is hard to replace the provider of the product or service with a competitor.

If you apply these three conditions to any successful productive person you will clearly see they solve a specific problem in the market, they provide sufficient quality and quantity of their product or service and they are hard to replace. You will also notice that they have a very pleasing personality and deliver their product or service with a positive attitude. The stronger these attributes are the more they earn.

Now let's examine another dimension of why the desire for material gain is so important. As a person strives to provide their product or service they create value. What does value really mean? Value is the difference between what something is worth to us based on the benefits we derive and what we pay. The greater this positive difference, the greater the value and the more attractive the product/service offering is.

Value creation happens when a person makes a volitional decision to produce a product or service to fill a specific market need. Value is created by a person's ability to think. The time we spend thinking and acting is limited. We exchange our limited time to create value. Therefore we can equate value creation/work with our time here on earth.

We can also consider the above equation in reverse, the amount of value we have created can be measured in one way based on the material gain we have accumulated. I know this last statement might sound controversial, but I challenge you to really consider this idea. The majority of the richest ethical people in the world have amassed billions of dollars based on their ability to create tremendous value on an ongoing basis. Also it is quite hard to find examples of people who have created the same level of value who are not incredibly wealthy. Over the long-term, value creation and wealth go hand in hand, because value creation is the "Cause" and wealth accumulation is the "Effect."

So far in this article I have shared the rules by which money can be attained and how it relates to value. The next logical question is what does one do when they accumulate this gain? Money and material gain is really only good for two things:

Material Gain allows us to live comfortably and to maximize our freedoms with the available time we have. It allows us to live the way we want to live, to take care of our families and be in a creative state of mind conducive to wealth and value creation.

Material Gain allows us to expand the footprint for the service we offer to others. With more financial resources, more capital can be deployed to create more products that can reach more people. When a Definite Purpose is combined with the motive for Material Gain, the level of global impact can really be remarkable and contribute to a legacy of making a real difference.

Based on these two uses of material gain we can see that throughout history those that do not align their material gain with a worthwhile Definite Purpose will become unfulfilled and in most cases lose their wealth and sometimes their life.

Herein lies the secret: The purpose in life is to achieve happiness and fulfillment. We achieve happiness and fulfillment by leading productive lives inline with our purpose. We are motivated to do this based on achieving material gain, but as we do so we must make ourselves comfortable to be in a creative state of mind and then channel the material gain back into our purpose. Without doing so we will become unfulfilled, unhappy and depressed.

You are a wonderful and unique human being. Go forward, chase your dreams, create value and leave a mark on this word. A mark that does not say you merely existed, but you thrived and made a positive difference that is worthy of your life.

Ray Stendall is the co-author of the book Path to Riches and a consultant to business owners committed to building, marketing and selling amazing products and services that make a difference. Ray is also certified instructor with the Napoleon Hill Foundation and will be one of our speakers at the International Convention this year in Malaysia. He can be reached through his websites and

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