Think And Grow Rich

One of the most reccommended self help books ever

The Napoleon Hill Foundation received many requests from people wanting the original, unedited, 1937 copy of Think and Grow Rich. To satisfy those customers the Foundation reproduced Napoleon Hill’s personal copy of the first edition, printed in March of 1937. The book has the notation, not to be loaned, and signed: Annie Lou Hill (the wife of Dr. Hill). This personal copy of Dr. Hill’s was given to me by Dr. Charles W. Johnson, Chairman of the Napoleon Hill Foundation and a nephew of Napoleon Hill. It was Napoleon Hill who sent Dr. Johnson to medical school, and today he is a practicing cardiologist. Charlie refers to Napoleon Hill as Uncle Nap, and will often makes the statement, Uncle Nap would be proud of the Foundation today. The original 1937 manuscript was written and edited with the assistance of Napoleon’s wife. In later years, the existing document was again edited by Dr. Hill. For example, the Foundation owns a 1958 edition that Hill edited personally. This did not lessen the books value in Hill’s judgment. Hill made the editing remarks in his own handwriting and the resulting 1960 edited edition has sold over 100 million copies making it the most read self-help book of all time. Think and Grow Rich sells more copies today than before Dr. Hill died in 1970. Now, a new and authoritative recording of this original, unedited, one-of-a-kind work, authorized by the Napoleon Hill Foundation is available. By purchasing this audio edition, you will be supporting the nonprofit Napoleon Hill Foundation. The entire philosophy of Napoleon Hill is based on the Golden Rule. The Foundation deeply appreciates the support of those of you who only purchase Napoleon Hill authorized books. You can identify these materials by the Foundation Logo and by looking inside for Napoleon Hill copyright.


Think and Grow Rich (1937 Edition)

Politicians

person dropping paper on box

I don’t have much faith in professional politicians, and I haven’t for a long time. I am talking about  politicians throughout what is called the western world, and not restricted to any one particular country. In the early 1990s in the UK, it became clear to me that the policies touted by the politicians running for office (any office, from local to national level), that were popular with, and beneficial to the electorate, were never implemented, and what is worse is that the policies that were implemented, were not popular and were sometimes detrimental to the voters. The unpopular policies would  have been implemented to a greater or lesser degree by whoever won the election, left/right, conservative/liberal etc etc. It seemed that there was a controlling and coordinating force behind the scenes, issuing directives to these elected frauds, regarding what they could and should do and also what they couldn’t and shouldn’t do. I expect that the situation has been like this for a longer time than I have been on this planet, but they don’t seem to try to hide their total disrespect for the electorate any longer and they don’t care what the people think or say. There seems to be an effort to change the nature of the countries in the western world, and for us non-politicians and other unconnected people, the “change” won’t be anything that we have “hoped” for.

 

Elected officials are public servants and this should give politicians a clue that they are supposed to serve the public interest. It is clear to any thinking person that this is not the case. I don’t think that it  has ever been the case, but these people are more brash nowadays and they don’t seem to care what the population thinks. Voting seems to have been compromised and I doubt that many people have faith in the integrity of the process anymore. Fraud is so easy with these electronic voting machines. It was easy on paper too, but not anywhere near as simple and convenient as creating a program for a desired outcome, no matter what buttons are pushed.

 

It is time for us to stop falling for the divisive tricks. Most people (non politicians) are reasonable and logical when making decisions. Unfortunately, certain politicians use hard sell sales tactics (among other tricks) on a population in order to make the voters think that they are getting what they want. Research the Hegelian Dialectic for more insight. What is called the mainstream media play a role as the publicists for chosen politicians and they also seem to have an agenda. They should really be impartial in their political stance, but the past presidential election showed them to be all of the same mindset and all of them pushing the same candidate. I expect that they were very confused regarding the results,  after their massive efforts to get one particular candidate elected.

 

I don’t consider myself liberal or conservative.

I think that everyone should have access to quality healthcare and a national healthcare system could be beneficial if it was administered properly, unfortunately, we know that we can’t trust any government to administer anything properly.

 

I think that the people of a country have the right to have secure borders, the polls suggest that the majority of the citizens of  the U.S.A. do want secure borders and the number of politicians who object to this, and sabotage the efforts of the President, proves the case that they ignore the people’s wishes.

 

I believe that there is a place for honest, ethical trades unions, and the way in which many employees are treated today is facilitated in part  by the lack of strong unions. Unfortunately, union officials  past and present have followed the lead of professional politicians in allowing themselves to be “influenced” by pressure groups at the expense of their members.

 

I am all for helping people in need but I am not in favor of communism or hardcore socialism. I think that these systems are just feudalism under a different name.

 

Politicians seem to believe that they are the new feudal landowners, and governments act more like monarchies than public servants. I don’t have a solution for the issue but I believe that the root of the issue is greed. Once these individuals have enough money, they are still greedy for power and influence. Why else would these multi millionaires stay in politics, it’s not like they do anything worthwhile.

Black Friday

group of people

Well, today is the day that many people have been waiting for, the day that the big box stores sell off their old stock at what appears to be huge discounts. My first experience of this day led me to believe that there were just too many people out there that were very easily influenced. People who could be enticed to sleep outside stores all night in order to grab the best deals, people who were willing to place themselves in the middle of large jostling, aggressive, greedy crowds just to “save” a few dollars on some shoddy electronic garbage that the don’t need anyway, people who love the chaos of the initial openings of these stores. I will not be partaking, I never have and I never will. I don’t like crowds and I don’t want to tempt fate by putting myself in a position that tests my patience. Cyber Monday is more my style, but it is very unlikely that I will buy anything on that day either.

 

It is interesting that there is a field of study called consumer psychology and the behaviour of some “bargain hunters” suggests some form of mind control to me. I don’t know the origins of this event but there is definitely some manipulation of public perceptions going on. I do believe that it is a chance for retailers to sell off their aging stock before they take delivery of newer updated products of the same type.

 

Maybe I am just not a good little consumer, but I would rather do my own thing on this day, even if it means that I miss the chance to buy some item at a discount.

I must admit that I don’t like shopping at the best of times and this could be a reason that I am not attracted to Black Friday. The whole affair is somewhat distasteful to me.

 

If you do enjoy Black Friday, I wish you well and hope that you get the deals that you hoped for but be nice and don’t compromise your character  just to save a few dollars.

The Credit Score

master card visa credit card gold

The truth of the matter is that everyone should strive to use as little credit as possible because credit equals debt. Having said that, most people find that they need to use credit on high ticket items such as vehicles, buying a house, home air conditioning systems, furniture, home repairs etc.

 

The three main credit bureaus in the U.S.A.  are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion and the  Creditors and lenders will normally use one of these bureaus to check your credit rating when you apply for credit. The credit bureaus operate by collecting and continuously updating a consumer’s credit rating and then selling that information to businesses in a credit report. Each credit bureau operates independently and issues it’s own rating. Consumers normally know this as their credit score, one number that represents your reliability as a borrower.

 

Credit scores generally range from a low of 300 (poor)  to a high of 850 ( excellent) and the score has a major impact on your credit options. Each individual business has their own model of credit score generation but the final ratings usually fall within a few points of each other. A lower credit score will put you at a disadvantage. You will find that you have less credit options, and the options that are available to you will come with a high interest rate and normally give you less time to pay the loan off. I think that it is always a good idea to get as high a credit score as you can, because you never know when you may need it.

FICO

The Fair Isaac Corporation formulated FICO credit scores. They are an amalgamation of the information found in the major credit bureau files on you. These scores are used by more than 90% of lenders when it comes to granting loans. They are also used when setting the interest rates, monthly payments, terms of each loan and loan approval. The FICO score is something that is normally supplied to many credit card holders on their monthly statements.

 

How To Get And Maintain A Good Credit Score

The first thing you will need is a credit history. If you have never used credit, you will have no credit rating and you will probably find it hard to get a loan.

The easiest way to begin your credit history is by getting a credit card. My suggestion is to use the card and either make sure that you pay it off every  month or keep a low balance on it. The credit history uses data from you “on time” payments, use of the card and length of credit history. You normally find that if you pay off the whole card balance in full every month, you will not be charged interest, but that depends on the individual lender and you should read the small print on your agreement.

After you create a credit history, make sure that you make all of your loan payments by the payment “due date” and keep your debt to 30% or less of the total credit available to you.

The categories generally used to determine your credit score is:-

Payment History – 35%

Credit Utilization – 30%

Length of Credit History – 15%

Mix of Accounts – 10%

New Credit Inquiries – 10%

 

The two most important factors, according to the above figures are the payment history and the credit utilization. Payment history is self explanatory – pay on time, every time. Credit utilization is a calculation of the total available credit you have versus your total debt. If you can keep the ratio of debt to credit below 30% then you should be in good shape.

Example –   Total Available Credit = $30,000

                     Total Debt = $9000

                     Credit Utilization = 30%

 

You never know when you may need credit and it doesn’t hurt to build yourself a good credit score for potential use.

If you can build and maintain a good score you will be able to take advantage of the best offers, such as:-

0% interest  finance loans for several years with no prepayment penalties

18 month + 0% interest credit card offers

9% or less APR credit cards

4% or less mortgage loans

And more

 

People with bad credit can still obtain credit but the interest rates are normally extortionate. Unfortunately,  the people who pay the most interest on loans are the people who can least afford it, or the people who have neglected to cultivate their credit score.

I once saw a 70 point drop in my credit score due to one minor monthly payment that I forgot about. The minimum payment was so small that I could have easily paid the amount many times over. The payment was to a store type credit card, and I paid the forgotten payment the following month. I had been an account holder for several years, and I had used it, and got to a zero dollar balance several times over that time. This was the first time that I had missed a payment. This didn’t matter to the company. It took about a year to rebuild the credit score to a very good level. The company involved, was so fast to react to this one missed payment in my history of being a reliable customer that I payed off the whole thing the month after that and shredded the card, never to be used again. These things happen and it is inconvenient, try not to let it happen to you.

 

Yes, the system has the advantage. I am not advocating the system and I am not advocating borrowing money, but if we are diligent, we can use the special offers that are available to a person with an excellent credit score as a useful financial tool.

Home Security

pexels-photo-1166415

A person who has their house burglarized feels violated. Their oasis from the crazy world has been breached and many victims never feel the same sense of comfort when in their home as they did before the burglary.

Burglary is considered a property crime and it is therefore not very high on the agenda of law enforcement, especially in large Cities. The headline grabbing shootings, stabbings robberies etc are what law enforcement concentrates on because they are crimes against persons and they are a threat to lives.

Everyone should take some security measures in order to prevent burglary. The harder the task seems to a burglar, the less he/she will target your home. Don’t think that it won’t happen to you because you are poor, appear poor or have nothing to steal, many burglars are chancers and are willing to take a risk on breaking into a house or apartment that is easy, in the hope that something of value will be obtained.

You don’t want to find yourself in a burglary/home invasion situation. Technically, this situation occurs when a burglar enters your home and you or another authorized person is in residence. It is very dangerous and if you have never considered what you would do in such a situation, you will be at the mercy of the criminal. You may end up at their mercy anyway, but if you have a plan, you have a better chance of a favorable outcome. The best thing to have in your home for such a situation is a firearm, although the usefulness of the firearm depends on the particular laws in your State of residence. Bats and clubs can also be a good defence tool.  If you do possess a firearm for such a situation, make sure that you know the law pertaining to this situation, you are sufficiently familiar with the weapon that you can use it and most importantly, if the situation dictates, be mentally prepared to use it in defence of yourself and family. I know many people are anti gun and that is ok. It’s your personal choice if you want to take the chance of becoming a helpless victim. The criminals don’t have these negative feeling about guns, or any weapons. Just remember that even if you manage to call 911, the police response time is going to be measured in minutes, not seconds. If you do have firearms in the house, don’t tell anyone about them.

 

Security Measures

Starting from the outside, get some light on your front yard, motion sensor flood lights are good. Trim any bushes so that people cannot hide behind them, trim the bush from the base, up to about 2 ft, so that you can clearly see the base. You could consider planting thorny bushes and hedges around the perimeter of your back yard, if the bushes are large and thorny enough, they may be enough to make a burglar think twice. Motion sensor lights in your backyard are also advisable.

Because most people like a private backyard, they fence the yard with fencing that blocks the view of people looking in from outside. This achieves privacy, but is also attractive to the burglar, as he/she can break into your house in privacy. The rear of a house is a popular entry point for burglars. With apartments, unless it is on the ground floor, there is only one way in, the front door. Many people would be surprised at how quick and easy it is to kick in a front door, or pry one open. I prefer a reinforced door frame which will withstand a lot of force. The door frame is normally the weak point.

Windows are also a favored entry point for burglars, they are easy to force and as a last resort, the burglar can just break the glass to gain entry. I think that windows are the weakest part of the house. There really isn’t very much you can do about this situation except to fit security bars on your windows. Many people don’t like security bars because they are ugly and they also stop you using the windows as an emergency exit, in case of fire etc.

Security cameras, recording to a DVD, can be fitted to your house internally and externally. These systems can now be self installed reasonably easily, many work on WiFi and they are not too expensive. The cameras can be motion activated and will record the burglar. Cameras will not give any specific protection against burglary unless you place signs or stickers in your yard. The cameras should really be covert, so the burglar doesn’t know about them. The recordings can be used for the apprehension and prosecution of the burglar. Catching a criminal after the event is not as desirable as preventing the burglary in the first place.

Alarms may put some burglars off, but most know that they have a few minutes to get in and out before any response to the alarm activation, but it does place a limit on their time. If the burglar has planned the crime, they will know exactly what they want to get and where it is, so they can be quick. This is why you should limit your visitors to highly trusted friends and family and people carrying out essential work on your house only.

When you are in your house, you can use devices like security door wedges and door braces to give extra security to you doors, or place the devices on all doors giving access to the outside, except the front door of course.  If you have windows that lock, keep them locked when not in use, consider installing security glass and consider having ground floor windows alarmed.

It all sounds like living a life under siege and I understand the feeling. You should evaluate your local crime maps (they can normally be found online, try the local police website) and decide what measures you think you need. Being prepared is better than being a victim. Don’t be afraid of reporting suspicious people in your area. The suspicion begins with strangers seen walking slowly along the street, casually looking at the houses as they go. The walk appears aimless and there should be no reason for a person who doesn’t live in the area to be shuffling along the street, glancing around at houses. If you see one of these shufflers suddenly start to walk towards a house with a purpose and disappear into the back yard, call the police. Sometimes the suspicion is generated by seeing an unknown vehicle cruising slowly in your residential neighborhood, especially during the day, after people who work the traditional 9 AM to 5 PM have gone to work. If you are wrong, don’t worry, you have a right to be suspicious. The police should respond, and maybe that alone will encourage burglars to find somewhere else to target.

Security, How To Stay Safe

vehicle security tips

Everyone needs to take responsibility for the safety and security of themselves and their families. There are many things that you can do to minimize your chances of becoming a victim of crime. These steps are usually small and reasonably effortless. I will cover several areas of concern over a series of posts.

It is all very well to say that you pay for police protection via your taxes but the reality is usually that the police are not around when crime occurs. There are various reasons for this, most are not the fault of the police. It is rare for a police officer to have a crime occur in front of him/her The criminals are looking out for a police free area to commit the crime in the first place and it is easier for the criminal to see the marked police vehicle than it is for the police officer to see the criminal.

A venue with security is better than one without, but professional criminals know that on the whole, the security officer is there to observe and report rather than prevent and apprehend, so the well prepared criminal can commit a crime without too much concern over (immediate) arrest.

 

vehicle security and safety

Today’s post will concentrate on vehicles.

Your vehicle feels like an extension of your residence, but it is not. First and foremost, don’t have provocative car stickers or license plates. Strangers don’t need to know what you support or like. The worst type of sticker to have on your vehicle is the pro gun sticker, the gun range sticker, the gun manufacturer sticker or any other hints that you support firearms. The major reason for this is that criminals love guns and pro gun stickers lead them to suspect that you have a firearm in your vehicle. Criminals will break into your vehicle just on the chance that they may find a gun. Political bias stickers or license plates may invite vandalism or worse. The same principle applies to this, why tell strangers who you are and what you are thinking anyway.

 

prevent criminals breaking into your car

Christmas shopping season is not so far away. When you go to the Mall, try to complete all of your shopping in one go. Don’t go back to your vehicle multiple times, loading it up with merchandise on every trip back to the car. If you don’t follow this advice, at least make sure that the items that you buy are not visible in the unoccupied vehicle. Put the items in the trunk, or at least cover the items up to hide what they are if you put them in the passenger compartment. You can be sure of this one thing, someone is watching. It is all common sense, but you would be very surprised to find out how many people have never thought of such simple preventative steps. Of course, always lock your vehicle when you are away from it, always, no excuses, regardless of how close you may be to the vehicle.

 

stay safe when driving

Lock your vehicle doors at all times when you are driving. Most vehicles now do this automatically and you have probably never thought about it. Check the doors the next time you drive your vehicle, see if they lock automatically and if they don’t, get into the habit of locking them. It would be wise to check the doors anyway because some auto locks are a little quirky. If you are a passenger and stay in a parked vehicle alone, as may happen if the driver makes a pit stop at a store etc, lock the doors while you are in it.

 

park  your car in a safe place

When you park your vehicle in a public place, try to park as close to the building doors as possible. This ensures a constant flow of people past your vehicle, criminals don’t like this and they will go to an easier target in a more quiet area. In the evening or at night, also find the area with the most light. Directly under a light is best. Security cameras are ok, but they don’t deter criminals as much as you may think.

 

check out your parking space for suspicious people

When you approach a place that you will be parking your vehicle, be aware of who is around, if you feel at all suspicious, keep driving. Although this post is about vehicles, it also involves  driver and passenger safety. Sometimes the criminal is interested in people rather than property and sometimes people are just mentally ill and will do the unexpected for no reason at all.

 

How to avoid road rage

Don’t insult other drivers on the road. Don’t give them hand signals that convey your displeasure, no matter how much you think they deserve it. This also goes for verbal messages, yes, the other driver can not hear you, but most derogatory words when accompanied by facial expressions can cause offense, and your message is easily understood. This behaviour can sometimes result in a violent response, even from otherwise law-abiding people.

 

Don't go to suspicious gas stations

When you park up at the gas pump, don’t leave your purse, cell phone, wallet or any other desirable item in plain view on your passenger seat, and make sure that your doors are locked while you are filling up. If you don’t like the vibes of the gas station that you pull into, trust your instinct and go somewhere else. It doesn’t matter what time of day or night it is.

 

Why you should park in your garage

If you have a garage at home, use it. It will add an extra layer of protection to you vehicle. When you park in your garage, close the garage door before you get out of your vehicle.

 

Don;t leave your car running

Don’t ever leave your vehicle running when it is unoccupied, regardless of where you are. There is no reason for this and it is an offense in most places anyway.

 

 

My advice is to drive an inconspicuous vehicle, do a little research into areas that you may have to go to, ones that you don’t know well, and be aware of what is going on around you. Take simple precautions like locking the vehicle, keeping packages out of view and keeping your doors locked, and remember that everything is always alright until, suddenly it isn’t, especially in areas that you know well and feel comfortable in.

 

In the next post, I will look at home security.


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