Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mastermind Groups for Mastery of the Mind.

Last week, I pulled another book out of the archives for some spiritual stimulation—Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill. To me, it is the original version of the recently popular pop psychology phenomenon, “The Secret”, and like most originals, far superior to the copy. It is a classic motivational book which reveals the spiritual secrets of success and riches per Andrew Carnegie. It covers such topics as the laws of attraction, faith, desire, visualization, strategy, planning and discipline and has provided inspiration and practical strategies for millions of people since it was first published in 1937.

One principle in particular, the principle of the “mastermind group” was something that I used extensively in my early career. I thought I was using it effectively, but looking back now, I realize I had misused the concept and then prematurely abandoned it. I viewed it as simply a form of networking, or creating proximity to powerful people with the expressed goal of meeting as many “potential customers” as possible. That was very one sided of me. No wonder it wasn’t that effective. Now, I understand that I had completely missed the point! Had I utilized it as suggested and intended by the author, I might still be using it today. I plan to reacquaint myself with the concept while simultaneously teaching this idea to my children. It will be interesting to see who they pick for their Mastermind groups. I am sure the creator of Pokemon will be on my son’s list.

A “mastermind group” allows one to select an “ideal” group of mentors, real or imagined who possess individual character traits that you value most. Members should be chosen carefully and studied intensely. He even suggests that you journal, “conversation style”, with your mastermind mentors on a regular basis to witness how they would approach opportunities and solve problems if they could speak to you. I think this is absolutely brilliant and it reminded me of some training I acquired recently in a seminar. It required that we “call upon” popular archetypes such as the “powerful magician”, the “fearless warrior”, the “stately King/Queen”, and the “wise sage” to help us find more creative solutions to problems.

It works like this…

Pick a personal problem or a challenge that has defied resolution, and then step alternatively into the character of the four archetypes mentioned above. See and analyze the problem (objectively) as if you were that character. It may seem utterly ridiculous, but it works! It’s even more powerful if you find music suited to those archetypes and meditate while doing this. Keep a journal of your thoughts after each meditation and then analyze your entries upon completion.

My theory is that the “mastermind group” will enable you to expand and intensify this process because the mentors you choose will reflect the qualities you determine are most important in creating the life you really, really, really want. Calling upon their wisdom through your own powers of imagination and visualization will unlock solutions and opportunities that you might not have otherwise unlocked. Selection of your group is critical because these members will help shape your destiny.

In these times of great uncertainty, I believe it is important for each of us to call upon our internal resources and use our imaginations to expand our thinking. The same level of thinking that got us to where we are now, will not take us to where we want to be. Remove the limitations in your life--call upon the Master Minds to create an inspirational Board of Directors for yourself.

I would love to hear who you’ve appointed to your Mastermind Group!

I offer mine:
Love/giving/contribution: Mother Teresa
Passion Benjamin Franklin
Growth and Education Ralph Waldo Emerson
Communication Intuitive Counselor, Tricia Brennan
Coaching Tony Robbins
Creativity/Ingenuity Leonardo DaVinci
Intelligence Albert Einstein
Persistence Helen Keller
Spirituality Dr. Wayne Dyer
Wealth Warren Buffet
Integrity/Ethics My Grandfather and Abraham Lincoln
Courage Ghandi

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