“Faith is the ‘eternal elixir’ which gives life, power, and action to the impulse of thought!”
I came across this quote this morning, and couldn’t help but stop and ponder it for a while. An elixir is some kind of magical or medicinal potion. In the case of the hypothetical ‘elixir of life,’ alchemists believed it would prolong life indefinitely. So what did Napoleon Hill mean by referring to faith as the ‘eternal elixir’?
The more I ponder this quote, and the more I relate it back to experiences in my own life, the more it makes sense to me. Thoughts, on their own, don’t necessarily produce action or change. If you’ve lived with mental illness like me, I would suspect that you know this to be true. Thinking a thought doesn’t necessarily change your reality. It’s one thing to think, “I don’t need to be anxious right now,” but it’s a whole different story actually getting your anxiety symptoms to disappear.
Thoughts have to be acted upon in order for life change to be experienced. And there has to be an underlying driving factor that pushes a person to act on their thoughts. I think this is where faith comes in. Faith can be defined as “a strong belief or trust in someone or something” (merriam-webster.com), and in regards to the above quote, I think it is this strong belief or trust that gives “life, power, and action to the impulse of thought.”
Last week I had a rough go with insomnia, but I was determined to stay positive—and this could have simply been a “nice thought”, but I actually had to have faith in myself to do it. Thinking about staying positive through tough times in life isn’t enough to produce results. You have to believe it’s possible. You have to have faith in yourself.
This week I am in the middle of putting the final touches on a massive Family Experience event that I am organizing at my church. There are so many little details that need to be considered, and sometimes I wonder how my brain can handle it all. But just thinking about these details and imagining the final picture won’t pull the event together. I have to strongly trust and believe that I can actually do this in order to push myself to get it done. Otherwise, if I didn’t think it was possible, I would have given up before I even started.
When it comes to my Braver Than Before journey, starting this blog was, in a sense, an “impulse of thought”. I had known for some time that I needed to be writing more often, and had a feeling that blogging through my mental health recovery could be a powerful tool for myself and others. But I wouldn’t have done it if I hadn’t trusted and believed that I could actually make it happen. I needed a little bit of faith to give life, power, and action to the dream in my heart.
And as regards religion, if you have been following my blog (or you know me in person), you will know that the Christian faith I hold is very dear to me. In fact, I would say that my faith in God has been the single most revolutionary and life-changing motivator in my life. Nothing else has given me more life, more power, or more reason to act than experiencing the unconditional love that God has for me and my faith in the amazing promises He has made through the Bible.
So yes, I do think that faith is somewhat of an elixir. I see how a little bit of faith has brought me a long way. I see how when faith is completely removed from the picture, thoughts will struggle to produce results.
So the bottom line today? Have a little faith! Find something worthy of investing your faith into, and then just believe. I am learning that much more is possible when you believe than you ever could have thought or imagined. So go for it. Don’t hold back, don’t let your dreams lie dormant in the back of your mind. Give them life. Give them power. Give them the ability to act! And then watch how your life changes before your very eyes!
What do you think of Napoleon Hill’s quote?