The drive to create a business or other works of greatness may come from a surprising place. Also why Napoleon Hill may have been wrong.
Have you ever stopped to wonder why some people just seem to have the drive to create a business and make it grow and others don’t?
The easy answer is that they want to make a lot of money.
That might be true for some people. But for most of the entrepreneurs I know, that reason only scratches the surface. The reality is quite different. Most starting businesses will fail to generate vast wealth for their owners.
Even if money is the primary motivator, we still need to ask why they need a lot?
If the next answer is greed, what is the motivation for greed?
“The pages of history are filled with the records of great leaders whose achievements may be traced directly to the influence of women who aroused the creative faculties of their minds, through the stimulation of sex desire.” ~ Napoleon Hill circa 1937
In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill states that successful businessmen have a powerful sex drive that is transmuted later in life (age 40 plus) from the physical form into the energy and thrust to create and grow a large enterprise, or other work of greatness.
To come up with his conclusions, Napoleon Hill claims to have studied the patterns of over 25,000 men who were judged to be highly successful.
Aside from the obvious 1930s biases like assuming men are running everything, and the LGBT population doesn’t exist, we can all fall into another potential flaw in analyzing data for patterns.
Cause and Effect
If you have data and a set of beliefs it is easier to prove your beliefs or hunches than to look at things a different way. Transmutation of physical, sexual energy into the mental energy to bring out creative genius and allow people to achieve success in their fields is one possibility. However, transmutation smacks of “… and then a miracle occurs” logic.
When we look at extending the theory out to the current year and the modern demographics of success, his arguments start to crack a bit.
If one or more explanations exist, the simpler one is usually better.
Human Nature and Survival
At the lowest level, we have a strong drive to survive; both from an individual perspective and as a species.
At a higher plane, we have a desire to avoid pain and seek pleasure. The pain here is not the physical pain related to issues of survival, but rather the anguish and fears derived from past and anticipated future.
Procreation is imperative to every species if it is to survive. Enjoying sex is not limited to humans either.
Definition of Procreate:
- To beget or generate (offspring).
- To produce; bring into being.
There is a drive to not only survive and procreate but to provide safety in the present and such that it outlives us. This is where creation comes in. We can create in ways that further ensure our safety and survival.
Definition of Create:
- to cause to come into being, as something unique that would not naturally evolve or that is not made by ordinary processes.
Creation is the driving force for our survival.
Earlier in life, many people focus on the basics: food, shelter and family. As people get older, they turn to creating things that will allow their families to thrive in the future as well.
There has been a significant shift over the last few hundred years and into the present. Humans no longer need to procreate in large numbers to survive as a species. Family sizes are shrinking and more people than ever are forgoing children altogether.
Since we are no longer focused on personal survival, we move up one level.
Creation, Avoiding Pain, and Seeking Pleasure
We are creating to avoid pain and to create pleasure.
We are building businesses, not only to survive and provide safety through income and legacy, but to provide other types of fulfillment.
This may mean creating a lifestyle business, or one that causes a change in the world, or one that proves an idea. Of course, there are still those that are looking to create something much bigger, because that is where the creative process demands they go.
I think we are going to see a lot more young entrepreneurs shaking things up.
When people move past survival, we can move into creation for personal motivators or we can seek the pleasure of recreation and entertainment.
Definition of Re-create:
- To create anew.
Definition of Recreate:
- To refresh by means of relaxation and enjoyment, as restore physically or mentally.
The original root of recreation appears to derive from the re-creation or renewal of self.
Recreation for the purpose of a change, pleasure and renewal can be quite helpful to bring back the creative drive.
At the extreme, you can swing into recreation and entertainment for the eternal purpose of avoiding pain and seeking pleasure.
Excessive leisure used to be something with which only the nobility or wealthy had to contend. Now, many people spend a significant portion of their lives consuming it. Seeking pleasure and avoiding pain is the allure of drug addicts. We have adrenaline junkies, and sex is part of the equation as well. With further changes in technology and innovation in the not too distant future, the option to seek recreation and pleasure full time may move to the masses.
How will this further complicate the changing roles of men?
Back to the Creation of Business
To answer Napoleon Hill’s theory, I think the drive to create is higher in certain people in the right situations. Once awakened, either naturally or through some decision or trigger, it comes out of people in different forms. Sex is only one physical manifestation.
“The force is strong with this one.” ~ Darth Vader
There is no need to transmute sexual energy into that drive for creative genius or success.
We all have the potential for creation built into us, waiting to be triggered. Tapping into it and how we use it is up to us as builders and entrepreneurs.
What is driving you?