Recently I have read through Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie while on the elliptical machine. When I started reading, I was bringing a hardcover book to the gym, which proved to be difficult to maneuver flipping the pages while simultaneously operating the machine. I switched to a Kindle and it changed my life; now flipping pages is as simple as tapping on the right side of the device.

I digress. Think and Grow Rich was a great introduction into the principles that allow successful people rise above the ashes of poverty. In fact, a requirement of the book is to resent poverty and strive to fulfill personal desires, regardless of what others think or project. Your desires should be forefront in guiding words and actions, as they are the cornerstones that provide the driving forces behind decisions. To take one's thoughts and turn them into a monetary equivalent is regarded as transmutation in Think and Grow Rich.

Transmutation occurs through control. Simply put, we have absolute control over one thing in our universe: our thoughts. Controlling thoughts means to place parameters on what we mean to achieve and resist negative temptations that could render our thoughts useless. If our thoughts are being driven by a definite major purpose, there is no room for negativity.

A practical step of transmuting desire is to write down a definite purpose and repeat it day after day. You will start to believe, and influence yourself that transmutation is possible.

In How to Win Friends and Influence People, the goal is flipped from influencing ourselves to influencing others, by giving them what they truly desire. What is it that others truly want, deep down? How can we empathetically discover these wants and help them come true? The key to influencing others comes from this discovery and the solutions that are imparted:

“The only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.” — Dale Carnegie

We all have wants, needs, and desires. Figuring them out for ourselves can lead to a very successful outlook. Figuring them out for others means to never walk alone.

These books have been instrumental in how I plan to transmute my desires, build interpersonal relationships, and implement empathy into the problem-solving process. They were a reinforcement of what I believed and how my approach should be altered.