“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re probably right.” Henry Ford
Of course wealth matters. Unlike the word “abundance” that can have negative as well as positive connotations (e.g. credit card debt as well as reserve capital), “wealth” suggests more than sufficiency, be it of net worth, the number of close friends, the health and happiness of loved ones (especially children), and just about anything else that is essential to quality of life as well as to standard of living. Frankly, when I first read Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, I admired the Cratchett family their values but envied Ebenezer Scrooge his wealth.
In this book, Muzafer Najfi and Chris Snook share a wealth of information, much of it from their own experiences, during what they hope is a “mind and money-altering journey” for their reader, a journey whose destination is “true abundance” upon entering what they characterize as “the Wealth Matters Makeover social network and community.” Najfi and Snook suggest that “wealth” can be viewed as a suffix in combination with terms such as financial or as a prefix to “of” other terms such as knowledge and experience. However their reader may define “wealth,” Najfi and Snook share all they know about how to achieve it.
Readers will appreciate that, immediately in the Foreword, Original Preface, and then in the first chapter, Snook establishes and then sustains a direct, conversational rapport with the reader. His is the primary “voice” throughout the narrative that follows but Najfi plays a critically important role and is the primary source for insights. He contributes 13 “Laws” to accompany portions of “Chet’s Wisdom” (e.g. “I would say `God bless you,’ but in truth He already has!” Page 211), and contributions by Chris Snook (e.g. “Swing from Your Sweet Spot,” Page 107). There are dozens of other guest contributors whose observations and counsel illuminate as well as support the thematic flow and key points within the narrative.
Note: Chet Snook is Chris Snook’s father.
Frankly, I did not know quite what to make of the personal photographs included (Pages 144-166) but only after I had read the book and reviewed the key passages I had highlighted did I fully appreciated the value of the photos: They are a gift to the reader from the co-authors but, more importantly, they emphasize far more effectively than any words could the intensely personal – and perilous – nature of the “journey” the reader is urged to take. Once embarked, the pilgrim will not be alone if nourished and sustained (at least in spirit) by loved ones.
This is an odd book to describe because it seems to serve so many different functions: travel guide for a journey of personal discovery, an operations manual for strategic planning and management of net worth (including but by no means limited to financial assets), an anthology of affirmations of human potentialities (including but by no means limited to a religious context), and a multi-dimensional “reality check” to help each reader to “rebuild” what has been damaged, “restore” what has been lost or neglected, and thereby achieve “wealth” however each reader may define it.
I selected the Ford observation as the title for this review because I realized long ago (on my tenth birthday, to be exact) that attitude really is altitude. Therefore, if I really were determined to achieve the goals I had set, I would have to develop a positive attitude that could “lift” my spirits whenever I encountered barriers, setbacks, and even failures. Intuitively, at that young age, I realized what is explained and discussed on Pages 51-53: “Muzafer’s 2nd Law: Success Is Psychology.”
That said, I also want to stress that he and Snook are by no means dewy-eyed cheerleaders. Much of the material they provide explains the HOW of self-improvement. More specifically,
o Understanding the Five Universal Lawso The Seven Levels of Awareness
o Spiritual Wealth (What it is and what it isn’t)
o How and Why Intellectual Wealth is the Foundation of Leadership
o “The Law of Compensation”
o Six Ways to Turn Desire Into Gold
o Four Decisions to Fuel Your Fortune
One final point. Muzafer Najfi and Chris Snook would be the first to point out that it would be a fool’s errand to try to apply all or most of their insights and recommendations. I do think that all of them should be carefully considered but then it remains for the reader to decide which is most relevant and can be most helpful. Bon voyage!