12 Things that Constitute Real Riches By Napoleon Hill

I’ve begun reading a book called Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

Lately, I’ve been jumping books, where I’d be reading a book and then become so distracted that I don’t finish it; so my new plan is to write about. That way the words get entrenched in my mind, and I am able to simplify my understanding of it.

I’ve always wanted to read this book. I’ve heard people talk about how helpful the guidelines have been to them, so I’m eager to test Napoleon Hill’s theories.

Who was Napoleon Hill?

One of the world’s earliest self-help gurus. He’d researched hundreds of successful people over decades, to create these brilliant manuals for personal development. Some of Hill’s books are: The Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons, Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, The Master-Key to Riches, and You Can Work Your Own Miracles, to name a few.

Think and Grow Rich was published in 1937 (nearly 80 years ago), but the book still sells for over R100. Talk about a best-seller! You can order a paperback from Takealot.com right now for R134. Or you can continue to read the summaries as I post them here Be Whole. I’ve also downloaded a FREE Think and Grow Rich App for Android on Playstore, to listen to the audio version of the book when I feel inclined.

According to Hill’s research for this particular book, which spanned 20 years, the 12 things that make (wo)men rich were discovered in hundreds of successful people, from all walks of life, who each appeared to share the following 12 qualities:

1. Positive mental attitude

2. Sound physical health

3. Harmony in human relations

4. Freedom from fear

5. The hope of future achievement

6. The capacity for applied faith

7. Willingness to share one’s blessings with others

8. To be engaged in the labour of love

9. An open mind towards all subjects for all people

10. Complete self-discipline

11. Wisdom with which to understand people

12. Financial security

He then emphasizes that financial security was intentionally listed as the final point to obtaining riches, because money is merely a component of wealth, not the purpose of it. Are your ducks in a row people? I can think of at least five that I seriously need to work on.

More notes on this book to follow! Do you or someone you know possess each of the 12 components mentioned? I’d love to feature you! Email me directly to robyn@bewholesome.co.za or leave a comment in the space below.

Featured Image by Tara Courtené

5 Questions for Anyone Aspiring to be a Content Producer.

Things to consider before choosing this career path.

I thought that it may be a good idea to share a post on what I do for a living. As a Content Producer, my job is to write, compile and aggregate web content, ranging from news articles, feature articles, blog posts, reviews, product descriptions and social media updates.

Other job titles with similar roles refer to copywriters, content managers, online journalists, and digital editors. But essentially we all share a common goal, which is to tell a story.

Everyone wants to feel that their job is important but as a content producer, you literally bear the responsibility of maintaining your company’s brand. Using a few words out of context could cost the company it’s reputation and followers.

While this may be a rewarding job for anyone who loves writing and working online, here are 5 things to consider before taking the plunge:

Are you prepared to accept a position below your qualification if you aren’t successful?

I don’t know anyone in the media or marketing industry who hadn’t started out as an intern. In some cases, your internship will be as good as voluntary because you won’t get paid. The more reputable the company, the lower your intern salary. Simply because the industry is highly competitive and employers know that their reputation will count in your favour – to establishing your career. Whether you feel that you deserve to be paid more, or that you’re selling yourself short, remember that every well established journalist has been down this road.

The key is to keep trying; never stop writing. This was something a former editor had told me upon my first rejection letter to her publication. I was looking for a summer internship during varsity and had applied to their 6 week program. After being rejected, I continued to apply to every program that they’d advertised and was eventually offered a 6 month internship, instead of the 6 week job shadow that  I was pining for.

Do you strive for financial freedom?

That’s just a euphemised way of asking if you want to be rich. Because if you do, your salary will not accommodate it. Bugattis and Atlantic Seaboard homes will have to wait until you’re the owner of the company that you write for. You must love your job so much that your passion for it is all that matters.

What is your niche?

A good writer is versatile. This means that you are able write to different target markets, in a way that appeals to them specifically. But as the saying goes, jack of all trades, master of nothing – every writer must establish a point of interest and develop it. For example, imagine writers as the guardians of language; as cultures evolve, there are always new things to learn and more stories to tell. Once you establish a niche, you develop direction and long term career goals.

How well do you handle criticism?

Journalists have it hard. A large portion of society have a warped idea of journalistic ethics, thinking that the media report stories they simply want you to know. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that journalists report on the status quo – current affairs, which directly affects society.

Published news stories are monitored via analytics and the most popular ones usually create a trend for relative stories follow. So the media simply appeal to your interests.

What is your source of inspiration?

Nurture, whatever spurts your creativity. An editor once told me that all her best ideas came to mind while she was near water. And that may seen strange, but if something similar gets you creative juices flowing, give it a shot.

Would you like me to share more posts about content producing and its processes? Leave a comment in the space below, or email me directly to robyn@bewhole.co.za.

From Bellville to Grenoble.


As the first in a series of stories by South Africans, in pursuit if their dreams, Lynn Cupido highlights her own story, which was always to live in France.

If it’s meant to be, it will be. I was a digital intern at a world-renowned magazine. I’d lived in a quiet neighborhood, with a spacious backyard, and compared to other parts of South Africa, I’d say that I’d come from an extremely privileged background.

It’s been a dream of mine to live in France for almost my entire life. My fascination with French culture and language only grew as I got older.

The work that I was doing made me realize that I wanted something more, and that if I didn’t follow my dream now, I’d never do it. Ultimately, my goal is to start my own language school within France.

It’s really difficult to get a work visa. One of the first things that you have to do is prove that you’re not going to be a freeloader and that you’ve already found work.

For more info on how to obtain a work visa, go to, Expatica.com.

Right now, I’m teaching little kiddies English, which is both a frustrating and rewarding task.

You generally need to obtain a TEFL course in order to teach English as a foreign language, go to GlobalTefl.uk.com for more info regarding course offerings and fees.

I’d been really lucky enough to find a quaint apartment attached to the home of a local French family in the city of Grenoble. They’ve helped me adjust to the French language and way of life. The only thing that limits me is the language. One of my biggest highlights has been the eagerness with which many of the French embrace me.

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The closest ski resort is roughly about 10 kilometers, if not less, from where I live. The bus stop leading to main stations, that would take you to the city and surrounds, is about three minutes away. [And] the city centre is a hub of activity, no matter what the time of day. Cars aren’t even able to drive through the centre, leaving space for trendy bars, restaurants and typical French architecture.

I’d say that the cost of living is quite similar to South Africa. You pay for where you shop and live. If you’re living in the city with a beautiful view of the French Alps, you’re going to be paying more.

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The one thing that constantly surprises me is the level of diversity in France. Race is not something that dominates France like in South Africa; it’s both refreshing and unnerving. From Moroccan Muslims to Scots, all cultures are well integrated and influence French culture. I’ve met some amazing people… There’s one little lady from North Carolina, in particular – we often gawk at how similar we are.

Moving to a different country makes you appreciate the familiarity that you often take for granted.

Whether I plan to stay for the rest of my life, or a year, it’s definitely an experience that will influence me forever. France is the siren and I’m the sailor.

To find out more about Lynn and her life in the French Alps, visit her blog, here, or follow her on Instagram.

If you’d like to share a story of how you or someone you know is following their dream, post a comment in the section below, or email me directly to robyn@bewhole.co.za

Story compilation as per interview. Images supplied

The 5 Rules for Growth.

Let this be a guide to refining the best of you.

My journey through Blogging 101 has been quite rewarding – I’ve connected with a diverse blogging community and learned so much in the interim. One thing that I’d discovered was that successful people always write and speak in simple terms, and stick to the key components of any development process, which I’ve jotted down for you below:

#2: Don’t Be Pretentious

It’s really annoying. But more importantly, it does more harm than good for what you’re trying to accomplish. My favourite bloggers are the ones who write truthfully, and simply, for example, Alice, author of Are you Better Yet? writes about her life as a 23-year-old woman suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder. Her stories are heartfelt because she is just so brutally honest. And then there’s Janet Sunderland, who simply recalls moments of her life in the most exquisite way – you’ll imagine that you’d shared those moments with her, that’s how great her writing is.

Everyone won’t find you appealing but at the end of the day, your goal should be to surrounded yourself with like-minded people.

#3: Start small

Whether you have big dreams or small goals, it only ever becomes reality once you do something about it. One of my colleagues runs for exercise on a weekly basis, and she says that the hardest part of running is getting your shoes on. Once that’s out of the way, you’re hyped up and ready for action. And I could absolutely relate. Small changes make a big difference.

#4: Be consistent

And be patient. I’m the type of person who’ll get home after a workout and stand in front of the mirror to spot bodily changes. I know that the results won’t show immediately but before I hop into the shower, I’ll turn another 360° in the mirror, just to be sure. Try your best not to do that with your goals. You’ll notice the results of your small changes in a big way, if you are consistent and patient.

#5: Learn from the experts

How deep is that line by Elizabeth (Lauren Graham) in The Answer Man (d/ John Hindman, 2009) when she says to Arlen Faber: “I only have three rules: don’t take advice from someone you wouldn’t trade places with, try not to do something you can’t take back, and something is what it is and it’s not something else.” Can I get an amen?! There is something to learn from everyone but you should ensure that you’re collecting tips from the right people. Look to the ones with (successful) experience in your field for guidance.

Can you think of any more rules of development to add to the list? Post a comment in the section below or email me directly to robyn@bewhole.co.za. I’d love to hear from you!

5 reasons why you may not reach your goals.

If we live in universe of infinite possibilities, why aren’t we all successful?

Why aren’t we all where we all where we want to be in life? We’re probably the most self-focused generation in creation. Here are 5 reasons why you could be stuck at dreaming and not doing:

1. You’re afraid that it will never happen for you.

I know someone who’d love to be an advertising model but she hasn’t done anything to pursue it. She’s beautiful, and while modeling has less to do with beauty and more to with confidence, her looks would certainly be an advantage. When I’d asked why she doesn’t pursue modeling, she said that it was just a dream. And how would you turn a dream into an experience if you aren’t doing anything? Most of the time, we’re afraid that we’ll be rejected so we don’t bother trying.

2. You can’t actually picture yourself at your goal.

If you’ve set a goal that you’re going to reach one day, forget it. A dream can only be realized if you work towards it and set a specific deadline. Know when, where, and how you’ll get what you want, by when. The chances of success after your first attempt is one in a million, so you can almost bet that you’ll exceed your deadline anyway, but it’s a great guideline.

3. You just don’t have the patience…

To wait, to take orders, to listen to rejection after rejection. Technology is rapidly changing society. You’ve barely torn the plastic from a new gadget, and already new model is being manufactured. A lot more can happen in five minutes, than it could 10 years ago. And we’ve become so accustomed to having things happen quickly, that we forget that our future can’t be downloaded within mere minutes. We forget that anything with having takes a lot of effort and pressure like cutting diamonds.

4. Reaching the top often means loneliness.

There is a distinct difference between being alone and being lonely. The former means being by yourself, and the latter means having only yourself. None of us want to be lonely. After all, what would the the value of your success if you didn’t have anyone to share it with? I’ve seen people aggressively beat challenges and perform at the height of their potential. And I’ve also noticed that the closer they’ve come to reaching their goals, the harder they’ve had to work and sacrifice social interactions. This is why it is so important to surround yourself with people who share similar interests as you.

When you surround yourself with like-minded people, you allow yourself to learn, teach, and be supportive, but more importantly, accompanied down the road to your goal.

5. Because what are you supposed to do afterwards…

We all have a purpose in life and our goals guide us to it. Establish a reason for your goal and then you’ll know where to, after you’ve achieved it. Reaching your dream doesn’t mean the end of your life and purpose, it simply opens up a door for your to explore new things. From one of the best fables of all time, The Alchemist, “wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure”. 

Do you have a suggestion to add to the list? I’d love to hear from you. Post a comment in the space below, or email me directly to robyn@bewhole.co.za

Image source: Ryan McGuire/Gratisography

Why you should never give less than your best.

I was listening to Les Brown’s Shoot for Moon audio where he talks about how you owe it to yourself to do your best. Les read a short story that was so gripping; it would be an injustice not to share it with you. It’s called, The Builder:

There was a man who was an efficient builder. He’d worked at a large company for years and had reached the age of retirement, when his employer asked him to build one more house. It was to be his last commission.

The builder took the job but his heart was not involved; he used inferior materials, timber was poor, and he failed to see the many things that would have been clear to him if he had shown even his normal interest in his work.

When he’d finished the house, his employer came to him and said, “The house is yours. Here’s the key. It’s a present from me”. The builder immediately regretted not using the best materials or the most capable workers. If only he’d known that the house was for him.

Moral: Commit to giving your best effort because it may be your karma.

What a mind-blowing story don’t you think? Imagine if all the half-assed things you did was given to you as a reward. Would you even want it? If ever there was a reason to avoid doing a crappy job, this is it.

Everything you do serves as a representation of you. You owe it to yourself to portray the best version of who you are. Never mind what people think of you, never mind if you’re not really interested in doing what you’re doing right now, if you’ve committed to something, maintain it. Your output will be marked as your level of capability and consistency.

The easiest way to remind yourself to continually do your best,  is to ask yourself whether you’d sign your name to that job for all the effort you’ve put in. The work you did today, was that your best effort? The cracks of half-assed jobs begin to show sooner or later; you cannot hide what you didn’t do or lack. Let that resonate with you.

Would you like to suggest a motivational story to feature? I’d love to hear from you. Post a comment in the space below, or email me directly to robyn@bewhole.co.za

Image source: Ryan McGuire/Gratisography

20 things you realize in your early twenties.

What could you possibly know by the time you’re 23?

Some of us have always known what we want to pursue in life, while others are still figuring things out. Your roaring twenties is said to be the time for exploration and establishment. Here are 20 things you realize when you hit your early twenties:

1. Time really flies. You wake up on Monday, go to work, prep your diary, and then all of a sudden, it’s Throwback Thursday.

2. This is not how you thought your twenties would be. Only some of what you’d planned happened? Work, relationships, the whole shebang… It’s not what you had expected. And you thought your teenage years were confusing.

3. You won’t change by doing the same things – you need to be what you aspire for and not what you were. The minute you fall back into your old routine, you’ll relapse into your old ways and deter from your plans for the future.

3. Success is about building relationships, not making money. And that’s how you make money.

4. Age isn’t important. The minute you hit your twenties, no one cares about how old you are anymore; but say that you’re in your twenties and you’ll hear: “you’re still a baby”, “you’ve got your whole life ahead of you”. Colleagues have joked that they have shoes older than I am. Must be some quality shoes.

5. EVERYONE makes mistakes – even those in their 40s, 50s, and up. Not everyone knows what they’re doing. You may learn hard and fast, as Robin Sharma says, “mistakes come to us to help us grow”. There’s no time to dwell on what could have been. Just prepare. Mistakes will teach you more than anything else.

6. You don’t even feel older. Some people in their twenties still feel as if they’re in their teens, except that now they have less time, more bills, and a bunch of decisions to make.

7. There will always be another party.
Every party that you can’t attend will seem like the best event ever. Don’t be too bothered about missing out; there will be others.

8. You don’t like drinking shots. Least of all Tequila. Let’s be honest, tequila will quickly get the party started, but you don’t really like chucking anything down your throat, or do you?

9. Friendships aren’t at all like they were in your teens. We’re not bothered about having besties, or spending everyday together. Now, quality time is scheduled via group email, and settled for the day when we’re all free to meet. No more, casually “dropping by” and hanging around – you need to request and confirm.

10. Talk less, do more.
It’s better to speak of experience than aspirations. Especially if it’s something intimidating like shaving your head and it turns out that you actually don’t have the balls to go through with it, or that you risk being compared to a certain blond, semi-bald celebrity. Do your research before making hasty decisions; find alternatives.

11. Two incomes are better than one. Invest while you’re young.

12. Stay active. Your metabolism is not what it used to be.

13. There’s no need to be flawless.

14. You have an ability to influence others. When you know someone in your age group who’s a teacher. It’s just, wow. That really puts your age into perspective – someone your age is molding minds.

15. What you do is more important than what you have. You meet someone new and your conversation begins with, “so what do you do”? Tell me that’s not the pinnacle big-girl/big-boy-pants conversation.

16. You feel tired after waking up.
You could sleep until 1pm if you weren’t interrupted. But you wouldn’t call it fatigue. Sleep is a gift from God – so valuable, so treasured.

17. “It’s up to you”. This is like the lifestyle version of: “it’s not you, it’s me”. No one want to hear it. And those comments come at the times when you’re really not in the mood to decide for yourself. People will make a couple of suggestions and tell you that you can decide or delay because it really is up to you. That’s when you know. You’re responsible now.

18. Ask more.
The response will either be rejected or approved but it’s better than nothing.

19. You can’t remember why you were so excited to grow up in the first place. Those who are most child-like, achieve more because they’re fearless. Look at Richard Branson.

20. Keep learning.
You will need to find a mentor who has lived the life you aspire for. Focus on specialized knowledge, and listen more than you speak.

An entry for Twenty Somethings Edition 1.