Cedar Falls

In this lightly dramatic monologue, a young man reflects on how finding a single book set him on a journey he'd never imagined.


From the time I was born I was self taught. First observing my parents and later people. My mother would always brag to her friends how she knew I was bright the way that I would always observe others even as a baby. One of my greatest gifts was the way I could take myself out of reality by observing another person. By the time I was of school age, I was home schooled, my older sister would tease that it was because we were all kidnapped, my brother would argue that it was because our parents were fugitives but either way we stayed under the radar.

This wouldn’t stop me from taking frequent field trips to schools to be around other peers.

And though I tried my best to blend in, I still managed to stick out. It was on one of these trips that I found the book that would change my life.

Think and Grow Rich. From the time I picked it up it was like magnetism, I couldn’t put it down.

I’ve heard of pets, people with their dolls, but has anyone ever heard of a book being a best friend? I’ve not only read every chapter of the book but researched extensively every person mentioned as well as every book or quote referenced.

I got a notebook as described by Napoleon Hill and as instructed wrote down on the first page a clear description of my major desire in life, the one thing that I desired as my major Idea of success in life. And the second page I wrote a clear statement of what I intend to give in return for what I desire from life. I then started to begin memorizing both of my statements. Being that I was only 8 when I started reading the book, because of my life thus far it didn’t take me long to figure out what I wanted desired most out of life. Hill said to repeat this at least 12 times a day so i used to repeat it about a dozen times an hour.

My mother took this as me talking to myself and thought there might be something wrong with me.

Even saved up to send me to see a therapist, this was suppose to be a one time occurrence because of the cost but, I was so fired up from all that I had been learning, I started helping her out so influentially with her well being that the therapist talked my mom into letting me stay on at her expense. Well so I was lead to believe.

The real truth was that she was researching how illnesses of the mind can effect a child's development for a boy into adolescence. It was simply by accident that I discovered it and her diagnosis.

I had been diagnosed as having a form of Schizophrenia. 40% of men and 23% of women who are diagnosed with schizophrenia, the condition manifested itself before the age of 19, mine had manifested at the age of 8. No one knows for sure if it happened before the book found me or after I found it but then again it doesn't really matter which comes first the chicken or the egg, when all is said and done either way the end product is going to be a chicken.

Whatever my diagnosis, I kept the book, I kept studying its principles, I kept reciting my desired life goals and kept searching for the secret the book was supposed to reveal. Though I wasn't completely normal, everything felt normal, it wasn’t until the characters jumped off the page that my life began to change. That I wasn't able to distinguish who was real and wasn't, what was real and wasn't. If the man I met on that chance encounter while sitting at my favorite spot inside of the business park, who sent me on this journey that I am now on was real or not?

All I know is that he gifted me an assignment, same way Carnegie gifted Hill, to interview a list of successful people and compile the information and research into a comprehensive set of information so that I can help this next generation find their way to success by knowledge and avoid ignorance by trial, and I only have twenty days to do so.

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