Mental Contagion – Are we a part of it?

As I was reading The Fifteen Laws of Success by Napoleon Hill, I reached a part of the book that mentions “Mental Contagion”. This really caught my eye and interest because I realised how very real it is and it is happening right now as we speak. “Oil prices”, “Market crash”, etc. The media and people on the ground have been propagating their opinions towards a crowd and I realise that I too may have fallen victim and have possibly been propagating the same fear. 

“No form of contagion is so insidious in it’s outset, so difficult to check in it’s advance, so certain to leave germs they met at any moment reveal their pernicious power, we a mental contagion – the contagion of fear, of panic, of fanaticism, of lawlessness, of superstition, of error.” 

“The most striking peculiarity presented by a psychological crowd is the following: Whoever be the individuals that compose it, however like or unlike be their mode of life, their occupation, their character, or their intelligence, the fact that they have been transformed into a crowd puts them in possession of a sort of collective mind which makes them feel, think and act in a manner quite different from that in which each individual of then would feel, think and act were he in a state of isolation.”

I reflect and think to myself, how incredibly scary that is to be sucked into a psychological crowd like a blackhole and adopt the mindset of the “collective mind”, which in my case is an impending correction of the stock market. The more this blackhole sucks in, the stronger it gets. To know that I might have lost my individuality and independence to think scares me because I have always taken pride in myself having a rather independent mind. Unknowingly I have become a part of something I never had the intention of joining. 

feel, think and act in a manner quite different from that in which each individual of then would feel, think and act were he in a state of isolation.” – Wouldn’t this mean I would more likely go against my own trading strategies and breach some rules that I have set for myself while I was in a state of isolation?

I need to find my way back into mental isolation and not lose my independent mind, my greatest asset. 

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4 thoughts on “Mental Contagion – Are we a part of it?

    1. Hi LP,
      Thanks for sharing your view here! Ironically, yes, but it opened my eyes to what I failed to see where I was heading towards! I didn’t think I was fanning the flames of my own fear, growing it, and spreading the same fear to other people when all I really wanted was to walk away from it.

      Indeed, I have grown to realise that we are not as independent as we think we are or hope to be, just as you said.

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      1. Hi there!

        Did I comment on your blog before? I can’t rmb, but I did read it all the time 🙂

        I think what is Impt here is not to say that we shouldn’t listen to all the noise around us, but to hear them, chew through them, interprets them through your own eyes and see for yourself if it is what they say it is. To reject information is foolhardy, even if you want, it can’t really be done without isolating yourself from society. The important thing is to digest them and eject out the parts that don’t make sense of it by reading them critically.

        That applies to this comment as well 😉

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      2. Yes you did! I recall a comment from you awhile back. It’s good to see your comment again 🙂
        Yes, perhaps I’ve been too engrossed with being not affected by other people’s opinions. Thanks for the generous comment on a lesson that could prove to go a really long way! I’ll digest it well! 🙂

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