Archives For Napoleon Hill

Persistence is a state of mind, therefore it can be cultivated. Like all states of mind, persistence is based upon definite causes, among them these:-

  1. Definiteness of purpose. Knowing what one wants is the first and, perhaps, the most important step toward the development of persistence. A strong motive forces one to surmount many difficulties.
  2. Desire. It is comparatively easy to acquire and to maintain persistence in pursuing the object of intense desire.
  3. Self-reliance. Belief in one’s ability to carry out a plan encourages one to follow the plan through with persistence. (Self-reliance can be developed through the principle described in the chapter on auto-suggestion.)
  4. Definiteness of plans. Organized plans, even though they may be weak and entirely impractical, encourage persistence.
  5. Accurate knowledge. Knowing that one’s plans are sound, based upon experience or observation, encourages persistence; “guessing” instead of “knowing” destroys persistence.
  6. Co-operation. Sympathy, understanding, and harmonious cooperation with others tend to develop persistence.
  7. Will-power. The habit of concentrating one’s thoughts upon the building of plans for the attainment of a definite purpose, leads to persistence.
  8. Habit. Persistence is the direct results of habit. The mind absorbs and becomes a part of the daily experiences upon which it feeds. Fear, the worst of all enemies, can be effectively cured by forced repetition of acts of courage. Everyone who has seen active service in war knows this.

Before leaving the subject of persistence, take inventory of yourself, and determine in what particular, if any, you are lacking in this essential quality. Measure yourself courageously, point by point, and see how many of the eight factors of persistence you lack. The analysis may lead to discoveries that will give you a new grip on yourself.

~ Napoleon Hill, Think & Grow Rich

You never can tell what a thought will do

In bringing you hate or love;

For thoughts are things, and their airy wings

Are swifter than a carrier dove.

They follow the law of the universe,–

Each thought creates its kind,

And they speed o’er the track to bring you back

Whatever went out from your mind.

~ Napoleon Hill, The Law of Success

We who stand on the side-lines of Life see the overwhelmingly large number who go down in defeat, never to rise again. We see the few who take the punishment of defeat as an urge to greater effort. These, fortunately, never learn to accept Life’s reverse gear. But what we do not see, what most of us never suspect of existing, is the silent but irresistible power which comes to the rescue of those who fight on in the face of discouragement. If we speak of this power at all we call it persistence, and let it go at that. One thing we all know, if one does not possess persistence, one does not achieve noteworthy success in any calling.

~ Napoleon Hill, Think & Grow Rich

Thinking man has been a long time on the road to evolution, and he has traveled a very long way. In the words of Judge T. Troward (in Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning), “Perfected man is the apex of the Evolutionary Pyramid, and this by a necessary sequence.”

Let us trace thinking man through the five evolutionary steps through which we believe he has traveled, beginning with the very lowest; namely-

  1. The Mineral Period. Here we find life in its lowest form, lying motionless and inert; a mass of mineral substances, with no power to move.
  2. Then comes the Vegetable Period. Here we find life in a more active form, with intelligence sufficient to gather food, grow and reproduce, but still unable to move from its fixed moorings.
  3. Then comes the Animal Period. Here we find life in a still higher and more intelligent form, with ability to move from place to place.
  4. Then comes the Human or Thinking Period, where we find life in its highest known form; the highest, because man can think, and because thought man knows no limitations. He can send his thoughts to the stars with the quickness of a flash of lightning. He can gather facts and assemble them in new and varying combinations. He can create hypotheses and translate them into physical reality, through thought. He can reason both inductively and deductively.
  5. Then comes the Spiritual Period. On this plane the lower forms of life, described in the previously mentioned four periods, converge and become infinitude in nature. At this point thinking man has unfolded, expanded and grown until he has projected his thinking ability into infinite intelligence. As yet, thinking man is but an infant in this fifth period, for he has not learned how to appropriate to his own use this infinite intelligence called Spirit. Moreover, with a few rare exceptions, man has not yet recognized thought as the connecting link which gives him access to the power of infinite intelligence. These exceptions have been such men as Moses, Solomon, Christ, Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Confucius and a comparatively small number of others of their type. Since their time we have had many who partly uncovered this great truth; yet the truth, itself, is as available now as it was then.

~ Napoleon Hill, The Law of Success

Thousands of men and women carry inferiority complexes with them all through life, because some well-meaning, but ignorant person destroyed their confidence through “opinions” and ridicule.

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Faith is a State of Mind Which May Be Induced By Auto-Suggestion.

It is a well-known fact that one comes, finally, to believe whatever one repeats to one’s self, whether the statement be true or false. If a man repeats a lie over and over, he will eventually accept the lie as truth. Moreover, he will believe it to be the truth. Every man is what he is because of the dominating thoughts which he permits to occupy his mind. Thoughts which a man deliberately places in his own mind, and encourages with sympathy, and with which he mixes any one or more of the emotions, constitute the motivating forces which direct and control his every movement, act, and deed!

~ Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich (1937)

The test of a man is the fight he makes,
The grit that he daily shows;
The way he stands on his feet and takes
Fate’s numerous bumps and blows,
A coward can smile when there’s naught to fear,
When nothing his progress bars;
But it takes a man to stand up and cheer
While some other fellow stars.

It isn’t the victory, after all,
But the fight that a brother makes;
The man who, driven against the wall,
Still stands up erect and takes
The blows of fate with his head held high;
Bleeding, and bruised, and pale,
Is the man who’ll win in the by and by,
For he isn’t afraid to fail.

“It’s the bumps you get, and the jolts you get,
And the shocks that your courage stands,
The hours of sorrow and vain regret,
The prize that escapes your hands,
That test your mettle and prove your worth;
It isn’t the blows you deal,
But the blows you take on the good old earth,
That shows if your stuff is real.”

~ Napoleon Hill, The Law of Success (1928)

Never in the history of America has there been so great an opportunity for practical dreamers as now exists. The six-year economic collapse has reduced all men, substantially, to the same level. A new race is about to be run. The stakes represent huge fortunes which will be accumulated within the next ten years. The rules of the race have changed, because we now live in a changed world that definitely favors the masses, those who had but little or no opportunity to win under the conditions existing during the depression, when fear paralyzed growth and development.

Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich (1937)

15 LAWS OF SUCCESS  (continued).      

8. THE HABIT OF DOING MORE THAN PAID FOR is one of the most important lessons of the Law of Success course. It will teach you how to take advantage of the Law of Increasing Returns, which will eventually insure you a return in money far out of proportion to the service you render. No one may become a real leader in any walk of life without practicing the habit of doing more work and better work than that for which he is paid.

9. A PLEASING PERSONALITY is the most important tool for attaining success. When combined with intelligence, it will enable you to remove mountains of obstacles. This one lesson alone has made scores of Master Salesmen and developed leaders over night. It will teach you how to transform your personality so that you may adapt yourself to any environment, or to any other personality, in such a manner that you may easily dominate.

10. ACCURATE THINKING is one of the important foundation stones of all enduring success. This lesson teaches you how to separate “facts” from mere “information.” It teaches you how to organize known facts into two classes: the “important” and the “unimportant.” It teaches you how to determine what is an “important” fact. It teaches you how to build definite working plans, in the pursuit of any calling, out of FACTS.

11. CONCENTRATION teaches you how to focus your attention upon one subject at a time until you have worked out practical plans for mastering that subject. It will teach you how to ally yourself with others in such a manner that you may have the use of their entire knowledge to back you up in your own plans and purposes. It will give you a practical working knowledge of the forces around you, and show you how to harness and use these forces in furthering your own interests.

12. CO-OPERATION will teach you the value of team-work in all you do. In this lesson you will be taught how to apply the law of the “Master Mind” described in this Introduction and in Lesson Two of this course. This lesson will show you how to co-ordinate your own efforts with those of others, in such a manner that friction, jealousy, strife, envy and cupidity will be eliminated. You will learn how to make use of all that other people have learned about the work in which you are engaged.

13. PROFITING BY FAILURE will teach you how to make stepping stones out of all of your past and future mistakes and failures. It will teach you the difference between “failure” and “temporary defeat,” a difference which is very great and very important. It will teach you how to profit by your own failures and by the failures of other people.

14. TOLERANCE will teach you how to avoid the disastrous effects of racial and religious prejudices which mean defeat for millions of people who permit themselves to become entangled in foolish argument over these subjects, thereby poisoning their own minds and closing the door to reason and investigation. =

This lesson is the twin sister of the one on ACCURATE THOUGHT, for the reason that no one may become an Accurate Thinker without practicing tolerance. Intolerance closes the book of Knowledge and writes on the cover, “Finis! I have learned it all!” Intolerance makes enemies of those who should be friends. It destroys opportunity and fills the mind with doubt, mistrust and prejudice.

15. PRACTICING THE GOLDEN RULE will teach you how to make use of this great universal law of human conduct in such a manner that you may easily get harmonious co-operation from any individual or group of individuals. Lack of understanding of the law upon which the Golden Rule philosophy is based is one of the major causes of failure of millions of people who remain in misery, poverty and want all their lives. This lesson has nothing whatsoever to do with religion in any form, nor with sectarianism, nor have any of the other lessons of this course on the Law of Success.

~ Napoleon Hill, The Law of Success (1928)

15 LAWS OF SUCCESS.         

1. A DEFINITE CHIEF AIM will teach you how to save the wasted effort which the majority of people expend in trying to find their lifework. Do away with aimlessness and fix your heart and hand upon some definite, well-conceived purpose as a life-work.

2. SELF-CONFIDENCE will help you master the six basic fears with which every person is cursed; the fear of Poverty, Ill Health, Old Age, Criticism, Loss of Love and the fear of Death. Learn the difference between egotism and real self-confidence which is based upon definite, usable knowledge.

3. THE HABIT OF SAVING will teach you how to distribute your income systematically so that a definite percentage of it will steadily accumulate, thus forming one of the greatest known sources of personal power. No one may succeed in life without saving money. There is no exception to this rule, and no one may escape it. Learn how to save your money.

4. INITIATIVE AND LEADERSHIP will show you how to become a leader instead of a follower in your chosen field of endeavor. It will develop in you the instinct for leadership which will cause you gradually to gravitate to the top in all undertakings in which you participate.

5. IMAGINATION will stimulate your mind so that you will conceive new ideas and develop new plans which will help you in attaining the object of your Definite Chief Aim. This lesson will teach you how to “build new houses out of old stones,” so to speak. It will show you how to create new ideas out of old, well known concepts, and how to put old ideas to new uses. This one lesson, alone, is the equivalent of a very practical course in salesmanship, and it is sure to prove a veritable gold mine of knowledge to the person who is in earnest.

6. ENTHUSIASM will enable you to “saturate” all with whom you come in contact with interest in you and in your ideas. Enthusiasm is the foundation of a Pleasing Personality, and you must have such a personality in order to influence others to co-operate with you.

7. SELF-CONTROL is the “balance wheel” with which you control your enthusiasm and direct it where you wish it to carry you. This lesson will teach you, in a most practical manner, to become “the master of your fate, the Captain of your Soul.”

(Continued tomorrow)

~ Napoleon Hill, The Law of Success (1928)