The law of success: Wisdom from 1920 that never goes out of style

The law of success: Wisdom from 1920 that never goes out of style

Napoleon Hill is regarded as the father of the self-help book genre. Many of his concepts continue to fill the pages of today’s best motivational and secrets-of-success books, even though his heyday was in the early twentieth century. People are still people, even though the times have changed. Looking into human nature and determining which of our habits might lead to success and which can lead to ruin is done in this article.


We have laid out several lessons in this article that you can take to heart and apply right away. These teachings will motivate you to take bold action to bring your dreams out of the realm of theory and into the actual world.

In this article, you will learn about the Master Mind’s concepts, how auto-suggestion can help you improve your public speaking skills, and why you should always follow the Golden Rule.


The Master Mind is the basic principle that underpins achievements

The Master Mind is the basic principle that underpins achievements

Success should not be limited to a small group of people. You might assume there’s a big difference between you and industry titans like Andrew Carnegie, the steel tycoon, and Henry Ford, the car innovator, but you’d be wrong. These weren’t men who were born into a household of riches or connections. They moved from having almost nothing to attaining feats that few people could imagine.

Their accomplishments were made feasible by ideas that any able-minded individual may learn and master. Before we get into the in-depth lessons, we must first grasp the underlying principle around which the 15 lessons are based. Master Mind is the term for this concept which is the basic principle that underpins achievement.

The Master Mind principle

Have you ever been in a room with someone and intuitively sensed that they aren’t on the same page as you? That you just know, without having spoken to this person that your personalities will clash like oil and water?

Your mind may pick up on pleasant vibrations in the same way it can pick up on bad vibes. Not only that, but you can tap into their archive of knowledge, just as they can delve into yours when you have a meeting of minds with someone who has a compatible personality and an open and receptive mind. When you have a group of people with the proper minds and personalities, you may harmonize and build a Master Mind, which can then go on to produce truly incredible things that would otherwise be beyond the reach of a single person.

This is a crucial point. Carnegie, Wrigley, and Ford weren’t the only ones who made their riches. Each of them made it a point to spend time with his colleagues and to assist one another in their endeavours. Ford, for example, had monthly retreats with Thomas Edison, the inventor, and Harvey Firestone, the creator of the world-famous tire and rubber corporation that carries his name. They shared priceless expertise and benefited greatly from the expansion of their knowledge sources.

But keep in mind that Master Minds are only formed when people’s personalities and intents are in sync. Nothing will derail the agreement faster than bringing in a nasty personality with self-centred motives.

Success necessitates a clear primary goal and self-assurance

Whatever success story you respect the most, there was one fundamental asset that ensured that person’s victory: their brain. Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Andrew Carnegie would all be able to relaunch their firms in no time if all of their money, staff, factories, and tools were taken away. Because the mind is the source of power first and foremost. In other words, power is derived from the application of well-organized information.

As a result, acquiring and organizing knowledge is the first step toward success. One of the finest methods to do that is to harmonize with other knowledgeable brains. However, information is useless unless it is put to good use.

Let’s start with a simple definition of success:

The growth of the power to achieve whatever one wants in life without interfering with the rights of others.

Napoleon Hill
Napoleon Hill

It seems to reason, then, that having a clear primary goal is critical to success. The most powerful thing you can do is put your structured knowledge to work for you by forming a Master Mind of aligned partners and employees who are all working toward a common goal.

Because this is all so abstract, let’s look at a real-life example. Frank Winfield Woolworth was born into a poor family and worked as a stock boy in a general store in New York while he was in his early twenties. He did, however, have ambitions. So, while working at his menial job, he fantasized about better and more effective ways to run a general store. Woolworth eventually set his sights on opening a chain of his own Five and Ten Cent Stores across the United States. But he wouldn’t be successful unless he focused his mind and actions entirely on this one objective.

We all have a fear of failing in some way. We’re afraid of what people may say if we set our sights high and fall short. However, success necessitates action, which necessitates a level of self-assurance willing to commit to an idea and take action. We firmly believe in auto-suggestion for boosting self-esteem. This is the constant infusion of positive messages that will eventually take root and transform those negative fear-based sensations into the kind of positive self-confidence that allows ideas to become realities.

Start by memorizing this message: “I am confident in my capacity to attain my specific goal, thus I demand of myself persistent, aggressive, and continuous activity toward that goal.”

Savings habits, as well as initiative and leadership, are required for success

Saving money isn’t exactly a surprise when it comes to so-called “secrets of success.” You already know how important it is to save money. However, putting it into practice is more difficult. As a result, the third lesson is titled The Savings Habit. Learning how to accomplish anything can often necessitate concentrated, repetitive action to form a habit that will pay off in the long run.

The Savings Habit

Savings habits, as well as initiative and leadership, are required for success. Saving money is one of the most important things you can do for yourself right now. Your salary should ideally be divided in the following manner according to Hill:

  • Food, clothing, and shelter should receive 50% of the budget.
  • A 10% contribution should be made to your continuing education.
  • 10% should go to life insurance
  • 10% to recreation.
  • The remaining 20% goes into your savings account.

There are at least two compelling reasons to begin saving money right away. The first is that you might be able to use this money to get the cash you need to take action. When inspiration strikes, you may already have the resources to develop a prototype or travel to markets where your concept can be sold. Even if you don’t have that much money, the simple act of saving will send the proper message to the investors who do.

Woolworth, Ford, and Rockefeller didn’t have the capital to launch their game-changing firms. However, because they were in the habit of saving a portion of their little monthly earnings, their investors were willing to lend them money.

Lesson Four focuses on another habit: initiative and leadership. Leadership necessitates the ability to take initiative. Leaders can’t wait to be told what to do by someone else. They must recognize and take the appropriate action.

Procrastination, the polar opposite of initiative, is one of the most deadly adversaries of success. Fortunately, procrastination can be quickly overcome by developing a new initiative habit. Pledge yourself that you will accomplish at least one item every day that will move you closer to your primary goal. You will also perform one act every day that will benefit others without being asked. If you stick to this plan, you will be well on your way to kicking procrastination to the curb and establishing a much better habit that will pay off in the long run.

Success necessitates both imagination and zeal

Success necessitates both imagination and zeal

All of the teachings mentioned thus far in this article lead back to the fifth lesson, which is imagination. Because imagination is defined as the ability to organize knowledge into new and creative systems, this makes sense. But that’s not all. To be successful, you must overcome your worries and persuade yourself to act, which necessitates the production of positive mental images, which are necessary for efficient auto-suggestion. If you want to succeed, you need to instil confidence, optimism, and a vision of yourself achieving your objectives.

Few abilities are more crucial than a well-developed imagination when it comes to sales. The salesperson who can imaginatively integrate information with psychology, in particular, is bound to succeed.

Examples of imagination in action

Consider the man with no imagination who tried to get rid of his dog by knocking on the farmer’s door. The man claimed that he was relocating to the city and would not be able to accommodate a dog in his flat. “Could you do me a favour and take this dog off my hands?” he requested the farmer. The farmer said, “No thanks,” and shut the door behind him.

Consider the person who has a lot of imagination. He approaches the farmer and informs him of a fantastic opportunity. He says, “Here’s a dog that can herd sheep, help bring in cows, and chase off wild animals.” “On the farm, there’s no shortage of errands this dog might assist you with. For a hundred dollars, I will give him to you.” The farmer declares, “Sold.”

People who lack imagination are unable to see beyond their demands. The inventive individual, on the other hand, can assess a customer fast and anticipate her demands. However, when joined with the next lesson, enthusiasm, imagination can be even more powerful.

When it comes to starting a business, passion is essential for motivating employees and inspiring them to take action toward a specific goal. It is contagious. You’ve probably been in the presence of someone who exudes excitement and felt attracted to the topic they were discussing.

Enthusiasm, like self-confidence, can be cultivated through positive auto-suggestion. But bear in mind that it’s not so much what you say that spreads enthusiasm as it is how you say it. It’s crucial to have a positive tone and body language, as well as to dress well and show genuine enthusiasm for the work you’re doing. These are all essential elements in using the power of enthusiasm to persuade others.

You must understand the value of self-control as well as going above and beyond what is expected of you

Taking action and doing, rather than just sitting at home and thinking about it, requires enthusiasm. Success necessitates zeal. It does, however, necessitate self-control. Your eagerness and readiness to act can lead to a variety of undesirable outcomes if you don’t have it.

Many of us are afraid of being judged. It can be difficult to deal with harsh and cutting words, whether from a peer or a competitor, but it is something that must be overcome. No one who has ever been successful has escaped criticism, whether justified or not. This is where the value of self-control comes into play.

When you’re confronted with criticism, your initial instinct could be to lash out at your critics with the same venom they used on you. Allowing negativity to take over, though, can be fatal. “Like attracts like,” as the adage goes. And we believe this to be a profound reality. You’ll simply draw more negativity into your life if you fall for the bait and open yourself up to it. Resist the impulse, use self-control, and maintain a good attitude.

Writing a letter to your critic is one of our suggestions. To get the words out of your head, write down what you want to say. Instead of forwarding the letter, shred it or file it away as a permanent reminder of your accomplishments. You have the upper hand in this relationship when someone abuses you in public. You have the option of forgiving them because they have no power over you.

Let’s take a look at another great habit you can cultivate right now: going above and beyond what you’re paid for. You can be one of those persons that refuse to work after hours or to perform any activity that isn’t specifically stated in your job description. But they aren’t the habits that people have.

You demonstrate worth and potential to people around you by consistently going above and beyond the call of duty. This will be observed, and your hard work will not go unnoticed for long. This is a variation in the law of increasing returns. If you continue to provide more service than is expected of you, and your value is recognized, the world will eventually reward you.

Make sure you have a pleasant personality and that you think clearly at all times

Make sure you have a pleasant personality and that you think clearly at all times

We’ve now reached Lesson Nine in our journey through The Law of Success. This brings us to the importance of having a pleasing personality. Some may see this as a request to merely smile, shake hands, and give compliments all the time. But it’s not as straightforward as that. Genuine interest must go hand in hand with an attractive personality.

We tell a story that exemplifies the value of having a pleasant personality. It has to do with a group of a life insurance salesman who decided to pull a practical joke on a new hire. They provided information on a local artist to their new teammate and assured him that he would be an easy sell. The new hire had no idea that everyone else in the office had tried and failed to sell the artist.

However, when the inexperienced salesman returned a few hours later, he was smiling. He said, “You were right.” The artist was overjoyed to receive $2,000 insecurities. What was the secret to his success? He was attentive.

He sat patiently and watched the artist work on a painting until he put his brush down when he arrived at the artist’s studio. The two men then talked about art for nearly an hour, with the salesman never once mentioning his reason for being there. The salesman was genuinely interested in hearing the artist’s perspective and learning more about his work. If the salesman had been deceitful, the artist would have recognized it and the $2,000 would have remained in his pocket. However, the deal was cheerfully achieved at the end of the meeting thanks to the pleasant, honest chat.

Let’s take a quick look at another important lesson: precise thought. There’s a lot of data out there, and a lot of it can be overwhelming. This is why staying focused on what is accurate and true is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your success. Lies, slander, rumours, and gossip. A successful person can’t afford to waste time on such frills. You must be diligent in blocking out negative influences like these and remain committed to the positive pursuit of your specific primary goal.

Two more keys to success are concentration and teamwork

Lesson Eleven, which emphasizes the necessity of attention, is the only lesson that contains a “magic key.” We’ve already discussed dedication and keeping focused on your objective, but the concentration is so important that it deserves its lesson in The Law of Success.

Concentration, according to Hill, entails more than just remaining focused. It’s “the ability to keep your mind on one thing until you’ve properly familiarized and mastered it, as a result of a fixed habit and practice.” To put it another way, attention is the key to mastering oneself.

A certain level of self-reflection is required for success. You must examine yourself honestly and see the detrimental habits and biases that must be overcome. The most effective method to break negative habits is to replace them with good ones, which is where concentration comes into play.

Developing new habits of initiative and making a daily practice of auto-suggestion to instil positive thoughts and self-confidence takes dedication and concentration. You won’t see the consequences until you make adjustments and see things through to the end, as with most of the lessons presented here.

The most effective change you can make, in many ways, is through cooperation, which is the topic of the next lesson. Cooperation is an important part of the Master Mind, which we discussed in the first blink, but we’re talking about cooperation between your conscious and subconscious minds here. This is all somewhat abstract, so let’s look at an example to help clarify things.

Let’s imagine you make it a daily practice to read and remember affirmations like “I am going to become a brilliant public speaker because it will enable me to perform a valuable service to the world and achieve my specific goal.”

By repeating this line, it will get ingrained in your subconscious, and you will begin to transform yourself and your life as a result. Because your subconscious notions invariably manifest themselves in your daily behaviours and decisions, this is true. That’s your reality if your subconscious believes you’ll never be a good public speaker. You can, however, change this through auto-suggestion. Your decisions will get you closer to being a competent public speaker. This is the incredible power of conscious and subconscious mind cooperation.

Consider any failure to be only transitory and have a more forgiving attitude

Dread of failure is often linked to a fear of poverty for many of us. Along with the anxiety of what others will think if we fail in our pursuits, we also fear that pursuing our aspirations would leave us impoverished.

Fortunately, there is one basic concept that can aid in the defeat of this indestructible foe: failure is just temporary. Failure can be viewed as little more than a setback by the great majority of ambitious people. Furthermore, failure is frequently a blessing in disguise. Failures teach us lessons, strengthen our commitment, and make us smarter and stronger. So, instead of calling it a failure, let’s call it what it truly is: a temporary setback. Is there truly anything there in that light?

We could already recall seven occasions when his ideas came apart and he had to nurse his wounds, make adjustments, and try again when he was in his forties. Indeed, it was via those so-called failures that we were able to recognize some of the Law of Success‘ core concepts.

It’s no little part of becoming successful to be free of unreasonable attitudes and incorrect beliefs, and it’s at the heart of Lesson 14, which is all about tolerance.

“Give me control of the child until it is twelve years old, and you can teach it any religion you want after that time because I will have planted my religion so deeply in its mind that no power on earth could undo my work,” a well-known clergyman once said. This statement is true because by the time we reach our teen years, everything from our political beliefs to our favourite sports team is firmly entrenched in our minds. However, these prejudices aren’t always beneficial.

Tolerance entails maintaining an open mind toward all people, regardless of their opinions. Intolerance is the catalyst for wars, the disintegration of society, and the creation of enemies. It’s best to stay away from it at all costs. In the following and final blink, we’ll delve deeper into this topic, which is all about the Golden Rule.

You’ll always be on the correct track to success if you follow the Golden Rule

You’ve probably heard the phrase before: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It’s a sentiment that’s been around for a long time, but it doesn’t take away from its significance. This is, after all, the essence of the Golden Rule, and it is the final lesson in this series.

Remember how we defined success in the first couple of blinks? It’s “the acquisition of the power to obtain whatever one desires in life without infringing on the rights of others.” History is littered with examples of people who rose to power only to abuse it. But, time and time again, these individuals did not remain in power for long periods. Another law of the cosmos is that “you reap what you sow,” and this law never fails in the end.

Don’t forget about the law of attraction. Those who abuse their influence for nefarious purposes will only attract more negative and corrupting forces, leading to catastrophe. Indeed, we are so certain of the law of attraction and the Master Mind principles that words alone aren’t enough. Because our ideas can attract like-minded others, we should also think according to the Golden Rule. In other words, “consider people how you’d like them to regard you.”

Also, keep in mind the law of attraction. Those who abuse their influence for nefarious ends will only attract more negative and corrupting forces, leading to ruin. Indeed, we are so certain of the law of attraction and the Master Mind concepts that words alone aren’t sufficient. We should think according to the Golden Rule as well because our thoughts can attract like-minded people. “Think of people as you’d like them to think of you,” in other words.

Finally, the Golden Rule is possibly the most effective career guardrail you can have. Following this simple rule eliminates the truly harmful factors that can lead to ruin: hate, greed, jealousy, bigotry, and selfishness. It will keep you honest and genuine in your aims. It will keep you on the correct path to success by reminding you of your goal, which is to add value to other people while also making the world a better place. Behind every success story, this is what’s going on.

Final summary

The Law of Success has 15 principles that are all interconnected to form a strong backbone for a successful career. They can help you become a better salesperson or pave the road for you to start a huge worldwide corporation. Self-confidence, concentration, and exciting lessons are designed to help you overcome your anxieties and progress from the concept stage to taking action. These lessons are also designed to keep you thinking positively so that you may attract other good people and become even more productive as a team working toward a common objective.

Actionable advice:

Allowing social heredity to define who you are is a mistake.

The values we grow up with and are likely to take up at a young age are determined by social inheritance. Schools, churches, and the media are the three most powerful voices in the world. Any of these three sources can foster intolerance, narrow-mindedness, malicious lies, and negativity, all of which can lead to failure and the violation of the Golden Rule. Maintain your focus on accurate reasoning and tolerance, and don’t let peer pressure get in the way of your success.


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