This is a fantastic book that I would highly recommend, it is a monster of 1000+ pages. Starts with an introduction to Napoleon Hill’s philosophies which were built from studying a number of successful people at the start of the 19th century. The principles remain very relevant today, the version I read is an updated version with additional examples from today’s successful people such as Bill Gates, although unlike the first version I don’t think they actually interviewed the modern successful people. Initially Napoleon Hill interviewed the richest person in the world at the time, Andrew Carnegie who made a fortune from steel. Napoleon Hill then followed his suggestion to speak to other successful people to find what the keys to success are.
The updated version has an additional chapter is called Mastermind which is based upon his theories about how minds can synergise, you need to have people around you who share the same aim. Therefore you can assist each other in some way of achieving a common goal, ideally people who are different from you who have different skills and perspectives.
Contains a chapter on confidence in which the importance of self-confidence and persistence is stressed. If you have a goal in the mind that you are determined to achieve, you will succeed, with no doubt inevitable hiccups along the way. Useful advice is contained about the seven laws of failure which encourages you to rank yourself on various aspects of your character such as courage.
Has a section on common fears people have; these include death, old age, poverty, social fears or the fear of criticism, loss of love and fear of ill health. Explains why these fears develop it usually relates to a combination of the society you live in and your upbringing. When you overcome these fears can lead you to unstoppable success.
Has section about autosuggestion and the importance of positive self-talk. Many of Napoleon Hill’s ideas seem to be before his time and he certainly does seem to be the founder and guru of self-development. For example the law of attraction is just one of Napoleon Hill’s many ideas and has been made into several books many years later by a different author (The Secret) and a film.
With self-confidence you don’t have to tell people you possess this, this is the main difference between this and egotism, in egotism you have to tell others about what you have.
Whatever you get you’ll always be looking for more and essentially you’re always seeking something more, this is natural. This is the way of nature making you actually grow; just accept it but keep looking for more challenges. Makes the important point that when you do earn more you should not spend more.
The Laws are:
1. Obtain complete mastery over the six basic fears.
2. Willingness to subordinate personal interests for the good of their followers. Complete mastery over greed.
3. Singleness of purpose, represented by leadership which harmonizes with the needs of the times.
4. Understanding and application of the Master Mind principle, by which power may be achieved through coordination of effort in a spirit of harmony.
5. Achieve self-confidence in its highest form.
6. Ability to reach decisions quickly and stand by them firmly.
7. Imagination, sufficient to enable you to anticipate the needs of the times and to create plans for supplying those needs.
8. Initiative in its keenest form.
9. Enthusiasm and the ability to transmit it to their followers.
10. Self-Control in its highest form.
11. A willingness to render more service than that for which direct compensation is received.
12. A pleasing, magnetic personality.
13. The ability to think accurately.
14. The ability to cooperate with others in a spirit of harmony.
15. The persistence to concentrate thoughts and efforts upon a given task until it has been completed.
16. The ability and “hindsight” to profit by mistakes and failures.
17. Tolerance in its highest form.
18. Temperance in all of its forms.
19. Intentional honesty of both purpose and deed.
20. Last, but by no means least, strict adherence to the Golden Rule as the basis of all relationships with others
Golden Rule is to do to others what you have done to yourself if the positions were switched. Important point is not as you would wish done to yourself now; as you would wish if you are the other person in their shoes. Speaks about the fundamentals of Christianity by elaborating on this one, if you follow this golden rule having integrity is easy!
Education is important but do not expect to earn for what you know. You will earn by applying knowledge, working with what you know!