Originally published in 1937, Napoleon Hill wrote a book that many business professionals today still consider the most important and motivational book on the shelves. I had three people bring it up in the same week – a clear sign that it was time to give it a read – and now that I’ve read it, I’m on board.
The examples Hill uses in the version I read (the original) are no doubt from another generation (Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford) but it doesn’t matter, the philosophies have stood the test of time. And if you’re someone who would be distracted by these depression-era references, there is an updated version by Arthur R. Pell, PhD. using examples like Bill Gates and Mary Kay Ash.
Whichever version you pick up, be ready for a book that is business in the front, self-help in the back. It’s more than a book about business and how to ‘get rich’, it’s about transforming your thinking, your desires, goal-setting, persistence, leadership and how your subconscious plays a key role in success.
Everyone will take something valuable from this book so give it a read. Here are my top takeaways from the book:
- DESIRE – “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.” A simple enough statement but Hill underscores the importance of being specific with your goals and believing with complete conviction.
- FAITH – “Both poverty and riches are the offspring of thought.” A powerful chapter that explains how your thoughts magnetize and attract the good and the bad. The consequences of negative thinking are serious and faith removes limitation.
- ORGANIZED PLANNING – This section includes the major attributes of leadership and the major causes of failure. This is where Hill really gets in your head (‘Am I doing that? Am I not doing that?!’).
- PERSISTENCE – How to master your weaknesses to achieve success / wealth. Luck is not enough, it’s learning that favourable breaks can be made to order.
- THE MYSTERY OF SEX TRANSMUTATION – Napoleon, I’m blushing. More than the physical expression, how can you repurpose this powerful energy into enthusiasm, attraction, action and sales? “Great artists know how to channel their sex energy into artistry. A great scientist uses the same dynamic force to solve the problems of invention.”
- HOW TO OUTWIT THE SIX GHOSTS OF FEAR – “Indecision is the seedling of fear. Indecision crystallizes into doubt, the two blend to become fear… fear takes the charm from one’s personality … kills love and assassinates the finer emotions of the heart, discourages friendship and invites disaster in a hundred forms.” What?! Point taken Napoleon. Don’t be a Negative Nancy or no one will want to work or play with you.
One other interesting point that I’ll take away from this is that Hill believed a man doesn’t his stride until reaches 40 – an milestone I will cross in six weeks. Thanks, thanks for the shot in the arm, Napoleon.