Harness the Universal Powers of Success within You
Napoleon Hill wrote “The Law of Success” in 1928 and revolutionized the way people thought about creating wealth, self-improvement, and achieving goals.
Financed by Andrew Carnegie, Napoleon Hill’s research took 20 years to complete and involved extensive interviews with over 100 of the most successful people in America at the time.
The Law of Success can be summarized by looking at the 15 character traits that comprise the Law of Success.
Definite Chief Aim
A “chief aim” is a definite purpose, or goal in life. According to Napoleon Hill this is the first gate a person must pass through before achieving success.
This is very important!
To achieve any level of success or wealth, you must have a definite purpose or goal in mind. That does not mean it must be a written goal, signed and notarized; however, it does mean you need to think about what you want to accomplish with your life. Figure out what it will take to achieve that goal, and then devote time, effort, and thought to achieving it.
Self-confidence is that magic elixir that gives you the courage to dream, and then take the action necessary to achieve that dream.
Habit of Saving
W. Clement Stone once stated if you lack the ability to save money, the power to create wealth is not within you. And while saving is not a route to wealth in itself due to the lousy interest rates typical of savings accounts and certificates of deposit, the very act of saving develops a financial mindset and confidence to invest, start businesses, and avoid financial setbacks created by emergencies.
Consider this example…
I recently had an employee whose transmission went out on her car. Now, if you’ve ever had transmission problems, you know this poses an expensive situation.
Lacking the funds to get her car fixed, she secured an advance payment from one of those cash advance places. Three years later she is still paying the interest on that initial loan.
If she had managed to save the $900 required to fix her car, she could have paid for the repairs in cash and avoided the hassle. So far she has paid the cash advance people over $2,400 in fees associated with her loan.
Learn to save and stay a step ahead of financial emergencies of this nature.
George Clason’s book “The Richest Man in Babylon” is an excellent book to read on this subject.
Initiative & Leadership
Successful people are self-motivated and want to assume leadership roles.
Have you ever tried to motivate a person to do something he or she is not interested in doing? Sure, it may get done, but chances are you will have to push, cajole, threaten, and otherwise harass them into doing it.
Life is too short for that. Work with motivated people who want to achieve a definitive goal. And don’t forget, other people feel the same about you. If you want help from other people, be sure to show the initiative to meet them half way.
Imagination is everything in life. Think about it, before you came up with a specific goal, your imagination had to put together the thoughts necessary to realize the achievement of a goal may be a worthwhile process.
Everything begins with thought. Learn some good brainstorming techniques by writers like Tony Buzan and then let your imagination run wild.
Dale Carnegie often stated “if you want to be enthusiastic, act enthusiastic.” Try it sometime, it actually works.
The bottom line is this…
If you want to achieve a goal that requires the input or cooperation of others, do you think they would work with a dullard, lacking in enthusiasm or energy? Or, would they prefer to work with a person with energy to see the project through?
Enthusiasm does not mean cheerleader pep rally jumping with joy and exuberance, but it also does not mean sitting on the couch complaining about the lack of opportunity as you channel surf re-runs you’ve seen a dozen times.
The right kind of enthusiasm exists somewhere in the middle ground between the cheerleader and the couch potato. But if you want to error on the side of caution, be a cheerleader.
Self-control as I see it refers to the ability to restrain yourself from outlandish behavior that may jeopardize your reputation or disrupt your business operations.
I recently had a business partner who became angry with a customer, and rather than resolve the customer’s complaint in a rational manner, he became emotional and basically “exploded” on the customer with a verbal outburst.
Of course, we lost his business-so who benefited from that? Nobody.
Keep yourself reserved and under control. You never know when the person, or people, you are interacting with may be able to control your destiny.
Habit of Doing More Than Paid For
In business lingo, smart organizations are developing a corporate culture of under promising and over delivering.
You can use the same ideas in your personal endeavors and work. Do more than is expected, and you will be noticed.
Okay, this doesn’t mean you have to be Pollyanna, but it also means you should not strive to be Gordon Gekko.
The basic tenet of this character trait is that people prefer to be around and work with pleasant people.
What is the use of thinking about facts or situations that are false?
Robert Allen talks about this extensively in his creating wealth books, and often states the biggest problem with so many of us is that “we know so much that is just not so.”
For years I avoided having anything to do with investing in residential real estate because I remembered my father telling me I would spend every waking hour fixing toilets and fighting to collect rents. Yes, there are challenges to managing rental properties, but the idea that these challenges are insurmountable, or make investing in real estate a poor decision, “just isn’t so.”
When you are making plans for a new business venture or investment, look for the facts and don’t allow yourself to become distracted by myths, rumors, or flat errors in thinking.
The ability to concentrate is central to any lasting or significant accomplishment.
Regarding The Law of Success, concentration means to focus your efforts onto a specific goal and avoid being distracted from that goal.
For example, if you have a goal to learn to speak Spanish, and the next week you change your mind and decide to study German, and then flip flop to study French the next week, by the need of the month you’ll be exactly where you started.
To achieve world class levels of success in any endeavor requires laser like focus, attention to detail, and perseverance.
Napoleon Hill uses the analogy of a wagon wheel to illustrate this point. Imagine, he wrote, what would happen to the wagon if one wheel was broken or missing?
The point is, we can all contribute to a group goal, and there are individuals who can help you achieve your personal goals and dreams, if you will cooperate with them.
Learn to work together with other people and harness the power of other people’s talents and resources to achieve your dreams.
Profiting by Failure
Many of fear failure, and will do anything, including not even trying, to avoid failure. But where does that get you?
Humans learn by trial and error.
Consider how a baby learns to walk. If she quit trying after failing a couple of times, she would spend her life crawling everywhere.
The key to success in this area is to learn from your failures. For example, if you purchase a stock and it promptly causes you to lose money, don’t just quit investing. Analyze your trade and search for the cause of your failure-and then apply this new found knowledge in your next trade.
There are some things in this world that simply cannot be tolerated, and I’m sure you can think of a few of these situations. However, for the most part, a willingness to tolerate the uniqueness of people and their values, can open doors to your success and happiness.
Practicing the Golden Rule
Just in case you don’t remember, the Golden Rule basically states “do unto others as you would have done unto you.”
Of course, if you’re a masochist and enjoy pain, this rule may not be appropriate for your. The point is, most people want to be treated with dignity and respect, and they want to have the freedom to enjoy life as they see fit.
When you practice the Golden Rule, you are able to “win friends and influence people” in the Dale Carnegie manner-resulting in increased opportunities for yourself, and a richer, more rewarding life.