Napoleon Hill: The Emperor of Success and Motivation

Napoleon Hill: The Emperor of Success and Motivation

By J.J. LaBarber

Yes … Napoleon Hill, the author of Think and Grow Rich, could easily be referred to as “The Emperor of Success and Motivation.” He spent years researching and promoting his “subjects,” who have become known as the leaders of American industry: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, George Eastman, Theodore Roosevelt, William Jennings Bryan, Charles Schwab and W. Clement Stone—with whom Hill had an especially singular professional liaison.

Hill’s mission? To find out what made these men so successful. Many had no college education. Some had gone bankrupt on more than one occasion.

So, what changed their luck? What common bond did they all uncover that made them successful? Hill’s masterpiece has been a motivational classic since it first appeared in 1937. By 1970, when Hill died, Think and Grow Rich had sold more than 70 million copies worldwide. It has been published in most major languages.

Now, to the book.

Hill explains that he first learned the money-making secret of success from one of the wealthiest men in the world—Andrew Carnegie. Hill met the renowned industrialist at what was supposed to have been a three-hour interview that turned into a “three-day marathon” get-together in which Carnegie offered to introduce Hill to the most powerful people in America—ifhe would undertake learning the secrets of their success from each of them and then turn those secrets into a philosophy of personal achievement that could be used by the common man.

Carnegie told Hill that he believed “… any person can achieve greatness if they understand the philosophy of success and the steps to achieve it. It is a shame that each new generation must find the way to success by trial and error, when the principles are clear-cut.” It was Carnegie’s belief that the magic formula, which gave him a stupendous fortune, ought to be placed within reach of people who do not have the time to investigate how others make their money. He emphasized that if it were properly taught, it would revolutionize the entire educational system, and the time spent in school could be reduced to less than half.

Hill’s basic creed is that every failure or misfortune holds the seed of an equal or greater success. Once again, he deals with how you see things, and whether you see failure as a defeat—or, as an opportunity to learn a lesson that will help you succeed the next time.

Hill’s concept of success-consciousness is the basis of the theory behind the bestseller Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, which he co-authored with W. Clement Stone. In their book, they use the initialism PMAto refer to the state of mind that results from approaching life with a Positive Mental Attitude. Stone practiced that philosophy every day of his life, and he believed that this, combined with Hill’s principles of success, was the reason he had achieved so much in life. As Stone defines it, PMA is much more than what we consider to be positive thinking.     

NOTE: With only $100 and a burning desire to succeed, Stone turned himself into a master salesman and built a multimillion-dollar insurance empire. As his success grew, he made a point of analyzing his achievements and identifying each technique that worked for him. He would then formulize the technique into a written theory, and it would become part of his personal PMA philosophy.

Now, it’s time to test your skills. How many pages of Think and Grow Rich will you have to read before you determine their inherent secret for success? Will it be 12 pages? 112 pages? More?

Hill stated, “You can’t really get Think and Grow Rich by reading it only once. There is just as much written between the lines as there is in the lines themselves.” Jamie Copland, CEO of Sentry Enterprises and publisher of MyLIFE Magazine and TRAVELHOST Magazine, commented, “I know many industry executives who still mandate that all new hires read Hill’s book. And every odd year, I pull it from the bookshelf and reread it as a continuing motivational incentive.”

How about you? Have you read it? If not, do yourself a favor and grab a copy. It’s guaranteed to be a game-changer for you in business—and in life.

Think and Grow Rich is available at Barnes & Noble – $13.43

Napoleon Hill was born in 1883 in Wise County, Virginia. He began his writing career at age 13 as a “mountain reporter” for small-town newspapers and went on to become one of America’s most beloved motivational authors. His work stands as a monument to individual achievement and is the cornerstone of modern motivation.

Hill’s most famous work, Think and Grow Rich, is one of the best selling books of all time. He established the Napoleon Hill Foundation as a nonprofit educational institution whose mission is to perpetuate his philosophy of leadership, self-motivation and individual achievement.



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