Napoleon Hill, a Great Depression-era author and former advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, decided more than 76 years ago to figure out the key to wealth.
To do so, he interviewed more than 500 of the most successful men in the U.S. at the time, such as Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, and Charles M. Schwab.
We’ve scoured its pages to come up with some of Hill’s best insights about wealth, power, and overcoming the mental barriers needed to achieve them.
'TRULY, thoughts are things, and powerful things at that, when they are mixed with definiteness of purpose, persistence, and a BURNING DESIRE for their translation into riches, or other material objects.'
'Failure is a trickster with a keen sense of irony and cunning. It takes great delight in tripping one when success is almost within reach.'
'One of the main weaknesses of mankind is the average man's familiarity with the word 'impossible.' He knows all the rules which will NOT work. He knows all the things which CANNOT be done ... A great many years ago I purchased a fine dictionary. The first thing I did with it was to turn to the word 'impossible,' and neatly clip it out of the book. That would not be an unwise thing for you to do.'
'To win the big stakes in this changed world, you must catch the spirit of the great pioneers of the past, whose dreams have given to civilisation all that it has of value, the spirit which serves as the life-blood of our own country your opportunity and mine, to develop and market our talents.'
'Some people foolishly believe that only MONEY can make money. This is not true! DESIRE, transmuted into its monetary equivalent, through the principles laid down here, is the agency through which money is 'made.' Money, of itself, is nothing but inert matter. It cannot move, think, or talk, but it can 'hear' when a man who DESIRES it, calls it to come!'
'Many people mistake their WANTS for their JUST DUES. Your financial requirements or wants have nothing whatever to do with your WORTH. Your value is established entirely by your ability to render useful service or your capacity to induce others to render such service.'
'Most great leaders began in the capacity of followers. They became great leaders because they were INTELLIGENT FOLLOWERS. With few exceptions, the man who cannot follow a leader intelligently, cannot become an efficient leader.'
'America provides all the freedom and all the opportunity to accumulate riches that any honest person may require. When one goes hunting for game, one selects hunting grounds where game is plentiful. When seeking riches, the same rule would naturally obtain.'
'Wishing will not bring riches. But desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways and means to acquire riches, and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognise failure, will bring riches.'
'Analysis of several hundred people who had accumulated fortunes well beyond the million dollar mark, disclosed the fact that every one of them had the habit of REACHING DECISIONS PROMPTLY, and of changing these decisions SLOWLY, if, and when they were changed. People who fail to accumulate money, without exception, have the habit of reaching decisions, IF AT ALL, very slowly, and of changing these decisions quickly and often.'
'Opinions are the cheapest commodities on earth. Everyone has a flock of opinions ready to be wished upon anyone who will accept them. If you are influenced by opinions when you reach DECISIONS, you will not succeed in any undertaking, much less in that of transmuting YOUR OWN DESIRE into money.'
'Those who talk too much do little else. If you talk more than you listen, you not only deprive yourself of many opportunities to accumulate useful knowledge, but you also disclose your PLANS and PURPOSES to people who will take great delight in defeating you, because they envy you.'
'When riches take the place of poverty, the change is usually brought about through well conceived and carefully executed PLANS. Poverty needs no plan. It needs no one to aid it, because it is bold and ruthless. Riches are shy and timid. They have to be 'attracted.''
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