Napoleon Hill Wrote Self Help Advice That Changed the Lives of Millions

Napoleon Hill is one of the most well known self improvement authors of all times. He is best known for his book, 'Think and Grow Rich,' which has influenced millions of people around the world and become one of the best selling books in history. Hill is also considered a pioneer in the field of personal development and self improvement and he is one of the earliest self help authors.

The Early Life of Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hill was born on October 26, 1884 in a one room cabin in Southwest Virginia. He lost his mother at the young age of just ten years old. When Hill was 13, he began his writing career as a 'mountain reporter' for small city papers in Virginia. He saved his earnings to help pay for law school but eventually had to drop out because of financial difficulties.

In 1908, Hill wrote a series of articles about the successful industrialist Andrew Carnegie, and the course of his life forever changed. Carnegie was an incredibly wealthy businessman and one of the most powerful men of his day. He believed that the path to success could be distilled into a formula that anyone could follow. Carnegie asked Hill to analyze interviews from over 500 men and women who were successful, some of them millionaires, and come up with a formula he could publish.

The material included interviews with notables such as Alexander Graham Bell, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, George Eastman, John D. Rockefeller Sr., William Wrigley Jr., Charles Schwab, Theodore Roosevelt, and William Taft.

Napoleon Hill and 'The Laws of Success'

'The Laws of Success' was the first set of self help books published by Hill. The original title was 'The Laws of Success in 16 Lessons' and it was published in 1928. It was released as a correspondence course in 16 lessons and in later years was condensed into a single book. The material for the book was gleaned from the interviews with successful people as commissioned by Andrew Carnegie. The 16 lessons included:


• The Master Mind - This lesson stressed the power of a group of people being of like mind towards the accomplishment of a common goal.

• A Definite Chief Aim - This taught readers to identify and capitalize on their natural strengths and talents.

• Self Confidence - This module encouraged readers to know they could accomplish whatever they believed they could.

• The Habit of Saving - In this lesson, Napoleon Hill stressed the importance of saving money, even when times are tough, so the habit became firmly entrenched.

• Initiative and Leadership - Hill believed that leadership ability and initiative were vital components to being a success in life.

• Imagination - This lesson taught that day dreaming was not a waste of time as long as it was combined with effort put forth towards accomplishing those dreams.

• Enthusiasm - This attribute was necessary to keep oneself motivated and to inspire others to do and think as requested.

• Self Control - Napoleon Hill also taught that self control was needed to channel enthusiasm and imagination. It was also taught that self control was needed to control one's thoughts from being negative and self sabotaging.

• The Habit Of Doing More Than Paid For - This lesson taught readers how important it was to do work that they loved and be glad to over deliver in the amount of effort put into work.

• A Pleasing Personality - Hill explained how readers needed to attract others to them with winning personalities, and this lesson provided techniques for dealing with other people.

• Accurate Thinking - Accurate thinking meant being able to separate important information from useless trivia. It also was the means used to connect to infinite intelligence for the purpose of programming the mind with positive and truthful thoughts.

• Concentration - This lesson offered self help advice related to focusing on an objective until it became reality.

• Cooperation - Napoleon Hill taught about two types of cooperation. One was in the form of a mastermind group between two or more individuals and the other was the cooperation between the conscious and unconscious mind.

• Profiting by Failure - The self help advice in this lesson taught readers that failure could be a blessing in disguise. Napoleon Hill believed that failure was a great teacher that led to the path of success.

• Tolerance - Napoleon Hill taught that intolerance blocked personal development and being tolerant of other's beliefs and thoughts would benefit one spiritually, mentally, and morally.

• The Golden Rule - Hill advised using the Golden Rule when putting his teachings into use. He taught that all actions and thoughts come back on a person, so one should always treat others as they would wish to be treated.

• The Universal law of Cosmic Habitforce - The revised edition of Hill's self help book included a final law derived from his lectures called The Universal law of Cosmic Habitforce. This law was very similar to the Law of Attraction in that Napoleon Hill taught that habitual thoughts held power to create experiences in life.

Napoleon Hill and 'Think and Grow Rich'

'Think and Grow Rich' continues to be a best seller today, seventy years after it was first published. It is one of the most popular self help books of all time and Napoleon Hill's bestseller. This book was first published in 1937 during the height of the Great Depression. Contrary to what the title implies, the book teaches readers how to be successful in all aspects of life, not just in the financial area. The self help advice offered by Napoleon Hill in this book was derived from 'The Laws of Success' and emphasizes how important right inner thinking is to being an outward success. The first two printings of 'Think and Grow Rich' were sold out in a few weeks by word of mouth alone.

The book has been reprinted for modern readers and continues to be one of the most often recommended self improvement books. By the time Napoleon Hill died in 1970, the book had already sold over 20 million copies. Many winners in business, sports, and life today attribute their successes to 'Think and Grow Rich.' Some of the self help advice covered in 'Think and Grow Rich' includes learning how to use visualization and auto suggestion, conquering procrastination, learning persistence, developing the sixth sense, understanding the power of the subconscious mind, and realizing the potential of the mastermind.

Other Self Help Books by Napoleon Hill


• 'The Magic Ladder To Success' was published in 1930 and was a compilation of the material presented in his correspondence course, 'The Laws of Success.'

• 'Outwitting the Devil' was written by Napoleon Hill in 1936 but wasn't published until after his death because he felt it might be too controversial. Hill used this book to teach readers that attributes such as jealousy, fear, and procrastination were tools of the devil and stumbling blocks to success.

• 'How to Sell Your Way through Life' was published by Napoleon Hill in 1939 and specifically offered advice to becoming successful in sales but the principals could be applied to all areas of life.

• 'Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude' was published in 1960 in collaboration with W. Clement Smith. This book helped readers understand that a positive mental outlook was necessary in order to attain success and attract the good things in life. Hill offered self help tips to readers for overcoming negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones.

• 'You Can Work Your Own Miracles' is a compilation of Napoleon Hill's teachings and was first published in 1971. He taught his students that anything was possible by using the power of positive thinking and personality development.


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The Teachings of Napoleon Hill Today

The self improvement advice offered by Napoleon Hill continues to inspire millions of people around the world today even though Hill died in 1970.

His works continue to be reprinted and used as the basis for new personal development books by different self help authors.

Napoleon Hill's self help ebooks can be read on Amazon's ebook format Kindle or listened to as audio books. Original versions of his self improvement books are collector's items.

Many of his teachings are available freely online, and his books are readily available in libraries and bookstores, ensuring Napoleon Hill will continue to inspire and motivate generations to come.



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