Archive for Napoleon Hill

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The Art of Self-Motivation
Napoleon Hill

The greatest power we human beings have is the power to chose. But to choose, we must make a decision. Decisions are sometimes painful and often difficult. We have inherited instincts, emotions, feelings and tendencies. We develop moods habits and impulses. Even the most logical of us does not act from reason alone. We act on emotions and feelings as well as logic.

One very special thing about us is that we can use both reason and emotion to motivate ourselves at will. But to do so requires a leap of faith. We have to accept as fact that there are powers known and unknown that we can use to our advantage – forces that motivate us.

Motivation is simply defined as that which induces action or determines choice. It is that which provides a motive. Your motives are the inner urges that are yours alone. They are the things within you that incite you to action such as an idea, emotion, desire or impulse. It is the hope or other force which starts you in action in an attempt to produce specific results.

We have complex and often conflicting emotions, but successful people are those who learn to manage them. They overcome a natural tendency to fail by motivating themselves to do something unnatural – to succeed!

If you understand how motivation works in yourself you can go along way toward understanding others. When you can determine what motivates someone else, you will be a better manager because you can inspire your employees to set and reach higher and higher goals.  You will also be a better parent because you will be better equipped to help your children realize their potential, and if you understand what motivates a prospective buyer, you can sell him or her your ideas, your products, or your services. 

From: Succeed and Grow Rich Through Persuasion

I imagine you can use anything you can get your hands on about self-motivation in December.



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Motivate Yourself to Achieve Success

The greatest reward that success brings is self-satisfaction.

How can you motivate yourself to succeed?

Develop a buring desire for something that you wish to have in order to reach a greater goal you have set for yourself.

Remember tthat there is a difference between merely wishing for something and deciding definitely that you are going to have it.

Once you have that burning desire, you will develop an intensity of purpose that will allow you to simply brush aside obstacles that seemed unsurmountable before. All things are possible to the person who believes they are possible.

Set yourself a definite goal in life. As we talked about before, write it down and commit it to memory. Direct every thought and all your energies to making it come true. Instead of letting momentary setbacks throw you off course, search in them for the seed of an equivalent benefit which can help you get back on track to attaining your goal.

Refuse to recognize any limitations.

Remember “whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, the mind of man can achieve.”

Make the best of whatever toolsyou have and acquire whatever else you need along the way.

Reference: Napoleon Hill’s “A Year of Growing Rich. 52 Steps to Achieving Life’s Rewards.”

Tell us what this means to you?


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Move Toward Your Goal

Posted by: Terrie Wurzbacher | Comments (1)

More on the positive mental attitude! Remember that this is what we’re trying to keep forefront in our minds this month. Read as much as you can about the Positive Mental Attitude.

Move Toward Your Goal
The First Building block of a Positive Mental Attitude

A positive mental attitude is something you cannot acquire in any manner whatsoever except by building it, step by step, through your own conscious decision. The very first building block out of which you may shape a positive mental attitude is the habit of moving with definiteness and purpose toward your goal.

If you don’t know yet what you desire from life, if it is still a hazy, changeable, unnamed goal, you should define it. Without a purpose, without adequate plans for the fulfillment of whatever goal you may have, your mind is left wide open to negative, lazy mental attitudes. Successful men and women are those who set a positive goal, plan the means by which they expect to achieve that goal, and set out a timetable for the achievement of their goal. Right now, while it is fresh in your mind, write down a clear outline of everything you desire within a definite length of time, perhaps for the next five years.

Write down the amount of income you desire and an equally clear statement of what you intend to give to earn this income, since there is no such reality as something for nothing. The statement should name the amount you intend to acquire each week, each month and each year.

Write a complete description of the sort of home you desire to live in and, if possible, an architect’s plan of the building. Post it where you can see it daily. Note the approximate amount of money you intend to put into the home.

Write a description of the automobile or automobiles you desire to drive.  Clip a picture of the car you desire, and keep it on your desk.

If you are not married, write a description of the person you desire as a mate. Include a detailed outline of every trait of character, every habit, and every physical quality you wish your mate to possess. then list the traits of character and other qualifications you have or intend to acquire to entitle you to the sort of mate you have described. Remember, the sacred partnership of marriage is a two way street and both parties are entitled to an equal share of the road.

Make a list of how you intend to use the twenty-four hours of time you have at your disposal each day. You have approximately three periods of eight hours each – one period is devoted to sleep, one to your business, profession, or calling, and the third, a period of “free time”, can be used as you please.

Write out a description of your occupation, business, or professional calling. Then select the most successful person you know in a related field or similar position, and make up your mind to become as successful as he- or more- within a given length of time.

Set aside one hour of your eight hours of “free time” each day, and devote it entirely to reading that will inspire you to keep your mind positive. Your reading material should be related to your occupation or in some way help you with your career.

Last, but perhaps most important, express a prayer of gratitude at least twice daily, just before retiring at night and just after rising in the morning, for the blessings you now possess as well as for the things you expect to attain in the future. As you pray, picture in your mind all your goals and desire, and pray that when you attain them you will remember to be as fervent in gratitude.

From: Napoleon Hill; Succeed and Grow Rich Through Persuasion

How is your December going? Have these posts been helpful? Let us know by commenting below or emailing us.


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How to Face The Future

Posted by: Terrie Wurzbacher | Comments (0)

Note: More words from Napoleon Hill – also pertinent at this time of year – how to face the future. With the New Year coming and with the bills accrued with holiday shopping and the stress taking its toll on your body and mind, use these thoughts to calm your way into 2011.

    How to Face The Future
    by Napoleon Hill

Optimism is a matter of mental habit.     
You can learn to practice the habit of optimism – and thereby greatly enhance your chances of achieving success. Or you can drive yourself into the pit of pessimism and failure.     
Optimism is one of the most important traits of a pleasing personality. But it results largely from other traits – a good sense of humor, hopefulness, the ability to overcome fear, contentment, a positive mental attitude, flexibility, enthusiasm, faith, and decisiveness.     
The pessimist fears the Devil and spends most of his time fighting him. The optimist loves his Creator and spends his time worshipping Him.       

You can fight pessimism through complete belief in two basic truths:          
    1. “Whatever the mind of Man can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”     
    2. “Every adversity and defeat carries the seed of an equivalent benefit, if we are ingenious enough to find it.”     

Instead of worrying about the bad things that might befall you, spend a few minutes every day enumerating the pleasant events that will happen tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. By thinking about them, you will find yourself laying plans to make them happen! Then you are getting the habit of optimism.     
Remember that no great leader or successful man was ever a pessimist. What could such a leader promise his followers but despair and defeat?     
Even in the darkest days of the War Between the States, leaders on both sides – such as Lincoln and Lee – held faith in better days to come.         

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s natural optimism breathed a new spirit of hope into a dejected nation in the depths of the Depression.              

Even infamous leaders – the Hitlers, Stalins, Mussolinis and Maos – rely on the promise of better days to win followers with such catch phrases as “tomorrow the world,” “nothing to lose but your chains,” and “the new Asia.”         
Can you – living under the finest social, economic and political system in human history – afford to have any less optimism?         
Remember that like attracts like in human relations, no matter what the rule may be in the physical world. An optimist tends to congregate with optimists, just as success attracts more success.         

But the pessimist breeds worries and trouble without speaking a word or performing an act, because his negative mental attitude serves as a perfect magnet for them.         
Optimism is, in itself, a kind of success. For it means you have a healthy, peaceful and contented mind. An exceedingly wealthy man can be a failure physically, if his constant pessimism has brought him a case of ulcers.         
Optimism isn’t a state of mind in which you throw judgment to the winds, in starry-eyed belief that future events will take care of themselves. Such an outlook is only for fools. It is, however, a firm belief that can make things come out right by thinking ahead and deciding on a course of action based on sound judgment. Let me give you an example:         

At the height of the big boom of 1928, there were those false optimists who refused to believe that the bubble could ever burst. They jeered those few farsighted “pessimists” who warned that the nation was treading on dangerously inflationary and speculative ground.     

When the bottom dropped out, the “optimists” were caught short. Many lacked the spiritual strength to seek victory in defeat and revealed themselves as the true pessimists.     
But those who had looked ahead fearlessly and honestly had put themselves in position – by selling stock short and other devices – to make a killing. They were revealed as the true optimists.     
You can be that kind of optimist. Learn to meet the future head-on. Analyze it. Weigh the factors with clear judgment. Then decide upon your course of action to make things turn out the way you want them to turn out.     
You’ll find that the future holds nothing that you ever need fear.     


Use this as inspiration to help you get a great beginning for 2011


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Positive Mental Attitude

Posted by: Terrie Wurzbacher | Comments (0)

Positive Mental Attitude

Note: I thought that this time of year is the best time to talk about Napoleon Hill’s description of Positive Mental Attitude. The holiday season is hectic unless we take steps to prevent that.  If we head into the holiday season with a positive mental attitude I guarantee that this holiday will be different from others. Try it out….

A positive mental attitude is basic to all achievement. Having set out on your self-study toward a more successful way of life, begin by considering your habits of thinking. Your mental attitude determines your reaction to whatever situation confronts you. You act favorably or unfavorably constructively or destructively, positively or negatively. Our mental attitude defines our personality. Men and women of great achievement have learned the art of keeping their minds positive. They have learned the art of keeping their minds directed to that which they desire from life.

You have to make choices – choices that determine their destiny. It is as though at birth they were given two sealed envelopes, each of which contained orders by which their lives were to be governed.  One envelope would contain a long list of the blessings the individual could enjoy if he recognized the power of his own mind, took possession of it, made it positive, and directed it carefully to others. The other envelop would contain an equally long list of the penalties the individual must pay if he did not recognize this power and use it constructively.

Our mind is the only thing we can control.  Either we control it, or we relinquish control to other forces, and our minds and our wills become as chips in a puddle of water, being swept one way, then another and never coming to any satisfactory conclusions, easily falling prey to any negative wind that blows.

Without control the mind loses its powerful effectiveness and is as a withered arm. With control, exercise, and direction, the mind gains power.

Any situation that confronts man must be dealt with. There is no such thing as not reacting  to a situation. The situation is fact. Whether the situation is positive or negative depends on your reaction. The wise individual reacts in a consciously thoughtful manner, beneficial to his particular situation. He makes the choice of reacting thoughtfully, with purpose and in the manner most suited to his best interests. This is mastery of a situation. The positive thinker is aware of this choice. the positive thinker is a realist.

Achievement is a result of controlling the mind. Practice insures control at all times. Even when the situation seems disastrous, there is the possibility of a positive attitude. Every adversity carries with it the seed of an equivalent of greater benefit.

How you meet adversity, what you make of it and what you allow it to take from you or give to you are determined by your mental habits. All experiences will do something FOR you – or something TO you.

From: Napoleon Hill; Succeed and Grow Rich Through Persuasion

Use your Gratitude Journal every day during this season! See what benefits gratitude can give to you.


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Concentration is defined as “the habit of planting in the mind a definite aim, object or purpose, and visualizing the same until ways and means for its realization have been created.”

The principle of concentration is the medium by which procrastination is overcome. The same principle is the foundation upon which self-confidence is predicted.

The object of concentrating on a definite aim is to train the mind until it forms the habit of focusing upon the object of that aim.  By focusing upon one’s definite aim through concentrated effort and attention, this habit comes to influence the subconscious mind so that it picks up the mental concept of that aim and translates it into its physical counterpart through the most practical and direct methods available.

Every person makes use of the principle of concentration whether he realizes it or not. The person who permits his conscious mind to dwell upon the negative thoughts of fear, poverty, ill health, and intolerance, thereby  applies the law of concentration and sooner or later the subconscious mind will pick up these suggestions and act upon them and translate them into their counterparts.

Instructions for applying concentration:

1. Master and apply the principles of auto-suggestion by following the habit of giving orders to your subconscious mind, mixing your thoughts with one or more of the positive emotions and repeating your orders over and over. Keep up this procedure until you get satisfactory results, remembering that eternal vigilance is the price of mastery in this effort.

2. Empty your subconscious mind of all other thoughts. After a little practice you will be able to focus your mind entirely upon any subject that you please. The act of focusing upon one subject and keeping your mind upon that one subject is concentration.

3. Hold your thoughts to the object of your concentration with a burning desire for attainment of whatever object you have in mind. When concentrating upon your Definite Purpose do so in perfect faith that you will realize the object of that aim.

4. When you find your conscious mind wandering, drive it back and force it upon that subject again and again until you have developed such perfect self control that you can keep out of your mind all other thoughts.  Mix emotions or ‘feeling’ with your thoughts when concentrating; otherwise they will not be recognized by your subconscious mind.

5. The principle of concentration may be best applied when one is in an environment of silence where there are no counter attractions or noises of any disturbing nature. The best time for concentrating is after one has retired at night, for then the number of distractions is minimized.

6. Your subconscious mind can best be reached and influenced when you concentrate in your conscious mind upon an idea, plan or purpose in a spirit of intense enthusiasm, for the reason that enthusiasm arouses your faculty of creative imagination and puts it into action.

When you first start your practice of concentration, you may not experience the feeling that you are in communication with a superior intelligence, but in time if you develop the habit of regular concentration, you will be thoroughly cognizant of the fact that a superior intelligence is influencing you.

It is a well-known fact that the jack-of-all-trades never achieves success. Life is so very complicated and there are many ways of dissipating energy unprofitably that the habit of concentrated effort must be formed and adhered to by all who succeed.

Power is predicated upon organized energy. Energy can only be organized through the principle of concentration. It is a fact worthy of serious consideration that all men of outstanding success in all walks of life are men who concentrate the major portion of their thoughts and efforts upon some definite purpose or chief aim.

Source: Napoleon Hill – How to Sell Your Way Through Life, Platinum Edition, 2005.

How good are you at concentrating? Has this helped any? Let us know by commenting below.


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We talked about this in November but here’s another of Napoleon Hill’s works where he describes the 10 attributes of Initiative and Leadership. They help elaborate on the Qualities of Leadership discussed in November with different wording. Take them in and use them to build your talents.

1. Know definitely what you want (your definite major purpose)

2. Build a practical plan or plans for the achievement of that which you want, making use of the counsel and advice of your Master Mind Group.

3. Surround yourself with an organization made up of men who h ave the knowledge and experience essential for carrying out your Definite Aim.

4. Have sufficient faith in yourself and in your plans to see your aim a finished reality even before you begin to carry out your plans.

5. Do not become discouraged no matter what obstacles you meet. If one plan fails to work substitute other plans until you have found one that will work.

6. Do no guessing but get the facts as the basis for all your plans.

7. Do not be influenced by others to abandon your plans or your aim.

8. Have no set hours of labor. The leader must devote to his task whatever hours are necessary for success.

9. Concentrate upon one thing at a time as you cannot dissipate thought and energy and still be efficient.

10. Whenever possible relegate to others the responsibility of details, but have a system for checking your subordinates to see that these details are accurately attended to. Hold yourself accountable at all times for carrying out all of your plans, bearing in mind that if subordinates fail, it is is you yourself who has failed.

What’s happened in your life in the past month? How has your life changed as a result of our review of the quailities of leadership.



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Qualities of Leadership – Interacting With & For Others

* The capacity to take criticism without resentment.

* Willingness to accept full responsibility for the mistakes of subordinates.

* The habit of recognizing the merits and abilities of others.

* The habit of assuming full responsibility for any job or task undertaken.

 * Patience with subordinates and associates.

 For today, I picked the qualities of leadership that had to do with working with others.

 The first quality listed is the ability to take criticism without resentment. This is NOT easy at all. It takes cultivating. It takes realizing that the criticism is something that can be used to grow and be used to get closer to your definite major purpose.

 It’s so hard not to believe that the criticism is not directed against you as a person and doesn’t mean you’re a bad person.

 You have to learn to take the information given and use it to whatever advantage you can come up with. This may be one of the toughest leadership qualities you have to develop. But work on it.

 The other qualities listed have to do with working with others while protecting them and standing up for them. This is where you have to develop understanding of others and cultivate patience when working with them. I guess being in the Navy helped me with these qualities. The Captain of the ship always was responsible for what went down no matter whose fault it was. You cannot blame others when you’re a leader. You just accept things the way they are and look at what happened in the light of what can be improved.

 It’s human nature to want to pass the buck and put blame where it’s due. But you cannot do that and be a true leader.  This will help you stop talking about people and keep you concentrated on your work, your definite major purpose.

 Look at your life, your interactions, see how these principles apply to you.

 Let us know what you discover.


Going The Extra Mile

This is one of the most important qualities of leadership for sure. It’s even more important to think about in this day and time.

How often do you feel you go the extra mile? What does “going the extra mile” mean to you? Even more importantly, what feelings did just reading that phrase generate inside of you? I mention that because even though I think that I do go the extra mile when I was writing this question to you I felt butterflies in my stomach! And I’ve done this for many years. So, there is obviously something in my past or inner soul that is stirred by this thought. Perhaps it’s the commitment that’s required because of making that statement in public. I don’t really know. I’ll have to work on it. I confess all this because I know that you might be feeling anxiety at having to even think about going the extra mile. Please, though, don’t let that stop you.

You can read about people who are successful and how they all went the extra mile. What that means is different for each person but it certainly does involve “stretching”.

To succeed you just HAVE to stretch. We’ve talked about stretching when we’ve talked about tithing. If you were having trouble stretching with tithing, you may not be ready to become a leader. Again I’m not trying to aggravate or irritate anyone but you have to be able to do what’s needed. Maybe you have to work longer or maybe you have to reach out to people in your community and help them.

A key element in going the extra mile is doing it without complaining. There is a great element of entitlement in this day and a feeling that things should be “free” or that an individual is “owed” something. You’ll have to examine your theories about that too.

When was the last time you went beyond what was expected of you? Was it something that you were able to do without even being asked? Was it something you were expected to do but you did it faster, more quickly, more thoroughly?

Tell us about it and about the thoughts and feelings you experience when writing about this.


Decision Making – here’s two more qualities we want to focus on:

    * The habit of reaching definite and prompt decisions.
    * The habit of basing opinions on known facts instead of relying on guesswork.

Examine your ability to make decisions and make them quickly. Are you like me in my non-work life – I ruminate over and over on things – is this the right thing to do? Should I do it this way? Should I do it that way? What might happen? Etc…..

This is in complete contradiction to my work life. As an ER doctor, I have to make quick decisions and they ahve to be based on facts – but in the ER you don’t have alot of time to gather those facts. So, that’s a talent you cultivate and improve constantly.

In my other work (the military disability system) I have to be able to make quick decisions in order to keep the workload going. This, too, is based on my many years of experience doing this job.

What is your decision making process? Write down some things that you do well and some that you may not do as well as you’d like. Write down the things that are hard for you to make decisions about. What can you do to improve the process?

What can you do to make it rapid decision making a habit for you? For a week, pay attention to the decisions you have to make and how long it takes you as well as what you base those decisions on. At the end of the week decide if this has improved your process. Decide what, if anything, it has done for you?

Write it down. I have to continually emphasize that writing these things down (on paper or in the computer) will solidify them in your mind.

Let us know what’s been happening in your life. Has it seemed to move more quickly? That’s good. Has it seem improved with less anxiety.


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