THE LAW OF SUCCESS IN SIXTEEN LESSONS
Teaching, for the First Time in the History of the World, the True Philosophy upon which all Personal Success is Built.
1928, by NAPOLEON HILL
Who suggested the writing of the course, and to
Whose astounding achievements form the foundation for practically all of the Sixteen Lessons of the course, and to
EDWIN C. BARNES
A business associate of Thomas A. Edison, whose close personal friendship over a period of more than fifteen years served to help the author “carry on” in the face of a great variety of adversities and much temporary defeat met with in organizing the course.
WHO said it could not be done? And what great victories has he to his credit which qualify him to judge others accurately?
– Napoleon Hill.
A PERSONAL STATEMENT BY THE AUTHOR
Some thirty years ago a young clergyman by the name of Gunsaulus announced in the newspapers of Chicago that he would preach a sermon the following Sunday morning entitled:
“WHAT I WOULD DO IF I HAD A MILLION DOLLARS!”
The announcement caught the eye of Philip D. Armour, the wealthy packing-house king, who decided to hear the sermon.
In his sermon Dr. Gunsaulus pictured a great school of technology where young men and young women could be taught how to succeed in life by developing the ability to THINK in practical rather than in theoretical terms; where they would be taught to “learn by doing.” “If I had a million dollars,” said the young preacher, “I would start such a school.”
After the sermon was over Mr. Armour walked down the aisle to the pulpit, introduced himself, and said, “Young man, I believe you could do all you said you could, and if you will come down to my office tomorrow morning I will give you the million dollars you need.”
There is always plenty of capital for those who can create practical plans for using it.
That was the beginning of the Armour Institute of Technology, one of the very practical schools of the country. The school was born in the “imagination” of a young man who never would have been heard of outside of the community in which he preached had it not been for the “imagination,” plus the capital, of Philip D. Armour.
Every great railroad, and every outstanding financial institution and every mammoth business
enterprise, and every great invention, began in the imagination of some one person.
F. W. Woolworth created the Five and Ten Cent Store Plan in his “imagination” before it became a reality and made him a multimillionaire.
Thomas A. Edison created the talking machine and the moving picture machine and the incandescent electric light bulb and scores of other useful inventions, in his own “imagination,” before they became a reality.
During the Chicago fire scores of merchants whose stores went up in smoke stood near the smoldering embers of their former places of business, grieving over their loss. Many of them decided to go away into other cities and start over again. In the group was Marshall Field, who saw, in his own “imagination,” the world’s greatest retail store, standing on the selfsame spot where his former store had stood, which was then but a ruined mass of smoking timbers. That store became a reality.
Fortunate is the young man or young woman who learns, early in life, to use imagination, and doubly so in this age of greater opportunity.
Imagination is a faculty of the mind which can be cultivated, developed, extended and broadened by use.
If this were not true, this course on the Fifteen Laws of Success never would have been created, because it was first conceived in the author’s “imagination,” from the mere seed of an idea which was sown by a chance remark of the late Andrew Carnegie.
Wherever you are, whoever you are, whatever you may be following as an occupation, there is room for you to make yourself more useful, and in that manner more productive, by developing and using your “imagination.”
Success in this world is always a matter of individual effort, yet you will only be deceiving yourself if you believe that you can succeed without
the co-operation of other people. Success is a matter of individual effort only to the extent that each person must decide, in his or her own mind, what is wanted. This involves the use of “imagination.” From this point on, achieving success is a matter of skillfully and tactfully inducing others to cooperate.
Before you can secure co-operation from others; nay, before you have the right to ask for or expect co-operation from other people, you must first show a willingness to co-operate with them. For this reason the eighth lesson of this course, THE HABIT OF DOING MORE THAN PAID FOR, is one which should have your serious and thoughtful attention.
The law upon which this lesson is based, would, of itself, practically insure success to all who practice it in all they do.
In the back pages of this Introduction you will observe a Personal Analysis Chart in which ten well known men have been analyzed for your study and comparison.
Observe this chart carefully and note the “danger points” which mean failure to those who do not observe these signals. Of the ten men analyzed eight are known to be successful, while two may be considered failures. Study, carefully, the reason why these two men failed.
Then, study yourself. In the two columns which have been left blank for that purpose, give yourself a rating on each of the Fifteen Laws of Success at the beginning of this course; at the end of the course rate yourself again and observe the improvements you have made.
The purpose of the Law of Success course is to enable you to find out how you may become more capable in your chosen field of work. To this end you will be analyzed and all of your qualities classified so you may organize them and make the best possible use of them.
You may not like the work in which you are now engaged.
There are two ways of getting out of that work. One way is to take but little interest in what you are doing, aiming merely to do enough with which to “get by.” Very soon you will find a way out, because the demand for your services will cease.
The other and better way is by making yourself so useful and efficient in what you are now doing that you will attract the favorable attention of those who have the power to promote you into more responsible work that is more to your liking.
It is your privilege to take your choice as to which way you will proceed.
Again you are reminded of the importance of Lesson Nine of this course, through the aid of which you may avail yourself of this “better way” of promoting yourself.
Thousands of people walked over the great Calumet Copper Mine without discovering it. Just one lone man used his “imagination,” dug down into the earth a few feet, investigated, and discovered the richest copper deposit on earth.
You and every other person walk, at one time or another, over your “Calumet Mine.” Discovery is a matter of investigation and use of “imagination.” This course on the Fifteen Laws of Success may lead the way to your “Calumet,” and you may be surprised when you discover that you were standing right over this rich mine, in the work in which you are now engaged. In his lecture on “Acres of Diamonds,” Russell Conwell tells us that we need not seek opportunity in the distance; that we may find it right where we stand! THIS IS A TRUTH WELL WORTH REMEMBERING!
NAPOLEON HILL, Author of the Law of Success.
The Author’s Acknowledgment of Help
Rendered Him in the Writing of This Course
This course is the result of careful analysis of the life-work of over one hundred men and women who have achieved unusual success in their respective callings.
The author of the course has been more than twenty years in gathering, classifying, testing and organizing the Fifteen Laws upon which the course is based. In his labor he has received valuable assistance either in person or by studying the life-work of the following men:
Henry Ford Edward Bok
Thomas A. Edison Cyrus H. K. Curtis
Harvey S. Firestone George W. Perkins
John D. Rockefeller Henry L. Doherty
Charles M. Schwab George S. Parker
Woodrow Wilson Dr. C. O. Henry
Darwin P. Kingsley General Rufus A. Ayers
Wm. Wrigley, Jr. Judge Elbert H. Gary
A. D. Lasker William Howard Taft
E. A. Filene Dr. Elmer Gates
James J. Hill John W. Davis
Captain George M. Alexander (To whom the author was formerly an assistant)
Dr. E. W. Strickler
Edwin C. Barnes
Robert L. Taylor (Fiddling Bob)
E. M. Statler
Judge Daniel T. Wright (One of the author’s law instructors)
O. H. Harriman
E. H. Harriman
Charles P. Steinmetz
Wm. H. French Dr. Alexander Graham Bell (To whom the author owes credit for most of Lesson One). Of the men named, perhaps Henry Ford and Andrew Carnegie should be acknowledged as having contributed most toward the building of this course, for the reason that it was Andrew Carnegie who first suggested the writing of the course and Henry Ford whose life-work supplied much of the material out of which the course was developed.
Some of these men are now deceased, but to those who are still living the author wishes to make here grateful acknowledgment of the service they have rendered, without which this course never could have been written.
The author has studied the majority of these men at close range, in person. With many of them he enjoys, or did enjoy before their death, the privilege of close personal friendship which enabled him to gather from their philosophy facts that would not have been available under other conditions.
The author is grateful for having enjoyed the privilege of enlisting the services of the most powerful men on earth, in the building of the Law of Success course. That privilege has been remuneration enough for the work done, if nothing more were ever received for it.
These men have been the back-bone and the foundation and the skeleton of American business, finance, industry and statesmanship.
The Law of Success course epitomizes the philosophy and the rules of procedure which made each of these men a great power in his chosen field of endeavor. It has been the author’s intention to present the course in the plainest and most simple terms available, so it could be mastered by very young men and young women, of the high-school age.
With the exception of the psychological law referred to in Lesson One as the “Master Mind,” the author lays no claim to having created anything basically new in this course. What he has done, however, has been to organize old truths and known laws into PRACTICAL, USABLE FORM, where they may be properly interpreted and applied by the workaday man whose needs call for a philosophy of simplicity.
In passing upon the merits of the Law of Success Judge Elbert H. Gary said:
“Two outstanding features connected with the philosophy impress me most. One is the simplicity with which it has been presented, and the other is the fact that its soundness is so obvious to all that it will be immediately accepted.”
The student of this course is warned against passing judgment upon it before having read the entire sixteen lessons. This especially applies to this Introduction, in which it has been necessary to include brief reference to subjects of a more or less technical and scientific nature. The reason for this will be obvious after the student has read the entire sixteen lessons.
The student who takes up this course with an open mind, and sees to it that his or her mind remains “open” until the last lesson shall have been read, will be richly rewarded with a broader and more accurate view of life as a whole.