In his book Napolean Hills Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal Achievement, Napolean Hill outlines the 17 keys to success.
Here, I’ve typed them out for you, and added, in my words, a brief description to help you implement them.
17 Keys to Success – Napolean Hill (with descriptions by me)
1) Develop a definiteness of purpose.
Figure out what your purpose is, then write down steps, and take action necessary to make that purpose happen. If you’re not sure what your purpose is, ask a friend whom you respect. Often, friends can recognize our gifts, our talents. Incorporate these into your purpose. Sharpen your skills. Focus. Zero in on a niche, a specialty field. Put blinders on and head in that direction.
If you’re not getting the right answers, you’re not asking the right questions. Ask the right questions and get the right answers.
2) Establish a mastermind alliance.
Meet people who want to help you accomplish your goals. Become friends with people who are already where you want to be. Ask them advice. Take their suggestions. If your current friends are not serving to motivate, challenge, or inspire you in any form or fashion, find friends who will.
3) Assemble an attractive personality.
Recognize who you are attracted to, and ask yourself why you are attracted to that person. Then, break down your answer into personality traits, characteristics, dress styles, behavior, everything. Start emulating them. Of course, you will be blending your own ways of behavior as well.
Become beautiful. Demand higher expectations of yourself. Demonstrate value in some way.
One way that I demonstrate value is by listening, and asking questions. I remember being on a high school bus trip and sitting beside some guy I did not know. Initially what as an awkward situation become comfortable as I asked questions, basically pitching softballs–innocuous questions–to the guy during the trip.
Days later, his friend Fritz told me: “That guy said you were the most interesting person he’d ever met.” It was ironic in that he didn’t know anything about me. What he did know was that I had cared enough to ask questions and listen, a lost art in this information age where everyone seems to be talking too much and listening too little.
One way to establish an attractive personality is to read How to Win Friends and Influence People.
4) Use applied faith.
Read The Bible. Memorize verses. Act on The Scriptures by doing them. This way, you will learn them. God made us. He knows what is best for us. He wants what is best for us. Don’t be stubborn. It is in your best interest to follow what The Bible says. Once you do, you will see the benefits of applying faith.
5) Go the extra mile.
Go above and beyond what is expected of you. Customer service is crucial and people will pay more for it, and gladly pay more.
Nearby where I live is a Hall’s Hardware, a hardware store. It is small and located in an older part of downtown West Palm Beach, Florida. A few miles away is Home Depot. Although Home Depot is less expensive, I frequent Hall’s Hardware. Why? They have terrific customer service. As soon as I walk in, someone approches me and asks: “How can I help you?” I tell them what I need and they walk me to where it is, then ask me again what specifically I want. When I tell them, they will often pick it out for me and take it to the counter. The few dollars more I usually pay for a tool is worth it to me. Why? I leave happy with a smile on my face. I will gladly pay a few dollars extra for good customer service. That’s the kind of business I want to support.
I run different websites and this is how I make a living, working from home, making money online. When someone calls me, they reach me, directly, on my cell phone. They are my customer so I put them first. They will not be speaking with a guy in Bangladesh, named “Bill Smith” who’s going through a wheel-of-fortune, spin-the-answers-to-my-questions-wheel.
When someone buys your product, give him something extra. Contact him. Thank him.
6) Create personal initiative.
Give yourself a personal reason why you will succeed. Make it your own. This will provide incentive for you to reach your goals.
7) Build a positive mental attitude.
Instead of listening to the radio, listen to personal achievement training CD’s, iPod broadcasts. Or, listen to classical music. Did you know that classical music has positive effects on water crystals? We, you and I, are pretty much 60% water. Imagine the effect of classical music on our health.
In short, read books that encourage you to be positive. Listen to positive, uplifting music. Hang around positive people. Watch positive movies, and programs on TV. Watch something funny, something that’s funny without being cruel or gross or obscene.
Read The Bible. Act on it. Do what it says. Be inspired.
All of this will help create a positive mental attitude.
8) Control your enthusiasm.
Don’t get enthusiastic about silly things. Reserve your enthusiasm for things that really matter.
I’m sure you’ve met people who get excited about everything. How can you trust them when they’re trying to sell you something, or trying to get you to join their MLM? They get excited about everything. Bottom line: contain yourself. Control yourself. Give excitement to the people or things that actually deserve it. Weeeeee …. 🙂
9) Enforce self discipline.
Listen to this. No one really cares about you. If you don’t have self discipline, no one will force it on you. However, self discipline is necessary to get what you want. So, make a list. Follow it. Be disciplined with your life. If you are, you will get what you want.
10) Think accurately.
Your thoughts are things. Did you know that thoughts affect plants? Months ago, I read The Secret LIfe of Plants which proves this to be true. It’s an interesting read and will change the way you think about plants. Read it.
This rule goes in accordance with 7 – “Build a positive mental attitude”. And how do you do this? Again, by carefully choosing what and who you are influenced by. This, my friends, is critical. Choose your influences carefully.
Read The Bible. Apply it.
Listen to classical music. Listen to training CD’s, ipod broadcasts in your spare time, while driving, while on the computer.
Watch TV programs or movies that motivate, inspire, challenge, and teach you.
11) Control your attention.
See Rule 10.
12) Inspire teamwork.
Get others who are heading in your direction, and join them. Find others who want to end up where you are going, and ask them to join you. Be the change in this world you want to be. I think it was Ghandi who said, or wrote, that.
Be hard on yourself, and an encouragement to others. Remember, your life speaks volumes. What are you saying to others. What do your actions broadcast. No one is listening to what you say. Instead, they are watching what you do. Be an example. Then, get others to join you.
13) Learn from adversity and defeat.
Learn from your tragedies. Learn from your triumphs.
14) Cultivate creative vision.
As you move toward your goals, using your God given talents to blaze a trail in the direction of your dreams, continue to eliminate extrateranous baggage, continue to prune the dead branches of your life, continue to fertilize the soil of your imagination with seeds of inspiration from books, music, and others.
15) Maintain sound health.
Drink more water. Eliminate all forms of sugar. Dance for an hour every day, to positive, uplifting music. Swim. Walk.
16) Budget your time and money.
Ben Franklin said: “Time is the stuff that life is made of. Don’t squander it.” Budget it. Don’t waste it. If you don’t value your time, no one else will. So value it. Do the same with your money.
17) Use cosmic habit force.
Thoughts become actions. Actions become habits. Habits become patterns. Patterns become lifestyles. Lifestyles become destinies.
See the pattern. It’s been said that we are the accumulation of our choices. If our choices are based on our thoughts, think of the devasting effect of impure thoughts.
Eventually, thoughts become actions. Develop clear, healthy, positive, good thoughts, so that your actions will be positive.
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