Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Napoleon Hill's Golden Rules: The Lost Writing

Napoleon Hill was a popular motivational speaker and self-help author from a century ago. These writings from around 1920 remain fairly accurate today.

I enjoyed the "details" of the societal concerns of 1920s business. The country had come out of the Great War and had yet to experience the depression. Business was booming, but in a different way than it is today. It was interesting hearing about how women in garment factories worked better with music or how new inventions change the way we work.

He has a few key points in his discussion. One is the concept of "auto-suggestion". Basically, if you want to succeed at something, you need to think positively and focus on the success. Eventually this positive belief can help to bring about positive actions. Physical appearance also helps to achieve this success. Also, it works better to agree with adversaries rather than attack them. They are often expecting the attack, however, the compliment can help them to let their guard down and gradually bring them to your side.

One story of a bum he meets brings out all of those points. The man thinks that Hill can help him turn around his life. Hill says that he knows somebody right here in the office that can help him do it. He leads him through the office to a door and shows the man his reflection in a mirror. The man does eventually turn his life around and becomes a successful, well-dressed businessman.

Many of the other "teachings" contain similar bits of fairly timeless advice. If you want to succeed at something you must want it enough to put forth the effort. If you want to convince somebody to agree with you, you must first find the points where you can agree with him. At times this advice can sound like it makes somebody "fake" or not genuine. However, eventually, the "fakeness" can become a reality.

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