Napoleon Hill’s 17 Principles of Personal Achievement
Lesson 1: Definiteness of Purpose
Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement. Without a purpose and a plan, people drift aimlessly through life.
Lesson 2: Mastermind Alliance
The Mastermind principle consists of an alliance of two or more minds working in perfect harmony for the attainment of a common definite objective. Success does not come without the cooperation of others.
Lesson 3: Applied Faith
Faith is a state of mind through which your aims, desires, plans and purposes may be translated into their physical or financial equivalent.
Lesson 4: Going the Extra Mile
When you go the extra mile, the Law of Compensation comes into play.
Going the extra mile is the action of rendering more and better service than that for which you are presently paid. When you go the extra mile, the Law of Compensation comes into play.
Lesson 5: Pleasing Personality
Personality is the sum total of one’s mental, spiritual and physical traits and habits that distinguish one from all others. It is the factor that determines whether one is liked or disliked by others.
Lesson 6: Personal Initiative
Personal initiative is the power that inspires the completion of that which one begins. It is the power that starts all action. No person is free until he learns to do his own thinking and gains the courage to act on his own.
Lesson 7: Positive Mental Attitude
Positive mental attitude is the right mental attitude in all circumstances. Success attracts more success while failure attracts more failure.
Related: Why Your Attitude Is Everything
Lesson 8: Enthusiasm
Enthusiasm is faith in action. It is the intense emotion known as burning desire. It comes from within, although it radiates outwardly in the expression of one’s voice and countenance.
Lesson 9: Self-Discipline
If you do not control your thoughts, you cannot control your needs.
Self-discipline begins with the mastery of thought. If you do not control your thoughts, you cannot control your needs. Self-discipline calls for a balancing of the emotions of your heart with the reasoning faculty of your head.
Lesson 10: Accurate Thinking
The power of thought is the most dangerous or the most beneficial power available to man, depending on how it is used.
Lesson 11: Controlled Attention
Controlled attention leads to mastery in any type of human endeavor, because it enables one to focus the powers of his mind upon the attainment of a definite objective and to keep it so directed at will.
Lesson 12: Teamwork
Teamwork is harmonious cooperation that is willing, voluntary and free. Whenever the spirit of teamwork is the dominating influence in business or industry, success is inevitable. Harmonious cooperation is a priceless asset that you can acquire in proportion to your giving.
Lesson 13: Adversity & Defeat
Many so-called failures represent only a temporary defeat that may prove to be a blessing in disguise.
Individual success usually is in exact proportion of the scope of the defeat the individual has experienced and mastered. Many so-called failures represent only a temporary defeat that may prove to be a blessing in disguise.
Lesson 14: Creative Vision
Creative vision is developed by the free and fearless use of one’s imagination. It is not a miraculous quality with which one is gifted or is not gifted at birth.
Lesson 15: Health
Sound health begins with a sound health consciousness, just as financial success begins with a prosperity consciousness.
Lesson 16: Budgeting Time & Money
Time and money are precious resources, and few people striving for success ever believe they possess either one in excess.
Lesson 17: Habits
Developing and establishing positive habits leads to peace of mind, health and financial security. You are where you are because of your established habits and thoughts and deeds.
Related: ‘What You Think, You Become’
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in October 2012 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.