The Law of Success: In Sixteen Lessons

The Law of Success: In Sixteen Lessons

by Napoleon Hill

The Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons is based on the accomplishments of some of the most successful people in history. Napoleon Hill studied people like Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Andrew Carnegie to determine what set them apart from unsuccessful people. He also interviewed self-made millionaires and drew on insights from his own life to pinpoint the qualities and concepts that make people successful. This book is a distillation of that research into a set of key lessons. By following the lessons and using the power of suggestion, you can achieve the same great success as the legendary figures discussed in the book.

Summary Notes

The Master Mind

“Master mind is a mind that is developed through the harmonious cooperation of two or more people, allied with the purpose of accomplishing any task.”

The “master mind” concept underpins the rest of the lessons in The Law of Success. It states that the human mind gives off and receives vibrations. When in the presence of somebody with a shared purpose, two minds connect and work together. This synergy between two minds drives people to success, so you should create alliances with the right people.

These can be professional relationships, but people like your spouse or friends can be part of your alliance, too. This is because they support you in reaching your goals. But before you can start aligning yourself with the right people, you must learn to recognize success and the reasons for it first, so you can determine who should be part of your alliance.

Actions to take

A Definite Chief Aim

“Singleness of purpose is essential for success, no matter what may be one’s idea of the definition of success.”

The main barrier to success in most people’s lives is their lack of purpose. We waste so much time and energy trying to determine what our purpose is and where we should direct our attention to.

But once you are able to find a definite chief aim to focus your efforts on, you can start your path to success. You can then use the principle of the master mind to create alliances that help you make your definite chief aim a reality.

Actions to take


“The development of self-confidence starts with the elimination of this demon called fear.”

Every person is hindered by six basic fears: poverty, ill health, old age, criticism, loss, and death. All of the fears and worries that we have can be categorized under one of these headings. If we let these fears rule our lives, we will not be able to achieve our chief aims in life.

However, we can overcome these fears and unlock our true potential using the power of auto-suggestion. The dominant thoughts in our minds eventually encourage action. So, when we think positively and focus on our goals, we begin to act in a way that helps us get there. We also let go of the fears that hold us back.

Actions to take

The Habit of Saving

“You will actually begin to DEMAND prosperity, you will begin to expect it, you will begin to prepare yourself to receive it and to use it wisely, thus paving the way or setting the stage for the development of the Habit of Saving.”

Nobody can be successful without saving money in some form. As you start using the power of auto-suggestion and focus on your chief aims, you will naturally begin to earn more money as your success grows.

While this will give you more opportunities to save, you still have to develop the habit of saving. Even if you can only afford to save a small amount of money, developing the habit drastically improves your financial health. When your earnings increase, your savings will continue to increase at the same time.

Actions to take

Initiative and Leadership

“Initiative and leadership are associated terms in this lesson for the reason that leadership is essential for the attainment of success, and initiative is the very foundation upon which this necessary quality of leadership is built.”

Developing leadership qualities is vital if you want to be successful. Taking the initiative to act without direction is a key part of being a leader. Instead of waiting for others to tell you what to do, you must be proactive and push things forward yourself. When you do this, you naturally emerge as a leader.

Actions to take


“Imagination is the workshop of the human mind, wherein old ideas and established facts may be reassembled into new combinations and put to new uses.”

Imagination is the key to success in life. You must be able to develop new ideas and think creatively about problems to find solutions. For example, when you defined your chief aim, you used your imagination to create an image of the life you wanted. You do the same when practicing auto-suggestion and learning to take initiative.

So, developing your imagination is the key to unlocking the rest of the lessons. Telepathy, the idea that the thoughts you put out into the world register with others, is one of the most powerful functions of the imagination.

Actions to take


“Mix enthusiasm with your work and it will not seem hard or monotonous. Enthusiasm will so energize your entire body that you can get along with less than half the usual amount of sleep and at the same time it will enable you to perform from two to three times as much work as you usually perform in a given period, without fatigue.”

When you are truly enthusiastic about life, you will become far more productive. You can work more efficiently and for longer without getting distracted or bored. Enthusiasm is also a crucial part of a positive personality. Having a likable personality makes it easier to get along with people and encourages them to work with you toward your chief aims in life.

An enthusiastic mind vibrates at a higher frequency, and the thoughts you send out to others are much stronger. This means that the telepathic link between you is very solid.

Actions to take


“Without self-control, enthusiasm resembles the unharnessed lightning of an electrical storm-it may strike anywhere; it may destroy life and property.”

Enthusiasm is only part of the equation. You need to develop self-control so you can harness that enthusiasm and direct it in the right direction. Essentially, self-control balances your enthusiasm and ensures that it is used positively and productively.

By equalizing your enthusiasm and self-control, you can become a balanced person. This allows you to keep your cool in all situations and avoid destructive emotions like anger, jealousy, fear, and revenge. There are some key qualities that a person with self-control must exhibit.

Actions to take

The Habit of Doing More Than Paid For

“Work which one does merely for the sake of earning a living is seldom liked. More often it is disliked, or even hated.”

If you are working toward something you are not passionate about and doing the bare minimum, your returns reflect that. You won’t progress anywhere, and you will not realize your goals. After all, success is about going above and beyond and doing more than you are paid for.

Eventually, you will be rewarded for this extra effort and feel pride in your work.

Actions to take

Pleasing Personality

“Ah, but here is the stumbling point at which most salespeople fall and break their necks, figuratively speaking, for it is as useless to try to sell a man something until you have first made him want to listen, as it would be to command the earth to stop rotating.”

Having a pleasing personality opens so many doors. If you can instantly connect with people, they will be more receptive to what you have to say, which, in turn, will help you progress toward your goals.

It can help in your professional life and improve your personal relationships, too. The best way to create a pleasing personality is to take a genuine interest in people’s lives and connect with them that way.

Actions to take

The Golden Rule

“There is more power wrapped up in the preceding lessons of this course than most men could trust themselves with; therefore, this lesson is a governor that will, if observed and applied, enable you to steer your ship of knowledge over the rocks and reefs of failure that usually beset the pathway of all who come suddenly into possession of power.”

If you follow all the lessons you’ve learned and apply them to all areas of your life, you will have the potential to gain wealth and power. It is important that you manage your new status in the right way so you can continue to be successful. To do this, there is a strict code of ethics you must follow. That is, the “golden rule.”

The golden rule is to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. In other words, treat people as you want to be treated. The rest of the code is built around this core concept.

Actions to take

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