The Trait of the 95% of the Population Who Fails

The Trait of the 95% of the Population Who Fails

Napoleon Hill, in “The Law of Success,” states that the population in the United States fails at the endeavors of life. Not that you need assistance in subtracting, but that means that only 5% of the population succeeds. Now this was in the early 20th Century, but I fear the percentages are no better now in the early 21st Century. What is lacking in individuals that results in 95% of the people being unhappy, as unhappiness is the result of failure? Do you know?

According to Napoleon Hill, the primary reason people fail is that they have no definite purpose to their lives. What is known as existential psychology would say that people do not have meaning in their lives. If you have no definite purpose you are like a sailing vessel roaming the vastness of the ocean without a rudder. You use your vast store of energy only to move in circles.

Once you establish your definite purpose in life, you now know your direction in life. You have a destination in life that acts as a beacon guiding you on your way. You need three additional items in addition to your definite purpose to move you towards success.

Definite Plans will take you from point “A” to point “B.” If you decide to go on a journey you need more than a rough idea of where you are going. For example, traveling from Houston, Texas to Omaha, Nebraska by car is pretty much due North. The problem is that going due North will not get you to your destination the easiest and most efficient way. You need a definite plan, also known as a roadmap, to get you where you want to go.

Power, according to Napoleon Hill, involves gathering together a group of people who have the knowledge, wisdom and skill to assist you in getting to your destination. Having access to these accomplished people is only a small part of the equation. You have to utilize what they know and act upon it. Having people available is only potential power unless you ignite it with your action.

Proficiency in the skills are needed for what you have chosen to do. You can have all the knowledge in the world at your fingertips, which you do through libraries and the internet, but if you do not learn those skills and then practice them, they are useless to you. There are many people who believe they are an expert because they have read a book or received a college degree. It is only when you have mastered the information you have learned through action that you can achieve your definite purpose.

Today, it seems that most people want to achieve the status of great wealth or accomplishment without having to go through the necessary learning process. Book learning is not enough. You have to train your mind and your body in how to implement what you have learned. Consider this question, would you fly solo in a jet after having only read all the books available on how to take off, fly and land a jet? You might be willing to take the controls when someone else has you in the air, but wouldn’t you give them back when it came time to land? If you don’t, you have a very slim chance of making it through your flight alive.

This is true with your definite purpose. Learn the necessary knowledge, gather your support team and then put your plan in action after you practice or have worked with a mentor.

Measuring the Success of Your Life


[one_half]You may have heard of the tongue in cheek expression, “The one who dies with the

Measuring the Success of Your Life most toys wins.” In bumper sticker wisdom, this is one way of measuring success. The implication is that life is about the accumulation of things. Of course, that is not true for most people. Life is much more than spending your time gathering things.

How will you determine if you are successful? If you are in your twenties while reading this, you are just beginning your life and discovering what it is you want. Those in the midst of intense study for a field such as medicine, law or other doctoral degree have no time to read short articles such as this. Only those who are looking for ways to move themselves forward, to find a way to achieve, would have the time and inclination to read this article.

Take ten minutes right now and reflect upon this question. If you died today, what can you look back on as achievements? Some people would list their education, projects accomplished, things they’ve accumulated. Others would talk about the people in their lives including their family and the number of friends they have. Still others, probably much fewer, would point to their relationship to their Higher Power and their spirituality. Be sure and do a quick list of your achievements before you read the next paragraph.

Now for the next question that you have probably heard many times. If you only have six months to live, what would you do? The purpose of this question is to assist you in discovering what is really important in your life. The problem with the time limit of this particular question is that every one of us would probably choose to  do something much different if we were told we had six months to live than if we were told we had ten years to live. The time constraint of six months [/one_half] [one_half_last]doesn’t require much long-term planning. For instance, you can run up your credit cards  to do whatever you want without having to worry about paying them back.

Did you answer the six months to live question?

Now answer the same question but with a ten year time limit. Let’s make it a little different. Let’s say you’ve been told you have ten years to achieve something significant with your life, but aren’t told the definition of significant. If you’ve accomplished this in ten years, you are granted another ten years. If you haven’t done something of significance at the end of that time period then your life is over. Once a year you’d receive a note in the mail reminding you of the progress of time, but not telling you if you’ve achieved significance or not. You have to decide that for yourself. Now what would you do? Take a few minutes to jot down a few things.

Your mind will answer the questions you ask it. That means your answers depend upon the way you ask your questions. The questions above are general in nature. You will receive different answers if you change the focus. For instance, answer this, “If you only had six months to make enough money to support yourself and three other people for a year, what would you do?” Did the answer change from the general “six months to live” question?

Play with the phrasing of the questions. Insert words such as “show someone you love them” or “build a new house.” How would your answers change? Here’s a scary one. “If you knew that a particular loved one only had six months to live, and there was nothing you could do to change that, what would you do?”

Questions which include time limits force our subconscious minds to respond in a certain direction. Play with your questions regarding success and discover what is important to you.   [/one_half_last]

Napoleon Hill on the Greatest Wealth

Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hill on the Greatest Wealth

[one_half]There are few people striving to become successful who do not become acquainted with Napoleon Hill and his book Think and Grow Rich. Some are aware of his book The Law of Success. Even fewer know there are two versions of The Law of Success. One was written in 1925 and distributed by means of a series of small booklets. The other one, published in 1928, was a greatly edited version of the 1925 edition. Think and Grow Rich is actually a much edited version of the 1928 edition of The Law of Success.

Why is this important to you? The story goes that when Hill distributed the few copies of the results of his 20 year endeavor commissioned, but paid only travel expenses, by Andrew Carnegie, some of those he interviewed were horrified at what he had published. The story goes that they, especially Henry Ford, wanted the project squashed. These few men, and they were men, did not want the mass population to know the true secrets of acquiring wealth.

The researcher spent 20+ years interviewing the wealthiest people for the project of writing a new philosophy that anyone could follow. As I’ve roamed the internet learning more about Napoleon Hill, I’ve discovered that many people question him and his philosophy because he did not die as financially wealthy as did Andrew Carnegie, one of the primary men who established the steel industry in the United States.

It appears that most of the population believes that wealth refers only to financial riches. There is little realization that the term for Napoleon Hill meant much more than that. He states what he calls “my greatest riches” at the end of the preface of The Law of Success. His goal was to[/one_half] [one_half_last] assist people in achieving self-satisfaction on the deepest level. He wanted people to feel fulfilled. He wanted them to discover who they were, what they needed to be happy and then to accomplish that happiness.

Andrew Carnegie wanted Hill to be a greater success than he was, one of the wealthiest, if not the wealthiest, men of his time. Napoleon Hill states in The Law of Success that he believes he accomplished this. His standard was not in his bank account. His standard was that, by his writings, he made more millionaires than did Andrew Carnegie. His writings also helped millions of people come to know and take responsibility for themselves. He assisted millions in becoming successful as measured by their own standard.

Therein is the key to success. If you accomplish your personal goals and fulfill that which is in the deepness of your heart, then you have achieved wealth. If you measure yourself by the standards of others, you will never be satisfied and always fall short of success and personal fulfillment. If you depend upon others to tell you what you must do and accomplish to be a success, you will always fail. Only you can know in your heart what you need to do and be to feel fulfilled in life. It takes courage and perseverance to accomplish your goals and not someone else’s.[/one_half_last]


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