17 Principles of Success by Napoleon Hill

17 Principles of success - Toolshero

17 Principles of Success: this article explains the 17 principles of success, developed by Napoleon Hill in a practical way. This article contains a general explanation of the 17 principles of success with practical examples. After reading you will understand the basics of this personal effectiveness philosophy. Enjoy reading!

What are the 17 Principles of Success of Napoleon Hill?

Everybody want to be successful and achieve his or her goals but what is the big secret to realize these? In 1908 Napoleon Hill conducted an interview with Andrew Carnegie, who challenged him to do research on this topic. Andrew Carnegie was at that time one of the most powerful men in the world business wise.

Napoleon Hill did on this topic his whole life research by interviewing numerous of successful people and focus on the elements of personal achievement and success.

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17 Principles of Success of Napoleon Hill explained, the summary

Based on his study and best-seller books Law of success (1928) and Think and grow Rich (1937), he defined 17 principles that can lead to great success and personal achievement. They are the 17 principles of success and achievement.

1. Definiteness of Purpose

For everything you do in life, you need a purpose. No matter if it is personal or business related, this is the first step in your quest for achievement and success. What do you wish to accomplish? What is your ambiguous goal? Which steps do you need to take to achieve it (plan)?

2. Mastermind Alliance

Scientific studies and practice have proven that people that work together in perfect harmony on the common goal, achieve more than one person on its own. Which partners do you need and choose to be successful and achieve your goal(s)? Cooperation and a powerful set of combined skills are a key factor for achieving success.

3. Applied Faith

The principle applied faith is the desire and plans that need to be succeeded into something tangible. Therefore you need a set of realistic goals to meet those tangible results. This is an essential principle, driven by a state of mind, attitude and confidence.

4. Going the extra mile

This principle is obvious. The more effort a partner puts in achieving a goal, the faster and better it will be accomplished. Also the law of compensation (rewards come in return for the deeds, thoughts and words) is great to incorporate in your achieving mindset.

5. Pleasing Personality

This principle can be a major asset in your everyday life. Goals and achievements can be much easier realised when you work with people (i.e. partners) who are easy to connect to and pleasant to work with. According to Napoleon Hill there are 25 characteristics of the personality that you can work on.

6. Personal Initiative

Each person / partner that works in an team and experiences group dynamics, is made aware that his or her responsibility is key, in order to achieve the desired goals. The individual is the starter of the initiative and it’s the challenge to complete that what he / she started. Also principle 4 is a key success factor to achieve the desired goals.

7. Positive Mental Attitude

No challenge can start without the right mindset. Positive (metal) attitude keeps your chin up and keep you powered in all circumstances.

No challenge to large, objectives are clear and realistic and the right attitude to keep focus, inspire and motivate others, are key elements that are connected with this principle.

The more positive everyone thinks, that are involved in the desired goals, the more likely it is to achieve success (the law of influence).

8. Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is key to achieve success in business. Enthusiasm can work infectious; the more people are enthusiastic are about the desired goals, the more people will become that as well. It comes from within a person and is also connected to principle 3: applied faith. Success, applied faith and determination will attract more success.

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9. Self-Discipline

You need to control your thoughts in order to control your needs and desired goals. This principle is all about the mastery of your own thoughts. You take possession of your own attitude, thoughts, emotions, acts, communication and so on. This is a vital principle to make the best business decisions and set the right priorities in order to achieve the desired goals.

10. Accurate Thinking

This principle is closely related to principle 9: self-discipline. This is all about mind control. Set your needed thoughts to achieve the desired goals prior and eliminate all other unnecessary thoughts. It’s also called the power of thought: “What you think, so you will become” ~ Napoleon Hill (1937).

11. Controlled Attention

This principle is all about prioritising time, energy and mindset to achieve the desired goals. This is the highest form of self-discipline (principle 9). What is the most important for you and what prioritized actions do you need, in order to sustain that focus?

12. Teamwork

TEAM is an acronym that stands for Together Everyone Accomplishes More! It is a fact, based on scientific and empirical studies, that people that work together with the focus on the same objectives, can accomplish more than one person alone.

Teamwork therefore is a key asset, together with the other principles, for cooperative success and common desired goals.

13. Adversity and Defeat

This principle coffers the learning lessons from human errors and failures. You only can grow by learning by making small failures and master the experience. This is also called “temporary defeat” and it carries a seed of a (greater) benefit.

14. Creative Vision

In order to come to great and wise business ideas, imagination is the key word to stimulate creative visions. It starts with a simple idea that you can develop in small steps over time, possibly together with others.

Therefore your imagination needs to be free and fearless. It comes from the sub consciousness and with mind exercises you stimulate and develop it.

15. Health

Whenever you are in business or something personal, health is key to enjoy life and achieve personal fulfilment. This principle coordinates and stimulates all principles. It also support conscious choices and giving you endurance.

By eating healthy food and challenging your brain in exercising, you can benefit yourself and others of achieving the common desired SMART goals.

16. Budgeting Time and Money

Time and money are important aspects for success. It’s important to take the time daily to understand your income and expenses in relation to your desired goals.

Both precious resources need to fit in your current plan as well as your future plan (10 years from now). Prediction and decision making are key in relation to this principle.

17. Habits

Everybody wants peace in their mind, good health and financial security. Therefore, you need to have developing and positive habits to achieve it. By thoughts and deeds, you’ve established certain habits (cause – effect).

Are these habits bring you peace in their mind, good health and financial security or do you need to change them in order to achieve this? What are these habits and what is your plan to change?

How to apply these 17 Principles of Success?

All these principles of success are applicable in your life. It’s up to you what you want to do with them. If you learn how to master unpleasant situations and change them in useful and positive situations, you are on the right track of creating success for your situation.

Questions for yourself to reflect on:

  • What is your blueprint for success?
  • What are your 17 Principles of Success and how could you in cooperate these?
  • How is your success in relation to other people and achieving your goals?
  • What habits do you have that you want to change, in order to live the life that you want to live?

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It’s Your Turn

What do you think? Are the 17 Principles of Success and achievement still applicable? And if so, how do you use it and what are your general results and learning lessons? Are the basics the same or are there new principles of success?

Share your experience and knowledge in the comments box below.

More information about the 17 Principles of Success

  1. Hill, N. (2008, 1928). The law of success. Penguin.
  2. Hill, N. (2011, 1937). Think and Grow Rich: The Original Classic. John Wiley and Sons.
  3. Hill, N. & Stone, W. C. (1991). Success through a positive mental attitude. Simon and Schuster.

How to cite this article:
Van Vliet, V. (2016). 17 Principles of Success (Hill). Retrieved [insert date] from Toolshero: https://www.toolshero.com/personal-development/17-principles-of-success/

Original publication date: 14/03/2016 | Last update: 05/21/2024

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Vincent van Vliet
Article by:

Vincent van Vliet

Vincent van Vliet is co-founder and responsible for the content and release management. Together with the team Vincent sets the strategy and manages the content planning, go-to-market, customer experience and corporate development aspects of the company.


14 responses to “17 Principles of Success by Napoleon Hill”

  1. Sam says:

    Great article. easy to read. well-done and thank you.

  2. Robert Mileage says:

    Thank you for sharing and teaching how to share. Enjoyed this article. Can’t wait to apply concepts.

  3. M.V. SATYAPRASAD says:

    The article is easy to understand. It can be applied to any sort of business, event (marriage, functions etc) studies, Competitive exams etc. It is a path to have a plan of action.

  4. Sanjeev Sharma says:

    Great work. Thanks I have it.

  5. Derrick D. Brown says:

    I really enjoyed reading your post. I am a big fan of Think and Grow Rich and began applying these principles about 6 months ago and have seen a significant difference in my life. Thanks for the read.

  6. Anil Varma says:

    Very helpful insight on how to cope with day to day hours minutes and seconds. Lot of learning thoughts. Really appreciate it and how simply they have been put forward. Regards

  7. Sadushana Roy says:

    Think and grow rich is One of my favorite book and your article is really ossam. God bless you keep going. All the best

  8. oluga patrick says:

    Life changing, very interesting and so insightful. Can’t afford to ignore. Thanks

  9. Derrick Martin says:

    Thank you for this article!

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