This article explains the 17 principles of success and achievement, developed by Napoleon Hill in a practical way. After reading you will understand the basics of this powerful personal effectiveness philosophy.
What are the 17 principles of success
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.
17 principles of success
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).
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.
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?
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.
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 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.
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 principles of success?
All these principles are applicable in your live. 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 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?
It’s Your Turn
What do you think? Are the 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.
- Hill, N. (2008, 1928). The law of success. Penguin.
- Hill, N. (2011, 1937). Think and Grow Rich: The Original Classic. John Wiley and Sons.
- Hill, N. & Stone, W. C. (1991). Success through a positive mental attitude. Simon and Schuster.
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