The Law of Success (originally The Law of Success in 16 Lessons) is the title of Napoleon Hill’s first book set, published initially in 1925 as an multi-volume correspondence course and later more compact formats in recent years. The work was originally commissioned at the request of Andrew Carnegie at the conclusion of a multi-day interview with Hill, and was based upon interviews of over 500 American millionaires across nearly 20 years, including such self-made industrial giants as Henry Ford, J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, Alexander Graham Bell, and Thomas Edison. The original edition featured the eponymous 16 lessons, with the updated 21st-Century Edition featuring an additional 17th lesson drawn from later notes and lecture materials. The Master Mind Lesson One introduces the concept of The Master Mind, which Dr. Hill defines "as a mind that is developed through the harmonious cooperation of two or more people who ally themselves for the purpose of accomplishing any given task." Hill uses ideas from physics to illustrate the synergy that occurs between like-minded individuals. He also warns of the danger to the master mind group of any single member who thinks negatively. Another key insight from Hill is that knowledge is not power – it is only potential power. He defines power as "...organized knowledge, expressed through intelligent efforts." The master mind group makes this happen. A Definite Chief Aim Lesson Two, titled A Definite Chief Aim, urges the reader to discover his or her natural talents, then organize, coordinate and put into use the knowledge gained from experience. According to Hill, the main cause of failure is having no definitive chief aim in life — or failure to set clear and attainable goals — and plans to accomplish these goals. The keynote of this lesson is having a definite objective toward which to strive — never drift aimlessly. Having this definite chief aim will affect the subconscious mind, thus leading toward the attainment of the objective. Hill also emphasizes the importance of writing down your definite chief aim and goals to achieve it in a clear, concise way. Self-Confidence Lesson Three is Self-Confidence: "You can do it if you believe you can." Hill states that fear is the chief reason for poverty and failure. Therefore, the person who masters fear will succeed. The development of self-confidence begins with the elimination of fear. Hill discusses the origins of fear in great detail and lists the six basic fears: poverty, old age, criticism, loss of love, ill health, and death. Hill teaches that the most effective way to fight these fears is organized knowledge. Ignorance and fear are twins that are found together. To eliminate fear, eliminate ignorance. Hill provides a formula for developing self-confidence using autosuggestion, along with persistence, the development of good habits and having a clearly stated definite purpose. He provides several unique and original examples from the animal world of how fearful behavior can be passed down quickly. "Believe in yourself but do not tell the world. Show it!” The Habit of Saving Lesson Four is The Habit of Saving. Hill states that the saving of money is solely a matter of habit. Millions of people go through life in poverty because they have developed bad habits. The habit of saving increases ones' earning capacity, Hill tells us, by the following method: First, through your definite chief aim, define an exact description of what you want — including the amount of money you intend to earn. Then, your subconscious mind takes over, resulting in a blueprint. This molds your thoughts and actions into practical plans for attaining your purpose. As income increases, savings will increase as well. Hill repeatedly emphasizes that we are victims of our habits — under any and all circumstances, good or bad. However, the choice of our habits is totally within our control — and good habits can and will...
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