In 1938, one year after releasing Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill was interviewed on a syndicated radio program. He examined the topic of failure from a unique perspective that has gone unpublished until today. He explained how three habits can either ruin a person’s dreams or be redirected and transformed into stepping-stones for success.
Decision Making is a Unique Power
Humans are decision makers. The process of making decisions — what we call reason or rationality — is what gives us our unique power. Always keep in mind that the worst decision often is making no decision at all.
Indecision and procrastination can exact a high price, as is proven by the story of an automobile manufacturing company that decided to begin an extensive expansion program.
As Hill tells it:
“The president of the largest automotive manufacturing plant called in one hundred young men from the various departments of the facility and said to them, ‘Gentlemen, we are going to enlarge our plant and greatly increase our output of automobiles, which means that we will need executives and department managers far beyond our present staff. We are offering each of you the privilege of working four hours per day in the office, where you will learn to become executives, and four hours at your regular jobs in the plant. There will be some homework, and there may be times when you will have to forgo your social duties and work overtime. Your pay will be the same that you are now getting in the plant. I am passing out cards on which I wish each of you who will accept our offer to write your name. I will give you one hour in which to talk among yourselves and make up your minds.’”
Surely, all of the one hundred men would accept such an incredible opportunity, a chance of a lifetime — wouldn’t they? No, they didn’t. At that time, only twenty-three out of the hundred men accepted the opportunity.
“Every failure, every adversity, and every unpleasant circumstance carries with it the seed of equivalent benefit or advantage.
“The person who has a sound philosophy to live by learns very quickly how to find this seed of equivalent benefit and to germinate it into advantage. And as far as luck is concerned, it may be true that it often plays a temporary role in the lives of people. But remember this truth: if luck may offer temporary defeat or failure, one doesn’t have to accept this as a permanent result. By searching for that seed of equivalent benefit one may actually transform a failure into an enduring success.”
How many great opportunities may you have missed because you didn’t get along with the person who could help you achieve your goals, you gave up too soon, or you took too long to decide, or even allowed another to talk you out of your desire?
Napoleon Hill’s Three Causes of Failure
You can avoid making these mistakes in your own quest for achievement. How? Let’s look at them, one by one.
1. The Inability to Get Along with Other People
Genuinely take interest in other people’s success. Success is not finite. Another person’s success does not in any way compromise your success potential. Be proud of other people’s success, especially those closest to you. When we improve our communication skills and sincerely care for other people, these same individuals will become more willing to help us along as well.
“Quitters never win, and winners never quit.” When you feel like giving up, focus on the outcome rather than the struggle — and push yourself to keep going, no matter how difficult this may seem. Be careful to evaluate your goal. If it’s the right goal for you, you are unlikely to act on the urge to quit in the face of challenges. You will reap the rewards when you have the courage and stickability to see your vision through.
Get in touch with your definite purpose so you may discern quickly when a great opportunity presents itself. Be decisive and take immediate action! Don’t allow self-doubt to stop you.
The greatest achievers are those who seize opportunities when they present themselves. These are the individuals who do not have self-doubt, but self-confidence. Have the confidence that is needed to take on a job or an assignment that may seem overwhelming at first. Put another way: have faith in yourself!
©2013, 2015 by The Napoleon Hill Foundation.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin,
a member of Penguin Group (USA). www.us.PenguinGroup.com.
Stickability: The Power of Perseverance
by Greg S Reid.
About the Author
Greg S. Reid is a filmmaker, motivational speaker, and bestselling author. He is also an entrepreneur and the CEO of several successful corporations, and has dedicated his life to helping others achieve the ultimate fulfillment of finding and living a life of purpose. Visit his website at: http://bookgreg.com/