Napoleon Hill (October 26, 1883 – November 8, 1970) was an “American New Thought” author. He is well known for his book Think and Grow Rich (1937) which has sold 20 million copies. Hill’s works insisted that fervid expectations are essential to improving one’s life. Here are 10 Powerful lessons I am still learning from his books, in-which he writes about the principles to achieve “success”. The Law of Success is a great place to find the best collection of Napoleon Hill principles.

1. Your Imagination Has Power

“All the breaks you need in life wait within your imagination; Imagination is the workshop of your mind, capable of turning mind energy into accomplishment and wealth.”

Do you spend all day and all night, thinking about your dreams for your future life? Napoleon Hill said, “Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.”

2. Never Stop Thinking About Your Dream

“Any idea, plan, or purpose may be placed in the mind through repetition of thought.”

One of the greatest ways to plant an idea… is through repetition of thought. The best way to create repetition of thought is to repeatedly tell yourself the thought you want planted in your mind.

You are responsible for what is able to enter your mind, don’t let the news channel plant thoughts into your mind, don’t let talking heads on day time television plant thoughts into your mind. You take responsibility for your mind, and you plant the thoughts that you want to see manifested, based on your dreams and desires.

3. You Must Work Hard

“Big pay and little responsibility are circumstances seldom found together.”

Napoleon Hill said, “Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness.” Everybody wants something for nothing, but unfortunately life doesn’t work that way. Great achievement requires great labor and great sacrifice.

But I will say this, in the long-term, the price of success is less than the price of failure, in the end it will cost you less to succeed. If you suffer now, you can reign later.

4. You Must Have A Plan

“Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.”

Like Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail! You need a definite plan, it should be written down, in detail with milestones and timelines. Napoleon Hill said, “First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality.”

5. Take Action

Stop waiting for life to happen… and take action, it’s your move! And then after you make that move; it’s your move again, and again, and again. The ball is always in your court, get into action and stay into action until you arrive at your intended destination.

6. Failure Is Not An Discouragement You

“Edison failed 10,000 times before he made the electric light. Do not be discouraged if you fail a few times.”

If at first you don’t succeed, then please don’t be surprised. If Edison failed 10,000 times, no offense, but you will probably have your own set of failures as well. But be of good cheer, those who have achieved greatness have usually failed greatly as well.

7. Defeat is a Sign

“When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.”

Everything sends a message, if you are failing, then that’s a “message” that your current plan isn’t working very well. No need to give up; just adjust your plan. Use “messages,” to make adjustments. Keep on making adjustments until your plan produces the results you desire.

8. Ideas Are How You Achieve Success

“Just as our eyes need light in order to see, our minds need ideas in order to conceive.”

Randy Gage said, “You don’t have a money shortage, you have an idea shortage.” He said, “Ideas my friend, are how you manifest prosperity in the physical world.” If you are to give birth to wealth, you must first become pregnant from an idea. You “need ideas in order to conceive.”

9. You Must Have a Definiteness of Purpose

“There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.”

You must know what you want, and you must have a burning desire to get it. That’s pretty simple! Do you know what you want? Do you know “exactly” what you want? Do you have a “burning” desire to get it? …Not do you “kinda” want it, …not it would be nice to have. Do you have a “white hot burning desire” to possess it?

That’s what you need to have, and here’s how you get it. Hill said, “Hold a picture of yourself long and steadily enough in your mind’s eye and you will be drawn toward it.”

10. Autosuggestion Is A Must

“Your ability to use the principle of autosuggestion will depend, very largely, upon your capacity to concentrate upon a given desire until that desire becomes a burning obsession.”

Autosuggestion is the process of suggesting thoughts to yourself. The word “autosuggestion” should be part of your everyday vocabulary. As we mentioned earlier, the best way to make suggestions to yourself is to “say” what you want to suggest to your subconscious.

Napoleon Hill said, “When your desires are strong enough you will appear to possess superhuman powers to achieve.”

Do you have other lessons from Napoleon Hill that should be added to this list?