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Teachings of the Success Masters

Authors such as Napoleon Hill have produced a great deal of writings that form the classic success philosophy of the early 1900s. Most of this material is as applicable today as it was back then, and forms the basis of the teachings of many modern success gurus. Here is a sampling of selections from those early success writers:

"?Both success and failure are largely the results of habit!" (Napoleon Hill, Think & Grow Rich)

"The majority of people permit relatives, friends, and the public at large to so influence them that they cannot live their own lives, because they fear criticism." (Napoleon Hill, Think & Grow Rich)

"The majority of people are ready to throw their aims and purposes overboard, and give up at the first sign of opposition or misfortune. A few carry on despite all opposition, until they attain their goal." (Napoleon Hill, Think & Grow Rich)

"Ask the next ten people whom you meet why they have not accomplished more in their respective lines of endeavor, and at least nine of them will tell you that opportunity does not seem to come around their way. Go a step further and analyze each of these nine accurately by observing their actions for one single day, and the chances are that you will find that every one of them is turning away the finest sort of opportunities every hour of the day." (Napoleon Hill, The Law of Success)

"The battle for achievement of success is half won when one knows definitely what is wanted. ? The man who actually knows just what he wants in life has already gone a long way toward attaining it." (Napoleon Hill, The Law of Success)

"Charles Chaplin makes a million dollars a year out of a funny, shuffling walk and a pair of baggy trousers, because he does 'something different.' Take the hint and 'individualize' yourself with some distinctive idea." (Napoleon Hill, The Law of Success)

"One of the most valuable things any person can learn is the art of using the knowledge and experience of others." (Napoleon Hill, The Law of Success)

"One of the outstanding tragedies of this age of struggle and money-madness is the fact that so few people are engaged in the effort which they like best? [Everyone should] find his or her particular niche in the world's work, where both material prosperity and happiness in abundance may be found." (Napoleon Hill, The Law of Success)

"There are plenty of people who are good to others, but are not good to themselves. They do not take care of their own health, their own bodies, do not conserve their own energies, husband their own resources. They are slaves to others, tyrants to themselves." (Orison Swett Marden, Be Good to Yourself)

"The most precious investment a man can make is to be just as good to himself as he possibly can, and never, under any circumstances, pinch or economize in things which can help him to do the greatest thing possible to him." (Orison Swett Marden, Be Good to Yourself)

"No one can make the most of himself who does not consider his personal needs. When we are best to ourselves, we radiate a healthy mental attitude of optimism, joy, gladness, and hope. It is a great thing to be a good animal, to maintain mental poise; then we radiate exuberance of life, enthusiasm, buoyancy." (Orison Swett Marden, Be Good to Yourself)

"Every man should lay out a clean, straight, level track to his goal. All obstructions should be removed, all dangers and risks reduced to a minimum, making his road straight, firm, solid and safe." (Orison Swett Marden, Be Good to Yourself)

"A most injurious and unpleasant way of looking for trouble is fault-finding, continual criticism of other persons. Some people are never generous, never magnanimous toward others. They are stingy of their praise, showing always an unhealthy parsimony in their recognition of merit in others, and critical of their every act." (Orison Swett Marden, Every Man a King)

"Change of environment will often wondrously develop a backward boy whose parents were completely discouraged with him under the home conditions. As soon as the boy got into a store, or into a school, or was thrown upon his own resources, his whole character was changed." (Orison Swett Marden, Every Man a King)

"A Leader must go about. He must ask questions. He must respect the opinions of others, but that is all. He must always make up his own mind. He must be Independent-how strange that sounds! He must not be the prey of the last speaker." (Herbert N. Casson, Tips on Leadership)

"No big man, in a word, is as big as his job. He needs help. He needs fearless criticism and advice. He needs the stimulation that can come only from other brains that are as clever as his own. That is why a strong man should not carry his independence too far. That is why he should make alliances with other Leaders in other lines of trade and commerce. ? (Herbert N. Casson, Tips on Leadership)

"? [The] art of seizing opportunities and turning even accidents to account, bending them to some purpose is a great secret of success. ? The most ordinary occasions will furnish a man with opportunities or suggestions for improvement, if he be but prompt to take advantage of them. " (Samuel Smiles, Self Help)

"Self-respect is the noblest garment with which a man may clothe himself-the most elevating feeling with which the mind can be inspired." (Samuel Smiles, Self Help)

"?When you have learned to control yourself you will have found the "World Within" which controls the world without; you will have become irresistible; men and things will respond to your every wish without any apparent effort on your part." (Charles F. Haanel, The Mastery Key System)

"Knowledge will not apply itself. You must make the application. Abundance will not come to you out of the sky, neither will it drop into your lap, but a conscious realization of the law of attraction and the intention to bring it into operation for a certain, definite and specific purpose, and the will to carry out this purpose will bring about the materialization of your desire by a natural law of transference?" (Charles F. Haanel, The Mastery Key System)

"You may be pursuing the symbols of power, instead of power itself. You may be pursuing fame instead of honor, riches instead of wealth, position instead of servitude; in either event you will find that they turn to ashes just as you overtake them?" (Charles F. Haanel, The Mastery Key System)


These and many other selections from classic success works can be found in the new book The Get-To-The-Point Success Reader Volume 1, available now at for only $6.95

Rodney Ohebsion is the author of A Collection of Wisdom and many other books. His website is located at

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