The Law of success was written by Napoleon Hill and was first published in 1930. Napoleon hill developed 16 key habits that he believed led to a person’s success in life. In 2012, The Law of Success The Alex Project  began. The project was inspired by my mentor Dr Lawrence T. Markson who introduced me to the law of successful Philosophy in 1988 when I was 27 years old.

Dr. Markson had read the book every year for almost 30 years, and he lived the lessons. I developed The Law of Success “The Alex Project” to get my son to study success philosophies so he could experience the same rewards as others.

The project was for Alex to read all 16 lessons of The Law of Success philosophy and write a summary about each chapter. My assistant Shirley was acting as project manager. For each summary that was completed Alex would receive $100.

There was a catch. Alex had a deadline and if he completed all summaries on time, he received payment and we matched what he had earned.

If he didn’t complete the project by the deadline, he was paid nothing. In life we have deadlines and responsibilities and I wanted him to learn both.

Now I would like to share with you the 17 laws of success philosophy and then the outcome of the Alex project nine years later.

The Law of Success in 16 Lessons

Lesson 1:The “Master Mind”

Napoleon Hill begins his volume of work, Law of Success, with a lesson on what he refers to as the “Master Mind.” A “Master Mind.

Definition of The Mastermind Principle

According to Hill, is defined as “a mind that is developed through the harmonious co-operation of two or more people who ally themselves for the purpose of accomplishing any given task.”

From this definition, it seems as though Hill’s idea is that by combining two or more minds to accomplish something, the result is a separate mind that contains the knowledge of all the minds in the group.

This mind would therefore be referred to as a “Master Mind”. However, it is not as simple as this. What Hill emphasizes the most, and does so repeatedly throughout the first lesson, is the word HARMONIOUS that is given in the initial definition.

A “Master Mind” cannot and will not be formed unless the minds that are involved in the group work in a HARMONIOUS manor.

In fact, a “Master Mind” completely disintegrates the moment that the group is joined by just one person that doesn’t have the full co-operation and harmony between all the other minds involved.

In this first lesson, Hill concludes with the idea of education and how important it truly is to a person’s future. According to Hill, “the man who can intelligently use the knowledge possessed by another is as much or more a man of education as the person who merely has the knowledge but does not know what to do with it.”

There are many well-educated people in the world who know an abundance of information that they have gathered over many years. However, it is the people who take in this information from many others and put it to good use who find true success.

Lesson 2: “A Definite Chief Aim”

The second of Napoleon Hill’s lessons in Law of Success is referred to as “A Definite Chief Aim”, which is exactly what Hill is instructing the reader to find. Hill repeatedly urges the reader to discover his or her natural talents, and to organize, coordinate, and put into use the knowledge gained from experience.

The primary cause of failure in life is to have no definite chief aim, without any attainable goals or plans to accomplish these goals. By finding your “definite chief aim” or “definite chief purpose” in life, Hill argues that this idea will be strongly embedded in the subconscious mind.

That is, the idea of accomplishing your “definite chief aim” will soon transform from dream into reality. What Hill emphasizes the most in this lesson is not just finding your “definite chief aim” but writing both this idea and the ways that you will accomplish it down somewhere so that you will see it day after day.

The result is that this will continue to keep the “definite chief aim” fresh on the mind almost at all times, until it is no longer a fantasy.

Hill closes his second lesson by explaining to the reader that the final step of the “definite chief aim”, which occurs after one has written both the aim and the ways that it will be accomplished, is to find an alliance.

This alliance is meant as a support system for your “definite chief aim”, containing people who will cooperate with you in carrying out plans to achieve your goal. Therefore, this alliance should contain people such as a spouse, mother, father, brother, sister, or extremely close friend, who would only bring positivity and confidence in helping you attain your “definite chief aim”.

Lesson 3: Self Confidence

In his third lesson in The Law of Success, Napoleon Hill discusses the idea of “Self-Confidence.” According to Hill, fear is the primary reason that a person falls into failure and poverty.

As a result of this idea, a person who can master fear will be successful. A person can work on developing self-confidence by eliminating these fears, which include a fear of poverty, old age, criticism, loss of love of someone, ill health, or of death.

To master these fears and eliminate them from one’s subconscious, you must work on obtaining mass amounts of organized knowledge. Ignorance and fear are a pair that go together, therefore if ignorance is eliminated, fear is eliminated as well.

Self-confidence is a trait which can be developed over time but is not sufficiently improved until you truly believe Napoleon Hill when he writes, “You can do it if you believe you can.

Lesson 4: “The Habit of Saving”

In the fourth lesson in The Law of Success, Napoleon Hill discusses the “Habit of Saving”. Humans are naturally creatures of habit, for when someone forms a habit it becomes a part of their everyday life. Therefore, Hill explains that one must make a habit of saving, which will result in saving becoming an integral part of one becoming successful.

However, one characteristic that most people have is the lack of making a habit of saving, and instead making a habit of spending. Hill discusses that this habit of spending has resulted in many people spending more than they earn, thus making it impossible to build up any form of savings over a period.

It is crucial to live within your means until you have accumulated enough capital to begin using some of it recreationally. Nevertheless, no matter how much you are earning at any given time, Hill suggests that you set aside 20% of your income in a savings account.

This number will gradually build up until you have established financial independence, and the fear of debt will not be present in your mind.

Lesson 5: “Initiative & Leadership”

The fifth lesson of The Law of Success, written by Napoleon Hill, explores the lesson of initiative and leadership. According to Hill, both qualities are much needed in finding success in life. Initiative is defined in the lesson as “that exceedingly rare quality which impels a person to do what ought to be done without being told to do it.”

This is a characteristic which a person can make a habit, and gradually develop as it is utilized on a regular basis. As a person begins to possess the quality of initiative, Hill argues that the quality of leadership develops naturally.

Leaders exercise initiative, have a definite chief aim or purpose, and possess the quality of self-confidence, all of which are the reasons why they make great leaders.

One should be warned, however, of the major initiative killer: procrastination. This is the one quality that a person must fight off to develop initiative, as a procrastinator lacks the quality of getting things done and acting, regardless of being told to do so or not.

To fight off this procrastination, Hill argues that you must form the habit of aggressively and persistently following the objective of your definite chief aim until you achieve it — regardless of how long it takes.

Lesson 6: “Imagination”

The sixth lesson in  “ The Law of Success” that Napoleon Hill discusses involves the need for imagination. Hill emphasizes this as being one of the most important of the lessons in his book. The chapter on imagination calls for the reader to use the one power that no person can take away from them.

Man can cheat and slander other men, but a man has no power over any man’s imagination. Hill maintains that the idea of daydreaming is not a useless one, but rather that many vital ideas and products were developed through the act of daydreaming.

Simple use of imagination has proven to lead to success, with the creation of “Five and Ten Cent Stores”, “Self-Help Grocery Stores”, and even the Panama Canal as evidence.

The main point that Hill intends to emphasize in this lesson is to use your imagination to rearrange old ideas into new combinations. With maximum effort combined with imagination, you can achieve maximum achievement.

This is where a “Master Mind” group will become vital, as the collective effort provides for even greater imagination.

Lesson 7: “Enthusiasm”

In the seventh lesson in Law of Success, Napoleon Hill discusses the great importance of “enthusiasm”, and how integrating enthusiasm into your life will ultimately lead to success. Hill defines enthusiasm as a state of mind that inspires and arouses one to put action into the task at hand.”

By constantly engaging in life with enthusiasm, the characteristic can be developed and used as a vital force in the work environment.

To develop this potential enthusiasm, Hill argues that you must do the kind of work that you like, and make sure your actions are leading toward the achievement of your definite chief aim. Enthusiasm is a contagious characteristic, which magnifies its power. That is, it makes a large enough impression on others to make them become enthusiastic as well.

Enthusiasm can mean using the same word choice but stated in a different manner, as people become motivated based on how something is said to them. Hill emphasizes this fact, as it is not so much what you say as it is the tone and way you say it that makes a lasting impression.

To truly master the quality of enthusiasm, Hill stresses the idea of working for something that you believe in. This will naturally bring out the enthusiastic quality in yourself, as you will be legitimately interested in what you are doing.

In his example, Hill discusses how he turned down the most money that was ever offered to him simply because he did not believe in what he was doing. The job was to write articles on a topic that he opposed, and therefore knew he would not be giving his best enthusiastic effort when taking the time to write the articles.

When working in an environment or on a project that you genuinely enjoy and believe in, the enthusiasm will begin to come on its own

Lesson 8: “Self-Control”

The eighth lesson in Napoleon Hill’s reading course discusses self-control, and its great importance to achieving success. According to Hill, a lack of self-control resembles the unharnessed lightning of an electrical storm – it may strike anywhere; it may destroy life and property.

Enthusiasm arouses action, and self-control directs that action in a constructive and positive way. It may interest one to know that the overwhelming percentage of prison inmates remain in jail because they lacked the necessary self-control to channel their energies in a constructive manner. Conversely, the one common quality of successful people is self-control.

No one can manage to control others unless they can first control themselves. This therefore makes a lack of self-control one of the average salesperson’s most damaging weaknesses.

Hill states that the primary ways to maintain self-control is by not forming opinions without knowing the necessary facts, and by not spending beyond one’s means.

Self-control also enables a person to prevent striking back at those who offend you, as well as other destructive habits which result in a waste of energy through non-productive efforts.

The main point that Hill wants the reader to get out of this lesson is that “you have the power to control your own thoughts and direct them to do your bidding.”

Self-control is simply a matter of thought control, and we certainly have complete control over our own thoughts. Don’t allow outside forces to influence you excessively, but rather think for yourself and with rock-solid precision.

Lesson 9: “The Habit of Doing More Than Paid for.”

Napoleon Hill explores another topic that is vital to achieving success in the ninth lesson of this book, titled “The Habit of Doing More Than Paid For.” Essentially self-explanatory, this rare characteristic often results in countless opportunities for a person and will add much to one’s credibility and reputation.

The easiest way for you to develop this habit is by ensuring that you are working in a profession that is enjoyable to you. According to Hill, some people love their work, but many hate what they do for a living. You are most efficient and will more quickly and easily succeed when engaged in work that you love.

If you are doing the type of work you love, it is no hardship to do more and better work than you are paid for. Hill mentions two benefits of doing what you love: happiness (which is priceless) and earning far more money. He also states that family and friends may disapprove of following your passion, but you must proceed onward, regardless of the opinions of others.

Lesson 10: “A Pleasing Personality”

The tenth lesson in Napoleon Hill’s Law of Success reading course discusses the importance of having a “pleasing personality”. Hill defines this as “a personality that attracts”, and proceeds to explore the causes of this attraction.

One of the most crucial ways to initiate this attraction is by taking a genuine interest in other people. This is not arguing that for an average salesman, cheap flattery will serve as this genuine interest. Rather, by forming a relationship with a potential customer prior to the sale, the attraction is initiated and results in a more comfortable environment for both the salesman and his possible customer.

Hill concludes this lesson by discussing character, and ways to implement his formula that will result in this character being built up. Imagine those people who have the type of character you wish to possess, and then proceed to take on those qualities through self-suggestion.

Create in your imagination a meeting with them, and then write out a detailed statement of the qualities you wish to assume from them.

It is important to note that it is vital to the process that you see these figures seated around an imaginary table. Then, keep your thoughts focused in a positive manner as you listen to their advice and guidance, while keeping in mind the kind of person you would like to be.

Also, make it a point to never forget to give praise to the genuine good qualities you see in others. Hill promises the reader that this will bring the law of attraction into play almost magically.

Lesson 11:“Accurate Thinking”

According to author Napoleon Hill, the eleventh lesson in his proclaimed Law of Success is the most important, most interesting, and unfortunately the most difficult lesson to present to the reader. Accurate Thinking involves two paired ideas.

The first idea is separating fact from information, and the second is separating this fact into two classes. These classes are important and unimportant facts, or relevant and irrelevant facts.

Hill emphasizes the great importance of being able to make this distinction, because the accurate thinker will not believe anything he or she hears. Instead, he or she will arrive at a conclusion only after careful and thoughtful analysis.

The key to accurate thinking, according to Hill, is what he calls “creative thought”, which allows us to tap into “infinite intelligence.” The major step towards creative thought is autosuggestion, otherwise known as suggestions, you make to yourself. The subconscious mind records the suggestions we send it and invoke the aid of infinite intelligence to turn these suggestions into action.

The lesson concludes by reminding us that the subconscious mind accepts all suggestions, both constructive or destructive, and cautions us to be careful what we suggest. You must only suggest facts and no slander, for slander is poisonous to the subconscious mind and ruins this creative thought.

Lesson 12: “Concentration”

In his twelfth lesson in Law of Success, Napoleon Hill discusses the importance of concentration in achieving great success. The lesson defines concentration as “the act of focusing the mind on a given desire until ways and means for its realization have been worked out and successfully put into operation.”

Two important laws enter this principal, including both the Law of Autosuggestion and The Law of Habit. Hill states that habit grows out of environment, and out of doing and thinking the same things the same way, repeatedly. Therefore, Hill reminds us of the importance of selecting our environment with great care.

The habits that we develop can be both good and bad but know that bad habits can always be turned into good ones. Habits are created by repetition, and the best way to break old bad habits is to replace them by forming new good ones.

Concentration is a person’s ability to keep their mind focused on one subject until they have mastered it. Also, both the ability to control your attention and the ability to throw off bad habits and attain self-mastery are also included in the definition of concentration.

These abilities are helped by constantly keeping your “Definite Chief Aim” in mind. Hill concludes the lesson by stating that concentration is a characteristic obtainable by all. It is possible for anyone to develop the ability to “tune in” and understand the thoughts of others through what he refers to as “the universal mind.”

Lesson 13: “Cooperation”

In lesson 13, Hill discusses the importance of cooperation. The outstanding achievements in business, industry, finance, and technology are all based upon the principle of cooperative effort. Every day we hear about mergers and acquisitions of companies or alliances that are formed based upon cooperation. Almost every great achievement in the world has been made with cooperative effort.

Even the mastermind principle is based on the cooperative effort of the individuals in the group to focus on a definite chief aim. Cooperative effort brings power to those who can gain and permanently hold the confidence of great numbers of people.

Lesson 14: “Profiting by Failure”

The fourteenth lesson in Napoleon Hill’s Law of Success is titled “Profiting by Failure.” In the lesson, Hill gives the reader a different view of the meaning behind the word “failure”. Normally a negative word, Hill distinguishes failure from temporary defeat, and temporary defeat can at times be a blessing in disguise.

He then states that he is thankful for experiencing so much defeat, since it had the effect of giving him the courage. He attempted things he would not have tried if his early life would have been easier.

The lesson flips the idea behind failure so drastically that by the end of the lesson it appears as though failure isn’t a bad thing at all.

The message that can be taken after concluding with the lesson is simple. Ultimately, there is no failure. What appears to be failure is usually a minor setback in disguise, and you must always refuse to accept it as being permanent.

Lesson 15: “Tolerance”

Lesson thirteen in Napoleon Hill’s Law of Success discusses the idea of tolerance. The chapter describes the destructive effects of intolerance, which according to Hill, clouds the mind of the individual and stops his moral, mental and spiritual development.

Intolerance is a form of ignorance that must be mastered for you to grow and learn to communicate more effectively.

If not, it will surely prevent one from achieving the successes that they desire. In this lesson, Hill makes sure to emphasize that regardless of the business one is engaged in.

Cooperation and tolerance can always be of tremendous help in achieving one’s definite chief aim.

Lesson 16: “The Golden Rule”

In his final lesson in Law of Success, Napoleon Hill discusses “the Golden Rule”, and how he believes it to be the driving force in gaining success. “The Golden Rule” is defined as “the guiding star that will enable you to profitably and constructively use the knowledge assembled in the previous lessons”.

To put it simply, following this law is the only way to apply the power that the preceding lessons provide.  The universal definition of The Golden Rule is to do unto others as you would wish them to do unto you.

Hill stresses the fact that all your actions and thoughts will come back to you, for better or worse. It is not enough to merely believe in the philosophy of the Golden Rule, but rather one must apply it.

The Golden Rule, when understood and applied, makes dishonesty, selfishness, greed, envy, hatred, and malice impossible to maintain. One must be blatantly honest, and realize you are only punishing yourself by every wrong you commit. You are also  rewarding yourself by every act of constructive conduct.

The Alex Project Results

To say the Alex project was an amazing success would be an understatement. The results have been outstanding and keep getting better. Alex is now a talent manager in Hollywood California for Levity Live. He manages some of the biggest comedians, writers, and musicians in the world and he’s paying it forward..

Just last week at the comedy store in Hollywood comedian Jesus Trejo pulled me aside to tell me what a difference my son Alex had made in his life and his career. I knew right then that Alex was implementing the law of success philosophy with his clients.

The great new is they were achieving amazing results also!

When you implement these 16 lessons  you too can achieve your wildest dreams!

Contact Dr Rick

Dr. Rick Goodman is recognized globally as one of the best motivational keynote speakers today. He has delivered thousands of keynote presentations and facilitating and working with small companies with only a few people all the way up to big behemoths that dominate their industries.

Contact Rick at or call 888-267-6098. And also: You can now get flash briefings on your Alexa at home or on the Alexa app! All you have to do is enable The Solutions Oriented Leader and click on this link!


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