17 principles of personal achievementNapoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich is one of the bestselling inspirational business books ever. A recent USA Today survey of business leaders named it one of the five most influential books in its field, more than 40 years after it was first published. It was a book that resonated with me at a young age and his principles have been a huge contributor to my own personal achievement.

Here is an adapted version of Napoleon Hill’s 17 Principles of Personal Achievement from his book Keys to Success. If you are yet to read Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, you can purchase it here.

Lesson 1: Definiteness of Purpose

Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement. Without a purpose and a plan, people drift aimlessly through life.

Lesson 2: Mastermind Alliance

The Mastermind principle consists of an alliance of two or more minds working in perfect harmony for the attainment of a common definite objective. Success does not come without the cooperation of others.

Lesson 3: Applied Faith

Believe in what you cannot yet see. Faith a state of mind through which your aims, desires, plans and purposes may be translated into their physical or financial equivalent.

Lesson 4: Going the Extra Mile

Going the extra mile is the action of rendering more and better service than that for which you are presently paid. When you go the extra mile, the Law of Compensation comes into play.

Lesson 5: Pleasing Personality

Personality is the sum total of one’s mental, spiritual and physical traits and habits that distinguish one from all others. It is the factor that determines whether one is liked or disliked by others.

Lesson 6: Personal Initiative

Personal initiative is your inner power that starts all action. It is the enemy of procrastination. No person is free until he learns to do his own thinking and gains the courage to act on his own.

Lesson 7: Positive Mental Attitude

Positive mental attitude is the right mental attitude in all circumstances. Success attracts more success while failure attracts more failure. Develop an attitude of gratitude to maintain a positive mindset.

Lesson 8: Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is faith in action. It is the intense emotion known as burning desire. It comes from within, although it radiates outwardly in the expression of one’s voice and expression.

Lesson 9: Self-Discipline

Self-discipline begins with the mastery of thought. If you do not control your thoughts, you cannot control your needs. Self-discipline calls for a balancing of the emotions of your heart with the reasoning faculty of your head.

Lesson 10: Accurate Thinking

The power of thought is the most dangerous or the most beneficial power available to us, depending on how it is used. You are today where your thoughts have brought you, just as you will be tomorrow where your thoughts have taken you.

Lesson 11: Controlled Attention

Refers to an individual’s capacity to choose what they pay attention to and what they ignore. Controlled attention leads to mastery in any type of human endeavour, because it enables one to focus the powers of his mind upon the attainment of a definite objective and to keep it so directed at will, despite the constant pull for attention elsewhere.

Lesson 12: Teamwork

Teamwork is harmonious cooperation that is willing, voluntary and free. Whenever the spirit of teamwork is the dominating influence in business or industry, success is inevitable. Harmonious cooperation is a priceless asset that you can acquire in proportion to your giving. The bigger the dream the more important the team.

Lesson 13: Adversity & Defeat

Individual success usually is in exact proportion to the scope of the defeat the individual has experienced and mastered. Many so-called failures represent only a temporary defeat that may prove to be a blessing in disguise. The more you want from life, the more life will require of you. Embrace and overcome obstacles to continue building on your personal achievement.

Lesson 14: Creative Vision

Creative vision is developed by the free and fearless use of one’s imagination. It is not a miraculous quality with which one is gifted or is not gifted at birth.

Lesson 15: Health

Sound health begins with a sound health consciousness. There is nothing more valuable than health. Without health a person cannot enjoy wealth. Staying fit, healthy and strong is something that can be sustained for life.

Lesson 16: Budgeting Time & Money

Time and money are precious resources, and few people striving for success ever believe they possess either one in excess. Read my 11 tips for financial freedom here.

Lesson 17: Habits

Developing positive daily habits leads to peace of mind, health and financial security. You are where you are because of your established habits, thoughts and deeds. Once you know a bad habit exists you have the responsibility to change it… as others have done so. When you understand that habits can change, you have the freedom and the responsibility to remake them.

By working these 17 principles into your life, you will be well on your way to personal achievement.

Elliott.