In 1925, Napoleon Hill first released the The Law of Success which was originally only accessible as a set of 15 different booklets — one booklet for each “law”. It subsequently was published in 1928 as a single book, which made it a lot more convenient to distribute & consume. It’s now readable as a public domain work online for free.
The Law of Success in 16 Lessons is slightly different than the original book, being an edited version of Hill’s first manuscript. The title is often confusing to some people, who wonder where the extra number is coming from… was there another law tacked onto the original? Actually no! The first of the 16 lessons is actually the introduction, which covers one of the most important of all the concepts in the series — the “Master Mind”.
Then follows the remaining 15 lessons of: A Definite Chief Aim, Self-Confidence, Habit of Saving, Initiative and Leadership, Imagination, Enthusiasm, Self-Control, Doing More than Paid For, A Pleasing Personality, Accurate Thinking, Concentration, Cooperation, Profiting by Failure, Tolerance, and The Golden Rule.
The key to the secret of success by applying these principles lies not just in applying each principle individually, but integrating them all simultaneously and harmoniously into one’s life by daily, steadfast application.
The fact that these principles were distilled from some of America’s biggest successes such as Henry Ford, J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison, as well as over (allegedly) 100 millionaires, across a ~20 year time span, should be enough proof to see how important they are to becoming successful in any and every area of life. Even Inc.com cites this book as one of the 14 Great Books for Anyone Who Wants Get Ahead in Life.
Why is this gem of a book hardly even talked about or heard of when someone mentions the name Napoleon Hill? The first thing that comes to their mind usually is “Think and Grow Rich”, but the fact is this book was first published 9 years after The Law of Success, in 1937.
Think and Grow Rich is pretty much a condensed, watered-down version of the Law of Success, where Hill ends up sharing only 14 principles, in the form of a “Philosophy of Achievement”.
The fact that it was a much shorter length of book which made it much easier to read, along with the catchy title, contributed to make it the most popular of all of his books, selling over 15 million copies worldwide.
Ultimately, The Law of Success is still (in our opinion) the true legacy that Napoleon Hill left behind, as the most comprehensive version of the knowledge and truths he had distilled over his entire career.
It’s far too thick to read just once and the English is quite dated, which makes it more challenging to read, however, if you give it the patience and time it deserves and commit to studying it like a textbook, over and over, you will find riches upon riches of wisdom inside that will quickly lead you to your success.
How do we know for sure? We don’t — because it’s up to you to prove it to yourself; to apply each lesson to your own life and observe the principles working over time, while building power as they work together in harmony with the other principles that you gradually incorporate over time.
It’s a fascinating book, which should really be turned into a university degree, or more fitting — a lifelong dedication to mastery of these principles.
If you’re serious about your success, this is the one book you’ve got to read, re-read, review, study, and apply as much as you possibly can!