On a dark and stormy night back in the year 1908, a young man named Napoleon Hill was invited to the mansion of America's first billionaire, Andrew Carnegie. Hill was young, ambitious and he had a nose for news. As a reporter, he intended to write his way to fame and fortune. He quizzed Carnegie about his success for a story that he planned to write to make money to pay his way through college.
Carnegie was impressed by the young writer and offered him a position the average person would have rejected: He said "Mr. Hill, I would like to commission you to study the lives of 500 of the greatest achievers of our time. These men will include men in the industrial field, business owners, inventors, merchants, farmers, statesmen, artists of all types and many others.
Take as much time as you need; interview them; learn from them; and observe them; then validate the belief that success is a matter of an idea; that it is achieved by universal laws which others can achieve if they follow these rules too; and, that if these laws are duplicated and utilized as skills to deliver predictable results, just as you might learn the laws and process of making steel as you've interviewed me for your article.
You will accomplish this mission by documenting the beliefs and behaviors of all these great men and women and what they have in common with each other. I will not pay you any money; you must support your own self while discovering these new ideas during this project.
Your goal will be the publication of a 'success type' of book, similar to an encyclopedia; which shares these laws of how to take an idea and make it into a success. You will include all of the spiritual components of faith that is required, as you will see; each person will have unwavering faith in their idea."
Napoleon Hill only had 60 seconds to accept, and he said yes. More than 100 years later, more than 20 million people have learned the principles of success because of Hill's decision.
Here are the first three of those 12 principles that create wealth:
1. The first rule that makes men rich requires them to have a positive mental attitude. Notice how this principle heads the list. You cannot achieve anything if you don't have faith, you must believe. When you walk around thinking negative thoughts all of the time, it's of the devil. Scripture reminds us, "God didn't give us a spirit of fear." Therefore, we must be of good courage, and when things are looking bad, repeat scriptures such as "God wouldn't see his seed begging bread."
2. The second principle that makes men rich is sound physical health. You must take care of yourself by eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, not ingesting meats that are full of antibiotics; exercise and keep your body fit. When you do these things, your energy level will be at its peak, and then you will feel like achieving those goals that have been set before you. If you smoke, quit! If you drink, stop immediately; and if you eat too much, stop!
3. The third principle is harmony in human relations: Don't expect to accomplish your goals in a manner that will please everyone if there are people fighting with one another on your committee. Folks must learn to disagree without being disagreeable. Do you have people in your life who throw temper tantrums like little children when they don't get their way? Do they tend to stop speaking to you until they can calm down? Not a good thing to do, if you want to continue to travel the road to success. Plus, scripture reminds us, "Love God first, and love your neighbor as yourself."