What is the secret to creating wealth and living a successful life?

Over 100 years ago, the famous industrialist Andrew Carnegie asked the journalist Napoleon Hill if he would dedicate his life to finding out what the secret behind wealth and success was.

Fortunately for us, Napoleon Hill took on the challenge. 

He spent over twenty years interviewing over 500 successful rich men, and this turned into the 1937 bestseller Think and Grow Rich.

This book is still read by many to this day. 

I read it every night before sleeping, and I still find new aspects. It’s the kind of book you never finish. 

Napoleon Hill Created the Law of Attraction

When you hear about the Law of Attraction, in most cases people are referring to Napoleon Hill and his book. 

The main idea behind the Law of Attraction is that if you focus your thoughts in a positive direction, you can attract exactly what you want, whether it’s money, a career… or good hearing.

Good hearing? What’s that got to do with anything?

A lot…

In the book, Napoleon Hill describes how he used the law of attraction to ensure that his deaf son – born without ears – would hear.

How did he do it?

First of all, he did not accept that his son was deaf for life.

He refused to teach him sign language and refused to follow the teachers’ advice to send him to a school for the deaf.

You could say that Napoleon Hill burned all bridges so that his son wasn’t able to live comfortably with deafness. 

What else did he do? He used the law of attraction as an adult and tried to pass it on to his young son.

He himself had a strong desire and belief that his son would be able to hear, and not having ears would turn into a great advantage for him. He kept talking about it as if it were a fact.

Did it work? 

Yes. His son invented a hearing aid that could be used for his kind of congenital deafness. He also came to help many others with the same affliction and made a good living from it.

This is just one of the many examples Napoleon Hill describes in the book.

What are the 13 steps you need to follow in order to use the law of attraction?

In this blog post, I will describe them.

Let’s get started…

1. Goals – Have a Strong Desire to Achieve an Ambitious Goal 

It all starts with you deciding what you want to achieve.

The goal must be ambitious – you should be driven by a strong desire to achieve it.

After all, we can choose all sorts of goals, and many of them don’t really matter in the long run. Choose something that rocks your world. 

It has to be the kind of goal that makes you want to shout it out from the rooftop of your house – or even a mountain top.

Napoleon Hill says there are six steps to setting a goal:

A. You need to decide exactly what you want to achieve. If it’s money, decide on a specific amount.

B. Figure out what you want to give in return.

C. Set a specific date.

D. Make a plan and get started immediately, whether you are ready or not.

E. Write down your goal clearly and distinctly using steps A-D.

F. Read it aloud twice a day – when you go to bed and when you get up. As you read it, imagine that you have already succeeded.

2. Belief – Build a Firm Belief that You Will Succeed

Your goal is worthless if you don’t believe you will succeed.

Now what if you don’t really believe it from the outset? Don’t worry. 

Believing is something we decide to do, says Hill. 

Faith begins with the fact that we will do everything in our power to make sure that it will succeed.

It emerges when we tell ourselves that NOTHING can stop us from achieving it. How do you build this strong conviction?

A. Repeat your goal to yourself as if it is already happening. Napoleon Hill says that you end up believing what you repeat to yourself, regardless of whether it’s true or false.

B. Strengthen your mind with positive emotions. Napoleon Hill says that a mind dominated by positive emotions becomes the favorite nest for belief.

B. You must “trick” your subconscious mind by behaving as you would if you were already physically in possession of your goal. What is one thing you would do today if you had already achieved it? Do it. 

He also says that faith can gradually develop as you become better at all 13 principles.

3. Affirmations – Use Positive Affirmations to Strengthen Your Faith

Repeat positive and affirming phrases about your goal so that your subconscious mind strengthens the belief that you will succeed.

First of all, say your main goal out loud to yourself twice a day as if it has already happened.

You need to verbalize what the goal is and how you plan to get it so that you become obsessed with your purpose. It’s crucial that you mix the sentences with positive emotions.

Hill says that your ability to use the principle of autosuggestion depends on your ability to focus on a given desire until that desire becomes a burning obsession.

If you aim to have $10 million invested in stocks and shares within ten years, you must repeat your goal every day: “I will set aside money this month and select good companies to invest in, so that by 2033 I will have $10 million invested in good companies in the stock market. I will use the method of value investing to pick wonderful companies,” as many times as possible each day. 

Feel it happening. What does it feel like to have $10 million soundly invested in the stock market? 

How would you live your life if you already had it?

That’s one example. You can set a goal of investing a million dollars within a year or $100 million within a decade. It’s up to you. 

What if right now you don’t know which kind of affirmation to use?

You can start today with Emile Coué’s famous phrase: “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.”

This works on everything from heartbreak to getting physically stronger or even learning to invest. 

Remember to infuse the sentence with positive emotions.

4. Specialized Knowledge – Get Expert Help and Keep Learning

They say that knowledge is power. That is true and false.

Knowledge is only power if it’s organized and applied.

Learning the royal line or chronological order of the presidents by heart is of no use to your goal of becoming financially independent. 

But reading investment books, taking investment classes, and reading business news and annual reports are very helpful for that goal.

You must constantly search for more knowledge in the area that is relevant to your main goal.

Successful people never stop acquiring specialized knowledge related to their main purpose, business or profession.

Many successful and wealthy people are voracious readers.

Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett and Mohnish Pabrai are known to spend hours reading books and newspapers every day. It’s said that Warren Buffett reads at least 5 hours every day.

5. Imagination – Use Your Creative Imagination to Visualize and Find Solutions

Visualization allows you to imagine a desired outcome. 

When you imagine that your goal has already happened, you get the opportunity to test that version of yourself. It’s like a kind of role-playing game in the mind.

Visualization is generally an effective way to improve your practice. It’s used by professional athletes, and the method is backed up by scientific research.

When you see yourself working towards and achieving your goal, you also allow the brain to see new possibilities and solutions.

Every day you must use your imagination to visualize your success and see new alternative ways to reach your goals. You can do this as part of reading your goal in the evening and morning.

Napoleon Hill says, “If you can imagine it, you can create it.

Everything we see on the stock market was once somebody’s idea. It originated in a creative play with imagination. 

Coca-Cola was once someone’s idea. LEGO was once someone’s idea. Tesla cars were once someone’s idea.

6. Organized Planning – Make a Plan and Execute It

Once you’ve visualized your success, make a plan for how to achieve it and take concrete action.

When you make your plans, combine your knowledge with others who have different specialized knowledge than you do. 

Napoleon Hill recommends that you become a member of a mastermind group so that you can make use of other people’s experience, education, ability and imagination (and your own). 

Your plans should be made together with your mastermind group.

When selecting your mastermind partners, it’s important to ally yourself with others who don’t take defeat seriously. People who get up, learn from it and try again. 

7. Decision – Make Your Own Decision Fast

You have to develop the ability to make good decisions fast.

Napoleon Hill says that all those he interviewed were good at making quick decisions and slow to change them.

He says that procrastination is a common enemy that everyone must overcome.

People who make prompt decisions show that they know what they want.

“The world has the habit of making room for the man whose words and action show that he knows where he is going,” he writes. 

He says it’s important to develop the habit of making decisions on your own. You can consult with your mastermind, but don’t ask anyone what to do. The decisions must always be your own. 

How does this relate to investments?

They say money loves speed.

As a value investor, you must be good at analyzing the companies in which you want to invest, but when the right opportunity arises (read: when the share price falls), you must also be good at quickly making a decision. Opportunities don’t last forever.

You can only do that if you have done your prep work and gained knowledge before that happens.

As an investor, it’s an enormous advantage to change your mind slowly – you should only sell a good company if something fundamental changes. Being slow to change a decision means you don’t sell in a panic.

8. Persistence – Don’t Give Up

One thing is certain. You’ll be tested when working towards your goal.

As Napoleon Hill writes: “The hidden Guide lets no one enjoy great achievement without passing the persistence test.”

Napoleon Hill says that the world cheers for those who get up after a setback and keep trying. 

“Those who pick themselves up after defeat and keep on trying, arrive; and the world cries, ‘Bravo! I knew you could do it!’”

I like that idea a lot: you have to keep going because the world is cheering you on. What are you waiting for? You have cheerleaders. 

Persistence requires willpower. How do you find that?

This is, of course, connected to the strong desire from point number 2.

Napoleon hills says that weak desires produce weak results, just as a small fire only produces a little heat.

So if you find that you lack stamina, you can remedy that by setting a goal with a bigger fire (desire). 

9. Mastermind – Surround Yourself With Wise Peers

Napoleon Hill found that successful people surround themselves with intelligent friends and colleagues who share their vision.

Hill says you can get in touch with “an infinite intelligence” by forming a mastermind group.

This intelligence appears in a “coordination of knowledge and effort in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people for the attainment of a definite purpose.”

He also writes that all those who have made large fortunes have, in one way or another, made use of what he calls the “brain trust principle”.

Brain trust arises as an increased energy when a collection of individual brains gathers in harmony around a goal.

Members of mastermind challenge each other to set individual and collective goals. They hold each other accountable. Participating in a mastermind group requires commitment, confidentiality, openness to input from others, and honesty and respect.

Your job here as an investor is to find a compatible group of people who share your passion for value investing and who have a desire to see you succeed.

If you cannot find it yourself, you can build it by participating in the Value Investor Academy where you will be paired with others. 

After the Value Investor Academy, there is an opportunity to participate in the Inner Circle.

10. “Sex Transmutation” – Transmute Your Sexual Energy 

Napoleon Hill discovered that most people only show their true talent and capabilities when they are over 40 or 50 years old.

Why? Because below that age, many people waste their energy on sex drive.

Sexual energy is difficult to control, but when it is mixed with love and romance, it can create calm purposefulness, a confident appearance and clear judgement.

He writes that when the three elements are mixed, the barrier between the limited mind and what he calls the Infinite Intelligence is removed.

He says it’s important to find a compatible partner who shares your enthusiasm.

But what if you don’t have a partner? What if you are divorced or widowed?

The good news is that love never dies because it’s spiritual in nature. 

You can recall beautiful memories of a past love at any given time. 

To channel the energy of sex, love and romance, you have to focus your mind on those moments and cultivate it. 

You will be lifted to a higher energy level that gives you access to the Infinite Intelligence, and this little retreat can give you ideas and plans that can change your life. 

Well, what are you waiting for?

11. The Subconscious Mind – Think Positive Thoughts and Avoid Negative Emotions

Your thoughts attract the reality you experience in your life. 

The good news is that the subconscious is easily influenced by thoughts that are mixed with emotions.

That is why it is so important to pay close attention to the thoughts that you choose at each moment.

Positive thoughts mixed with positive emotions change your life and create new opportunities to achieve what you want.

Since it’s impossible for positive and negative emotions to occupy the same space in your mind at the same time, it’s all about pushing out the negative with the positive.

Positive emotions are: strong desire, faith, love, sexuality, excitement, romance and hope.

Negative emotions are: fear, jealousy, hatred, revenge, greed, superstition and anger.

It’s the emotions that the subconscious acts on. Let’s dwell on that for a second. 

What happens if you read your goal without faith? Maybe you have a dash of fear that it won’t happen?

Be careful – it could give you the opposite of what you want. 

The genius of Bob Proctor’s way of writing the goal is that he puts the feeling directly into the goal.

He says (if we use the example from before), “I’m so happy and grateful now that I have $100 million invested soundly in wonderful companies.”

 12. The Brain – Surround Yourself With Other Successful People

Napoleon Hill says the brain is like a broadcasting machine. We send out signals to other brains and receive from others.

Therefore, it’s important that we’re mindful about who we surround ourselves with. Which brain signals are you receiving from people around you?

This explains why we tend to assimilate the attitudes, habits and thoughts from those with whom we associate in sympathy and harmony.

If you want to take advantage of the fact that the brain is a transmission station, you can use the mastermind group to send and receive signals by finding solutions in a brainstorm of ideas.

Napoleon Hill called this “the blending of many minds into one.” 

The procedure is simple. You sit down together and state the nature of the problem or goal and then begin discussing it. 

Each person contributes with whatever thoughts that may occur. This places each participant in communication with unknown sources of knowledge, says Napoleon Hill. 

13. The Six Sense – Trust Your Instincts

The last principle – the “sixth sense” – only emerges when you have mastered the other 12 principles.

As you develop good habits and master a positive mindset, you will also be able to trust your instincts more and use them to make decisions.

Hills writes that with the help of the sixth sense, you will be warned of impending dangers in due time so that you can avert them, and you will be notified of opportunities in time to take advantage of them.

He also explains that you can imitate your idols and be able to do so quite well.

He suggests that you develop your own board of fantasy advisors that you can hold meetings with and ask for advice from.

These can be historical or living heroes. They can be famous heroes or family members.

During the meetings with these “invisible advisors”, you will become particularly susceptible to impressions and warnings from the sixth sense.

Eliminate the Three Worst Enemies of the Law of Attraction

In order to apply the law of attraction, it’s important that you eradicate its three worst enemies: indecision, doubt and fear.

The sixth sense will never function as long as only one of the three exists in your mind.

How do you eradicate them?

Napoleon Hill says that a state of mind is something you choose. In other words, you can control your own thoughts, your mind and your emotions. You have the power to feed it the thought impulses you want to have.

It also means that you must always protect yourself and avoid being susceptible to negative influences. 

He directly recommends that you shut yourself off completely from people who in any way make you depressed or discourage you.

“Without doubt, the most common weakness of all human beings is the habit of leaving their minds open to the negative influence of other people.”

These were the 13 principles of Napoleon Hill. Did you learn something new that you can put in practice today?

The place to begin is choosing your goal. 

What goal will you set that you can start using the 13 principles on today?

If it’s a financial goal, be sure to download my e-book to get started on gaining specialized knowledge to create your financial plan today.

You can download my e-book Free Yourself here