If you have been exploring the personal development industry for a while, you will have heard of his name, Napoleon Hill. Hill was a self-help author, with his best-selling book that has touched and transformed many people, Think and Grow Rich. I believe you have heard of the book or have even read the book.
Napoleon Hill is often referred to as “the father of personal development” because of his work to study ‘success’. But many historians also doubted his claims, such as that he met Andrew Carnegie.
Regardless, his book, Think and Grow Rich is perhaps one of the most cited books that have transformed many people, including Tony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey, Daymond John, Russell Brunson, and many more.
You should read the book too because it is the book that inspired Tony Robbins, Bob Proctor, John Maxwell, and many others into personal development.
And in this article, we will talk about the 17 outstanding quotes from Napoleon Hill that you should live by.
Read Think and Grow Rich, study Hill’s work, learn his success principles, and most importantly, apply his strategies. You can start with these 17 inspirational quotes that will change the way you think and live…
1. “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
This is one of the most famous quotes from Napoleon Hill. And Hill was right. Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, you can achieve.
People fail to become successful because of 2 things:
- First, they fail to see the vision, the results, or the success they want, and,
- Second, even if they see it, they don’t believe it.
And because they don’t believe it is possible or that they can do it, they don’t take action. Just like let it be. And their dreams will remain as dreams.
Just like if you are having some tough times with your relationships and your marriage that doesn’t make you happy, the first thing you need to do is to keep calm and believe that things are going to turn out well for you.
This is why most people fail to achieve success in life. If you want to accomplish outstanding results and live a better life, live by this quote from Napoleon Hill…
You must envision the success you want. And next, believe that it is possible.
2. “The man who does more than he is paid for will soon be paid for more than he does.”
In short, the advice from Hill is this – go the extra mile.
Always overdeliver regardless of your promise. You must go the extra mile no matter what kind of success you are pursuing.
Tiger Woods was caught practicing in the rain at 3 AM. He went the extra mile and do more than most people expect of him.
Kobe Bryant trained for hours consistently, day-in and day-out, even before his teammates arrived at the court.
Elon Musk once said…
“Work like hell. I mean you just have to put in 80-to-100-hour weeks every week. This improves the odds of success. If other people are putting in 40-hour work weeks and you’re putting in 100 hour work weeks, then even if you’re doing the same thing you know that… you will achieve in 4 months what it takes them a year to achieve.”Elon Musk
Once you have put in more than you are paid for, you will soon be paid more for what you have put in.
3. “The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.”
Do you know what is the main difference between someone successful and someone who is not?
Well, from this quote, it is the desire that separates the successful from the ordinary.
Think about it, we all know what we need to do to achieve success in life – hustle – but most of us just don’t want to do it.
We make excuses and we play the blame game. We skip our exercise session because it is raining. We blame the client when we lost the sale. We procrastinate because watching Netflix is more comfortable and exciting than working on our goal.
When you look at it, you will notice that it is our desire that separates who we are and what we achieve in life.
It is easier to play games and watch a movie, and it is uncomfortable to take action and work on our goals.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to this – desire.
How much do you want to achieve the success you desire?
If your desire is strong and burning hot, you will do whatever it takes to make it happen, don’t you?
4. “Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune or temporary defeat.”
This reminds me of the Chinese word, “crisis”. Do you know that the word “crisis” is consists of two words – danger and opportunity?
When there is a problem, there is also an opportunity.
It all depends on how you look at it.
When Richard Branson was stranded in the airport because his flight was canceled, many people will look at it as a problem (crisis).
But not Branson. He chartered a plane and then sold the tickets to the passengers who were stranded in the airport. And that gave him the idea to start Virgin Airlines.
Hence, reframe your problems. Whenever you face a misfortune or a temporary defeat, treat it as feedback and learn from it, because they are opportunities in disguise.
5. “A positive mind finds a way it can be done; A negative mind looks for all the ways it can’t be done.”
I like this quote from Napoleon Hill a lot. It is true, if you are optimistic, you will look for the solution. But when you are pessimistic, you will enlarge the problem.
Zig Ziglar also said…
“If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.”
Again, it has everything to do with you – your mindset. You can get rich thinking poor. And you can’t live a positive life if all you do is think negatively.
Therefore, if you want to solve the problems, achieve greater success, and live a better life, start with your mind. As Hill said, “A positive mind finds a way it can be done.”
6. “Don’t wait. The time will never be just right. Start where you stand, work whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.”
This is so true. There is no such thing as perfect timing. And you don’t have to wait for things to fall into place, just start.
You don’t have to wait for a group of geese to fly in the shape of a cross only to start saving or to work on your goal.
Just do it. Get it started right now. Things may not be perfect and you may not have all the answers.
But trust yourself that as you progress forward, things will uncover for you.
Just like driving in the dark. Your car’s headlamps probably can only light up 100m in front of you, but you can drive 100km and arrive at your destination safely.
You don’t have to see the entire staircase. All you need to do is to believe in yourself, and then start taking one small step at a time. And you will eventually arrive.
7. “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”
All big things started small. Take a look at Apple 40 years ago, it was a startup in Steve Job’s garage. But today, it is one of the most valuable tech companies in the world.
Everything started small. Success is not a one-step process. It is a combination of small steps.
If you take just 5 small action steps every day to work on your goal, in a week, you will have accomplished 35 small wins. And in a month, you will have achieved 180 small wins. In a year, you will have achieved 1,825 small wins, which will accumulate and give you a big victory.
This is why Napoleon Hill said you should do small things in a great way.
Focus on getting the small things done, and the big things will take care of themselves.
8. “Tell me how you use your spare time, and how you spend your money, and I will tell you where and what you will be in ten years from now.”
How you do one thing is how you do everything, heard it before?
If you spend most of your free time watching Netflix and do nothing to pursue the success you want, you will know how your future will turn out.
The same goes for how you manage your finances. If you spend all that you have earned, then guess what, you will have nothing left for investment and business ventures.
Thus, your life will be stuck. And 10 years from now, you can tell whether you will do great in life.
Unless you change your behavior and what you do daily, your future will never be too far off from what you do in the present.
So, to change your life and to create a successful future, you must start right now. Work on your present moment and your future will be secured.
9. “Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.”
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And that’s true. It is like this saying from Bruce Lee:
“Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”
Many people want to live a comfortable life, but they are not willing to upgrade themselves so that they can handle bigger problems and life will become easier.
They pray for an easy life, rather than the strength and power to endure a difficult one.
You have to understand that growth only happens outside of your comfort zone. So if you always do things within your comfort zone, you will never experience growth.
Continuous struggles and efforts will make you grow. And as you grow, you are able to achieve better and more. That’s how success is created.
10. “You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.”
This is so true. We all have the power to shape our own life. You can live a successful life, or you can live a mediocre life. It’s all in your hands.
But in order to take control of your life, you must take 100% responsibility for it. Stop blaming and don’t make excuses.
For your life to change, you must first take full responsibility for it. When you are the one who is responsible for how your life turns out, you can then decide how you want your life to be like.
I suggest you read this guide to learn more about how to take responsibility for your life.
11. “Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”
Many people believe that they need to be lucky or talented to succeed in life, but that is simply not true.
Success is not so much about being talented because you can gain talent by working on improving your skills. And it has nothing to do with luck because luck is a numbers game. The harder you work, the luckier you get.
Success is about having the patience, persistence, and perspiration for the things you want.
You have to think long-term because success is not going to happen immediately. This is why patience is important.
And you have to persist until you make it. Don’t quit and don’t give up. Keep trying and keep improving until you get it.
And of course, you have got to put in the work. This is what Napoleon Hill meant when he said perspiration. Put in the hard work so that you can make progress and create the results you want.
But before you work hard, make sure you read this guide.
12. “You can think your way into or out of almost any circumstance, good or bad.”
Your life is the result of your thinking. You become who you think about most of the time.
So, be honest and ask yourself – what do you think about most of the time?
Are you thinking about creating the future you want, or do you think about what to eat, what movie to watch, and what games to play?
Successful people are successful because they constantly think about their dreams and their goals. They are obsessed with their dreams and goals that they dedicated most of their life thinking and pursuing.
What about you? What do you think about most of the time?
Plus, when you think about problems, you will get more problems. And when you think about success, that’s what you will create in your life too.
13. “Every adversity, every failure, and every heartache, carries with it the Seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.”
This is another famous quote from Napoleon Hill. Every adversity, every failure, and every heartache, brings an opportunity for you to grow and become better.
When the researchers in 3M tried to create a permanent adhesive, the project failed. The adhesive is weak. But the project ends up becoming a billion-dollar product for 3M.
Do you want to know what product 3M created? Post-It Notes.
Thus, don’t get discouraged when you face adversity or failure in your journey, because it brings an equivalent or greater benefit with it.
Check this out: How To Master Your Fear Of Failure And Move Forward In Life
14. “Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.”
The advice from this quote is this – don’t quit and don’t give up.
A winner will never quit and a quitter will never win.
As long as you don’t quit and you continue to work on your goal, you will eventually get there.
The problem with most people is that they quit. They give up on their projects, their websites, their blogs, their YouTube channels, and they stop working on their goals.
Before you quit, think about why you started in the first place. Let your purpose and the reason why you start spark your motivation again.
15. “The way of success is the way of continuous pursuit of knowledge.”
Yes, that’s right. The more you read, the more you learn. And the more you learn, the more places you can go.
Most people don’t read, and they don’t learn. And if you don’t learn, how do you expect to excel or to do better in life? You can’t.
So, stop being like most people. Make it a commitment to read and learn every day. Read a book for 15 minutes every day. And every week or every month, attend training or class, whether an online or physical class, to upgrade yourself.
By the way, if you want to learn, here’s a great web class I recommend you attend. It is a free training given by John Assaraf, the New York Times best-selling author. You can attend it here.
16. “Plan your work and work your plan.”
When was the last time you plan for your life? The average adult doesn’t plan for their life. They only plan for their weekends and dinners, but not their life. And this is why most people are living in mediocrity.
If you want to succeed and live a better life, you have got to plan for it.
It is true that things may not happen according to your plan because life is unexpected, but it is not the plan that matters, what truly matters is the planning process.
When you engage in planning, you are stimulating your mind. You are telling your mind what is important and what you want in your life.
And the more you think about your goals and dreams, the more likely you are going to attract them into your life.
17. “If you do not see great riches in your imagination, you will never see them in your bank balance.”
The first step to achieving success is to see it in your mind.
Everything in life happens twice, once in the mind, and once in reality. Think about the creation of smartphones. It was first created in someone else’s mind, and then in reality.
The same goes for all the successes you have heard about.
- Before Michael Jordan became one of the best basketball players in the world, he often imagined himself being the best.
- Elon Musk sees space travel as a possibility and everyone can travel to Mars. And only then he goes on to start SpaceX.
- Steve Jobs didn’t look at Apple as a company that sells computers, but an innovative company that improves life, and that is why Apple becomes a leading tech company in the world.
After Disney World was launched, a reporter interviewing Roy Disney on an opening day asked, “Isn’t it a tragedy that Walt never got to see Disney World?”
And you know what Roy Disney replied? He said, “You’re wrong. Walt did see it. He saw it in his imagination. That’s why you’re seeing it in person now.”
Therefore, to achieve success, you must first create it in your mind.
As this quote from Napoleon Hill states, you must see great riches in your life if you want to see it in your bank balance.
Think and you will grow rich.