Napoleon Hill was the world-renowned bestselling author of Think and Grow Rich.
W. Clement Stone built a multimillion-dollar insurance company using the principles of Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich.
THE SELF-HELP CLASSIC THAT HAS CHANGED MILLIONS OF LIVES!
Your mind has a secret invisible talisman. On one side is emblazoned the letters PMA (positive mental attitude) and on the other the letters NMA (negative mental attitude). A positive attitude will naturally attract the good and the beautiful. The negative attitude will rob you of all that makes/b>… See more details below
THE SELF-HELP CLASSIC THAT HAS CHANGED MILLIONS OF LIVES!
Your mind has a secret invisible talisman. On one side is emblazoned the letters PMA (positive mental attitude) and on the other the letters NMA (negative mental attitude). A positive attitude will naturally attract the good and the beautiful. The negative attitude will rob you of all that makes life worth living.
Your success, health, happiness, and wealth depend on how you make up your mind!
When motivational pioneer Napoleon Hill and millionaire CEO W. Clement Stone teamed up to form one of the most remarkable partnerships of all time, the result was Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, the phenomenon that proposed to the world that with the right attitude, anyone can achieve his or her dreams. Now you can take advantage of the program that has brought success to generations of people seeking and finding a better way to live.
"WHATEVER THE MIND OF MAN CAN CONCEIVE...IT CAN ACHIEVE."
Napoleon Hill was the world-renowned bestselling author of Think and Grow Rich.
W. Clement Stone built a multimillion-dollar insurance company using the principles of Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich.
Chapter One: Meet the Most Important Living Person
Meet the most important living person!
Somewhere in this book you will meet him -- suddenly, surprisingly and with a shock of recognition that will change your whole life. When you do meet him, you will discover his secret. You will discover that he carries with him an invisible talisman with the initials PMA emblazoned on one side, and NMA on the other.
This invisible talisman has two amazing powers: it has the power to attract wealth, success, happiness and health; and it has the power to repel these things -- to rob you of all that makes life worth living. It is the first of these powers, PMA, that enables some men to climb to the top and stay there. It is the second that keeps other men at the bottom all their lives. It is NMA that pulls other men down from the top when they have reached it.
Perhaps the story of S. B. Fuller will illustrate how it works.
"We are poor -- not because of God." S. B. Fuller was one of seven children of a Negro tenant farmer in Louisiana. He started to work at the age of five. By the time he was nine, he was driving mules. There was nothing unusual in this: the children of most of the tenant farmers went to work early. These families accepted poverty as their lot and asked for nobetter.
Young Fuller was different from his friends in one way: he had a remarkable mother. His mother refused to accept this hand-to-mouth existence for her children, though it was all she had ever known. She knew there was something wrong with the fact that her family was barely getting along in a world of joy and plenty. She used to talk to her son about her dreams.
"We shouldn't be poor, S.B.," she used to say. "And don't ever let me hear you say that it is God's Will that we are poor. We are poor -- not because of God. We are poor because Father has never developed a desire to become rich. No one in our family has ever developed a desire to be anything else."
No one had developed a desire to be wealthy. This idea became so deeply ingrained in Fuller's mind that it changed his whole life. He began to want to be rich. He kept his mind on the things he did want and off the things he didn't want. Thus he developed a burning desire to become rich. The quickest way to make money, he decided, was to sell something. He chose soap. For twelve years he sold it, door to door. Then he learned that the company which supplied him was going to be sold at auction. The firm price was $150,000. In twelve years of selling and setting aside every penny, he had saved $25,000. It was agreed that he would deposit his $25,000 and obtain the balance of $125,000 within a ten-day period. Written into the contract was the condition that if he did not raise the money, he would lose his deposit.
During his twelve years as a soap salesman, S. B. Fuller had gained the respect and admiration of many businessmen. He went to them now. He obtained money from personal friends, too, and from loan companies and investment groups. On the eve of the tenth day, he had raised $115,000. He was $10,000 short.
Search for the light. "I had exhausted every source of credit I knew," he recalls. "It was late at night. In the darkness of my room I knelt down and prayed. I asked God to lead me to a person who would let me have the $10,000 in time. I said to myself that I would drive down 61st Street until I saw the first light in a business establishment. I asked God to make the light a sign indicating His answer."
It was eleven o'clock at night when S. B. Fuller drove down Chicago's 61st Street. At last, after several blocks he saw a light in a contractor's office.
He walked in. There, seated at his desk, tired from working late at night, sat a man whom Fuller knew slightly. Fuller realized that he would have to be bold.
"Do you want to make $1,000?" asked Fuller straight out.
The contractor was taken aback at the question. "Yes," he said. "Of course."
"Then make out a check for $10,000 and when I bring back the money, I'll bring back another $1,000 profit," Fuller recalls telling this man. He gave the contractor the names of the other people who had lent him money, and explained in detail exactly what the business venture was.
Let's explore his secret of success. Before he left that night, S. B. Fuller had a check for $10,000 in his pocket. Subsequently he obtained controlling interest not only in that company, but in seven others, including four cosmetic companies, a hosiery company, a label company, and a newspaper. When we asked him recently to explore with us the secret of his success, he answered in terms of his mother's statement so many years before:
"We are poor -- not because of God. We are poor because Father has never developed a desire to become rich. No one in our family has ever developed a desire to be anything else."
"You see," he told us, "I knew what I wanted, but I didn't know how to get it. So I read the Bible and inspirational books for a purpose. I prayed for the knowledge to achieve my objectives. Three books played an important part in transmuting my burning desire into reality. They were: (1) the Bible, (2) Think and Grow Rich, and (3) The Secret of the Ages. My greatest inspiration comes from reading the Bible.
"If you know what you want, you are more apt to recognize it when you see it. When you read a book, for example, you will recognize opportunities to help you get what you want."
S. B. Fuller carried with him the invisible talisman with the initials PMA imprinted on one side and NMA on the other. He turned the PMA side up and amazing things happened. He was able to bring into reality ideas that were formerly mere daydreams.
Now the important thing to notice here is that S. B. Fuller started life with fewer advantages than most of us have. But he chose a big goal and headed for it. Of course, the choice of goal was individual. In these times and in this country you still have your personal right to say: "This is what I choose. This is what I want most to accomplish." And unless your goal is against the laws of God or society, you can achieve it. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose by trying. Success is achieved and maintained by those who keep trying with PMA.
What you try for is up to you. Not everyone would care to be an S. B. Fuller, responsible for large manufacturing concerns. Not everyone would choose to pay the costly price of being a great artist. To many, the riches of life are quite different. A skill in day-to-day living which adds up to a happy, love-filled life is success. You can have this and other riches, too. The choice is yours.
But whether success to you means becoming rich as it did to S. B. Fuller, or the discovery of a new element in chemistry, or the creation of a piece of music, or the growing of a rose, or the nurturing of a child -- no matter what success means to you -- the invisible talisman with the initials PMA emblazoned on one side and NMA on the other can help you achieve it. You attract the good and desirable with PMA. You repel them with NMA.
Every adversity has the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit. "But what if I have a physical handicap? How can a change of attitude help me?" you may ask. Perhaps the story of Tom Dempsey, a boy who was disabled at birth, will give you your answer.
Tom was born without half a right foot and only a stub of a right arm. As a boy, he wanted to engage in sports as the other boys did. He had a burning desire to play football. Because of this desire, his parents had an artificial foot made for him. It was made of wood. The wooden foot was encased in a special stubby football shoe. Hour after hour, day after day, Tom would practice kicking the football with his wooden foot. He would try and keep on trying to make field goals at greater and greater distances. He became so proficient that he was hired by the New Orleans Saints.
The screams of 66,910 football fans could be heard throughout the entire United States when, within the last two seconds of the game, Tom Dempsey -- with his crippled leg -- kicked a record-breaking 63-yard field goal. It was the longest field goal ever kicked in a professional football game. It gave the Saints a winning score of 19-17 over the Detroit Lions.
"We were beaten by a miracle," said Detroit coach Joseph Schmidt. And to many, it was a miracle -- an answer to a prayer.
"Tom Dempsey didn't kick that field goal, God kicked it," said Lion linebacker Wayne Walker.
"Interesting. But what does the Tom Dempsey story mean to me?" you may ask.
Our response would be: "Very little -- unless you develop the habit of recognizing, relating, assimilating and using universal principles and adopt them as your very own. Then follow through with desirable action."
And what are the principles you could apply from the Tom Dempsey story, whether or not you are physically disabled? They can be learned and applied by children and adults:
To learn and apply these principles, turn up your invisible talisman to the PMA side.
When Henley wrote the poetic lines, "I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul," he could have informed us that we are the masters of our fate because we are masters, first, of our attitudes. Our attitudes shape our future. This is a universal law. The poet could have told us with great emphasis that this law works whether the attitudes are destructive or constructive. The law states that we translate into physical reality the thoughts and attitudes which we hold in our minds, no matter what they are. We translate into reality thoughts of poverty just as quickly as we do thoughts of riches. But when our attitude toward ourselves is big, and our attitude toward others is generous and merciful, we attract big and generous portions of success.
A truly great man. Consider the example of Henry J. Kaiser, a truly successful person because his attitude toward himself is big. Companies identified with the name Henry J. Kaiser hold assets of more than one billion dollars. Because he is generous and merciful to others, the speechless have been made to talk, the crippled have been restored to useful lives, and hundreds of thousands of persons have received hospital care at a very low cost. All this grew from seeds of thought planted within him by his mother.
Mary Kaiser gave her son Henry the priceless gift. She also taught him to apply the greatest value in life.
1. The priceless gift: After her day's work, Mary Kaiser would spend hours as a volunteer nurse, helping the unfortunate. Often she said to her son, "Henry, nothing is ever accomplished without work. If I leave you nothing else but the will to work, I will have left you the priceless gift: the joy of work."
2. The greatest value in life: "It was my mother," said Mr. Kaiser, "who first taught me some of the greatest values in life. Among these were the love of people and the importance of serving others. Loving people and serving them, she used to say, is the greatest value in life."
Henry J. Kaiser knows the power of PMA. He knows what it can do in his life and for his country. He also knows the force of NMA. During World War II he built over 1,500 ships with such rapidity that he startled the world. When he said, "We can construct a Liberty Ship every ten days," the experts said, "It can't be done -- it's impossible!" Yet Kaiser did it. Those who believe they can't repel the positive; they use the negative side of their talisman. Those who believe they can repel the negative; they use the positive side.
That is why we must be cautious when we use this talisman. Its PMA side can get for you all the rich blessings of life. It can help you to overcome your difficulties and to discover your strengths. It can help you step out ahead of your competitors, and, as with Kaiser, it can turn what others say is impossible into reality.
But the NMA side is just as powerful. Instead of attracting happiness and success, it can attract despair and defeat. Like all power, the talisman is dangerous if we don't use it properly.
How the force of NMA repels. There is a very interesting story which illustrates how the force of NMA repels. It comes out of one of the southern states. There, where wood-burning fireplaces are still used to heat homes, lived a woodcutter who also was an unsuccessful person. For more than two years he had supplied a certain homeowner with firewood. The woodcutter knew that the logs could not be larger than seven inches in diameter if they were to fit this particular fireplace.
On one occasion this old customer ordered a cord of wood, but was away when it was delivered. On arriving home he discovered that most of the wood was larger than the specified size. He called the woodcutter and asked him to have the oversized logs exchanged or split.
"I can't do that!" said the wood dealer. "It would cost more than the whole load is worth." With that he hung up.
So the homeowner was left with the job of splitting the logs himself. He rolled up his sleeves and set to work. About halfway through the job he noticed that one particular log had a very large knothole which someone had plugged up. The homeowner lifted the log. It seemed unusually light and appeared to be hollow. With a hefty swing of the axe he split the log.
A blackened roll of tin foil fell out. The homeowner stooped down, picked up the roll, and unwrapped it. To his amazement it contained very old $50 and $100 bills. Slowly he counted them. They amounted to exactly $2,250. The bills had evidently been in the tree for many years, as the paper was very brittle. The homeowner had PMA. His only thought was to get the money back to its rightful owner. He picked up the telephone, called the wood dealer again, and asked him where he had cut this load. Again the woodcutter's NMA asserted its repelling power.
"That's nobody's business but mine," he said. "If you give away your secrets, people will cheat you every time." Despite many efforts, the homeowner never learned where the logs came from or who had sealed the money inside.
Now, the point of this story does not lie in irony. It is true that the man with PMA found the money while the man with NMA had not. But it is also true that good breaks do occur in everyone's life. However, the man who lives with NMA will prevent life's lucky breaks from benefiting him. And the man with PMA will so arrange his attitudes that he will turn even the bad breaks into advantages.
On the sales staff of the Combined Insurance Company of America there was a salesman named Al Allen. Al wanted to be the company's star salesman. He tried to apply the PMA principles found in the inspirational books and magazines he read. He read an editorial in Success Unlimited magazine entitled "Develop Inspirational Dissatisfaction." It wasn't long after that he had an opportunity to put into practice what he had read. He had a bad break. This gave him the opportunity to arrange his attitudes so that he could use the PMA side of his talisman effectively.
He developed inspirational dissatisfaction. One icy winter day Al "cold-canvassed" every store in a city block in Wisconsin; he walked in unannounced, and tried to sell insurance. On that day Al did not make a single sale. Of course, he was dissatisfied. But Al's PMA turned this dissatisfaction into "inspirational dissatisfaction."
He remembered the editorial he had read. He applied the principle. The next day before setting out from the local office, he told his fellow salesmen about his failures the day before. He said, "Wait and see. Today I'm going back to call on those same prospects and I'll sell more insurance than all the rest of you combined!"
And the remarkable thing is that Al did it. He went back to that same city block and again called on every person he had talked to the day before. He sold 66 new accident contracts!
Now, this was an unusual achievement. And it happened because of the "bad breaks" when Al trudged through the sleet and wind for eight hours without selling a single policy. Al Allen was able to rearrange his attitudes. He was able to convert the negative kind of dissatisfaction that most of us would feel in similar circumstances of failure on one day into inspirational dissatisfaction which resulted in success the next day. Al did become the company's best salesman and was promoted to a sales manager.
This ability to turn the invisible talisman over and use the side which has the force of PMA rather than the side which has the force of NMA is characteristic of so many of our really successful people. Most of us are inclined to look upon success as coming in some mysterious way through advantages that we do not have. Perhaps because we do have them, we don't see them. The obvious is often unseen. Every man's PMA is his advantage, and there is nothing mysterious about it.
Henry Ford, after he had achieved success, was the subject of much envy. People felt that because of good fortune, or influential friends, or genius, or whatever they thought was Ford's "Secret" -- because of these things Ford was successful. And no doubt some of these elements played a part. But there was something more. Perhaps one person in every hundred thousand knew the real reason for Ford's success, and those few were usually ashamed to speak of it because of its simplicity. A single glimpse of Ford in action will illustrate the "secret" perfectly.
Years ago, Henry Ford decided to develop the now famous motor known as V-8. He wanted to build an engine with the entire eight cylinders cast in one block. He instructed his engineers to produce a design for such an engine. To a man, the engineers agreed that it was simply impossible to cast an eight cylinder gasoline engine block in one piece.
Ford said, "Produce it anyway."
"But," they replied, "it's impossible."
"Go to work," Ford commanded, "and stay on the job until you succeed no matter how much time is required."
The engineers went to work. There was nothing else for them to do if they were to remain on the Ford staff. Six months went by, and they had not succeeded. Another six months passed, and still no success. The more the engineers tried, the more the thing seemed "impossible."
At the end of the year Ford checked with his engineers. Once again they informed him that they had found no way to carry out his orders. "Keep working," said Ford. "I want it and I'll have it."
And what happened?
Well, of course, the engine wasn't impossible at all. The Ford V-8 became the most spectacularly successful car on the road, pulling Henry Ford and his company so far out in front of his nearest competitor that it took years for them to catch up. He was using PMA. And the same power is available to you. If you use it, if you turn your talisman to the right side as Henry Ford did, you too can achieve success in bringing into reality the possibility of the improbable. If you know what you want, you can find a way to get it.
A man of 25 has before him some 100,000 working hours should he retire at 65. How many of your working hours will be alive with the magnificent force of PMA? And how many of them will have the life knocked out of them with the stunning blows of NMA?
But how do you go about putting PMA to work in your life rather than NMA? Some people seem to use this power instinctively. When it came to developing the Ford car, Henry Ford was one of these. Others have to learn. Al Allen learned by relating and assimilating what he read in inspirational magazines and books. Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude is such a book.
You, too, can learn to develop PMA.
Some people use PMA for a while but when they receive a setback, they lose faith in it. They start out right, but some "bad breaks" cause them to flip the talisman wrong-side-up. They fail to realize that success is maintained by those who keep trying with PMA. They are like the famous old race horse "John P. Grier." John P. Grier was a Thoroughbred of great promise, such promise in fact that he was groomed, trained, and billed as the only horse that stood a chance of beating the greatest race horse of all time: Man o' War.
Don't let your mental attitude make you a has-been. In the Dwyer Stakes at Aqueduct in July of 1920, the two horses finally met. It was a magnificent day. All eyes were riveted on the starting post. The two horses got away evenly. Down the track they went side by side. It was clear that John P Grier was giving Man o' War the race of his life. At the quarter mark they were even. The half mark. The three-quarter mark and still they were even. At the eighth pole -- neck and neck. Then in the stretch John P. Grier brought the crowd to its feet. Slowly he edged ahead.
It was a moment of crisis for Man o' War's jockey. He made up his mind. For the first time in the great horse's career the jockey flicked him solidly on the rump with his whip. Man o' War reacted as though the jockey had set fire to his tail. He shot out ahead and pulled away from John P. Grier as if the other horse were standing still. At the end of the race Man o' War was seven lengths ahead.
But the significant thing from our point of view was the effect of defeat on the other horse. John P. Grier had been a horse of great spirit; victory was in his attitude. But he was so broken by this experience that he never really recovered. All of his races afterwards were weak, half-hearted attempts, and he never won again.
People are not race horses, but this story is reminiscent of far too many men who, in the boom years of the 1920's, started off with a wonderful attitude of success. They achieved financial success, and then, when the Depression struck in 1930, they experienced defeat. They were crushed. Their attitude changed from positive to negative. Their talisman flipped to the side that read NMA. They stopped trying. They, like John P. Grier, became "has-beens."
Some people seem to use PMA pretty much all the time. Others start and then quit. But others -- the vast majority of us -- have never really begun to use the tremendous powers available to us.
What about us? Can we learn to use PMA, as we've learned other skills?
The answer, based on our years of experience, is a definite yes.
This is the subject of this book. In the chapters that follow we will show you how it can be done. The effort to learn will be worth it because PMA is the essential ingredient in all success.
Meet the most important living person. The day you recognize PMA for yourself is the day that you will meet the most important living person! Who is he? Why, the most important living person is you, as far as you and your life are concerned. Take a look at yourself. Isn't it true that you carry with you an invisible talisman with the initials PMA emblazoned on one side and NMA on the other? What exactly is this talisman, this force? The talisman is your mind. PMA is a Positive Mental Attitude.
A Positive Mental Attitude is the right mental attitude. What is the right mental attitude? It is most often comprised of the "plus" characteristics symbolized by such words as faith, integrity, hope, optimism, courage, initiative, generosity, tolerance, tact, kindliness, and good common sense. A person with positive mental attitude aims for high goals and constantly strives to achieve them.
NMA is a negative mental attitude. It has opposite characteristics to PMA.
After years spent studying successful men, the authors of Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude have come to the conclusion that a positive mental attitude is the one simple secret shared by them all.
It was PMA that helped S. B. Fuller overcome the disadvantages of poverty. It was PMA that motivated Tom Dempsey, despite his crippled leg, to kick the longest field goal ever kicked in a professional football game. And it was certainly a positive mental attitude that enabled Henry J. Kaiser to build a Liberty Ship every ten days. It was Al Allen's ability to turn his talisman right-side-up that motivated him to return to his prospects -- the very ones who had refused him the day before -- and set a new sales record.
Do you know how to make your invisible talisman work for you? Perhaps you do; perhaps you don't. Perhaps you have developed and strengthened your PMA until life is bringing you every worthwhile wish. But if you haven't, you can and will learn the techniques whereby you can release your power of PMA through its magic in your life as you continue to read this book.
A positive mental attitude, what it is, and how it may be developed and applied, is described throughout this book. It is the one essential principle of this book's Seventeen Principles for achieving worthwhile success. Achievement is attained through some combination of PMA with one or more of the other sixteen success principles. Master them. Begin applying each of them as you recognize them while reading Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude. When you make each principle a part of your life, yours will be a positive mental attitude in its most powerful form. And the payoff will be success, health, happiness, wealth, or whatever definite aims you may have in life. These will be yours -- provided you don't violate the laws of Infinite Intelligence and the rights of your fellow men. Such violations are the most repellent forms of NMA.
In Chapter Two you will find the formula by which you may keep your mind positive. Master that formula; apply it in all that you do and you will be on your way to the attainment of your every desire.
Pilot No. 1
Thoughts to Steer By
1. Meet the most important living person! That person is you. Your success, health, happiness, wealth depend on how you use your invisible talisman. How will you use it? The choice is yours.
2. Your mind is your invisible talisman. The letters PMA (positive mental attitude) are emblazoned on one side, and NMA (negative mental attitude) on the other. These are powerful forces. PMA is the right mental attitude for each specific occasion. It has the power to attract the good and the beautiful. NMA repels them. It is a negative mental attitude that robs you of all that makes life worth living.
Self-question: "How can I develop the right mental attitude?" Be specific.
3. Don't blame God for your lack of success. Like S. B. Fuller, you can develop a burning desire to succeed. How? Keep your mind on the things you want and off the things you don't want. How?
4. Like S. B. Fuller, read the Bible and inspirational books for a purpose. Ask for divine guidance. Search for the light.
Self-question: Do you believe it's proper to ask for Divine Guidance?
5. Every adversity has the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit for those who have PMA. Sometimes the things that seem to be adversities turn out to be opportunities in disguise. Tom Dempsey discovered this as a cripple.
Self-question: Will you engage in thinking time to determine how you can turn adversities into seeds of equivalent or greater benefits?
6. Accept the priceless gift -- the joy of work. Apply the greatest value in life: love people and serve them. Like Henry J. Kaiser, you will attract big and generous portions of success. You can if you develop PMA.
Self-question: Will you search to find out how you can develop PMA as you continue to read this book?
7. Never underestimate the repellent power of a negative mental attitude. It can prevent life's lucky breaks from benefiting you.
Self-question: PMA attracts good luck. How can I develop the habit of PMA?
8. You can profit by disappointment -- if it is turned into inspirational dissatisfaction with PMA. Like Al Allen, develop inspirational dissatisfaction. Rearrange your attitudes and convert a failure of one day into success on another. How do you think you can develop inspirational dissatisfaction?
9. Bring into reality the possibility of the improbable by acquiring PMA. Say to yourself, as Henry Ford said to his engineers, "Keep working!"
Self-question: Have you the courage to aim high and strive daily to keep your goal before you?
10. Don't let your mental attitude make you a "has-been." When you become successful and a depression or any other unfavorable circumstance arises which causes you a loss or defeat, act on the self-motivator: Success is achieved by those who try and maintained by those who keep trying with PMA. This is the way to avoid being crushed.
Universal Principles in Self-Motivator Form
Copyright © 1960, 1977 by Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Excerpted from Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude by Napoleon Hill Copyright © 2007 by Napoleon Hill. Excerpted by permission.
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