I have been reading Law of Success in 16 Lessons by Napoleon Hill. This is not an easy read as it was written in the 1920s, so the language and examples are certainly out dated. However, I am amazed at these principles hold as true today as they did when Hill was writing about the most successful men of that era. He consulted Edison, Ford, Wrigley and President Wilson just to name a few. Lesson 8 is probably one of the most important lessons of the sixteen. It is about having Self Control. The question he asks, hit me right between the eyes, do you have self control?
We all would like to say yes to that question but let’s really consider his studies. Napoleon Hill interviewed 160,000 prisoners for this book. He found that the most common thread they had in common was that 92% of them lacked self control. Meaning they could not control their emotions and it caused them to act out and break the law and become captured by law enforcement. He also interviewed thousands of sales people and business owners. He found that 90% admitted they could have been more successful if only more opportunities had come their way. The remaining 10% of very successful people found that they were overwhelmed with opportunities almost daily. Now is this just luck or did it have something to do with having self control?
Self control has way more to do with controlling one’s thoughts. Successful people learn not to allow their emotions to get the best of them and make irrational decisions. By controlling thoughts you are in self control. The whole principle behind Napoleon Hill’s books and works is the Law of Attraction. “We become what we think about most often”. Therefore” like attracts like”, so successful people or the 10% think about opportunities and the see them daily. The remaining 90% do not control their thoughts or emotions and they are controlled by daily situations and therefore never see opportunities. There is no such thing as luck. We all create our own lives by what consumes our daily thoughts. Poverty begets poverty because the poor only think and know of life being poor. The rich get richer because they only think of being more successful.
Therefore, the conclusion of Hill’s Lesson 8 is to have self control. Control your thoughts and control your destiny. Allow your thoughts to be controlled by daily situations and your emotions about those situations and you will struggle endlessly. Change your thoughts and you will change your life. I find self control as the hardest easy thing a person can do. Think positive you are in control!
“You are the sum total of your dominating or most prominent thoughts.”—Napoleon Hill
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Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger and team leader with over 27 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.