Hill's "17 Scrolls of Success"

September 14, 2017
Greg Kelly

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” This and more wisdom about achieving success from one of the country’s first self-help gurus.

Think and grow rich. In addition to being two of the harder things to come by in American life today, they also happen to be the name of a classic personal finance achievement book.

Written by Napoleon Hill, one of the nation’s first great motivational thinkers, “Think and Grow Rich” was one of the first books I read when I got into the field of health care business publishing. This 1937 book remains a top-seller today, with some 40 million copies printed. Hill, who started out as a small-town newspaper reporter (as did I, so there’s still hope), died in 1970 at age 87.

And while I know that they “think,” most of today’s veterinarians are hardly “growing rich.” The secret, according to Hill, is to have a “philosophy of achievement.” He maintained that the vast majority of people have no firm beliefs, thus making any real personal achievement nearly unobtainable.

Hill was also a big believer in writing down goals and putting the list in a spot where it will be seen every day. With that, here are Hill’s 17 fundamental principles, or “scrolls,” of success, which he compiled during his two decades of study and observation of successful Americans, including more than 500 self-made millionaires:

  • Definiteness of Purpose: Successful people move on their own initiative, but they know where they are and where they are going before they start.
  • Mastermind Alliance: No one can become a permanent success without taking others along.
  • Applied Faith: You can do it if you believe you can.
  • Go the Extra Mile: The most successful people are those who serve the greatest number of people.
  • Pleasing Personality: It’s essential to develop a personality that’s pleasing to yourself and others.
  • Personal Initiative: Today’s employer is yesterday’s employee who found opportunity waiting at the end of the second mile.
  • Positive Mental Attitude: Keep your mind on things you want and off things you don’t want.
  • Enthusiasm: To be enthusiastic, act enthusiastic.
  • Self-discipline: Direct your thoughts, control your emotions and ordain your destiny.
  • Accurate thinking: Truth will be truth regardless of a closed mind, ignorance or refusal to believe.
  • Controlled Attention: Coordinate all the facilities of your mind and direct their combined power to a given end.
  • Teamwork: Harmonious cooperation is a priceless asset that you can acquire in proportion to your giving.
  • Adversity and Defeat: Every defeat, disappointment and adversity carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.
  • Creative Vision: The imagination is the workshop of the soul wherein are shaped all plans for individual achievement.
  • Maintenance and Sound Health: If you think you’re sick, you are.
  • Budgeting Time and Money: Tell me how you use your spare time and how you spend your money, and I’ll tell you where you’ll be 10 years from now.
  • Cosmic Habitforce: You are where you are and what you are because of your established habits, thoughts and deeds.

Greg Kelly is a long-time health care writer and editor. He has written for the Physician’s Money DigestTM, Dentist’s Money DigestTM and Veterinarian’s Money DigestTM websites. He lives at the Jersey Shore and welcomes comments at gregkelly@monmouthbeachlife.com.