And so I want to share it with you.
Before I do, I have to warn you: it’s long… no, it’s really long… no, it’s really, really long!
So for those of you who think I’m long-winded… Well… Go grab a pot of coffee, ‘cause you’re gonna need more than a cup.
That said, it appears to be really well-researched (who spends years in pursuit of a story for a blog post?!).
And it shares details about Napoleon Hill’s life that make it appear that he was just a gigantic pile of lies…
I have some thoughts to put this into context, that are useful whether you’ve read the story yet or not…
— As was said in the article, Think and Grow Rich can still be a very valuable book, whether or not Napoleon Hill was a scammer. If it’s useful to you, there’s no reason to ignore its principles. I read it once, and found a lot of value in some lessons.
— I learned long ago that any time you make someone a “guru” in your mind (including me), you should prepare to be disappointed. Everybody is still human. And we’re all pretty flawed, some much more so than others. Find the valuable contribution, but don’t buy into anybody whole cloth.
— Hill was an incredible storyteller, and worth studying on that level, if you’re a student of Story Selling.
— People tend to believe what makes them feel good about themselves. Which is not always what’s good for them, and it’s often not the truth.
— Napoleon Hill is, unfortunately, yet another case of someone who used massive deception to achieve some level of success and notoriety. This is all too common, especially in the fields of selling and marketing. That said, maybe he also serves as a good object lesson, because his lack of integrity also led to substantial failure and suffering later in his life (he is believed to have died pretty much broke, even as his book outlived him with its success).
What to do with this?
First off, enjoy the read. It really is a fascinating look into the life of someone who was always on another adventure, and many of those adventures led him to the wrong side of the law (and morals).
Second, think critically about Hill, and others you learn from. Are they living the life I want, or just talking about it? What can I learn from them, regardless of which is true? What should I NOT model about their behavior?
Third, choose integrity. In the long run, the quick gains that can be had from shifty dealing will catch up with you, and will make you a miserable person. It’s better to live with a clear conscience.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,