Napoleon Hill’s Masterpiece
Over the coming weeks I will edit, format and add comments to each section. This book inspired me more than any other in life. There will be 17 parts posted and because the text is finally in the public domain it can be shared with millions who may never have found it!
IN SIXTEEN LESSONS
Teaching, for the First Time in the
History of the World, the True Philosophy
upon which all Personal Success is Built.
The RALSTON UNIVERSITY PRESS
EBOOK VERSION, VISUALIZE PORSPERITY, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
COPYRIGHT, 1928, BY
LAW OF SUCCESS
By Napoleon Hill
Who suggested the writing of the course, and to
Whose astounding, achievements form the foundation for
practically all of the Sixteen Lessons of the course, and to
EDWIN C. BARNES
A business associate of Thomas A. Edison, whose close
personal friendship over a period of more than fifteen
years served to help the author “carry on” in the face of a
great variety of adversities and much temporary defeat met
with in organizing the course.
WHO said it
could not be done?
And what great
victories has he to
his credit which
qualify him to judge
– Napoleon Hill.
A PERSONAL STATEMENT BY THE
Some thirty years ago a young clergyman by the name of
Gunsaulus announced in the newspapers of Chicago that he
would preach a sermon the following Sunday morning
“WHAT WOULD I DO IF I HAD A MILLION
The announcement caught the eye of Philip D. Armour,
the wealthy packing-house king, who decided to hear the
In his sermon Dr.Gunsaulus pictured a great school of
technology where young men and young women could be
taught how to succeed in life by developing the ability to
THINK in practical rather than theoretical terms; where they
would be taught to “learn by doing”. “If I had a million
dollars,” said the young preacher. “I would start such a
After the sermon was over Mr. Armour walked down
the isle to the pulpit, introduced himself, and said, “Young
man, I believe you could do all you said you could, and if
you will come down to my office tomorrow morning I will
give you the million dollars you need.”
There is always plenty of capital for those who can
create practical plans for using it.
That was the beginning of the Armour Institute of
Technology, one of the very practical schools of the country.
The school was born in the “imagination” of a young man
who never would have been heard of outside of the
community in which he preached had it not been for the
“imagination,” plus the capital, of Philip D.Armour.
Every great railroad, and every outstanding financial
institution and every mammoth business enterprise, and
every great invention, began in the imagination of some one
F.W. Woolworth created the Five and Ten Cent Store
Plan in his “imagination” before it became a reality and
made him a multimillionaire.
Thomas A. Edison created the talking machine and the
moving picture machine and the incandescent electric light
bulb and scores of other useful inventions, in his own
“imagination,” before they became a reality.
During the Chicago fire scores of merchants whose
stores went up in smoke stood near the smoldering embers
of their former places of business, grieving over their loss.
Many of them decided to go away into other cities and start
over again. In the group was Marshall Field, who saw, in
his own “imagination,” the world’s greatest retail store,
standing on the selfsame spot where his former store had
stood, which was then but a ruined mass of smoking
timbers. That store became a reality.
Fortunate is the young man or young woman who
learns early in life, to use imagination, and doubly so in this
age of greater opportunity.
Imagination is a faculty of the mind which can be
cultivated, developed, extended and broadened by use. If
this were not true, this course on the Fifteen Laws of
Success never would have been created, because it was first
conceived in the author’s “imagination, ” from the mere
seed of an idea which was sown by a chance remark of the
late Andrew Carnegie.
Wherever you are, whoever you are, whatever you may
be following as an occupation, there is room for you to make
yourself more useful, and in that manner more productive,
by developing and using your “imagination.”
Success in this world is always a matter of individual
effort, yet you will only be deceiving yourself if you believe
that you can succeed without the co-operation of other
people. Success is a matter of individual effort, only to the
extent that each person must decide, in his or her own mind,
what is wanted. This involves the use of “imagination.”
From this point on, achieving success is a matter of
skillfully and tactfully inducing others to co-operate.
Before you can secure co-operation from others: nay,
before you have the right to ask for or expect co-operation
from other people, you must first show a willingness to cooperate
with them. For this reason the eighth lesson of this
course, THE HABIT OF DOING MORE THAN PAID
FOR, is one which should have your serious and thoughtful
The law upon which this lesson is based, would, of
itself, practically insure success to all who practice it in all
In the back pages of this Introduction you will observe
a Personal Analysis Chart in which ten well known men
have been analyzed for your study and comparison.
Observe this chart carefully and note the “danger points”
which mean failure to those who do not observe these
signals. Of the ten men analyzed eight are known to be
successful, while two may be considered failures. Study
carefully, the reason why these two men failed.
Then, study yourself. In the two columns which have
been left blank for that purpose, give yourself a rating on
each of the Fifteen Laws of Success at the beginning of this
course; at the end if the course rate yourself again and
observe the improvements you have made.
The purpose of the Law of Success course is to enable you to
find our how you may become more capable in your chosen field of
work. To this end you will be analyzed and all of your qualities
classified so you may organize them and make the best possible use
You may not like the work in which you are now engaged.
There are two was of getting out of that work. One way is to take
but little interest in what you are doing, aiming merely to do enough
with which to “get by.” Very soon you will find a way out,
because the demand for your services will cease.
The other and better way is by making yourself so useful and
efficient in what you are now doing that you will attract the
favorable attention of those who have the power to promote you
into more responsible work that is more to your liking.
It is your privilege to take your choice as to which way you
will proceed. Again you are reminded of the importance of Lesson
Nine of this course, through the aid of which you may avail yourself
of this “better way” of promoting yourself.
Thousands of people walked over the great Calumet Copper
Mine without discovering it. Just one lone man used his
“imagination,” dug down into the earth a few feet, investigated, and
discovered the richest copper deposit on earth.
You and every other person walk, at one time or another, over
your “Calumet Mine.” Discovery is a matter of investigation and
use of “imagination.” This course on the Fifteen Laws of Success
may lead the way to your “Calumet,” and you may be surprised
when you discover that you were standing right over this rich mine,
in the work in which you are now engaged. In his lecture on “Acres
of Diamonds,” Russell Conwell tells us that we need not seek
opportunity in the distance; that we may find it right where we
stand! THIS IS A TRUTH WELL WORTH REMEMBERING!
Author of the Law of Success
The Author’s Acknowledgment of Help
Rendered Him in the Writing
of This Course.
This course us the result of careful analysis of the
life-work if over one hundred men and women who
have achieved unusual success in their respective
The author of the course has been more than
twenty years in gathering, classifying, testing and
organizing the Fifteen Laws upon which the course is
based. In his labor he has received valuable assistance
either in person or by studying the life-work of the
Henry Ford Edward Bok
Thomas A. Edison Cyrus H.K. Curtis
Harvey S. Firestone George W. Perkins
John D. Rockefeller Henry L. Doherty
Charles M. Schwab George S. Parker
Woodrow Wilson Dr. C.O. Henry
Darwin P. Kingsley General Rufus A. Ayers
Wm. Wrigley, Jr. Judge Elbert H. Gray
- D. Lasker William Howard Taft
E.A. Filene Dr. Elmer Gates
James J. Hill John W. Davis
Captain George M. Alexander Samuel Insul
(to whom the author was formerly an assistant)
F.W. Woolworth Hugh Chalmers
Judge Daniel T. Wright (one of Dr. E. W. Strickler
the author’s law instructors)
Edwin C. Barnes Elbert Hubbard
Robert L. Taylor (Fiddling Bob) Luther Burbank
- H. Harriman George Eastman
John Burroughs E. M. Statler
Charles P. Steinmetz Andrew Carnegie
- H. Harriman John Wannamaker
Frank Vanderlip Marshall Field
Theodore Roosevelt Wm. H. French
Dr. Alexander Graham Bell (to whom
the author owes credit for most of Lesson One)
Of the men named, perhaps Henry Ford and
Andrew Carnegie should be acknowledged as having
contributed most toward the building of this course,
for the reason that it was Andrew Carnegie who first
suggested the writing of the course and Henry Ford
whose life-work supplied much of the material out of
which the course was developed.
Some of these men are now deceased, but to those
who are still living the author wishes to make here
grateful acknowledgment of the service they have
rendered without which this course never could have
The author has studied the majority of these men
at close range, in person. With many of them he
enjoys, or did enjoy before their death, the privilege of
close personal friendship which enabled him to gather
from their philosophy facts that would not have been
available under other conditions.
The author is grateful for having enjoyed the
privilege of enlisting the services of the most powerful
men on earth, in the building of the Law of Success
course. That privilege has been remuneration enough
for the work done, if nothing more were ever received
These men have been the backbone and the
foundation and the skeleton of American business,
finance industry and statesmanship.
The Law of Success course epitomizes the
philosophy and the rules of procedure which made
each of these men a great power in his chosen field of
endeavor. It has been the author’s intention to present
the course in the plainest and most simple terms
available, so it could be mastered by very young men
and young women, of the high-school age.
With the exception of the psychological law
referred to in Lesson One as the “Master Mind,” the
author lays no claim to having created anything
basically new in this course. What he has done,
however, has been to organize old truths and known
laws into PRACTICAL, USABLE FORM, where they
may be properly interpreted and applied by the
workaday man whose needs call for a philosophy of
In passing upon the merits of the Law of Success
Judge Elbert H. Gary said: “Two outstanding features
connected with philosophy impress me most. One is
the simplicity with which it has been presented, and
the other is the fact that its soundness is so obvious to
all that it will be immediately accepted.”
The student of this course is warned against
passing judgment upon it before having read the entire
sixteen lessons. This especially applies to this
Introduction, in which it has been necessary to include
brief reference to subjects of a more or less technical
and scientific nature. The reason for this will be
obvious after the student has read the entire sixteen
The student who takes up this course with an
open mind, and sees to it that his or her mind remains
“open” until the last lesson shall have been read, will
be richly rewarded with a broader and more accurate
view of life as a whole.
Contents of This Introductory Lesson
- POWER what it is and how to create and use it.
- CO-OPERATION- the psychology of co-operative
effort and how to use it constructively.
- THE MASTER MIND- how it is created through
harmony of purpose and effort, between two or more
- HENRY FORD, THOMAS A. EDISON and HARVEY
- FIRESTONE- the secret of their power and wealth.
- THE “BIG SIX”- how they made the law of the “Maser
Mind” yield them profit of more than
$25,000,000,000.00 a year.
- IMAGINATION- how to stimulate it so that it will
create practical plans and dew ideas.
- TELEPATHY- how thought passes from one mind to
another through the ether. Every brain both a
broadcasting and a receiving station for thought.
- HOW SALESMEN- and PUBLIC SPEAKERS
“sense” or “tune in” on the thoughts of their
- VIBRATION- described by Dr. Alexander Graham
Bell, inventor of the Long Distance Telephone.
- AIR and ETHER- how they carry vibrations.
- HOW and WHY ideas “flash” into the mind from
- HISTORY of the Law of Success Philosophy,
covering a period of over twenty-five years of
scientific research and experiment.
- JUDGE ELBERT H. GARY reads, approves ad
adopts the Law of Success course.
- ANDREW CARNEGIE responsible for beginning of
Law of Success course.
- LAW OF SUCCESS TRAINING- helps group of
salespeople earn $1,000,000.00.
- SO-CALLED “SPIRITUALISM” explained.
- ORGANIZED EFFORT the source of all power.
- HOW TO ANALYZE yourself.
- HOW A SMALL FORTUNE was made from an old
worked- out, worthless (?) farm.
- THERE’S A GOLD MINE in your present occupation
if you will follow directions and dig for it.
- THERE’S PLENTY OF READY CAPITAL for
development of any practical idea or plan you may
- SOME REASONS why people fail.
- WHY HENRY FORD is the most powerful man on
earth, and how others may use the principles which
give him his power.
- WHY SOME PEOPLE antagonize others without
- THE EFFECT of sexual contact as a mind stimulant
and health builder.
- WHAT happens in the religious orgy known as the
- WHAT we have learned from “Nature’s Bible.”
- CHEMISTRY of the mind; how it will make or
- WHAT is meant by the “psychological moment” in
- THE MIND becomes devitalized- how to “recharge”
- THE VALUE and meaning of harmony in all cooperative
- OF WHAT do Henry Ford’s assets consist? The
- THIS IS THE AGE of mergers and highly
organized co-operative effort.
- WOODROW WILSON had in mind the law of the
“Master Mind” in his plan for a League of Nations.
- SUCCESS is a matter of tactful negotiation with other
- EVERY HUMAN BEING possesses at least two
distinct personalities; one destructive and one
- EDUCATION generally misunderstood to mean
instruction or memorizing of rules. It really means
development from within, of the human mind,
through unfoldment and use.
- TWO METHODS of gathering knowledge, through
personal experience and by assimilating the
knowledge gained through experience by others.
- PERSONAL ANALYSIS of Henry Ford, Benjamin
Franklin, George Wahsington, Abraham Lincoln,
Theodore Roosevelt, Wm. Howard Taft, Woodrow
Wilson, Napoleon Bonaparte, Calvin Coolidge and
- AUTHOR’S “After-the-Lesson Visit.”
TIME is a Master Worker
that heals the wounds of
temporary defeat, and equalizes
the inequalities and rights
the wrongs of the world.
There is nothing
“Impossible” with time.
HE LAW OF SUCCESS
THE MASTER MIND
“You Can Do It If You Believe You Can!”
THIS is a course on the fundamentals of Success.
Success is very largely a matter of adjusting one’s
self to the ever-varying and changing environments of
life, in a spirit of harmony and poise. Harmony is
based upon understanding of the forces constituting
one’s environment; therefore, this course is in reality a
blueprint that may be followed straight to success,
because it helps the student to interpret, understand
and make the most of these environmental forces of
Before you begin reading the Law of Success
lessons you should know something of the history of
the course. You should know exactly what the course
promises to those who follow it until they have
assimilated the laws and principles upon which it is
based. You should know its limitations as well as its
possibilities as an aid in your fight for a place in the
From the viewpoint of entertainment the Law of
Success course would be a poor second for most any
of the monthly periodicals of the “Snappy Story”
variety which may be found upon the news stands of
The course has been created for the serious
minded person who devotes at least a portion of his or
her time to the business of succeeding in life. The
author of the Law of Success course has not intended
to compete with those who write purely for the
purpose of entertaining.
The author’s aim, in preparing this course, has
been of a two-fold nature, namely, first to help the
earnest student find our what are his or her
weaknesses, and secondly to help create a DEFINITE
PLAN for bridging those weaknesses.
The most successful men and women on earth
have had to correct certain weak spots in their
personalities before they began to succeed. The most
outstanding of these weaknesses which stand between
men and women and success are INTOLERANCE,
CUPIDITY, GREED, JEALOUSY, SUSPICION,
REVENGE, EGOTISM, CONCEIT, THE
TENDENCY TO REAP WHERE THEY HAVE NOT
SOWN, and the HABIT OF SPENDING MORE
THAN THEY EARN.
All of these common enemies of mankind, and
many more not here mentioned, are covered by the
Law of Success course in such a manner that any
person of reasonable intelligence may master them
with but little effort or inconvenience.
You should know, at the very outset, that the Law
of Success course has long since passed through the
experimental state; that it already has to its credit a
record of achievement that is worthy of serious
thought and analysis. You should know, also, that the
Law of Success course has been examined and
endorsed by some of the most practical minds of this
The Law of Success course was first used as a
lecture, and was delivered by its author in practically
every city and in many of the smaller localities,
throughout the United States, over a period of more
than seven years. Perhaps you were one to the many
hundreds of thousands of people who heard this
During these lectures the author has assistants
located in the audiences for the purpose of interpreting
the reaction of those who heard the lecture, and in this
manner he learned exactly what effect it had upon
people. As a result of this study and analysis many
changes were made.
The first big victory was gained for the Law of
Success philosophy when it was used by the author as
the basis of a course with which 3,000 men and
women were trained as a sales army. Through this
training they were enabled to earn more than One
Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00) for themselves and
paid the author $30,000.00 for his services, covering a
period of approximately six months.
The individuals and small groups of salespeople
who have found success through the aid of this course
are too numerous to be mentioned in this Introduction,
but the number is large and the benefits they derived
from the course were definite.
The Law of Success philosophy was brought to
the attention of the late Don R. Mellett, former
publisher of the Canton (Ohio) Daily News, who
formed a partnership to resign as publisher of the
Canton Daily News and take up the business
management of the author’s affairs when he was
assassinated on July 16, 1926.
Prior to his death Mr. Mellett had made
arrangements with judge Elbert H. Gary, who was
then Chairman of the Board of the United States Street
Corporation, to present the Law of Success course to
every employee of the Street Corporation, at a total
cost of something like $150,000.oo in it is proof of the
soundness of all that is said in behalf of the course.
You will observe, in this General Introduction to the
course, a few technical terms which may not be plain
to you. Do not allow this to bother you. Make no
attempt at first reading to understand these terms.
They will be plain to you after you read the remainder
of the course. This entire Introduction is intended
only as a background for the other fifteen lessons of
the course, and you should read it as such. You will
not be examined on this Introduction, but you should
read it many times, as you will get from it at each
reading a thought or an idea which you did not get on
In this introduction you will find a description of
a newly discovered law of psychology which is the
very foundation stone of all outstanding personal
achievements. This law has been referred to by the
author as the “Master Mind,” meaning a mind that is
or developed through the harmonious co-operation of
two or more people who ally themselves for the
purpose of accomplishing any given task.
If you are engaged in the business of selling you
may profitably experiment with this law of the
“Master Mind” in your daily work. It has been found
that a group of six or seven salespeople may use the
law so effectively that their sales may be increased to
Life Insurance is supposed to be the hardest thing
on earth to sell. This ought not to be true, with an
established necessity such as life insurance, but it is.
Despite this fact, a small group of men working for
the Prudential Life Insurance Company, whose sales
are mostly small policies, formed a little friendly
group for the purpose of experimenting with the law
of the “Master Mind,” with the result that every man
in the group wrote more insurance during the first
three months of the experiment than he had ever
written in an entire year before.
What may be accomplished through the aid of
this principle, by any small group of intelligent lifeinsurance
salesmen who have learned how to apply
NO MAN HAS A
CHANCE TO ENJOY
UNTIL HE BEGINS TO
LOOK IN A MIRROR
FOR THE REAL CAUSE
OF ALL HIS MISTAKES.
– Napoleon Hill
the law of the “Master Mind” will stagger the
imagination of the most highly optimistic and
The same may be said of other groups of
salespeople who are engaged in selling merchandise
and other more tangible forms of service than life
insurance. Bear this in mind as you read this Introduction
to the Law of Success course and it is not unreasonable to
expect that this Introduction, alone, may give you sufficient
understanding of the law to change the entire course of your
It is the personalities back of a business which
determine the measure of success the business will enjoy.
Modify those personalities so they are more pleasing and
more attractive to the patrons of the business and the
business will thrive. In any of the great cities of the United
States one may purchase merchandise of similar nature and
price in scores of stores, yet you will find there is always
one outstanding store which does more business than any of
the others, and the reason for this is that back of that store is
a man, or men who has attended to the personalities of those
who come in contact with the public. People buy
personalities as much as merchandise, and it is a question if
they are not influenced more by the personalities with
which they come in contact that they are by the
Life insurance has been reduced to such a scientific
basis that the cost of insurance does not from which one
purchases it, yet out of the hundreds of life insurance
companies doing business less than a dozen companies do
the bulk of the business of the United States.
Why? Personalities! Ninety-nine people out of every
hundred who purchase life insurance policies do not know
what is in their policies and, what seems more startling, do
not seem to care. What they really purchase is the pleasing
personality of some man or woman who knows the value of
cultivating such a personality.
Your business in life, or at least the most important part
of it, is to achieve success. Success, within the meaning of
that term as covered by this course on the Fifteen Laws of
Success, is “the violating the rights of other people.”
Regardless of what your major aim in life may be, you will
attain it cultivate a pleasing personality and after you have
learned the delicate art of allying yourself with others in a
given undertaking without friction or envy.
One of the greatest problems of life, if not, in fact, the
greatest, is that of learning the art of harmonious negotiation
with others. This course was created for the purpose of
teaching people how to negotiate their way through life with
harmony and poise, free from the destructive effects of
disagreement and friction which bring millions of people to
misery, want and failure every year.
With this statement of the purpose of the course you
should be able to approach the lessons with the feeling that a
complete transformation is about to take place in your
You cannot enjoy outstanding success in life without
power, and you can never enjoy power without sufficient
personality to influence other people to co-operate with you
in a spirit of harmony. This course shows you step by step
how to develop such a personality.
Lesson by lesson, the following us a statement of that
which you may expect to receive from the fifteen Laws of
- A DEFINITE CHIEF AIM will teach you how to
save the wasted effort which the majority of
people expend in trying to find their lifework. This
lesson will show you how to do away forever with
aimlessness and fix your heart and hand upon
some definite, well conceived purpose as a lifework.
- SELF-CONFIDENCE will help you master the six
basic fears with which every person is cursed-the
fear of Poverty, the fear of Ill Health, the fear of
Old Age, the fear of Criticism, the fear of Loss of
Love of Someone and the fear of Death. It will
teach you the difference between egotism and
real self-confidence which is based upon definite,
III. HABIT OF SAVING will teach you how to
distribute your income systematically so that a
definite percentage of it will steadily accumulate,
thus forming one of the greatest known sources
of personal power. No one may succeed in life
without saving money. There is no exception to
this rule, and no one may escape it.
- INITIATIVE AND LEADERSHIP will show you
how to become a leader instead of a follower in
your chosen field of endeavor. It will develop in
you the instinct for leadership which will cause
you gradually to gravitate to the top in all
undertakings in which you participate.
- IMAGINATION will stimulate your mind so that
you will conceive new ideas and develop new
plans which will help you in attaining the object of
your Definite Chief Aim. This lesson will teach
you how to “build new houses out of old stones,”
so to speak. It will show you how to create new
ideas out old, well known concepts, and how to
put old ideas to new uses. This one lesson,
alone, is the equivalent of a very practical course
in salesmanship, and it is sure to prove a
veritable gold mine of knowledge to the person
who is in earnest.
- ENTHUSIASM will enable you to “saturate” all
with whom you come in contact with interest in
you and in your ideas. Enthusiasm is the
foundation of a Pleasing Personality, and you
must have such a personality in order to
influence others to co-operate with you.
VII. SELF-CONTROL is the “balance wheel” with
which you control your enthusiasm and direct it
where you wish it to carry you. This lesson will
teach you, in a most practical manner, to
become “the master of your fate, the Captain of
VIII. THE HABIT OF DOING MORE THAN PAID FOR
is one of the most important lessons of the Law
of Success course. It will teach you how to take
advantage of the Law of Increasing Returns, which
will eventually insure a return in money far out of
proportion to the service you render. No one may
become a real leader in any walk of life without
practicing the habit of doing more work and better
work than that for which he is paid.
- PLEASING PERSONALITY is the “fulcrum” on
which you must place the “crow-bar” of your efforts
and when so placed, with intelligence, it will enable
you to remove mountains of obstacles. This one
lesson, alone, has made scores of Master
Salesmen. It has developed leaders over night. It
will teach you how to transform your personality so
that you may adapt yourself to any environment, or
to any other personality, in such a manner that you
may easily dominate.
- ACCURATE THINKING is one of the important
foundation stones of all enduring success. This
lesson teaches you how to separate “facts” from
mere information.” It teaches you how to organize
known facts into two classes: the “important” and
the “unimportant.” It teaches you how to
determine what is an “important” fact. It teaches
you how to build definite working plans, in the
pursuit of any calling, out of FACTS.
- CONCENTRATION teaches you how to focus
your attention upon one subject at a time until you
have worked out practical plans for mastering that
subject. It will teach you how to ally yourself with
others in such a manner that you may have the
use of their entire knowledge to back you up in
your own plans and purposed. It will give you a
practical working knowledge of the forces around
If you must slander
someone don’t speak it –
but write it – write it in the
sand, near the water’s edge!
– Napoleon Hill
you, and show you how to harness and use these
forces in furthering your own interests.
XII. CO-OPERATION will teach you the value of
team-work in all you do. In this lesson you will be
taught how to apply the law of the “Master Mind”
described in this Introduction and in Lesson Two of
this course. This lesson will show you how to coordinate
your own efforts with those of others, in
such a manner that frictions, jealousy, strife, envy
and cupidity will be eliminated. You will learn how
to make use of all that other people have learned
about the work in which you are engaged.
XIII. PROFITING BY FAILURE will teach you how to
make stepping stones out of all of your past and
future mistakes and failures. It will teach you the
difference between “failure” and “temporary
defeat,” a difference which is very great and very
important. It will teach you how to profit by your
own failures and by the failures of other peoples.
XIV. TOLERANCE will teach you how to avoid the
disastrous effects of racial and religious
prejudices which mean defeat for millions of
people who permit themselves to become
entangled in foolish argument over subjects,
thereby poisoning their own minds and closing the
door to reason and investigation. This lesson is
the twin sister of the one on ACCURATE
THOUGHT, for the reason that no one may
become an Accurate Thinker without practicing
tolerance. Intolerance closes the book of
Knowledge ad writes on the cover, “Finis! I have
learned it all!” Intolerance makes enemies of those
who should be friends. It destroys opportunity and
fills the mind with doubt, mistrust and prejudice.
- PRACTICING THE GOLDEN RULE will teach
you how to make use of this great universal law of
human conduct in such a manner that you may
easily get harmonious co-operation from any
individual or group of individuals. Lack of
understanding of the law upon which the Golden
Rule philosophy is based is one of the major
causes of failure of millions of people who remain
in misery, poverty and want all their lives. This
lesson has nothing whatsoever to do with religion
in any form, nor with sectarianism, nor have any of
the other lessons of this course on the Law of
When you have mastered these Fifteen Laws and make
them your own, as you may do within a period of from
fifteen to thirty weeks, you will be ready to develop
sufficient personal power to insure the attainment of your
Definite Chief Aim.
The purpose of these Fifteen Laws is to develop or help
you organize all the knowledge you have, and all you
acquire in the future, so you may turn this knowledge into
You should read the Law of Success course with a
note-book by your side, for you will observe that ideas will
begin to “flash” into your mind as you read, as to ways and
means of using these laws in advancing your own interests.
You should also begin teaching these laws to those in
whom you are most interested, as it is a well known fact that
the more one tries to teach a subject the more he learns
about that subject. A man who has a family of young boys
and girls may so indelibly fix these Fifteen Laws of Success
in their minds that this teaching will change the entire course
of their lives. The man with a family should interest his
wife in studying this course with him, for reasons which will
be plain before you complete reading this Introduction.
POWER is one of the three basic objects of human
POWER is of two classes-that which is developed
through co-ordination of natural physical laws, and that
which is developed by organizing and classifying
POWER growing our of organized knowledge is the
more important because it places in man’s possession a tool
with which he may transform, redirect and to some extent
harness and use the other form of power.
The object of this reading course is to mark the route
by which the student may safely travel in gathering such
facts as he may wish to weave into his fabric of
There are two major methods of gathering knowledge,
namely, by studying, classifying and assimilating facts
which have been organized by other people, and through
one’s own process of gathering, organizing and classifying
facts, generally called “personal experience”
This lesson deals mainly with the ways and means of
studying the facts and data gathered and classified by other
The state of advancement known as “civilization” is but
the measure of knowledge which the race accumulated.
This knowledge is of two classes – mental and physical.
Among the useful knowledge organized by man, he has
discovered and catalogued the eighty-odd physical elements
of which all material forms in the universe consist.
By study and analysis and accurate measurements man
has discovered the “bigness” of the material side of the
universe as represented by planets, suns and stars, some of
which are known to be over ten million times as large as the
little earth on which he lives.
On the other hand, man has discovered the “littleness”
of the physical forms which constitute the universe by
reducing the eighty-odd physical elements to molecules,
atoms and finally to he smallest particle, the electron. An
electron cannot be seen; it is but a center of force consisting
of a positive or a negative. The electron is the beginning of
everything of a physical nature.
MOLECULES, ATOMS AND ELECTRONS: To
understand both the detail and the perspective of the process
through which knowledge is gathered, organized and
classified, it seems essential for the student to begin with the
smallest and simplest particles of physical matter, because
these are the A B C’s with which Nature has constructed the
entire frame-work of the physical portion of the universe.
The molecule consists of atoms, which are said to be
little invisible particles of matter revolving continuously
with the speed of lightning, on exactly the same principle
that the earth revolves around the sun.
These little particles of matter known as atoms which
revolve in one continuous circuit, in the molecule, are said
to be made up of electrons, the smallest particles of physical
matter. As already stated, the electron is nothing but two
forms of force. The electron is uniform, of but one class,
size and nature; thus in a grain of sand or a drop of water the
entire principle upon which the whole universe operates is
How marvelous! How stupendous! You may gather
some slight idea of the magnitude of it all the next time you
eat a meal, by remembering that every article of food you
eat, the plate on which you eat it, the tableware and the table
itself are, in final analysis, but a collection of ELECTRONS.
In the world of physical matter, whether one is looking
at the largest star that floats through the heavens or the
smallest grain of sand to be found on earth, the object under
observation is but an organized collection of molecules,
atoms and electrons revolving around one another at
Every particle of physical matter is in a continuous state of
highly agitated motion. Nothing is ever still, although
nearly all physical matter may appear, to the physical eye, to
be motionless. There is no “solid” physical matter. The
hardest piece of steel is but an organized mass of revolving
molecules, atoms and electrons. Moreover, the electrons in
a piece of steel are of the same nature, and move at the same
rate of speed as the electrons in gold, silver, brass or pewter.
Don’t be afraid of a
little opposition. Remember
that the “KITE” of Success
generally rises AGAINST
the wind of ADVERSITY –
not with it!
The eighty-odd forms of physical matter appear to be
different from one another, and they are different, because
they are made up of different combinations of atoms
(although the electrons in these atoms are positive and some
are negative, meaning that some carry appositive charge of
electrification while others carry a negative charge).
Through the science of chemistry, matter may be
broken up into atoms which are, within themselves,
unchangeable. The eighty-odd elements are created through
and by reason of combining and changing of the positions of
the atoms. To illustrate the modus operandi of chemistry
through which this change of atomic position is wrought, in
terms of modern science:
“Add four electrons (two positive and two negative) to
the hydrogen atom, and you have the element lithium, knock
out of the lithium atom (composed of three positive and
three negative electrons) one positive and one negative
electron, and you have one atom of helium (composed of
two positive and two negative electrons)
Thus it may be seen that the eighty-odd physical
elements of the universe differ from one another only in
number of electrons composing their atoms, and the number
and arrangement of those atoms in the molecules of each
As an illustration, an atom of mercury contains eighty
positive charges (electrons) in its nucleus, and eighty
negative outlying charges (electrons). If the chemist were to
expel two of its positive electrons it would instantly become
the metal known as platinum. If the chemist could then go a
step further and take from it a negative (“planetary”)
electron, the mercury atom would then have lost two
positive electrons and one negative, that is, one positive
charge on the whole; hence it would retain seventy-nine
positive charges in the nucleus and seventy-nine outlying
negative electrons, thereby becoming GOLD!
The formula through which this electronic change
might be produced has been the object of diligent search by
the alchemists all down the ages, and by the modern
chemists of today.
It is a fact known to every chemist that literally tens of
thousands of synthetic substances may be composed out of
only four kinds of atoms, viz.: hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen
“Differences in the number of electrons in atoms confer
upon them qualitative (chemical) differences, though all
atoms of any one element are chemically alike. Differences
in the number and special arrangement of these atoms (in
groups of molecules) constitute both physical and chemical
differences in substances, i.e. in compounds. Quite different
substances are produced by combinations of precisely the
same kinds of atoms, but in different proportions.”
“Take from a molecule of certain substances one single
atom, and they may be changed from a compound necessary
to life and growth into a deadly poison. Phosphorus is an
element, and thus contains but one kind of atom; but some
phosphorus is yellow and some is red, varying with the
spatial distribution of the atoms in the molecules composing
It may be stated as a literal truth that the atom is the
universal particle with which Nature builds all material
forms, from a grain of sand to the largest star that floats
through space. The atom is Nature’s” building block” out of
which she erects an oak tree or a pine, a rock of sandstone or
granite, a mouse or an elephant.
Some of the ablest thinkers have reasoned that the earth
on which we live, and every material particle on the earth,
began with two atoms which attached themselves to each
other, and through hundreds of millions of years of flight
through space, kept contacting and accumulating other
atoms until, step by step, the earth was formed. This, they
point out, would account for the various and differing strata
of the earth’s substances, such as the coal beds, the iron ore
deposits, the gold and silver deposits, the copper deposits,
They reason that, as the earth whirled through space, it
contacted groups of various kinds of nebulae, or atoms,
which it promptly appropriated, through the law of magnetic
attraction. There is much to be seen, in the earth’s surface
composition, to support this theory, although there may be
no positive evidence of its soundness.
These facts concerning the smallest analyzable particles
of matter have been briefly referred to as a starting point
from which we shall undertake to ascertain how to develop
and apply the law of POWER.
It has been noticed that all matter is in a constant state
of vibration or motion; that the molecule is made up of
rapidly moving particle called atoms, which, in turn are
made up of rapidly moving particles called electrons.
. . . . .
THE VIBRATING FLUID OF MATTER: In every particle
of matter there is an invisible “fluid” or force which causes
the atoms to circle around one another at an inconceivable
rate of speed.
This “fluid” is a form of energy which has never been
analyzed. Thus far it has baffled the entire scientific world.
By many scientists it is believed to be the same energy as
that which we call electricity. Others prefer to call it
vibration. It is believed by some investigators that the rate
of speed with which this force (call it whatever you will)
moves determines to a large extent the nature of the outward
visible appearance of he physical objects of the universe.
One rate of vibration of this “fluid energy” causes what
is known as sound. The human ear can detect only the
sound which is produced through from 32,000 to 38,000
vibrations per second.
Still higher up the scale vibrations begin to register in
the form of light. 3,000,000 vibrations per second create
violet light. Above this number vibrations sheds ultra-violet
rays (which are invisible to the naked eye) and other
And, still higher up the scale-just how high no one at
present seems to know-vibrations create the power with
which man THINKS.
It is the belief of the author that the “fluid” portion of
all vibration, out of which grow all known forms of energy,
is universal in nature; that the “fluid” portion of sound is the
same as the “fluid” portion of light, the difference in effect
between sound and light being only a difference in rate of
vibration, also that the “fluid” portion of thought is exactly
the same as that in sound, heat and light, excepting the
number of vibrations per second.
Just as there is but one form of physical matter, of
which the earth and all the other planets–suns and stars–are
composed—(the electron)–so is there but one form of
“fluid” energy, which causes all matter to remain in a
constant state of rapid motion.
. . . . .
AIR AND ETHER: the vast space between the suns,
moons, stars and other planets of the universe is filled
with a form of energy known as ether. It is this
author’s belief that the “fluid” energy which keeps all
particles of matter in motion is the same as he
universal “fluid” known as ether which fills all the
space of the universe. Within a certain distance of the
earth’s surface, estimated by some to be about fifty
miles, there exists what is called air, which is a
gaseous substance composed of oxygen and nitrogen.
Air is a conductor of sound vibrations, but a nonconductor
of light and the higher vibrations, which are
carried by the ether. The ether is a conductor of all
vibrations from sound to thought.
Air is a localized substance which performs, in
the main, service of feeding all animal and plant life
oxygen and nitrogen, without which neither could
exist. Nitrogen is one of the chief necessities of plant
life and oxygen one of the mainstays of animal life.
Near the top of very high mountains the air becomes
very light, because it contains but little nitrogen,
which is the reason why plant life cannot exist there.
On the other hand, the “light” air found in high
altitudes consists of oxygen, which is the chief reason
why tubercular patients are sent to high altitudes.
. . . . .
Render more service
than that for which
you are paid and you
will soon be paid for
more than you render.
The law of “Increasing
Returns” takes care of this.
Even this brief statement concerning molecules,
atoms, electrons, air, ether and the like, may be heavy
reading to the student, but as will be seen shortly, this
Introduction plays as essential part as the foundation
of this lesson.
Do not become discouraged if the description of
this foundation appears to have none of the thrilling
effects of a modern tale of fiction. You are seriously
engaged in finding out what are your available powers
and how to organize and apply these powers. To
complete this discovery successfully you must
combine determination, persistency and a well defined
DESIRE to gather and organize knowledge.
. . . . .
The late Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of
the long distance telephone and one of the accepted
authorities on the subject of vibration, is here
introduced in support of this author’s theories
concerning the subject of vibration:
“Suppose you have the power to make an iron rod
vibrate with any desired frequency in a dark room. At
first, when vibrating slowly, its movement will be
indicated by only one sense, that of touch. As soon as
the vibrations increase, a low sound will emanate from
it and it will appeal to two senses.”
“At about 32,000 vibrations to the second the
sound will be loud and shrill, but at 40,000 vibrations
it will be silent and the movements of the rod will not
be perceived by touch. Its movements will be
perceived by no ordinary human sense.”
“From this point up to about 1,500,000 vibrations
per second, we have no sense that can appreciate any
effect of the intervening vibrations. After that stage is
reached, movement is indicated first by the sense of
temperature and then, when the rod becomes red hot,
by the sense of sight. At 3,000,000 it sheds violet
light. Above that it sheds ultra-violet rays and other
invisible radiations, some of which can be perceived
by instruments employed by us.”
“Now it has occurred to me that there must be a
great deal to be learned about the effect of those
vibrations in the great gap where the ordinary human
senses are unable to hear, see or feel the movement.
The power to send wireless messages by ether
vibrations lies in that gap, but the gap is so great that it
seems there must be much more. You must make
machines practically to supply new senses, as the
wireless instruments do.”
“Can it be said, when you think of that great gap,
that there are not many forms of vibrations that may
give us results as wonderful as, or even more
wonderful than, the wireless waves? It seems to me
that in this gap lie the vibrations which we have
assumed to be given off by our brains and nerve cells
when we think. But then, again, they may be higher
up, in the scale beyond the vibrations that produce the
ultra-violet rays.” [AUTHOR’S NOTE: the last
sentence suggests the theory held by this author.]
“Do we need a wire to carry these vibrations?
Will they not pass through the ether without a wire,
just as the wireless waves do? How will they be
perceived by the recipient? Will he hear a series of signals
or will he find that another man’s thoughts have entered into
“We may indulge in some speculations based on what
we know of the wireless waves, which, as I have said, are all
we can recognize of a vast series of vibrations which
theoretically must exist. If the thought waves are similar to
the wireless waves, they must pass from the brain and flow
endlessly around the world and the universe. The body and
the skull and other solid obstacles would form no
obstruction to their passage, as they pass through the ether
which surrounds the molecules of every substance, no
matter how solid and dense.”
“You ask if there would not be constant interference
and confusion if other people’s thoughts were flowing
through our brains and setting up thoughts in them that did
not originate with ourselves?”
“How do you know that other men’s thoughts are not
interfering with yours now? I have noticed a good many
phenomena of mind disturbances that I have never been able
to explain. For instance, there is the inspiration or the
discouragement that a speaker feels in addressing as
audience. I have experienced this many times in my life and
have never been able to define exactly the physical causes of
“Many recent scientific discoveries, in my opinion,
point to a day not far distant perhaps, when men will read
one another’s thoughts, when thoughts will be conveyed
directly from brain to brain without intervention of speech,
writing or any of the present known methods of
“It is not unreasonable to look forward to a time when
we shall see without eyes, hear without ears and talk without
“Briefly, the hypothesis that mind can communicate
directly with mind rests on the theory that thought or vital
force is a form of electrical disturbance, that it can be taken
up b induction and transmitted to a distance either through a
wire or simply through all-pervading ether, as in the case of
wireless telegraph waves.”
“There are many analogies which suggest that thought
is of the nature of an electrical disturbance. A nerve, which
is of he same substance as the brain, is an excellent
conductor of the electric current. When we first passed an
electrical current through the nerves of a dead man we were
shocked and amazed to see him sit up and move. The
electrified nerves produced contraction of the muscles very
much as in life.”
“The nerves appear to act upon muscles very much as
the electric current acts upon an electromagnet. He current
magnetizes a bar of iron placed at right angles to it, and the
nerves produce, through the intangible current of vital force
that flows through them, contraction of the muscular fibers
that are arranged at right angles to them.”
“It would be possible to cite many reasons why thought
and vital force may be regarded as of the same nature as
electricity. The electric current is held to be a wave motion
of the ether, the hypothetical substance that fills all space
and pervades all substances. We believe that there must be
ether because without it the electric current could not pass
through a vacuum, or sunlight through space. It is
reasonable to believe that only a wave motion of a similar
character can produce the phenomena of thought and vital
force. We may assume that the brain cells act as a battery
and that the current produced flows along the nerves.”
“But does it end there? Does it not pass out of the body
in waves which flow around the world unperceived by our
senses, just as the wireless waves passed unperceived before
Hertz and others discovered their existence?”
EVERY MIND BOTH A BROADCASTING AND A
RECEIVING STATION: This author has proved, times too
numerous t enumerate, to his own satisfaction at least, that
every human brain is both a broadcasting and a receiving
station for vibrations of thought frequency.
If this theory should turn out to be a fact, and methods
of reasonable control should be established, imagine the part
it would play in the gathering, classifying and organizing of
knowledge. The possibility, much less the probability, of
such a reality, staggers the mind of man!
Thomas Paine was one of the great minds of the
American Revolutionary period. To him more, perhaps,
than to any other one person, we owe both the beginning and
the happy ending of the Rev