17 Success Principles from Napoleon Hill & W. Clement Stone

In this summary, you will learn the 17 Success Principles as described in the book Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, This book was co-authored by Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone.

“Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude is a life-changing book, Which contains Napoleon Hill’s 17 Success principle that if read and applied will help you achieve success in all aspects of your life. The importance of having a positive mental attitude is emphasized as one of the greatest tools for achievement, together with having a definite purpose of life. principles that have worked for many successful people.” ~Monica Akinyi Odhiamco~

[If you enjoy motivational quotes, I invite you to join my W. Clement Stone Facebook group. I post a motivational picture quote daily.]

The book cover of Success through a positive mental attitude

[For a free copy of Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude ebook, click here.]


The following17 success principles have been extracted from hundreds of the most successful persons that the 20th century has ever known.


1. Positive mental attitude

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Read the complete article here.

“Positive mental attitude (PMA) is a concept first introduced in 1937 by Napoleon Hill in the book Think and Grow Rich. The book never actually uses the term but discusses the importance of positive thinking as a contributing factor of success.[1] Napoleon, along with W. Clement Stone, founder of Combined Insurance, later wrote Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, defines positive mental attitude as comprising the ‘plus’ characteristics represented by words as faith, integrity, hope, optimism, courage, initiative, generosity, tolerance, tact, kindliness and good common sense.[2][3]

Positive mental attitude is that philosophy which asserts that having an optimistic disposition in every situation in one’s life attracts positive changes and increases achievement.[4] Adherents employ a state of mind that continues to seek, find, and execute ways to win, or find a desirable outcome, regardless of the circumstances. This concept is the opposite of negativity, defeatism, and hopelessness. Optimism and hope are vital to the development of PMA.[5]

Positive mental attitude (PMA) is the philosophy of finding greater joy in small joys, to live without hesitation or holding back our most cherished, held in high esteem, and highest personal virtues and values.”

2. Definiteness of purpose

Definiteness of Purpose means we must have a clear understanding of what we want and it must be a burning desire and passion for us. When you have a definiteness of purpose you will not be distracted by anything that takes you away from pursuing this purpose. (Editors note: this definition was found on self development.com).

3. Go the extra mile

To go the extra mile means to go above and beyond what is expected, to make a bigger effort than is required, to exert special energy in order to accomplish a task.


4. Accurate Thinking

“Accurate Thinking is the mental process that enables us to identify;y that which is TRUE and RELEVANT. It is more than critical thinking which is just our ability to analyze the agenda and thoughts of others. Accurate Thanking is concerned with creating new agendas, new thoughts, and new visions.”(quoted from www.naphill.org)


5. Self-discipline

The ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what on thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it. (Definition from Oxford Languages).

Self-discipline does not come from a place of forcing yourself to do something. Self-discipline is enforced by controlling your thoughts and your actions towards a specific outcome. By use of affirmations and autosuggestion, you will begin to see your behavior change. Surround yourself with people that support your vision, your major definite purpose as described in Napoleon Hills best-selling book Think and Grow Rich and you will find that Self-discipline becomes much easier.

6. The mastermind

The Master Mind, Hill taught, is the pooling of intellectual, intuitive, and creative mental resources, which occurs when two or more people enter a supportive pact to assist one another’s aim. A Master Mind group multiplies the mental powers of all its participants. This is the ‘secret ingredient.’ Hill insisted that delivers lasting success.” ~Mitch Horowitz~ (American writer in the occult and esoteric themes. He is the former editor of TarcherPerigee.)

“The Master Mind effort is to get those of like mind, form an alliance, to work actively in a spirit of perfect harmony towards accomplishing a definite purpose.” ~Joseph Rodrigues~ (YouTuber who has deep discussions on personal development & business books based on his life experience.)

7. Applied faith

Applied Faith is the mental attitude wherein you nay clear your mind of all fears and doubts, and direct it to the attainment of whatever you desire in life.” ~Napoleon Hill~

8. Pleasing personality

“Your personality is your unique trademark. It determines your success or your failure in selling yourself. It consists of more than 30 factors, all under your control. The most important factor is your mental attitude, which must be positive to attract others to you.”

“Other important factors include flexibility, ability to control and direct your enthusiasm, and sincerity of purpose. Check yourself against these obstacles to an attractive personality: interrupting others, sarcasm, vanity, being a poor listener, insincere flattery, finding fault, challenging others without good cause, giving unsolicited advice, complaining, and attitude of superiority, the envy of others’ success, and posture and dress.” (quoted from World Class Advisors, read the complete article here.)

9. Personal Initiative

“Personal initiative can be defined as a behavioral syndrome that results in an individual taking an active and self-starting approach to work goals and tasks and persisting in overcoming barriers and setbacks” ~www.evidence-based-entrepreneurship.com~

When you have a major definite purpose (written goal) and the burning desire to achieve it, then opportunities for personal initiative are easy to find.

10. Enthusiasm

“Enthusiasm – a feeling of energetic interest in a particular subject or activity and an eagerness to be involved in it.” ~Oxford Language.com~

“Tell everyone what you want to do and someone will want to help you do it. When you discover your mission, you will feel its demand. It will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it.” ~W. Clement Stone~


11. Controlled attention

According to the Napoleon Hill Foundation, the definition of Controlled attention is the act of coordinating all the faculties of the mind and directing their combined power to a definite end; an act that can only be achieved by the strictest form of self-discipline.


12. Teamwork

“The combined action of a group of people especially when effective and efficient.” ~Oxford Languages~

Team of mountian climbers helping each other up a steep slope


“Teamwork is harmonious cooperation that is willing, voluntary, and free. Whenever a spirit of teamwork is the dominating influence in business or industry, success is inevitable. Harmonious cooperation is a priceless asset that you can acquire in proportion to your giving.” ~Napoleon Hill~

13. Learning from adversity and defeat

TheEntrepreneurWay.com says this about Learning from adversity and defeat, “… the principle of learning from adversity makes it possible for you to transmute all your past failures and mistakes, into an asset which will help you achieve outstanding success in the future.” (read the full article here).


14. Creative vision


(Excerpt from Creative vision the World Advisor PDF article on the cultivate creative vision) – “Creative vision requires you to stimulate your imagination to work toward your definite major purpose and put the results of that imagination to work. Express by people unafraid of criticism …”

15. Budgeting time and money

“Effectiveness in human endeavor calls for the organized budgeting of time. For the average man, the 24 hours of each day should be divided as follows: 8 hours of work, 8 hours for sleep, 8 hours for recreation, and spare time.

The successful person budgets time, income, and expenditures, living within his means, The failure squanders time and income with a contemptuous disregard for their value.

Tell me how you use your spare time and how you spend your money, and I will tell you where and what you will be ten years from now.” ~Napoleon Hill~

Bonus Material:

Here is an excellent time management/productivity hack that I learned from my mentor Miles Beckler (Miles Beckler.com)

This is a “productivity system” I’ve been using for years to build my empire…

The first step is to prioritize the three most important things that you need to get done.

Some people do this the night before… Some do it every morning.

There are benefits to doing this the night before, but as long as it gets done key is to write it down on a piece of paper and keep it near your workstation.

Something actually shifts when the ink hits the paper!

I like 3 x 5 cards because they hold up better and they stand out…

I can usually get four separate lists out of one card…

But I also scribble it out on my legal pad that’s for love random notes some days…

Whatever it takes, just write it out… Every. Single. Day!

Here’s what mine is today:

1. Send broadcast email to my list

2. Choose/ finish hiring VA

3. Outline new “7-day challenge” lead magnet

Important note…Posting to Instagram” is rarely important but publishing a new keyword targeted blog post is almost always important.

Then, when you get to your computer to get started…

Your note with the three things you’re working on from the night before will be staring at you in the face.

Now there is no question about what to work on.

Accomplish #1 without distraction and without delay…

Then, move on to #2 and then #3.

After you get all three of your most important tasks completed, you can move on to answering emails, sending outreach emails, posting social, etc.


To be perfectly honest…

You can write another list of three and focus on more important tasks…

Like researching and mapping out your next blog post 😉 Thus building your business more quickly.

This is the bricklayer’s approach to success…

One brick at a time the entire house is built…

In each brick needs to be strategic and perfectly placed or us the house won’t be able to stand on its own.

So, what bricks are you laying today?

Then, once you get those done…

What three bricks are you laying this weekend?

This is the path to long term success in life and business that can support you in the lifestyle you deserve.” ~Miles Beckler~ (Miles Beckler.com).


16. Maintain sound physical and mental health

“Dr, Hill ranks sound health as the second most valuable richness of life, the first Have a positive mental attitude and financial wealth is listed on the end.” ~Ray Cantu~ (writing for the Napoleon Hill Foundation).

17. Use cosmic habit force (universal law)

“Cosmic habit force is the law which makes every living creature, every particle of matter subject to the influence of its environment. It can work for you or against you. The choice is yours.” ~Wold Class Advisors~

Hill defines cosmic habit force as “Nature’s method of giving fixation to all habits so that they may carry on automatically once they have been set in motion.”

“You are who you are because of your habitual thoughts and actions. . . You control your destiny to an astonishing degree by shaping your thoughts. Then those thoughts develop into patterns and cosmic habit force takes over. But YOU are responsible for the first step – creating consciousness.” ~ Randy Gage~ (RandyGage.com, success & prosperity blog).



There you have it, the 17 success principles from Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone’s book Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude.

The question is “What are you going to do with this life-changing wisdom?

Will you take action?

“Action takers are money makers.”

Take Action and begin to form new habits based on the 17 success principles.

“Do it Now!”


Editor’s Note:

“Not all readers are successful, but all successful people are readers.” ~Harry S.Turman (33rd president of the United States).

Reading is one of the most common habits among successful people. Yet, many of us don’t read on a regular basis. I encourage you to develop the habit of reading.

To help you increase your knowledge and success, I am giving away a free ebook copy of Success Through a Positive Attitude.

Click here to download your FREE copy of the Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude ebook.






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