“Whatever you vividly imagine,

Ardently desire,

Sincerely believe,

And enthusiastically act upon,

Must inevitably come to pass.

~Paul J. Meyer, founder of Success Motivation Institute

All successful people have developed one characteristic within themselves that virtually guarantees their success. Napoleon Hill, the author of “Think and Grow Rich”, stated that all the people included in his famous study of success, possessed this power. They had learned it somehow, somewhere, over time, in their lives. This “secret power” is the ultimate result of practicing the rest of the 13 learned characteristics that all successful people have in common. A chapter in the book is devoted to each characteristic. Published in 1933, “Think and Grow Rich” spawned the self-help industry, and is number four on the all-time leading best-seller list, behind “The Bible”, “The Joy of Cooking”, and “Harry Potter”.

The number one habit these super successful people, the Edisons, the Einsteins, Fords, the Carnegies of the world, practiced, as indicated in the title of HILL’s book, was to “think”, virtually 24 hours a day. Yes, even dreams are a form of thought and day dreams are vital to success. Dreams are an extraordinary function of the brain, our “Dream Machine”. Everyone has a brain but most allow it to lie fallow and deteriorate. The brain allows us to “see” things that do not actually exist. Shakespeare called the imagination the “minds eye”. Dreams generate ideas and ideas motivate to action.

Paul Meyer, a student of Hill’s, and one of the most successful people of whom you’ve never heard (on a level with Sir Richard Branson), combined all the characteristics into one simple little quote above. In it you see that the brain imagines the idea; the constant visualization generates desire (the fuel on which we run); absolute belief in the result creates the necessary confidence; enthusiastic action over time blasts away obstacles; and finally, PERSISTENCE , the SECRET POWER, yields, eventually, to SUCCESS..achieving the goal, whatever that goal is. The classic example of persistence in Hill’s book is the story of Edison failing over 10,000 times before discovering the secret of a successful electric light bulb.

One of the most remarkable studies in persistence comes from the world of sports, as reported in the book, “Par For The Course” by Steve Riach:

“(Professional Golfer) Mac O’Grady began trying for his tour card in 1971 and failed at Qualifying School a record 16 times before finally making it in 1982 on his 17th try. His story is a study in perseverance. During his annual attempt to become a Tour pro, O’Grady supported himself by working as a cook, a dishwasher, busboy, caddie, and funeral home worker. Persistence paid off for O’Grady, as by 1990, he had won over $1 million on the Tour.”

You must believe that you can achieve it before you will be able to generate the white-hot heat of desire necessary to buckle down and maintain for the long haul. The desire creates enthusiasm which helps blast away the obstacles… as if coming out of a sand trap.

As Napoleon Hill said,

“Whatever the mind of man (or woman) can conceive, and believe, he can achieve.”


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