Live Harmoniously with Others

By Napoleon Hill

Over 400 self-made millionaires, notably Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, as well as Charles M. Schwab, were researched by the then journalist Napoleon Hill nearly a century ago. “Think and Grow Rich,” a 1937 best-seller, was the result of his interviews and research.

Hill’s “Philosophy of Achievement” is built on the principles of freedom, democracy, capitalism, and harmony. He claimed that significant personal accomplishments would be impossible without these foundations. In this post I am going to share some wisdom from the great Napoleon Hill that will change the way you think and work with other.

Anyone who aspires to success in life must recognise the causes of failure. How else can we avoid the pitfalls? In my research into human relations, I have found at least thirty major causes of failure. The granddaddy of them all is the lack of ability to get along harmoniously with others.

A great businessman – one of the wealthiest men of his day – once told me that he had a five-point measuring stick he used in choosing people for advancement to high executive jobs. The five points are:

1. Faculty for getting along with others.

2. Loyalty to those to whom loyalty is due.

3. Dependability under all circumstances.

4. Patience in all situations.

5. Ability to do a given job well.

It is notable that job ability came last. That’s because the more ability one has for a task, the more objectionable one may be if lacking the other four traits.


Charles M. Schwab was promoted by Andrew Carnegie from a day labourer to a $75,000 a year job which was a fortune in those days. But Schwab also got a bonus that sometimes reached one million dollars a year. Carnegie said the salary was for what he inspired others to do.

Your ability to inspire others is a blank check on the bank of life that you can fill in for whatever you desire. If you lack this ability, you can take steps to acquire it.

Here are some rules to adopt and follow:

  • Go out of your way to speak a kind word or render some useful service where it is not expected.
  • Modify your voice to convey a feeling of warmth and friendship to those you address.
  • Direct your conversation to subjects of greatest interest to your listeners. Talk ‘with’ them rather than ‘to’ them. Consider the persons with whom you’re conversing as the most interesting in the world, at least at the moment.
  • Soften your expression frequently with a smile as you speak.
  • Never, under any circumstance, use profanity or obscenity.
  • Keep your religious and political views to yourself.
  • Never ask a favour of anyone you haven’t yourself helped at some time.
  • Be a good listener. Inspire others to speak freely.
  • Remember that an ounce of optimism is worth a ton of pessimism.
  • Close each day with this prayer: ‘I ask not more blessings, but more wisdom with which to make better use of the blessings I now possess. And give me, please, more understanding that I may occupy more space in the hearts of my fellow humans by rendering more service tomorrow than I have rendered today.’

Napoleon Hill’s Unlimited Success 52 Steps to Personal & Financial Reward – Week 21

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