"Genius is in-born, may it never be still-born."

"Oysters, irritated by grains of sand, give birth to pearls. Brains, irritated by curiosity, give birth to ideas."

"Brainpower is the bridge to the future; it is what transports you from wishful thinking to willful doing."

"Unless you keep learning & growing, the status quo has no status."

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Braindancing maestro Dilip Mukerjea has, once again, very skilfully utilised one of his favourite tools - splashmap - from his proprietary visual mapping toolbox - to capture the seventeen success habits as embodied in the pioneer of the personal development genre and author Napoleon Hill's cult classic , 'Law of Success', which dates back to the 1930's.

It is pertinent for me to point out, as I have understood, that the author's 'Law of Success', with some two decades in the making [interview, research and writing], was originally the precursor to 'Think and Grow Rich', which was, for tactical reasons, published and released first.

Thanks to the braindancer's artistic virtuosity, the resultant splash map, as shown above, now gives a gestalt perspective of all the seventeen success habits at one quick glance.

More importantly, as a reader,  one can "zoom in" to take a detailed look of the salient points of each success habit as featured respectively in the splashmap, and "zoom out" to get a bird's eye view of the whole repertoire.

As you can see, the  #1 success habit ~ 'Definiteness of Purpose', is placed right in the centre of the splashmap. Rightly, this first success habit deserves the centralised position, because this is the starting point of all successful personal endeavours.

Interestingly, the #17 success habit ~ 'Cosmic Habitforce', shares more or less the same spatial ranking, as shown on the splashmap.

As I have explained to my good friend,  'Cosmic Habitforce' is the summation, or to put it more accurately, the cumulative synergistic effects of the preceding sixteen success habits in terms of tactical execution.

I like to add that Dilip's latest visual mapping endeavour has unwittingly brought me back to the late sixties or early seventies, during which the first batch of significant books that had the earliest and greatest influence on me, in terms of attaining personal success achievement, were mostly Napoleon Hill's books:

- 'Law of Success';

- 'Think and Grow Rich';

- 'The Keys to Success';

- 'Success through a Positive Mental Attitude';

- 'Succeed and  Grow Rich through Persuasion';

[The other early published works that had also influenced me tremendously included authors like Dale Carnegie, Earl Nightingale,  Paul J Meyer, and subsequently,  Steve deVore.]

I was then a young and ambitious engineer, just entering the dynamic world of work.

In a nut shell, Napoleon Hill, had impressed me most by his relentless dedication in spending some two to three decades of his working life in pursuing and researching the success secrets of the rich and famous... with a little encouragement from then industrial magnate Andrew Carnegie, of course.

As matter of fact, many of the famous people he had interviewed for 'Law of Success' were also favourite role models of mine e.g. Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, just to name a few.

Till this day, I have never forgotten what he said:

"The most powerful instrument we have in our hands is the power of our mind."

I have never ceased to be fascinated by the simplicity and the potency of his ABCs of personal achievement: CONCEIVE, BELIEVE and ACHIEVE! as illustrated on the splashmap.

It is certainly enlightening to note that even Stephen Covey had drew inspiration from Napoleon Hill's work, even though he never made that credit. He only admitted that the '7 Habits' had its origins from "200 years of success literature in the United States." That remark itself is  self explanatory.

I am sure readers can see the ostentatious similarity between Napoleon Hill's  #1 success habit and Stephen Covey's Habit #1 'Having the End in Mind'.

Celebrity peak performance coach Anthony Robbin's 'Ultimate Success Formula' [ #1: "Know precisely your desired outcome, and understand WHY?"], as embodied in his Mastery University, books as well as audio/video resources, is no exception, even though he has been influenced to larger extent by NLP technology.

At this juncture, I like to share my take on each of Napoleon Hill's books as mentioned above:

- 'Law of Success': the original course on the fundamentals of success - all the seventeen success habits;

- 'Think and Grow Rich': the seventeen success habits are reframed and condensed in terms of thirteen concrete steps to wealth creation (in actuality, this is a condensation of the 'Law of Success');

- 'The Keys to Success': a further elaboration of the seventeen success habits, with concrete suggestions, exercises and advice;

- 'Success Through Positive Mental Attitude': joint authorship with Clement Stone, with a further emphasis on developing a positive mental attitude;

- 'Succeed and Grow Rich Through Persuasion': joint authorship with Clement Stone, with a further emphasis on developing master salesmanship and networking;

It is pertinent to note that entrepreneur Clement Stone reportedly built his insurance business empire with these success habits.

My most productive, personal learning experience from Napoleon Hill's work is the understanding - and application - of his success habit #1 ~ 'Definiteness of Purpose'. It became my personal driving force throughout my corporate career spanning almost a quarter of a century.

Even today, as part of my "retyring", it still drives and spins my "new set of wheels", so to speak, in Ho Chi Minh City.

Come to think of it, it reverberates with quality guru W Edwards Deming's point #1 ~ 'Constancy of Purpose', as propounded in his mandatory 'Fourteen Points' for the pursuit of management excellence and organisational prosperity.

Very surprisingly, J Y Pillay, former Chairman of Singapore Airlines - who had been credited for building the airline to what it is today, A GREAT WAY TO FLY! - had personally credited his work axiom to this same success habit, but he attributed it to an ancient Hindu scripture known as Bhagavad Gita, written 2,600 years ago.

In fact, these were his exact words [in an interview with 'Sunday Times', many years ago, in Singapore]:

"Look, whenever you embark on anything, please tell me what is your objective. And there must be one. I don't want five. Just give me the principal objective. If you like, you can give me the ancillary objectives. But the principal objective must be clearly stated because later, as we go along, there will be tendencies to fudge. I don't want the principal objective to be fudged."

[J Y Pillay was often acknowledged by then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew as "one of the best brains in this part of the world that could match anyone in Corporate America.".]

I am certainly gratified to note that Napoleon Hill's work had casted so much influence on - and  empowered - so many people in the world, including yours truly.

By the way, I have an interesting lead here to share with readers. Readers who want to have all the seventeen success habits, beautifully encapsulated in individual scroll formats, can go to this link to download and print them out.

Many thanks to Donald Gordon Carty, President, Personal Development InstituteUSA, for generously sharing the free link with the world.

[Note: For more information about Napoleon Hill and his legacy, readers can visit the corporate website of the Napoleon Hill Foundation.]

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