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The Laws Of Success: Part III

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Welcome to the conclusion of this special three-part series commemorating the 21st Century Edition of Napoleon Hill's landmark work, "Law of Success," which reveals 17 Principles of Success that can help take your career and life to the next level. These are proven principles based on Hill's 25 years of research, personally studying the lives of over 500 of the world's most outstanding achievers.

Principle # 12: Concentration

"Concentration is the act of focusing the mind on a given desire until ways and means for its realization have been worked out and successfully put into operation." - Napoleon Hill.

In this age of mass communications, we are beginning to face a global epidemic of mass distraction becoming dangerous - and in some cases, lethal. (The rising pedestrian and motor vehicle driver deaths due to the host of electronic distractions is just one sad example).

The Weapons of Mass Distraction available to us are just overwhelming: email, cell phones, pagers, text messaging, video games, GPS navigational systems, video games, DVD players, TV, webcams, blackberries, faxes, iPods, and the explosion of social networking sites, to name a few. (When used intelligently, these tools can be powerful, but when used ineffectively, they become "Weapons of Mass Distraction!"

For concentration to be effective, Hill maintains that it is vitally important to keep your mind focused on ONE subject until you've mastered it; to focus on ONE given problem until you've solved that problem.

What I find helps is starting a task with a burst of energy and enthusiasm will provide the momentum to complete the task successfully. Watch Olympic sprinters at the start of a race, and you'll know what I mean.

Finally, some sensory deprivation might be in order in this age of sensory overload. Hill recommends that you set some time every day where you can enter a quiet place, close your eyes, put your fingers in your ears, block all light and sound, repeat your chief aim and see yourself in full possession of the object of your dream.

Just practicing this simple technique every day will help you concentrate on doing the essential tasks that will eventually lead to a quantum breakthrough in your life.

Principle # 13: Cooperation

"Cooperation is the foundation of all successful leadership." - Napoleon Hill.

According to Hill, there are two forms of cooperation: 1). association between a group alliance Master Mind (covered in my Law of Success Part I overview) to achieve the desired end, and 2). The cooperation between the conscious and subconscious minds to draw upon creative intelligence (a theme that continues throughout this overview).

Power is developed through organized effort. And for any organized effort to be successful, the harmonious cooperation of people focused on a singular purpose is required.

Harmony is the key. And it would serve you well to study the main personality types of people before forming a team so you can bring together people who compliment each other rather than compete with each other. ("What Type Am I" by Renee Baron is an excellent first book to understanding personality types).

One thing in the "Law of Success" that struck me as very powerful was an important observation that Napoleon Hill made: "A great leader understands how to create a "motivating objective" that will be accepted with enthusiasm by every member of [the] group...Most people will work harder to attain an ideal than they will for money."

What is your company's or team's "motivating objective" or ideal? Figure that one out, and the wings of cooperation will carry you and your team members to new heights!

Principle # 14: Profiting by Failure

"If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate." -Thomas Watson, Sr., Founder of IBM

Profiting from failure is an overdone topic in personal development, so that I won't spend too much time on this principle. It's overdone because there's much truth in people reaching higher levels of success by persevering and learning from failure instead of quitting. It's no accident that John D. Rockefeller felt that perseverance is the most important quality to achieving success.

I've observed over the years that success comes to leaders in almost direct proportion to the amount of adversity and failures they've overcome and learned from.

That old cliché, "if at first, you don't succeed, try, try again,' applies here. Of course, I'm not saying you necessarily keep on doing the same thing expecting the same results (another definition for insanity).

Seek counselors and mentors you can trust to help evaluate the effectiveness of your plans. Explore the reasons limiting your success by asking them how they see you limiting yourself.

If your first plan to achieve your chief aim in life does not succeed, then change it! And keep on changing it until you've reached your target, just as an airplane makes thousands of adjustments and flight corrections before reaching its destination.

Principle # 15: Tolerance

"Minds are like parachutes; they work best when open." - Lord Thomas Dewar.

If we adopt a closed mind, we stop acquiring knowledge. And natural law states that we are either growing or dying.

I don’t like the word "tolerance." I prefer embracing new ideas and having an insatiable curiosity for learning other people's customs, belief systems, and unique perspectives. I look at it as an adventure!

Finding ways to harness cultural differences within teams and organizations will be the new currency in an increasingly globalized economy.

Principle # 16: The Golden Rule

Napoleon Hill recognized that the frivolous use of power from the knowledge being shared with you would only backfire and be destructive to self and others. The selfish pursuit of your chief aim without regard for others will eventually return to haunt you.

We reap what we sow. What goes around comes around. Therefore, the Golden Rule is: do unto others as you'd have done unto you. Before doing anything, ask yourself if it will benefit or hurt the person involved.

It's easy to be self-centered. To transcend self, think more of what the other person wants and feels before acting.

See the good in others. Catch people doing things right instead of always looking for the wrong. Kindness and justice toward others go a long way in establishing successful business and personal relationships. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: "Trust men, and they will be true to you; treat them greatly, and they will show themselves great."

Hill takes us more profound with the Golden Rule philosophy when he says, "think of others as you'd wish them to think of you." Live this philosophy, and your life will be enriched in many unforeseen ways.

Principle # 17: The Universal Law of Cosmic Habitforce

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle.

The Universal Law of Cosmic Habitforce is that intangible, unseen force is made tangible and visible. Just observe nature, and you will experience Cosmic Habitforce in action.

When you fix in your mind a purpose consciousness focused on your chief aim in life through repetition of thoughts and deeds; Cosmic Habitforce will take over and carry it to its logical conclusion, just as an acorn seed will always produce an oak tree through proper care and nurturing.

It takes constant vigilance, determination, and willpower to maintain that purpose consciousness, but eventually, Cosmic Habitforce will always bear fruit, and your life will be richly rewarded.

In closing, I'd like to point out that at the beginning of every chapter in Napoleon Hill's "Law of Success" are the words: "You can do it if you believe you can!"

It's that simple. I'm not saying it's easy, but it is that simple. Mahatma Gandhi once said, "If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn't have it initially."

Believe in yourself! Believe you can do it and move forward this day with faith and confidence-many blessings to you along your journey.