Oliver Napoleon Hill was born on the 26th of October 1883 and died on the 8th of November 1970. He was an American who authored some of the best selling self-help books of all time. Despite this success, he is widely regarded as controversial and to some extent fraudulent, due to laying claim to many successes or events taking place, without any evidence to back it up.
His first successful book was The Law of Success, published in 1928 but due to the Great Depression, his newfound wealth didn’t last long. His following books were not successful, until Think and Grow Rich was published in 1937, which was co-written by his new wife, who subsequently divorced him in the same year.
Away from writing, Hill was charged with fraud and has had many of his claims disputed, such as meeting Andrew Carnegie or helping President Wilson to negotiate the surrender of Germany at the end of World War 1.
Whether you dispute his claims or not, what is clear is that his books did inspire many and hit a nerve during times of struggle and financial depression in the interwar period. His quotes provide an insight into his writing style, attitudes and beliefs during this time.
1. The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.
2. Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.
3. You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.
4. When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.
5. If you can’t do great things, do small things in a great way.
6. Do not wait: the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.
7. Before success comes in any man’s life, he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and, perhaps, some failure. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to quit. That is exactly what the majority of men do. More than five hundred of the most successful men this country has ever known told the author their greatest success came just one step beyond the point at which defeat had overtaken them.
8. Set your mind on a definite goal and observe how quickly the world stands aside to let you pass.
9. When your desires are strong enough, you will appear to possess superhuman powers to achieve.
10. Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.
11. You may be hurt if you love too much, but you will live in misery if you love too little.
12. A quitter never wins and a winner never quits.
13. Our only limitations are those we set up in our own minds
14. The man who does more than he is paid for will soon be paid for more than he does.
15. A quitter never wins-and-a winner never quits.
16. Happiness is found in doing, not merely possessing.
17. Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.
18. Action is the real measure of intelligence.
19. An educated man is not, necessarily, one who has an abundance of general or specialized knowledge. An educated man is one who has so developed the faculties of his mind that he may acquire anything he wants, or its equivalent, without violating the rights of others.
20. Every adversity, every failure, every heartbreak, carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.
21. More gold had been mined from the mind of men than the earth it self
22. A goal is a dream with a deadline
23. Cherish your vision and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.
24. We refuse to believe that which we don’t understand.
25. Opinions are the cheapest commodities on earth. Everyone has a flock of opinions ready to be wished upon anyone who will accept them. If you are influenced by “opinions” when you reach DECISIONS, you will not succeed in any undertaking.
26. I will eliminate hatred, envy, jealousy, selfishness, and cynicism, by developing love for all humanity, because I know that a negative attitude toward others can never bring me success. I will cause others to believe in me, because I will believe in them, and in myself.
27. To win the big stakes in this changed world, you must catch the spirit of the great pioneers of the past, whose dreams have given to civilization all that it has of value, the spirit that serves as the life-blood of our own country – your opportunity and mine, to develop and market our talents.
28. Wise men, when in doubt whether to speak or to keep quiet, give themselves the benefit of the doubt, and remain silent.
29. If you must speak ill of another, do not speak it .
30. Hold a picture of yourself long and steadily enough in your mind’s eye, and you will be drawn toward it.
31. Put your foot upon the neck of the fear of criticism by reaching a decision not to worry about what other people think, do, or say.
32. One who has loved truly, can never lose entirely. Love is whimsical and temperamental. Its nature is ephemeral, and transitory. It comes when it pleases,and goes away without warning. Accept and enjoy it while it remains, but spend no time worrying about its departure. Worry will never bring it back.
33. There is a difference between WISHING for a thing and being READY to receive it. No one is ready for a thing, until he believes he can acquire it. The state of mind must be BELIEF, not mere hope or wish. Open-mindedness is essential for belief.
34. Perhaps we shall learn, as we pass through this age, that the ‘other self” is more powerful than the physical self we see when we look into a mirror.
35. Helen Keller became deaf, dumb, and blind shortly after birth. Despite her greatest misfortune, she has written her name indelibly in the pages of the history of the great. Her entire life has served as evidence that no one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as reality.
36. Those who succeed in an outstanding way seldom do so before the age of 40. More often, they do not strike their real pace until they are well beyond the age of 50.
37. There are no limitations to the mind except those that we acknowledge.
38. Neglecting to broaden their view has kept some people doing one thing all their lives.
39. If you are not learning while you’re earning, you are cheating yourself out of the better portion of your compensation.
40. Remember,too,that all who succeed in life get off to a bad start,and pass through many heartbreaking struggles before they “arrive”. The turning point in the lives of those who succeed usually comes at some moment of crisis,through which they are introduced to their “other selves”.
41. If you must speak ill of another, do not speak it, write it in the sand near the water’s edge.
42. Any ideas, plan, or purpose may be placed in the mind through repetition of thought
43. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire brings a small amount of heat.
44. Remember that it is not the lawyer who knows the most law, but the one who best prepares his case, who wins.
45. A genius is simply one who has taken full possession of his own mind and directed it toward objectives of his own choosing, without permitting outside influences to discourage or mislead him.
46. The strongest oak of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It’s the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds and rains and the scorching sun.
47. First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.
48. Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.
49. You become what you think about
50. Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.
51. If you give up before your goal has been reached, you are a “quitter.” A QUITTER NEVER WINS AND A WINNER NEVER QUITS. Lift this sentence out, write it on a piece of paper in letters an inch high, and place it where you will see it every night before you go to sleep, and every morning before you go to work
52. Remember that your dominating thoughts attract, through a definite law of nature, by the shortest and most convenient route, their physical counterpart. Be careful what your thoughts dwell upon.
53. If you believe yourself unfortunate because you have loved and lost, perish the thought. One who has loved truly, can never lose entirely.
54. Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.
55. Most so called FAILURES are only temporary defeats
56. Awake,arise,and assert yourself,you dreamers of the world. Your star is now in ascendancy.
57. The only limitation is that which one sets up in one’s own mind.
58. You are entitled to know that two entities occupy your body. One of these entities is motivated by and responds to the impulse of fear. The other is motivated by and responds to the impulse of faith. Will you be guided by faith or will you allow fear to overtake you?
59. Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve regardless of how many times you may have failed in the past or how lofty your aims and hopes may be.
60. Fears are nothing more than a state of mind.