Some Succeed, Others Fail... Why?

Some Succeed, Others Fail . . . Why?

by Napoleon Hill


“Some succeed, others fail . . . why?” This question has mystified people since humans first became dissatisfied with cave dwellings and tried to find some way to make life more comfortable. Perhaps the following comparisons between the characteristics of a failure and a successful person will help answer the question.


The successful person knows precisely what they desire, has a plan for getting it, believes in their ability to get it, and devotes a major portion of their time to acquiring it. The failure has no definite purpose in life, believes that all success is the result of “luck,” and moves on their own initiative only when forced to do so.


The success is a master salesperson who has learned the art of influencing others to cooperate in a friendly spirit to carry out their plans and purposes. The failure finds fault with people. She goes out of her way to let them know about her critical attitude.


The successful person thinks before she speaks. She weighs her words carefully. And she emphasizes her likes concerning people, minimizing her dislikes or not mentioning them at all. The unsuccessful person does just the opposite. She speaks first, thinks later. Her words bring only regret and embarrassment and cost her irretrievable benefits because of the resentment they engender.


The successful person expresses opinions only after having informed herself so she can do so intelligently. The failure expresses opinions on subjects about which she has little or no knowledge.


The successful person budgets time, income and expenditures. She lives within her means. The failure squanders time and income with a contemptuous disregard for their value.


The successful person takes a keen interest in people, especially those with whom she has something in common, and cultivates a bond of friendship with them. The failure cultivates only those from whom she wants something.


The successful person is open-minded and tolerant on all subjects, toward all people. The failure has a closed mind, steeped in intolerance, which shuts her off from the recognition of favorable opportunities and the friendly cooperation of others.


The successful person keeps abreast of the times and makes it an important responsibility to know what is going on, not only in her own business, profession or community but throughout the entire world. The failure concerns herself only with her immediate needs, acquiring them by whatever means are available – fair or foul.


The successful person keeps her mind and outlook on life positive at all times. She recognizes that the space she occupies in the world and the success she enjoys depend upon the quality and quantity of service she renders. She makes it a habit to render more service than she promises. The failure looks for “something for nothing,” or something under the table which she did not earn. And when she fails to get it, she blames the greed of others.


The successful person has a keen respect for her Creator and expresses it frequently through prayers and deeds of helpfulness to others. The failure believes in nothing but her own desire for food and shelter and seeks those at the expense of others when and where she can.


All in all, there is a big difference in both the words and the deeds of the successful person and the failure. But each person is where she is and what she is because of her own mental attitude toward herself and others.


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Comment by Walter Reid on May 24, 2014 at 6:11am

I Have Read Think & Grow Rich A Hundreds Of Times And Still Can Not Get Enough Of This Book If You Have Not Read This Book Do So Now It Only Costs A Few Bucks ....

They Say There Is A Secret In This Book I For One Have Not Found It If Any One Knows Please Tell Me

Comment by J. Green on May 10, 2014 at 2:07pm

An Inspiring Article -- Great Tenets from which to Live !

Comment by Louise Cardow on October 31, 2013 at 3:45pm

Your reputation is what people think you are; your character is what you are.

You want your reputation and your character to match, but concentrate on your character.

You may be able to fool others about the kind of person you really are for a time, but it seldom lasts for long.

The surest way to make sure your character and your reputation are the same is to live your life in such a way that nothing you do would embarrass you if it were printed on the front page of the newspaper.

Good character means not ever taking ethical shortcuts, even though everyone else may be doing so.

You build good character by doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. 

~ Napoleon Hill

Comment by Shash Bhave on July 21, 2011 at 2:58am

Mr.Hill has succinctly described why people succeed and why they fail.

I want to read this every week to really instilled in my mind these principles.

Very good article.

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