Napoleon Hill

The Master Key To Success

Principle 1: Definiteness of Purpose

Listen to "Dynamic Thought - 3. UNIVERSALITY OF LIFE AND MIND - by William Walker Atkinson (1906)" on Spreaker.

How do you do? I'm very happy to have this personal visit with you. Won't you be seated please.


And now, may I request that you forget all your problems and just relax while I bring you the master key with which you may unlock the door to any opportunity that your mind can conceive.


The master key consists of 17 principles the first of which is definiteness of purpose.


Right here at the beginning of our visit I am going to make you a promise:


If you will decide definitely, what you want most during your entire lifetime and write it down on paper so I can read it, I will give you the master key with which you may open the door to the attainment of your desires, whatever they may be.


The exact moments when I will deliver this master key to you, will depend entirely upon when you are ready to receive it.


This is the first of 13 messages that I will deliver to you and in each message I will describe the master key in terms that you will understand, if you are ready to understand.


And now, I shall give you the first cue as to the nature of the great master key, which has been responsible for all the great successes in every calling in every part of the world. Please listen carefully to what I have to say, because you may discover the secret of the master key in this first visit.


You may get your first cue as to the nature of the great master key, when I tell you, that psychologists have discovered a natural law, which is the very foundation of all personal successes.


And I can describe it to you in one short sentence, so you can understand it:


Whatever the mind can conceive and believe the mind can achieve.


Isn't that a profound statement?


You will notice, that it says nothing about the need for education, but simply that

whatever your mind can conceive and believe your mind can achieve


Now if you want evidence that the mind can achieve whatever the mind can conceive, without the benefit of formal education, you only have to remember, that Thomas Edison conceived the idea of becoming an inventor and lived to become the world's greatest scientists in the field of invention, with only three months of common school education.


When I first heard Andrew Carnegie describe this natural law, which makes it possible for you and I and everyone else to write his own price tag in life and attain it, I became so enthused over it, that I began the search for the power back of it. And my curiosity let me finally to the discovery of the master key, which I shall reveal to you, if you are ready to receive it.


My search lead me to the study of the spiritual forces with which all of us are blessed and it was in this field, that I came upon a clue which has enabled me to help millions of people to find their earthly destinies


I want to describe my discovery and the simplest terms possible because it will reveal to you, why it is true, that 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 or aims and hopes may be.


I caught my first leading glimpse of the profound law, which provides the means by which we may choose our own purpose in life and attain it, while I was being coached by Andrew Carnegie during the organization of the science of success philosophy.


I had just finished telling Mr. Carnegie that I feared he had chosen the wrong person to give the world the first practical philosophy of personal success because of my youth, my lack of education and my lack of finances. Well at this point Mr. Carnegie delivered a lecture that I shall never forget, because it changed my entire life and pave the way for my helping to change the lives of millions of people, some of them not yet born.


“Let me call your attention to a great power, which is under your control”, said Mr.

Carnegie,” a power, which is greater than poverty, greater than the lack of

Education, greater than all of your fears and superstitions combined. It is the

power to take possession of your own mind and direct it to whatever aims you

may desire.


“This profound power”, Mr. Carnegie continued,” is the gift of the creator and it must have been considered the greatest of all of his gifts to man, because it is the only thing over which man has the complete and unchallengeable right of control and direction.”


“When you speak of your poverty and lack of education”, Mr. Carnegie explained, “you are simply directing your mind power to attract these undesirable circumstances.”


“Because it is true, that whatever your mind feeds upon, your mind attracts to you. Now you see why it is important, that you recognize that all success begins with definiteness of purpose, with a clear picture in your mind of precisely what you want from life.”


Then Mr. Carnegie continued his speech with a description of a great universal

Truth, which made such an impact upon my mind, that I began then and there to give

myself a new outlook on life and set up for myself a goal so far above my

previous achievements, that it shocked my friends and relatives when they heard about it.


“Everyone”, said Mr. Carnegie, “comes to the earth plane blessed with the privilege of controlling his mind power and directing it to whatever aims he may choose.”


“But”, he continued, “everyone brings over with him at Birth the equivalent of two sealed envelopes:


One of which is clearly labelled “the riches you may enjoy if you take possession of your mind and direct it to aims of your own choice”


The other is labelled “the penalties you must pay, if you neglect to take possession of your mind and direct it”.


And now let me reveal to you, said Mr. Carnegie, the contents of those to see envelopes:


In the one labelled “riches” is this list of blessings:


1. sound health

2. peace of mind

3. a labour of love of your own choice

4. freedom from fear and worry

5. a positive mental attitude

6. material riches of your own choice and quantity


In the sealed envelope labelled “penalties”, Mr. Carnegie continued, “is this list of the prices one must pay for neglecting to take possession of his own mind:


1. ill-health

2. fear and worry

3. indecision and doubt

4. frustration and discouragement throughout life

5. poverty and want

6. and a whole flock of evils consisting of envy, greed, jealousy, anger, hatred and superstition



Now my mission in life is to help you and everyone who needs my help to open

up and use the contents of the sealed envelope labeled “riches”.


And the starting point, from which you must take off, if you wish to write your own ticket from here on out for the remainder of your lives, I will describe for you in these simple instructions:



Procure a neat pocket-sized notebook or something on the order of this one here loose leave affair.

And on page one write down a clear description of your major desire in life, the one circumstance or position or thing, which you will be willing to accept as your idea of success.

And remember, before you begin writing, that your online limitations are those which you set up in your own mind or permit others to set up for you





On page 2 of your notebook, write down a clear statement of precisely what you intend to give in return for that which you desire from life. And then start in right where you stand now to begin giving.




Memorize both of your statements, what you desire from life and what you intend to give in return for it and repeat them at least a dozen times daily.



And always end your statements with this expression of gratitude for the blessings, with which you were gifted at birth:


“I ask not, oh divine Providence, for more riches, but more wisdom, with which to accept and use wisely the riches I have received at birth in the form of the power to control and direct my mind to whatever aims I desire.”


If you are not too successful or self-satisfied to accept and express this profound prayer, if you accept it and express it in the same spirit of humble sincerity in which I pass it on to you a new and a better world will reveal itself to you. A world in which you will see reflected the circumstances and the things, which you yourself have created.



In my next visit, I will give you a description of the second principle of success through the application of which you may make use of the education and experience of other people and get the necessary help you may need in attaining your definite major purpose in life


And now, let me close this, our first visit with my favourite expression of gratitude:


“Oh divine providence, I ask not for more riches, but more wisdom, with which to make wiser use of the riches you gave me at birth consisting in the power to control and direct my own mind to whatever aims I desire.”



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