Napoleon Hill

The Master Key to Success


Eleventh Principle: Creative Vision



We have now come to our 11th visit, where I shall present creative vision.


The success principle, which is responsible for the building of all of our plans, aims and purposes.


It has been said that the imagination is the workshop wherein we fashion the purposes of our brain and the ideas of our soul. I do not know of a better definition of imagination than this.


There are two forms of imagination.


First, there is synthetic imagination, which consists of organizing and putting together of recognized ideas, concepts and facts arranged in a new combination.


Very seldom does anyone create an idea or anything else absolutely new. Rather everything known to civilization is but a combination of something that is old.


Second, there is creative imagination, which operates through the sixth sense and has its base in the subconscious section of the brain and serves as the exclusive medium through which basically new ideas or facts are revealed.


Let me give you some examples of synthetic imagination in action.



Edison's invention of the incandescent electric lamp was the creation of synthetic imagination, because it was created by bringing together in a new combination two old and well-known principles.



Clarence Saunders his idea on which the piggly-wiggly storage system was based,

was the result of synthetic imagination. Because he merely borrowed the self-help

cafeteria plan and introduced it into the grocery store business.


But despite the simplicity of the plan, it is said to have yielded its organizer 4 million dollars during the first four years after it was put to work.



Henry Ford's first automobile was created through synthetic imagination. By the simple procedure of bringing together the well-known method of transportation, the horse and buggy, and the steam propelled threshing machine. Both ideas were old,

but it remained for Henry Ford to combine them in a new method of use. And he made himself the most distinguished industrialist of his era by his achievement, not to mention a fabulous fortune.



The man, who dipped a hunk of ice cream in chocolate, placed a stick in it for a handle and called an Eskimo Pie, used synthetic imagination and started a new industry, which still has a widespread outlet and grosses annually a huge sum.


It is safe to assume, that the creator of this simple plan of merchandising was well compensated for his use of his synthetic imagination.



F W Woolworth made use of synthetic imagination, by the simple procedure of setting up a retail store, in which a large variety of merchandise retailing at five and ten cents per item was offered to the public. And lived to see his merchandising innovation start a series of similar retail stores, which grows annually many millions of dollars in sales and made Woolworth rich in the bargain.


Now I shall give you some examples of creative imagination:



Edison's invention of the phonograph was the outgrowth of creative imagination, because no part of his invention had ever been known or used previously.



Signor Marconi's invention of wireless communication was also the outgrowth of creative imagination, because it was based on basically new ideas, which never had been used previously. He was the first to discover the means by which the ether could be made to take the place of wires in the transmission of sound.



Madame Curie's discovery of radium was also the outgrowth of creative imagination, because no one before her had ever revealed either the actual existence of radium or the method by which it could be recovered or refined.



Wilbur and Orville Wright's perfection of the modern airplane, was partly the result of creative imagination and partly the result of synthetic imagination, because others previous to their time had discovered some of the ideas they used successfully, but they were the first to coordinate those ideas, so they worked.



Robert G Letourneau made effective use of creative imagination by building heavy dirt removing machinery, which involve ideas never before used, although he was practically unskilled in engineering and had very little schooling of any kind.


I worked with mister Letourneau for a year and a half, during which I saw him in action many times, when he was drawing entirely upon the faculty of creative imagination and receiving his ideas from sources outside of his own immediate education or knowledge.


And right here, in case you have not already recognized the fact, I am bringing you very near that point where people sometimes tune in on their creative imagination and come up with ideas which benefit great numbers of people and make themselves popular and rich.


I am going to give you these suggestions solely as inspiration intended to introduce you to your faculty of creative imagination.


All the good ideas have been used up, did I hear you say? Quite to the contrary, the best ideas are yet to be revealed and put into the service of mankind.


There are no more opportunities to become rich, did I hear you say? If you will give me an acceptable plan for influencing married people to adopt and use the mastermind principle in their domestic relations, you may benefit many millions of people in homes where harmony does not now prevail. And to make for yourself a reputation worthy of the king's ransom.


If you have a better idea or plan for the use of salesmen, in any field of selling, your idea may help millions of salesmen to increase their incomes and bring you a reward worthy of the value of your idea.


I am still talking to you about exercising your faculty of imagination, but I am limited as to the number of ideas I can give you in so short of time.


But I will give you some more useful ideas in my next visit.


Imagination is a trait which becomes alert only by constant action based on the success principles I have described in these visits.


You are the one who must supply this action.

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