Napoleon Hill – The Master Key to Success

The Fifth Principle: Pleasing Personality


I'm happy to be with you for our fifth visit and our subject is a pleasing personality.


Your personality determines whether people are attracted to you or shy away from you.


It is the show window in which you display your character to the world and it is the one thing which distinguishes you from all other human beings.


It is your trademark by which people recognize you and it is the thing which determines your success or failure in selling yourself through life.


Therefore you should see your personality just as others see it, so you may improve it, where it needs improvement.


Your personality consists of more than 30 different factors, traits and characteristics.


Because of the limit of time I can devote to this visit with you, I can mention only the more important of your traits of personality.


But before I begin to describe these traits, I want you to know, that every trait which goes into your personality is under your control and you can improve it, so it will be whatever you want it to be.


Let us start with the most important trait of your personality – your mental attitude.


This is a trait with which you attract people to you and cause them to like you or repel them and cause them to dislike you.


Your mental attitude must be positive if you attract people to you.


How do other people know whether your mental attitude is positive or negative, you may ask.


Well the answer is easy.


First of all, other people tune in and pick up your mental attitude by telepathy, without your saying a word or making a move.


But there are other ways they can tell whether your mental attitude is negative or positive. You disclose this information by the tone of your voice, whether it is pleasant or harsh, by the expression on your face, whether it is soft and pleasing or harsh and scowling, by the courtesy and consideration you show other people or the lack of these.


So you see there is no escape from revealing to others the exact nature of your personality.


The next most important trait of your personality consists of your flexibility of your mental attitude or your lack of it.


If you have flexibility, you adjust yourself to all the circumstances in your relations with others without losing your composure or allowing yourself to become irritable or angry.


Just remember if you have flexibility of your mental attitude, it will be impossible for anyone to make you angry or to irritate you without your consent or cooperation.


Now this is worth knowing isn't it.


You cannot control the actions of other people, which might justify you becoming irritated by them, but you can control your reaction to all such circumstances by exercising your trait of flexibility. And you will observe that all people in the higher brackets of success have this flexibility and they do control their reaction to the

influences of other people.


The third most important trait of a pleasing personality is the ability to control and direct your emotion of enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is one of the means by which you can give forcefulness to your words, but you must be able to turn it on and off at will as definitely as you can turn on and off water at the spigot.


Uncontrolled enthusiasm often makes people boresome. It also may open wide the window to one's mind through which other people may enter and influence one in ways he does not wish to be influenced.


The fourth most important trait of a pleasing personality is a sincerity of purpose.


The person who is not sincere in all relationships with others is soon detected and rejected, because no one is attracted to the person who does endeavours to deceive others.


Sincerity is one quality of character which cannot be successfully faked, not even by the most astute rascal or the most efficient actor. Because insincerity evermore carries with it some warning sign, which other people recognize.


You have only to go back into your own experience with insincere people to prove the truth of what I have stated.


There are 26 other important traits, which give one a pleasing personality, but I do not have time to give them to you in this visit.


Now let us turn our attention to some of the common habits, which destroy a pleasing personality.


Please check yourself as I describe these negative habits and you may make discoveries about yourself sufficient to enable you to rebuild your entire personality, so it will become a master salesman in your behalf.



One of the most destructive habits, which make one's personality objectionable is that of breaking in and running away with the conversation when others are speaking.



Sarcasm expressed by insinuations and wisecracks, which are not so wise, is near the head of the list of habits which give one a negative personality.



Vanity expressed by either words or actions is sure to make one unpopular.



Indifference in listening while others are speaking is sure to be noticed and resented. It is more profitable to be a good listener than it is to be a good talker. Because one is always able to learn something while listening to others, but never learns anything from hearing himself talk.



The attempt to flatter where flattery is obviously not deserved will bring quick resentment from others. Also it will put them on notice, if they are wise, that the flatterer wants something he perhaps should not get.



The habit of finding fault with the world at large and the people in general is never a popular habit. And it is no part of a pleasing personality. It is far better to direct conversation to the circumstances and things, which are right, than to complain of those which one believes to be wrong.



One of the very worst habits which destroy a pleasing personality is that, of openly and directly challenging those with whom one may not agree, where there is no obvious reason for doing so, except the desire to be on the opposite side.



The habit of volunteering unsolicited advice to others who have not requested it, can make one an intolerable bore. Free advice usually is considered to be worth just what it costs, which is nothing but the patience with which to listen to it.



The habit of speaking of one's physical ailments, worries and personal problems, may be tolerated by others, but this habit will never make one welcome or pleasing.


If you wish to make yourself welcome in your relations with others, then manage to talk about things, which interest and concern those to whom you are speaking. You will never be boresome to the person to whom you are speaking of himself and the things which interest him. A truth which all master salesmen understand and respect.



The habit of endeavouring to convey an impression of superiority through the use of words and topics unfamiliar to others is a surefire destroyer of popularity.


If you wish to sell yourself to others successfully, you must negotiate with them on their own level, through terms which they understand.



Envy of those who are successful is a trait which destroys a pleasing personality. The truly great men and women have all been known to be generous, sympathetic and joyous in connection with the good fortunes of others.



Slovenliness in body posture and in clothing never attract but always repels others. Clothes make not the man, as has been said, but they surely gave you a mighty good start if they are appropriate and properly warned.


Carelessness in body carriage and posture is immediately traceable to a negative

mental attitude.


If you are free from these twelve common habits, which make one unpopular, you probably have a very pleasing personality.


There are five other negative habits, which make one unpopular, which I have not had the time to mention.


Remember this please, if you are not liked by other people, you may be sure there is a reason, which you can detect and correct. It is unnatural for one person to dislike another without a cause.


Before you can make full use of the master key to success, you will need to make your personality pleasing. And this will require courage on your part and honesty with yourself.


A pleasing personality stands near the head of the list of assets, which make one truly rich.


I was impressed with his truth many years ago, when I heard Andrew Carnegie say that he paid his right hand mastermind ally Charles M Schwab 75000 Dollars a year for the services he rendered directly. But he often gave Mister Schwab a bonus at the end of the year of a million dollars for the influence he exerted on his associate workers, because of his pleasing personality.


You see therefore, Andrew Carnegie who has been said to have been the greatest judge of man this nation has ever known, placed a value on a pleasing personality of more than ten times as much as he valued the personal services of his right-hand man.


Perhaps this will give you a clue, that may help you up the market value of your personality.


And now, until we meet again, may I wish you health, wealth and a peace of mind.

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