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The 17 Principles of Success

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A Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) is a state of mind,

which the individual must create and maintained by

methods of (his) own choice through the operation of (his) willpower based on motives of (his) own adoption.

Napoleon Hill, 1937


The above explanation is one of the most comprehensive explanations to describe what a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) is. Notice we added parentheses to denote that it applies to both women and men.

PMA Science is a tool in the pursuit of practical methods by which the individual may take possession of his/her own mind. This is because it develops the habit of directing the mind towards a positive mental attitude.

Self-mastery, perseverance, a positive mental attitude, and wisdom are things one uses to achieve a meaningful, fulfilling life, rather than some esoteric field of academic study. Certainly, many of history’s great minds not only understood PMA for what it truly is, but they also sought it out and lived: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas A. Edison, Henry Ford, Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla, Benjamin Franklin, Theodore Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Nikola Tesla, Rene Descartes, Ear Nightingale, Bob Proctor, and many others. Each read, studied, contributed, lived, or admired the principles that prompted Napoleon Hill to write PMA Science of Success, and Think and Grow Rich among some of his books.

The following lessons from Napoleon Hill on this subject offer many suggestions regarding how an individual may take charge of his/her mind. This will enable them to cultivate a positive mental attitude.

The 17 principles of success are based on his study and best-selling books Law of success (1928) and Think and Grow Rich (1937). In addition, Dr. Hill defined the 17 principles of PMA Science of Success as “for classroom use only” where students can apply them and achieve significant success in their careers and personal lives.

PMA Science consists of 17 major principles, but we can only cover the most fundamental aspects of each of these principles to maintain a positive mental attitude and to maintain a grateful attitude.

The 17 principles of success and achievement are:

  1. Definiteness of Purpose

For everything you do in life, you need a purpose. No matter if it is personal or business-related, this is the first step in your quest for achievement and success. What do you wish to accomplish? What is your ambiguous goal? Which steps do you need to take to achieve the plan?

  1. Mastermind Alliance

Researchers and practitioners have found that people who work together in complete harmony on a common goal can accomplish more than they would on their own. Which partners do you need and choose to be successful and achieve your goal(s)? Cooperation and a powerful set of combined skills are essential for successful outcomes.

  1. Applied Faith

Faith is based on the desire to accomplish something tangible and the plans that need to be made to achieve it. Therefore you need a set of realistic goals to achieve those tangible results. This is an essential principle, driven by a state of mind, attitude, and confidence.

  1. Going the extra mile

This principle is obvious. The more effort a partner puts into achieving a goal, the faster and better it will be accomplished. Moreover, the law of compensation (rewards come in return for your deeds, thoughts, and words) is a valuable concept to embrace in your achieving mindset.

  1. Pleasing personality

This principle can be a major asset in your everyday life. Goals and achievements can be much easier realized when you work with people (i.e. partners) who are easy to connect with and pleasant to collaborate with. According to Napoleon Hill, there are 25 aspects of your personality that you can work on to improve.

  1. Personal Initiative

Each individual/partner who works on a team and experiences group dynamics is made aware that his or her responsibility is fundamental to attaining the desired results. Ultimately, the individual is responsible for creating the initiative, and it is their responsibility to finish what they have begun. Furthermore, principle 4 is a key success factor for achieving the desired goals.

  1. Positive Mental Attitude

No challenge can start without the right mindset. Maintaining a positive mental attitude will keep you going under any circumstances.

It is based on the principle that there are no impossible challenges. As a result, objectives should be clear and realistic and the right attitude, inspiration, and motivation of others should be present.

A positive attitude from all those involved in the desired goals is more likely to lead to success (law of influence).

  1. Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is essential for success in business. Shared enthusiasm can spread infectiously; the more people that are enthusiastic about the desired goal, the more people will become enthusiastic as well. It comes from within a person and is also connected to principle 3: applied faith. The combination of success, faith, and determination will attract more success.

  1. Self-Discipline

You need to control your thoughts in order to control your needs and desired goals. This principle is about mastering your own thoughts. You take control of your own attitude, thoughts, emotions, actions, communication, and so on. Making the right decisions and setting the right priorities is vital to reaching the desired outcomes.

  1. Accurate Thinking

This principle is closely related to principle 9: self-discipline. This is all about mind control. Set your goals before thinking about anything else and get rid of all unnecessary thoughts. It’s also called the power of thought: “What you think, so you will become” ~ Napoleon Hill (1937).

  1. Controlled Attention

To achieve desired goals, one must prioritize time, energy, and mindset. This is the highest form of self-discipline (principle 9). What is most significant for you and what prioritized actions do you need in order to sustain that focus?

  1. Teamwork

TEAM is an acronym that stands for Together Everyone Accomplishes More! Studies have shown that people working together with the same goals can accomplish more than one person alone, based on scientific and empirical research.

Teamwork, therefore, is a key asset, together with the other principles, for cooperative success and common desired goals.

It’s important to note that teamwork is not the same as masterminding.

  1. Adversity and Defeat

This principle emphasizes the importance of learning from human errors and failures. You will grow by learning from small failures and mastering the experience. This is also called “temporary defeat” and it carries a seed of a (more substantial) benefit.

  1. Creative Vision

Imagination is the key to stimulating creative visions in order to come up with creative and imaginative business ideas. It starts with a simple idea that you can develop in small steps over time, possibly together with others.

Therefore your imagination needs to be free and fearless. It comes from the subconscious mind and with mental exercises, you stimulate and develop it.

  1. Health

Health is the key to enjoying life and achieving personal fulfillment, whether you are in business or just in everyday life. All principles are coordinated and stimulated by this principle, and it supports conscious choices and gives you endurance.

You and others can achieve common SMART goals by eating healthy food and exercising to challenge your brain.

  1. Budgeting Time and Money

Time and money are two crucial aspects of success. It’s critical to take the time to truly understand your income and expenses in relation to your desired goals.

It is imperative that you plan both for the present as well as for the future (10 years from now). Prediction and decision-making are key in relation to this principle.

  1. Habits (Cosmic Habitforce)

Everybody wants peace of mind, sound health, and financial security. Therefore, you need to develop and maintain positive habits to achieve them. By your thoughts and deeds, you’ve established certain habits (cause-effect) since you were born.

As the mind is incredibly intelligent but lazy, it creates automatic codes, which are called habits, to run our daily lives. This is because we do not change them to improve our lives. The majority of people suffer from stress and depression when these habits run automatically without their awareness.

Do these habits bring you peace of mind, good health, and financial security, or do you need to change them? What are these habits and what is your plan to change them?

How will you apply these principles of success?

Each of these principles can be applied to your daily life one by one. You have the freedom to decide what you would like to do with them. In any situation, it is possible to achieve success if you find a way to transform unpleasant situations into positive and helpful ones.

Finally, a PMA mentality gives you the ability to perceive opportunity in every interaction and circumstance. And, it keeps your mind open to receive fresh ideas, updated information, creative ideas, and ways to innovate. Most importantly, a PMA delivers you a consistent stream of positive insight, energy, and enthusiasm and the steam you need to make and sustain success.

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Whatever The Mind of Man Can CONCEIVE and BELIEVE, The Mind of Man Can ACHIEVE!

Napoleon Hill

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