The Secret and Missing Ingredient of “Think & Grow Rich” and WHY I wrote The Habit Factor®
Mr. Hill himself declared, “I knew I must find the ‘missing link'”.
If you know anything about the history and study of personal achievement, you know that Napoleon Hill is recognized as one of the great-grandfathers of the “Science of Success and Personal Achievement.” (BTW, if you didn’t know that, that’s OK too!)
Napoleon Hill authored the all-time classic self-help book, “Think & Grow Rich.” You can read about the book here: Wikipedia Link. The book was originally published in 1937 and proved to be a deep study into the “science” of personal achievement. Mr. Hill (a former newspaper writer) undertook the project to write this book at the request of Andrew Carnegie (the world’s first billionaire).
Hill was tasked with dedicating 20 years of his life to the study, development and construction of a new “success” philosophy certain to provide the world with a “recipe” for success and wealth to any who would follow its instructions. For his efforts, Carnegie promised to provide Napoleon unique access to many of the greatest achievers at that time – men such as Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, John D. Rockefeller and Charles M. Schwab, to name a few. After interviewing these great successes and gathering their “best practices” and collective wisdom, he compiled the many lessons into a workable and powerful success philosophy – one that transformed the lives of millions of people.
Something appeared to be missing…
This book was an instant classic and positively affected millions of people; even today it is a best-seller. But numerous people would write to Mr. Hill after reading his book and they even approached him after his inspirational talks as he toured the country and these people shared that his book did NOT make them rich.
They explained that even though they followed his detailed 16 PRINCIPLES for success, they did NOT become millionaires – AND, unfortunately, that the book “did not work.”
A distraught Napoleon was confounded as he heard this sort of feedback repeatedly.
Quickly, consider that after Hill spent 20 years to write this book and refine this powerful “success” philosophy, he found that it did NOT always work for everyone as he anticipated it would.
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What was missing…WHY did it not work?
That is a terrific question, and it’s really the most incredible and important part of the story – an unintended GEM resulting from his efforts to pen the greatest assortment of success principles. In fact, EVEN TODAY seemingly nobody is aware of or understands the significance of his SUBSEQUENT discovery made so late in his career.
I consider this discovery to be the single greatest contribution to the “science of personal achievement” of all his efforts. And, the irony is it was what he LEFT OUT OF THINK & GROW RICH that provided the most value.
“WHAT was missing!?” Well, Mr. Hill pondered that question long and hard, and, as he explained it, he found himself meditating upon this “missing link” FOR ANOTHER 20 YEARS!
So, what was missing!?
Well, it’s almost unfair to tell you/share it ; ). Again, Napoleon Hill spent 20 years of his life formulating this success philosophy and authoring Think & Grow Rich, then another 20 years trying to figure out what the “MISSING LINK” was (those are HIS words).
Why do I say it’s unfair to share the answer? Well, I can almost assure you (as in guarantee) that without the same sort of contemplative meditation, his answer will either appear 1) too obvious, or worse yet, 2) insignificant.
TWO NAMES — A Single Truth
What Mr. Hill “discovered,” that is, what he left out of Think & Grow Rich, was something he labeled “The Law of Cosmic Habit Force.” That’s right… “The Law of Cosmic Habit Force”.
You see, Mr. Hill recognized (after all that time— 40 freakin’ years!) that while these disheartened souls (readers of Think and Grow Rich) were in fact applying one principle in his book after another, there was no consistency – there was a randomness to their efforts. In short, they did NOT DEVELOP THE HABITS necessary to ensure that his 16 principles became HABIT and were therefore effective for a lifetime!
That was it, the answer: The Law of Cosmic Habit Force!
Hill then knew he had to quickly revise his success philosophy to include this new, 17th and final principle, again, which he entitled, “The Law of Cosmic Habit Force,” Unfortunately, this was near the end of his career and seemingly this powerful truth has vanished. It’s been essentially LOST IN TIME.
TRANSCRIPT of Below Audio:
….for then they are bound to find the things that will work (referring to Edison and his persistent personal initiative).
And, take myself for example, in devoting more than 20 years in research to the missing link of this philosophy now known as The Law of Cosmic Habit Force my persistent personal initiative finally yielded a full and workable description of this great law of nature into which all the other 16 principles of this philosophy blend and upon which they must depend for automatic application.
Please, listen to his own words here: [jwplayer config=”AUDIO-ONLY” mediaid=”441″]
Note: Hill speaks for the first 40 seconds about the lesson of personal initiative and persistence, which he learned from Thomas Edison, and then shares how that same lesson applied to his discovery of the Law of Cosmic Habit Force. This is an excerpt from THE SCIENCE OF PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT. (Note: You can find a few videos on YouTube, as well.)
Again, even the most earnest students of Napoleon Hill and Think & Grow Rich today, including the current “GREATS” of personal achievement (no names… Just visit your favorite self-help guru’s website and see if they EVER wrote about The Law of Cosmic Habit Force (prior to this post date). And, they seemingly fail to share this great insight and story – Hill’s greatest discovery.
So, if I’m YOU at this point I’m probably asking two questions: 1) What does it mean? That is, what is the law of cosmic habit force? and 2) Why haven’t I ever heard of this before?
Let me attempt to answer question #2 FIRST. I have various theories, but the most likely one is the very name itself (The Law of Cosmic Habit Force) is, at best, a bit cryptic. In fact, in my book there is an entire section entitled, “The Esoteric” which encapsulates and even goes beyond how Hill himself tried to describe it. In fact, it’s so cryptic that even those earnest students simply didn’t understand the message. Even when it came from his own lips as he gave lectures about it (if you heard the audio above you know what I mean), it appears people had a hard time grasping what this “law” meant.
So, if you purchase THE SCIENCE OF PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT and I recommend you do, you will notice for yourself that while he emphasized the principle, it was a bit hard to decipher. As for the first question, “What does it mean?” Listen carefully again to the end of the audio clip. “My persistent personal initiative finally yielded this GREAT LAW OF NATURE into which all the other 16 principles blend and upon which they must depend for AUTOMATIC application.” THAT it! That is exactly what that means. It’s a law of nature (discussed thoroughly in The Habit Factor), one that ALL other principles of success must depend upon.
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If there was ONLY one thing I could teach my children.
Recently, I spent a weekend with Brian Tracy at his speaking academy along with several other well-off authors, coaches and business personalities. As we went around the room, Brian asked each member of the group to share our SINGLE GREATEST SUCCESS SECRET.
He asked that we share the single-most important lesson or “secret” that we might share if we could only share ONE thing with our kids. It was a fantastic exercise and each person revealed spectacular insights and great best practices. When you think about it, coming up with just ONE key is very difficult.
Again, these were all very high achievers in the room, so it was great to listen to everyone’s tips, such as: setting daily goals, modeling after the experts, leveraging time and talents, etc. Then, when it was my turn, I simply held up my book, The Habit Factor®. I explained that while everyone’s tips, secrets, keys and lessons were spectacular, without developing HABITS of them, unfortunately, they would be ineffective.
I then explained that it was this very question and exercise I had asked myself years ago that drove me to write this book. As I held up the book, I told them, “I had to write this book. I knew I really had to share this information!”
Here’s the key I hope you fully appreciate and take away, whether it’s Malcolm Gladwell’ s revealing of the 10,000-hour rule in Outliers or The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People or The Secret, or ____ just pick any current diet fad, workout regimen (P90X, 4-Hour Body) or any other practice/philosophy designed to better and improve your being, and guess what?
NONE of them will work until you do – until you put in the work to develop and channel the force of HABIT! It was Darwin who once said, “It is notorious how powerful is the force of habit.” Interesting when you consider Darwin was a naturalist (you’ll see how that plays into this in a bit).
As my buddy Mark said to me the other day on the golf course, “Crazy… it seems it always come back to HABIT, or the Habit factor.” And, of course, it must.
And that is precisely the conclusion Napoleon Hill recognized some 60 years ago.
You still want more? HERE’S WHY…
Since you and I are of this “natural” world, we must assume the same characteristics of said world. “What does that mean?” you ask. It’s explained deeply in my book, (see the ESOTERIC section) but the fact is, HABIT (rhythms and patterns) can be found throughout the cosmos and natural world.
In its most simple form the universe is just ENERGY. In your most simple form, YOU are ENERGY. To achieve your goal it is going to require energy.
Energy is predisposed to assume patterns and rhythms (habit). Think sound waves, ocean waves.. the spiral of a nautilus sea shell or even the spiral of the galaxy or weather pattern. Therefore, our personal energies WILL be drawn into habits, and they are, for better or worse.
The beauty is, as a HUMAN, YOU are uniquely endowed with the power of conscientious choice and, with PRACTICE, can AT-WILL harness this remarkable force of habit— The Law of Cosmic Habit Force… yes, There’s an app for that :).
EVEN MORE!??? The Habit Factor and the Great Leap To Goals!
While The Habit Factor® has delivered on its promise to rekindle Mr. Hill’s “Law of Cosmic Habit Force” and spotlights his seemingly lost efforts, I recognized my undertaking in writing The Habit Factor® needed to be far more exhaustive, descriptive and explanatory by focusing exclusively on the SUBJECT OF HABIT (vs. multiple success principles) and by avoiding any single particular pursuit; lose weight, get fit, make money, etc.
And in so doing, The Habit Factor revealed new and exciting dimensions Mr. Hill either never discovered, considered or had information of. So, I not only wanted to shed light on his lost discovery, but knew I had to go much further with The Habit Factor. I sensed that HABIT, as the sole subject matter, demanded an even more thorough investigation, even starting with the fundamental question, “Why do habits exist?” (this is a funny story)
I felt it was critical to introduce and share some of the latest science (neuroscience) about habit and our brains, again, discoveries and information unfortunately Mr. Hill never had access to. I also recognized it was critical to investigate the philosophical and business aspects of habit. But, what is proving to be the most valuable contribution of The Habit Factor® is the idea of creating and tracking supportive, positive habits to attain one’s goal far more quickly— the use of Habit Alignment Technology™ which has now become a best-practice for goal achievement.
There is no greater showcase of this literal application than THE FREE TEMPLATE (you can grab that by filling in the short form above/below) iPhone and Android app bearing the same name and you can TRY THE APP FREE! It’s a bit funny to me that The Habit Factor® will probably always be best known for its introduction of a simple and powerful goal achievement process rather than the rekindling of Mr. Hill’s greatest discovery, The Law of Cosmic Habit Force.
So, there you have it. You now know what the large majority of the world’s population does not know, understand or perhaps even care about. That whenever you hear anyone talking about how great Think & Grow Rich is, ask them if they know what was missing? : )
You can check out this quick episode about The Law of Cosmic Habit Force on The “Habits 2 Goals” Podcast.
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So, now the question is what are you going to do with Mr. Hill’s greatest discovery. The irony here is if you do nothing with it— you are of course still applying The Law of Cosmic Habit force / The Habit Factor®. I humbly suggest it’s time you give The Law of Cosmic Habit Force and/or The Habit Factor® YOUR BIGGEST, most important GOAL and put Habit Alignment Technology™ to the test.
***BTW: THF Makes a GREAT GIFT. A gift that keeps on giving ; ) (inexpensive and value-packed). I’m still hearing from friends about the “thanks” they are getting from giving away the book last year. Finally, for those of you who purchase a minimum of 5 or 10— we have a couple gift packages. Please email me your receipt to: mg AT thehabitfactor.com, and we have a special gift for you. I’m not sharing what the gift is because we’d like to know that your giving /purchasing for the purpose of serving & giving rather than getting. If you plan on purchasing 25 or more email before purchase.
Enjoy and put THF and TLoCHF to work today for your benefit!!!!