What is the secret to success?
This question has been asked endlessly throughout history. How did Thomas A. Edison or Andrew Carnegie do it? How did Henry Ford, who came from nothing, build an empire that still stands today?
Personal power—according to Napoleon Hill in his classic book, The Path to Personal Power—is living life with an unwavering goal in mind, as well as with unwavering faith in yourself. “It is a well-known fact that man’s only limitations are those which he sets up in his own mind,” Hill pointed out.
One secret to actually seizing our personal power is by going the extra mile. All high achievers have done it—doing more than you were asked or expected to. You don’t need deep pockets or a fancy education to go the extra mile, just determination, and a burning desire. “This habit will attract and reveal opportunities that the average person would pass by unnoticed,” Hill wrote. “Moreover, the habit has a strong tendency to create opportunities where none existed before.”
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To get you started, Hill recommends writing a list of all the reasons that the world needs you, and how you can help. Think about how you can help friends, co-workers, anyone. “The experiment may surprise you,” he wrote.
Carving out time in your schedule to include extra work may not seem like the most attractive idea, but it really does pay off. Here are a few more (invaluable) advantages to taking that extra step, according to Hill:
1. “The habit develops the important factor of initiative, without which no individual ever rises above mediocrity in any calling.” Pushing yourself into asking others if they need a lending hand will help shape you into a proactive person, leading you to unprecedented opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t have come up.
2. “It often gives an individual a preferred position of relationship with others through which he may become indispensable, thereby fixing his own price on services.” Personal references are powerful in many industries, and people often remember when you took the initiative with them. After all, don’t you remember when someone reached out to you?
3.“It develops alertness of the imagination, the faculty through which one may create practical plans for the attainment of one’s aims and purposes in any calling.” Trying your hand at new opportunities and challenges will only grow and expand your skillset. These unlikely opportunities and relationships can, in turn, take you one step closer to your own personal goals.
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