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Updated: Nov 5, 2021

This episode is sponsored by Shug The Dug Productions

Hello and welcome to Film Pro Productivity, the podcast that helps film professionals and other creatives to live a more focused, effective and HAPPY life. My name is Carter Ferguson and this is EPISODE 42 – THE LAW OF SUCCESS IN 16 LESSONS: PART 3

This is third part of my breakdown of Napoleon Hill’s powerful book THE LAW OF SUCCESS IN 16 LESSONS but if you’ve not yet heard the previous episodes in this particular series then I’d strongly advise you to go back and check out episodes 40 and 41 before listening to this one.

My aim here is to give you a fleeting glimpse of the power that lies within the pages of the book. In the show notes for this episode I will give a link to A FREE DOWNLOAD OF A PUBLIC DOMAIN .MOBI VERSION OF THE COMPLETE TEXT which will play in many free e-readers. In the show notes of the last episode I gave a similar link to a KINDLE VERSION and in episode 39 a PDF VERSION. These can all be accessed via the official website

Now I quote with such regularity from the book that I won’t always identify sections of the text purely for streamlining purposes. Suffice to say that much of the content is my interpretation or direct quotation of NAPOLEON HILL. The only regular change I make is in making it gender neutral every now and again, not for reasons of political correctness, but because I want to make what he says as accessible and relevant for today’s audience as he intended it to be in 1928.

Imagination is more important that knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. – Albert Einstein UNQUOTE


LESSON 6 IMAGINATION: Hill explains that there are two forms of imagination:

  • · First there is what he refers to as SYNTHETIC IMAGINATION which consists of organizing and putting together of RECOGNIZED IDEAS, CONCEPTS AND FACTS arranged in a new combination. Very seldom, he explains, does anyone create an idea or anything else absolutely new. Nearly everything known to civilization is but a combination of something t hat is old.

  • · Secondly there is what he refers to as CREATIVE IMAGINATION which operates through a kind of sixth sense and has its base in the SUBCONSCIOUS. It serves as the exclusive medium through which basically new ideas or facts are revealed.

That’s kinda his take on it and it’s an interesting angle which I admit I had never before considered, but absolutely recognise. He goes on to say that “If you have mastered and thoroughly understood the preceding lessons you know that the materials out of which we have built our DEFINITE CHIEF AIM were assembled and combined in your imagination. You also know that SELF-CONFIDENCE, INITIATIVE and LEADERSHIP must be created in your imagination before they can become a reality, for it is in the workshop of your imagination that you will put the principle of AUTO-SUGGESTION into operation in creating these necessary qualities.”

Before I go any further I must give you the definition of auto suggestion: It is the hypnotic or subconscious adoption of an idea which one has originated oneself. It is like REPROGRAMMING YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS MIND to believe what you want it to believe – Hill uses it to to replace your old beliefs with new ones that will serve you better.

He describes IMAGINATION, in fact, as the hub of this course as ”You will never have a definite purpose in life, you will never have self-confidence, you will never have initiative and leadership unless you first create these qualities in your imagination and see yourself in possession of them.”

He states too that the imagination can receive impressions or ideas and out of these it can form new combinations.” And he gives a multitude of real life examples of how this manifests.

In one example Hill drives home that his friend and employer ANDREW CARNEGIE was a man of great IMAGINATION as he first created a definite purpose and then surrounded himself with men who had the training and the vision and the capacity necessary for the transformation of that purpose into reality. He did not always create his own plans for the attainment of his definite purpose. He just made it his business to know what he wanted, then he found men who could create the plans to get it.

Hill believed that this was not only imagination, but genius of the highest order.

In this lesson Hill also leans heavily on TRAINING the IMAGINATION to weave new combinations out of old ideas. This is kinda interesting to me as many current authors of new productivity books are simply weaving the old ideas and research of Hill and those who came before him into new works. I’m doing that here in fact, now that I think on it. Al too often do I buy a new productivity book, only to discover that it’s a re hashing of ideas and principles which I am already aware of.

Hill takes the time too, to list in his examples, several great failures that came about as their instigators had NO IMAGINATION. Hill adds an interesting point too - THAT THE POWER OF DECISION GROWS WITH USE. If you’ve been suffering at all from Choice Paralysis that may give you a bit of hope for the future.

He gives more examples in this lesson than in any other chapter of the book but his point is far easier for us to understand these days than it was for the populace in 1928 – He is effectively saying DREAM, AND USE YOUR IMAGINATION TO HELP LEAD YOU TO THE ATTAINMENT OF YOUR GOALS and that DREAMS and ACTIONS, he states time and again, are closely related.

If you feel that all the new ideas have been used up, you are incorrect. The best ideas, he predicts, are yet to be revealed and put into the service of mankind. No he won’t let a negative thought pass on this subject, and he was right. Can you imagine someone from 1928 seeing all that has been achieved in the years that have followed? Listen to Napoleon Hill folks, for the best is yet to come.

“A man can succeed at almost anything for which he has unlimited enthusiasm.” Charles Schwab UNQUOTE



That latter part is especially relevant when thinking back to the lesson on INITIATIVE AND LEADERSHIP as spoken words and instructions without enthusiasm are often ineffective.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou UNQUOTE

Enthusiasm bears the same relationship to a human being that steam does to the locomotive - it is the vital moving force that impels action. Simply mix enthusiasm with your work and it will not seem hard or monotonous.

Enthusiasm is one of the more powerful means by which we may put into action our education, experience and knowledge. Hill points out that the, idiom, KNOWLEDGE IS POWER is only a half-truth - for KNOWLEDGE BECOMES POWER ONLY WHEN IT IS PUT INTO ACTION FOR THE ATTAINMENT OF A DEFINITE OBJECTIVE.

Yes – I think that we all recognise these days that being enthusiastic about what you are doing makes it all more engaging and interesting and Hill explains that Enthusiasm is a vital force that you can harness and use with profit. Without it we would resemble an electric battery without electricity, he says, and he’s not alone in being enthusiastic about us harnessing enthusiasm.

Aldous Huxley said “The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.” And Dale Carnegie said “Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.”

Throughout Lesson 7 Hill gives immense detail and multiple examples of how enthusiasm compels us to act, and how it is contagious to those you act with. Mix enthusiasm with your work - do something you are enthusiastic about- and you will not get tired nearly as quickly.

Hill has a simple mechanical explanation of how enthusiasm spreads. He sees our brains as both an BROADCASTING STATION and a RECEIVING STATION for enthusiasm. It both sends out and picks up vibrations.

Just one example of this is taken from Andrew Carnegie. He believed that, if you were to turn loose someone with intense enthusiasm in an industrial plant employing thousands of people, this person's enthusiasm would very quickly reach and influence every person in the plant. What’s even more fascinating to me is that this is also true in reverse. Carnegie had realised that it makes not the slightest difference whether the enthusiasm was NEGATIVE or POSITIVE, CONSTRUCTIVE or DESTRUCTIVE. I’ve certainly felt ill will spread around a production like a cold wind as well as been on shows, Guilt for example, which I was on earlier in the year, where there was a general air of good will and enthusiasm for the work.

Carnegie said too that IN HIS SELECTION OF EMPLOYEES FOR PROMOTION the first thing he looked for was a person’s capacity to express themself in terms of intense enthusiasm. To Carnegie ENTHUSIASM was one of the most important traits necessary for leadership.

Hills pragmatic approach in these lessons raises yet another point that some would be careful to avoid. That enthusiasm does not come naturally to some people. I’ll attest to that one too, as I’ve met some terrific bores in my lifetime. But all is not lost, if you feel that he is perhaps talking about you. He suggests that “You adopt the HABIT of PRACTICING ENTHUSIASM in your conversations with your family and your business associates and he also points out that this habit will make you more popular with those who are close to you. He suggests when practicing that you read for 10 minutes daily on subjects of your choosing as the means of acquiring the habit of enthusiasm. Soon you will have no difficulty in reading in a tone of enthusiasm in connection with the things that you like best and that will transfer into your day to day voice.

I need to move on but yes – Lesson 7: ENTHUSIASM is yet another powerful ally on your path towards success.


LESSON 8: SELF CONTROL: Aristotle wrote, “What lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do.”

On this subject Hill begins “Enthusiasm is the vital quality that arouses you to action, while SELF-CONTROL is the balance wheel that directs your action.”

So to be a person who is well "balanced," you must be a person in whom enthusiasm and self-control are equalized.

Hill examines in this lesson the scope and meaning of the term self-control saying that a person with well-developed self-control does not indulge in hatred, envy, jealousy, fear, revenge, or any similar destructive emotions. A person with well-developed self-control does not go into ecstasies or become ungovernably enthusiastic over anything or anybody.

SELF-CONFIDENCE is one of the important essentials of success, but when this faculty is developed BEYOND THE POINT OF REASON it becomes very dangerous. I think we’ve probably all met at least one self important egotistic nut job in our lives. I think that you will agree that they are quite unpleasant to be around.

In exploring this further he identifies a few traits of a person with great self-control.

  • · They will not permit themselves to be influenced by the cynic or the pessimist; nor will they permit another person to do their thinking for them. They will have taken possession of their own mind and directed it to whatever ends they may desire – specifically in achieving their DEFINITE CHIEF AIM in life.

  • · They will stimulate their imagination and enthusiasm until they have produced action, but will then control that action and not permit it to control them.

  • · They will not hate those who do not agree with him; instead, they will endeavour to understand the reason for their disagreement, and profit by it.

  • · They will maintain their health through exercise and diet.

  • In Hill’s 1954 film on the Laws of success he goes a little further. He says as a person with great self control:

  • · You will have to gain mastery over your tongue by acquiring the habit of thinking first and then speaking after you are sure that what you save will benefit you and not injure others. A loose tongue often is one's the greatest liability.

  • · You will have to exercise self-discipline and master the common tendency to strike back at those at whom you have a cause REAL OR IMAGINARY for a grievance because your every thought and every act which benefits or injures another person comes back to you in kind GREATLY MULTIPLIED. If you feel that you must slander another person do not speak it but write it write it in the stands near the water's edge then move away from it until the tides have flown.

  • · You will have to exercise self-discipline over all of your emotions particularly your emotions of love, hate, fear and sex. These are the BIG FOUR of your emotions and they can make you or break you according to the extent of discipline you exercise over them.

  • Someone with poor self-control may have these traits.

  • · They will have a habit of forming opinions before studying the facts.

  • · They will have the habit of spending beyond their needs and he adds too that this habit will be passed on to their children.

Finally your MENTAL ATTITUDE needs discipline and control at all times. Lacking in this particular discipline will drive away friends, destroy opportunities to get ahead, bring on physical and mental illness and make peace of mind impossible.

I could go on. Hill has a terrific rant about people with no self control MORTGAGING THEIR FUTURE LIVES TO BUY AUTOMOBILES which is still fairly relevant today I must add.

“He who reigns within himself, and rules passions, desires, and fears, is more than a king.” John Milton UNQUOTE

This is a TRULY VAST CHAPTER in which Hill again gives multitudes of real life examples, but let me move to the end this sampler that I’m building for you. Hill puts forward that SELF-DISCIPLINE IS THE MOST ESSENTIAL FACTOR IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF PERSONAL POWER, because LACK OF IT works hardships on those who become its victims, and THOSE WHO DO NOT EXERCISE IT suffer the loss of a great power which they could use in the achievement of their DEFINITE CHIEF AIM.


LESSON 9 – THE HABIT OF DOING MORE THAN PAID FOR: This entire lesson is devoted to the offering of evidence that it really pays to render more and better service than one is paid to render. Later in life Hill was still pushing this particular lesson and so it pays to listen up and see how you can utilise it. The habit of going the extra mile is the habit of rendering more service and better service than one is expected to render and doing with in a positive mental attitude. He refers to it to as THE MAGIC PRINCIPLE OF SELF ADVANCEMENT, and I just love that.

“When You Do More Than You're Paid to Do, You Will Eventually Be Paid More For What You Do.” Zig Ziglar UNQUOTE

There are many sound reasons why you should develop the habit of performing more and better service than that for which you are paid, despite the fact that a large majority of the people are not rendering such service.

By performing more and better service than that for which you are paid, you not only exercise your service-rendering qualities, and thereby develop skill and ability of an extraordinary sort, but you build reputation that is valuable.

If you form the habit of rendering such service you will become so adept in your work that you can command greater remuneration than those who do not perform such service. You will eventually develop sufficient strength to enable you to remove yourself from any undesirable station in life, and no one can or will desire to stop you.

This, some of you may notice, is Hill invoking LAW OF INCREASING RETURNS and he helps us to understand it with this analogy - The farmer carefully prepares the ground, then sows his wheat and waits while the LAW OF INCREASING RETURNS brings back the seed he has sown, plus a many-fold increase.

He goes on to give examples of how it has worked well for so many and proves how it is applicable to our life and work… Henry Ford, he says, received more and better service than the average by paying more wages than the average.

At a single stroke, through the inauguration of that minimum wage policy, Ford attracted the best labour on the market and placed a premium upon the privilege of working in his plant and he gives further examples in plenty - stores taking back returns without argument, in order to keep their customer for the long term would be a good example.

He goes on to say that you owe it to yourself to find out just how you can apply this law to best advantage.

To help you apply this rule to your life and work, Hill developed what he called the “QQ & A” formula which is a short form way of remembering, that the QUALITY of service render. plus the QUANTITY of service you render, plus the mental attitude in which you render service, determines the space you occupy in your chosen calling and the compensation you get from your services. That’s QQ&A.

Hill lists these specific benefits to help to convince you that this is not some hocus pocus but a powerful tactic which will benefit you greatly.

1. This habit will bring you to the favourable attention of those who can and will provide you with opportunities to promote yourself into a better circumstance.

2. This the great natural law of increasing returns will bring back greater than average compensation.

3. Following this habit will make you indispensable in your chosen occupation or calling therefore it will place you in a position to write your own ticket.

4. This habit will help you to excel in your line of work because each time you render service you endeavour to do a better job than you did previously.

5. If you work for a salary or wages this habit will give you preference when work is slack and others are laid off.

6. It will help you to benefit by the law of contrast because the others around you will not be going the first mile let alone the second mile.

7. Following this habit of doing your very best in all of your efforts and doing it in a pleasing mental attitude will improve your personality and make you liked by others/

8. It will also help you to develop a keen and alert imagination because you will be continuously seeking new and better ways of rendering useful service.

9. It will inspire you to move on your own personal initiative instead of waiting to be told what to do a habit which is the first step in leadership.

10. Develop greater self-reliance and more courage to move ahead without the fear of criticism from others.

11. The one thing it does which if it benefited you in no other way would justify you in adopting it. It helps you to master the one habit which heads the list of causes of failure THE DESTRUCTIVE HABIT OF PROCRASTINATION.

12. Going the extra mile influences other people to respect your integrity and inspires them to go out of their way to cooperate with you in a friendly spirit.

13. This habit helps you to develop definiteness of purpose which is the starting point of all personal success and it stops you from drifting through life without knowing what you want or where you are going.

14. And here is the grand payoff which this habit gives you it provides you with the one and only excuse for asking for a promotion to a better station in life or a higher pay obviously if you are doing no more than you are being paid for then you are receiving pay for all to which you are entitled and you have not a single excuse for asking for more pay or a better position. If you understand this point and appreciate its significance to you… and

15. Last but not least the habit of going the extra mile conditions your mind to maintain a mastermind alliance with others. This is important, remember, as ORGANIZED EFFORT IS THE SOURCE OF ALL POWER.

“Render more service than that which you are paid and you will soon be paid for more than you render. The law of increasing returns takes care of this.” – Napoleon Hill UNQUOTE

Summing Up

So to recap on today’s lessons…

LESSON 6 - IMAGINATION: You will never have a definite purpose in life, you will never have self-confidence, you will never have initiative and leadership - unless you first create these qualities in your imagination and see yourself in possession of them.

LESSON 7 - ENTHUSIASM: A state of mind that inspires and arouses one to put action into the task at hand - it is contagious, and vitally affects not only the enthusiast, but all with whom they come into contact.

LESSON 8 – SELF CONTROL: When you take control over the thoughts you are thinking, then you can take control of your success. SELF-DISCIPLINE IS THE MOST ESSENTIAL FACTOR IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF PERSONAL POWER, because LACK OF IT works hardships on those who become its victims, and THOSE WHO DO NOT EXERCISE IT suffer the loss of a great power which they could use in the achievement of their DEFINITE CHIEF AIM.

LESSON 9 – THE HABIT OF DOING MORE THAN PAID FOR: If you are going to whine about your work, then you are not going anywhere. Do the work you have in front of you, then ask what else you may do. By doing this, you make yourself valuable, and you will surely reach a point where you are being paid handsomely. Valuable employees are... valuable. This is also and especially true when you are working for yourself.

The Law of Increasing Returns states that by doing more or giving more service than you are paid to do, the universe will reward you with greater compensation than the money you gave up doing the extra work.

Call To Action

I am committed to delivering you this 6 part series within the series and I hope that you are finding it as enlightening as I did. I realise very much that there’s some big ideas being introduced here in rapid succession but to quote Napoleon Hill on this “Don’t be afraid of a little opposition. Remember that the kite of success generally rises against the wind of adversity – not with it.”

Your call to action today is to take a few minutes to simply consider all that has been said. If you have to then go back and listen again with a notepad and pen then do so, and I’ve got links to various downloads of the full text on the official website so go there and grab one if this series on the Law of Success is hitting the mark with you.


Confucius says The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.

We’ve got three more shows to go in this book series so I want you to stay with me. This is valuable stuff I hope you’ll agree – and with it you can change your life. I’ll end with the words of self help author Karen Salmansohn who said - What if I told you that 10 years from now, your life would be exactly the same? I doubt you'd be happy. So, why are you so afraid of change?

Now - take control of your own destiny, keep on shootin’, join me next time on Film Pro Productivity.

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