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Updated: Nov 5, 2021

This episode is sponsored by George Wensley

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 45 – THE LAW OF SUCCESS IN 16 LESSONS: PART 6

This is the final episode of this special interconnected series within the series focusing on Napoleon Hill’s powerful book THE LAW OF SUCCESS IN 16 LESSONS. In whatever walk of life you are in, WANTING TO BE SUCCESSFUL is a universal theme that I felt vital to explore here on the show and this book based on Napoleon Hills own lecture tour I felt was the key to it’s delivery.

Now if you’ve not yet heard the previous shows on this topic then I’d strongly advise you to go back and listen to episodes 40 through 44 before listening to this one. Seriously, go back now and get listening, or you will not get the best out of this series.

The content in these shows has been my interpretation or direct quotation of NAPOLEON HILL’s words from the book with here and there a sprinkling of information gleaned from Hill’s later life. The main change I make in all of this is in neutralising the gender every now and again simply because I want to make the lessons as accessible for today’s audience as Hill intended it to be in 1928. As proven by Lesson 15, Hill was all about tolerance, equality and inclusion and he wouldn’t want his words of 1928 to be misinterpreted as something intolerant to the ear of a 21st century audience.

Before I proceed to THE GOLDEN RULE let me once again start with this.


Now I’ve used this phrase to precede every lesson so far, but every chapter except LESSON 4 actually begins with these words "You Can Do It if You Believe You Can!" - I deliberately changed it to Hill’s later phrasing WHATEVER THE MIND CAN CONCEIVE AND BELIEVE THE MIND CAN ACHIEVE as I believe he would have wished it to be so.

Bearing that in mind let me proceed to the 16th and final lesson in Napoleon Hill’s LAWS OF SUCCESS book.

That which you do not wish for yourself, DO NOT IMPOSE ON OTHERS. Umar UNQUOTE

LESSON 16 - THE GOLDEN RULE: This lesson is the Guiding Star that will enable you to profitably and constructively use the KNOWLEDGE assembled in the preceding lessons.


Put another way DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD WISH THEM TO DO UNTO YOU IF YOUR POSITIONS WERE REVERSED. Hill wants us to understand one thing very clearly here: That there is more power wrapped up in the previous lessons of this course than most could trust themselves with; therefore, this lesson is what Hill refers to as the - GOVERNOR – or LIMITER - that will enable YOU TO STEER YOURSELF SAFELY DOWN THE PATHWAY OF ALL THOSE WHO COME SUDDENLY INTO POSSESSION OF POWER.

The rule is as old as time itself. It’s how we regulate our behaviour in civilised society and it’s the rock on which we build a strength of character, as YOUR CHARACTER is but the sum total of your thoughts and deeds!

Socrates said it this way DO NOT DO TO OTHERS what angers you IF DONE TO YOU BY OTHERS.

Hill asks a question of this which you may have already been thinking and which those of us who just blindly accept such statements would not. He asks it as he has honed the art of accurate thinking within himself… The question he asks is why. WHY? What is the real reason for this kindly consideration of others?

His conclusion after years of study is this – That there is an eternal law which simply says WE REAP THAT WHICH WE SOW, also expressed as: AS YOU SOW, SO SHALL YOU REAP. In more modern speak we may say, WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND or in simpler terms once again, THAT YOU MUST EVENTUALLY FACE THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR ACTIONS.

Hill states that not only is it advisable to “do unto others as you wish them to do unto you,” but to avail yourself fully of the benefits of this great Universal Law you must also “think of others as you wish them to think of you.” as the law upon which the Golden Rule is based begins affecting you, either for good or evil, the moment you release a thought.

As usual here Hill gives many examples of this law in action but he also warns us that a passive attitude toward it will you bring no results; IT IS NOT ENOUGH, he says, merely to believe in this philosophy, while, at the same time, FAILING TO APPLY IT IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS.

If you want results you must take an active attitude toward the Golden Rule. A mere passive attitude, represented by belief in its soundness, will simply do you no good.

Richard Branson believes in this principle. He says “Play fair, be prepared for others to play dirty, and don't let them drag you into the mud.” Which is a pretty awesome line in the modern tongue.

What Hill is doing in this lesson though is ensuring that our character remains sound. Perhaps you have wondered, he says, why the subject of honesty has not been mentioned in this course, as a prerequisite to success, and, if so, the answer will be found here in this lesson. The Golden Rule philosophy, when rightly understood and applied, makes dishonesty IMPOSSIBLE. It does more than this – it makes impossible all the other destructive qualities such as selfishness, greed, envy, bigotry, hatred and malice.

When you apply the Golden Rule, you become, at one and the same time, both the judge and the judged - the accused and the accuser. This places one in a position in which honesty begins in one’s own heart, toward one’s self, and extends to all others with equal effect.

He presents in this lesson A CODE OF ETHICS to allow us to more concretely embody the law on which the golden rule is based.

In full this reads as follows:

1. I believe in the Golden Rule as the basis of all human conduct; therefore, I will never do to another person that which I would not be willing for that person to do to me if our positions were reversed.

2. I will be honest, even to the slightest detail, in all my transactions with others, not alone because of my desire to be fair with them, but because of my desire to impress the idea of honesty on my own subconscious mind, thereby weaving this essential quality into my own character.

3. I will forgive those who are unjust toward me, with no thought as to whether they deserve it or not, because I understand the law through which forgiveness of others strengthens my own character and wipes out the effects of my own transgressions, in my subconscious mind.

4. I will be just, generous and fair with others always, even though I know that these acts will go unnoticed and unrecorded, in the ordinary terms of reward, because I understand and intend to apply the law through the aid of which one’s own character is but the sum total of one’s own acts and deeds.

5. Whatever time I may have to devote to the discovery and exposure of the weaknesses and faults of others I will devote, more profitably, to the discovery and correction of my own.

6. I will slander no person, no matter how much I may believe another person may deserve it, because I wish to plant no destructive suggestions in my own sub-conscious mind.

7. I recognize the power of Thought as being an inlet leading into my brain from the universal ocean of life; therefore, I will set no destructive thoughts afloat upon that ocean lest they pollute the minds of others.

8. I will conquer the common human tendency toward hatred, and envy, and selfishness, and jealousy, and malice, and pessimism, and doubt, and fear; for I believe these to be the seed from which the world harvests most of its troubles.

9. When my mind is not occupied with thoughts that tend toward the attainment of my definite chief aim in life, I will voluntarily keep it filled with thoughts of courage, and self-confidence, and goodwill toward others, and faith, and kindness, and loyalty, and love for truth, and justice, for I believe these to be the seed from which the world reaps its harvest of progressive growth.

10. I understand that a mere passive belief in the soundness of the Golden Rule philosophy is of no value whatsoever, either to myself or to others; therefore, I will actively put into operation this universal rule for good in all my transactions with others.

11. I understand the law through the operation of which my own character is developed from my own acts and thoughts; therefore, I will guard with care all that goes into its development.

12. Realizing that enduring happiness comes only through helping others find it; that no act of kindness is without its reward, even though it may never be directly repaid, I will do my best to assist others when and where the opportunity appears.

As Hill nears the end of this lesson and the book itself he raises the point that “There are people who believe that the Golden Rule philosophy is nothing more than a theory, and that it is in no way connected with an immutable law.”

Mike Michalowicz of ENTREPRENEURSHIP MADE SIMPLE, explains that IMMUTABLE LAWS are the rules of our lives. They define you. They define your business. They are a blend of ethics, core values and self-assigned law, all wrapped up into one. They are the rules we have defined for ourselves, almost subconsciously, on what is RIGHT and what is WRONG.

Here he touches upon something which I raised just a few weeks ago in my episode DON’T DO ME A FAVOUR - They have arrived at this conclusion, he says, because of personal experience wherein they rendered service to others without enjoying the benefits of direct reciprocation.

When I created that episode, and DISCUSSED THE LAW OF RECIPROCITY, I didn’t know at the time that Napoleon Hill had ventured into the same territory so I’m going to give it a little time here. Hill says: How many are there who have rendered service to others that was neither reciprocated nor appreciated? I am sure that I have had such an experience, not once, but many times, and I am equally sure that I will have similar experiences in the future. I, however, will not discontinue rendering service to others merely because they neither reciprocate nor appreciate my efforts.

This is quite interesting to me as I did at one point discontinue a service to someone to whom I passed work that I couldn’t do myself. I woke up one day though as I had received a complaint about them, following my recommendation, and I realised in that instant that my good will had never been reciprocated during that whole time. Whether I stopped my recommendations because it was never reciprocated or whether I stopped it because a complaint came back to me is not something I’ve considered but it was probably a bit of both.

Napolean Hill’s reasoning is as follows: When I render service to another, or indulge in an act of kindness, I store away in my sub-conscious mind the effect of my efforts, which may be likened to the “charging” of an electric battery.

By and by, if I indulge in a sufficient number of such acts I will have developed a positive, dynamic character that will attract to me people who harmonize with or resemble my own character.

Those whom I attract will reciprocate the acts of kindness and the service that I have rendered others, thus the LAW OF COMPENSATION will have balanced the scales of justice for me, bringing back through one source the results of service which I rendered to an entirely different one.

The LAW OF COMPENSATION incidentally was proposed by Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his essay, "Compensation," – He wrote that EACH PERSON IS COMPENSATED IN LIKE MANNER FOR THAT WHICH HE OR SHE HAS CONTRIBUTED. The Law of Compensation is another restatement of the Law of Sowing and Reaping. The Golder Rule.

Nothing in the Golden Rule says that others will treat us as we have treated them. It only says that we must treat others in a way that we would want to be treated. Rosa Parks UNQUOTE

Hill asks If someone should fail to reciprocate your kindness - what then? He answers that We have profited, nonetheless, because of the effect of our act on our own sub-conscious mind! This is, of course, an extension of Hill’s belief in the habit of AUTO SUGGESTION and it’s exactly what I was talking about in my episode on favours. DON’T DO A FAVOUR IN EXPECTATION OF RETURN OF THAT FAVOUR. Give it freely and in time your kindness will be repaid.

If you need further proof that the GOLDEN RULE is worth your time and effort, consider how your hostile or unkind acts toward others bring back the effects of retaliation which is usually definite and immediate.

THE LAW OF RETALIATION is more widely known as "An eye for an eye"

This habit is a form of POSITIVE THOUGHT which develops in you a DYNAMIC PERSONALITY, and feeds your SELF CONFIDENCE. It will help you to ATTRACT the forces you require to reach your DEFINITE CHIEF AIM.

Summing Up

It will hardly come as surprise to you that have stayed the course of all 6 episodes in which I delve into Napoleon Hill’s LAW OF SUCCESS that I am now about to recap on all of the lessons that have been presented. I’ll let the words of Mr Hill take you forward into this.

You have now arrived at the point at which you should take inventory of yourself for the purpose of ascertaining what qualities you need - to give you a well-balanced and rounded out personality. Fifteen major factors entered into the building of this course. I ask you to ANALYZE YOURSELF CAREFULLY, with the assistance of one or more others if you feel that you need it, for the purpose of ascertaining in which of the fifteen factors of this course you are the weakest, and then CONCENTRATE YOUR EFFORTS UPON THOSE PARTICULAR LESSONS until you HAVE FULLY DEVELOPED THAT WHICH THEY REPRESENT.

In the introduction Hill thanks ANDREW CARNEGIE, who suggested the writing of the course, and HENRY FORD, whose astounding achievements form the foundation for practically all of the Sixteen Lessons contained within. Finally he singles out EDWIN C. BARNES, abusiness associate of THOMAS EDISON, whose close personal friendship over a period of more than fifteen years served to help the author “carry on” in the face of a great variety of adversities and much temporary defeat which he had met with.

In Summary then, THE LAW OF SUCCESS is as follows.

LESSON 1 – The "MASTER MIND": is an invisible stronger third mind, developed through friendly alliance, in a spirit of harmony of purpose, between two or more minds. No two or more minds ever met without creating, out of the contact, another mind. This invisible creation is not always a "Master Mind." Though - That ONLY forms when two or more people work together in harmony of purpose and effort.

LESSON 2 – A DEFINITE CHIEF AIM: You must do away forever with aimlessness and fix your heart and hand upon some definite, well-conceived purpose. In your struggle for success you should keep constantly in mind the necessity of knowing what it is that you want - Know precisely what your definite purpose is - utilise the principle of organized effort in the attainment of that DEFINITE PURPOSE. If you don’t know where you are going, then you’re never going to get there.

LESSON 3 - SELF CONFIDENCE: Believe that you are worthy of success and that you can attain it. Without truly understanding this - you will probably get nowhere with most of your goals. If you are not confident, then you cannot sell yourself in life.

LESSON 4 - THE HABIT OF SAVING: Formation of the Habit of Saving not only conserves that which you earn, in a systematic manner, but it also places you in the way of greater opportunity and gives you the vision, the self-confidence, the imagination, the enthusiasm, the initiative and leadership to actually increase your earning capacity. Amongst other things if you are trying to develop a HABIT OF SAVING then you must learn to kill the habit of unnecessary spending.

LESSON 5: INITIATIVE AND LEADERSHIP – Initiative is DOING THE RIGHT THING WITHOUT BEING TOLD. Leadership is essential for the attainment of Success, but Initiative is the very foundation upon which this necessary quality is built.

LESSON 6 - IMAGINATION: You will never have a definite purpose in life, you will never have self-confidence, and 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 he comes in 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.

LESSON 10 - PLEASING PERSONALITY: His advice is have one, and if you don’t have one, cultivate one. Mediocrity does not care if you are pleasant or not. Success DOES.

LESSON 11 - ACCURATE THOUGHT: Separate facts from mere information. Then separate facts into two classes; the IMPORTANT and the UNIMPORTANT, or, the RELEVANT and the IRRELEVANT. All facts which will aid you to any extent whatsoever in the attainment of your definite chief aim are important and relevant; All that you cannot use are unimportant and irrelevant.

LESSON 12 - CONCENTRATION: "Concentration is the act of focusing the mind upon a given desire until the ways and means for its realization have been worked out and successfully put into operation"

LESSON 13 –COOPERATION: The implementation of cooperation between yourself and others who are going to help you get to your goal. Cooperation must also exist between your conscious and subconscious mind so that they may work harmoniously in your favour.

LESSON 14 – FAILURE: Yes! Fail, and be happy that it is bringing you one step closer to success. Failure is inevitable, and it is a great step towards the right direction. Replace "failure" with "temporary defeat".

LESSON 15 –TOLERANCE: Don't practice prejudice or racism. It is IGNORANCE, and it is a barrier to success. Just see the best in people and situations, and focus only on your goal and the good for all.

And finally LESSON 16 – THE GOLDEN RULE: “Do unto others as you wish them to do unto you,” and to avail yourself fully of the benefits of this great Universal Law you must also “think of others as you wish them to think of you.” As the law upon which the Golden Rule is based begins affecting you, either for good or evil, the moment you release a thought.

Call To Action

Your call to action today is not only CONSIDER THE GOLDEN RULE but to take up this challenge which Hill lays out: Analyze yourself carefully, with the assistance of one or more other persons if you feel that you need it, for the purpose of ascertaining in which of the fifteen factors detailed in this course you are the weakest, and then concentrate your efforts upon those particular lessons until you have fully developed that which they represent.

I will make my breakdown of the 16 lessons I just went through available through the official website as a PDF download, so go there as a starting point. Also on today’s shownotes I’ll be giving the download links to all of the versions of the text that are available in the public domain, plus an audio download of his 1954 film which encapsulates this and YouTube links to boot.


So that is the end of this 6 episode mini series. I hope that you have found it beneficial and I hope too that it leads you towards the success which you seek in life.

This has been a helluva undertaking for me which has shoved me beyond a few of my own deadlines, but I realised once I has started that to not properly cover it all would have been a disservice to you.

Thanks too to all of you that have sponsored these episodes and to all of the international listeners in Australia, Hong Kong, the US, Canada and Germany as I get a helluva a lot of downloads in those places. Wherever you are in the world I hope that these lessons have been useful and lead you towards success.

Next week, I will be responding to listeners questions, in a special MAIL BAG episode, but for now, bearig in mind all that we have learned from Napoleon Hill over the last six episodes let me end with a quote from

Thomas Sowell who said – “It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.

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

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When people get used to preferential treatment, equal treatment seems like discrimination. Thomas Sowell UNQUOTE


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