A Lifetime of Persistence, Pt I

Posted on December 5, 2008. Filed under: People to Follow | Tags: , , , , |

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve”. 

“Thoughts are things”. 

 “You become what you think about”. 

These are concepts made popular in the last century by Napoleon Hill, and for the past week, I’ve immersed myself in his biography.  Why would I be interested in the life of an early 20th century self-improvement prosletyzer?  His name keeps coming up as I delve into the teachings of more recent “mentors” – people like Chicken Soup for the Soul author Jack Canfield, and Bob Proctor.  And you can learn a ton from the life of Napoleon Hill – especially if you are one of those people diagnosed and struggling with ADHD. 

I actually started my research as a speaking project for Toastmasters, and was actually amazed at what I found out about him.  Who knew we would have so much in common?

I’m not saying that Mr Hill had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.  But reading his life story, he shows many of the symptoms.  Very bright and active, he was sent to school at age four (in 1887) to “get out of his parents’ hair”. Once in school though, it was very hard to keep him in his seat, or his attention focused on what was going on in class.  He was much happier exploring the woods around his home, packing a six-shooter, hunting small game and starting fires.  Not exactly a promising start for a future philosopher and lecturer.  I liked him already!

The key to his success, though, began with the unwavering support and belief in his talents shown to him by his stepmother, Martha Hill.  She was the widow of a school principal who married Napoleon’s father, James, when “Nap” was nine.   Martha’s deal with her stepson was this:  “Turn in your gun and I will give you a typewriter”.  Bear in mind that this was around 115 years ago, and a typewriter was as new and as coveted as an XBox 360.  Napoleon took the bait, and he sat and struggled to learn how to type.  It was to become a key tool in his transformation from young hoodlum in training to young man with a big goal and the means to get there. 

To be continued!

Advertisements
Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...