The Character of Success

Labor Day in the United States is a time of rest, a time of celebration, and should be a time of reflection about labor (work). Take some time this weekend and think about where you are in your life and your “work” and where you want to be. Is your “work” work? or do you love it? Do you enjoy or dread going to your place of business every day? Where are you in your path? Is this a stepping stone or is it your destination? Even if it’s your destination career, is it your destination position? What is keeping you going? What are you reaching for? Are you satisfied? What would make you satisfied? Where do you ultimately want to be? Do you look at it as a dream or a possibility?

Take a look at Napoleon Hill’s “The  Character of Success” before you start examining where you and where you want to be!

Enjoy your weekend and make the most of each and every day!

The Character of Success
by Dr. Napoleon Hill

A part of this philosophy is that adversity is good for us! The person who really ought to be pitied is the one who grows up with a “silver spoon” in his mouth, with a rich dad and no responsibilities! It’s a safe bet that such a person will never be a very strong competitor of the individual who has had to fight hard for every foot of ground that he or she has covered.

No, it is not wealth that makes a person—it is character, persistence and a strong determination to be of service to the world! You might as well understand now that your real success will be measured and determined by the quantity and quality of service that you render the world! There is no guesswork, no luck or chance about this. It’s according to nature’s own laws.

You may be wealthy, but that isn’t success! You may have a splendid education, but that isn’t success either. You may have wealthy parents, but neither is that success, for you must remember that wealth is an evasive thing which sometimes takes wings and flies away.

The only real, permanent and worthwhile success is represented by the character you are building!

And remember that you are building some sort of a character all the time. The chances are about ten to one that if you are devoting some of your time to self-improvement, developing self-confidence and self-control, you are building a character that will be an asset to you in years to come.

Character is built slowly, step by step. Your every thought and every act goes into it. Character is the crystallization of the things you do, the words you speak and the thoughts you think! If you think about worthwhile things, you are pretty much apt to be a worthwhile person.

You can be pretty much what you want to be if your will keep your mind on the one thing you want to be long enough. Remember, I said if you try hard enough—not if you wish hard enough.

We should never complain if success does not come easily. If it did, we might not recognize it when it arrived! I have no complaint to register against fate for taking me over the pathway of hard experience. I have no kick to register against the world for the rough manner in which it has used me. An easy time in life doesn’t seem to leave the proper temper in the metal. No one wants to cash a check on the Easy-Time Bank. The world is afraid of it.

The world is waiting for men and women who are seeking the opportunity to render real service—the kind of service that lightens the burdens of our neighbors; the kind of service that makes the world a better place to live in; the kind of service that ninety-five people out of a hundred to not render because they do not understand it. Shakespeare was right when he said, “our only sin is that of ignorance.”

Source: Excerpted from the 1919 issue of Hill’s Golden Rule Magazine as appearing in the Think and Grow Rich Newsletter, July 1993, Volume 5, Number 10, pg. 7.


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2 thoughts on “The Character of Success

  1. This article really resonates with me at this time!
    I have been 'stuck' while coming face to face with some of my behaviour that is out of place with the me I'd like to be. This cranky, unkind, ego based personality has been really throwing a tantrum and bringing me down! And I haven't been able to articulate my purpose and goals because, I now believe, they were too selfish and self serving, even though I expressed a desire to be involved in some inspirational project that made a difference for the better.
    We have a great commercial free TV and Radio network here in Australia – AustralianBroadcastingCorporation, and it was while listening to "the spirit of things' on Radio National that it suddenly hit me that we are very well off, and that my life so far had not been focussed on SERVICE. On this particular broadcast the presenter was interviewing 3 inspiring people who were devoting their lives to giving hope and meaning to people who were either homeless or very poor (here in Australia and in India). Interestingly, the third speaker was assisting wealthier people to find hope and meaning in their, supposedly well off, lives.
    It is SO true, that 'when the student is ready, the teacher appears'. I have been on a spiritaul path for over a decade and have read very widely, but of course, as you know, the changes dont come about only from the knowledge. that knowledge has to be changed into an understanding and a 'knowing', and for me this experience is coming about by degrees.
    Please keep the articles and words of wisdom coming, I appreciate all that you are doing and love being connected to 'the two gals on the phone'!
    Yours in Spirit, Trish

  2. Trish,
    Way to go! I'm so glad this helped you especially at the same time you heard that broadcast. there are no coincidences and once again you proved it.

    You are successful!