Napoleon Hill if largely responsible for the shaping of the self-development industry that began with his book “Think and Grow Rich.” Richness is not just a measurement of how much money a person collects in life but the number of friends they have the amount of good they bring to their communities or family, and the happiness that follows them.  I have read it several times and always recommend it as it has certainly helped me over the past 40 years.

I recently reposted “Napoleon Hill’s 14 habits of people who are so likable that others go out of their way to help them,” As printed by the BusinessInsider.com. I received a reply post claiming that is all just insincere marketing used to try and manipulate people’s minds. I re-read and entered this into today’s blog with my answers or questions as to how any of these statements could be considered manipulative in anyway.

1. They develop a positive mental attitude and let it be seen and felt by others.

It’s is often easy to be a cynic, howeverthose who choose to be positive set themselves up for success because they are more likeable and develop better reputations.It is a fact that no matter how much ability you have, how skilled or how smart you are, if you are negative all the time people will soon reject you because you are too difficult to be around. Some describe these people as an Energy Vampires just because it is so tiring listening to them all the time. Henry Ford said, “It doesn’t matter if you think you are right or whether you think you are wrong, either way you are right.” Life is just easier being positive.

2. They always speak in a carefully disciplined, friendly tone.

This has nothing to do with manipulation it is just common courtesy. The best communicators speak deliberately and confidently, which gives their voice a pleasing soundand makes it so much easier to get an audience than by those who rant. This is one item I am consciously aware of all the time, although I don’t always practice it, as I should. In fact the devil in me tells me there is nothing that pee’s off an opponent more than being kind and friendly when they are going out of their mind.

3. They pay close attention to someone speaking to them.

Using a conversation as an opportunity to lecture someone “may feed the ego, but it never attracts people or makes friends,” Hill says.Some people will not even listen to opposing views believing only they know the truth and in doing so they cut off all forms of communication. Remember too that you can learn as much from what people don’t say as what they do.

4. They are able to maintain their composure in all circumstances.

Like number 2, this is one I sometimes wrestle with, even knowing overreaction to something either positive or negative can give people a poor impression.

“Remember that silence may be much more effective than your angry words.” Said Hill.There are times when I think a sudden break from a quiet behavior to a passionate tirade can wake the listener up. This is my opinion not Hill’s and it could be argued in this sense I am trying to manipulate their thinking. But if time is of the essence and I believe a quick answer will solve a pending problem like abandon the sinking ship and some people will not listen, then you are right I may lose my composure and throw then overboard. 

5. They are patient.

“Remember that proper timing of your words and acts may give you a big advantage over impatientpeople,” Hill writes.I am much more patient now than I was as a young man and find it very helpful even amusing to wait and watch someone self-destruct trying to impress or convince others through ranting and overbearing.

6. They keep an open mind.

Those who close themselves off from certain ideas and associate only with like-minded people are missing out on not only personal growth but also opportunities for advancing their careers.I find that even those who hold what I consider to be absurd ideas about science, health, religion, con trails, vaccines or other conspiracy theories are worth listening too if for no other reason to understand where they are coming from or new idea’s that may fall between theirs and mine. Keeping an open mind is the opposite of trying to control or manipulate others.

7. They smile when speaking with others.

Hill says that president Franklin D. Roosevelt’s greatest asset was his “million-dollar smile,” which allowed people to lower their guards during conversation.I believe that this has more to do with getting the listener to relax and listen to what is being said than it has to manipulating them.

8. They know that not all their thoughts need to be expressed.

The most likable people know that it’s not worth offending people by expressing all their thoughts, even if they happen to be true.This has more to do with the saying; “Do you want to be happy or be right?” People who oppose a particular religion for example can rant or argue with people from that religion but if it not directly affecting you why bother. Let them be.

9. They don’t procrastinate.

Procrastination communicates to people that you’re afraid of taking action, Hill says, and are therefore ineffective.Again this has nothing to do with marketing or manipulation but is a simple rule of the universe. If you want to get something done, then as Nike says, “Just do it”, if you sit around and think about it, tweet about it, Facebook about it and debate or discuss it with everyone it will never get done.

10. They engage in at least one good deed a day.

In exact opposite to trying to manipulate people, the best networkers help other people out without expecting anything in return. In doing so they are often surprised by who steps forward to help them. Just as I did a favor for someone over a year ago then at Christmas when I mentioned I would like a motorcycle again that person stepped forward and gave me one. I had no way of knowing that would happen of planned for it to happen, it is all about just paying it forward.

11. They find a lesson in failure rather than brood over it.

People admire those who grow from failure rather than wallow in it. “Express your gratitude for having gained a measure of wisdom, which would not have come without defeat,” Hill says. Read the biographies of many great leaders and you will find most suffered great failures first. Who is this one that always comes to mind and had nothing to do with collecting wealth?

Twice he failed in business,

Then he ran for the State Legislature and lost.Image

Twice he ran for Congress and lost,

He then ran twice for the Senate, and lost.

He tried to become the Vice President of the US and lost.

The woman he loved died when she was still quite young.

Eventually this man suffered a nervous breakdown, who was he?

Many would argue the greatest President the US ever had because he did not give up!

12. They act as if the person they are speaking to is the most important person in the world.

The most likable people use conversations as an opportunity to ask questions and give them time to talk so they learn more about another person. People love to talk about themselves so let them and they will like you more for it.

13. They praise others in a genuine way without being excessive.

“Praise the good traits of others, but don’t rub it on where it is not deserved or spread it too thickly,” Hill said. People will not always remember what you say but they will always remember how they made you feel. Does it hurt you to make someone else feel happy, important or proud of something they have done? This too is not manipulation it is a gift.

14. They have someone they trust point out their flaws.

Successful people don’t pretend to be likable; they are likable because they care about their conduct and reputation. Having a confidant who can be completely honest with them allows them to continue growing.


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