Napoleon Hill is one of the best known and most respected authors for anyone who chose to change their lives from getting by to being successful. You likely know him from his best known book Think and Grow Rich. Think and Grow Rich was really a condensed version of his life long work the original Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons. Andrew Carnegie commissioned Napoleon Hill to interview over 500 millionaires to find a success formula that could be used by the average person. These included Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Henry Ford, Elmer Gates, Charles M. Schwab, Theodore Roosevelt, William Wrigley Jr., John Wanamaker, William Jennings Bryan, George Eastman, Woodrow Wilson, William H. Taft, John D. Rockefeller, F. W. Woolworth, Jennings Randolph, among others. The result of these interviews was the 16 book success course the Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons.

When Napoleon Hill talks about the Guideposts to Success he means the 17 success principles (one added to the original sixteen lessons) that he uncovered during his lifetime of research. It is good to reflect on each of these principles. It is even better to consider how these success traits apply to us in our day-to-day activities. Are we reading about them or are we applying them? As Mark Twain states, the difference could be as diverse as that between a lightning bug and lightning. Ask yourself, which would you rather be? If your answer is the lightning that illuminates the sky and causes observers to sit up and take notice, then you need to be incorporating these traits into your daily actions. How else do you expect to sparkle?

You are able to start applying the 17 principles and you are able to do so daily and with foresight. Perhaps create a checklist of the principles, much like a mini report card, and evaluate your progress daily.

Keep a record for a month, and remind yourself to use all the principles. Begin with the Big Four as Hill terms them – Definiteness of Purpose, Mastermind Alliance, Applied Faith and Going the Extra Mile.

We all know that thoughts are things and what you think about you become. So, get busy with making the principles observable and measurable in your life. Therein lies the real difference. Remember giant oaks grow from small acorns grow!