While doing an article for my Bounty profile I decided to investigate the history of "The Law of Attraction" and that led me to a man named Andrew Carnegie (you know of him - Carnegie Hall, Mellon Carnegie University etc.) - which ultimately led me to a man by the name of Napoleon Hill who was challenged by Carnegie to discover "the secret" at work in the lives of 500 of the wealthiest people in America at the time of his research and ultimately led him to write this particular book. His work spanned over 20 years and his book has remained as a best seller since coming out initially in 1938, selling over 30, 000, 000 (that's thirty million) copies!
The premise of "the secret" according to both Carnegie and Hill was to do what you could with the wealth you were bestowed - paying it forward so to speak. The book passes along a challenge to the reader - to determine exactly where in the book your own ultimate recognition is achieved that makes you realize that you also know "the secret" and simply need to put it to work in your own life.
Reading the stories of each of the people that Hill interviewed over the course of the 20 plus years makes for interesting reading. The book, initially written just shortly after the Great Depression is still as timeless and intriguing as I'm sure it must have been when it first hit bookstore shelves. Oddly enough even though this book was written in the 1930's it still holds a lot of great information that is still quite relevent for today.
According to Hill "the secret" was used by Edison and by a man who left everything behind to become a business partner with Edison - the one thing that is revealed early on is that every person, man, woman, child - who has gone on to be a success has had one thing in common - a Burning Desire. You know the kind. The one that takes hold of you and doesn't let go, it drives you to toss and turn at night as you try to formulate ways to make it come about, to happen the way you know that it can. It could be a business desire, a job desire, a life desire - whatever it is, it takes over your life with a passion and a grasp that doesn't want to leave until you have attained what it is you desire most.
This particular book is now currently a part of the Guttenberg Project, a Public Domain publication that anyone is free to locate and put to work in their own lives. It is also a book that is still for sale through sites like Amazon.com. As I've read through this publication I've found that "the secret" is an accumulation of sequenced events that if drawn on effectively enough, can drive anyone to obtain just about anything they wish - the key is that you have to have the drive.
I think the one thing that has really held my interest throughout this book is learning about the many wealthy people Hill initially interviewed while he was putting this book together - and interestingly enough about the one man whom he spoke to during a Graduation ceremony but didn't realize would be the driving force behind Hill eventually publishing this book - a student who had graduated and who years later impressed upon Hill that the world needed to know the "secret".
If you obtain this book for nothing more than to achieve a history lesson, it will have done a good job of that but the information it holds is such that honestly, I don't think anyone would be able to read through it without coming away with a little more drive than when they entered reading it on the first page for the first time. Hill is a powerful and persuasive author and his style is such that before I got to the 2nd chapter, I was already aware of "the secret" and how it was already working in my life and in people's lives around me. I know several wealthy individuals and it was actually interesting to be able to pin point the characteristics Hill describes as being an essential part of "the secret" and realizing each of these people possess those qualities.
Of course I have a pretty hefty dose of the "Burning desire" which is a key ingredient and as I moved further into the book I could see exactly how this particular quality worked in each of the individuals lives Hill wrote about - it was overall a very, very interesting read and one that perhaps if I'd grabbed this book in my teens, would have awakened me to "the secret" that much earlier - as it is though, I'm just happy to see that without even realizing it - I've not been doing too badly with it so far but except for this book and a few others I've read in the past - I'd probably still be thinking I was just doing everything instinctively - but then, maybe that's what the "secret" is suppose to be - an instinct that leads you or it doesn't - depending on just how aware you are of it working in your life to begin with.