It would appear from this letter, which Napoleon Hill was so careful to include, that a source of motivation to write this book may well have gotten its beginnings from a chance meeting of sorts. Here is the first half of the letter that details the impact Hill had on one of many people in high places.
“My dear Napoleon:
“My service as a Member of Congress having given me an insight into the problems of men and women, I am writing to offer a suggestion which may become helpful to thousands of worthy people.
“With apologies, I must state that the suggestion, if acted upon, will mean several years of labor and responsibility for you, but I am en-heartened to make the suggestion, because I know your great love for rendering useful service.
“In 1922, you delivered the Commencement address at Salem College, when I was a member’ of the graduating class. In that address, you planted in my mind an idea which has been responsible for the opportunity I now have to serve the people of my State, and will be responsible, in a very large measure, for whatever success I may have in the future.
“The suggestion I have in mind is, that you put into a book the sum and substance of the address you delivered at Salem College, and in that way give the people of America an opportunity to profit by your many years of experience and association with the men who, by their greatness, have made America the richest nation on earth.
Inspired By Speakers
“I recall, as though it were yesterday, the marvelous description you gave of the method by which Henry Ford, with but little schooling, without a dollar, with no influential friends, rose to great heights. I made up my mind then, even before you had finished your speech, that I would make a place for myself, no matter how many difficulties I had to surmount.
“Thousands of young people will finish their schooling this year, and within the next few years. Every one of them will be seeking just such a message of practical encouragement as the one I received from you. They will want to know where to turn, what to do, to get started in life. You can tell them, because you have helped to solve the problems of so many, many people.”
I think we’ve all had times when a key speaker or presenter has touched us, and motivated us to greatness. Sometimes that feeling is soon lost and sometimes it molds an entire life, as Hill did here. We’ll conclude the letter in our next post. Do be sure to see what else this motivated member of congress had to say!
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