Mindset Mastery 45 – Suggesting Greatness

Mindset Mastery eBookIt 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.

Commencement, Beginnings

“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!

Sean Rasmussen
Success Communicator
SeanRasmussen.com © 2004-2008

About Sean Rasmussen

Sean Rasmussen is a passionate blogger and has been a full time internet marketer since 2005. When he's not with his family, or dog Buddy, Sean is usually blogging or doing something related to the internet.


  1. You’ll never know HOW something is going to happen, and nor would you want to. That would take the fun out of life now wouldn’t it.

  2. An attempt does matter!

    No doubt, Hill influenced several people for recognizing their responsibilities. Motivational influences are very important to get a desired action that consequently leads to successful result.

  3. “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” – this is so true Sean. I guess sometimes it depends on how ready we are to change, as the saying goes, ‘when the student is ready the teacher will appear’. Looking forward for the continuation of the letter.. All I can feel right now is inspiration, inspiration, inspiration. Yes, I can do it!

  4. Thanks Sharon. Napoleon still inspires people after all of these years. Incredible!

  5. Jazz Salinger says:

    Hi Sean,
    It’s true you never know who will speak to you in such a way that will transform your world. Nor do you know which books you will read that will stay with you for a lifetime.
    I think this is integral for our success. We have to find that one thing that connects the dots for us and makes us believe that we can become one of the greats.

  6. Its fascinating from where and when such an inspiring person can come into our life. I love the saying “When the student is ready the teacher appears” as it also makes clear a pre-requisite from my side: I have to be open for what is coming. I have to be looking for it in a way.

    Being in the Information age and having things like the internet makes the distribution of information really easy – thanks to guys like you putting great books and posts online. Now we have to make sure we teach our kids that they stay open and know what they want to achieve. Once they know the goal, they will find the way to get their easily.
    .-= Renee´s last blog ..Secrets Of The Millionaire Mind =-.

    • Hi Renee,

      I totally believe that it’s only when you’re truly ready that your teacher will appear. You have to be looking for answers to specific questions before the teacher will appear though.

      Providence moves in strange ways and if you open your subconscious to the possibility, the right people will show up to help you make your dreams a reality. You just have to recognise them when they show up.
      .-= Jazz Salinger´s last blog ..Sean Rasmussen – Aussie Internet Marketer Making a Difference =-.

  7. That’s a great letter, written in surprisingly simple English, especially for that time. That was one smart member of Congress…

    Befitting blog post for me to read right now. I actually had the privilege to witness a speech tonight that moved me. It was as though the speaker talked right to my heart in the room of 200+. Amazing when you can be a part of that.
    .-= Lina Nguyen´s last blog ..How to make comments online and build your online persona =-.

  8. Hi Sean,
    A testimonial to die for! How wonderful it must be to have an opportunity to touch a person’s life in such a significant way. So wonderful to have this amount of influence that the congressman wanted future generations to have the same opportunity he had to be inspired into greatness.

    The conclusion to the letter will be an interesting read, Sean. Can’t wait for your next post!!


  9. Hopefully, there is inspiration in our blogs when we write them, for to give inspiration to another is a truly wonderful thing – for the inspiring of another expands their world, in their terms, in their way. As I journey through this site, I see and hear inspiration all around; both in the post itself and in the comments too. I like being a part of this. It makes my day.
    .-= Jo Carey-Bradshaw´s last blog ..Empowering Mindset – Mastering Self =-.

  10. It’s like we have heard, when a person is ready to hear the message, they will get it. Obviously one student at Salem College really got it on that occasion. He was ready. And he achieved greatness.
    .-= Wal Heinrich´s last blog ..Think And Grow Rich Mindset Mastery =-.

  11. Hi Lina,
    Writing to be understood by everyone is very important. Common law principles of the community are simple. If it is not understood by all members of the community it is not Common Law.

    This means that some members may not have an opportunity to benefit if the words and meanings are not understood by everyone.
    .-= Jill Brown´s last blog ..Common Law Marriage – What is Common Law Marriage? =-.

  12. Hi Sean

    I dearly love these stories of inspiration. When I hear someone talk from the depths of their emotions of their journey from pain to power, I feel a huge surge of energy just like listening to a beautiful symphony or the exhilaration of breaking through a perceived barrier. There are no words to describe this feeling but we know we are inspired because of it.

    Someone could be talking to us and 5 minutes later we can’t recall what was said.
    We could go to a movie, sit through it for 1 hour and 40 minutes and forget the whole storyline a year later.

    We could hear a piece of divine music floating out of a shop as we pass by, or while in a coffee shop chatting to someone, a beautiful song we had never heard before drifts to our attention filling us with euphoria. We could be humming that tune for days. Seldom do we ever forget a song, we may not remember the words, but the melody will linger in our memory.

    People who have risen above diversity and had the courage to change and then share their heroic journey are like beautiful music. Whether we hear them speak or read their books, their words are not just received by the ear, it is an all over sensation that absorbs the messages and moves us deeply. We identify with many aspects of their journey, and they have answers to the way out of suffering.

    The congressman in the story was moved so much that he used Hills information to his great advantage and succeeded in life. Now he wants everyone to have access to this gem.

    It is so important to read uplifting books like Mr Hills, to go and listen to people who are making a positive difference in the world. To be mentored by the positive”change makers” of the world (you sit in every category here Sean) because you never know, one word, one sentence, or one seminar, like a beautiful song, may be the change and inspiration you were looking for, that will take you by the heart and move you to change.


  13. Elizabeth says:

    It would be interesting to look up the roster of graduating students from that year at that college and see if any others went on to become either comfortably well off, or outright wealthy. If nothing else, though, at least one person heard the message and took it to heart.

    • That is a really good idea Elizabeth! Might take a bit of research, but with Google, almost anything is possible! Many schools and colleges have put their records online so it might not be a big effort.

      Perhaps, though we might find that their success is not measured in wealth, but in great service of others – which doesn’t always bring financial wealth

  14. Clem and Erika schollum says:

    there is a story in every great, successful person’s life about how they came to be there, what defining moment or combination of moments pushed them to excellence and acheivement. I’d love to know more about this one. I think often we are pushed, challenged, inspired or moved by others and merely take and admire from afar. I am inspired, not only by Mr. Hill’s works and the way the world has been impacted by it, but also by the willingness of some to speak up and thank a mentor or inspiring speaker for suggesting greatness – and sharing the success directly linked to the speaker. There are so many people in this category- but today I’ll take the moment Sean- for his time and teaching and Napoleon Hill, for the same!

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