Thoughts and Labyrinths: the Spirit of Napoleon Hill in 2009
It’s always interesting when a person’s legacy is carried on long after his or her death. That’s the case with Napoleon Hill, perhaps best known for Think and Grow Rich. Despite its title, the book is not just a guide to financial wealth but to all-around success and personal development. He wrote it on the personal suggestion of Andrew Carnegie, to intensively study the success secrets of some of the major figures of his era, including Thomas Edison and John D. Rockefeller. It and other books by Hill, (1883-1970), remain popular in libraries and bookstores worldwide. Sue Ellen Ross of The Post-Tribune in Gary, Ind., recently did a feature story, Top motivator continues to inspire, about the field trip of a high school band to an open house at the Napoleon Hill Foundation’s World Learning Center at Purdue University Calumet. The foundation carries on Hill’s teachings through publications, seminars and distance learning classes. The article explains that the students listened to a presentation by Dr. J.B. Hill, a West Virginia physician who is Hill’s grandson. He said that he didn’t know Hill well, but reading Think and Grow Rich changed his life. The students also walked the labyrinth on the center’s grounds. Labyrinths were not in vogue in Hill’s day; but their calm, deliberate and meditative qualities fit in well with his emphasis on harnessing the power of the mind to make meaningful achievements in life. I can attest to the quiet intensity of labyrinths after walking the indoor one (there is also one outdoors) at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco last year. Hill would probably appreciate how the foundation has helped to modernize his message by tapping into the power of an ancient concept.