The Wisdom of Success: The Philosophy of Achievement by Andrew Carnegie and Napoleon Hill

The Rabbit Hole is written by Blas Moros. To support, sign up for the newsletter, become a patron, and/or join The Latticework. Original Design by Thilo Konzok.

  1. There are 17 major principles of success and one must first be aware of them, then embody them and then act and live by them to achieve success in any field and area of life – the principles of definiteness of purpose
Key Takeaways
  1. All success begins with a definiteness of purpose. Develop a definiteness of purpose which arouses a burning desire in you, one which never leaves your thoughts, one which you can devote your life to. A burning desire backed by a solid and actionable plan which excites and brings in other great minds (a mastermind group). A group of disciplined and sharp minded people can achieve multiples more than an individual ever could
  2. The first step from poverty to riches is the most difficult
  3. Every great endeavor and road to riches begins with a clear vision of what one seeks and when it evolves into an obsession, the subconscious mind works on it until it is realized. A positive mental attitude is what gives power to ones thoughts and plans
  4. There is a definite law between giving and getting and not understanding or appreciating this has disappointed and ruined many men and endeavors
  5. A burning desire is not enough if you do not bring forth a useful product or service rendered in the spirit of harmony
  6. The very best way to distribute wealth is to disturbe the means by which to achieve it. Money earned is far more powerful than money given
  7. Carnegie’s definition of success – the power with which to acquire whatever one demands of life without violating the rights of others
  8. Personal power is achieved through a combination por personal traits and habits. The 10 point rule of personal power
    1. The habit of definiteness of purpose
    2. Promptness of decision
    3. Soundness of character – intentional honesty
    4. Strict discipline over one’s emotions
    5. Obsessional desire to render useful service
    6. Thorough knowledge of one’s occupation
    7. Tolerance of all subjects
    8. Loyalty to one’s personal associates and faith in a supreme being
    9. Enduring thirst for knowledge
    10. Alertness of imagination
  9. Mastermind Group – an alliance of two or more minds working together in the spirit of perfect harmony for the attainment of a definite purpose
    1. Seems like a worthy mission statement for any organization
  10. The 9 key human motives (top 3 most powerful and should be in harmony for a successful mastermind group)
    1. The emotion of love – the gateway to one’s spiritual power
    2. The emotion of sex
    3. Desire for financial gain
    4. Desire for self preservation
    5. Desire for freedom of body and mind
    6. Desire for self expression leading to fame and recognition
    7. Desire for perpetuation of life after death
    8. The emotion of anger – often expressed as envy or jealousy
    9. The emotion of fear
  11. Mental attitude of the mastermind group, like for every other group or organization, is the most important characteristic which determines the success of the group
  12. One of the most beauitful sights on earth and one of the most inspiring is that of a group of men that work together in a spirit of perfect harmony. Each man only thinking in terms of what he can do for the group
  13. The relationship between the men in the mastermind group should be confidential. The alliance should never be discussed outside the ranks of the members
  14. A marriage may be the most important mastermind group you will ever form
  15. Who we surround ourselves with on a daily and intimate basis is therefore so important for our happiness, development and future achievement
  16. An educational alliance is also always important to have as continuous learning is key, especially when it comes to acquiring specialized knowledge. What we read and learn should be as carefully consumed as the food we eat. Public libraries, one’s associates, groups and clubs and other contacts which have exoertise relevant to your definite purpose are some of the greatest resources
  17. Attractive personality traits – positive mental attitude, flexibility, sincerity of purpose, promptness of decision, courtesy, tone of voice, smiling, expression of the face, tactfulness, tolerance, frankness of manner and speech, a keen sense of humor, faith in infinite intelligence, appropriateness of words, emotional control, alertness and presence, effective speech, versatility, genuine fondness of people, good showmanship, clean sportsmanship, personal magnetism (sex energy)
  18. Applied faith is of utmost importance and a prerequisite for any major undertaking
  19. Every failure has in it the seeds of a similar advantage. Is there is such thing as permanent failure until you accept it
  20. Adopting a definite plan and a burning desire to achieve it is the beginning of all success
  21. Mans arch enemy is fear – fear or poverty, ill health, criticism, loss of love, old age, loss of liberty, death; failure. Build faith by ridding the mind of these thoughts of fear
  22. The habit of going he extra mile – rendering more service and better service than is expected from you and that you are paid for
  23. Goodwill and confidence are necessary in every walk of life and going the extra mile is the best way to achieve both. The law of compensation is such that no many can truly do more work than he is paid for for he will eventually reap the rewards of his effort
  24. Use organized individual effort – planned action. initiative and action, never procrastination, is found in all successful men
  25. Found in all successful leaders – definite purpose, definite motive, mastermind alliance, self reliance, self discipline over head and heart, persistence, a well developed faculty of imagination, definite and prompt decisions, opinions made on fact and not hearsay, capacity to create enthusiasm at will and direct it, keen sense of fairness and justice, tolerance and open mind, going the extra mile, tactfulness and a keen sense of diplomacy, listening much and talking little, an observing nature, determination, capacity stand critisicm without resentment, temperance of appetites, loyalty to all who deserve it, frankness with those who have a right to it, familiarity of men’s desires (love, sex, other motives), attractive personality, effective salesmanship, concentrate full attention on one thing at a time, learning from ones own and others mistakes, willingness to take responsibility of ones subordinates, adequately recognizing merits of others, applying golden rule to all relationships, positive mental attitudes at all times, full responsibility for all take one undertakes, keen sense of values
  26. Knowledge is of little use until it is put into some form of useful service
  27. Creative and synthetic imagination
  28. Turn definite of purpose into consistent and emotional user thought to tap into power of subconscious. The two key driving emotions are love and sex
  29. 9 based motives printed out and worked into DCA
  30. Carbegues morive is to make men and not money
  31. It is ibky through mans partnership with woman that he dan reach his highest potential
  32. Ritualized positive thinking habits and strict use of time are key
  33. Learning from defeat and realizing it is temporary is necessary for success
  34. Causes of failure – the habit of drifting through life without a definite major purpose, unfavorable hereditary foundations (only cause of failure not subject to elimination and even this can be managed), habit of meddlesome curiosity in others affairs, inadequate preparation, lack of self discipline, indifference to opportunities towards self advancement, ill health, not aiming high enough, unfavorable environmental influences, habit of negative mental attitude, lack of emotional control, indecision and indefiniteness, succumbing to 7 basic fears, wrong selection of a mate, over caution, excess tendency towards chance, wrong choice of associates, wrong choice of vocation, lack of focus to main effort, indiscriminate spending, failure to budget and use time properly, lack of controlled enthusiasm, intolerance, failure to cooperate with others, desire for power not based on merit, lack of loyalty, egotism and vanity, exaggerated selfishness, opinions and plans not based on know facts, lack of vision and imagination, lack of a mastermind group, not aligning to forces of infinite intelligence, vanity of speech, speaking before thinking, covetousness, revenge, greed, procrastination, speaking slanderously of others, ignorance of the power of thought, lack of personal initiative, lack of self reliance, lack of a pleasing personality, lack of faith in oneself, of others and of God, insufficient power of will because of poor thought patterns
  35. Conjuring up willpower and enthusiasm and inspiration is an important skill to have
  36. Getting an outside perspective on self is always helpful
  37. Splitting ones energy and attention takes away from ones superpowers
  38. A well ordered life requires preparation, commitment and vision. They plan their life like they plan their business. 1/3 sleep, 1/3 work, 1/3 growth and healthy recreation – opportunity time
  39. The golden rule may cause temporary losses but massive permanent long term gains
  40. Conservative living and saving on a regular schedule is important for self discipline and any pote rial future issues
  41. A healthy body is as important as a healthy mind and healthy thought patterns. Eat so that you’re not too full, eat balanced meals, enough fruits and veggies, slow eating, no snacking between meals, no liquor, supplement with lacking vitamins and minerals, mind must be conditioned and grateful for the meal (no stress or fighting while eating)
  42. Relaxation by clearing the mind of all thoughts and stresses should be done for at least an hour per day
  43. 8 hours per sleep per night is required for a healthy body, mind, spirit and attitude
  44. At least one hour per day for a recreational sport should be worked into one’s schedule
  45. Hope inspires good health and good health inspires health
  46. Frequent flushing and detoxifying of the sewer system is required through healthy eating, fasts and plenty of water
  47. Avoid too many medicines and drugs. Listening to the body is often the best thing you can do
  48. Cosmic habit force – the particular application of energy with which nature maintains the relationships between all atoms of matter. It is what gives power to our thoughts. We are ruled by our habits which are formed by thoughts and experience. We control our destinies by the amount we control our thoughts. This law translates our thoughts into their physical equivalent through the most efficient means if we are dedicated and open to the opportunities the universe presents. This gets man to focus intensely on every way to translate his thoughts into reality. The power of the cosmic habit force is multiplied by the mastermind group as multiple people are purely focused on the same goal
  49. Everything worth having has its required price to pay. Nothing comes for nothing
What I got out of it
  1. The combination of a burning definiteness of purpose and a harmonious mastermind group is the keystone to all success

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

The Rabbit Hole is written by Blas Moros. To support, sign up for the newsletter, become a patron, and/or join The Latticework. Original Design by Thilo Konzok.

  1. No matter the domain, the highly successful have a kind of ferocious determination that plays out in two ways. First, these exemplars were unusually resilient and hardworking. Second, they knew in a very, very deep way what it was they wanted. They not only had determination, they had direction. It is a combination of passion and perseverance that makes high achievers special. In a word, they have grit
Key Takeaways
  1. How talented somebody is has no relation to their level of grit. “Our potential is one thing. What we do with it is quite another.”
  2. The Grit Scale measures somebody’s grit and is incredibly predictive of who will stay in a job and persevere, more so than extroversion, emotional stability and conscientiousness
  3. Those who defy the odds are especially gritty
  4. What we say we care about may not correspond to how we truly feel – people say they prefer hard workers but most people honestly prefer “naturals”
  5. Focusing on talent is dangerous as it detracts from the importance effort has regardless of outcome
  6. “Greatness is many, many individual feats and each one of them is doable.”
  7. On people’s predisposition to like “magic” – Nietzsche “With everything perfect, we do not ask how it came to be. Instead, we rejoice in the present fact as though it came out of the ground by magic.” – we prefer mystery to the mundane. Mythologizing natural talent lets us all off the hook
  8. Talent x effort = skill. Skill x effort = achievement
  9. To do anything really well you have to overextend yourself
  10. Life is a marathon. Consistency of effort is everything. Grit is more about stamina than intensity
  11. Grit has two components – passion (consistency over time towards a goal rather than intensity) and perseverance
  12. Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare
  13. Example of the importance of having a life philosophy from book but for me – Learning, building something worthwhile, spending and cultivating quality relationships with quality people is what makes me happy. I’ve made up my mind what I want to do. I’m happy when I’m doing any of these things so I only do things that help me be happy. – “The more unified, aligned and coordinated your goal hierarchies are, the better.”
  14. It is important to figure out what your top level goals are and avoid lower level goals at all costs as these are the distractions
  15. Grit, like any other characteristic, is a function of our genes and our experiences
  16. Social multiplier effect – small environmental or genetic differences can trigger a virtuous cycle which are multiplied socially, through culture, because each of us enriches the environment of all of us
  17. Older people rated grittier and this may be because people develop the capacity for long-term passion and perseverance as we get older because of life experiences
  18. Lectures don’t have half the effect of consequences
  19. Four key characteristics which gritty people have in spades but are developed over time – interest (intrinsically enjoying what you do, comes about through discovery, development and deepening), capacity for focused, deliberate practice (zeroing in on your weaknesses, to be gritty is to resist complacency), purpose (deeply believe that your work matters), and hope (rising-to-the-occasion kind of perseverance),
  20. Gritty people engaged in more deliberate practice and experience more flow. Deliberate practice is for preparation and flow is for performance
    1. Deliberate practice – a clearly defined stretch goal; full concentration and effort; immediate and informative feedback; repetition with reflection and refinement
    2. Routines are a godsend when trying to accomplish something hard. Schedule a place and time for deliberate practice
  21. Grittier people are dramatically more motivated than others to seek a meaningful, other-centered life. Purpose is a tremendously powerful source of motivation
  22. “Fortunate indeed are those who have a top-level goal so consequential to the world that it imbues everything they do, no matter how small or tedious, with significance.”
  23. Job crafting – adding, delegating or somehow customizing your work so that it better aligns with your interests and values
  24. Hopelessness stems from suffering you think you can’t control
  25. Optimists habitually search for temporary and specific causes to their suffering whereas pessimist assume permanent and pervasive causes are to blame
  26. A growth mindset, believing you can improve and nothing is fixed, is highly correlated with grit
  27. Overcoming a potent experience at a young age changes the way you deal with adversity later on
  28. Demanding yet respectful, supportive and loving parenting the best method for raising gritty, happy and successful children. Children must feel unconditional love but know that only their best effort is expected
  29. Young children thrive and learn a lot of life lessons from structured extracurricular activities which are difficult and interest them
  30. Hard Thing Rule – everybody in the family must have something of their choosing that they are working deliberately on improving
  31. The people and culture we surround ourselves with help from our identity and it is from this combination that we can really enhance our grit
  32. The origin of great leadership begins with the respect of the commander for his subordinates
What I got out of it
  1. Interesting read on the importance of grit (passion and perseverance over the long-term) in success. Demanding, supporting and loving parents/coaches are incredibly important to developing grit in young kids

True Success by Tom Morris

The Rabbit Hole is written by Blas Moros. To support, sign up for the newsletter, become a patron, and/or join The Latticework. Original Design by Thilo Konzok.


  1. One of the most common maladies of our time is a misunderstanding of success. In this book Morris lays out the simple truth about success, what it is and how to have it
Key Takeaways
  1. Socrates determined that most people spend the most attention on the least important things and the least attention on the most important things
  2. There are 7 C’s of Success, 7 components of a successful mindset, 7 means to a successful life
    1. Conception – you need a clear and precise conception of what you want, a vivid vision, a goal or set of goals powerfully imagined
    2. Confidence – you need a strong confidence that you can attain your goals
    3. Concentration – you need a focused concentration on what it takes to reach your goal
    4. Consistency – you need a stubborn consistency in pursuing our vision, a determined persistence in thought and action
    5. Commitment – you need an emotional commitment to the importance of what you’re doing and to the people with whom you are doing it
    6. Character – you need a good character to guide you and keep you on a proper course
    7. Capacity – you need a capacity to enjoy the process along the way
  3. If you’re after power, understand power for what purpose
  4. The happiest people in the world are people who love what they are doing, regardless of whether wealth, fame, power and elevated social status ever come their way. The happiest people in the world realize that true success is up to them – using their talents and following their heart to bring about important change in their lives and lives of others
  5. Self-knowledge is the greatest source of personal power on this earth
  6. We need to put aside time to simply sit and think – to understand ourselves, what we want, what we love and value
  7. Goals must be clear and specific
  8. Satisfaction Audit – asking yourself what you like and dislike in your life and how to go about changing what you dislike
  9. Self-knowledge, self-discovery and self-definition
  10. Our values give rise to our goals
  11. Goals and desires are subtly but very different – you can’t have a goal that you don’t intend to act on
  12. Imagination is more important than knowledge
  13. Losers visualize the penalties of failure where winners visualize the rewards of success
  14. Good to ask yourself what the worst case scenario is – it is often not nearly as bad as we initially make it out to be
  15. Do everything to the best of your ability – that way you can look back on your life with no/few regrets
  16. Celebrate, no matter how small, whenever you reach a goal
  17. Whenever you achieve your goals, you must set yourself new goals immediately
  18. We all need support when we confront something difficult – need cheerleaders (Stutman)
  19. It’s easy to underestimate the power of negative thinking
  20. Precursive faith – faith that runs ahead of evidence
  21. You can’t please everybody. Don’t even try and don’t let it bother you
  22. Nothing worth doing is easy
  23. By learning how not to do something, you put yourself in a position so that you’ll be able to do it. Failure = learning
  24. Aim to be a realistic optimist
  25. Important to communicate confidence to yourself with self-talk and to others through how you carry yourself, what you do, how you speak/dress, etc.
  26. One of the most elusive traits today is self-esteem, aim to be moderately high in this arena
  27. Third party compliments do amazing things (Stutman)
  28. Nothing builds your own confidence like the hard work of good preparation
  29. The most consistently lucky people happen to be those who are best prepared
  30. “Everything we do can be, in one way or another, preparation for what we can contribute in this life. The good we do, and even the mistakes we make, can prepare us for greater good. But I cannot stress too much the importance of deliberate, thoughtful and specific creative preparation for any success we hope to attain.”
  31. Most people underestimate their limits and underestimate their strengths
  32. Intelligent preparation can make hard work much easier – knowledge itself is leverage
  33. Little things mean a lot and can make all the difference
  34. Expect the unexpected – even the best plans are made with incomplete knowledge
  35. What seems very bad at the time can turn out to be very good in the end
  36. Fail soon, fail often, fail forward
  37. No matter what, always learn from your failures
  38. Do not think that a successful plan, thought process, goal, etc. will translate into a different context
  39. Always look for the sages – the guys who have been around forever and have seen a lot
  40. Most successful people love to magnify their success through younger people
  41. Must know when to be stubborn and consistent in your goal but also when to be flexible in your approach
  42. Small inconsistencies should never be ignored
  43. The 5-I Framework for Positive Change – Ignorance, Indifference, Inertia, Information, Imagination
  44. Enthusiasm – theos (God) en (infused)
  45. Energy, enthusiasm, emotional commitment is the ultimate aphrodisiac. People are attracted to people who care
  46. “By the work one knows the workman” – Jean de la Fontaine
  47. Successful living and successful working is a process of self-discovery, self-invention, self-discipline and self-indulgence
  48. Make everything sacred. Aim to only have beautiful things around you
  49. Have to work in renewal and relaxation – learn when to take a break, stretch out, gain perspective and slow down. Better to sprint and rest than slowly trot along (The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working)
  50. Selfishness is self-destructive
  51. Elevate characteristics and not people
  52. Arete = excellence, virtue (human excellence and ethics are one in the same)
  53. “I believe I have an ethical obligation to be the best I can be in everything I do, across a broad range of activities, compatible with the realities of my situation.”
  54. Avoid compartmentalization – integrate all parts of your life
  55. “True success is best thought of not as a far off destination, or an end state of any kind, but as a process, a dynamic process of successful living…Enjoyment should not be the end goal but interwoven through the way.”
  56. Enjoyment must come from within
  57. Nothing is as good or as bad as it seems
  58. Be people’s biggest fan – celebrate with them, appreciate them, acknowledge them (Stutman)
  59. We tend to enjoy whatever we are doing the most when we are most immersed in it
  60. We are happy when we are growing
  61. Everyone needs a sense of uniqueness, a sense of union with something larger than the self, a sense of usefulness and a sense of understanding
What I got out of it
  1. One of my favorite books of the year – success needs to be interwoven into your daily routine/journey, 7 C’s of Success

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and Andrew Carnegie

The Rabbit Hole is written by Blas Moros. To support, sign up for the newsletter, become a patron, and/or join The Latticework. Original Design by Thilo Konzok.

  1. One of the all-time leading books on creating and maintaining wealth. However, in many ways it is also a practical guide on how to live and conduct yourself to achieve a quality and happy life.
Key Takeaways
  1. Must have a Definite Chief Aim (DCA) and focus on it intently. Can have no doubt and must have a burning desire to achieve your DCA
  2. Thoughts are manifested into reality so must have a very clear picture of what you want and make sure no negative thoughts creep in. Figuring out your DCA is often one of the more difficult things you’ll have to do
  3. Habitualize positive acts and emotions as much as possible. Habits require less willpower and will allow you to achieve more
  4. Having a mastermind group is vital
What I got out of it
  1. In many ways this book, although centered around wealth and investing, preceded many of the same sentiments found in “self-help” type books such as Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret. You must have a very clear goal that you think of often before you can make it happen.