Napoleon Hill’s Master Key

Napoleon Hill brings his A-game in this 1950s classic retro rags-to-riches story.

Hill struts into frame dripping in confidence to unload his 13-point framework for living the American Dream.

You know there’s something in his words (Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” book (1937) sold 20 million copies!).

The video is from a 1954 TV broadcast with Hill mostly behind his desk outlining his blueprint.

It’s also got some story gems (including his meetings with steel magnate Andrew Carnegie and Thomas Edison).

It’s a solid self-help framework for anyone wanting to better themselves.

(that’s why I ranked it #1 in my list of the 9 Best Self Help Documentaries (Ranked)


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  • My Rating: 96/100
  • IMDB Rating: 7.9/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Ratings: na

Review of “Napoleon Hill’s Master Key”

We follow Hill on his journey interviewing the Ritzy Riches like Andrew Carnegie and Thomas Edison to discover their Secrets of Success.

When Hill first met Carnegie, he didn’t think he was good enough to work for him.

Through the 2 hour doc (which is mostly Hill lecturing from his desk), Napoleon also shares his backstory.

He had some epic fails before his breakthrough.

At age 10 he’s already working like a dog in a coal mine (child labor laws—what are those?!).

In his 30s, he is still broke .

But then the universe hands him a winning lotto ticket: an interview with steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie.

Carnegie tells Hill he’ll be doing the world a mighty favor if reveals the mystical Master Key to wealth.

Napoleon gets all gung-ho, promising to spend decades decoding success by picking the brains of the Areas Biggest Ballers.

But the 1930s economy hits Rocky like a right hook and nearly KO’s his plans!

Down but not out, Hill perseveres and drops his Master Key philosophy on how to “Think and Grow Rich.”

Spoiler alert: It all comes down to crazy wackadoodle ideas like “be purposeful”, “go the extra mile” and learn from adversity”. WHAAAT??

And it turns out Hill’s blueprint goes viral and his books sell by the millions.

Take that, Great Depression!

“Think and Grow Rich” covers Napoleon Hill’s 13 main principles:

  1. Definiteness of Purpose: Have a clear, specific goal or purpose in life. Knowing what you want gives you direction and motivation.
  2. Mastermind Principle: Collaborate with others who share your goals. Working together with like-minded individuals can generate powerful ideas and support.
  3. Habit of Going the Extra Mile: Go above and beyond what’s expected. This habit sets you apart and creates opportunities.
  4. Applied Faith: Believe in yourself and your ability to achieve your goals. Faith is essential for overcoming challenges.
  5. Pleasing Personality: Develop a friendly, positive, and likable demeanor. It helps in building strong relationships.
  6. Self-Discipline: Control your actions and emotions to stay on track toward your goals. It’s about willpower and focus.
  7. Positive Mental Attitude: Maintain an optimistic outlook on life. Positive thinking can lead to positive outcomes.
  8. Enthusiasm: Approach tasks with passion and excitement. Enthusiasm is contagious and can inspire others.
  9. Personal Initiative: Take the initiative to act without waiting for instructions. It’s about being proactive.
  10. Learning from Adversity: View challenges and setbacks as opportunities for growth and learning.
  11. Creative Vision: Cultivate your imagination and envision your future success. Creativity fuels innovation.
  12. Accurate Thinking: Base your decisions on facts and sound reasoning. Avoid jumping to conclusions or making rash judgments.
  13. Cosmic Habit Force: Understand that positive habits can become ingrained in your life, leading to long-term success. It’s about the power of consistent, constructive actions.

Thanks for reading!

Rob Kelly, Chief Maniac, Daily Doc