Lesson fifteen in Napoleon Hill's book The Law of Success is entitled The Golden Rule. As defined by Hill, "The Golden Rule means, substantially, to do unto others as you would wish them to do unto you if your positions were reversed." Hill goes one step farther and adds that you must "think of others as you wish them to think of you." The importance of both actions and thoughts playing a part in the Golden Rule deserves highlighting.
For those familiar with the Bible, you will recognize the phrase, "Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap"! Hill proclaims that the Bible supports this lesson over and over showing man is the maker of his destiny.
Hill believes you must take an active role and attitude towards The Golden Rule. Your actions must be in harmony with your proclamations. He believes that The Golden Rule must be a foundation in your business or professional life or it will be economic suicide for you.
Those who understand The Golden Rule are always honest because they understand that every thought and action they perform will come back to them in like. To perform an act of injustice would be like putting poison into your own drinking water. The injustice will cause a chain of events for you leading to suffering and a destruction of your character and reputation making it impossible for you to have enduring success.
Hill emphasizes how important it is to guard your thoughts and acts. Those thoughts and acts mold your character, and your character is a magnet, which attracts the types of people and circumstances that are in alignment with it.
Hill gives an extensive list of his Code of Ethics, which is worthy of reading in its entirety. For the sake of this lesson overview, here are some key points of his list:
- Belief and practice of The Golden Rule
- Honesty in all transactions
- Forgiveness of others
- Be just, generous and fair
- Correction of your own faults instead of finding fault with others
- Refrain from slander
- Recognize the power of Thought
- Conquer hate, envy, selfishness, jealousy, malice, pessimism, doubt and fear
- Focus on your definite chief aim or thoughts of courage, self-confidence, good-will, faith, kindness, loyalty, love for truth and justice
- Active use of The Golden Rule
- Character development through guarding thoughts and actions
- Assisting and helping others to find happiness
- Acts of kindness
Hill's Code of Ethics is impressive and stands the test of time. After all, he repeats that we are all human magnets of our own making. Our character being the sum of all our thoughts and acts is ours to develop.
Hill discusses the relationship between the employer and the employee, which is sometimes contentious. If you are an employee, place yourself in the shoes of your employer. Would you want to be viewed as the enemy? Would you want your workers to slight their work and do as little as possible? If you are the employer and put yourself in the shoes of your employees, how would you want to be treated?
Both the laborer and the capitalist, using Hill's words, are dependent upon one another. He suggests both embrace The Golden Rule and remove hostility and conflict. Both can then prosper together.
Each person in which we interact is a chance to practice The Golden Rule. For as Hill puts it, "Harm to one is harm to all; help to one is help to all."
Napoleon Hill concludes his book The Law of Success with the lesson on The Golden Rule. If the reader of the book could only remember and practice one lesson of the fifteen presented, I would suggest that The Golden Rule would be the most important. The entire book is worth reading because all of the lessons will help the reader achieve greater success in life and business. That being said, remember The Golden Rule and make it your motto and your life and the world will be better for it!
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