20 Weaknesses You Must Conquer If You’re Going To Be Successful

Few people on the planet have more experience with what it takes to become successful than Napoleon Hill.

Today, I’m going to share with you his list of 20 weaknesses you must conquer if you’re going to be successful.

He’s known for being the author of one of the best selling success books of all time called Think And Grow Rich, but before he was a world renowned author, speaker and trainer, he was a boy born into poverty and even lost his mother at a young age.

He wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and yet he went on to become one of the best known authorities on success and creating wealth the world has ever known.

How’d he do it?

From a young age he discovered how to conquer his weaknesses and learned to apply those lessons in his life.

He credits those early adversities and defeat for his strength and wisdom that enabled him to complete his philosophy on success and share it around the world.

While he did say if he had the opportunity to alter the course of his life he’d no doubt seek out a path that would make it easier on himself, much like any of us would do just the same.

That said, here’s a powerful quote from Dr. Napoleon Hill

[tweet_box design=”default”]Did you know that taking the line of least resistance is what makes all rivers and some men crooked?[/tweet_box]

Here Are Napoleon Hill’s 20 Weaknesses You Must Conquer If You’re Going To Be Successful

  1. The habit of drifting without definite aims or plans.  Do you make decisions quickly and lay out plans and follow those plans?
  2. Unfavorable physical hereditary foundation at birth. This can be a cause of failure, or it could be a cause of success. It all depends on what you do with the circumstances you’re given. Do you allow it to hold you back, or use it as a motivation to achieve more?
  3. Meddlesome curiosity in connection with other people’s business. Curiosity is a wonderful thing. It’s the meddlesome curiosity that will get you in trouble because you’re investing time and energy into affairs that don’t concern you.
  4. Lack of a definite major purpose as a lifetime goal. Not having a major definite purpose in life that you’re working towards leads to the habit of drifting and being drawn down any path that catches your attention, whether it leads you where you want to go or not.
  5. Inadequate schooling. Much like #2, this can be used as an excuse not to get ahead in life. One of the most surprising facts Napoleon Hill discovered during his study of over 500 of the most successful people on the planet was that many of the most successful people had little or no formal education.
    [tweet_box design=”default”]You do not get paid for what you know in life, you get paid for what you do with what you know, or what you can get other people to do.[/tweet_box]
  6. Lack of self discipline. This often manifests itself in the habit of overindulgence in eating, drinking and indifference towards opportunities for self advancement and improvement.
  7. Lack of ambition to aim above mediocrity. It does not cost you anything to aim high. You may not get as far as you aim, but you’ll certainly get further than you would if you don’t aim at all.

    shoot for the moon

  8. Ill health. In many cases this is the result of wrong thinking and improper diet. Both are causes that we have control over and can do something about to prevent the symptoms of ill health.
  9. Unfavorable environmental circumstances during childhood. While there isn’t much you can do about your direct environment that you’re born into, the sooner you can start to make better choices about your environment, the better off you’ll be. There’s substance to the value of being in the “right crowd”. Children who go down the wrong path are almost always the result of wrong influence from their peers. Choose your peers wisely.
  10. Lack of persistence in following through with one’s duties. In many cases a lack of persistence is a product of being involved in projects that you’re not passionate about. If you don’t have a desire to see a project through, you’ll find every excuse to procrastinate and avoid doing the tasks required to complete it. If, on the other hand, you involve yourself in projects that align with you’re major definite purpose, you’ll move mountains to see them through and do what it takes to complete them.
  11. The habit of a negative mental attitude. A negative mind repels. It repels people, it repels opportunity and it repels your success. Want to discover if your mind is predominantly negative or positive? Just take note of you state of mind the moment you awake each day. If you’re dreading getting out of bed in the morning and your mind is full of thoughts about all the things you’re not looking forward to that day, then that will tell you what kind of thinking your mind has been occupied with the day prior and the whole night you were sleeping. Shift that thinking and see what happens to your outlook. The only thing in life you have 100% control of is the thoughts you think regardless of the situation. That said, you need to work at keeping your thoughts positive because you are surrounded by negative influences on a daily basis.
  12. Lack of control over your emotions. It’s just as important to control you positive emotions as it is your negative emotions. It’s much better to roll down a smooth road with minor peaks and valleys than it is to be on a continuous roller coaster of emotions. While controlling your negative emotions is fairly self explanatory, you may wonder why you need to control your positive emotions. One example is love is a positive emotion, but if you aren’t in control of that emotion it can cause you to pursue relationships that aren’t healthy or in your best interest.
  13. The desire for something for nothing. Always aim to provide more value than you receive in return. Making that your aim will eventually lead to you receiving more in return that you imagined possible.
  14. Lack of the habit of reaching decisions promptly and firmly. Successful people make decisions quickly and change them slowly if ever. Unsuccessful people take a long time to make a decision and have the habit of reversing that decision quickly.
  15. Taking circumstances in life too seriously. Don’t take yourself too “damned” seriously. If you do, you’ll become damned. If unpleasant circumstances present themselves to you, you’ll find out whether you’re stronger than your circumstances.
  16. The wrong selection of a mate in marriage. Some people believe that all marriages are made in heaven, although I’m sure you’ve seen as I have that many are certainly not made in heaven. This applies to both romantic marriages and business marriages. There is no household or business that can be successful if both parties don’t have harmony. Harmony begins with loyalty and dependability.
  17. Over caution in business and professional relationships.

  18. Under caution in business and professional relationships. These two are obviously paired because there is a fine line between being over cautious and never taking action, and being under cautious and allowing anyone and everyone to influence your decisions. The happy medium is found in carefully evaluating the things you’re going to do, and the people you’re going to do business with before moving forward.
  19. Wrong choice of associates in ones occupation or calling. You become the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.
  20. Lack of dependability. Your dependability impacts all areas of your life. The people you work with know whether they can count on you to do what you say. Your family knows whether you’re dependable to rely on. Your bank or business associates know whether you’re dependable and adjust the credit they extend to you accordingly. Your dependability will impact your life in every area. Work to become the most dependable person you know.

There you have Napoleon Hill’s 20 Weaknesses You Must Conquer If You’re Going To Become Successful.


This article is a summary of the Napoleon Hill Mastery Course made up of live recordings from speeches he delivered decades ago. The wisdom he shares is still as applicable today as it was the day he said it.

Do you have a favorite recording from Napoleon Hill’s work? I’d love to know if you do. Perhaps it’s one I haven’t discovered yet and I’ll have to find a copy of it for myself.

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