American born Napoleon Hill is considered to have influenced more people

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Translator : Soone

There have been many excellent books that have greatly influenced what I
believe and how I behave. I try to spend at least some time every day
reading or listening to the audio version of a book that will improve my
life in some way.

“Whatever your mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.” – Napoleon

When I first started my career, I spent a large amount of time reading
software-development–focused books. Now, I spend more of my time reading
books that have a wider application.

American born Napoleon Hill is considered to have influenced more people
into success than any other person in history. He has been perhaps the
most influential man in the area of personal success technique
development, primarily through his classic book Think and Grow Rich
which has helped million of the people and has been important in the
life of many successful people such as W. Clement Stone and Og

I’ve made it a habit of asking any famous or highly successful person
who I’ve met what one book he or she would recommend that everyone
should read. Through this quest, I’ve uncovered many impactful books
that have literally changed my life.

Napoleon Hill was born into poverty in 1883 in a one-room cabin on the
Pound River in Wise County, Virginia. At the age of 10 his mother died,
and two years later his father remarried. He became a very rebellious
boy, but grew up to be an incredible man. He began his writing career at
age 13 as a “mountain reporter” for small town newspapers and went on to
become America’s most beloved motivational author. Fighting against all
class of great disadvantages and pressures, he dedicated more than 25
years of his life to define the reasons by which so many people fail to
achieve true financial success and happiness in their life.

In this chapter, I’m going to give you the list of the best and most
influential books I’ve ever read—both on the software development and
non-software development side.

During this time he achieved great success as an attorney and
journalist. His early career as a reporter helped finance his way
through law school. He was given an assignment to write a series of
success stories of famous men, and his big break came when he was asked
to interview steel-magnate Andrew Carnegie. Mr. Carnegie commissioned
Hill to interview over 500 millionaires to find a success formula that
could be used by the average person. These included Thomas Edison,
Alexander Graham Bell, Henry Ford, Elmer Gates, Charles M. Schwab,
Theodore Roosevelt, William Wrigley Jr, John Wanamaker, WIlliam Jennings
Bryan, George Eastman, Woodrow Wilson, William H. Taft, John D.
Rockefeller, F. W. Woolworth, Jennings Randolph, among others.

Self-help and inspirational books

He became an advisor to Andrew Carnegie, and with Carnegie’s help he
formulated a philosophy of success, drawing on the thoughts and
experience of a multitude of rags-to-riches tycoons. It took Hill over
20 years to produce his book, a classic in the Personal Development
field called Think and Grow Rich. This book has sold over 7 million
copies and has helped thousands achieve success.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (Black Irish Books, 2002)

The secret to success is very simple but you’ll have to read the book to
find out what it is!

I’ll start with one of my favorite books of all time. This book gave
words to a frustration I long held in regards to work and why it’s so
difficult to just sit down and do it.

Napoleon Hill passed away in November 1970 after a long and successful
career writing, teaching, and lecturing about the principles of success.
His work stands as a monument to individual achievement and is the
cornerstone of modern motivation. His book, Think and Grow Rich, is the
all time best-seller in the field.

In this book, Pressfield identifies this mysterious force we all
encounter when we sit down to try and do anything meaningful. He says
this force, resistance, is the secret and ambivalent destroyer of all of
our attempts to traverse from a lower calling to a higher one.

Perhaps no other success book has influenced more people than Napoleon
Hill’s Classic Think and Grow Rich. Since it’s introduction in 1937,
millions of copies have been sold around the world. It still remains one
of the top selling books of its kind.

Just by identifying this common enemy within us, we start to gain power
over it. If you’re having trouble with procrastination or just finding
the motivation to go forward and do what you know you should be doing,
you’ll find this book immensely useful.

Several years ago I came across a biography of Hill on a PBS show and it
was an eye-opening adventure into the life of a man whose days were not
the smooth sailing I had always assumed they were.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (Reprint-
t, Gallery Books, 1998)

Napoleon struggled against a myriad of obstacles throughout his life
many of which were brought on by some of the earlier choices he had
made. I can’t count the number of times he became broke and penniless
following a highly successful venture gone sour. His personal life was
as spotted as his financial life and a recounting of that could easily
consume a full book.

This book is another one of the most influential books I’ve ever read.
This book changed my personal views in many ways and has helped me
achieve success in dealing with people that I hadn’t thought possible

I would have thought that my discovery of his many flaws would cause me
to lose respect for him, and thus doubt the veracity of his teachings
that have influenced me for more than twenty years. But it is quite the
opposite. Having listened to the struggles of this very human man has
given me a whole new perspective of respect, even awe, of the incredible
resilience and persistence that he displayed repeatedly against
sometimes massive odds.

Before I read this book, I was a staunch believer in negative
reinforcement to modify the behavior of others. I felt compelled to
enforce my own strict disciplinarian standards on others. I believed
that when someone was wrong, it was important to tell them so; that the
best way to motivate a person was through the threat of punishment.

I now understand that he didn’t write about some theory of how to think
and grow rich. He wrote from experience his numerous experiences and the
experiences of America’s most successful.

After reading this book, my views changed 180 degrees. I realized that
negative reinforcement was almost completely futile—that the only way to
get people to do what you wanted was to compel them to want to do it.

While the casual observer would believe that this book is only about
making money, those of us who have studied it for years know otherwise.
It’s about a better way to live a rich life. And for that I am grateful
that Napoleon gave so much of himself in order that he might leave us
with this incredible work.

If there is any book on this list you must read, this is the one. I
firmly believe everyone should read this book. I’ve read it at least a
dozen times, and every time I go back and read it again, I gain a new

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (Wilder Publications,

This first time I tried to read this book, I put it down in frustration.
The second time, I got a little further, but again thought the book was
a bit too crazy for my liking. Finally, after speaking to multiple
highly successful people who recommended this book—some who completely
attributed their success to it—I decided to read it again.

This book is a little strange. It basically purports that if you believe
a thing and you hold onto and reinforce that belief, it will become
reality. I’ll warn you, there isn’t much science to this approach. The
book doesn’t even try to come up with the science to explain it, but by
whatever means this works, I’ve seen it work in my life and many others
will swear by it as well.

The idea of a mastermind group actually originates from this book. There
are many other important concepts in this book that will help you to
learn how to change your own beliefs, which may have a powerful effect
on your life.

Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz (Reprint, Pocket Books,

In many ways this book reminds me of Think and Grow Rich, but a
scientific version of it. This book was written by a plastic surgeon who
discovered that when he changed people’s faces, it actually changed
their personalities. This caused him to do research into self-image and
to discover some important ways that our self-image has the power to
completely change our lives for the good or the bad.

I found this book to have some very good insights on how the mind works
and how it affects our bodies. This book is full of all kinds of
practical applications of methods to change your attitude, your
self-image, and your beliefs for the positive.

The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale (Reprint, –
Touchstone, 2003)

This book is a bit religious, so be forewarned, but the overall message
of this book is very powerful. The idea that positive thinking can have
a profound impact on your life is one that I adamantly subscribe to. If
you’re trying to develop a more positive attitude, this book can
certainly help you do that.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (Reprint, Signet, 2005)

You’ll either love this book or hate it, but either way, it will make
you think. This book is fiction—and it’s long at around 1,200 pages—but
it asks some very serious questions about life, economics, and work.

Software development books

Code Complete by Steve McConnell (Microsoft Press;
2nd edition, 2004)

This book completely changed the way I wrote code. After I read this
book was the first time I felt like I was writing and understood what
good code was. The examples in this book are primarily written in C++,
but the concepts transcend any individual language.

This book is a complete guide to writing good code and structuring that
code at a very low level. While many software development books focus on
higher-level design, this is one of the only books I’ve found that
focuses on details like how to name variables and structure the actual
code inside of an algorithm.

If I ever own a software development shop, this book will be required
reading by all developers I hire. This has definitely been the most
influential software development book I’ve ever read.

Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftmanship by Robert M-
Martin (Prentice Hall, 2008)

Reading this book was an absolute joy. Code Complete taught me how to
write good code; Clean Code refined that knowledge and helped me
understand how to take that knowledge to a complete codebase and design.

This book is another book I consider required reading for any software
developer. The concepts in this book will help you to become a better
developer and to appreciate why simple and understandable is better than

Head First Design Patterns by Eric Freeman, Elisabeth Robson, Ber- rt
Bates, and Kathy Sierra (O’Reilly Media, 2004)

It might seem a bit strange that I’d recommend this book over the
classic Design Patterns book, but this book does an excellent job of
making design patterns approachable and understandable.

Don’t get me wrong, the Design Patterns book is a great book and
introduced the idea of the classic design patterns in software
development, but this book does a much better job of explaining them. If
you’re going to read one design patterns book, read this one.


The Millionaire Real Estate Investor by Gary Keller
(McGraw-Hill, 2005)

If I had to recommend one book on real estate investing, this would be
it. This book explains exactly why real estate investing is such a good
idea and how to get rich from it, and it gives you an exact plan for
doing so.

This book contains plenty of charts that show you exactly how real
estate investment pays off over the long run and it isn’t filled with a
lot of “fluff.”

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki (Demco Media, 2000)

This was another life-changing book for me that changed the way I looked
at money and finance. This book changed my view of how money works and
what it means to have a job and work for someone else. After reading
this book I clearly understood how important it is to create assets and
to reduce your expenses.

My only complaint with this book is that it doesn’t really tell you how.
Still, there’s valuable advice in this book—and Kiyosaki’s entire Rich
series—and I’d highly recommend it.

No-Hype Options Trading: Myths, Realities, and Strategies That Re-
eally Work by Kerry Given (Wiley, 2011)

Lots of financial books promise ridiculous returns and make outrageous
claims, but this one doesn’t. Instead, it presents the facts and helps
you realistically understand how options trading works and some
practical strategies you can employ to make money, along with the
inherent risk those strategies will incur. I’d highly recommend this
book if you’re looking into getting into options trading, or just want
to understand it better.