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The Carnegie Secret Revisited: An E-mail From a Reader

I receive e-mails from readers quite often, but I rarely get one as thought-provoking as this one.  This reader gives me their take on the Carnegie Secret and suggests I’ve missed the mark with my explanation. I received this message via e-mail on May 16, 2011. I have preserved all of the original punctuation and formatting.  I’ve also included my response.  So, what do YOU think?  Did I miss the mark?  I’d love to hear what you think.  Leave me a comment at the bottom.


An E-mail From a Reader

I believe Carnegie’s secret to be a burning desire coupled with an imagination.

Everyone has an imagination – the missing part is a burning desire – something that cannot be bought!

When Carnegie revealed the secret it was simple and elegant ie: A man with imagination and a burning desire can achieve anything he wishes to achieve.

Freewill is just saying anyone can choose success  because they can – hardly an inspiring statement to make Napoleon Hill devote his life to understand ‘the secret’.

Your imagination allows for huge creativity in overcoming obsticals on the path to success.

Dominic Spencer


My Response

Hi Dominic,

Thank you for sending me your message.  Just what the Carnegie Secret is has been debated for over half a century.  I don’t think the debate will end for some time, either.

If a person possesses a burning desire and imagination (along with the other 13 success principles) they must still MAKE THE CHOICE to take action towards their definite major purpose.

As Napoleon Hill states, “We were given our willpower for this purpose.”  To me, he could not have been more clear.

Everyone has some idea of what they want their life’s purpose to be; that is the first half of the Carnegie Secret.  The second half is focusing our will on making it happen.

The secret as a whole reads something like this: The secret to achieving your definite major purpose in life is to be able and willing to make it reality.

A person MUST have both halves of the secret in order to make it work.  A person is ABLE by human right, but are they WILLING?  That is the CHOICE they must make.

My interpretation of the Carnegie Secret is really what inspired me to write Think & Grow Balls!.  I mean, if all you need is a burning desire and imagination, then why aren’t more people in the world successful?  Why does the vast majority of the human world population live in poverty?  If self-improvement books, Think & Grow Rich in particular, are so popular, why isn’t EVERYONE who reads them as successful as they wish?

The reason is this: People are not successful because they haven’t directed their willpower towards their goalNapoleon Hill even calls willpower the “Master Key”.  You must USE your willpower to get what you want in life.

Morpheus has a great line in The Matrix where he says, “Knowing the path is different from walking the path.”  The difference is the choice one must make to walk down that path.

Think & Grow Balls! was written as a step-by-step guide on how to motivate yourself to IGNITE your willpower and apply the Carnegie Secret to your life.  It’s a topic that Napoleon Hill never wrote about.  No author had.  So I wrote about it.  It’s the only book, that I know of, that explains how to APPLY the Carnegie Secret… your secret… in eight simple steps.  You can download it for free by clicking this link:

Again, thank you for taking the time to send me your thoughts.  I found them very thought-provoking.  I’m wondering if I have your permission to use your message and my response as a post on my new blog?  I think it could help people find their own secret.  Please let me know when you have time.

Onward & Upward,

JD Bloodstone

J.D. Bloodstone

J.D. is the author of The Last Success Principle and the Think & Grow Balls! motivational series of books. He is also the Administrator for the Think & Grow Balls! Blog.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. J.D. Bloodstone

    I just came across this quote. It turns out Aeschylus, a Greek playwright and soldier, knew what the Carnegie Secret was 2,500 years ago! Here it is:

    “When a man is willing and eager,
    the gods join in.”
    – Aeschylus

    Now, whether it be gods, God, Infinite Intelligence, Cosmic Habitforce, or any other power of our universe, what do you think Aeschylus was trying to say to his audience? I think he was giving them the two halves of the Secret. What do YOU think?

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