Self Improvement Personal development, self help or self improvement books abound today, but where did it all start? Probably the first successful book of the type was Napoleon Hill's 'The Law Of Success' or its more famous follow-up 'Think And Grow Rich'. Indeed, it seems to this writer that much of what has been set down in later tomes of the genre draws heavily upon Napoleon Hill's work. Hill was a young journalist when an interview with the great industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie transformed his life. Carnegie challenged him to study the most successful men in America and distil the principles and practices common to them for the benefit of others. Rising to the challenge Hill spent some twenty five years studying great men such as Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, Wilbur Wright and his brother Orville, Theodore Roosevelt and many others. His books are packed with remarkable anecdotes and personal stories. More importantly, Hill did discover a wide range of common denominators and went further in offering advice to help people develop these qualities in themselves. Having completed the work of study and writing Hill spent many further years spreading the word and helping others. The principles he espouses, those of desire or ambition, self belief or faith, planning, taking action and defeating procrastination, meeting temporary failure with fortitude and the will to carry on and others may seem obvious, just common sense, and yet not everyone is successful, not everyone is able to put these ideas to work for themselves. Hill's books offer techniques for developing ambition, and self belief, they offer practical advice and inspirational examples. They tell us that even the greatest amongst us have had to deal with failure, frustration, disappointment and insecurity. There are many more modern personal development and self help books around and indeed many are good, very good indeed. It's not for this writer to say the original is still the best, but it's up there. For anyone looking to motivate themselves, anyone motivated but struggling, whatever the goal, be it financial, spiritual, sporting, political or other, books like 'Think And Grow Rich' still cut it!