The practice of Invisible Counsellors as a mastermind group was introduced by Napoleon Hill in his books Think and Grow Rich in the chapter about The Sixth Sense.
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"Long before I had ever written a line for publication, or endeavored to deliver a speech in public, I followed the habit of reshaping my own character, by trying to imitate the nine men whose lives and life-works had been most impressive to me. These nine men were, Emerson, Paine, Edison, Darwin, Lincoln, Burbank, Napoleon, Ford, and Carnegie. Every night, over a long period of years, I held an imaginary Council meeting with this group whom I called my "Invisible Counselors."
The procedure was this. Just before going to sleep at night, I would shut my eyes, and see, in my imagination, this group of men seated with me around my Council Table. Here I had not only an opportunity to sit among those whom I considered to be great, but I actually dominated the group, by serving as the Chairman.
I had a very DEFINITE PURPOSE in indulging my imagination through these nightly meetings. My purpose was to rebuild my own character so it would represent a composite of the characters of my imaginary counselors. Realizing, as I did, early in life, that I had to overcome the handicap of birth in an environment of ignorance and superstition, I deliberately assigned myself the task of voluntary rebirth through the method here described." - From Think and Grow Rich
Who nine people would you invite to be your Invisible Counsellors?
As Executive Director of the Napoleon Hill Foundation, I receive many requests from people wanting the original 1937 copy of Think and Grow Rich.
To satisfy those of you who desire to have a 1937 unedited copy, we have reproduced Napoleon Hill’s personal copy of the first edition, printed in March of 1937. The book has the notation, “not to be loaned,” and signed: Annie Lou Hill (the wife of Dr. Hill).
This personal copy of Dr. Hill’s was given to me by Dr. Charles W. Johnson, Chairman of the Napoleon Hill Foundation and a nephew of Napoleon Hill. It was Napoleon Hill who sent Dr. Johnson to medical school, and today he is a practicing cardiologist. Charlie refers to Napoleon Hill as “Uncle Nap” and will often makes the statement, “Uncle Nap would be proud of the Foundation today.”
The original 1937 manuscript was written and edited with the assistance of Napoleon’s wife. In later years, the existing document was again edited by Dr. Hill.
For example, the Foundation owns a 1958 edition that Hill edited personally. This did not lessen the book’s value in Hill’s judgment. Hill made the editing remarks in his own handwriting and the resulting 1960 edited edition has sold over 100 million copies making it the most read self-help book of all time.
Today there are many so called authors who publish Think and Grow Rich and some even add their name alongside Dr. Hill’s. I believe that these “authors” should be able to write something themselves instead of merely copying the work of Napoleon Hill. Who do they think they are kidding? Dr. Hill’s works are highly recognizable and have had long lasting influence worldwide. In fact, Think and Grow Rich sells more copies today than before Dr. Hill died in 1970.