Published by: Jaico Publishing House
Timeless wisdom, repackaged
Napoleon Hill outlined 13 principles of success in his 1937 mega bestselling classic Think and Grow Rich, a book that has put, and continues to put, countless people on the path of abundance. The book was based on the wisdom that Hill assimilated by studying the 500+ wealthiest Americans of his era. The idea of the book had come from Andrew Carnegie, himself among the wealthiest men and a great philanthropist of his time.
In the first chapter of Think and Grow Rich, the author narrates the story of a man named R. U. Darby, who lost out big time only because he quit when he was too close to success. Not quitting was the basis, the fundamental premise, of the book and the principles outlined. Three Feet From Gold is a fable based on the same premise.
What makes the book worth reading is that it draws on the same pattern that Hill pursued when researching for his book—that of meeting the successful people and learning from them their secrets of success.
Greg Reid, the protagonist [also co-author] is a confused man going through a time of adversity and personal challenges when he bumps into Jonathan Buckland, an Andrew Carnegie-type, super-successful industrialist, whose heart is in the right place. Seeing that Reid is in desperate need of direction, Buckland offers to be his mentor. Reid laps it up and begins his journey of transformation where he meets, like Hill did, some of the most successful individuals presently alive. Starting with Don Green, the CEO of the Napoleon Hill Foundation, Reid goes on to meet many stars and each meeting brings him a powerful lesson, which he religiously records in his notebook. Besides the success stories of many business leaders of our time, the book also revisits some of the golden nuggets that Napoleon Hill shared in Think and Grow Rich. That’s one of the reasons the book works—it repackages the timeless wisdom and puts it in current socio-economic perspective.
Barring Buckland, all people Reid meets are 100 per cent real and so is their advice. Insights offered from those who have ‘been there, done that’ are always credible and effective—I call it practical inspiration.
The story itself is weak and, at times, rather far-fetched and unrealistic. The plot could’ve been more gripping. But I guess the objective of the fable format was to make the book more interesting—otherwise, it would have become yet another how-to book. If you are looking for great fiction, may be Stephen King is a better bet. But if you’re looking for real inspiration for success, then Three Feet From Gold is worth a read. I particularly like the workbook provided in the Appendix section of the book, where the reader can define his/her personal success equation as explained in the book, and use it to identify challenges and opportunities.