“There is a need…for someone as a standard against which our characters can measure themselves. Without a ruler to do it against, you won’t make the crooked straight.”
– Letters from a Stoic, XI
Napolean Hilll authored of the fabulously successful book Think and Grow Rich, one of the most influential self-development books of all time. In his book, Hill interviewed hundreds of the world’s richest men: Andrew Carnegie, Alexander Graham Bell, John D. Rockefeller, Teddy Roosevelt, Charles Schwab, and many more. You can read the entire book here. (Special thanks to http://drawnbysuccess.com)
In one chapter, Hill spoke of his “Invisible Counselors.” These were the great people he admired, who all sat around a table in his imagination, and helped him to achieve his goals. He wrote:
“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.
These facts are mentioned preliminary to a statement of fact which I shall now make, namely, that during my meetings with the “Invisible Counselors” I ﬁnd my mind most receptive to ideas, thoughts, and knowledge which reach me through the sixth sense. I can truthfully say that I owe entirely to my “Invisible Counselors” full credit for such ideas, facts, or knowledge as I received through “inspiration.”
On scores of occasions, when I have faced emergencies, some of them so grave that my life was in jeopardy, I have been miraculously guided past these difﬁculties through the inﬂuence of my “Invisible Counselors.”
Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill, 195
When I consider any action, I think about my role models. How would Seneca proceed? Or Marcus Aurelius? And how would Tim Ferriss, Ramit Sethi, Cal Newport, Sebastian Marshall, Ben Franklin, Chris Guillebeau, my Mom & Dad, Scott H. Young, Tynan, Rachman Blake, Charlie Hoehn, Noah Kagan, Andrew Warner, Matt Kepnes, and Cody MicKibben proceed?
Who’s sitting at your dinner table?