Who’s sitting at your dinner table?


in Make Money

The Dinner Table “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

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?


maneesh November 15, 2011 at 1:02 am

Thanks Dilanka! Even in Hill’s case, he didn’t have to actually meet the people at his table—some he knew just from reading about them. We are lucky to have so many opportunities to meet great people, so get out there and network guys!


Dilanka Wettewa November 15, 2011 at 12:42 am


Funny you mention this paragraph .. It’s one of the most interesting ones in the book in my opinion (I only read the book once 3-4 years ago – I know it’s required reading EVERY year). It’s also great that you got a ton of fantastic role models nearby – Unfortunately most people do NOT have access to such figures.

Still — with the internet, I think its unacceptable to NOT implement this though. I mean, you actually DO have access to them via blog(s)/video(s)/podcast(s) etc, so you could actually cut-off all the people in your life who are “downers” and fill your cranium with successful people.

Cool Beans!


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