Lesson 10— Pleasing Personality

From The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill

8 min readMay 23, 2020



Your Personality decides whether others are drawn to you or shy away from you. It is the view portal through which you are telling the world your story, and it is the one aspect that separates you from all other human beings. This is your signature that people know you by, your trademark, through which people recognize you. It is the thing that determines your success or failure in selling yourself, through life.

Below is a list of factors, traits and characteristics which constitute to form a pleasing personality. But before I begin to describe these traits, I want you to know that each and everyone of them is under your control and their improvement is dependent on your belief to succeed.


So, let us begin this lesson by covering the first essential, which is a positive mental attitude. This positive mental attitude is the first and the most important step in developing a pleasing personality as this is reflected in your tone of voice, the expression on your face, the posture of your body and modifies every word that is spoken, as well as determining the nature of every emotion one feels. It not only modifies your own thoughts but influences those around you. This trait of positive mental attitude is crucial when dealing with others, as no one wants to listen or be around someone who sulks over their own issues and become overwhelmed by their negativity.

How to Execute

A good way to develop a positive mental attitude is to form a habit of interesting yourself in other people; make it your business to find their good qualities and speak of them in terms of praise, this in turn will increase your own social capital. To put this into a sales context, by understanding others’ interests we can bridge the gap between ourselves and begin to re-frame our products and services to show how they help these people in their reality.

In his book Today Matters John Maxwell says.

People are insecure. Give them confidence.

People want to feel special. Sincerely compliment them.

People desire a better tomorrow. Give them hope.

People need to be understood. Listen to them.

People are selfish. Speak to their needs.

People want to be associated with success. Help them win.


The next most important trait of your personality consists of your flexibility of your mental attitude or your lack of it. When you have resilience, you adapt to all the situations of your interaction with others, without losing your calm or causing yourself to become irritable or frustrated. Just know, because you have consistency in your emotional disposition, it would be hard for someone to make you upset or irritate you without your permission or help. Now that’s worth knowing, isn’t it? You cannot control the actions of other people which might justify you becoming irritated by them, however you can regulate your response to all these situations by practicing your flexibility. And you will be quick to observe that all people in the higher bracket of performance have this versatility. They regulate their responses in line with the pressures of certain people.

How to Execute

Develop a stoic mindset; Take responsibility for your circumstances and stop blaming others. Every-man is where he is because of his own mental attitude as it is expressed through his personality and to quote Marcus Aurelius:

Our actions may be impeded . . . but there can be no impeding our intentions or dispositions. Because we can accommodate and adapt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting.


A individual who is not honest in all interactions with others will quickly be found and dismissed, since no one is drawn to the individual and who tries to deceive others. Sincerity is one attribute of character that can not be effectively manipulated, not even by the most astute rascal or the most effective performer. Because insincerity always carries with it a warning sign that other people recognize. All you have to do is go back to your own encounter of insincere individuals to show the reality of what I said. Just like a positive mental attitude is shown through your actions and expressions likewise an insincere persons displays their façade.

How to Execute

Be genuine. What you see is what you get.


Tonality is a topic that I’ve covered previously when on the topic of IMAGINATION. But to recap, an individual who has established an attractive personality knows how to express, through the tone of his speech, every emotion he feels. Moreover, any time he talks, he finds it a practice to manage his language, for it is only by discipline that one attains excellence in the dramatization of speech.

This is not exclusive to public speaking. In private, you can recite your affirmations and practice speaking with force and manner, which can imbed in your sub-conscious mind your ability to achieve the things you said you were going to achieve. But imagine this, YOU are the only one in control of what comes out of your mouth and if you say to yourself “I’m going to do X” and then end up not doing it, within reason, there is no one to blame and moreover it plays on your sub-conscious mind that you can’t do the things YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO DO. How can you ever achieve anything in life when you can’t trust yourself to commit to it?


This trait consists of saying the right things at the right time. Obviously, this comes with experience, but here’s a list of things to look out for:

What to NOT execute

  1. Speaking out of turn, when silence would be more appropriate.
  2. Overworking the personal pronoun. (eg. I, my)
  3. Boastfulness — The habit of endeavoring to convey an impression of superiority through the use of words and topics unfamiliar to others, is a sure fire destroyer of popularity. If you wish to sell yourself to others successfully, you must negotiate with them on their own level, through terms which they understand.
  4. The habit of finding fault with the world at large and people in general is never a popular habit, and it is no part of a pleasing personality. It is far better to direct conversation to the circumstances and things which are right, than to complain of those which one believes to be wrong.
  5. The habit of speaking of one’s physical ailments, worries and personal problems may be tolerated by others but this habit will never make one welcome or pleasing. If you wish to make yourself welcome in relations with others, manage to talk about things which interest and concern those to whom you are speaking. You will never be bore-some to the person to whom you are speaking of himself and the things which interest him. A truth which all master salesmen understand and respect.
  6. Sarcasm. Expressed by insinuations and wisecracks which are not so wise, is near the head of the list of habits which give one a negative personality.
  7. Using profane or offensive language often
  8. Indifference in listening while others are speaking, is sure to be noticed and resented.
  9. Speaking of ills and misfortunes.
  10. The habit of volunteering unsolicited advice to others who have not requested it, can make one an intolerable bore. Free advice usually is considered to be usually worth just what it costs, which is nothing but the patience with which to listen to it.
  11. Slovenliness in body posture and in clothing never attracts but always repels others. Clothes make not the man as has been said, but they surely give you a mighty good start, if they are appropriate and properly worn. Carelessness in body carriage and posture is immediately traceable to a negative mental attitude.

It is more profitable to be a good listener that it is to be a good talker, because one is always apt to learn something while listening to others but never learns anything from hearing himself talk.

Ability to Shake hands properly (Not really possible during these times, but worth practicing. Can be replace with a fist bump)

The person who knows how to effectively shake hands will, by this means, convey very clear impressions of several different forms. The guy who is talented in the hand-shaking technique has a major benefit over the one who fails this achievement learned.

How to execute

Pretty straightforward. But here’s a guide:

  1. Know when to initiate: The person in a higher position of authority or age should be the first one to extend a hand.
  2. Stand and look the person in the eye
  3. Offer a Greeting Before and During.
  4. Firm handshake
  5. Shake for around 2–5 seconds — be observant, follow their lead.
  6. Beware of the other hand — just keep it to the side
  7. Shake Hands in an Up-and-Down Motion

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The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill:


It has been said that there is no greater achievement to being able to listen well, than being able to speak well. A great compliment or action to display a pleasing personality is to give a person your full attention whilst they’re desiring it. Interrupting others, fidgeting, or staring in a particular direction is treated as a potential offence. It would benefit tremendously to be conscious of the finer information of individuals and praise their positive attributes. Meet someone with enthusiasm and favor when seeing them for the second time, there is no greater compliment than recognizing their individuality from your last interaction.

How to execute

when listening to others, be attentive to the individual who is asking for your help. Make an attempt to remember others at your second interaction i.e. their names, topic of conversation.


  1. Develop a positive character through a positive mental attitude, which can start with a simple, genuine smile.
  2. Form the habit of interesting yourself in other people; and make it your business to find their good qualities and speak of them in terms of praise.
  3. Develop the ability to speak with force and conviction, using tone and pace to improve your delivery for both personal and public speaking.
  4. Learn how to shake hands so that you express warmth of feeling and enthusiasm through this form of greeting.
  5. Attract other people to you by first “attracting yourself” to them(find common ground, listen effectively)

Remember that your only limitation, within reason, is the one which YOU set up in YOUR OWN mind.

Take care.

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