Book Title: Think and Grow Rich
Author: Napoleon Hill
Date Published (Original): 1937
This book, “Think and Grow Rich”, was first published during the Great Depression. It has sold more than 15 million copies. Oliver Napoleon Hill (born October 26, 1883 – November 8, 1970) was an American self-help author.
‘Think and Grow Rich’ has obviously been well received by millions of people around the world. Many people relate their success in life to having read this book. For those on the journey to life success and fulfillment, this book is often considered a must read.
Og Mandino (The Greatest Salesman in the World) is one who has talked of its influence in his life – “During the past twenty-five years I have been blessed with more good fortune than any individual deserves but I shudder to think where I’d be today, or what I’d be doing if I had not been exposed to Napoleon Hill’s philosophy. It changed my life.”
Through the eyes of another “this is the best single book on personal success ever written; it made me a millionaire starting from nothing” Brian Tracy, New York Times Bestselling Author.
For Daymond John, Founder and CEO of FUBU apparel and Co-Star of ABC TV’s Shark Tank, “I read it every two or three years to keep my drive going”.
Think and Grow Rich – Overarching theme
The essential theme of this book is that success in life can be strongly associated to the positive power of the human mind. Daily, we all struggle with our own inner voices telling us that we are not good enough, we will not make it, the path ahead is too risky etc….
So, we need to adopt a previously proven approach, centered around a methodology which provides us a way forward. This comprises a ‘mental’ tool kit to help us stay centered with thoughts on growth, our vision of success and ultimately wealth in our own lives. ‘Wealth’ can apply to our financial situation but equally apply to our work, relationships, health and in any ways in which our lives can be enriched.
Napoleon Hill studied the habits of more than 500 men of great wealth and drew some 16 “laws” to be applied to achieve success. Think and Grow Rich condenses them, providing the reader with 13 principles in the form of a “Philosophy of Achievement”.
The book asserts that we can achieve great heights if we can successfully suppress negative thoughts, focus on long-term goals and deliver on our personal objectives. Thus, if we learn and live the principles laid by Napoleon, the chances of success in our own lives are greatly increased.
From my experience, you may struggle to absorb any deep learnings from this book until you have read it at least a couple of times. After each reading, you will have a better handle on the underlying theme and at least one item from the reading will strongly resonate with you.
The thirteen(13) “Principles” with some supporting text excerpts, follow below:
Desire (THE STARTING POINT OF ALL ACHIEVEMENT)
- “It is my duty, and a privilege to say I believe, and not without reason, that nothing is impossible to the person who backs DESIRE with enduring FAITH”
- “To all these I wish to convey the thought that all achievement, no matter what may be its nature, or its purpose, must begin with an intense, BURNING DESIRE for something definite”
Faith (VISUALIZATION OF, AND BELIEF IN ATTAINMENT OF DESIRE)
- FAITH is a state of mind which may be induced, or created, by affirmation or repeated instructions to the subconscious mind, through the principle of auto-suggestion
- FAITH is the “eternal elixir” which gives life, power, and action to the impulse of thought!
- The foregoing sentence is worth reading a second time, and a third, and a fourth. It is worth reading aloud!
- FAITH is the starting point of all accumulation of riches
Autosuggestion (THE MEDIUM FOR INFLUENCING THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND)
- AUTO-SUGGESTION is a term which applies to all suggestions and all self-administered stimuli which reach one’s mind through the five senses.
- AUTO-SUGGESTION is the agency of control through which an individual may voluntarily feed his subconscious mind on thoughts of a creative nature
- The actual performance of transmuting DESIRE into money, involves the use of auto-suggestion as an agency by which one may reach, and influence, the subconscious mind. The other principles are simply tools with which to apply auto-suggestion
Specialized Knowledge (PERSONAL EXPERIENCES OR OBSERVATIONS)
- KNOWLEDGE will not attract money, unless it is organized, and intelligently directed, through practical PLANS OF ACTION
- Knowledge is only potential power. It becomes power only when, and if, it is organized into definite plans of action, and directed to a definite end
- The person who stops studying merely because he has finished school is forever hopelessly doomed to mediocrity, no matter what may be his calling. The way of success is the way of continuous pursuit of knowledge
Imagination (THE WORKSHOP OF THE MIND)
- The imagination is literally the workshop wherein are fashioned all plans created by man
- MAN’S ONLY LIMITATION, within reason, LIES IN HIS DEVELOPMENT AND USE OF HIS IMAGINATION
- Ideas are the beginning points of all fortunes. Ideas are products of the imagination
Organized Planning (THE CRYSTALLIZATION OF DESIRE INTO ACTION)
- The most intelligent man living cannot succeed in accumulating money—nor in any other undertaking—without plans which are practical and workable.
- Henry Ford accumulated a fortune, not because of his superior mind, but because he adopted and followed a PLAN which proved to be sound.
- A QUITTER NEVER WINS—AND—A WINNER NEVER QUITS
- The successful leader must plan his work, and work his plan
- Most of us go through life as failures, because we are waiting for the “time to be right” to start doing something worthwhile. Do not wait. The time will never be “just right.” Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along
- Form the habit of systematic saving by putting aside a definite percentage of your income
- OPPORTUNITY has spread its wares before you. Step up to the front, select what you want, create your plan, put the plan into action, and follow through with PERSISTENCE
Decision (THE MASTERY OF PROCRASTINATION)
- ACCURATE analysis of over 25,000 men and women who had experienced failure, disclosed the fact that LACK OF DECISION was near the head of the list of the 30 major causes of FAILURE
- PROCRASTINATION, the opposite of DECISION, is a common enemy which practically every man must conquer
- Analysis of several hundred people who had accumulated fortunes well beyond the million dollar mark, disclosed the fact that every one of them had the habit of REACHING DECISIONS PROMPTLY, and of changing these decisions SLOWLY
- Those who reach DECISIONS promptly and definitely, know what they want, and generally get it. The leaders in every walk of life DECIDE quickly, and firmly
Persistence (THE SUSTAINED EFFORT NECESSARY TO INDUCE FAITH)
- PERSISTENCE is an essential factor in the procedure of transmuting DESIRE into its monetary equivalent. The basis of persistence is the POWER OF WILL
- lack of persistence is one of the major causes of failure
- WITH PERSISTENCE WILL COME SUCCESS
- One thing we all know, if one does not possess PERSISTENCE, one does not achieve noteworthy success in any calling
- Riches do not respond to wishes. They respond only to definite plans, backed by definite desires, through constant PERSISTENCE
Power of the Master Mind (THE DRIVING FORCE)
- The “Master Mind” may be defined as: “Co-ordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.”
- No individual may have great power without availing himself of the “Master Mind.”
- When the minds of two people are coordinated in a SPIRIT OF HARMONY, the spiritual units of energy of each mind form an affinity, which constitutes the “psychic” phase of the Master Mind
- Henry Ford whipped poverty, illiteracy, and ignorance by allying himself with great minds, whose vibrations of thought he absorbed into his own mind
The Mystery of Sex Transmutation
- The meaning of the word “transmute” is, in simple language, “the changing, or transferring of one element, or form of energy, into another.”
- The men of greatest achievement are men with highly developed sex natures; men who have learned the art of sex transmutation
- The men who have accumulated great fortunes and achieved outstanding recognition in literature, art, industry, architecture, and the professions, were motivated by the influence of a woman
- Among the greatest, and most powerful of these stimuli is the urge of sex. When harnessed and transmuted, this driving force is capable of lifting men into that higher sphere of thought which enables them to master the sources of worry and petty annoyance which beset their pathway on the lower plane
- NO MAN IS HAPPY OR COMPLETE WITHOUT THE MODIFYING INFLUENCE OF THE RIGHT WOMAN
The Subconscious Mind (THE CONNECTING LINK)
- THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND consists of a field of consciousness, in which every impulse of thought that reaches the objective mind through any of the five senses, is classified and recorded, and from which thoughts may be recalled or withdrawn
- THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND WORKS DAY AND NIGHT
- You cannot entirely control your subconscious mind, but you can voluntarily hand over to it any plan, desire, or purpose which you wish transformed into concrete form
- Positive and negative emotions cannot occupy the mind at the same time. One or the other must dominate. It is your responsibility to make sure that positive emotions constitute the dominating influence of your mind
The Brain (A BROADCASTING AND RECEIVING STATION FOR THOUGHT)
- MORE than twenty years ago, the author, working in conjunction with the late Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, and Dr. Elmer R. Gates, observed that every human brain is both a broadcasting and receiving station for the vibration of thought
- Through the medium of the ether, in a fashion similar to that employed by the radio broadcasting principle, every human brain is capable of picking up vibrations of thought which are being released by other brains
The Sixth Sense (THE DOOR TO THE TEMPLE OF WISDOM)
- The SIXTH SENSE is that portion of the subconscious mind which has been referred to as the Creative Imagination. It has also been referred to as the “receiving set” through which ideas, plans, and thoughts flash into the mind. The “flashes” are sometimes called “hunches” or “inspirations.”
- The sixth sense probably is the medium of contact between the finite mind of man and Infinite Intelligence, and for this reason, it is a mixture of both the mental and the spiritual. It is believed to be the point at which the mind of man contacts the Universal Mind
- Ability to use this great power comes slowly, through application of the other principles outlined in this book.
Perhaps the primary intent of the book is best summed up in the words of Napoleon Hill himself when he wrote that “There is a difference between WISHING for a thing and being READY to receive it. No one is ready for a thing, until he believes he can acquire it. The state of mind must be BELIEF, not mere hope or wish. Open-mindedness is essential for belief. Closed minds do not inspire faith, courage, and belief…”. And furthermore, “A purpose to which I have faithfully devoted over a quarter of a century—is to present to all who want the knowledge, the most dependable philosophy through which individuals may accumulate riches in whatever amounts they desire”.
If you enjoyed this book review, you would also enjoy my review of “Stocks for the Long Run“.
Read, learn, enjoy, be persistent and take action!