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Think and Grow Rich

“Wishing will not bring riches. But desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways and means to acquire riches, and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure, will bring riches” - Napoleon Hill

In Think and Grow Rich, Hill condenses the results of his 20 year study on nearly 500 self-made millionaires, including Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison, into a philosophy for success, which consists of several principles.

Desire: The Starting Point for All Achievement
“One must realize that all who have accumulated great fortunes first did a certain amount of dreaming, hoping, wishing, desiring, and planning before they acquired money.”

Hill argues that in order to win, you must know exactly what you want, and have a burning desire to possess it. According to him, there are six practical steps that you can take to work towards building wealth:

  1. Decide precisely how much money you want to earn.

  2. Determine what you are willing to give to receive this amount of money.

  3. Choose a date by which you aim to have obtained all this money.

  4. Create a detailed plan of how you will reach this goal and consider what you can do right now.

  5. Write all the above in a clear statement.

  6. Finally, make sure that you read this statement aloud twice a day.

Faith: Visualization of, and Belief in the Attainment of Desire
“Your own success or failure is based largely on your self-belief, and a mind-set of positive expectancy is the foundation of which your success can be achieved.”

In order to grow rich, you must have a growth mindset - the belief that you are capable of achieving what you want to achieve. Having this mindset will allow you to build confidence, which is necessary for success. If you don’t have faith in yourself, no one else will.

Auto-Suggestion: The Medium for Influencing the Subconscious Mind

Auto-suggestion refers to the use of self-directed communication to channel thoughts form the

conscious mind to the subconscious. Hill suggests that you can build faith in yourself by

repeating statements everyday, which will subconsciously influence your thoughts and actions.

These statements should include affirmations that acknowledge certain things about yourself,

such as:

  • That you have the ability to achieve your purpose

  • That you promise to take action

  • That you understand that your thoughts will gradually transform into a physical reality

  • That you promise to dedicate time to ensuring that these thoughts become real

  • That you will never stop trying to achieve your goals

Specialized Knowledge: Personal Experiences or Observations
“Successful men, in all callings, never stop acquiring specialized knowledge related to their major purpose, business, or profession. Those who are not successful usually make the mistake of believing that the knowledge-acquiring period ends when one finishes school.”

Learning is a life-long process. It is important to continue acquiring the right experiences and knowledge that you need depending on your goals. You can gain knowledge by reading books, taking courses, or surrounding yourself with knowledgeable individuals.

Knowledge is potential power. It is also important to organize and apply the knowledge that you acquire. Knowledge only becomes powerful once it is applied in daily life.

Imagination: The Workshop of the Mind
“Ideas are the beginning points of all fortunes. Ideas are products of the imagination”

Every success story begins with an idea, and every idea is created by people’s imagination. Therefore, our imagination is the creative workshop inside our minds that creates the ideas that can one day be turned into reality, through hard work and persistence. When combined with desire, ideas are unstoppable forces.

According to Hill, there are two types of imagination:

  1. Synthetic imagination is the combination of old concepts and ideas into new ideas

  2. Creative imagination is the generation of ideas that are entirely new and original

Organized Planning: The Crystallization of Desire to Action
“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.”

Once you know what you want, create a definite plan and stick to it. When you execute your plan, you are bound to experience temporary failures, but do not let them discourage you. Instead, learn from your failures and rebuild your plan based on new knowledge.

“A quitter never wins and a winner never quits.”
Decision: The Mastery of Procrastination
“Those who reach decisions promptly and definitely know what they want, and generally get it”

One key trait that Hill discovered among all of the individuals he studied was decisiveness: they confidently made firm and quick decisions very often, and changed their mind slowly if and when they needed to.

According to Hill, procrastination is the opposite of decisiveness. This inability to make quick decisions can be a major cause of failure for many. Remember that at the end of the day, making a bad decision is better than making no decision at all.

Persistence: The Sustained Effort Necessary to Induce Faith
“Riches do not respond to wishes. They respond only to definite plans, backed by definite desires, through constant persistence.”

Successful people understand that success is a by-product of determination and persistence. Nothing in life comes easy; it all takes hard work and consistency. Hill outlines the factors that cultivate persistence:

  1. Definiteness of purpose: Know exactly what you want as your ultimate goal

  2. Burning desire: You should have a strong obsession with meeting your goal

  3. Self-reliance: Believe that you can achieve your goal

  4. Definiteness of plans: Have thorough and clear plans to meet your goal

  5. Accurate knowledge: Your plans should be backed by facts

  6. Cooperation: Work with individuals who will help you reach your goal

  7. Willpower: Concentrate your attention on seeing your plans come to fruition

  8. Positive habits: Build habits that will help you get closer towards your goal

Power of the Master Mind: The Driving Force

The wealthiest people create a “Master Mind,” an alliance of individuals with different strengths and perspectives who provide their knowledge and efforts to attain a definite purpose.

The combination of different minds will lead to more ideas, more knowledge, and more action. As the saying goes, two heads are better than one.

The Subconscious Mind: Master Positivity and Dismiss Negative Emotions
“It is your responsibility to make sure that positive emotions constitute the dominating influence of your mind.”

We should always try to maintain a positive mentality, despite our current circumstances. One

can build this mentality by focusing on the positives in every situation and being surrounded by

optimistic people.


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