Introduction: My Thoughts on Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
It’s been said countless times that when the student is ready the teacher will appear. That is very much so with Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. I first read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill over 10 years ago, and it didn’t resonate with me. However, I liked the summary of the book by Earl Nightingale, which I have read a few times.
Fast forward to today, I just finished reading it, and this time around, I appreciate what the writer was saying. At first I thought that I enjoyed Think and Grow Rich better the second time because I liked the contemporary version of the book. But after I thought about it for a while, I believe that at this point in my life, I am prepared to hear what Hill has to say. I will re-read the original, unedited version of Think and Grow Rich very shortly.
Think and Grow Rich is about how to attain riches. When Napoleon Hill refers to riches, he is not only referring to finance, but also to the spiritual and health and wellness aspects of riches. Based on researching 25,000 people over 25 years, Napoleon Hill identified 13 success principles.
He dedicates a chapter to each success principle, and each chapter builds on the previous chapter, and as the book progresses, he bolsters the concept. SUCCESS BEGINS WITH AN IDEA – one sound idea is all that you need. To succeed in life you have to have a definite purpose, your Raison d’être – it begins with a state of mind.
With very little effort you can find a book review or summary of Think and Grow Rich. Therefore, I am going to focus on some of the things that resonated with me – the things that caused me to stop and think, in addition to topics I think that a reader would find useful.
Today’s post is a continuation of yesterday’s Roundtable of Invisible Mentors. It is the second part of a four part series on Think and Grow Rich. Expect a post on how to create your Roundtable of Invisible Mentors and another one on the Power of The Master Mind.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill: 13 Steps to Riches of 13 Success Principles
- Desire: The Turning Point of All Achievement
- Faith: Visualizing and Believing in the Attainment of Desire
- Auto-Suggestion: The Medium for Influencing the Subconscious Mind
- Specialized Knowledge: Personal Experiences or Observations
- Imagination: The Workshop of the Mind
- Organized Planning: The Crystallization of Desire into Action
- Decision: The Mastery of Procrastination
- Persistence: The Sustained Effort Necessary to Induce Faith
- Power of the Master Mind: The Driving Force
- The Mystery of Sex Transmutation
- The Subconscious Mind: The Connecting Link
- The Brain: A Broadcasting and Receiving Station for Thought
- The Sixth Sense: The Door to the Temple of Wisdom
I thought that it was worth noting the book’s six steps to acquire riches or achieve any worthwhile goal.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill: 6 Practical Steps to Acquire Riches or Achieve Any Goal
- Know exactly what you want. If it is money, know the exact amount of money that you want.
- Determine what you intend to give in return for the money, or the goal that you’d like to achieve.
- Set a definite date for getting the money or achieving the goal.
- Create a definite plan with the steps to achieve your goal, and begin at once. Do not wait for the perfect time because there will never be a perfect time.
- Write a clear, concise statement of the amount of money you’d like to acquire, or the goal you’d like to achieve. Include the date by which you’d like to get the money, what you intend to give in exchange for the money, and describe your plan for getting it.
- Twice each day, read your statement aloud – before you go to sleep and immediately after you arise in the morning. As you repeat the statement, see yourself already having the money or having achieved the goal – bring your desire to life!
Throughout the book, Hill keeps on building on this basic formula, bringing it to life. There are many times we do not achieve our goals, for one reason or another. If a lack of self-confidence is the reason, Think and Grow Rich proposes a solution. You have to have faith that you can do whatever you set your mind upon.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill: 5-Step Self-confidence Formula
- Know that you have the ability to achieve your Definite Purpose in life so take action and be persistent.
- If your dominant thoughts are about your Definite Purpose and you take physical action, eventually it will become a reality. Invest 30 minutes each day, focusing on the person you wish to become, creating a crystal clear picture of that person.
- Through auto-suggestion, any desire and dominant thoughts you have will manifest. Invest 10 minutes each day working on your self-confidence.
- Have a clearly written statement of your one burning desire in life, and never stop trying until you have developed the self-confidence for attaining your burning desire.
- No wealth or position can long endure, unless built upon truth and justice. Never engage in any transaction that doesn’t benefit all. “I will succeed by attracting to myself the forces I wish to use, and the cooperation of other people. I will induce others to serve me, because of my willingness to serve others.”
I have paraphrased Hill’s solution for developing self-confidence. I personally think that it is lacking. I think one of the key things to communicate, in addition to what he states, is the need to take the first step, which is never easy. That is very clear throughout the book, but not very clear in the self-confidence formula.
Leadership skills are critical to success. You do not have to have direct reports before you become concerned with leadership. To be a great leader, you must first learn to lead yourself. Hill identified 10 major causes of failure in leadership.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill: 10 Major Causes of Failure in Leadership
- Inability to organize details. The devil is in the details, and you have to learn to master them.
- Unwillingness to render humble service. The greatest leaders are always willing to perform any task that they ask others to perform.
- Expect to be paid for what they know, instead of what they do with what they know. Knowledge is not power, it’s what you do with the knowledge that is powerful.
- Fear competition from followers. Competition is a fact of life, the best leaders must learn to delegate to get more accomplished, and those with charisma and enthusiasm naturally increase the number of their followers.
- Lack of imagination. Without imagination, leaders cannot creatively problem solve, or even think on their feet, responding to emergencies.
- Selfishness. The greatest leaders share the spotlight and give credit where credit is due.
- Intemperance. Moderation is always best.
- Disloyalty. A disloyal leader cannot expect to build trust or earn respect.
- Emphasis of the “authority” of leadership. Leadership is about encouraging, not instilling fear.
- Emphasis of title. If a leader emphasizes his title, that is symptomatic of not having enough substance to bolster the position.
Napoleon Hill lists the 30 major causes of failure, which I think are interesting. What I like is that he offers ideas on how to overcome each of the major failure listed. Many of the failures on the list are ones that we are already familiar with, and already know what to do about them, we simply just not do it. For instance, lack of a well-defined purpose in life, lack of self-discipline, procrastination, wrong business partners, lack of persistence, negative personality or being around negative people, being in the wrong vocation, not taking enough calculated risks, choosing the wrong partner in marriage, spending foolishly, lack of capital, guessing instead of taking the time to think things through and finding the right information.
Final Look at Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Looking at Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, all the sections work together because they are inter-related. What I have also noticed is that there are sections that can stand alone. And if you take a specific section, work on it, you will realize success upon which you can build on by working on another section. Many people fail because they fail to plan. There is a major section in the book that’s on organized planning, which delves into how to organize and use information after you have acquired it. And more importantly, how to organize knowledge into plans of action.
I recommend Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. If you have never read the book before, I recommend that you start off with an Earl Nightingale’s summary, and if you enjoy it, read the contemporary version of Think and Grow Rich, and finally the original unedited version.
The Law of Success In Sixteen Lessons by Napoleon HillNapoleon Hill’s Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal AchievementOutwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom and SuccessThe Law of Success: The Master Wealth-Builder’s Complete and Original Lesson Plan for Achieving Your DreamsSuccess Through A Positive Mental AttitudeNapoleon Hill’s Golden Rules: The Lost WritingsNapoleon Hill’s Power of Positive Action (Official Publication of the Napoleon Hill Foundation)