Think And Grow Rich is a curation of the 13 most common habits of wealthy and successful people, distilled from studying over 500 individuals over the course of 20 years.
Favorite quote from the author:
“The way of success is the way of continuous pursuit of knowledge.”
― Napoleon Hill
If The Intelligent Investor is the bible for investing, then Think And Grow Rich is the bible for successful people in general. It’ll also make you rich, but not necessarily by picking stocks.
Published in 1937 by Napoleon Hill, this book has sold 70 million (!) copies to date. Yup, nothing beats the power of starting early. To contrast that, the last Harry Potter book has sold 50 million copies – impressive, huh?
Hill spent the majority of his life studying successful people and their habits, and the 13 most prevalent ones are the ones he shares in this book.
Here are the 3 that will get you the furthest:
- Use autosuggestion to build an unshakable belief in yourself.
- Be stubborn and always stick to your decisions.
- Join a Mastermind group to cut the learning curve.
Lesson 1: Use autosuggestion to build an unshakable belief in yourself.
Autosuggestion is a psychological technique developed in the early 20th century.
Basically, it makes use of the Placebo effect by turning your goals into self-fulfilling prophecies through imprinting them in your subconscious.
Hill says a key trait of all successful people is this absolutely incredible, unshakable belief that they have about themselves and their goals.
It’s not a result, more a necessary prerequisite, to become successful.
By telling yourself over and over and over again, that it is possible for you to achieve your goals, that you can make your dreams a reality, and that you have to go your own way and can’t let anyone interfere with it, you form these beliefs in your subconscious.
This builds not only the confidence you need to follow through on your actions, but also lets your goals seep into the unconscious part of your brain, until you automatically align all of your actions in a way that leads you towards your goals.
But what else can you use this belief that could move mountains for?
Lesson 2: Be stubborn and always stick to your decisions.
Maybe you could use it to become a little hardheaded. In fact, you should.
Hill quotes lack of determination as the most common reason for long-term failure.
Millionaires, on the other hand, make snap decisions, and then they stick to them.
Come hell or high water.
When Henry Ford decided the Model T would be his masterpiece, he knew this would be it for the long haul. In spite of people telling him to come up with a new model again and again, he stuck to his guns. How long did production run?
The first model was produced in August 1908, and started the craze that turned into 15 million units total – the last of which was manufactured in 1927 – 19 years later.
Opinions are cheap. Everyone has one, and most people dispense them like they’re paper towels, only cluttering your mind with negative influences.
So be careful who you share your goals with, make it a set of trusted advisors, close friends and allies only – a mastermind maybe?
Lesson 3: Join a Mastermind group to accelerate your learning.
Yes, this is where this concept comes from and yes, it’s that old.
Napoleon Hill invented the Mastermind group as we know it today.
Millions of people use it (I’m in one as well), and with the internet, it’s become a worldwide phenomenon, as it’s gotten easier to hold a Mastermind session with people from around the globe.
Here’s how Hill defined a Mastermind group originally: “The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.”
Today, most groups consist of 4 people, which are not necessarily working towards the exact same goal or at the same company, but who are in the same industry and share many problems, obstacles, as well as character traits.
However, groups can be of any size, the only rule being that each session must follow a specific agenda (here’s the one we use).
The main benefit is that by combining the brain power of two or more people to solve problems, the result is more than the sum of its parts.
There is a surplus from sharing experiences, ideas and skills that could never be achieved if each person worked on their stuff alone, and that’s why Masterminds are so powerful.
I highly recommend you start one, you can find groups all over Facebook and online.
My personal take-aways
It’s really hard to pick 3 things from 13, especially because they’re all important, but I think I did a good job. When you read the summary, you might think “Well, this is a lot of good advice, but it’s all generic.”
That’s true, but always keep in mind when the book was published. Imagine being a 1937 factory worker or coal miner, and then getting your hands on this book – the insights were mind-blowing at the time.
I find it astonishing that you could read this book and know everything you ever need to become successful, as long as you instantly start to execute the ideas in it.
Hats off Mr. Hill, you’ve done a great job at watering all the human plants you found in your lifetime and those of generations to come.
The Book in Three Sentences
NapoleonHill researched more than forty millionaires to find out what made them the menthat they were. In Think and Grow Rich, he imparts that knowledge to you
Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve
The Five Big Ideas
- The starting point of all achievement is desire
- You are the master of your destiny
- When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal
- Your greatest success will often come just one step beyond the point at which defeat has overtaken you
- Set your mind on a definite goal and observe how quickly the world stands aside to let you pass
Bob Proctor has formed the habit of reading a few lines from Think and Grow Rich every day and has arrived at the conclusion that whatever challenge he may face, his solution will be found in the pages of Think and Grow Rich.
Another habit Proctor has formed that he would urge the reader to follow is to read the chapter on “Persistence” every day for 30 days at least twice a year.
“Don’t wait. The time will never be right.”
“Thoughts are things—and powerful things at that when they are mixed with definiteness of purpose, persistence, and a burning desire for their translation into riches or other material objects.”
Hill learned from years of experience with men that when a man really desires a thing so deeply that he is willing to stake his entire future on a single turn of the wheel in order to get it, he is sure to win.
“What a different story people would have to tell if only they would adopt a definite purpose and stand by that purpose until it had time to become an all-consuming obsession.”
“Opportunity has a sly habit of slipping in by the back door, often disguised in the form of misfortune or temporary defeat which why so many fail to recognize opportunity.”
“An intangible impulse of thought can be ‘transmuted’ into its physical counterpart.”
Know what you want and have the determination to stand by that desire until you realize it.
“One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.”
Before success comes into your life, you are sure to be met with much temporary defeat and, perhaps, some failure.
More than 500 of the most successful individuals this country has ever known told Hill that their greatest success came just one step beyond the point at which defeat had overtaken them.
“When riches begin to come, they come so quickly, in such great abundance, that one wonders where they have been hiding all those years.”
One of the main weaknesses of the human race is the average person’s familiarity with the word “impossible.”
A great many years ago Hill purchased a dictionary. The first thing he did with it was turn to the word “impossible” and neatly clip it out of the book. Hill advises you to do the same.
Another weakness found in many people is the habit of measuring everything and everyone by their own impressions and beliefs.
“When poet William Ernest Henley wrote the prophetic lines, ‘I am the Master of my Fate, I am the Captain of my Soul,’ he should have informed us that we are the Masters of our Fate, the Captains of our Souls, because we have the power to control our thoughts.”
“A burning desire to be and to do is the starting point from which the dreamer must take off. Dreams are not born of indifference, laziness, or lack of ambition.”
“Those who win in any undertaking must be willing to burn their ships and cut all sources of retreat. Only by so doing can one be sure of maintaining that state of mind known as a burning desire to win, which is essential to success.”
“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.”
The method by which desire for riches can be transmuted into its financial equivalent consists of six definite, practical actions.
Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire. It is not sufficient merely to say, “I want plenty of money.” Be definite as to the amount.”
Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire. (There is no such reality as “something for nothing.”)
Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money you desire.
Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.
Write out a clear, concise statement of the amount of money you intend to acquire, name the time limit for its acquisition, state what you intend to give in return for the money, and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to accumulate it.
Read your written statement aloud, twice daily, once just before retiring at night and once after arising in the morning. As you read, see and feel and believe yourself already in possession of the money.
You can never have riches in great quantities unless you can work yourself into a white heat of desire for money and actually believe you will possess it.
“If you do not see great riches in your imagination, you will never see them in your bank balance.”
“If the thing you wish to do is right and you believe in it, go ahead and do it. Put your dream across, and never mind what ‘they’ say if you meet with temporary defeat, for ‘they’ perhaps do not know that every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent success.”
“You may have been disappointed, you may have suffered setbacks and defeat during hard economic times, you may have felt the great heart within you crushed until it bled. Take courage, for these experiences have tempered the spiritual metal of which you are made—they are assets of incomparable value.”
All who succeed in life get off to a bad start and pass through many heartbreaking struggles before they “arrive.”
“No one ever is defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.”
“There is a difference between wishing for a thing and being ready to receive it. You are never ready for a thing until you believe you can acquire it.”
“No more effort is required to aim high in life, to demand abundance and prosperity, than is required to accept misery and poverty.”
“Nothing is impossible to the person who backs desire with enduring faith.”
“All achievement, no matter what may be its nature or its purpose, must begin with an intense, burning desire for something definite.”
“Faith is a state of mind which may be induced by autosuggestion.”
“Faith is a state of mind which may be induced, or created, by affirmations or repeated instructions to the subconscious mind, through the principle of autosuggestion.”
“Repetition or affirmation of orders to your subconscious mind is the only method of voluntary development of the emotion of faith.”
“All thoughts which have been emotionalized (given feeling) and mixed with faith begin immediately to translate themselves into their physical equivalent or counterpart.”
“Each of us is what we are because of the dominating thoughts which we permit to occupy our mind.”
“Any idea, plan, or purpose may be placed in the mind through repetition of thought.”
“Your subconscious mind recognizes and acts only upon thoughts which have been well-mixed with emotion or feeling.”
“When visualizing (with closed eyes) the money you intend to accumulate, see yourself rendering the service or delivering the merchandise you intend to give in return for this money.
“Go into some quiet spot (preferably in bed at night) where you will not be disturbed or interrupted, close your eyes, and repeat aloud (so you may hear your own words) the written statement of the amount of money you intend to accumulate, the time limit for its accumulation, and a description of the service or merchandise you intend to give in return for the money.”
“As you carry out these instructions, see yourself already in possession of the money. For example, suppose that you intend to accumulate $500,000 by the first of January, five years hence, that you intend to give personal services in return for the money in the capacity of a sales representative.”
Your written statement of your purpose should be similar to the following:
By the first day of January, [here state the year], I will have in my possession $500,000, which will come to me in various amounts from time to time during the interim. In return for this money, I will give the most efficient service of which I am capable, rendering the fullest possible quantity, and the best possible quality of service in the capacity of selling…. (describe the service or merchandise you intend to sell). I believe that I will have this money in my possession. My faith is so strong that I can now see this money before my eyes. I can touch it with my hands. It is now awaiting transfer to me at the time and in the proportion that I deliver the service, I intend to render in return for it. I am awaiting a plan by which to accumulate this money, and I will follow that plan when it is received.
“Repeat this program night and morning until you can clearly visualize (in your imagination) the money you intend to accumulate.”
“Place a written copy of your statement where you can see it night and morning, and read it just before retiring and upon arising until it has been memorized.”
“There are two kinds of knowledge. One is general; the other, specialized. General knowledge, no matter how great in quantity or variety it may be, is of but little use in the accumulation of money.”
“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 individual who can organize and direct a Mastermind Group of people who possess knowledge useful in the accumulation of money is just as educated as anyone in the group. Remember that if you suffer from a feeling of inferiority because your schooling has been limited.”
“Your major purpose in life, the goal toward which you are working, will help determine what knowledge you need.”
“As knowledge is acquired, it must be organized and put into use, for a definite purpose, through practical plans. Knowledge has no value except that which can be gained from its application toward some worthy end.”
“Successful people, in all callings, never stop acquiring specialized knowledge related to their major purpose, business, or profession.”
“The person who stops studying merely because he or she has finished school is forever hopelessly doomed to mediocrity, no matter what that person’s calling.”
“The way of success is the way of continuous pursuit of knowledge.”
“We rise to high positions or remain at the bottom because of conditions we can control if we desire to control them.”
“Anybody can wish for riches, and most people do, but only a few know that a definite plan, plus a burning desire for wealth, are the only dependable means of accumulating wealth.”
“The only limitation is that which one sets up in one’s own mind.”
“Ideas can be transmuted into cash through the power of definite purpose, plus definite plans.”
“Riches, when they come in huge quantities, are never the result of hard work. Riches come, if they come at all, in response to definite demands, based upon the application of definite principles, and not by chance or luck.”
“Success requires no apologies. Failure permits no alibis.”
“Your achievement can be no greater than your plans are sound.”
“No follower of this philosophy can reasonable expect to accumulate a fortune without experiencing temporary defeat.”
“When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.”
“A quitter never wins—and a winner never quits.”
“A follower cannot reasonably expect the compensation to which a leader is entitled, although many followers make the mistake of expecting such pay.”
“Most great leaders began in the capacity of followers. They became great leaders because they were intelligent followers.”
“The person who can follow a leader most efficiently is usually the one who develops into leadership most rapidly.”
“An intelligent follower has many advantages, among them the opportunity to acquire knowledge from his or her leader.”
“Most people go through life as failures because they habitually wait for the “time to be right” to start doing something worthwhile.”
“Before you even start to negotiate for a readjustment of your salary in your present position or seek employment elsewhere, be sure that you are worth more than you receive.”
“Many people mistake their wants for their just dues.”
“Genuine wisdom is usually conspicuous through modesty and silence.”
“Riches do not respond to wishes. They respond only to definite plans, backed by definite desires, through constant persistence.”
“When a group of individual brains are coordinated and function in harmony, the increased energy created through that alliance becomes available to every individual brain in the group.”
“The years between 40 and 50 are, as a rule, the most fruitful. Individuals should approach this age not with fear and trembling, but with hope and eager anticipation.”
“Positive and negative emotions cannot occupy the mind at the same time.”
The Seven Major Positive Emotions:
The Seven Major Negative Emotions (To be avoided):
If you like Think and Grow Rich, you may also enjoy the following books:
Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Buy The Book: Think and Grow Rich
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