Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill – Book Summary

Think & Grow Rich Book Summary

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Think And Grow Rich is a state of mind. It uses the power of imagination for manifesting strong desires and a definite purpose into reality. Turning obsession (definite purpose) into a reality is not an easy task. However, if you have a strong desire and you’re willing to raise the stakes, you will win. The author projects the following formula:

Desire + Ideas + Plans + Massive Action = Success

Start with your goal. What do you really want? A better job? To succeed in your current career? To work for a business leader who inspires you?
 
To achieve that goal, shifting your thinking from failure consciousness to success consciousness is the key. For this to happen, the question ‘how do I get a job?’ needs to change into ‘what can I give to a job?’, and ‘how do I get more dollars per hour?’ into ‘how do I give more energy, desire, focus?’
 

DESIRE

  • When a person truly wants something, then only she acts towards attaining that goal. Wishing for something is always undefined but wanting is well defined and commits to course of action.
  • What do you desire more than anything else? Your desire towards achieving any goal uses a combination of two types of motivation:
    • Pull Motivation: Case where the output is so great that you get pulled towards the goal
    • Push Motivation: Negative consequences are so bad that you are pushed to action.
  • The author provides the mindset for 5 key areas of desire:
    1. Career: Going from ‘what do I get?’ to ‘how will I grow?’ requires shifting from ego-driven concerns (title, salary, benefits etc.) to growth opportunities within the company and position.
    2. Leading: To lead, first, you need to follow and learn from an existing leader. How would it affect your career if you became an apprentice to someone at the top of your field that you admire
    3. Money: This is a series of steps that the author suggests for money-based desires.
      1. Be definite as to the amount of money or type of job.
      2. Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire.
      3. Establish a definite date when you intend to attain the money you desire.
      4. Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once.
      5. Write out a clear, concise statement of the amount of money you intend to acquire, name the time limit, state what you intend to give in return, and describe the plan through which you plan to accumulate it.
      6. Read your written statement aloud, twice daily.
    4. Failure: Look for lessons within failure and examine them without the emotional attachment of why something has failed. Use failure as a growth opportunity towards greater accomplishments.
    5. Others People’s Desires: By helping the owner of a company or a manager achieve their goals (as an employee or freelancer), you also advance your own goals, because you progressively start excelling at the area of interest (provided this area is aligned with your own goals).
 

FAITH

  • It might be faith in karma, the universe, a divine being, or yourself. But the bottom line is you need an unnatural amount of confidence, that your desire can be achieved. You need to truly believe that your success will be inevitable
“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.”
  • Faith is the first step towards success and foundation that holds it all together. Faith can be imposed through positive affirmations or instructions for the subconscious mind. Faith can be a useful tool as it is an antidote for failure. Others will believe in you if you believe in yourself. Affirmations should focus on qualities about you:
    1. You have the ability to achieve your goal.
    2. You promise to take action.
    3. Your understanding that your thoughts will get converted to reality.

AUTO-SUGGESTION

  • Repeat your desire to your subconscious as much as you can and place a feeling of faith and love behind it. Eventually this will become your dominating thought.
  • Through routine repetition of our conscious thoughts and desires (as mentioned in the ritual of the “Faith” section above) to ourselves, we can regain absolute control over the material which reaches our subconscious mind, exercising control over our decisions, feelings, and actions.

SPECIALISED KNOWLEDGE

  • To grow rich you need to have specialized knowledge. Think of any professional, they paid the price of learning specialized knowledge through time and sometimes money. This will allow our desires to translate into a monetary, career or other forms of success.
  • This specialized knowledge doesn’t have to be with you already. You should know how to learn or create this knowledge to fulfill this step. You can gain knowledge through courses, seminars, books, conferences, etc.
  • You can also work with experienced people to learn from them. You should be ready for lifelong learning to keep up with all the latest developments in their field.

IMAGINATION

  • Whatever you’re going to bring into this world, you need to see it in your own mind first. And the more clearly you see it and envision it. The better you bring it into reality.
  • Humans can create anything they can imagine. Ideas come from imagination one way or the other. 
  • The author mentions two types of imagination. 
    1. Synthetic imagination: Arranging old concepts or ideas into a new idea.
    2. Creative imagination: Ideas come from hunches and inspirations

ORGANISED PLANNING

  • Without a plan, you don’t have a destination. What plan do you have for your life? Do you know where you want to be in 1 month, 3 months or a year?
  • You should not only hope for success but should also have a strategy in place of how you will achieve that success.
  • Understand that no plan is perfect. When you start implementing your plan, you start understanding what is missing. Use this experience to improve yourself. 
  • Always rebuild your plans depending on learnings and keep on hustling for your goal. Don’t ever give up before reaching your goal.

DECISION

  • The trait that all successful people have in common is decisiveness. You must learn to make decisions quickly and then change them slowly.
“Tell the world what you intend to do, but first show it freedom or death on a decision.”
  • People who fail to succeed, without exception, reach decisions, if at all, very slowly, and change their minds quickly and often. Successful people reach decisions promptly and definitely, changing their mind slowly. They know what they want and, generally, get it. Definiteness of decision always requires courage. Procrastination, the opposite of decision, is a common enemy which practically every person must conquer.

PERSISTENCE

  • Persistence is a state of mind that can be cultivated by having definiteness of purpose, desire, self-reliance, definiteness of plans, accurate knowledge, cooperation, willpower, and habit.
  • The basis of persistence is the power of will, and it’s also influenced by other factors, such as:
    • Definiteness of purpose
    • Self-reliance
    • Definiteness of plans
    • Accurate knowledge
    • Co-operation
    • Habits
  • Which of the aforementioned factors are you lacking, which might be hindering your persistence? On the contrary, lack of persistence begets the following symptoms:
    • Procrastination
    • Lack of interest
    • Indecision
    • Self-satisfaction
    • Indifference
    • Weakness of desire
    • Willingness to quit
    • Lack of organised plans
    • Wishing instead of willing
    • Searching for shortcuts
    • Fear of criticism
  • So, how does one develop persistence? The author suggests the following 4 steps:
    • Develop a definite purpose, backed by a burning desire for its fulfillment.
    • Build a definite plan, expressed in continuous action.
    • Keep out all negative and discouraging influences.
    • Stay accountable to people who will encourage you to follow through your plan and purpose.

POWER OF THE MASTERMIND

  • A mastermind is having a team of people in place, whose job it is to help you succeed and carry out your plans. Who could be in your team and how could you form one in the next 30 days? Nobody can acquire great power and succeed without the power of a mastermind. According to the author:
“No two minds ever come together without, thereby, creating a third, invisible, intangible force which may be likened to a third mind”.
  • The goal of a mastermind is to convert knowledge into power, by organizing it into definite plans, and then translating plans into action.

TRANSMUTATION OF SEX

  • The desire for sex is the most powerful of human desires. Its motivating force brings keenness of imagination, courage, will-power, persistence and creative ability unknown to people at other times.
  • Sex has three constructive potentialities:
    1. Perpetuation of mankind
    2. Maintenance of health
    3. Transformation of mediocrity into genius through transmuting
  • Sexual drive (the thoughts of physical expression) can be transmuted into highly creative and productive outlets, used as a powerful force for success, or, of course, the accumulation of riches. It requires the exercise of will-power, but the reward is worth the effort.

SUBCONSCIOUS MIND

  • You can only ever have a positive emotion or a negative emotion in your head at one time. Whichever emotion you have in your head is going to be what speaks to your subconscious.
  • The subconscious mind is the connecting link between the finite mind of human and infinite intelligence.
  • The subconscious mind can be used as a medium for transmuting your desires into their physical or monetary equivalent. However, if you fail to plant your own desires into it, as a result of your neglect, it will feed upon any thoughts that reach it.
  • To gain control over your subconscious mind, form the habit of applying and using to your advantage the following 7 major positive emotions: Desire, Faith, Love, Sex, Enthusiasm, Romance, Hope.
  • The mere presence of a single negative emotion in your conscious mind might be sufficient to destroy all chances of constructive aid from your subconscious mind. The 7 major negative emotions to avoid are; Fear, Jealousy, Hatred, Revenge, Greed, Superstition, Anger.
  • Eventually, the positive emotions will dominate your mind completely, so that the negative ones cannot enter.

THE BRAIN

  • Every human brain is both a broadcasting and receiving station for the vibration of thought.
  • The subconscious mind is the “sending station” of the brain, through which vibrations of thought are broadcast.
  • The creative imagination is the “receiving set,” through which the vibrations of thought are picked up from the ether.
  • When stimulated (“stepped up”) to a high rate of vibration, the mind becomes more receptive to the vibration of thought. This “stepping up” takes place through positive or negative emotions.
  • Vibrations of an exceedingly high rate are the only vibrations picked up and carried, by the ether, from one brain to another.

THE SIXTH SENSE

  • The understanding of the sixth sense comes only by meditation, through mind development from within.
  • Once you’ve mastered the sixth sense, you will be able to receive warnings about impending dangers in time to avoid them and get notified of opportunities in time to embrace them.
  • However, the sixth sense will never function if indecision, doubt, and fear remain in your mind. They are closely related: indecision crystallises into doubt, and the two blend to become the end result, fear.
  • The 6 basic fears are; Poverty, Criticism, Ill Health, Loss of love, Old age, Death. However, there’s also a 7th ‘enemy’: susceptibility to negative influences.
  • To shield yourself from this enemy, like all people who accumulate great riches, you have to:
    1. Put your willpower into constant use, until you build immunity against negative influences in your own mind,
    2. Deliberately seek the company of people who influence you to think and act from a positive standpoint, and
    3. Use your willpower to gain control over your thoughts and influence your subconscious mind.
  • Fear is just a state of mind. It is subject to control and direction. Use this knowledge to your advantage.
“Man’s thought impulses begin immediately to translate themselves into their physical equivalent, whether those thoughts are voluntary or involuntary.”

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