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This book is a classic. This is one of the first self-development book I ever read and it definitely had a huge impact on me. This book was written A LONG time ago. There are better alternatives out there in my opinion (like the millionaire fastlane), but I still think every one should read Think And Grow Rich at least once.

The book is based on interviews of 500 of those who history now remembers as the greatest men of the early 20th century, including Henry Ford, J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Theodore Roosevelt, Wilbur Wright, and W. Howard Taft.

The book is structured into 13 principles that someone need to understand if he or she really want to succeed in this life.

Principle 1: Desire, the starting point of all achievement

think and grow rich napoleonWhat Napoleon Hill is talking about is not simply wishing….but an intense, burning obsession. You also need a plan and you need to stick to it. The authors gives a six-part method to do this:

  1. Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire.
  2. Determine exactly what you intend to give for this money.
  3. Establish a definite date by which you intend to acquire this money.
  4. Create a definite plan to acquire the money, and take the first step immediately.
  5. Put the four items above into a clear, concise sentence describing each part.
  6. Read the statement aloud twice daily, in the morning and at night.

They key principle here is that your desire can transform into its physical equivalent. This is one of the key principle of the book: the subconscious mind acts beneath the surface to accomplish what it needs to accomplish.

Principle #2: Faith, the visualization and attainment of desire.

The key idea here is that your subconscious mind must believe that something is possible in order to act on it. This is called faith and this is how the authors defines it: “a state of mind which may be induced, or created, by affirmation or repeated instructions to the subconscious mind, through the principle of autosuggestion.”

“Repetition of affirmation of orders to your subconscious mind is the only known method of voluntary development of the emotion of faith.” Basically, you can literally train your mind with affirmations. This is true whether theses affirmations are positives or negatives.

The main thing to remember here is that a conscious choice can influence your subconscious, which in turn will immediately causes a change in your external world.

On trick that the author talks about is to “deceive” your subconscious by acting as if you have already achieved what you are trying to achieve.

Principle #3: Autosuggestion

Autosuggestion is all about communicating to yourself in a way using your conscious mind for the main purpose of convincing your subconscious. Napoleon Hill recommends doing this twice a day; morning and night.

Let’s say you want to make $100 000 per year at the end of the year. What you would have to do is to say out loud the amount of money you intend to obtain ($100 000), and how you intend to obtain it. The author also recommends that you write this statement down and place in a place where you can see it all the time.

This is what this book is all about: combining both desire and faith to auto-suggest achievements into your subconscious mind to unlock your true potential.

Principle #4: Specialized Knowledge

If you want to become rich, what you need is specialized knowledge. General knowledge will lead you nowhere. What you need is a very specific skill in order to add value and be paid a lot for it.

I agree totally and this one of the reason I created this website. I truly believe that what we learn in schools (for the most part) is completely useless. I learned more by reading books written by successful people than by getting a bachelor degree in business…

It should be evident to you by now that general education does not correlate with wealth; instead, specific knowledge with a good mindset about money is what brings massive wealth.

Principle #5: Imagination

The authors says that there are two types of imagination; synthetic imagination, which means the person simply rearranges existing ideas into new concepts, and creative imagination, which means the person creates something from nothing.

napoleon hillMost people think that rich people worked really hard to get there. While it is true that most of them worked hard, what is also true is that they all worked smart. Rich people use their brain to create a system that makes them rich. Poor people trade their time for money, while rich people trade their ideas for money. Rich people use their imagination to create powerful ideas and get paid for it.

Principle #6: Organized Planning

The sixth principle is all about creating or joining a group of highly successful people for the sole purpose of carrying out your plans. The author calls this a “master mind”.

For this to work, you must select people who are likewise persistent and as driven as you.

At some point I moved to an apartment with three other guys and I initiated the idea to form some kind of mastermind group. The goal was to meet in the living room every Sunday to discuss our goals for the next week. We would all write on a big white board our goals for the week and as soon as we accomplished the goal during the week, we would put a check mark next to it.

It worked for maybe two months, then someone stopped doing it, then another one dropped out…At the end I was the only one doing it and I decided to do the same thing but just for myself. It sucked because now I didn’t have the leverage from the group power…This is really important that you do a mastermind group with people ON YOUR LEVEL OR ABOVE. If the people are not on your level, that’s ok too, but they need to be as DETERMINED AND DRIVEN AS YOU. This is really important.

Principle #7: Decision

The author says that one of the main cause of failure is the lack of decision. One thing he noticed is that successful people have the habit of making decisions promptly, and of changing them slowly. Unsuccessful people do the opposite; they don’t make decisions promptly, and change them all the time…

Successful people know exactly what they want in life. They have a vision, they have desire. People who have no desire of their own are heavily influenced by the opinions of others, and are not likely to succeed. You can decide quickly when you know exactly what you want in life.

When you think about it, this is what leaders are all about.

“The world has the habit of making room for the man whose words and actions show that he knows where he is going.”

Principle #8: Persistence

You won’t become rich unless you have persistence. What is persistence? It 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!

I have read many biographies in my life and it is quite amazing how many times successful people faced rejections in their life. What’s the difference between them and unsuccessful people? Successful people just continue to hustle no matter what. 

Principle #9: Power of the master mind

think and grow rich bookThe author discuss the power of the master mind again in this chapter. He basically discuss again how important being part of a mastermind is. It will really give you an economic advantage over your competitive.

Your life is a direct reflection of the expectations of your peer group. If you hang out with highly successful people, you will start to think and act like them. You really must choose who you hang out with if you are truly dedicated to your vision.

Principle #10: The mystery of sex

The author tells us that because of the fact that the sexual desire is the most powerful human desire, the act of exercising willpower to redirect this compulsion from physical expression to another productive purpose is a really powerful tool.

“When driven by this desire, men develop keenness of imagination, courage, will-power, persistence, and creative ability unknown to them at other times.”

The whole idea behind this chapter is the fact that during his interviews, the author discovered that certain of these men credited their ability to restrain from sexual activity as the ultimate secret for their success.

Principle #11: The subconscious mind

The author reminds us that directing your subconscious mind via the other principles stated earlier is something extremely important and must be done through habits. You need to program your mind to function the right way if you want to be highly successful. You must focus on positive emotions and block the negatives one.

The author says the every night, before going to sleep, he imagines what he calls his council of advisers, which consists for men such as Edison, Darwin, Lincoln, Napoleon, Carnegie, etc. He selected each one of these people for a particular trait that he desires to imitate. He then discuss with them in his own head and they give him advise on how he should live his life.

Principle #12: The Brain

Napoleon Hill reiterates the principles he discussed in the other chapters in this one, from the perspective of the brain’s role in the whole process. I was a little bit lost in this chapter and it was what to esoteric and vague for me, but this book was written in the 1930’s and the science of the human brain was not very developed at that time. This is why I often say that there are other book out there that are more relevant to today’s realities (like the millionaire fastlane for example).

Principle #13: The Sixth Sense

The author defines this as “that portion of the subconscious mind which has been referred to as the Creative Imagination”. Again, that book was written A LONG TIME AGO but what the author is talking about is intuition.

Once you have conditioned your subconscious the right way, you have to listen to it. You do that by listening to your intuition. Napoleon calls that process the connection to the universe, but in the end, what he was trying to say here is to listen to your intuition (ONLY if your subconscious works in your favor….this book is all about training it to work in your favor).


Again, this book was written A LONG TIME AGO so the way the author describes stuff can appear a little bit mystical some times, but the main ideas in the book are really good. I recommend everyone to read this book just for the fact that it is a classic and you will surely learn a few things.

Please leave a comment below or let me know any questions you have.  I’d love to hear what you think!

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