Think and Grow Rich - Critical summary review - Napoleon Hill

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Think and Grow Rich - critical summary review

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Self Help & Motivation

This microbook is a summary/original review based on the book: Think and Grow Rich

Available for: Read online, read in our mobile apps for iPhone/Android and send in PDF/EPUB/MOBI to Amazon Kindle.

ISBN: 0091900212

Publisher: Matosinyos

Critical summary review

Most of us have dreamed of becoming rich without having to put much effort into it. This desire has been around for a long time, as Hill’s 1937 landmark publication shows. In it, he explains how thinking can literally make us rich. According to Hill, it’s just a matter of the mindset you adopt, so get ready to discover for yourself the power of thought.

Thinking to grow rich

When Hill was just a little boy, Andrew Carnegie - one of the richest men in history and the pioneer of the American steel industry during the 19th century - shared with him the secret of becoming rich. That is, if you have the right mindset, you can grow rich, no matter what.

Hill spent the next 25 years interviewing more than 500 of the richest people of his time, to see if they all shared the same secret to success. To share what he learned, he wrote “Think and Grow Rich.”

The power of thought is unfathomable, especially when coupled with a burning desire to achieve an aim. Hill says - you can think yourself into success as well - all you need is a sound idea. Just be aware: “When riches begin to come, they come so quickly, and in such great abundance, that one wonders where they have been hiding during all those lean years.”

Be passionate about your goals!

First of all, you will need a definite goal that you feel passionately about. Edwin C. Barnes, for example, had the definite desire to work with, not for, Thomas Edison. In the beginning, he didn’t know Edison at all, but one day he simply walked into his workshop and proposed working together. This determination convinced Edison to hire him: “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.”

It is the thought that counts - when we are truly determined to achieve one thing, it will manifest itself on the outside. Barnes actually managed to work with Edison in the end, not for him, because he convinced Edison to let him sell Edison’s Dictaphone. Barnes grew rich by doing so and literally thought himself into a partnership with Thomas Edison!

You need this burning desire for your goal in order to achieve it. This means, you can control your fate because you can control your thoughts. Persistence is the other ingredient needed to become successful: will-power combined with desire is the sure road to success. Your persistence will mean that you won’t be held back by small failures or setbacks, and the intensity of your desire will keep you going until you reach your goal.

An example for this is Henry Ford and his eight cylinder motor: He instructed his engineers to create it and, even though they said this would be impossible, he instructed them to persist until they made it work. After many setbacks, they did manage to make it work in the end. 

Often, opportunity arrives in a different way than we expect it to; it can be disguised as misfortune or temporary defeat. Most people fail because they do not follow through on their goals, and let themselves be discouraged by temporary defeat. R. U. Darby, for example, stopped digging for gold just three feet away from a gold vein worth millions of dollars.

Have faith in yourself

You need to believe in what you want to achieve and have faith in yourself and your goals. Faith will be transformed by the subconscious into its spiritual equivalent, which will then transmit it to infinite intelligence, meaning that it will then become true.

This belief in oneself can be strengthened by autosuggestion. All impressions received through the five senses are stopped by the conscious thinking mind, which then either delivers the impressions to the subconscious, or stops them. This means that humans have absolute control over what reaches their subconscious minds. Through autosuggestion you can control this process, and consequently, this would allow you to feed the subconscious with creative thoughts. 

To strengthen your ability of autosuggestion, write down your goal and read it aloud twice a day, once at night and once in the morning. If you feed your subconscious with thoughts that you are already in possession of what you crave for, this will trigger automatic thought habits which can make your goals become reality. This self-reliance will also boost your persistence in achieving that particular goal.

Use your imagination

Your imagination is where your burning desire to become rich is translated into action. It’s the workshop of the mind. Imagination has led mankind to amazing achievements - including building up the expertise to explore the sky and the solar system - as well as, facilitating communication over long distances through the telephone. In truth, our imagination is the only limit to what we can achieve. 

There are two kinds of imagination: synthetic and creative. The synthetic imagination rearranges known concepts and ideas into new combinations. The creative imagination, on the other hand, is where we come up with new ideas and receive new inspirations (through direct communication with infinite intelligence). Creative imagination is also where one communicates with the subconscious thoughts of others. While the creative imagination works automatically, it can only come up with new ideas when pushed by a strong desire of the conscious mind.

Your imagination is where you will translate your ideas into a plan for action. According to Hill, this imagination can be fed by sexual energy too. It is a desire that cannot be suppressed, but when harnessed in the form of creative expression, it can be usefully adopted to become rich. “The men who have accumulated great fortunes and achieved outstanding recognition in literature, art, industry, architecture, and the professions, were motivated by the influence of a woman.”

Utilizing knowledge

    A good rule of thumb for any person wanting to become rich is to specialize in something or achieve an admirable level of proficiency through practice, and the good news is - you don’t need any formal recognition of your skills to get there. According to Hill, schools and colleges teach general knowledge, which is of little use in accumulating money, because educational institutions “do not specialize on the organization, or the use of knowledge.”

The real meaning of education is the development from within, which is why many people who became extremely successful have often had very little formal education. Take Thomas Edison for example. He only received three months of formal schooling in his life and still invented the light bulb!

To utilize knowledge in your chosen field, you don’t have to rely on your know-how and expertise. You can create a “Master Mind group” of people with the knowledge you need and harness this information to achieve your goal. Similarly, you will need power to reach your aim but power in the sense of “organized and intelligently directed knowledge” that will come as a by-product of the diversity in skill in the group. 

On top of that, having this group will automatically lead to the creation of new, innovative concepts by combining various points of views. “Economic advantages may be created by any person who surrounds himself with the advice, counsel, and personal cooperation of a group of men who are willing to lend him wholehearted aid, in a spirit of perfect harmony.”

Planning the game

To achieve your goals, organized planning is essential - especially in terms of your Master Mind group. Before forming it, you should be open about what you can give each of the participants in return for their cooperation. Then, arrange to meet several times a week until a plan is mapped out and during the meetings try to address important issues in order to improve the cohesion between members. Don’t give up if your first plan fails – simply pivot and come up with a new one - repeat that process until you hit the nail on the head. Thomas Edison, for example, failed 10,000 times before he finally invented the light bulb.

When it comes to planning, you should also understand that there are two types of people: leaders and followers. It is up to you to decide which one of the two you want to be. Remember - even if you start out as a follower, you don’t have to stay one. Intelligent followers will become leaders, eventually. The major attributes of leadership are courage, self-control, a keen sense of justice, decisiveness, conviction in your plans, a pleasing personality, sympathy and understanding, and mastery of detail. You will also need to regularly do more than what you’re being paid for, cooperate well, and be willing to assume full responsibility to become a successful leader.

To become rich, remember that you will always have to operate within the rules of the system that you are a part of. Once you have settled on a plan, do not hesitate to follow through, and start working on it immediately. After all, being decisive is one of the hallmarks of a great leader and procrastination is the exact opposite of that. You should also be able to make split-second decisions, and follow through with your decisions carefully. 

Think positive

The subconscious mind is the place where thoughts are translated into action. Therefore, positive emotions and desires will be translated into the outcomes you want, while negative emotions will translate into failure. 

Riches begin with a state of mind: “Success comes to those who become success-conscious. Failure comes to those who indifferently allow themselves to become failure-conscious.” This is because our brains are influenced by the ether. They become magnetized by our thoughts and will then attract to us that which we desire.

    This is why, to become rich, you have to adjust your mindset to a positive one. The mind can either be dominated by a negative or positive emotion, so you have to make a conscious effort to concentrate on the positive. “Form the habit of applying and using positive emotions! Eventually, they will dominate your mind so completely, that the negatives cannot enter it.”

Do not let yourself be influenced by indecision, doubt, or fear. They’re also just states of mind and can therefore be controlled. So make it a habit; fear can be cured by forcibly repeating acts of courage, or auto-suggestion.

Final Notes

Adopt the right mindset, and you will become richer than you could ever have imagined. While Hill’s book has been a bestselling book over the decades, it should be kept in mind that it was written in 1937. Many of his points are based on outdated views of the human psyche and makeup of the human brain. To modern readers his explanations will often seem to be bordering on the spiritual. 

However, keeping that in mind, quite a few of his points still hold true today - that a positive mindset, determination, a specific goal, and a passion for your aims will help lead you to success.

12min Tip

Think of a definite goal in your life and write it down. Read it out loud twice a day to stimulate your mind into becoming obsessed with it!

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Who wrote the book?

Napoleon Hill was a very influential American writer in the area of ​Personal Development and Self-Help. He was a White House Foreign Relations Advisor during President Woodrow Wilson's tenure and was also responsible for writing and preparing the celebrated speeches delivered by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt during his tenure. Among other personalities who were part of the research of Napoleon Hill we have: Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Henry Ford, Elmer Gates, Theodore Roosevelt, William Jennings Bryan, George Eastman, John D. Rockefeller. The result of his research was presented in 1928, the year he published his first work "The Law of Triumph". Before its official publication, this work was submitted to bankers, merchants and university professors who, b... (Read more)

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