Summary of "Think and Grow Rich"
This past weekend I decided to read the book Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill. If you are not familiar with Hill, he interviewed hundreds of men with tremendous amounts of wealth, over the span of many years in the early 20th century, to figure out what it takes to bring in riches and fortunes. The findings of his research is what became the book. After reading it I must say that it is one of best books I have ever read in the sense that the value of the information presented is absolutely pricless. Hill tells many stories of successful individuals and the challenges they overcame. It was an inspiring read unlike no other.
Here I outline some of the key points I took away from each chapter of the book.
Chapter 1 - Introduction
- THOUGHTS translate into DESIRES; don’t stop till you get it.
- Keep going no matter what, even after “no”; you do not want to stop digging three feet from gold.
- RICHES BEGIN WITH A STATE OF MIND, WITH DEFINITENESS OF PURPOSE.
tldr; THOUGHTS -> DESIRES
Chapter 2 - DESIRE
- YOU WIN OR YOU PERISH. Burn all bridges and ships behind you. YOU HAVE TO WIN, YOU CANNOT RETURN.
- DESIRE for riches needs to become an OBSESSION which you PLAN and be PERSISTENT, not recognize failure and the riches will come.
- DREAM BIG; DREAMS ARE THE SEEDLINGS OF REALITY.
- STRONG DESIRE: accept no words such as impossible, accept no realities such as failure.
- Remain determined to get what you want even if you have to start with menial work.
tldr; DESIRE -> PLAN -> PERSISTENCE
Chapter 3 - FAITH
- FAITH is a STATE OF MIND which is induced or created by repeated instructions to the subconscious mind.
- If you repeat a lie, you will eventually accept the lie as truth.
- Need to convince the subconscious mind that you BELIEVE that you will receive what you ask.
- EMOTIONALIZED THOUGHTS mixed with FAITH turn into ACTION.
- Negative believe is the creator of your own misfortune.
- ENCOURAGE positive emotions, ELIMINATE negative emotions.
- The vibrations of repetition of audible words reach the subconscious mind therefor we are what we hear too in our environment.
- A man who thinks he CAN, and a man who think he CANNOT, are BOTH RIGHT.
- Thoughts (faith) translate to physical equivalent.
tldr; IMAGINATION -> IDEA -> FAITH -> PLAN -> ACTION -> PERSISTENCE AND DESIRE -> SUCCESS
Chapter 4 - AUTO-SUGGESTION
- Man has CONTROL over material that reaches subconscious mind through his five senses.
- AUTO-SUGGESTION is the agency of control which you may VOLUNTARILY feed the subconscious mind.
- Subconscious mind only acts upon on thoughts which have been mixed with EMOTION.
- aUTOSUGGESTION depends on you capacity to CONCENTRATE on your desires.
tldr; AUTO-SUGGESTION -> SUBCONSCIOUS MIND -> DESIRE -> RICHES
Chapter 5 - SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE
- General knowledge is of little use compared to specialized knowledge.
- What is required is SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE of the profession you intend to offer for money.
- KNOWLEDGE is only POTENTIAL POWER.
- Knowledge attracts money if ORGANIZED and directed through PLANS OF ACTION.
- An educated man is one who uses knowledge to acquire what he wants
- An educated man knows where to get knowledge when he needs it.
- Knowledge must be organized for a DEFINITE PURPOSE through PRACTICAL PLANS.
- College degrees are not valued more highly because they represent miscellaneous knowledge.
- Knowledge can only gain value from it’s application.
- A person who stops studying after finishing school is doomed to mediocrity.
- Way of success is continuous pursuit of knowledge.
- Success and failure are largely the results of HABIT.
tldr; IMAGINATION -> IDEA -> ORGANIZED PLAN -> SPECIALIZATION
Chapter 6 - IMAGINATION
- IF MAN CAN IMAGINE IT, HE CAN CREATE IT.
- Man’s limitation within reason lies in use of his imagination.
- SYNTHETIC IMAGINATION is the arrangement of old concepts and ideas into new combinations.
- CREATIVE IMAGINATION is all basic or new ideas which are created by “hunches” received from the vibrations of the subconscious minds of others.
- Both types become more alert with use.
- ORGANIZED PLANS are formed with the aid of imagination, mostly synthetic.
- Surround yourself with men with ideas and who put ideas into operation.
tldr; IDEA -> DESIRE -> DETERMINATION AND DEFINITENESS OF GOAL -> PERSISTENCE
Chapter 7 - ORGANIZED PLANNING
- Ally yourself with as many people you need to carry out your plan.
- Decide what benefits you will offer allies for their cooperation.
- Select allies that believe in your vision and make them part of your “Master Mind” group.
- Maintain harmony with the “Master Mind” and meet regularly to discuss plans be persistent in trying plans until a plan works.
- Temporary defeat is NOT permanent failure.
- A QUITTER NEVER WINS AND A WINNER NEVER QUITS.
- Become an intelligence follower to become a great leader.
- Intelligent followers acquire knowledge from his leader.
- Intelligent followers will not be dominated by a leader who lacks self-confidence and courage.
- SELF-CONTROL - a man who cannot control himself cannot control others.
- A leader must have definiteness of decision and be sure of himself.
- A leader must plan his work and work his plan. He cannot be too busy to organize details.
- A leader must do more than he requires of his followers.
- A leader needs a pleasing personality to gain respect of his followers.
- A leader sympathizes with followers to understand their problems.
- A leader must display mastery of details.
- A leader must take full responsibility for the shortcomings of his followers.
- A great leader claims none of the honors and credits his followers.
- LEADERSHIP CALLS FOR POWER AND POWER CALLS FOR COOPERATION.
- A leader must have great imagination for plans in times of emergencies.
- A leader must remain loyal to his trust and followers.
- A leader shows how to apply knowledge through practice.
- QQS: quality, quantity, spirit.
- Services delivered in high spirit can compensate for lower quality and quantity but not vice versa.
- Demanding more pay for less service will not and cannot bring riches without effort.
- America offers an abundance of opportunities and freedom compared to the rest of the world’s countries.
- The Law of Economics does not tolerate getting without giving.
tldr; IMAGINATION -> FAITH -> ENTHUSIASM -> DECISION -> PERSISTENCE
Chapter8 - DECISION
- PROCRASTINATION IS OPPOSITE OF DECISION
- Habit of reaching decision promptly and changing them slowly were attributes of successful people.
- Take no opinions of others with the exception of your “Master Mind” group who understand the purpose.
- TALK LESS, LISTEN MORE.
- Tell the world what you intend to do, but FIRST SHOW IT.
- Leaders reach decisions definitely and PROMPTLY; they KNOW what they WANT.
tldr; DESIRE -> DECISION -> FAITH -> PERSISTENCE -> MASTER MIND -> ORGANIZED PLANNING
Chapter 9 - PERSISTENCE
- POWER OF WILL IS BASIS OF PERSISTENCE.
- Misconception of people with Will-Power are generally classified as cold-blooded or ruthless.
- Surround yourself with “Master Mind” group if lacking persistence.
- Be persistence no matter how slow you start at first.
- PERSISTENCE CANNOT BE SUBSTITUTED.
- PERSISTENCE is made of DEFINITENESS OF PURPOSE, DESIRE, SELF-RELIANCE (believe in yourself to carry out plans), DEFINITENESS OF PLANS, ACCURATE KNOWLEDGE, COOPERATION and WILL-POWER (habit of concentering thoughts towards goal).
- Fear of criticism is stronger than desire for success.
- Do not be affected by criticism, criticism is useless with the exception it’s from your “Master Mind” group.
- Close mind against all negative influences.
- RICHES DO NOT RESPOND TO WISHES; RICHES RESPOND TO DEFINITE PLANS AND ACTION THROUGH PERSISTENCE.
tldr; ORGANIZED PLANS -> BLOCK CRITICISM -> PERSISTENCE
Chapter 10 - POWER OF THE MASTER MIND
- PLANS REQUIRE POWER TO PUT THEM INTO ACTION.
- Power is organized and intelligently directed knowledge.
- Organized effort achieved by coordination of people working towards definite goal.
- Great power can only be accumulated through the “Master Mind” principle.
tldr; COORDINATION -> HARMONY -> DEFINITE PURPOSE
Chapter 11 - THE MYSTERY OF SEX TRANSMUTATION
- The power of sexual desire can be redirected to other forces such as imagination and courage, instead of giving in to purely physical channels.
- TRANSMUTATION is the ability to direct force of urges to will-power subconsciously.
- Genius is developed through the sixth sense: “Creative Imagination”.
- CREATIVE IMAGINATION is the link between finite mind and infinite intelligence.
- CONTROL COMES FROM PERSISTENCE AND HABIT.
- Genuine love is spiritual in nature and stimulates achievement to greater heights
- Love is spiritual, sex is biological.
tldr; SEX DESIRES -> TRANSMUTATION -> PERSISTENCE
Chapter 12 - THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND
the subconscious can be voluntarily directed through habit only emotionalized thoughts have any action on the subconscious mind positive and negative emotions cannot occupy the mind at the same time
tldr; POSITIVE EMOTIONS -> HABIT -> SUBCONSCIOUS MIND -> INFINITE INTELLIGENCE -> PLANS
Chapter 13 - THE BRAIN
- Brain is a broadcasting and receiving station for the vibration of thought.
- CREATIVE IMAGINATION is the receiving which receives high rate of vibrations when STIMULATED THOUGH POSITIVE EMOTIONS.
- A mind with high rate of vibrations becomes more receptive to ideas.
- The subconscious mind is the sending station of the brain.
- Collective thoughts of “Master Mind” group can be shared when members are thinking about the same attainment.
tldr; POSITIVE STIMULANT -> HIGH RATE OF THOUGHT VIBRATIONS -> INFINITE INTELLIGENCE
Chapter 14 - THE SIXTH SENSE
- THE SIXTH SENSE IS BEING ABLE TO COMMUNICATE WITH INFINITE INTELLIGENCE VOLUNTARILY.
- The sixth sense is the subconscious portion of the brain referred as creative imagination which receives “HUNCHES” or flashes of inspiration.
- The sixth sense is both mental and spiritual.
- Nature never deviates from her established laws. Miracles are a fallacy.
- TO BE TRULY GREAT YOU MUST EMULATE THE GREAT BY FEELING AND ACTION.
- Ability to utilize the sixth sense comes gradually from application of the other principles talked about.
tldr; DESIRE -> AUTO-SUGGESTION -> CREATIVE IMAGINATION -> KNOWLEDGE
Chapter 15 - HOW TO OUTWIT THE SIX GHOSTS OF FEAR
- THREE NEGATIVES YOU MUST CLEAR OUT ARE INDECISION, DOUBT AND FEAR.
- INDECISION is the seed of FEAR.
- INDECISION BECOMES DOUBT.
- Indecision and doubt blend into FEAR.
- Top six fears are: FEAR OF POVERTY, CRITICISM, ILL HEALTH, LOSS OF LOVE FROM SOMEONE, OLD AGE, and DEATH.
- FEARS ARE NOTHING MORE THAN A STATE OF MIND.
- Impulse of thoughts translate to physical equivalent involuntarily or voluntarily.
- EVERY HUMAN HAS THE ABILITY TO CONTROL HIS OWN MIND.
- FEAR DESTROYS INITIATIVE AND DISCOURAGES THE USE OF IMAGINATION.
- Symptoms of the FEAR OF POVERTY are: INDIFFERENCE (lack of ambition), INDECISION, DOUBT, WORRY, OVER-CAUTION, and PROCRASTINATION.
- Symptoms of the FEAR OF CRITICISM: SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS, LACK OF POISE, PERSONALITY (lack in firmness in decision and charm), INFERIORITY COMPLEX (covering up inferiority by boasting sham), EXTRAVAGANCE (over spending to impress), LACK OF INITIATIVE, LACK OF AMBITION.
- Symptoms of the FEAR OF ILL HEALTH: AUTO-SUGGESTION (negative habits), HYPOCHONDRIA (believe of having imaginary diseases), LACK OF EXERCISE, SUSCEPTIBILITY, SELF-CODDLING (bid for sympathy using imaginary illness for lure), INTERPERANCE (using narcotics or depressants to cover pain),
- Symptoms of the FEAR OF LOSS OF LOVE: JEALOUSY, FAULT FINDING, GAMBLING (believe that love can be bought)
- Symptoms of the FEAR OF OLD AGE: INFERIORITY (self believe of “slipping” because of age), HABITS (killing of imagination and self reliance and speaking apolitically instead of expression gratitude for having reach age of wisdom and understanding)
- Symptoms of the FEAR OF DEATH: LACK OF PURPOSE, LACK OF DESIRE FOR ACHIEVEMENT.
- Matter and energy cannot be created nor destroyed. Energy can be transferred. Life is energy and death is a mere transition.
- Conditions are not worried about once a plan of action has been decided and followed.
- FEARS BECOME TRANSLATED INTO STATE OF WORRY THROUGH INDECISION.
- A man with fear transmits his destructive vibrations to others and destroy their thoughts.
- Negative thoughts imbed themselves in the subconscious and become part of your character.
- Protect yourself against negative influences through use of WILL-POWER
- The mind can produce anything the mind can conceive and believe.
- You either control your mind or it controls you.
- Most practical method of controlling mind is the habit of keeping busy with a definite purpose backed by definite plan.
tldr; DEFINITE PURPOSE IN LIFE -> POSITIVE THOUGHTS -> PERSISTENCE
Hill makes really solid points in his book. The words DESIRE, PERSISTENCE, and CREATIVE IMAGINATION are emphasized over and over again for a good reason; they are the foundation of bringing riches. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and suggest you give it a read if you have not already. It is inspirational and a mind opener on many levels.