Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill Summary – No matter which tracks you choose to follow, to get rich: becoming a trader, a value investor, a real estate pro, a chief executive, or perhaps an entrepreneur, you must have the correct mindset. This is a top-five takeaways article summary of Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
Due to the law of averages, some people may be able to acquire riches without following the advice in this article, but hoping that life will give you such a break, instead of taking responsibility for your actions and thoughts, is a plan that is flawed, at best. Instead, let us now examine how you can optimize your chances of gathering a great fortune. “If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self”
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill Summary and Analysis
1. It is what you think that matters
“Truly, thoughts are things, and powerful things at that when they are mixed with definiteness of purpose, persistence and a burning desire for that translation into riches.”
This is the main idea of Think and Grow Rich. You can even tell it from the title. If you don’t see riches in your thoughts, how can you expect to ever see them in your bank accounts? All achievements and all earned riches start with an idea. Every great leader that has ever existed was a dreamer. How do you think that Mahatma Gandhi or George Washington, or Martin Luther King succeeded? It all started with an idea.
You can control your mind because you can feed it with whatever thought impulses that you choose. It is incredibly powerful. Thought, backed by a strong desire, tends to transmute itself into its physical equivalent. It’s a double-edged sword though. If you fail to plant thoughts in your subconscious mind, deliberately, it won’t remain idle. It will pick up other thoughts which unintentionally reach it. Once again, you don’t want to leave this to chance. “If you fail to control your mind, you may be sure that you will control nothing else”
2. A burning desire
A long time ago, a great warrior had to face a much stronger foe. When the Warrior.s armies arrived in enemy territory, he had them burn all the ships behind them at the beach. They were greatly outnumbered by the enemy, but now, they had no choice but to win. So … they won. If you ask a hundred people what they want in life, they will probably not be able to answer. If you push them though, they will mention some of their wishes – perhaps money, fame, or security. But the universe doesn’t respond to vaguely expressed wishes.
It responds to a burning desire, implemented through definite plans and constant persistence. “God seems to throw himself on the side of the man who knows exactly what he wants if he’s determined to get just that.” The desire part, I can’t help you with, but understand that you must have it to succeed. If you want to reach higher than mediocrity, be sure that you can attach a burning desire to a possible outcome of that endeavor of yours. Let’s pretend that that decides the outcome is … hmm, perhaps money.
Here’s a six-step method for transforming that desire into its material counterpart:
- Fix in your mind a specific amount
- Determine exactly what you are going to give in return
- Establish a definite date
- Create a definite plan and start right away to put that into action
- Write down the four previously mentioned steps into a statement
- Read this out loud twice daily, preferably in the morning and right before you go to sleep.
The last step is called auto-suggestion. Have you ever exaggerated a story or told a lie, until you started to believe in it yourself? Well, this is the same thing, but it aims at creating faith inside you that your burning desire will one day come true. For more on this, and the importance of having a definite plan, have a look at my summary of The Science of Getting Rich.
3. Become an unstoppable force
Guys, I have a new idea! We must replace our current four-cylinder motors with eight-cylinder ones, and they must be cast in a single block. We will beat the competition by a landslide!
Oh, sorry, Mr. Ford, but that can’t be done …
Produce it anyways!
But sir, it’s impossible …
Go ahead! And stay on the job until you succeed, no matter how much time it takes!
Sir, we’ve been working day and night but as we said, it is impossible.
No, it isn’t, stay with it!
Sorry, Mr. Ford, we, we haven’t found a way to do …
Go right ahead! I want it, and I’ll have it!
Oh, what’s the use? This man doesn’t know when he’s whipped, I might as well give him what he wants.
We found a way how to do it, sir!
No one is ever defeated until he or she has accepted that as a reality.
Persistence is everything in any part of life where you wish to thrive.
Napoleon Hill states that:
“There may be no heroic connotation to the word persistence, but the quality is to the character of a man, what carbon is to steel”
When someone has cultivated the habit of persistence, they gain insurance against failure.
Remember, there is no such thing as something for nothing.
At times, it may seem like other people succeed without first paying the price, but that is probably not true. (Even if some people would like to advertise it that way)
The grass is not greener on the other side. Stick to your plan and win. A quitter never wins, and a winner never quits.
4. Sexual energy
Nope, you didn’t get that wrong. According to Napoleon Hill, the five strongest stimulants known to man are Friendship, Music, A burning desire for riches, Love, and Sex. The desire for sex is the most powerful of all human desires. So strong is this desire that it was said that the Trojan War was started as a result of it. Observe what happens to any animal after it has been castrated, and you see what happens when sexual energy is removed from a being. All men who have reached the highest level of achievements have had highly developed sexual natures.
The transmutation of sex energy to energy and creativity in other endeavors is a primary source of genius. “The energy must be transmuted from desire for physical contact, into some other form of desire and action before it will lift one to the status of a genius.”
Far from becoming genii, because of great sex desires, the majority of men lower themselves through misunderstanding and misuse of this great force, to the status of the lower animals.
There’s a reason why most men don’t achieve much before they are 40, and it’s not only because they become wiser and more self-confident by them. Because of the temptations in today’s society, this is probably even more difficult to exercise today than it was when Napoleon Hill first wrote Think and Grow Rich. It requires a lot of willpower, the forming of new habits, and the elimination of old behaviors.
5. The six ghosts of fear
Before you can put Napoleon Hills philosophy into use, you must conquer your fears. Here are six of the most common and most destructive ones, and remember, they only exist in your mind, and you can control them, if you so desire, and if you practice enough.
1. The fear of poverty
A common symptom of this fear is the indifference towards money expressed through a lack of ambition. Your mind can’t focus on how to become rich if you constantly must worry about how to put food on your table. You must reach an absolute decision that whatever you can acquire, as long as you give it your all, is sufficient.
2. The fear of criticism
This is characterized by nervousness in the presence of others and it destroys initiative. To beat it, you must stop worrying about what other people think or say. Dare to be a little bit cringy sometimes!
3. The fear of ill-health
A common symptom is a habit of faking illness to serve as an alibi for laziness. To make this stop, you must forget about symptoms, and especially stop looking for them. Any symptom can be deadly if you google it!
4. The fear of loss of the love of someone
Jealousy is a common sign of this. Reach a decision that you will get along without love if necessary. And, if you’re currently single, use this time to create a life, where you learn to appreciate living by yourself. Then, everything beyond that is just a bonus!
5. The fear of old age
Speaking apologetically about one’s age is characteristic of the fear of old age. Eliminate this fear by accepting aging, not as a handicap, but as a blessing. For you have the possibility of being much wiser and having better self-control than during your youth. And hopefully, the wonders of compound interest have been working in your favor for a while.
6. The fear of death
A common symptom is a habit of thinking about dying, instead of living your life to the fullest. The reason why you must conquer this should be obvious. I can’t imagine that anyone who is spending his days worrying about the fires of hell or having to spend eternity wearing a nightgown can ever be happy.
The endless nap is inescapable, learn to accept it! In general, kill off these fears by concluding, that nothing life has to offer is worth the price of a constant worry. Quick recap. It’s what you think that matters. God seems to throw himself on the side of the man who knows exactly what he wants if he is determined to get just that. A quitter never wins, and a winner never quits. Sex desire is the most powerful of all human desires. Use its energy to your advantage. You must conquer your fears before you can achieve greatness.