Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

This is one of the most well-known business books out there and for good reason. I have now completed it twice and noted different things each time.

In the beginning of the book, the author was very intentional by sharing expectations and also sharing exactly what our expectations should be.

Pg. 14, Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire. (There is no such reality as “something for nothing.”)

“Read your written statement aloud, twice daily.”

I think the last part is most important, we must constantly and consistently tell our subconscious mind what it is that we are seeking to do in return for money.

This next highlighted portion of the book stood out to me, the author’s son was born deaf, without an ear dumb, he couldn’t hear in that ear. But, with those 3 things, his son was able to hear after a long period of time.

Pg. 24, First, I mixed faith with the desire for normal hearing, which I passed on to my son. Second, I communicated my desire to him in every conceivable way available, through persistent, continuous effort over a period of years. Third, he believed me!

After sharing the story that triggers our emotion, Mr. Hill elaborated more on the power of our subconscious mind. It is so so powerful and I loved the emphasis placed on it throughout this book.

Pg. 27, This is the equivalent of saying that any impulse of thought which is repeatedly passed on to the subconscious mind is, finally, accepted and acted upon by the subconscious mind, which proceeds to translate that impulse into its physical equivalent by the most practical procedure available.

He featured Henry Ford in the following portion that I highlighted. When Henry Ford was being questioned by courts about his lack of knowledge surrounding political happenings, here was his response followed by Napoleon’s reflection of it.

Pg. 49, Now will you kindly tell me why I should clutter up my mind with general knowledge, for the purpose of being able to answer questions, when I have men around me who can supply any knowledge I require.

“Any man is educated who knows where to get knowledge when he needs it, and how to organize that knowledge into definite plans of action.”

It doesn’t matter what you know, it matters if you can get what you need to know and then organize it. The organization is the most important aspect in my eyes. People say that you don’t truly understand something unless you can explain it to a child, and I really take that to heart. I love to understand something so well that anyone can understand my explanation of it.

Mr. Hill shared a great thought on the pursuit of a position that may or may not exist and I found it totally worthwhile and true.

Pg. 80, Make clear the fact that your offer is based upon,

a.) Your confidence in your ability to fill the position.
b.) Your confidence in your prospective employer’s decision to employ you after trial.
c.) Your determination to have the position you seek.

This part was so important, of course. There was not one that really stood out to me from the list though I could think of a few potential others that would hamper my success. I’d love if you would in the comments which one you think is the major cause of a past failure in your life.

Pg. 86, The Thirty Major Causes of Failure

1. Hereditary background
2. Lack of well-defined purpose in life
3. Lack of ambition
4. Insufficient education
5. Lack of self-discipline
6. Ill health
7. Unfavorable environmental influences
8. Procrastination
9. Lack of persistence
10. Negative personality
11. Lack of controlled sexual urge
12. Uncontrolled desire for “something for nothing”
13. Lack of well-defined power of decision
14. One or more of the six basic fears
15. Wrong selection of a mate in marriage
16. Overcaution
17. Wrong selection of associates in business
18. Superstition and prejudice
19. Wrong selection of vocation
20. Lack of concentration of effort
21. The habit of indiscriminate spending
22. Lack of enthusiasm
23. Intolerance
24. Intemperance
25. Inability to cooperate with others
26. Possession of power
27. Intentional dishonesty
28. Egotism and vanity
29. Guessing instead of thinking
30. Lack of capital
31. Anything not included

This is vital. The OPINIONS of others. Not the facts of others. Grant Cardone has shared that his Mom told him he’s successful, she’d told him that he’s done enough, he’s already successful. But, that’s her opinion, that’s not a fact, his definition of success might not be his present position. People are told to have an open mind nowadays, right? But, it’s so important, as Napoleon Hill emphasizes here, to have our own beliefs and a filter when we hear from others.

Pg. 103, If you are influenced by the opinions of others, you will have no desire of your own. You have a brain and mind of your own. Use it, and reach your own decisions.

Tim Grover, the former trainer of Michael Jordan, emphasizes a “relentless” mindset. There are a few things that we need to ensure we cultivate persistence. Mr. Hill shared the following:

Pg. 115, Persistence is a state of mind, therefore it can be cultivated through the following things:

a.) Definiteness of purpose
b.) Desire
c.) Self-reliance
d.) Definiteness of plans
e.) Accurate knowledge
f.) Cooperation
g.) Willpower
h.) Habit

This has been shared extensively. Harvard conducted research that showed only 3% of people had defined goals that were written down. Even though research shows you’re 47% more likely to accomplish a goal if it’s written down.

Riches do not respond to wishes

Pg. 118, Examine the first hundred people you meet, ask them what they want most in life, and ninety-eight of them will not be able to tell you… but none of them will be able to define these terms, or give the slightest indication of a plan by which they hope to attain these vaguely expressed wishes.

“Riches do not respond to wishes.”

In the book, there are 4 different ways stated that a hunch can be developed. I believe that every great invention is simply God revealing something to the inventor, He created everything in the world, that means each thing humans “invent” was already created by God.

Pg. 134, When ideas or concepts flash into one’s mind through what is popularly called a “hunch,” they come from one or more of the following sources:

1. Infinite intelligence
2. One’s subconscious mind, wherein is stored every sense impression and thought impulse which ever reached the brain through any of the five senses.
3. From the mind of some other person who has just released the thought, or picture of the idea or concept, through conscious thought, or
4. From the other person’s subconscious storehouse.

Of the 7 major emotions and then the 7 negative, none really surprised me too much though I catch myself overlooking certain ones. While sadness is not one of the major negative ones I can see that as an extension or result of one of the others — perhaps fear or jealousy or anger. For me, that was the most important thing to reflect on. I spent time thinking about the emotions that lead to others. While I wouldn’t change his list of the major positive or negative emotions, I can imagine a list of hundreds of minor emotions. Using this for a self-assessment of a soft can be very valuable and something that we should all seek to become aware of — I know I need to be aware of why my emotions are what they are.

Pg. 150, The 7 major positive emotions:

1. Desire
2. Faith
3. Love
4. Sex
5. Enthusiasm
6. Romance
7. Hope

The 7 major negative emotions:

1. Fear
2. Jealousy
3. Hatred
4. Revenge
5. Greed
6. Superstition
7. Anger

Overall, I learned a lot from this book, even the second time reading it. I first completed the book a year prior when I listened to the audiobook version. Having a print copy to add to my library was extremely important to me and I know that will be valuable in the future when I go to re-read it again also.

I gave this book a 4/5

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