This is the second day of my very first business week in book reviews. As stated previously, the rest of this week I’ll be focusing solely on the book Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill.
Think and Grow Rich is considered one of the best self-help books of all time, having sold more than 100 million copies world-wide to this day. The book is about self-development, it gives you tips on how to get rich by sheer power of will and describes in detail what to do, and not to do, to truly achieve success.
Many successful people consider Think and Grow Rich to be the most influential book that they’ve read. Warren Buffet (net worth 80+ billion dollars), when asked what is the one book he recommends, it is this book. In my opinion, if Warren Buffet recommends you do something, you should probably at least consider it.
As for me, I’m still on the road to becoming truly successful, but I’ve made considerable leaps forward to my goals during this past year. Reading this book has given me the tools I need to achieve success, or that’s what I believe to be the case.
Obviously, reading just one book isn’t enough to achieve success, but you can’t go wrong if you start with this one. Actually, even if you have already read a thousand books, and have yet to read Think and Grow Rich, well first of all you’re doing it wrong, and you should get to it – immediately.
I’m mostly writing about this book to remind myself what’s in it, to make sure I won’t forget the teachings within. You are, of course, welcome to join me.
Think And Grow Rich, By Napoleon Hill – Part 1
To start things off, I will talk about chapters 2 and 3 in the book. You can’t get the full picture without reading the book yourself (it is designed so that you want to read it from the beginning all the way to the end), but you do get a good sense of what the book is all about from these two chapters.
Chapter 2 is about desire, you really need to desire success to achieve it. For the longest time I didn’t really have a desire for success, but somehow I gained it after a tragic event in my life. You know you have the desire to succeed when you determined to reach the goals you set for yourself.
Chapter 3 is about faith, which is something you must have, because once you face resistance, you must be able to fight through it. Almost all successful people, including Napoleon Hill himself, didn’t become successful over night. Many of them failed, many of them failed multiple times, before they finally became what they were destined to become.
In order to succeed you need to know that you will be successful. Otherwise you will not make it. That is what Think and Grow Rich is all about. You must be able to imagine it first before you can do it.
Let’s get down to it.
Not that kind of desire, you silly goose.
“When Edwin C. Barnes climbed down from the freight train in Orange, N. J., more than thirty years ago, he may have resembled a tramp, but his thoughts were those of a king!
As he made his way from the railroad tracks to Thomas A. Edison’s office, his mind was at work. He saw himself standing in Edison’s presence. He heard himself asking Mr. Edison for an opportunity to carry out the one CONSUMING OBSESSION OF HIS LIFE, a BURNING DESIRE to become the business associate of the great inventor
Barnes’ desire was not hope! It was not a wish! It was a keen, pulsating DESIRE, which transcended everything else. It was DEFINITE.“
This is how the chapter on desire starts. It isn’t something you can just get out of nowhere, you either have it, or you don’t. This will be the deciding factor on whether you can or can not become rich, for without desire, there is no determination to keep going in the face in adversity.
However, like I’ve said before, I didn’t really have this desire to succeed until recently. I don’t fully know how it happened, but I do have it now. I have very definite goals in my mind, and I’m working hard to reach those goals. I will be successful, no matter how many times I may fall, and I will trip and stumble on the way there, but I will not give up on my dream. That is what desire is.
I’m sure you have something you always wanted to do, but ask yourself this, why aren’t you doing that something right now? Why aren’t you making moves towards your goal? It is because the desire for it isn’t strong enough, or you can’t imagine yourself reaching that seemingly unattainable goal for some reason.
You can reach it, of course you can, you just haven’t allowed yourself to think that way… yet.
The Six Steps
Later in the chapter, Hill gives six steps to achieving riches. It pays dividends to ponder his words with deep thought.
“Every human being who reaches the age of understanding of the purpose of money, wishes for it. Wishing will not bring riches. But desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways to and means to acquire riches, and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure, will bring riches.
The method by which DESIRE for riches can be transmuted into its financial equivalent, consists of six definite, practical steps, viz:
THE SIX STEPS
First. Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire. It is not sufficient merely to say “I want plenty of money”. Be definite as to the amount.
Second. Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire.
Third. Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money you desire.
Fourth. Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.
Fifth. Write out clear, concise statement of the amount of money intend to acquire, name and time limit for its acquisition, state what you intend to give in return for the money, and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to accumulate it.
Sixth. Read your written statement aloud, twice daily, once just before retiring at night, and once after arising in the morning. AS YOU READ – SEE AND FEEL AND BELIEVE YOURSELF ALREADY IN POSSESSION OF THE MONEY.”
Remember these steps, for they are very important on the road to riches. These steps should be done in the order they are given, and there are psychological reasons for doing them exactly as described here.
Rest of the chapter Hill uses to give examples of people who became successful, their stories, and what needed to happen in order for them to make it. It’s very inspirational, but you’ll have to read the book for yourself to get those stories.
“Visualization of, and belief in attainment of desire,
The Second Step Toward Riches.
FAITH is the head chemist of the mind. When FAITH is blended with the vibration of thought, the subconscious mind instantly picks up the vibration, translate it into its spiritual equivalent, and transmits it to the Infinite Intelligence, as in the case of prayer.
The Emotions of FAITH, LOVE and SEX are the most powerful of all major positive emotions. When the three are blended, they have the effect of “coloring” the vibration of thought in such a way that it instantly reaches the subconscious mind, where it is changed into its spiritual equivalent, the only form that induces a response from Infinite Intelligence.
Love and faith are psychic; related to the spiritual side of man. Sex is purely biological, and related only to the physical. The mixing, or blending, of these three emotions has the effect of opening a direct line of communication between finite, thinking mind of man, and Infinite Intelligence.”
You can’t have true desire without faith. You must believe you can do whatever must be done to achieve your dream. You must believe your dream is real, and not a fantasy. That requires a little bit of blind faith from your part.
If you haven’t already got the burning desire to do something very important to you, then you probably lack faith. It is difficult to describe how to attain faith, but this is what Hill has to say about it:
“The method by which one develops FAITH, where it does not already exist, is extremely difficult to describe, almost as difficult, in fact, as it would be describe the color of red to a blind man who has never seen color, and has nothing with which to compare what you describe to him. Faith is a state of mind which you may develop at will, after you have mastered the thirteen principles, because it is a state of mind which develops voluntarily, through application and use of these principles.
repetition of affirmation of orders to your subconscious mind is the only known method of voluntary development of the emotion of faith.”
Later on Hill describes the state of mind that most people find themselves in:
“There are millions of people who BELIEVE themselves to be “doomed” to poverty and failure, because of some strange force over which they BELIEVE they have no control. They are the creators of their own “misfortunes,” because of this negative BELIEF, which is picked up by the subconscious mind, and translated into its physical equivalent.”
You are what you make of yourself, and more importantly, what you think of yourself. You can think your way out of any situation if you put your mind to it. You can also think your way into any situation, given enough time, resources, and desire to do so. That is what he is saying here.
To start changing your thinking, Hill has this to say:
“This is an appropriate place at which to suggest again that you may benefit, by passing on to your subconscious mind, any DESIRE which you wish translated into its physical, or monetary equivalent, in a state of expectancy or BELIEF that the transmutation will actually take place. Your BELIEF, or FAITH, is the element which determines the action of your subconscious mind. There is nothing to hinder you from “deceiving” your subconscious mind when giving it instructions through autosuggestion
To make this “deceit” more realistic, conduct yourself just as you would, if you were ALREADY IN POSSESSION OF THE MATERIAL THING WHICH YOU ARE DEMANDING, when you call upon your subconscious mind.”
You can trick your mind into believing you have already achieved success. If you keep doing that for long enough, you will eventually start to believe it, and then it’s only a matter of time until it really happens.
Just like in the previous chapter, Hill gives you something to work with here as well. The kind of faith he is talking about in this chapter has a lot to do with confidence in oneself. Of course you must be confident to become successful. You have to believe you can do it!
So, to finish what we’ve started today, here is the formula to self-confidence, according to Napoleon Hill:
“Now, let us go back to the starting point, and become informed as to how the original seed of an idea, plan, or purpose may be planted in the mind. The information is easily conveyed: any idea, plan, or purpose may be placed in the mind through repetition of thought. This is why you are asked to write out a statement of your major purpose, or Definite Chief Aim, commit it to memory, and repeat it, in audible words, day after day, until these vibrations of sound have reached your subconscious mind.
We are what we are, because of the vibrations of thought which we pick up and register, through the stimuli of our daily environment.
Resolve to throw off the influences of any unfortunate environment, and to build your own life to ORDER. Taking inventory of mental assets and liabilities, you will discover that your greatest weakness is lack of self-confidence. This handicap can be surmounted, and timidity translated into courage, through the aid of the principle of autosuggestion. The application of this principle may be made through a simple arrangement of positive thought impulses stated in writing, memorized, and repeated, until they become a part of the working equipment of the subconscious faculty of mind.
First. I know that I have the ability to achieve the object of Definite Purpose in life, therefore, I DEMAND of myself persistent, continuous action toward its attainment, and I here and now promise to render such action.
Second. I realize the dominating thoughts of my mind will eventually reproduce themselves into physical reality, therefore, I will concentrate my thoughts for thirty minutes daily, upon the task of thinking of the person I intend to become, thereby creating in my mind a clear mental picture of that person.
Third. I know through the principle of auto-suggestion, any desire that I persistently hold in my mind will eventually seek expression through some practical means of attaining the object back of it, therefore, I will devote ten minutes daily to demanding myself the development of SELF-CONFIDENCE.
Fourth. I have clearly written down a description of my DEFINITE CHIEF AIM in life, and I will never stop trying, until I shall have developed sufficient self-confidence for its attainment.
Fifth. I fully realize that no wealth or position can long endure, unless built upon truth and justice, therefore, I will engage in no transaction which does not benefit all whom it affects. I will succeed by attracting to myself the forces I wish to use, and the cooperation of other people. I will induce others to serve me, because of my willingness to serve others. I will eliminate hatred, envy, jealousy, selfishness, and cynicism, by developing love for all humanity, because I know that negative attitude toward others can never bring me success. I will cause others to believe in me, because I will believe in them, and in myself.
I will sign my name to this formula, commit it to memory, and repeat it aloud once a day, with full FAITH that it will gradually influence my THOUGHTS and ACTIONS so that I will become a self-reliant, and successful person.“
“Back of this formula is a law of Nature which no man has yet been able to explain. It has baffled the scientists of all ages. The psychologists have named this “auto-suggestion,” and let it go at that.”
I have nothing to add. It’s all on you now.
End Of Part One
This concludes what I wanted to write today. I’ll continue tomorrow.
If you have been convinced to read the book for yourself, you can buy it here: Think and Grow Rich
This is but a fraction of what’s in there. I don’t think I even need to recommend such a book. It sells itself. You are harming yourself by not reading it.
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