“Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill – A review

Think and grow rich (original cover)
Think and grow rich (original cover)

Thousands of people in the present era are working on helping others through personal finance books. Main points in almost all of them include less spending, more saving, better investing, getting out of debt, and solving other such financial issues. However, the book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill has presented those things in a way that none other book can. The book was among the best-selling books of all time.

Napoleon Hill (Image credit: loc.gov)
Napoleon Hill (Image credit: loc.gov)

Napoleon Hill was an author of Great Depression-era. He was also former advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He interviewed over 500 most popular and successful people in the country to find the important elements behind their good fortune. Those people included Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, George Eastman, John D. Rockefeller, Charles M. Schwab, and William Wrigley Jr. Over two decades of research, information, and thoughts were collected in a book “Think and Grow Rich” published in 1937.

“Wishing will not bring riches,” Hill wrote. “But desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways and means to acquire riches, and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure, will bring riches.”

According to the book, it is important to fix a definite amount of money in the mind to earn. Then the person has to think what he or she can give in return to earn that amount of money. The person has also to fix the date, when he or she intend to possess that amount of money. The book also shows the importance of planning to fulfill the desires, and the importance of working on that plan at once without delay. Moreover, all these things, i.e. amount of desired money, the date, and plan, have to be written in a clear concise statement, and this statement has to be read every day two times; one at night before going to bed and the other in the morning after waking up. During reading the statement, the person has to perceive as he or she is already in possession of that amount of money.

success (Image credit: azdhs.gov)
success (Image credit: azdhs.gov)

This book is not about stock-picking or gambling advice, but this book is about helping others in overcoming their psychological barriers that are keeping them from wealth. Hill talked about 13 steps towards riches.  Those steps include

  1. “Desire” – There must be a strong desire to achieve something (such as riches). “The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.”
  2. “Faith” – There must be a confident and faithful outlook. The greater faith and belief you have for your future, the future has more likelihood of having those things.
  3. “Auto-suggestion” – Keep on repeating the plan and suggest a success for increasing the chances of success.
  4. “Specialized Knowledge” – Knowledge and education are important for success. “The way of success is the way of continuous pursuit of knowledge.”
  5. “Imagination” – Imagination can help in taking a vague idea to a solid success.
  6. “Organized Planning” – Effective planning helps in getting success. This can be considered as the most important step in the success as shown by Hill.
  7. “Decision” – Take a firm decision without wasting any time and stick with it.
  8. “Persistence” – Persistence is important for success, and the life of great leaders show the importance of persistence in success.
  9. “Power of the Master Mind” – Use of the mind of smart people can help in fulfilling all the plans.
  10. “The Mystery of the Sex Transmutation” – A caring partner is an important part of life.
  11. “The Sub-Conscious Mind” – Train your mind to think positively.
  12. “The Brain” – Check the nonverbal cues of other people.
  13. “The Sixth Sense” – Get good ideas by meditation.

“When riches take the place of poverty, the change is usually brought about through well conceived and carefully executed plans,” Hill wrote. “Poverty needs no plan. It needs no one to aid it, because it is bold and ruthless. Riches are shy and timid. They have to be ‘attracted.'”

Napoleon Hill reading Think and Grow Rich (Image credit: loc.gov)
Napoleon Hill reading Think and Grow Rich (Image credit: loc.gov)

Hill wrote the book in a more universal manner, and the riches in the book were more than just a lot of money. It can help not only poor people or people who want to live a successful life, but can also help people living with a low self-esteem and feelings of powerlessness. Everything in the book is thought provoking. The book also provides principles for Creative Vision, Teamwork, and Health. Although the examples mentioned in the book are old and the language is a bit unconventional as the book is a classic book, but the examples mentioned in the book are still useful as, for example, one can’t deny the importance of planning and persistence.

It is important to note that there are several versions of this book. Some of them have some co-authors from the present era, and some have editions. However, no book can take the place of the original version.

 

Success (Image credit: txdot.gov)
Success (Image credit: txdot.gov)

Some of my favorite quotations from the book are as follows:

“A quitter never wins-and-a winner never quits.”

“More gold had been mined from the mind of men than the earth it self”

“If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self.”

“There are no limitations to the mind except those that we acknowledge.”

“Remember that it is not the lawyer who knows the most law, but the one who best prepares his case, who wins.”

 

Usman Zafar Paracha

Usman Zafar Paracha is Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutics, in Hajvery University, Lahore, Pakistan.