First of all, I hope you find this Think and Grow Rich summary helpful, it took be awhile to read and put together, so I hope you enjoy it. After Napoleon Hill spent 20 years studying the achievements and characteristics of 500 successful people in business, he set out his findings in “Think and Grow Rich.”
Hill’s book, which identifies 13 basic principles for success, became a classic that has helped many people to attain success in the business world over the last 80 years.
Here is an outline of the 13 principles that Hill outlines in the book.
Lesson 1: Desire
The basic drive toward achieving success is to believe deeply that you can achieve the goals you set for yourself. This desire goes beyond simple wishful thinking or hoping. If you have doubts that you can really reach those targets, you will have less chance of succeeding. Wanting a desired goal focuses on the lack of its existence. Desiring it concentrates on its realization.
This passion to succeed must burn in you. You must want to achieve your goals against all odds. If you approach the task hesitantly, wondering whether you can really get there, you are unlikely to succeed.
Test the depth of your passion by asking yourself whether you are prepared to concentrate exclusively on that goal, abandoning everything else in the way to achieving it. Should you encounter setbacks along the way, which are inevitable, you will need to draw on this deep desire in order to revitalize your determination to achieve your goal.
Hill outlines several actions you should take toward success. Among them are these:
Picture your goal and what exactly it looks like:
- Determine what you can offer in return for the money you will receive;
- Choose a date on which you will achieve your goal;
- Draw up a detailed plan of action that you can follow;
- Read aloud your plan of action before you sleep and when you wake up;
- Envision yourself already having gained your target.
Lesson 2: Faith
The desire to succeed can be turned into reality through having the faith in yourself to accomplish your target. Faith is the bridge that takes you from your passionate desire to succeed to having the dream come true. You must have faith in yourself — that you are the one who has the ability to fulfill your desires.
Those who believe that they are unworthy of love often find that they turn themselves into victims. You must believe that you are deserving of the success you will reach before it can become yours.
Your faith is strengthened by constantly conveying positive thoughts to your sub-conscious mind. Visualize yourself succeeding over and over again and you will set up a mental image of achievement in your mind. Should you catch yourself having thoughts that set limits on your ability, replace them with repeated purposeful endorsements of your faith in yourself to succeed.
Many examples can be cited of the world’s greatest achievers who accomplished the impossible by possessing the faith that they were able to reach their goals.
Lesson 3: Auto-suggestion
We need to train our sub-conscious mind to believe that we deserve to be successful. We have been taught by society that we are not worthy of what we seek and that desiring something great is wrong.
To train your sub-conscious, continually affirm your passionate drive to succeed through meditation. Put your mind at rest and say over and over to yourself the goals you will reach. The seeds of attestation that you plant in this way will grow into firm beliefs.
It helps, too, to record on paper your goals, the time limit to achieve them, and what you are going to offer to others to reach your goal. For example, you might record the products or services you will offer (if your goal is to make money), how you will do so, and read them often so that they are placed in your sub-conscious.
Read your plan so often that you eventually will memorize it. Even as you commit the words to memory, you should visualize yourself as already having reached your target.
Go to the 4th Lesson of the Think and Grow Rich summary.
Lesson 4: Specialized Knowledge
You should gain the specialized information that you will need to reach your goal. But gaining knowledge in itself does not mean that you will, in fact, be successful. After all, knowledge is easily acquired in today’s world. Rather, it is the application of that specialized knowledge that will lead you to success.
In order to gain the knowledge that you need, follow steps such as these:
- Study to acquire information about the field in which you will work toward success;
- Take courses at a college or university on your subject to broaden your knowledge of it;
- Mix with those business people who have the specialized knowledge that you will need;
- Draw on the ideas that are generated through a “master mind” group (outlined in principle 9).
Remember, however, that you will need to put that information to use and apply it to your plan of action so that it is directed toward the specific ends that you wish to reach. Failure to do so means the knowledge will remain unused and therefore become ineffective.
Go to the 5th Lesson of the Think and Grow Rich summary.
Lesson 5: Imagination
We can achieve whatever we can imagine and believe.
Whatever our aims might be, therefore, we know that all successful developments start out in our imaginations. As a result, we should be constantly probing our imaginative minds to find out how we can change things, how we can do things better, and how we can accomplish new things.
We need to take those imaginative ideas, draw on them, and use them to power us on the road to success.
Our imaginative powers will help us when limitations or setbacks confront us. They will help us to rise above them and will propel us forward.
Lesson 6: Organized planning
As mentioned in the first step, we need to have a detailed plan that we can follow as we drive down the road to success. A person who lacks a plan is like a driver without a road map. With no direction and no end goal in sight, the likely result is disaster. Indeed, all those who have achieved success instead of remaining average have always had a specific plan to reach their targeted destinations.
In drawing up your plan, take advantage of the knowledge and experience gained from members of your “master mind” group (outlined in principle 9).
Your plan should not remain in your head. It should be committed to writing and followed as you take each step toward your goal.
Under this chapter of the Think and Grow Rich summary, Hill lists the traits shown by successful achievers that you’ll need as well:
- Courage that never wavers
- Displaying self control
- Having an acute sense of justice
- Being definite in making plans and reaching decisions
- Going the extra mile at work
- Displaying understanding, expressing empathy, and being pleasant
- Being willing to take complete responsibility for your actions
(6th Lesson of the Think and Grow Rich summary)
Lesson 7: Decision
Successful people generally are able to take decisions rapidly and to be slow to change them. Their decisions are definite, not taken lightly, and not soon forgotten. Unsuccessful people take a long time to adopt a resolution and are willing easily to change it.
The reason this characteristic is important is that people who keep changing their minds with every whim are seldom able to achieve success. Once you have made a decision, you need to stick to it and follow it through to the conclusion. So much so that poor decision making has been found to be a major reason people fail.
Be careful not to involve too many people in your decision making. Should you do so, they will influence you too easily and sometimes even ridicule you. Remember that they do not always share your vision and will find all kinds of obstacles that will prevent you from taking the steps that you envisage.
Involve only those in your “master mind” group (see principle 9) as confidantes and then only those whom you have carefully chosen.
Lesson 8: Persistence
In many of the cases Hill studied, he found persistence to be a major differentiating factor between failure and success.
When obstacles crop up and their goal seems unachievable many people will throw in the towel, even though they have already tried several times to overcome the obstacles. This stage, however, is often the nadir on our path to success. It is at this point that we need to display persistence more than ever and soon the first indications of success will start to appear. The secret is to persist, persist and persist again until you succeed.
For those who might find it hard to show persistence, Hill suggests ways in which the characteristic can be learned. Here are some:
- Know what you want and be determined to achieve it no matter what stands in the way
- Draw up definite plans and keep to them
- Use your acquired knowledge to determine that your plan is sound
- Exert strong willpower and rely on yourself.
Lesson 9: Power of the “Master Mind”
The “Master Mind” group is formed by aligning yourself in a harmonious spirit with two or more people who share your desires and faith in what you are setting out to achieve.
They will form a third force that generates good ideas that you would be unlikely to create on your own.
Form such a group from people you respect, who are industrious and who are conscientious. Meet regularly with them. The result will be that you reach your goals more quickly.
Lesson 10: The mystery of sex transmutation
It is useful to recall that this principle was written about 80 years ago and Hill might have worded it differently today.
He says that a man who has a strong woman at his side will be a strong help to him in achieving his goals. Hill’s assertion is that a great motivating force for a man is to please a woman. Gathering this energy and using it through creative imagination enables us to appear more charming to people, which, in turn, will help us to get what we want by convincing people around us.
Lesson 11: The sub-conscious mind
All our thoughts originate in our sub-conscious mind, which is extremely powerful and can be an invaluable help in solving problems we might encounter along the way. We need to imprint an image on our sub-conscious minds of ourselves already reaching our goals and continually reinforce that picture on a daily basis, particularly before sleep and upon waking.
In this way your sub-conscious mind will help you to attain your goals, partly through hunches or sparks of inspiration. These prompts are your sub-conscious mind trying to pass on messages to your conscious mind. Your sub-conscious mind works day and night, even when you are asleep. If you fail to fill it with positive visions of the future it will find negative ideas to put in their place. 11th Lesson of the Think and Grow Rich summary.
Lesson 12: The Brain
Our brains are amazing organs. We each carry one around with us, yet we fail to understand or even to make use of the great potential that it offers us. Think of all the people who have made technical and scientific advances over the years using only their brains.
We need to draw on this power, particularly when being creative, but also when we need problems to be solved. It is capable of delivering to us all that we want.
Dispatch to your brain the task you have determined it should complete. Sit back and watch as it is done. (12th Lesson of the Think and Grow Rich summary.)
Lesson 13: The sixth sense
Last Lesson of the Think and Grow Rich Summary. Think of the sixth sense as providing us with an abundance of knowledge without us having to ask for it. It is through this sense that we often quickly assess situations, receive ideas and devise plans. By drawing on it, we intuitively know whether something is right or wrong and whether it should be pursued. It provides us with what we call gut feelings.
You could call it the creative imagination.
Before the sixth sense will work for you, you need to understand and apply the first 12 principles. You need to have a burning passion to achieve success, have faith you will achieve it, and fill your sub-conscious mind with positive thoughts and detailed plans of how to achieve it, step by step.
Once you have done that, the sixth sense will convert the thoughts and impulses you have placed in your mind into their physical counterparts. For, after all, we cannot create anything that we have not already brought into being through an impulse or a thought.