Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Think and Grow Rich (1937) by Napoleon Hill and 13 Steps to Riches

Think and Grow Rich (first published in 1937, this is a modernized version)
by Napoleon Hill

I’ve read this book for the third times now. The first time was in 8th February 2010 and I was so excited to read it that I finished reading it on the 16th February. I probably can read faster today than 8 years ago, but if I can finish a book in 9 days in the olden days, then surely that book was very interesting. And it is! I might be not as wealthy as I want to be (not yet) but in my mind, I’m a rich person! This is not a positive self-talk, this is matter-of-fact. Because of this book, I learned to treasure my mind: keep it, nurture it and filled it with great inspirations and positive mental attitude. There is a reason why this book was entitled ‘Think and Grow Rich’ and not ‘Act’ or ‘Do and Grow Rich,’ because wealth – may it be spiritually, financially, emotionally, physically and intellectually – is a state of mind. As the saying goes: “Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” It all started in the mind.

There are many things you cannot control, but you can control the only things that really matter: your mind and attitude. External forces have very little to do with success. Those who program themselves for success find a way to succeed even in the most difficult of circumstances. This quest for success has led Napoleon Hill to write this book. In 1908, as an unknown author and reporter, Hill got the opportunity of a lifetime to interview America’s richest man at that time, Andrew Carnegie. To cut the story short, Carnegie presented to the 25-year-old Hill a letter of recommendation that would grant him access to 500 men of top achievers (including Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, and Thomas Edison) in business, politics, science, and religion in order to discover the common denominators for success. From these interviews, Think and Grow Rich was created and written. As history revealed, Hill and this book have given life to the personal development movement that has since swept the world! As Christian, read this book with cautious and discernment, but do not dismiss this book altogether. Read it and you’ll surely reap its benefits – for the sake of your mind.

This book covers The Thirteen (13) Principles and the Philosophy of Personal Achievement and Success. For each principle, I will quote Napoleon Hill and briefly comment:

Principle #1 Desire: The Starting Point of All Achievement. All of the top achiever started with a certain amount of dreaming, hoping, planning, and desiring before they became rich. They imagined riches before they even have it, Hill explains, “Wishing will not bring riches. 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.”

Principle #2 Faith: Visualization of, and Belief in Attainment of Desire. Believe that you can achieve your goal. Growing rich starts with your mindset — with the belief that you can have it. Hill writes: “Riches begin in the form of thought! The amount is limited only by the person in whose mind the thought is put into motion. Faith removes limitations!”

Principle #3 Auto-Suggestion: The Medium for Influencing the Subconscious Mind. Turning desire for money or success into reality requires sending your subconscious mind phrases and affirmations that support your goal. You have to repeat out loud what it is that you want, and how you plan to get it, so you become obsessed with your purpose, Hill explains: “Your ability to use the principle of auto-suggestion will depend, very largely, upon your capacity to concentrate upon a given desire until that desire becomes a burning obsession.”

Principle #4 Specialized Knowledge: Personal Experiences or Observations. Knowledge is potential power. An education only becomes powerful and leads to great wealth when it is organized and applied to life. It also must be continually sought after. You're never done learning, Hill emphasizes: “Successful men, in all callings, never stop acquiring specialized knowledge related to their major purpose, business, or profession. Those who are not successful usually make the mistake of believing that the knowledge-acquiring period ends when one finishes school.”

Principle #5 Imagination: The Workshop of the Mind. If you can imagine it, you can create it, says Hill: “Ideas are the beginning points of all fortunes. Ideas are products of the imagination... Man's only limitation, within reason, lies in his development and use of his imagination.”

Principle #6 Organized Planning: The Crystallization of Desire into Action. Once you've visualized your success, you need to take action and go after exactly what you want. You must act with persistence and enthusiasm. Hill explains: “Opportunity has spread its wares before you. Step up to the front, select what you want, create your plan, put the plan into action, and follow through with persistence…”

Principle #7 Decision: The Mastery of Procrastination. A key trait Hill recognized in all of the individuals he studied was – decisiveness. Those who settle on decisions quickly know what they want and they tend to get what they want. He writes: “People who fail to accumulate money, without exception, have the habit of reaching decisions, if at all, very slowly, and of changing these decisions quickly and often.”

Principle #8 Persistence: The Sustained Effort Necessary to Induce Faith. Persistence is crucial when trying to accumulate riches – don’t-give-up spirit is a must! Hill writes: “Riches do not respond to wishes. They respond only to definite plans, backed by definite desires, through constant persistence.”

Principle #9 Power of the Master Mind: The Driving Force. To have a "Master Mind" group is to surround ourselves with talented friends and colleagues who share our vision. The alignment of several smart and creative minds is exponentially more powerful than just one, Hill explains: “No individual may have great power without availing himself of the ‘Master Mind’...” We become like the people we associate with.

Principle #10 The Mystery of Sex Transmutation. Sexual energy is an incredibly powerful human energy — it creates physical life and develops emotional life, and when it is harnessed and redirected, it can enhance our creativity, passion, enthusiasm, and persistence, all which are crucial in accumulating wealth. Hill says: “Sex desire is the most powerful of human desires. When driven by this desire, men develop keenness of imagination, courage, willpower, persistence, and creative ability unknown to them at other times.” And women too.

Principle #11 The Subconscious Mind: The Connecting Link. If you truly want to be rich, you have to plant that desire, and then your plan, into your subconscious mind. Hill writes: “The subconscious mind will not remain idle! If you fail to plant desires in your subconscious mind, it will feed upon the thoughts which reach it as the result of your neglect.”

Principle #12 The Brain: A Broadcasting and Receiving Station for Thought. Our brain is a “transmitter and receiver of thought vibrations" — it absorbs thoughts from other individuals surrounding us, making it even more important to associate with intelligent, creative, and positive individuals. Hill writes: “Every human brain is capable of picking up vibrations of thought which are being released by other brains…”

Principle #13 The Sixth Sense: The Door to the Temple of Wisdom. The final principle — the "sixth sense" — occurs only after you've mastered the other 12 principles. You'll experience a sort of mind-shift, Hill says: “Through the aid of the sixth sense, you will be warned of impending dangers in time to avoid them, and notified of opportunities in time to embrace them.” In short, trust your gut!

In the final chapter, Hill wrote How to Outwit the Six Ghosts of Fear, in which he exhorts us to take inventory of ourselves and to examine how many ‘ghosts’ that may have stopped us from thinking and growing rich. “Fear is nothing more than states of mind,” writes Hill, “One’s state of mind is subject to control and direction…” He ends this book with a challenging question: “Will you make the start and be convinced?” I can’t tell enough how much this book had changed (and continue to change) my mind and attitude about life and success in general. Famous authors like Anthony Robbins, Robert Kiyosaki, Zig Ziglar, Les Brown, Brian Tracy, Ken Blanchard, Bob Proctor, Mark Victor Hansen, Og Mandino and many more had been blessed by Napoleon Hill’s philosophy. I’m aware that there are articles and investigations on the life of Napoleon Hill and his works lately claimed that the real Napoleon Hill was not at it seems to be. Maybe true, maybe not (I only see Jesus Christ as the perfect Man and no others!). I also realized and very alert that some – if not, more than a dozen – of his teachings are not biblical sound. Regardless, as I read Think and Grow Rich, I’m taking a pragmatic approach. Enjoy!


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