Summary: ‘Think and Grow Rich’

Imag­ine the secrets to wealth whis­pered by titans of indus­try like Andrew Carnegie and Thomas Edi­son. Now imag­ine those secrets dis­tilled into a time­less guide, rel­e­vant for as long as ambi­tion burns bright. Pub­lished in 1937, Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich isn’t just a his­tor­i­cal arti­fact, it’s a potent for­mu­la for achiev­ing finan­cial suc­cess — no mat­ter the era.

Intrigued? Dive deep­er into this sum­ma­ry and unlock the keys to:

  • Har­ness­ing the pow­er of your thoughts: Dis­cov­er how your mind­set shapes your real­i­ty and how to cul­ti­vate wealth-gen­er­at­ing beliefs.
  • Trans­form­ing desire into action: Learn the six-step plan to turn your dreams into con­crete goals and strategies.
  • Build­ing an unstop­pable team: Uncov­er the pow­er of col­lab­o­ra­tion and how to cre­ate a “mas­ter­mind” group to fuel your journey.
  • Tap­ping into your hid­den poten­tial: Explore the secrets of your sub­con­scious and unleash its pow­er to attract success.

Think and Grow Rich may be near­ly a cen­tu­ry old, but its wis­dom remains ever­green. So, if you’re ready to unlock the wealth with­in you, step into the pages and begin your trans­for­ma­tion. The jour­ney to finan­cial free­dom starts here.

Summary: 'Think and Grow Rich'
Sum­ma­ry: ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill

Key Points

  • Thoughts are pow­er­ful: Your thoughts have the pow­er to cre­ate wealth or poverty.
  • Desire is essen­tial: You must have a strong desire for wealth to achieve it.
  • Faith is key: You must believe that you can achieve your goals.
  • Knowl­edge is pow­er: You need knowl­edge to make sound finan­cial decisions.
  • Imag­i­na­tion is your work­shop: Use your imag­i­na­tion to cre­ate a men­tal pic­ture of your success.
  • Mas­ter­mind groups are pow­er­ful: Sur­round your­self with sup­port­ive peo­ple who believe in you.
  • Per­sis­tence is essen­tial: Don’t give up on your dreams, even when things get tough.
  • Pas­sion and dis­ci­pline are a win­ning com­bi­na­tion: You need both pas­sion and dis­ci­pline to achieve your goals.
  • Tap into your sub­con­scious mind: Your sub­con­scious mind can help you achieve your goals.
  • Over­come your fears: Fear can hold you back from achiev­ing your goals.

Summary: ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill

When author Napoleon Hill “was but a boy,” his men­tor, Andrew Carnegie, the leg­endary cor­po­rate leader, dis­closed his hid­den wealth-gen­er­at­ing for­mu­la to him and tasked him with cre­at­ing a book that would elu­ci­date this secret approach.

Dur­ing Hill’s 20-year quest to meet that chal­lenge, he exam­ined the prac­tices and philoso­phies of count­less cor­po­rate lumi­nar­ies. This ros­ter includes Theodore Roo­sevelt, John D. Rock­e­feller, F. W. Wool­worth and many oth­er well-known per­son­al­i­ties who con­struct­ed sub­stan­tial for­tunes based on Carnegie’s wis­dom. It all com­mences with this basic con­cept: Your thoughts are tan­gi­ble enti­ties! With fer­vor and pur­pose, your thoughts can evolve into riches.

“One comes, ulti­mate­ly, to believe what­ev­er one repeats to one’s self, whether the state­ment be authen­tic or false…Every man is what he is because of the dom­i­nat­ing thoughts which he per­mits to occu­py his mind.”

Edwin C. Barnes embod­ies this prin­ci­ple. Barnes – an impov­er­ished “nobody” – ardent­ly aimed to estab­lish a part­ner­ship with Thomas Edi­son, the renowned inven­tor. Barnes had no acquain­tance with Edi­son and could bare­ly afford trans­porta­tion to Edison’s office. At their ini­tial meet­ing, Edi­son remarked that Barnes resem­bled an “ordi­nary tramp.” How­ev­er, beneath that shab­by appear­ance, Edi­son dis­cerned a spark of promise and deter­mi­na­tion that led him to offer Barnes a low-pay­ing posi­tion. Barnes seized this unfore­seen oppor­tu­ni­ty. Skep­tics had spurned the “Edi­son Dic­tat­ing Machine,” but Barnes had con­fi­dence in it. He used it as a vehi­cle to launch his suc­cess­ful part­ner­ship with Edi­son. Barnes mate­ri­al­ized tan­gi­ble suc­cess from abstract thoughts, root­ed in faith, deter­mi­na­tion and perseverance.

Aspirations, wishes and strategies increase wealth

If you aim to amass wealth, don’t mere­ly yearn for your aspi­ra­tions to mate­ri­al­ize. Desire is “the start­ing point of all achieve­ment,” but to bring it to fruition, com­mit your­self to exe­cut­ing a plan to achieve your goal. To gen­er­ate wealth from desire, fol­low this six-step plan:

  1. Men­tal­ly visu­al­ize the amount of mon­ey you seek. Spec­i­fy a figure.
  2. State your price. What are you will­ing to do for the money?
  3. Estab­lish a dead­line. Set a date by which you will attain your goals.
  4. Ini­ti­ate a task sheet with a def­i­nite strat­e­gy. Com­mence promptly.
  5. Draft a con­cise mis­sion statement.
  6. Affirm: Twice dai­ly, recite your mis­sion state­ment aloud.

Dreams are not mere fan­tasies. Edi­son har­bored lofty dreams of invent­ing an elec­tric lamp. He fab­ri­cat­ed myr­i­ad unsuc­cess­ful pro­to­types before suc­ceed­ing. While oth­ers remained ground­ed, the Wright broth­ers envi­sioned a fly­ing apparatus.

“I believe in the pow­er of desire backed by faith, because I have seen this pow­er lift men from low­ly begin­nings to places of pow­er and wealth.”

Oth­er dream­ers tri­umphed over sig­nif­i­cant obsta­cles. Beethoven com­posed music despite his deaf­ness; Mil­ton, the author, was blind. Author Helen Keller was both blind and deaf. Yet, ener­gized by desire, they pur­sued their objec­tives and attained tremen­dous eminence.

Cultivate confidence in your capacity to succeed by affirming that you will prevail.

Belief is the “visu­al­iza­tion of and belief in the attain­ment of desire.” With the right tools, you can sow the fer­tile field of your mind with suc­cess or fail­ure. Recite your mis­sion state­ment dai­ly to prime your mind for suc­cess. This process, termed “auto­sug­ges­tion,” sows the seeds of men­tal suc­cess. It oper­ates because your mind will accept almost any­thing (true or false) that you repeat­ed­ly tell your­self. Detri­men­tal thoughts can also take root in the mind field. Doubt, fear and neg­a­tive emo­tions can blight your suc­cess and uproot the fruits of your labor.

“Faith is the start­ing point of all accu­mu­la­tion of riches.”

Auto­sug­ges­tion is a dose of self-dia­logue deliv­ered to your sub­con­scious mind through your five sens­es, the con­duits from your con­scious mind to your sub­con­scious­ness. Be wary that this chan­nel is inef­fec­tive if you oper­ate on autopi­lot. Sense the mes­sage. Tran­si­tion­ing from print­ed words to impas­sioned feel­ings is not effort­less. Leap by fix­at­ing on a fixed object. Shut your eyes. Con­jure a men­tal image of the mon­ey you aim to earn. Con­tem­plate it daily.

To visu­al­ize your goals, employ the afore­men­tioned six steps in con­junc­tion with this three-stage program:

  1. Retreat to a serene set­ting devoid of dis­trac­tions – Locate a tran­quil envi­ron­ment for dai­ly renew­al, review and recita­tion of your objec­tives. Con­ceive mind­ful images of finan­cial suc­cess, pos­ses­sions and accom­plish­ments. Envi­sion your date with suc­cess. Be spe­cif­ic: On July 4, 2011, I will cel­e­brate my finan­cial independence.
  2. Ingest a dou­ble dose of faith dai­ly – Admin­is­ter this reg­i­men each morn­ing and evening. Per­sist until you achieve your finan­cial goal.
  3. Peruse your mis­sion state­ment twice dai­ly – See­ing is believ­ing. Peruse your mis­sion state­ment first thing in the morn­ing and last thing at night.

You don’t require higher education to gain advanced levels of knowledge and wealth.

Knowl­edge is mere­ly data, infor­ma­tion and insights. How­ev­er, through orga­ni­za­tion and plan­ning, infor­ma­tion can assume sig­nif­i­cant pow­er. Uti­lize this pow­er to gen­er­ate wealth. So-called “for­mal edu­ca­tion” does not rep­re­sent the final word in learn­ing. Many afflu­ent indi­vid­u­als spent min­i­mal time in tra­di­tion­al class­rooms but amassed sub­stan­tial expe­ri­ences. Edi­son attend­ed school for just three months. Yet, through spe­cial­iza­tion, orga­ni­za­tion and net­work­ing, he acquired the acu­men of a well-edu­cat­ed mind.

“It takes more than a col­lege degree to make one a per­son of education.”

Spe­cial­iza­tion is orga­nized knowl­edge applied to a spe­cif­ic pur­pose. Acquire this prac­ti­cal exper­tise through appren­tice­ships, evening class­es and oth­er tar­get­ed train­ing programs.

Envision vivid mental depictions of your success. Imagination is the “workshop of the mind.”

Fan­ta­sy func­tions in two dif­fer­ent stages. “Arti­fi­cial imag­i­na­tion” orga­nizes exist­ing thoughts, notions and tac­tics into fresh arrange­ments. “Inven­tive imag­i­na­tion” con­nects the con­clu­sive intel­lect of human­i­ty and the lim­it­less cos­mos of “end­less intel­lect,” the sphere of instinc­tu­al feel­ings and intu­itions. The most suc­cess­ful indi­vid­u­als in com­merce, music, art and lit­er­a­ture func­tion with­in the realm of inven­tive imag­i­na­tion, dri­ven by yearn­ing and con­vic­tion. Your imag­i­na­tion is a capa­bil­i­ty. Train it, enhance it, and draft a writ­ten scheme to trans­form ethe­re­al dreams into tan­gi­ble pros­per­i­ty. Con­tin­u­ous­ly assess your scheme. Rep­e­ti­tion is effective.

“Ambi­tions do not arise from apa­thy, idle­ness or short­age of aspiration.”

For a remark­able exam­ple of the finan­cial strength of the imag­i­na­tion, con­sid­er the tale of the “Enchant­ed Ket­tle.” Many years ago, a rur­al doc­tor jour­neyed to a small town by horse-drawn car­riage. Dur­ing his vis­it, he entered into a debate about the virtues of his plain ket­tle with a young clerk. After an hour-long con­ver­sa­tion, the vision­ary young man hand­ed over his entire sav­ings of $500 to pur­chase the ket­tle and a con­fi­den­tial for­mu­la the doc­tor had penned on a scrap of paper. With that for­mu­la, a plan and imag­i­na­tion, clerk Asa Can­dler cre­at­ed Coca-Cola.

To enhance your abilities, collaborate with an exceptional team. Make them your “master mind.”

To aug­ment your suc­cess, you require the right team. Do not neglect this phase. Take these steps:

  • Sur­round your­self with “mas­ter­mind” allies. Fos­ter a sup­port team. Uti­lize your abil­i­ties and resources to aid them and invite them to sup­port you.
  • Refine your scheme through reg­u­lar sup­port group gatherings.
  • Cul­ti­vate har­mo­ny with each mem­ber of the group.

The mind has myr­i­ad lay­ers. When a group col­lab­o­rates, the ener­gy of their col­lec­tive indi­vid­ual thoughts, ideas and plans becomes a potent pro­pelling force. Think of the mod­est bat­tery. A soli­tary elec­tric bat­tery pos­sess­es pow­er, but the elec­tric­i­ty of sev­er­al bat­ter­ies eas­i­ly eclipses its might. Mul­ti­ply your men­tal prowess by access­ing the infi­nite wis­dom of the group mind, a mas­ter­mind sur­pass­ing the men­tal capa­bil­i­ties of each individual.

Do not allow momentary setbacks to enchant you. Triumph often lurks in the shadows.

Refuse to acknowl­edge defeat. If your ini­tial plan fal­ters, embrace a new strat­e­gy and per­se­vere. Iden­ti­fy appeal­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties. Scru­ti­nize the field, the com­pa­ny and the indi­vid­u­als involved. Eval­u­ate your tal­ents and skills. Draft a com­pre­hen­sive strat­e­gy to obtain the right job. Tar­get the rel­e­vant avenues and peo­ple. Craft a suc­cinct, thought­ful, per­ti­nent and order­ly resume. Under­stand your mar­ket value.

“Tri­umph requires no elu­ci­da­tion. Fail­ure does not tol­er­ate excuses.”

Cul­ti­vate suc­cess by evad­ing the signs of failed lead­er­ship, includ­ing inabil­i­ty to struc­ture par­tic­u­lars; inca­pac­i­ty to under­take mod­est tasks; uncer­tain­ty; lack of imag­i­na­tion; dearth of dis­ci­pline and con­fi­dence; exces­sive reliance on coer­cion and author­i­ty; ego­cen­trism; and insis­tence on titles and recognition.

Stay dedicated to your objectives and your purpose.

Pro­cras­ti­na­tion, a major cause of fail­ure, is your adver­sary. Pros­per­ous lead­ers make prompt, mean­ing­ful deci­sions. Exer­cis­ing deci­sive­ness grants you “mas­tery over pro­cras­ti­na­tion.” Con­sid­er the coun­sel and per­spec­tives of your sup­port team. Shun indi­vid­u­als who under­mine your dri­ve. Steer clear of the trap of pub­lic opin­ion by dis­clos­ing your plans sole­ly to your small cir­cle of advi­sors. Pub­li­ciz­ing your strate­gies, ideas and goals indis­crim­i­nate­ly dimin­ish­es your chances of suc­cess. Remain dis­creet; main­tain your faith.

Regret­tably, numer­ous indi­vid­u­als relin­quish their dreams at the first hint of dif­fi­cul­ty or fail­ure. Do not become a mag­net for impov­er­ish­ment. Refrain from a “poor con­scious­ness” in which neg­a­tive emo­tions man­i­fest as self-ful­fill­ing. Dis­rupt the cycle of pover­ty by cre­at­ing and believ­ing in a “wealth con­scious­ness.” Every­one expe­ri­ences doubt, dis­be­lief and despon­den­cy, but you can lib­er­ate your­self through per­sis­tence, “the sus­tained effort nec­es­sary to inspire faith.” Keep pro­gress­ing even if it neces­si­tates a slow­er pace. No one ascends great moun­tains with­out slip­ping off a few trails.

Nothing surpasses a blend of fervor and discipline.

Sen­su­al desire, when chan­neled cor­rect­ly, is a potent cat­a­lyst for suc­cess, afflu­ence and cre­ativ­i­ty. Pas­sion is indis­pens­able for excelling in art, sci­ence or trade. This fer­vor height­ens your recep­tiv­i­ty to the “infi­nite wis­dom of the uni­verse,” and the faint whis­pers of insight from your intu­ition. His­to­ry abounds with indi­vid­u­als dri­ven to great­ness by lust or love. Napoleon Bona­parte’s grand cam­paigns were large­ly inspired by Josephine, his first wife. Sex­u­al ener­gy pro­pelled William Shake­speare and Thomas Jef­fer­son. How­ev­er, most indi­vid­u­als do not suc­ceed before the age of 40 because com­pre­hend­ing and har­ness­ing the cre­ative force of sex­u­al ener­gy demands at least four decades. Through dis­ci­pline, plan­ning and deter­mi­na­tion, sex­u­al ener­gy tran­scends the body, engen­der­ing suc­cess and creativity.

You can shape and access the deepest recesses of your mind.

Your sub­con­scious serves as a “con­nect­ing link” that func­tions beyond your con­scious thoughts. Employ auto­sug­ges­tion and plan­ning to engage your sub­con­scious. Recite affir­ma­tions. Stay in the present. Fend off neg­a­tive thoughts. Fos­ter faith, yearn­ing, sen­su­al­i­ty, love, vital­i­ty, opti­mism and romance. Steer clear of jeal­ousy, trep­i­da­tion, avarice, ret­ri­bu­tion, ire, and ani­mos­i­ty. Rec­ol­lect the influ­ence of prayer.

Your brain func­tions as a dis­tinc­tive “broad­cast­ing and receiv­ing sta­tion for thought,” akin to a radio sta­tion that trans­mits and receives sig­nals. Cul­ti­vate the capac­i­ty to heed the “imper­cep­ti­ble forces” in your life. These forces — grav­i­ty, elec­tric­i­ty, thun­der, and oth­er ele­ments — envel­op you. Employ faith to stim­u­late your mind and pur­sue your objec­tives. Trust in the abil­i­ty of thought and belief.

“Life resem­bles a chess­board, and time is the oppo­nent fac­ing you. If you hes­i­tate pri­or to mak­ing a move, or fail to act prompt­ly, your pieces will be removed from the board by time. You are com­pet­ing against a part­ner who does not tol­er­ate vacillation.”

The sixth sense, “the gate­way to the sanc­tu­ary of wis­dom,” forms the direct link between your sub­con­scious and the bound­less light of the uni­verse. This con­nec­tion rep­re­sents the abode of your inven­tive imag­i­na­tion, intu­ition, and pre­mo­ni­tions. Uti­lize this force to attain rich­es, tri­umph, and orig­i­nal­i­ty. Per­pet­u­al­ly reit­er­ate and review your objec­tives; let the uni­verse con­vey insights to your subconscious.

Do not be hin­dered by the “six fun­da­men­tal fears”: fear of des­ti­tu­tion, fear of reproach, fear of falling ill, fear of being unloved, fear of aging, and fear of demise. Abstain from brood­ing over destruc­tive thoughts, and do not allow neg­a­tiv­i­ty to sway you. The poten­cy of your thoughts grants you mas­tery and can bestow you with wealth, as well.

About the Author

Napoleon Hill was born in 1883. A for­mer news­pa­per cor­re­spon­dent, he stud­ied law and worked for Andrew Carnegie, whose con­cepts are reflect­ed in Think and Grow Rich. Hill pro­vid­ed coun­sel to numer­ous notable fig­ures, includ­ing Franklin D. Roo­sevelt, Mahat­ma Gand­hi and Thomas Edison.


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