I was just searching on my site, and I realized I had never written a full review of an important book that I have spent a lot of time on.
Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill, was first published in 1937. There have been many different editions published since then, and I have used at least 3 different editions in my studies.
It is not the first business success book, but it was the first to become a bestseller (other than an earlier one by the same author that was eclipsed by the Great Depression in 1929) and has influenced everyone in the success writing and business and motivation fields.
I spent a lot of time on this book over the summer
When I was not writing here over the summer and early fall, I spent a lot of time studying this book. I listened to or read it almost every day.
I had a system of going through one chapter every week, and I would read or listen every day, and then at the end of the week I created a video on about the chapter.
There are 13 principles, and I also did an extra video after Principle 3, as well as a final video at the end covering 2 chapters after the end of the 13 principles (1 chapter in the original edition).
You can see all of my videos if you follow me over on Facebook, although they have scrolled way down in the feed. Partway through I also switched from doing them on my Profile to doing them inside a group called Think and Grow Rich Mastermind, which has over 30,000 members now and is devoted to discussing this book.
I think I will create an Article listing links to all of my videos if anyone is interested.
About the Author
First I want to give you a little background on the author, Napoleon Hill.
He was born in a poor family and had a lot of work and business failures early in his life, but he got a job with a newspaper where he had the opportunity to interview the richest and most successful men in American industry and business.
The very first interview was with Andrew Carnegie, a poor Scottish immigrant who grew to be one of the richest men in the United States with his steel company. In 1908, Hill interviewed Carnegie and he was so impressed with the young man he invited him to his home to spend the weekend and continue their discussion.
During that weekend, Carnegie lamented that so many rich men were dying with their knowledge of success not being passed on. He asked Hill if he would agree to spend his life writing the world’s first book on the philosophy of success.
He was told he would not make any money from it for a long time but Carnegie offered to pay for his travel expenses and arrange introductions to other millionaires.
Hill agreed and it was 20 years later that he wrote his first bestseller.
After the Great Depression was continuing for so long, he realized the world needed his research and he released Think and Grow Rich in 1937.
13 Principles of Success
As I said, there are 13 principles of success in the book. Hill says we need to read the whole book, and not just jump around or pick a section we like, in order to understand what it takes to achieve anything we desire.
The principles are:
- Specialized Knowledge
- Organized Planning
- Power of the Master Mind
- The Mystery of Sex Transmutation
- The subconscious Mind
- The Brain
- The Sixth Sense
I feel some explanations of some of the principles will be a good idea. You may have questions about what some of them mean.
First of all, a Master Mind is a group of people, could be as few as 2, or in the hundreds, but the ideal number is less than 10. The distinguishing characteristic of a Master Mind is that they all have the same objective and the same goals. It’s more specific than teamwork where everyone can have their own reason to be a part of the team.
Sex Transmutation refers to a person directing their sexual energy into productive and non-physical directions. According to Hill the most successful people all possessed these qualities, of being highly sexed but also knowing how to direct that energy into other purposes.
The Sixth Sense, or Creative Imagination, really only makes sense if you understand all the other 12. In this chapter Hill talks about how he had “meetings” with Imaginary Counselors and his use of imagination expanded his awareness and abilities to achieve what he wanted. They even warned him of danger sometimes!
My Review of the Principles
I love this book. There is so much great material here.
He relates a lot of real life success stories illustrating the importance of the various principles.
I listened to an audio version of the book that was dated from 2001, and added many many modern examples that are names we all would recognize. Many of the biggest companies in the US are mentioned in these editorial comments.
The main action step is the 3rd one, Autosuggestion. Here, for the first time, I have learned how to influence my subconscious mind with positive messages so that it will support me in my goals instead of fighting against them.
I am still early in this process but it seems quite promising.
Affirmations is another word for what this is describing. These are popular, but some don’t believe in them. They don’t understand Hill’s point that you have to mix them with a strong emotion. The strongest emotions are Faith, Love, and Sex.
I have found my understanding of myself and other people has greatly improved, and I look forward to seeing many more changes as I work through a workbook written by two fans of the book.
This book comes highly recommended
Bob Proctor, a brilliant motivational speaker who I have been following avidly since March, has been reading this book every day since 1961, nearly 60 years.
Many other successful people attribute a lot of their success to understanding and applying these principles in their lives.
I will share links to free audio and ebook versions of this book in the near future but I wanted to get this review out there.
Happy reading, folks, and I look forward to helping some more with my next post!