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!
10 thoughts on “Think and Grow Rich: A Review of the Classic Book”
Great review of an even greater book. I haven’t read it in about 10 years, I think it’s time I picked it up again. Just need to find it on my shelves first. One thing about the Master Mind and the difference between standard Teams or even more tightly controlled groups like your Business Partners that I always found interesting is that the members of the group have to be aligned toward the same goal. I’ve always took this to mean the same goals both internally AND externally. Basically, if you’re all working to improve revenue, that’s great, but WHY are you looking to improve revenue? Being part of a Master Mind, you would all have to be working toward that goal because of how it will impact the company or how it will impact each of you as individuals.
In other words, find people to be part of your Master Mind who can understand that you have a specific reason to work toward the specific goal and make sure you know their reasons, if both (or all) of you are able to understand the motivation the others in your group have, it can help you work together even better,
Again, a great review!
Great thoughts, appreciate the comment. I know you will find a lot of great value from reading it again.
Think and grow rich is one of the classic book whose idea does not go oil with time. I have read it myself and would like to read it everyday just like Bob Procter. It’s interesting but I first heard about this book from Bob Procter too! Whom I have been following for the last few years and learnt a ton of information and motivation.
Thank you for the reminder, I am going to in cooperate this book into my everyday reading from now on.
That’s great, I’m glad I inspired you to start reading it again.
We had to write a paper on this book during my business class in college. I have to say I jumped around in the book and did not read it all the way through. Now that I am much older I understand the importance of getting all of the information in order from an author.
Let me know when you have a free link to the audio version, I will pick up on it.
I’m glad you are interested in a more thorough study program, I found it very educational and am on my second time through the book now.
My audio version is actually a YouTube video, and I had a program that converted it to a pure audio but you could enjoy it either way. This is the link:
I’ve read thousands of business-related books, but this one is undoubtedly the godfather of all of them. To anyone that hasn’t read it yet, please don’t expect to become an overnight millionaire simply by finishing it.
There are some great tips inside of it, but they won’t matter that much if you don’t put in the work and finish your daily tasks. Do you want my advice? Implement what’s being taught to you in this book, or otherwise don’t even bother reading it.
Great review, you’ve outlined every detail perfectly!
Thank you. We definitely need to apply all 13 principles and take the actions he suggest. Thanks for the advice and the comment!
One evening a few years ago, I did a google research on the topic of how to be successful in life. This query had led me to a website where I got a free PDF version of Think and Grow Rich. I spent the rest of the night reading the book, and I’m still reading it after all these years. I imagine I’ve read the book at least 10-15 times so far. I’m not even counting anymore.
I open Think and Grow Rich whenever I need some stimulation, inspiration, motivation, or just a piece of advice from one of the greatest minds that has ever lived. Thanks to this book, and the 13 principles, I managed to change my life in a few years to a measure that I don’t even recognize my old lifestyle (thank God!). And, I’m still learning because there just so much to learn from Napoleon. The man spent 25 years (and more) studying. It’s impossible to master all those principles in only a few years.
Also, finding Think and Grow Rich has to lead me to Bob Proctor and his coaching. This man is truly second to none when it comes to interpreting Napoleon Hill’s work. Thanks to Bob and his work my understanding of the 13 principles improved dramatically. I guess he was the first member of my Mastermind Group. His work has helped to speed up things and charges in my life dramatically. I highly recommend people to follow his work and join his seminars! And make sure to read Think and Grow Rich at least one before you start working with Bob.
Thanks, Ivan. I agree it is one of the best books I have ever encountered. I do wish I had read it when I was young. Still, better late than never!