From time to time, I would like to do a book review/report. I love to read positive books that help me to expand my thinking. This is a classic: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
Written in 1937, this is widely known as one of the best-selling “self-help” books of all time. I put “self-help” in quotation marks, because, as my friend Mark says “If it’s self-help, why are you paying for it?” I prefer the term “personal development.” Mark also says that this is not a book, to be read. It is a workbook, to be studied. I first ‘read it’ many years ago, then more recently I ‘studied’ it. I must agree with Mark. Studying, making notes, integrating the principles into my life – all more powerful than just reading the book!
Hill outlines thirteen principles which make up his (and Andrew Carnegie’s) magic formula for success. Carnegie had challenged Hill to interview successful people, and then share their secrets. And this is not just about money. It is about changing your mindset so you can have whatever you want in life.
The principles are timeless, just as important today as they were in Hill’s time. Some of his verbiage is a bit dated, especially some of his discussions regarding women, but it is easy to put that aside in light of the profound principles he describes. And this work is so timely right now. He often refers to the Depression as a turning point in the fortunes of men. How some see obstacles and some see opportunity. Well, right now, during the Covid-19 pandemic, you could probably substitute the word ‘pandemic’ for ‘depression’ and it would make perfect sense.
So, what are these magic principles? I don’t want to give it all away, but will share the first three:
- Desire, the starting point of all achievement, and the first step toward Riches. It is necessary to really desire to become rich (or whatever your goal is). It means knowing exactly what you want. When you have vague desires, you get vague results. Want more money? Here’s a dollar, now you have more money. Want to earn $10,000 a month by a certain date, have a burning desire for that money and a specific plan for it’s use? Your mind becomes magnetized with your dominating thoughts. Hold this thought in your mind and you attract people and circumstances in harmony with those dominating thoughts. Hill tells the story of his son, born without ears, told by doctors that he would never hear. Yet Hill had a burning desires that his son would hear, and would derive a benefit from what might otherwise be a disability.
- Faith, visualization of, and belief in attainment of desire, the second step toward Riches. This is the basis for all miracles and mysteries that science cannot explain. In this chapter you find Hill’s Self-Confidence Formula. I love this formula, have re-written it in my own words and I do read it every day! Hill states: “When faith is blended with thought, the subconscious mind instantly picks up the vibration, translates it into its spiritual equivalent, and transmits it to Infinite Intelligence, as in the case of prayer.” This is so powerful!
- Autosuggestion, the medium for influencing the subconscious mind, the third step toward Riches. Also known as Self-suggestion, this is the practice of using your conscious mind to program your subconscious mind, actually planting seeds in the subconscious. This basically works all the time, whether you are thinking about what you want or what you don’t want. The subconscious doesn’t care. So we would be wise to plant positive thoughts, so they lead to positive results. Most people don’t, which explains why so many people remain in poverty. In this chapter, Hill offers a formula to favourably influence your subconscious through Autosuggestion.
Of course, you will want to read and study for yourself. Now I want to study another of Hill’s books: The Master Key to Riches. Which sounds a lot like the Master Key System by Charles Haanel, another program I am studying. Based on the same principles, I would add, and written before Hill’s time. Hmm, do you think they were on to something?
Anybody can wish for riches, and most people do, but only a few know that a definite plan, plus a burning desire for wealth, are the only dependable means of accumulating wealth. Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich