Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill | ©

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, published in 1937, is the best self-improvement and personal development book you could ever read. Hill interviewed over 500 wealthy and successful great minds of the 20th Century, including John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie. In 13 principles, he captures the secret law of success and provides guidelines on how to become wealthy and successful. According to Hill, you possess the power to use your thoughts to create your reality, and you would become unstoppable if you maintain a positive mindset and avoid negative thoughts. Today, this outstanding book still serves as a foundation for the philosophy of business and self-motivation to many successful people.


After reading a book like this one, you might find yourself changed by the influence the text has on you. Or you might plunge into profound reflection about your personal lives in terms of successes and failures, morals, and interaction with others in society. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill while creating all these effects even goes beyond. It implores the subconscious mind of any person ready to adopt a philosophy of success for personal development. This book is bread and butter for all.

The book’s title itself makes you want to read it. For a long time, it has always been said that you are what you think of yourself. If you can make your mind focus on wealth, is it possible to become one of the successful people around? You probably have your definition of what success means, but when it comes to the richness, there is a constant measure – money. You can quickly tell that individuals like Bill Gates are wealthy based on the amount of money they have.

The quest and fight for wealth

Think and Grow Rich was such a hit as it sold 20 million copies. It remains the number one seller of Hill’s books. You want to read this book and learn the law of success. The author read well into the rationale of the human mind and concluded that the quest and fight for wealth was just the source of all failures and conflicts. Thus, the brilliant choice of the title Think and Grow Rich.

The sentiments discussed in the book cuts across epochs. Even though the language in the book might be disconnected to changing realities at times, it is still worthy of reading. The writing style and grammar of the 19th century, for example, is not the same as that of the 21st century. Therefore, there are instances where the reader tries to comprehend what the author means. All in all, read Think and Grow Rich if you desire to inscribe your name in the annals of your community.

One good thing about the book is that it references real-life examples in all the explanations given. Napoleon Hill was a close friend to the high and mighty of his contemporary, the likes of Thomas Edison and Andrew Carnegie. Therefore, he had a one-on-one interaction with their thought processes and how they navigated certain situations.

Published within the Great Depression Era

Napoleon Hill wrote this book at a time when the Great Depression had reached its peak and was affecting millions of lives. The Great Depression was the worst economic downturn that took place from 1929 to 1939. The stock market crashed, and millions of investors were wiped out of business. A drastic decline in consumer spending and investment triggered high unemployment rates. With their lives shattered by this unprecedented economic crisis, people scouted for any arena of hope. You can understand why they needed a self-development and self-improvement book. Hill came up with his book just at the right time, when people needed it. Think and Grow Rich was a popular tonic to the gloomy national perspective on entrepreneurship and wealth.

Thoughts are a powerful resource

It is a known fact that if you set your mind on a particular thing and work towards its achievement, nothing can stop you. Thinking positively about yourself is priceless. It puts you in the right mood to face life and its hurdles. These kinds of thoughts are the key to unlocking your dreams and goals. It is all about you and your abilities, not the goals themselves.

Always think of each day as being a gift, and you will have set yourself on the right path to becoming successful. The moment this idea gets into your mind, you will be better placed to say ‘no’ to procrastination and begin acting on your ideas. If you live each day as if it were your last on Earth, you will make sense of what is going around you and appreciate it. The more appreciative you are, the more you begin planning things and increase your efforts.

Positive thoughts are the underlying motivation needed to take you to the next level toward your success. Napoleon Hill does quite an impressive work in exploring the essence of thoughts to one’s journey to grow rich. From the introductory paragraph, Hill highlights that thinking grooms the right environment to achieve success. It is so powerful that it surpasses other elements like education, money, or specialized knowledge in a specific field. If a man thinks that he can accomplish something, he has already catapulted himself into getting to the finishing line.

Learn from failure

However, we all know that thinking is quite a broad term. Everyone is thinking about one thing or the other at any given time. To avoid this ambiguity, Hill provides a specific definition of thinking. He terms it as a combination of initiative, willingness to win, faith, and resilience. He also factors in failure in his explanation, considering it a critical ingredient to the learning process. Your approach towards failure will determine where you end up.

If you are the type who dreads failure and assumes nothing good can come from it, then it will never be of benefit to you. On the other hand, those who are willing to learn from failure are bound to rise against all odds. Hill further argues that having a clear mind on the goal you want to achieve is a significant prerequisite. Don’t ever start a journey without knowing where you are headed.

Faith, Success and Wealth

Hill describes faith as a self-assurance that your goals are achievable. If you had the perception that you are incapable of having faith in yourself, Hill gives you some hope. He maintains that faith can be trained and improved over time. If you believe in something or have a predetermined ending, condition your mind to see the opportunity to actualize that goal. Repeatedly doing this will eventually lead to a state where the subconscious acts on behalf of your system. In other words, faith will make you see the end goal achieved long before you get there.

Some might question why Hill chose to bring up the idea of faith into an ambition to grow rich. Why would you decide to have faith that you shall become a wealthy man or woman instead of working towards it? Faith is such a powerful equalizer. In some cases, it can be a misery and a failure. But when you grasp its power and direct its force in the right place, it can steer you to levels you never thought were possible before. You must keep away negative emotions and concentrate on positivity.

The secret law of success in 13 steps

Napoleon Hill performed a twenty-year task of research, undertaken at Andrew Carnegie’s request. He analyzed hundreds of well-known men, many of whom admitted that they had accumulated their vast fortunes through the aid of the Carnegie secret. Among these men were Henry Ford, Theodore Roosevelt, John D. Rockefeller, and Thomas A. Edison. Hill studied their habits, captured the secret law of success, and provides guidelines on how to become wealthy and successful in 13 steps:

  1. Desire: The starting point of all achievement
  2. Faith: Visualization of, and belief in the attainment of desire
  3. Autosuggestion: The medium for influencing the subconscious mind
  4. Specialized Knowledge: Personal experiences or observations
  5. Imagination: The workshop of the mind
  6. Organized Planning: The crystallization of desire into action
  7. Decision: The mastery of procrastination
  8. Persistence: The sustained effort necessary to induce faith
  9. Power of the Master Mind: The driving force
  10. The Mystery of Sex Transmutation: The influence of a sex partner
  11. The Subconscious Mind: The connecting link
  12. The Brain: A broadcasting and receiving station for thought
  13. The Sixth Sense: The door to the temple of wisdom


Napoleon Hill presents us with one of the most interesting developmental books of his time. By the time he died in 1970, he had left behind a resource that generations can reference for nuggets of wisdom. This type of book cuts across all ages and will continue to impact lives for decades to come. The 1937 original book is one of a kind, and you must read it.


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