Think and Grow Rich — Book Notes

Think and Grow Rich : The single greatest guide to achieving success ever written. Think and Grow Rich, first published in 1937, took more than twenty years of research to compile. Napoleon Hill was a journalist and writer who later served as an advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1933 to 1936.

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Think and Grow Rich — Book Review

I’ve read the book twice and listened to the book’s audiobook for more than twenty times. So, I do like the book, but the book is not one of my personal favourites.

The book was published in 1937, during the Great Depression, hence magnifying its impact on the general public. It is really about believing in ourselves, believing that our mind is, in fact, the strongest, most important and most valuable asset that anyone has.

But then again, there are some things in the book I did not agree with. Especially the story about Napoleon Hill’s deaf son. Where he said,

“We would not permit him to learn sign language. We were determined that he should live a normal life and associate with normal children, and we stood by that decision, although it cost us many heated debates with school officials.”

Excerpt from Think and Grow Rich

I found this statement to be deeply disturbing. And also about the thought vibration, I have no idea what he’s talking about there.

He never really shared “the secret” which will propel us to wealth and success, he merely states that those who are ready will find the secret in the pages of his book. And I was curious.

I believe the secret is this, in this statement, where he said:

“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 it.”

Excerpt from Think and Grow Rich

This excerpt seems to sum it up. You need a definitive plan and an unbreakable desire. Seems about right. Right?


The 13 steps to riches (where he suggests we will find the “secret”)

1. Desire

“See and feel and believe yourself already in possession of the money.”

Excerpt from Think and Grow Rich

You need to really want to achieve your goals and target. Lukewarm desire won’t get you anywhere.


Then, you need a plan, a definitive plan with a specific way forward. For example, if you wan money, you need to plan through what sale of goods or services by a specific due date.

For example, even after more than 10,000 failed experiments, Thomas Edison still works on his goal to invent the first working electric bulb. He was simply driven by his desire to ensure his dream come true, and he did.

Hence, it is essential for all of us to examine our own attitude toward setting our goals and dream. We need to define our own dream and goals. Don’t go around chasing someone’s else dreams and goals.

Additionally, we must have a clear understanding of the “timing” of our goals. When do we want to achieve our goals and what are we prepared to do to accomplish it? The goal should be a SMART goal.

S — Specific
M — Measurable
A — Achievable
R — Realistic
T — Timely

2. Faith

You need an unwavering faith in yourself. Remember, our biggest enemy most of the time is ourselves. As Steve Harvey suggest, “Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success“. Our own faith in ourselves has a significant influence on our own self-image and way of life. Read “Learn Optimism” for more details.


3. Autosuggestion

Autosuggestion describes a way of influencing ourselves by thinking very specific and purposeful thoughts or ideas. We can use it to convey specific commands or positivity to our own subconsciousness. Thus, increasing our belief in ourselves.

In general, autosuggestion consists of persuading ourself that we can reach our goals, that our thoughts can be transformed into reality. Think and Grow Rich suggests that the more we use autosuggestion, the more likely our chances of success would be.

This sense of optimism will steer our thoughts and action toward making the required changes, make the right move, in the right direction in making our dreams a success.


4. Specialized knowledge

Being knowledgeable or educated isn’t limited to having a diploma or an advanced degree. Think and Grow Rich suggests that uneducated people can also know a lot, as the story of Henry Ford clearly demonstrated. Although Ford didn’t make it to high school, it didn’t stop him from establishing and revolutionizing an industry.

Thus, specialized knowledge is important. We don’t need to remember all the unnecessary facts that don’t relate to our field of choice, which doesn’t help us in moving toward our goals. It is far more important for everyone to learn the right knowledge and pursue the right experience, build upon their strength and fully developed and continue to develop their potential.

The most important mentality is a lifelong learning habit. Never be complacent. Instead, we must always be ready and always eager in pursuing and widening our own knowledge. There are many ways we can achieve such feat, one simple way is to read more, and another is to learn directly from a tried and proven mentor.

Equally useful is the ability to know where you can find the knowledge you need. Nobody can know everything, nobody can remember everything and nobody is perfect.

In my case, I record and manage my own knowledge on Oil and Gas, and other work-related notes on my blog, The Oil And Gas Executive. It’s a one-stop reference point for me and a means for me to educate my younger executives and technician. A means to kill two birds with one stone.


5. Imagination

The imaginative ability has two different forms: the creative imagination and synthetic imagination.

By using creative imagination, we might be able to come up with a completely new invention. Meanwhile, synthetic imagination rearranges old ideas into new combinations.

Read more on creativity — “Out of Our Mind” by Ken Robinson

6. Organized planning

✔ Create a practical plan for acquiring money.
✔ Provide great service and convince others that you’re worth the money you demand.
✔ Follow the QQS Formula for service:
✔ Quality: be efficient, and increase in efficiency
✔ Quantity: give all the service you can, and improve through practice and experience
✔ Spirit: be agreeable and harmonious with others

7. Decision

✔Make decisions quickly and definitely but change them slowly.
✔ Make sure your decision is truly your own.


8. Persistence

✔ Persistence and endurance are key.
✔ Have the willpower to follow your desire and plans despite obstacles and criticism.
✔ Don’t give up easily.

4 Crucial rules for persistence and endurance:

  1. Concrete goal and a burning desire
  2. Thorough and precise plan to support the implementation of our goals
  3. Never allow yourself to be influenced by other people negativity and disheartening opinions.
  4. You need a support system, an intimate, trusting and enduring relationship for support and assistance.

9. Master Mind

Surround yourself with like-minded, intelligent people. This is your brain trust or thinks tank.

With your Master Mind group, coordinate your knowledge and effort to attain your desire.

10. Sex transmutation

Channel your sexual energy into creative energy.


11. Subconscious mind

Plant your desires in your subconscious for it to work toward 24/7.

Fill your mind with positive emotions so that negative ones can’t enter.

Read your goals before going to bed, and hang it where you’ll able to read it every day.

12. The brain

Send thoughts with your subconscious, receive thoughts with your creative imagination, and use autosuggestion.

13. Sixth Sense

Meditate to become attuned to inspiration and creative imagination.


Favourite part of the book:

I bargained with Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store;

For Life is a just employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.

I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have willingly paid.

“My Wage” by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse in the chapter on desire.

Some people love the book, some despise it. Me? I believe I’m in the middle. I rated the book at 4.00/5.00★ on Goodreads. There’s a lot of great points in the book, those logically, if one should apply in one’s life, success is sure to follow.

If you want to buy a copy of the book — Click Here.

Read Think and Grow Rich



Author: Muhamad Aarif

A notorious book addict by night and an oil and gas executive by day. As Mark Twain said, "The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them." So, read, read, and read some more.

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