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Think And Grow Rich Book Summary, Review, Notes

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill is a 13-step process on how to achieve success and riches. Hill interviewed over 25,000 successful businessmen and their responses became the book. Considering it was written in 1937, the principles in the book still hold water.


Book Title: Think and Grow Rich
Author: Napoleon Hill
Date of Reading: December 2016
Rating: 7/10

Table of Contents

What Is Being Said In Detail:

Think and Grow Rich is a 13-part plan on how to think, act, and grow yourself into wealth. The book has 15 chapters, with the first and last chapter serving as an intro and conclusion. The book has the following chapters:

  1. GENERAL INTRODUCTION (intro, not part of the 13-step plan).
  2. DESIRE. Don’t wish, but desire for your goal and make a plan on how to achieve it.
  3. FAITH. Whatever you have to do, you need to believe in yourself and the process.
  4. AUTO-SUGGESTION. It can’t hurt to use affirmations to prime your subconscious mind.
  5. SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE. When school stops, education begins. Always be learning.
  6. IMAGINATION. Limit your thinking to a single industry and you will come up with ideas.
  7. ORGANIZED PLANNING. Start with the intention of finishing. Follow through.
  8. DECISION. Be decisive and once it’s set, don’t think about it anymore.
  9. PERSISTENCE. Overcome failure through persistence.
  10. POWER OF THE MASTER MIND. Surround yourself with great people.
  11. THE MYSTERY OF SEX TRANSMUTATION. Find a partner who will uplift you.
  12. THE SUB-CONSCIOUS MIND. Become a beacon of positivity and remove negativity from life.
  13. THE BRAIN. Learn from people who are smarter than you. Talk less, listen more.
  14. THE SIXTH SENSE.  Trust your gut.
  15. HOW TO OUTWIT THE SIX GHOSTS OF FEAR (conclusion, not part of the 13-step plan).

Most Important Keywords, Sentences, Quotes:

Chapter 1

“Thoughts are things,” and powerful things at that, when they are mixed with definiteness of purpose, persistence, and a BURNING DESIRE for their translation into riches, or other material objects.

The better portion of all sales I have made, were made after people had said ‘NO’.”

When you begin to THINK AND GROW RICH, you will observe that riches begin with a state of mind, with definiteness of purpose, with little or no hard work. You, and every other person, ought to be interested in knowing how to acquire that state of mind which will attract riches. I spent twenty five years in research, analyzing more than 25,000 people, because I, too, wanted to know “how wealthy men become that way.”

They cannot think in terms of riches, because their thought habits have been steeped in poverty, want, misery, failure, and defeat.


Chapter 2 

“You see the boats going up in smoke. That means that we cannot leave these shores alive unless we win! We now have no choice—we win, or we perish! They won.

Every human being who reaches the age of understanding of the purpose of money, wishes for it. Wishing will not bring riches. But desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways and means to acquire riches, and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure, will bring riches. 

Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire. (There is no such reality as “something for nothing.) 



Chapter 3 

FAITH is a state of mind which may be induced, or created, by affirmation or repeated instructions to the subconscious mind, through the principle of auto-suggestion.

By following the instructions laid down in the chapters on auto suggestion, and the subconscious mind, as summarized in the chapter on auto-suggestion, you may CONVINCE the subconscious mind that you believe you will receive that for which you ask, and it will act upon that belief, which your subconscious mind passes back to you in the form of “FAITH,” followed by definite plans for procuring that which you desire.

Napoleon Hill Quote: “FAITH is a state of mind which may be induced, or created, by affirmation or repeated instructions to the subconscious mind, through the principle of auto-suggestion.”

A mind dominated by positive emotions, becomes a favorable abode for the state of mind known as faith. A mind so dominated may, at will, give the subconscious mind instructions, which it will accept and act upon immediately. 

It is a well known fact that one comes, finally, to BELIEVE whatever one repeats to one’s self, whether the statement be true or false. If a man repeats a lie over and over, he will eventually accept the lie as truth. Moreover, he will BELIEVE it to be the truth. 

Chapter 4 

DO NOT WAIT for a definite plan, through which you intend to exchange services or merchandise in return for the money you are visualizing, but begin at once to see yourself in possession of the money, DEMANDING and EXPECTING meanwhile, that your subconscious mind will hand over the plan, or plans you need. 

Be on the alert for these plans, and when they appear, put them into ACTION IMMEDIATELY. When the plans appear, they will probably “flash” into your mind through the sixth sense, in the form of an “inspiration.” This inspiration may be considered a direct “telegram,” or message from Infinite Intelligence. Treat it with respect, and act upon it as soon as you receive it. Failure to do this will be FATAL to your success.

Chapter 5 

Lack of understanding of this fact has been the source of confusion to millions of people who falsely believe that “knowledge is power.” It is nothing of the sort! Knowledge is only potential power. It becomes power only when, and if, it is organized into definite plans of action, and directed to a definite end. 

Knowledge has no value except that which can be gained from its application toward some worthy end. This is one reason why college degrees are not valued more highly. They represent nothing but miscellaneous knowledge. 

Napoleon Hill Quote 3: “If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self.”

The SELF-DISCIPLINE one receives from a definite programme of specialized study makes up to some extent, for the wasted opportunity when knowledge was available without cost.

The person who stops studying merely because he has finished school is forever hopelessly doomed to mediocrity, no matter what may be his calling.

Chapter 6 

Intelligence. It is the faculty through which “hunches” and “inspirations” are received. It is by this faculty that all basic, or new ideas are handed over to man.

Chapter 7 

alliance, decide what advantages, and benefits, you may offer the individual members of your group, in return for their cooperation.

No man is ever whipped, until he QUITS— in his own mind.

When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal. If you give up before your goal has been reached, you are a “quitter.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of people in the world. One type is known as LEADERS, and the other as FOLLOWERS. Decide at the outset whether you intend to become a leader in your chosen calling, or remain a follower. The difference in compensation is vast. The follower cannot reasonably expect the compensation to which a leader is entitled, although many followers make the mistake of expecting such pay. 

Napoleon Hill Quote 2: “The person who stops studying merely because he has finished school is forever hopelessly doomed to mediocrity, no matter what may be his calling.”

Education consists, not so much of knowledge, but of knowledge effectively and persistently APPLIED. Men are paid, not merely for what they know, but more particularly for WHAT THEY DO WITH IT.

If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self.

We emulate those with whom we associate most closely. Pick an employer who is worth emulating.

The most damaging forms of intolerance are those connected with religious, racial, and political differences of opinion.

Most people cannot see themselves as others see them. You may be one who cannot.

Chapter 8 

If you are influenced by “opinions” when you reach DECISIONS, you will not succeed in any undertaking, much less in that of transmuting YOUR OWN DESIRE into money.

Remember, also, that every time you open your mouth in the presence of a person who has an abundance of knowledge, you display to that person, your exact stock of knowledge, or your LACK of it! Genuine wisdom is usually conspicuous through modesty and silence.

The value of decisions depends upon the courage required to render them.

Socrates’ decision to drink the cup of poison, rather than compromise in his personal belief, was a decision of courage.

Chapter 9 

Your subconscious mind works continuously, while you are awake, and while you are asleep.

THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR PERSISTENCE! It cannot be supplanted by any other quality! Remember this, and it will hearten you, in the beginning, when the going may seem difficult and slow.

Fear, the worst of all enemies, can be effectively cured by forced repetition of acts of courage.

Countless numbers of men and women, both young and old, permit relatives to wreck their lives in the name of DUTY, because they fear criticism.

Napoleon Hill Quote 4: “The value of decisions depends upon the courage required to render them.”

Too many people refuse to set high goals for themselves, or even neglect selecting a career, because they fear the criticism of relatives and “friends” who may say “Don’t aim so high, people will think you are crazy.

Chapter 10 

The “Master Mind” may be defined as: “Coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.”

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. 

Chapter 11 

A river may be dammed, and its water controlled for a time, but eventually, it will force an outlet. The same is true ofthe emotion of sex. It may be submerged and controlled for a time, but its very nature causes it to be ever seeking means of expression. If it is not transmuted into some creative effort it will find a less worthy outlet.

The creative imagination functions best when the mind is vibrating (due to some form of mind stimulation) at an exceedingly high rate. That is, when the mind is functioning at a rate of vibration higher than that of ordinary, normal thought.

The great artists, writers, musicians, and poets become great, because they acquire the habit of relying upon the “still small voice” which speaks from within, through the faculty of creative imagination. It is a fact well known to people who have “keen” imaginations that their best ideas come through so-called “hunches.”

Chapter 12 

You cannot entirely control your subconscious mind, but you can voluntarily hand over to it any plan, desire, or purpose which you wish transformed into concrete form. Read, again, instructions for using the subconscious mind, in the chapter on autosuggestion.

These emotions, or feeling impulses, may be likened to yeast in a loaf of bread, because they constitute the ACTION element, which transforms thought impulses from the passive to the active state. Thus may one understand why thought impulses, which have been well mixed with emotion, are acted upon more readily than thought impulses originating in “cold reason.”

Napoleon Hill Quote 5: “Your subconscious mind works continuously, while you are awake, and while you are asleep.”

The subconscious mind is the intermediary, which translates one’s prayers into terms which Infinite Intelligence can recognize, presents the message, and brings back the answer in the form of a definite plan or idea for procuring the object of the prayer.

Chapter 13 

Through the medium of the ether, in a fashion similar to that employed by the radio broadcasting principle, every human brain is capable of picking up vibrations of thought which are being released by other brains. 

The result of sex transmutation, is the increase of the rate of vibration of thoughts to such a pitch that the Creative Imagination becomes highly receptive to ideas, which it picks up from the ether. 

On the other hand, when the brain is vibrating at a rapid rate, it not only attracts thoughts and ideas released by other brains through the medium of the ether, but it gives to one’s own thoughts that “feeling” which is essential before those thoughts will be picked up and acted upon by one’s subconscious mind.

Chapter 14 

The SIXTH SENSE is that portion of the subconscious mind which has been referred to as the Creative Imagination. It has also been referred to as the “receiving set” through which ideas, plans, and thoughts flash into the mind. The “flashes” are sometimes called “hunches” or “inspirations.”

Anyone who has experienced a near accident while driving, knows that on such occasions, the sixth sense often comes to one’s rescue, and aids, by split seconds, in avoiding the accident. 

Nearly all great leaders, such as Napoleon, Bismark, Joan of Arc, Christ, Buddha, Confucius, and Mohammed, understood, and probably made use of the sixth sense almost continuously. The major portion of their greatness consisted of their knowledge of this principle. 

Chapter 15 

Before we can master an enemy, we must know its name, its habits, and its place of abode.

There can be no compromise between POVERTY and RICHES! The two roads that lead to poverty and riches travel in opposite directions. 

You have been given a road map which, if followed, will keep you on that road. If you neglect to make the start, or stop before you arrive, no one will be to blame, but YOU. This responsibility is yours. 

No alibi will save you from accepting the responsibility if you now fail or refuse to demand riches of Life, because the acceptance calls for but one thing—incidentally, the only thing you can control—and that is a STATE OF MIND. A state of mind is something that one assumes. It cannot be purchased, it must be created.

Nothing brings man so much suffering and humility as POVERTY! Only those who have experienced poverty understand the full meaning of this.

Napoleon Hill Quote 6: “We do not worry over conditions, once we have reached a decision to follow a definite line of action.”

PROCRASTINATION. The habit of putting off until tomorrow that which should have been done last year. 

We do not worry over conditions, once we have reached a decision to follow a definite line of action. 

One is never through with a thought, merely by releasing it. When a thought is released, it spreads in every direction, through the medium of the ether, but it also plants itself permanently in the subconscious mind of the person releasing it.

If you are not certain concerning the answers to some of the questions, seek the counsel of those who know you well,especially those who have no motive in flattering you, and see yourself through their eyes. The experience will be astonishing.

Book Review (Personal Opinion):

This was the first book I read when I started my 20-pages-a-day book reading habit. Nonetheless, it’s noticeable that this was book was written almost a hundred years ago. A lot of principles still hold water, but the examples no longer do. Pick it up just for principles and ignore the rest.

Rating: 7/10

This Book Is For (Recommend):

  • A college freshman who wants to understand what it takes to be successful
  • A starting entrepreneur who wants to build a business
  • Anyone who has a big dream and wants to know how to make it happen

If You Want To Learn More

Here’s a great article in Business Insider on the book:
Business Insider

How I’ve Implemented The Ideas From The Book

The chapter titled Specialized Knowledge was a great one for me. It talks about the application of knowledge and how you need to use knowledge for it to become effective. And the more of it you have, the more potential it has to bring you success. I did exactly that with my freelance writing business. Since I was the head of HR, I used my knowledge to build an HR writing business.

One Small Actionable Step You Can Do

Hill mentions the value of auto-suggestion. So one thing you can start doing is adopting your goals as a part of your identity. So you’re not going for a run, you’re a runner; you’re not going to start a business, you’re a businessman/entrepreneur; you’re not going to write a novel, you’re a writer.

Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill - Book Summary Infographic