The author Napoleon Hill was born in a poor family.
Because of his own struggle to overcome poverty, he became obsessed with why people fail to achieve true financial success and happiness in their lives.
As a journalist, his big break came when he was given the assignment to write a series of success stories of famous men.
One of the men he interviewed was Andrew Carnegie who gave him the task to interview over 500 millionaires to find a success formula that could be used by the average person.
That is how Think and Grow Rich was born.
Napoleon Hill’s proven steps to riches are as valid for today’s reader as they were for his contemporaries.
The Power of Thought
You can accomplish great things when your thoughts are mixed with purpose, persistence, and burning desire.
To expand on his claim, he relates the story of Edwin C. Barnes who wished to work with Thomas Edison.
Although Edwin had two difficulties, he did not know him and did not have money to pay for his rail fare to Edison city.
With his definite purpose, persistency, and burning desire, he finally managed to become Edison’s partner.
Psychologists have correctly said, “When one is truly ready for a thing, it puts in its appearance.”
It has to be an all-consuming obsession.
This business alliance made Barnes rich in money, but he accomplished something infinitely greater: He proved that one really may “Think and Grow Rich”.
He had nothing to start with, except the capacity to know what he wanted, and the determination to stand by the desire until he realized it.
One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.
More than 500 of the most successful people America has ever known told the author their greatest success came just one step beyond the point at which defeat had overtaken them.
Barnes succeeded because he chose a definite goal, and placed all his energy, all his willpower, and all his effort into achieving that goal.
Steps to riches
Whatever anyone is after he or she has to want it more than anything else.
Everyone should stand by his desire until it becomes the dominating obsession of his life and, finally, a fact.
Wishing will not bring riches.
But desiring wealth to such an extent that it becomes an obsession, then planning specific ways and means to acquire wealth, and maintaining those plans without ever giving up will bring wealth.
Faith is a state of mind that may be induced, or created, by affirmation or repeated instructions to the subconscious mind through the principle of autosuggestion.
It is a state of mind that you may develop at will after you have mastered the 13 steps to riches.
Making repeated affirmations to your subconscious mind is the only known method of developing the emotion of faith voluntarily.
Faith removes limitations.
The principle through which faith may be developed, where it does not already exist, is through autosuggestion.
Autosuggestion is a term that applies to all suggestions and all self-administered stimuli that reach one’s mind through the five senses.
Autosuggestion is the agency of control through which an individual may voluntarily feed the subconscious mind thoughts of a creative nature or, by neglect, permit thoughts of a destructive nature to find their way into this rich garden of the mind.
Although, your subconscious mind recognizes and acts only upon thoughts that have been well mixed with emotion or feeling.
The actual performance of transmuting desire into money involves the use of autosuggestion as an agency by which one may reach, and influence, the subconscious mind. The other principles are simply tools with which to apply autosuggestion.
- Specialized knowledge:
Plain 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.
Before you can be sure of your ability to transmute desire into its monetary equivalent, you will require specialized knowledge of the service, merchandise, or profession you intend to offer in return for the fortune.
Perhaps you may need much more specialized knowledge than you have the ability or the inclination to acquire, and if this should be true, you may bridge your weakness through the aid of your “Master Mind” group.
The accumulation of great fortunes calls for power, and power is acquired through highly organized and intelligently directed specialized knowledge, but that knowledge does not necessarily have to be in the possession of the person who accumulates the fortune.
The person who can organize and direct a “Master Mind” group of people who possess knowledge useful in the accumulation of money is just as much an educated person as anyone in the group.
Remember this if you suffer from a feeling of inferiority because your schooling has been limited.
Specialized knowledge may be found just around the corner – any corner!
The impulse, the desire, is given shape, form, and action through the aid of the imaginative faculty of the mind.
It has been said that we can create anything we can imagine.
Our only limitation, within reason, lies in the development and use of our imagination.
The imaginative faculty functions in two forms.
Synthetic imagination: Through this faculty one may arrange old concepts, ideas, or plans into new combinations
Creative imagination: Through the faculty of creative imagination, the finite mind of humankind has direct communication with Infinite Intelligence. it is the faculty through which “hunches and “inspirations” are received.
It is by this faculty that all basic or new ideas are developed.
This faculty functions only when the conscious mind is vibrating at an exceedingly rapid rate, as for example when the conscious mind is stimulated through the emotion of a strong desire.
Synthetic imagination is the one used most frequently in the process of transforming the impulse of desire into money.
Transformation of the intangible impulse of desire into the tangible reality of money calls for the use of a plan or plans. These plans must be formed with the aid of the imagination, and mainly with the synthetic faculty.
- Organized Planning:
No individual has sufficient experience, education, natural ability, and knowledge to ensure the accumulation of a great fortune without the cooperation of other people.
Every plan you adopt in your endeavor to accumulate wealth should be the collective creation of yourself and every other member of your Master Mind group.
If the first you adopt does not work successfully, replace it with a new plan. If this new plan fails to work, replace it, in turn, with still another, and so on until you find a plan which does work.
Temporary defeat should mean only one thing – the certain knowledge that there is something wrong with your plan.
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.
The lack of decision is near the head of the 30 major causes of failure.
Analysis of several hundred people millionaires disclosed the fact that every one of them had the habit of reaching decisions promptly and of changing these decisions slowly, if and when they were changed.
Sometimes it may seem like obstinancy, but this quality is preferable to slowness in reaching decisions and quickness in changing them.
Don’t get influenced by the opinions of others, unless they are in your Master Mind group.
If you are influenced by others’ opinions when you reach a decision, you will not succeed in any undertaking, much less in that of transmuting your own desire into money.
You will have no desire of your own.
The value of decisions depends upon the courage required to make them.
People who reach a definite decision to procure a particular job and make life pay the price they ask do not stake their life on that decision; they stake their economic freedom.
Persistence is an essential factor in the procedure of transmuting desire into its monetary equivalent.
The basis of persistence is the power of will.
Willpower and desire, when properly combined, make an irresistible pair.
People who accumulate great fortunes are generally known as cold-blooded and sometimes ruthless.
Often they are misunderstood.
What they have is willpower, which they mix with persistence and use as the basis of their desires to ensure the attainment of their objectives.
The principles in the book must be understood, all who accumulate money must apply them with persistence.
The ease with which lack of persistence may be conquered will depend entirely upon the intensity of one’s desire.
Weak desires bring weak results.
Riches do not respond to wishes. They respond only to definite plans, backed by definite desires, through constant persistence.
Power may be defined as “organized and intelligently directed knowledge.”
Its organized effort, sufficient to enable an individual to transmute desire into its monetary equivalent.
Organized effort is produced through the coordination of effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite end in a spirit of harmony.
The sources of knowledge are:
1. Infinite intelligence
3. Experiment and research
Knowledge can be converted into power by organizing it into definite plans and by expressing those plans in terms of action.
To have great power one will need his Master Mind group to assemble knowledge and express it through definite plans in terms of action.
In subsequent principles, the methods by which Infinite Intelligence may be most readily contacted will be adequately described.
- Sex Transmutation:
The meaning of the word “transmute” is, in simple language, “the changing or transferring of one element, or form of energy, into another.”
The emotion of sex has behind it the possibility of three constructive potentialities:
1. The perpetuation of humankind.
2. The maintenance of health (as a therapeutic agency it has no equal).
3. The transformation of mediocrity into genius through transmutation.
Sex transmutation is simple and easily explained. It means the switching of the mind from thoughts of physical expression to thoughts of some other nature.
Sex desire is the most powerful of human desires. When driven by this desire, people develop keenness of imagination, courage, willpower, persistence and creative ability unknown to them at other times.
The transmutation of sex energy calls for the exercise of willpower, to be sure, but the reward is worth the effort.
Fortunate, indeed, are those who have discovered how to give sex emotion an outlet through some form of creative effort, for they have, by that discovery, lifted themselves to the status of a genius.
A good definition of a genius is “a person who has discovered how to increase the vibrations of thought to the point where they can freely communicate with sources of knowledge not available through the ordinary rate of vibration of thought.”
Genius is developed through the Sixth Sense, creative imagination.
The faculty of creative imagination is the direct link between the finite mind of humans and Infinite Intelligence.
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 method by which this is done varies with the individual, but this is the sum and substance of the procedure:
1. They stimulate their minds so that they vibrate on a higher than average rate of vibration of thought
2. They concentrate upon the known factors (the finished part) of the invention and create in their minds a perfect picture of unknown factors (the unfinished part) of the invention.
They hold this picture in mind until it has been taken over by the subconcious mind, and then relax by clearing their minds of all thought, and wait for the answer to pop up
- The Subconscious Mind:
The subconscious mind consists of a field of consciousness in which every impulse of thought reaches the objective mind through any of the five senses is classified and recorded, and from which thoughts may be recalled or withdrawn.
You may voluntarily plant in your subconscious mind any plan, thought, or purpose which you desire to translate into its physical or monetary equivalent.
The subconscious acts first on the dominating desires that have been mixed with emotional feeling, such as faith.
You cannot entirely control your subconscious mind, but you can voluntarily hand over to it any plan. desire or purpose you wish to be transformed into concrete form.
The subconscious mind will not remain idle!
If you fail to plant desires in your subconscious mind, it will feed upon the thoughts that reach it as the result of your neglect.
Every human brain is both a broadcasting and receiving station for the vibration of thought.
When the brain is vibrating at a rapid rate, it not only attracts thoughts and ideas released by other brains, it also gives one’s own thoughts that “feeling” which is essential for those thoughts to be picked up and acted upon by the subconscious mind.
The subconscious mind is the “sending station” of the brain, through which vibrations of thought are broadcast. The creative imagination is the “receiving set,” through which the vibrations of thought are picked up from the ether.
- The Sixth Sense
Infinite Intelligence may, and will, communicate voluntarily through the sixth sense.
The sixth sense is the portion of the subconscious mind that has been referred to as the “creative imagination”.
It has also been referred to as the “receiving set” though which ideas, plans, and thoughts flash into the mind. The “flashes” are sometimes called “hunches” or “inspirations”.
To get results, you must apply all of the rules until their application becomes a fixed habit with you.