If a self-help book authored 85 years ago still commands a massive following, there should be a sweeping element of attractiveness to it.
Napoleon Hill wrote the masterpiece recipe for growing rich when he was 54. Think and Grow Rich, published in 1937, is his best-selling book and also one of the bestselling books of all time – rough sales estimates put the figure at 100 million copies, an astonishing volume by any means.
Hill invested more than a quarter of a decade in research on the book Think and Grow Rich. His research work was mostly centered around successful individuals and the winning formula of their thought processes.
The gist of Hill’s highly successful book is: It is all in your mind. In other words, the pattern of your imagination is the crux of your life’s trajectory. It can make or mar you.
10 Lessons from Napoleon Hill’s Book ‘Think and Grow Rich’
Hill has put forth some fascinating concepts in this book. We pan Hill’s bestseller to get an overview of the key personality development lessons on offer.
Think and Grow Rich Lesson #1: Our Thought Stream
Many times we wonder: What is our most valuable possession? Is it monetary benefits or your educational background? Or is it a mix of many factors?
The answer lies somewhere in between, according to the author.
Hill emphasizes in his book that our thoughts are the masters of our destiny. It can create or drag your fortunes depending on your ability to prioritize, plan, learn from failures and get deeply involved.
The author enlightens us about the unflinching passion attached to your thought process that could open the doors for your success story.
In the process of this guided tour of the benefits of creative thinking, Hill makes us realize in Think and Grow Rich that failures could be turned around into opportunities by indulging in creative thinking pursuits.
The uncharted path to our success is strewn in the creative framework of our thought process. This immense potential is often untapped as we remain ignorant about its existence in ourselves and instead search for non–existent elixirs for growth.
So, beautifully tapping your thoughts means the final goal is within your reach. You just need to fine-tune your thinking pursuits to mold your approaches creatively.
Once this is done, the rest will seamlessly fall into place.
The mind is an endless reservoir of your immense, never-ending potential. Achieve your aspirations by digging deep into the realms of mind by embarking on an illuminating journey hand-geld by our thoughts.
Think and Grow Rich Lesson #2: Celebrating Desire
Some link desire to the root cause of all evil. Not anymore.
And not Napoleon Hill, who had other ideas. Hill celebrated the concept of desire as a vital element in our journey to reach our aspirations. He envisages desire as a primal force that propels our destiny, not something that is construed as a sin.
It opens the key to achieving our vaulting ambitions. Desire is probably the cog that links your thoughts to actions. The depths of desire dictate whether you will reach your intended destination.
It spurs activity that elevates you to a higher plain. It is something which is not found in those who go astray as a result of a lack of a desire to unleash themselves. The inherent qualities linked to desire are predominantly camouflaged.
The DNA of desire needs to be dug out, its possibilities acknowledged and characteristics molded to perfection for achieving the larger goal. Make no mistake it ain’t possible from the precincts of a dormant mind.
Desire is your destiny and it is also your holistic guide to your destination. It stirs passion in you to achieve a mountain from a molehill.
The craving to achieve your pursuits is instilled by the desire factor and once this is triggered, your unexplored skills are unleashed in myriad ways.
The daunting depths of your desire need to be awakened so that enlightenment would propel you to lofty dreams hitherto considered unachievable. No force can obstruct an overwhelming desire’s natural path which treads through unknown facets of your life.
Desire takes you to the point of last-mile connectivity from where the realization of your ultimate goals is a shoo-in.
Think and Grow Rich Lesson #3: Faith Moves Mountains
If the desire is embedded in your thought process, faith is the next point of contact as you move on to get closer to achieving your aspirations.
As they say, faith can move mountains, literally.
Faith is the balm of life that convinces you about the inherent ability to attain valuable goals. You swing into action or withdraw depending on the intensity of faith or lack of it.
Faith, in other words, is the ability to convince yourself about the need to pursue your journey. If it sticks to your mind like glue, you have achieved half of the task you set for yourself.
Faith opens up umpteen possibilities for human beings and kindles hopes. It opens up a dogged pursuit of intentions, triggering action and as a result, tasks that you often considered Herculean seem to take only negligible effort.
Faith should be nurtured in our thought process in many ways. Within the confines of an undisturbing location, it would be helpful if you could wholeheartedly proclaim that you will achieve your aspirations.
It is better if you repeat these aloud so that it gets ingrained in your mind. This process should be carried out at the beginning and the end of the day.
It makes sense to develop a feel of your aspirations when you reaffirm your belief in your aims, rather than merely repeating your aspirations without intensity.
This can be achieved by infusing a galaxy of powerful, positive emotions into your thoughts while you reinstate the belief that your dreams are just about to be realized.
It would be helpful if you can keep a copy of your aspirations at a place where you would often glance.
Think and Grow Rich Lesson #4: Borders of Imagination
Hill waxes eloquently in his book on converting thoughts into action. For this purpose, imagination comes into play.
In the process of imagination, we stumble upon thoughts, images and ideas that have not been in existence. This is achieved by sifting through the past and connecting to the future mostly in a hypothetical way.
The mind comes into play during imagination and helps us conceive and create varied scenarios. The illuminating aspect of imagination provides enormous power to individuals as reflected in Hill’s Think and Grow Rich.
Imagination in this context can be classified into synthetic and creative. It is the synthetic form which nosedives into the past.
The basic premise of synthetic imagination is to create fresh threads knit from our past experiences. In a sense, subscribing to Hill’s theory would mean we sort of agree that synthetic imagination is confined to the past, with fresh narratives spun from it.
When the trajectory of the mind is propelled to a finer realm, creative imagination is at work.
Creative imagination is rooted in the subconscious mind. This sort of imagination hinges on the ability to dabble with new ideas and fresh concepts.
Again, creative imagination can be spurred by a firm desire and a structured plan, driven by opportunities, outcomes and probable actions necessary for it.
Hill’s line of thinking suggests this will unleash energy to make us strive for the desired outcome. The idea that trickles down is that we conjure up thoughts which will become achievable.
If concepts spurred by our imagination get a proper sense of direction, the outcomes are pleasant. If not there is an element of risk which may drag your progress.
Think and Grow Rich Lesson #5: Knowledge is Power
Knowledge is the fountain of power. But knowledge without deep roots, or specialization, may not suffice.
Absolute power can be achieved only through deep-rooted or specialized versions of knowledge. The tenets of in-depth knowledge lie in our ability to dissect permutations and combinations.
By diving into the depths of knowledge, you throw yourselves into a wealth of opportunities.
Your schooling or stints in universities may assist you, but the myriad effects of knowledge are achieved only by a relentless pursuit of excellence with the know-how at your disposal.
Sifting through the vocabulary of general knowledge may not take you far ahead.
Only by harnessing the potential of knowledge can you gain absolute enlightenment, which would spur you to action.
Accumulating knowledge is vital, but putting it to use through interactions with experts in every domain is essential for growth prospects.
So while education achieved through schooling has a base effect, constant use of knowledge in varying circumstances will polish your ability to imbibe life lessons.
In other words, a mountain of degrees may not be sufficient to deal with a real-life situation. This needs practical wisdom only practitioners of expert knowledge will have.
Knowledge derives its huge potential only when it is used in a plethora of scenarios.
Having knowledge alone cannot be construed as wielding power. Instead, the quintessence of knowledge should be put to use to evolve practical solutions.
A specialization of this sort would result in the creation of wealth, and knowledge and instill a sense of purpose.
Think and Grow Rich Lesson #6: Fixing Procrastination Woes
Unnecessarily delaying decisions is a trait we can attribute to almost all human beings at some point of time in their lifetime.
For some, this is a permanent trait. And for those living with that trait, life is an endless conundrum. They feel miseries are mounting for no fault of theirs.
In actual terms, they are inviting miseries by not dealing with situations and delaying decisions.
Hill points out that such people are those who give too much attention to what others think.
It probably never dawns on them that the opinion of ‘others’ hardly matters if you can muster the courage to take up matters on your own, which involves the process of decision-making.
The fear of ruffling the concerns of ‘others’ may be a probable reason for this attitude. But in the ultimate analysis, you are pushed to the wall if you delay decisions.
At some point in time, you will be forced to pick and choose, so why delay it unnecessarily is the moot question.
Figuring out and taking a decision in itself amounts to action, as Hill perceives it.
So we can perhaps pick a paper and give a broad outline of how life should pan out. This involves a comparison between the life you lead and the one you aspire to.
That brings to the fore, our assumptions on what we lack in terms of the quality of life we hope to achieve. This could be more monetary benefits, an abundance of resources, intellectual progress or anything under the sun.
Rest assured, once you figure out the missing elements, you are certain to achieve those.
For example, if you think you did not have the ‘X’ attitude or the ‘Y’ approach, it essentially means you are on track to gain those – be it hobbies or habits. This realization means your aspiration is within your reach.
Once you are in the vicinity of this inflexion point — the critical juncture where sweeping changes are ahead.
So, you would naturally pursue the elements that would make you more resourceful according to your own volition. This means you would probably care less about those sweeping opinions, an unnecessary focus which dragged you down.
The essence of this point is that while arriving at decisions is critical, sticking to them is an equally important part that would refine you into an achiever rather than a laggard.
Think and Grow Rich Lesson #7: Avenues for Beautiful Interactions
When most of these aforementioned elements and qualities are in place, you are ready to jet set into the uncharted frontiers of the intellectual horizon.
At this point, you need an enlightened vision to boost your fortunes to dig deep into enlightened territories.
You need to communicate or exchange ideas with those who have fresh perspectives on everything under the Sun. And beyond.
Such interactions would provide the spark that was often missing in your bland yesteryears. This process is akin to harnessing the power of minds – that pooling resources of enlightened minds including yourself.
Such joint efforts naturally amplify the potential of anything, including our beautiful minds. Collaboration of beautiful minds is the essence of this approach passionately advocated by Hill.
One should arrive at such collaborative associations that can illuminate your future after giving it much thought.
A careful inward-looking process would help you identify the potential you can unleash on the table for a mastermind alliance. That will hinge on your assessment of the skills, knowledge and plethora of resources you have at your command.
If such an evaluation concludes that you do not have enough to contribute to the alliance of minds, you need to just get your priorities right and work to achieve that. Because whatever you think you lack is already ingrained in yourself and you need to just buttress it.
As soon as you are ready for an engaging confluence of illuminating minds, you can start putting into place such an alliance of minds, taking charge of your responsibilities for the fruition of the wealth of ideas you bring to boost the alliance of minds.
Think and Grow Rich Lesson #8: Channeling Sexual Impulses
Sexual impulses manifest in many ways. The desires linked to it are also a form of energy. The impulse generated for sex can be changed in form, substance and nature. This happens in human beings knowingly and unknowingly.
Channelizing such energies into a creative turf happens in the case of individuals who have been successful in many areas of life.
As such sexual impulses are invariably linked to success in some way or the other. The above-mentioned redirection of energies boosts our creative faculties in a substantial way.
As creative juices are generated abundantly, the pursuit of loftier ideals happens in human beings.
Research has validated the hypothesis that many highly successful human beings have abundant sexual energies. Probably calibrated change of form or nature of such energies result in unleashing of our dormant potential.
Some thinkers suggest channeling our impulses so that it doesn’t get bogged down in the physical terrain. It should rather lead us to our creative pursuits, as Hill’s book hints.
Transforming our sexual impulses into creative pursuits requires a lot of effort that will yield dividends. If it gets bogged down to the physical aspect, human beings would tend to behave like animals.
This is also a prime differentiator between man and animals.
In a nutshell, fruitfully transforming our sexual impulses is another key factor that could boost our prospects as individuals. This would ultimately lead us to indulge in meaningful activities certain to throw up high-impact work.
Think and Grow Rich Lesson #9: Pampering Our Subconscious Mind
The conscious mind represents or denotes, rational thinking in humans. It can be termed as a deep point which triggers logical thinking.
The subconscious mind, on the contrary, whites all your memories, and imaginations, thereby making it a powerful element that so often dictates your involuntary actions. This happens as it processes a huge quantity of signals and data based on the thinking pattern of humans.
This is due to the mind’s innate quality to absorb infinite information and ideas. That is why the human mind is a reservoir of data signals. It functions as an archive of human thoughts, emotions and actions.
Since its actions are based on human thought patterns, it processes information and triggers an action in a way it is fed.
In other words, if you bombard your subconscious mind with negative thoughts and actions, you will end up as a fountain of negativity.
Likewise, it can also process positive thoughts and actions with ease. That can result in a profusion of positivity in your beliefs.
Hill’s work suggests there should be a conscious effort to pamper our subconscious mind positively. This would lead to the subconscious mind processing it as it is told, paving the way for processes and actions that create positive elements like wealth which leads to success.
The subconscious mind should also be attuned to skip over dark impulses. This is easier said and done and when you find it difficult to do this, try to cultivate some distraction.
Rope in some thoughts that can wean away your focus on the fountains of negativity. You will be able to achieve this aim by consciously shrugging off false premises like the evil nature of wealth put forth by some quarters.
You need to just understand that such theories are mostly propagated by those who were never successful enough to attain wealth to reach a doomsday conclusion.
Consciously infuse positivity in your mind. It will work wonders.
Think and Grow Rich Lesson #10: Taming the Aspect of Fear
Fear manifests itself in many ways. Overcoming fear is the most vital for individual success. Fear is a drag; it weans you away from actions which would lead to your progress.
Since wealth is linked to success, fear of poverty is the first of several drags we should overcome.
Poverty is a state of mind, which can be overcome by taming fear. You only need to work out the level of wealth you wish to possess to make you happy and successful and then work on it.
Another issue human beings seem incapable of dealing with is criticism. We need not fear criticism. Rather criticisms of positive nature should be embraced.
If the purpose of criticism is to point out your behavioral drags and help you overcome them, that would make you a better person. Accept creative criticism to make your existence better.
Throughout history, a refusal to accept positive criticism is often associated with autocracy, which seldom promotes creativity and thereby wealth and success.
The probability of ill health is another cause of concern among humans. This is mostly due to surrounding yourself with people hell-bent on enjoying your misery. This will negatively impact you in the sense that it would be a constant nag.
You need to just keep away from such nefarious elements without fail.
Man is also overwhelmingly concerned about the fear of losing our dear and near, or loved ones.
Fear of such loss, according to Hill, is overwhelmingly in women, Hill argues that male behavior is basically tilted towards polygamy and hence can’t be trusted. But women have the opposite traits and hence are trusted more and need trust.
Old age is another constant source of worry. This can be overcome by merely accepting the fact that everyone will age and death is a natural process. Once you embrace this, such worries will disappear. The mystery of death will forever remain as such and hence there is no point in racking your brains about it.
In a nutshell, Napoleon Hill suggests that whatever your thoughts and aspirations are, you can achieve them by carefully preparing the mind to attune you to ways and means for reaching your aims.