Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Think and Grow Rich

RATING: 9/10…READ: September 3, 2011

A book that reads like a wise old grandfather imparting knowledge upon you. A great book on developing an attitude and mental framework for life.

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One of the chief characteristics of Barnes’ desire was that it was DEFINITIE. He wanted to work with Edison, not for him.

Edison: I gave him opportunity he asked for, because I saw he made up his mind to stand by until he succeeded.

Psychologists have correctly said that “when one is truly ready for a thing, it puts in its appearance.

One of the most common causes of failure habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.

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.

Success comes to those who become success conscious.

Failure comes to those who indifferently allows themselves to become failure conscious.

Before we can accumulate riches in great abundance we must magnetize our minds with intense desire for riches, that we must become “money conscious” until the desire for money drives us to create definite plans for acquiring it.

Purpose is the touchstone of any accomplishment, large or small. A strong man can be defeated by a child who has a purpose. Shift your habits of thinking about the significance of your task and you can often accomplish the seemingly impossible.

Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.

Step 1: Desire

Barnes succeeded because he chose a definite goal and placed all his energy, all his will power, all his effort, every thing, back of that goal.

Five years passed before the chance he had been seeking mad its appearance. To everyone except himself he appeared only another cog in the Edison business wheel, but in his own mind he was the partner of Edison every minute of the time, from the very day that he first went to work there.

Every person who wins in any undertaking must be willing to burn his ships and cut all sources of retreat. Only by so doing can one be sure of maintaining that state of mind known as a burning desire to win, essential, to success.

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.

Six Steps that Turn Desires Into Gold:

Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire. It is not sufficient merely to say, “I want plenty of money.” Be definite as to the amount.

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

Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money you desire.

Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.

Write out a clear, concise statement of the amount of money you intend to acquire, name the time limit for its acquisition, state what you intend to given in return for the money, and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to accumulate it.

Read your written statement aloud twice daily, once just before retiring at night, and once after arising in the morning. As you read—see and feel and believe yourself already in possession of the money.

Remember that all who succeed in life get off to a bad start, and pass through many heartbreaking struggles before they “arrive.” The turning point in the lives of those who succeed usually comes at the moment of some crisis, through which they are introduced to their “other selves.”

No one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.

No one is ready for a thing until he believes he can acquire it. The state of mind must belief, not mere hope or wish.

There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge.

Step 2: Faith

Faith is the head chemist of the mind, when faith is blended with thought, the subconscious mind instantly picks up the vibration, translates it into its spiritual equivalent, and transmits it to infinite intelligence, as in the case of prayer.

Repetition of affirmation of orders to your subconscious mind is the only known method of voluntary development of the emotion of faith.

When men first come in contact with crime, the abhor it. If they remain in contact with crime for a time, the become accustomed to it, and endure it. If they remain in contact with it long enough, they finally embrace it, and become influenced by it.

Perfection will come through practice. It cannot come by merely READING instructions.

It is essential for you to encourage the positive emotions as dominating forces of your mind, and discourage—and—eliminate negative emotions.

Five Steps to Self Confidence:

I know that I have the ability to achieve the object of my definite purpose in life; therefore, I demand of myself persistent, continuous action toward its attainment, and I here and now promise to render such action

I realize the dominating thoughts of my mind will eventually reproduce themselves in outward, physical action, and gradually transform themselves into physical reality; therefore, I will concentrate my thoughts for thirty minutes daily, upon the task of thinking of the person I intend to become, thereby creating in my mind a clear mental picture.

I know through the principles of autosuggestion, any desire that I persistently hold in my mind will eventually seek expression through some practical means of attaining the object back of it; therefore I will devote ten minutes daily to demanding of myself the development of self-confidence.

I have clearly written down a description of my definite chief aim in life, and I will never stop trying, until I shall have developed sufficient self-confidence for its attainment.

I fully realize that no wealth or position can long endure unless built upon truth and justice; therefore I will engage in no transaction which does not benefit all who it affects. I will succeed by attracting to myself the forces I wish to use, and the cooperation of other people. I will induce others to serve me, because of my willingness to serve others. I will eliminate hatred, envy, jealousy, selfishness, and cynicism by developing love for all humanity, because I know that negative attitude toward others can never bring me success. I will cause others to believe in me because I will believe in them an in myself. I will sign my name to this formula, commit it to memory, and repeat it aloud once a day, with full faith that it will gradually influence my thoughts and actions so that I will become a self-reliant and successful person.

Abraham Lincoln was a failure at everything he tried, until well past the age of forty.

Step 3: Autosuggestion

The subconscious mind resembling a fertile garden spot, in which weeds will grow in abundance if the seeds of more desirable crops are not sown therein.

Autosuggestion may voluntarily feed his subconscious mind on 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.

Your subconscious mind recognizes and acts only upon thoughts which have been well mixed with emotion or feeling.

Your ability to use the principle of autosuggestion will depend, very largely, upon your capacity to concentrate upon a given desire until that desire becomes a burning obsession.

Do not trust to your “reason” when creating a plan for accumulating money through the transmutation of desire. Your reasoning faculty may be lazy, and, if you depend entirely upon it to serve you it may disappoint you.

When visualizing the money you intend to accumulate, see yourself rendering the service or delivering the merchandise you intend to give in return for the money.

Man must become a master of himself, and of his environment, because he has the power to influence his own subconscious mind.

Step 4: Specialized Knowledge

General knowledge, no matter how great in quantity or variety it may be, is of but little use in the accumulation of money.

Knowledge will not attract money, unless it is organized and intelligently directed, through practical plans of action, to the definite end of accumulation of money.

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.

An educated man is one who has so developed the faculties of his mind that he may acquire anything he wants, or its equivalent, without violating the rights of others.

Any man is educated who knows where to get knowledge when he needs it, and hot to organize that know knowledge into definite plans of action.

Henry Ford: It was not essential that he have all his knowledge in his own mind.

She looks after the interests of the purchaser as well as the seller of the personal services, and so prepares her plans that the employer receives full value for the additional money he pays.

Step 5: Imagination

Synthetic Imagination: Through this faculty, one may arrange old concepts, ideas, or plans into new combinations. This faculty creates nothing. It merely works with the material of experience, education, and observation with which it is fed. It is the faculty used most by the inventor, with the exception of the “genius” who draws upon the creative imagination, when he cannot solve his problem through synthetic imagination.

Creative Imagination: Through this faculty of creative imagination, the finite mind of man 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 handed over to man. It is through this faculty that one individual may “tune in” or communicate with the subconscious minds of other men.

Desire is only a thought, an impulse. It is nebulous and ephemeral. It is abstract, and of no value until it has been transformed into its physical counterpart.

The moment you reduce the statement of your desire and a plan for its realization, to writing, you have actually taken the first of a series of steps which will enable you to convert the thought into its physical counterpart.

Imagination is the missing ingredient in many failure, the catalyst of many a success. Asa Candler did not invent the formula for Coca-Cola; he supplied the imagination which turned a formula into a fortune.

Step 6: Organized Planning

Ally yourself with a group of as many people you may need for the creation and carrying out of your plan or plans for the accumulation of money—making use of the master-mind principle (absolutely essential)

Before forming your “Master-Mind” alliance, decide what advantages and benefits you may offer the individual members of your group in return for their cooperation. No one will work indefinitely without some form of compensation. No intelligent person will either request or expect another to work without adequate compensation, although this may not always be in the form of money.

Arrange to meet with the members of your “Master Mind” group at least twice a week, and more often if possible, until you have jointly perfect the necessary plan or plans for the accumulation of money.

Maintain perfect harmony between yourself and every member of your “Master Mind” group. If you fail to carry out this instruction, you may expect to meet with failure. The “Master Mind” principle cannot obtain where perfect harmony does not prevail

No individual has sufficient experience, education, native ability, and knowledge to insure the accumulation of a great fortune without the cooperation of other people.

If the first plan which 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. Right here is the point at which the majority of men meet with failure because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail.

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 important factors of leadership:

Unwavering courage


A keen sense of justice

Definiteness of decision

Definiteness of plans

The habit of doing more than paid for

A pleasing personality

Sympathy and understanding

Mastery of detail

10. Willingness to assume full responsibility

11. Cooperation

Why leaders fail:

Inability to organize details

Unwillingness to render humble services

Expectation to pay for what they “know” instead of what they do with that which they know

Fear of competition from followers

Lack of imagination




Emphasis of the “authority” of leadership

10. Emphasis of the title

Offer to go to work on probation: if you are sure of your qualifications, a trial is all you need. Make the clear fact that your offer is based upon:

your confidence in your ability to fill the position

your confidence in your prospective employer’s decision to employ you after the trial

your determination to have the position

By analysis of yourself, your talents and capabilities, figure out what you can offer, and plan ways and means of fiving advantages, services, developments, ideas that you believe you can successfully deliver.

Forget about a “job.” Forget whether or not there is an opening. Forget the usual routine of “have you got a job for me?” Concentrate on what you can give.

We are where we are, and what we are, because of our own conduct.

QQS Formula:

Quality of service shall be construed to mean the performance of every detail, in connection with your position, in the most efficient manner possible with the object of greater efficiency always in mind.

Quantity of service shall be understood to mean the habit of rendering all the service of which you are capable at all times with the purpose of increasing the amount of service rendered as greater skill is developed through practice and experience. Emphasis again placed on the word habit.

Spirit of service shall be constructed to mean the habit of agreeable, harmonious conduct which will induce cooperation from associates and fellow employees.

31 ways to fail:

Unforgivable hereditary background

Lack of well-defined purpose in life

Lack of ambition to aim above mediocrity

Insufficient education

Lack of self-discipline

Ill health

Unfavorable environmental influences during childhood


Lack of Persistence

10. Negative personality

11. Lack of controlled sexual urge

12. Uncontrolled desire for something for nothing

13. Lack of well defined power of decision

14. One of more of the six basic fears

15. Wrong selection of a mate in marriage

16. Overcaution

17. Wrong selection of associates in business

18. Superstition and prejudice

19. Wrong selection of a vocation

20. Lack of concentration of effort

21. The habit of indiscriminate spending

22. Lack of Enthusiasm

23. Intolerance

24. Intemperance

25. Inability to cooperate with others

26. Possession of power that was not acquired through self-effort

27. Intentional dishonesty

28. Egotism and Vanity

29. Guessing instead of thinking

30. Lack of Capital

31. Other

Your value is established entirely on your ability to render useful service or your capacity to induce others to render such service.

Self Analysis Questionnaire — click here

Capital consists not alone of money, but more particularly of highly organized, intelligent groups of men who plan ways and means of using money efficiently for the good of the public, and profitably to themselves.

Do not be in too big a hurry to get away from a country whose people willingly, even eagerly, hand over millions of dollars annually for football, baseball, and prize fights.

Step 7: Decision

People who fail to accumulate money, without exception, have the habit of reaching decisions very slowly, if at all, and of changing these decisions quickly and often.

One of Henry Ford’s most outstanding qualities was his habit of reaching decisions quickly and definitely, and changing them slowly.

Take no one into your confidence, except the members of your “Master Mind” group, and be very sure, in your selection of this group, that you choose only those who will be in complete sympathy and harmony with your purpose.

Close friends and relatives, while not meaning to do so, often handicap one through “opinions” and sometimes through ridicule, which is meant to be humorous.

If you need facts or information from other people to enable you to reach decisions, as your probably will in many instances, acquire these facts or secure the information you need quietly, without disclosing your purpose.

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 of your lack of it! Genuine wisdom is usually conspicuous through modesty and silence.

Tell the world what you intend to do, but FIRST show it. Deeds, and not words, are what count most.

98 out of every 100 people working for wages today are in the positions they hold because they lacked the definiteness of decision to plan a definite position, and the knowledge of how to choose an employer.

Step 8: Persistence

The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat. If you find yourself lacking in persistence, this weakness may be remedied by building a stronger fire under your desires.

Wherever men and women accumulate great riches, you can be sure they first acquired persistence. Broadway will give any beggar a cup of coffee and a sandwich, but it demands persistence of those who go after big stakes.

Causes of Persistence:

Definiteness of Purpose



Definiteness of Plans

Accurate Knowledge




People refuse to take changes in business because they fear the criticism which may follow if they fail. The fear of criticism in such cases is stronger than the DESIRE for success.

4 steps to persistence:

A definite purpose backed by a burning desire for its fulfillment

A definite plan, expressed in continuous action

A mind closed tightly against all negative and discouraging influences, including negative suggestions of relatives, friends, and acquaintances.

A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose

Step 9: Power of the Master Mind

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.”

No two minds ever come together without, thereby, creating a third invisible, intangible force which may be likened to a third mind.

Happiness is found in doing, not merely in possessing.

Step 10: The Mystery of Sex transmutation

The emotion of sex has back of it the possibility of three constructive potentialities:

The perpetuation of mankind

The maintenance of health (as a therapeutic agency, it had no equal)

The transformation of mediocrity into genius through transmutation.

Sex transmutation means the switching of the mind from thoughts of physical expression to thoughts of some other nature.

The Mind Stimuli:

The desire for sex expression


A burning desire for fame, power, financial gain or money


Friendship between either those of the same sex or those of the opposite sex

A master mind alliance based upon the harmony of two or more people who ally themselves for spiritual or temporal advancement

Mutual suffering, such as that experienced by people who are persecuted



10. Narcotics of Alcohol

A better definition of genius is “a man who has discovered how to increase the intensity of thought to the point where he can freely communicate with the sources of knowledge not available through the ordinary rate of thought.

Where “hunches” come from:

Infinite Intelligence

One’s subconscious mind, wherein is stored every sense impression and thought impulse which ever reached the brain through any of the five senses.

From the mind of some other person who has just released the thought or picture of the idea or concept through conscious thought.

From the other person’s subconscious storehouse.

Sex energy is the creative energy of all geniuses. There never has been, and never will be a great leader, builder, or artist lacking in this driving force of sex.

The mere possession of this energy is not sufficient to produce a genius. The energy must be transmuted from desire for physical contact into some other form of desire and action before it will lift one to the status of a genius.

I discovered, from the analysis of over 25,000 people, that men who succeed in an outstanding way, seldom do so before the age of forty, and more often they do not strike their real place until they are well beyond the age of fifty.

The majority of men never learn that the urge of sex has other possibilities, which far transcend in importance that of mere physical expression.

A teacher, who has trained and directed efforts of more than 30,000 salespeople, made the astounding discovery that highly sexed men are most efficient salesman.

This energy may be communicated to other through the following:

The handshake: the touch of the hand indicates instantly the presence of magnetism, or the lack of it.

Tone of Voice: magnetism, or sex energy is the factor with which the voice may be colored, or made musical and charming.

Posture and carriage of the body: highly sexed people move briskly, and with grace and ease.

Vibrations of thought: highly sexed people mix the emotion of sex with their thoughts, or may do so at will, and in that way may influence those around them.

Body adornment: people who are highly sexed are usually very careful about their personal appearance. They usually select clothing of a style becoming to their personality, physique, complexion, etc.

The road to genius consists of the development, control, and use of sex, love, and romance.

–Encourage the presence of these emotions as the dominating thoughts in one’s mind and discourage the presence of all the destructive emotions.

Man’s greatest motivating force is his desire to please woman! The hunter who excelled during prehistoric days, before the dawn of civilization, did so because of his desire to appear great in the eyes of woman. Man’s nature has not changed in this respect. The “hunter” of today brings home no skins of wild animals, but he indicates his desire for her favor by supplying fine clothes, automobiles, and wealth.

Step 11: The Subconscious Mind

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.

The subconscious mind will not remain idle! If you fail to plant desires in your subconscious mind, it will feed upon the thoughts which reach it as the result of your neglect.

The 7 major positive emotions: desire, faith, love, sex, enthusiasm, romance, hope

The 7 major negative emotions: fear, jealousy, hatred, revenge, greed, superstition, anger

Positive and negative emotions cannot occupy the mind at the same time. One or the other must dominate. It is your responsibility to make sure that positive emotions constitute the dominating influence of your mind.

Step 12: The Brain

Ten trillion tiny servants—every cell in your brain—form patterns of thought, imagination, and will. Your min can gather in any amount of money-making knowledge.

Step 13: The Six Sense

The six sense is that portion of the subconscious mind which has been referred to as the creative imagination.

Understanding of the six sense comes only by mediation through mind development from within.

My experience has taught me that the next best thing to being truly great is to emulate the great, by feeling and action, as nearly as possible.

I followed the havit of reshaping my own character by trying to imitate the nine men whose lives and lifeworks had been most impressive to me. These nine men were Emerson, Paine, Edison, Darwin, Lincoln, Burbank, Napoleon, Ford, and Carnegie. Every night, over a long period of years, I held my imaginary council meeting with this group whom I called my “invisible counselors.”

-Just before going to sleep at night I would shut my eyes and see, in my imagination, this group of men seated with me around my council table. Here I had not only an opportunity to sit among those whom I considered to be great, but I actually dominated the group, by serving as the chairman.

The Six Ghosts of Fear

Indecision is the seedling of fear! Indecision crystallizes into doubt, the two blend and become fear!

The 6 Major Fears: Poverty, Criticism, Ill Health, Lost Love, Old Age, Death

6 Symptoms that show fear of poverty:

Indifference: Commonly expressed through lack of ambition; willingness to tolerate poverty; acceptance of whatever compensation life may offer without protest; mental and physical laziness; lack of initiative, imagination, enthusiasm and self-control

Indecision: the habit of permitting others to do one’s thinking. Staying “on the fence.”

Doubt: Generally expressed through alibis and excuses designed to cover up, explain away, or apologize for one’s failures, sometimes expressed in the form of envy of those who are successful, or by criticizing them.

Worry: Usually expressed by finding fault with others, a tendency to spend beyond one’s income, neglect of personal appearance, scowling and frowning; intemperance in the use of alcoholic drink, sometimes through the use of narcotics; nervousness, lack of poise, self-consciousness and lack of self-reliance.

Over Caution: The habit of looking for the negative side of every circumstance, thinking and talking of possible failure instead of concentrating upon the means of succeeding. Knowing all the roads to disaster, but never searching for the plans to avoid failure. Waiting for “the right time” to begin putting ideas and plans into action, until the waiting becomes a permanent habit.

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

7 symptoms that show fear of criticism

Self Consciousness: Generally expressed through nervousness, timidity in conversation and in meeting strangers, awkward movement of the hands and limbs, shifting of the eyes.

Lack of Poise: Expressed through lack of voice control, nervousness in the presence of others, poor posture of body, poor memory.

Weak Personality: Lacking in firmness of decision, personal charm, and ability to express opinions definitely. The habit of side-stepping issues instead of meeting them squarely. Agreeing with others without careful examination of their opinions.

Inferiority Complex: The habit of expressing self-approval by word of mouth and by actions, as a means of covering up a feeling of inferiority.

Extravagance: The habit of trying to “keep up with the Joneses,” spending beyond one’s income.

Lack of Initiative: Failure to embrace opportunities for self-advancement, fear to express opinions, lack of confidence in one’s own ideas, giving evasive answers to questions asked by superiors, hesitancy of manner and speech, deceit in both words and deeds.

Lack of Ambition: Mental and physical laziness, lack of self-assertion, slowness in reaching decisions, easily influenced by others, the habit of criticizing others behind their backs and flattering them to their faces, the habit of accepting defeat without protest, quitting an undertaking when opposed by others, suspicious of other people without cause, lacking in tactfulness of manner and speech, unwillingness to accept the blame for mistakes.

7 symptoms that show fear of ill health

Autosuggestion: negative self talk about ill health

Hypochondria: expecting disease, fixing the mind on the disease


Susceptibility: talking about death, preparing for sickness

Self-Coddling: seeking sympathy for your illness



3 symptoms of the fear of loss of love


Fault-Finding: the habit of finding fault with friends, relatives, business associates and loved ones upon the slightest provocation, or without any cause whatsoever.

Gambling: believing love can be bought

4 symptoms of the fear of old age

Premature slowdown: the tendency to slow down around the age of 40—the age of mental maturity

Apology for one’s age

Killing off initiative

Masquerading as a younger person

3 symptoms that show fear of death:

Thinking about dying

Association with fear of poverty

Association with illness or imbalance

The six basic fears become translated into a state of worry, through indecision. Relieve yourself, forever of the fear of death, by reaching a decision to accept death as an inescapable event. Whip the fear of poverty by reaching a decision to get along with whatever wealth you can accumulate WITHOUT WORRY. Put your foot upon the neck of the fear of criticism by reaching a decision NOT TO WORRY about what other people think, do, or say. Eliminate the fear of old age by reaching a decision to accept it, not as a handicap, but as a great blessing which carries with it wisdom, self-control, and understanding not known to youth. Acquit yourself the fear of ill health by the decision to forget the symptoms. Master the fear of loss of love by reaching a decision to get along without love, if that is necessary.

To which do you devote most time, thinking of success, or of failure?

Are you gaining or losing self-confidence as your grow older?

Who has the most inspiring influence upon you? What is the cause?

Have you learned how to “drown your troubles” by being too busy to be annoyed by them?

Which do you value most, your material possessions, or your privilege of controlling your own thoughts?

Has today added anything of value to your stock knowledge or state of mind?

Can you name three of your most damaging weaknesses? What are you doing to correct them?

What habits of other people annoy you most?

Do you feel it your duty to share other people’s worried? If so, why?

If you believe that “birds of a feather flock together,” what have you learned about yourself by studying the friends whom you attract?

How much time out of every 24 hours do you devote to:

your occupation


play and relaxation

acquiring useful knowledge

plain waste

Whom among your acquaintances:

encourages you most

cautions you most

discourages you most

What is your greatest worry? Why do you tolerate it?

What, above all else, do you most desire? Do you intend to acquire it? Are you willing to subordinate all other desires for this one? How much time daily do you devote to acquiring it?

Do you usually finish everything you begin?

Whom do you believe to be the greatest person living? In what respect is this person superior to yourself?

People who do not succeed have one distinguishing trait in common. They know all the reasons for failure and have what they believe to be air-tight alibis to explain away their own lack of achievement.

Some of these alibis are clever, and a few of them are justifiable by the facts. But alibis cannot be used for money. The world wants to know only one thing—have you achieved success?

A fearless man thrives on far horizons.