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Think and Grow Rich

Think and Grow Rich

Review of the Napoleon Hill Self Help Classic

In 1908 then small-time reporter Napoleon Hill was invited by steel magnate Andrew Carnegie to interview millionaires with a view to discovering the secret(s) behind their success. First published in 1937, Think and Grow Rich, is the culmination of 25 years of work. That this book has remained not only in print, but also a major seller, for some seventy years speaks volumes for the potency of the message contained within.

It identifies thirteen principles (or steps) leading to riches:

  • Desire
  • Faith
  • Autosuggestion
  • Specialized Knowledge
  • Imagination
  • Organized Planning
  • Decision
  • Persistence
  • Power of the Master Mind
  • The Mystery of Sex Transmutation
  • The Subconscious Mind
  • The Brain
  • The Sixth Sense

Hill concludes by revealing the six basic fears along with advice on overcoming them and discusses how to protect oneself from negative influence.
Rather than just abstractly describing the principles, Think and Grow Rich provides numerous real-life examples of them being put into action and succeeding.

A number of key themes run throughout the thirteen principles. These are desire, the subconscious mind, the sixth sense, and the master mind.

Desire is the starting point of all achievement. But this desire has to be more than just a vague wish. It must be an intense, burning desire so strong that in our mind the goal is already attained and no obstacle can prevent it becoming physical reality. Obviously you first need to define what it is you really want. If you're reading Think and Grow Rich, it's probably money, but it could be anything - the principles are the same.

The subconscious is the vast storehouse of everything we've ever done, thought and felt. It is also described as both a broadcasting and receiving station of thought. The subconscious acts as a kind of hidden helper which may be programmed with positive desire(s) and then works away tirelessly in the background laboring for their realization. Conversely, if we fail to program our subconscious appropriately it still labors away, but probably not for good. The subconscious is programmed by autosuggestion - the repetition with feeling - of our desires. This deceptively simple process of telling yourself that which you wish to be true can yield immensely powerful results. It is so simple that great discipline is required to maintain it, but time will show the outcome more than warrants this.

Hill considers the sixth sense as synonymous with creative imagination. This faculty allows us to receive information from the infinite intelligence. It is the means by which we receive entirely original ideas. It works best when the mind is raised to a higher rate of vibration by various stimuli, of which sex is considered the most powerful!

A master mind is a group people with whom you collaborate to achieve your goals. Hill says it is impossible for any individual working alone to have sufficient knowledge, experience, and talent to achieve at the highest level. Instead we need to form an alliance with others to generate and critique plans for realizing our desires. When two or more minds come together with common purpose it is as though some magic happens and they are able to produce more than the sum of the individuals working alone. This is the "synergy" of business school parlance.

This timeless classic, and daddy of all self-help works, is well worth a read. Whether it will make you a millionaire depends on how diligently you apply the principles expounded within. Even if you don't join the ranks of the super-rich, acquainting your mind with Hill's sound Spiritual principles cannot help but improve your effectiveness and enjoyment of life. To put it another way, if it doesn't work you've lost a few hours reading time, but if it does you've gained the keys to infinity...

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