Think and Grow Rich has been called the “Granddaddy of All Motivational Literature.” It was the first book to boldly ask, “What makes a winner?” Here are the 13 principles to be one of them:
Ensure that your wants become Desire, Hill proposes taking some time to develop a clear and concise statement of that Desire. It is important, he argues, to be very specific. If the Desire is to have money, the amount of money must be specified or Desire turns into wish. Hill also felt that it is important to establish when the goal is to be achieved and what service or good will be rendered in turn for the achieving of the goal. This should all come together in an action plan, which will be revisited often to imprint the Desire in the mind.
What Hill calls Faith is in fact a type of self-confidence that borders on religiosity. It was a principle that he once learnt from his mentor, the steel magnate millionaire Andrew Carnegie.
“What happens when a man knows what he wants, has a plan, puts it into action and meets with failure?” a young and inexperienced Hill once asked Carnegie. “Doesn’t that destroy his confidence?”
Carnegie replied: “I believe that every failure carries within it—in the circumstances of the failure itself—the seed of an equivalent advantage. If you examine the lives of truly great leaders, you will discover that their success is in exact proportion to their mastery of failures. Life has a way of developing strength and wisdom in individuals through temporary defeat.”
Hill’s techniques of Auto-suggestion are quite traditional. He suggests repeating the mission statement aloud morning and evening, while visualizing the goal in mind. If you desire to have money, see yourself in possession of that money.
4. Specialized knowledge
Specialized knowledge goes further than its modern counterpart. On the one hand, Hill expresses the necessity for having a niche. No man, he says, grows rich on what he calls general knowledge. On the other hand, by Specialized knowledge Hill also means the actual knowledge necessary to fill a niche. That knowledge must be somehow acquired and organized.
Hill divided imagination into two distinct types: synthetic and creative imagination. Synthetic imagination, he writes, is used in arranging old concepts, ideas or plans into new combinations. Nothing new is created in this way, Hill writes. Hill’s concept of creative imagination is closely linked with other concepts that Hill returns often to, such as Infinite intelligence, an idea closely resembling the wider interpretation of Jung’s Collective unconscious, a sort of universal world mind that all humans can tap into
6. Organized planning
According to Hill it is up to each man to decide whether or not to be a leader or a follower. While the word follower has negative connotations to us now Hill emphasizes that there is no right or wrong choice in this matter – it is, however, clear that to Hill one is somewhat better than the other.
Leaders know how to reach decisions promptly and how to stand behind their decisions. Such people, Hill writes, “know what they want, and generally get it.” That is because “the world has the habit of making room for the man whose words and actions show that he knows where he is going.”
Persistence is a state of mind that must be cultivated. At the same time, Persistence is as much an action as it is a principle and that action helps to reinforce Faith.
9. Master mind
At its core, Hill described the Master mind as the “coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.”
10. Sex transmutation
Successful men are often highly sexed. It is also why men are rarely truly successful until they are at least in their forties, when they are less preoccupied with chasing women and more capable of using their sexual energy for other creative endeavors.
11. The subconscious
Hill delves into values and describes the seven desirable emotions as: desire, faith, love, sex, enthusiasm, romance, and hope. The corresponding seven undesirable emotions are listed as: fear, jealousy, hatred, revenge, greed, superstition, and anger.
12. The brain
Napoleon Hill’s view of the brain ties closely into his idea of the Infinite intelligence. This collective world mind can, according to Hill’s theory, be tapped into by each individual human mind.
13. The sixth sense
According to Hill, proof will come when the reader has mastered all of the principles.
Complement Think and Grow Rich with 7 Lessons in wealth-building from the richest man in Babylon.