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Think and Grow Rich Summary and Quotes

Napoleon Hill

3.2 minutes to read • Updated May 22, 2024

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What it's about in one sentence:

A classic which has greatly impacted the personal development field and shaped the modern understanding of success and wealth.

Bullet Point Summary

  1. To achieve our goals, we must have a passionate inner desire, as mere wishing or hoping will not suffice.
  2. Defining a clear and specific goal, with a well-thought-out plan is fundamental to achieving success, as it provides direction and focus.
    1. Determine the desired outcome, the timeline, and the resources needed to achieve the goal.
    2. The more detailed your goals and plans are, the more likely you'll succeed. For example, it's unhelpful if your goal is simply to “get rich”. Be more specific, e.g., “make $1 million dollars in cash” or “purchase a three-bedroom home in the city”.
    3. To reinforce one's commitment to achieving the goal, it can be helpful to write it down and read it aloud everyday first thing in the morning and again before you sleep.
  3. The unyielding faith in oneself has been the basis of all notable achievements. Believing in oneself is crucial for achieving success, as it creates the necessary self-confidence to pursue goals with determination.
  4. One's faith in oneself greatly affects self-image and lifestyle, as it can help overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
    1. Despite not having wealth or military strength, Mahatma Gandhi's inexorable faith in his ability to influence his fellow countrymen led India to freedom.
  5. The theory of auto-suggestion says we mostly do whatever our mind instinctively or habitually suggests for us to do. We can influence our behavior by persistently and purposefully thinking certain thoughts or ideas to convey commands or goals to the subconscious mind.
    1. For example, regularly visualizing your success and convincing yourself that your goals will be achieved will subconsciously change your actions to propel you to imagined success.
  6. Your subconscious affects your end results. Regular positive self-talk develops a positive subconscious, which leads to positive results. Regular negative self-talk develops a negative subconscious, which leads to negative results.
  7. Having knowledge is important for achieving success, but it's not always gained through traditional education. It's more important to gain the right specialized experiences and knowledge, use your strengths, and be willing to continue learning throughout your life. It's also important to know where to find the knowledge you need, and to build a network of experts who can share their specialized knowledge.
  8. To have value in society, you need to have specialized knowledge, organize it, and apply it in a strategic way.
  9. You need to conceive great ideas to be successful. There are two forms of imagination to help you: creative and synthetic. The former allows for the creation of completely new things while the latter rearranges old ideas into new combinations. Great ideas often come from the collaboration of both forms.
    1. Sony transformed the playback device or dictaphone used by journalists into a portable music player for general use, giving birth to the Walkman.
    2. Asa Candler turned a headache medication recipe into Coca-Cola.
  10. To keep our imaginations active and productive, we must stimulate it and train it like a muscle.
  11. Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. It's useful to perform an honest self-analysis and address common issues like procrastination, vague goals, and lack of ambition or resolve.
  12. Persistence is a requirement for success. Successful individuals all achieved their dreams through persistence, despite facing numerous failures.
    1. Thomas Edison had over 10,000 failed experiments before he invented the light bulb.
    2. Writer Fannie Hurst received over 36 rejections before she published a short story in a newspaper.
    3. An analysis of over 25,000 life stories of unsuccessful professionals showed that a lack of determination or persistence is the main reason for failure.
  13. A common attribute among highly successful individuals is their ability to make swift decisions and firmly commit to them.
    1. Henry Ford stood behind his Model T cars despite countless criticisms of their appearance. His resolve generated enormous profits and Ford Motors became one of the largest car manufacturers in the world.
  14. It is important to avoid negative influences by keeping plans and intentions to oneself and not confiding in people except for a trusted team or outsiders.
  15. To achieve great things, you need a mastermind, which is a group of like-minded people who meet regularly to solve problems together and hold each other accountable. When capable people combine their skills, knowledge, and resources to achieve a shared goal, the synergistic effect produces results that are more than the sum of their individual parts.
  16. The idea of sex transmutation is to redirect our sexual desire, the most powerful of human desires, into productive and creative endeavors rather than allowing it to risk losing our focus, career, and money. Transforming your sexual energy has the potential to unlock imagination, courage, willpower, persistence, and creative ability, leading to life-changing results.
  17. Our sixth sense, or the "the creative imagination" that comes from our intuition, helps us perceive opportunities and ideas beyond what we could perceive with our physical senses. Many successful people have a sixth sense that guides them into making the correct choices. Meditation can help develop our sixth sense.
  18. Six common fears that prevent success are: poverty, old age, criticism, illness, love, and death. Fear and faith cannot coexist -- one must overcome their fears and have faith in themselves. Allowing fear to dominate your thoughts will lead to doubt and indecision. Since fear is a state of mind, it can be controlled through willpower and you can choose to overcome them.
  19. Our susceptibility to negative influences is often the biggest obstacle to achieving success. Humans are naturally lazy and indifferent, so we need to actively take steps to protect ourselves from negative people. We should surround ourselves and create a mastermind group with positive influences who inspire and uplift us.
  20. Simplified, the keys to wealth and success include a burning desire, detailed goals and plans, a strong faith in yourself, persistence, a "mastermind", and positive thinking.

Think and Grow Rich: Resources