Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill

About the Book

Think and grow rich

Think and Grow Rich was written in 1937 by Napoleon Hill, promoted as a personal development and self-improvement book. Hill writes that he was inspired by a suggestion from business magnate and later-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. While the book’s title and much of the text concerns increased income, the author insists that the philosophy taught in the book can help people succeed in any line of work, to do and be anything they can imagine.  It remains the biggest seller of Napoleon Hill’s books. BusinessWeek magazine’s Best-Seller List ranked it the sixth best-selling paperback business book 70 years after it was published.

The Author

Napoleon Hill was an American author in the area of the new thought movement who was one of the earliest producers of the modern genre of personal-success literature. He is widely considered to be one of the great writers on success. His most famous work, Think and Grow Rich (1937), is one of the best-selling books of all time (at the time of Hill’s death in 1970, Think and Grow Rich had sold 20 million copies). Hill’s works examined the power of personal beliefs, and the role they play in personal success. He became an advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1933 to 1936. “What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve” is one of Hill’s hallmark expressions. How achievement actually occurs, and a formula for it that puts success in reach of the average person, were the focal points of Hill’s books.


  • All achievement, all earned riches, have their beginning in an idea.
  • Desire, the starting point of all achievement: the first step towards riches.
  • Success requires no apologies, failure permits no alibis.
  • Faith, visualization of, and belief in attainment of desire: the second step toward riches.
  • Every man is what he is, because of the dominating thoughts which he permits to occupy his mind.
  • Like the wind which carries one ship East and another West, the law of auto-suggestion will lift you up or pull you down, according to the way you set your sails of thought.
  • There are no limitations in the mind except those we acknowledge both poverty and riches are the offspring of thought.
  • The accumulation of great fortunes calls for power, and power is acquired through highly organized and intelligently directed specialized knowledge, but that knowledge does not, necessarily, have to be in the possession of the man who accumulates the fortune.
  • The person who stops studying merely because he has finished school is forever hopelessly doomed to mediocrity, no matter what may be his calling. The way of success is the way of continuous pursuit of knowledge.
  • Both success and failure are largely the results of habit.
  • It has been said that man can create anything which he can imagine.
  • A quitter never wins – and – a winner never quits.The major attributes of leadership:
    • unwavering courage
    • self control
    • 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
    • willingness to assume full responsibility
    • cooperation
  • The 10 major causes of failure in leadership:
    • inability to organize details
    • unwillingness to render humble service
    • expectation of pay for what they “know” instead of what they do with that which they know
    • fear of competition from followers
    • lack of imagination
    • selfishness
    • intemperance
    • disloyalty
    • emphasis of the “authority” of leadership
    • emphasis of title
  • The thirty major causes of failure:
    • unfavorable hereditary background
    • lack of a 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
    • procrastination
    • lack of persistence
    • negative personality
    • lack of controlled sexual urge
    • uncontrolled desire for “something for nothing”
    • lack of a well defined power of decision
    • one or more of the six basic fears
    • wrong selection of mate in marriage
    • over-caution
    • wrong selection of associates in business
    • superstition and prejudice
    • wrong selection of a vocation
    • lack of concentration of effort
    • the habit of indiscriminate spending
    • lack of enthusiasm
    • intolerance
    • intemperance
    • inability to cooperate with others
    • possession of power that was not acquired through self-effort
    • intentional dishonesty
    • egotism and vanity
    • guessing instead of thinking
    • lack of capital
  • Tell the world what you intend to do, but first show it. Genuine wisdom is usually conspicuous through modesty and silence.
  • Those who reach decisions promptly and definitely, know what they want, and generally get it. 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 based upon definite causes, among them these:
    • definiteness of purpose
    • desire
    • self-reliance
    • definiteness of plans
    • accurate knowledge
    • co-operation
    • will power
    • habit
  • Symptoms of lack of persistence:
    • failure to recognize and to clearly define exactly what one wants
    • procrastination
    • lack of interest in acquiring specialized knowledge
    • indecision
    • the habit of relying on alibis
    • self-satisfaction
    • indifference
    • the habit of blaming others for ones mistakes
    • weakness of desire
    • willingness to quit at the first sign of defeat
    • lack of organized plans
    • the habit of neglecting to move on ideas
    • wishing instead of willing
    • the habit of compromising with poverty instead of aiming at riches
    • searching for all the shortcuts to riches
    • fear of criticism
  • How to develop persistence:
    • a definite purpose backed by 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. These four steps are essential for success in all walks of life.
  • Fortunate, indeed, is the person who has discovered how to give sex emotion an outlet through some form of creative effort, for he has, by that discovery, lifted himself to the status of a genius.
  • 1. The men of greatest achievement are men with highly developed sex natures; men who have learned the art of sex transmutation. 2. The men who have accumulated great fortunes and achieved outstanding recognition in literature, art, industry, architecture and the professions, were motivated by the influence of a woman.
  • The stimuli to wich the mind responds most freely are:
    • the desire for sex expression
    • love
    • a burning desire for fame
    • power, or financial gain
    • money
    • music
    • friendship
    • a master mind alliance
    • mutual suffering
    • auto suggestion
    • fear
    • narcotics
    • alcohol
  • The seven major positive emotions:
    • desire
    • faith
    • love
    • sex
    • enthusiasm
    • romance
    • hope
  • The seven major negative emotions (to be avoided):
    • fear
    • jealousy
    • hatred
    • revenge
    • greed
    • superstition
    • anger
  • The six basic fears:
    • poverty
    • criticism
    • ill health
    • loss of love of someone
    • old age
    • death


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