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Think and Grow Rich is a motivational personal development and self-help book by Napoleon Hill and inspired by a suggestion from Scottish-American businessman Andrew Carnegie.

The book was first published during the Great Depression. At the time of Hill’s death in 1970, Think and Grow Rich had sold more than 20 million copies and by 2011 over 70 million copies had been sold worldwide!

While the title implies that this book deals with how to get rich, the author explains that the philosophy taught in the book can be used to help people succeed in all lines of work and to do or be almost anything they want.

Jim Murray (sportswriter) wrote that Think and Grow Rich was credited for Ken Norton’s boxing upset of Muhammad Ali in 1973. The Reverend Charles Stanley writes, “I began to apply the principles of Think and Grow Rich to my endeavors as a pastor, and I discovered they worked!”

Hill refused to accept that success was the domain of luck or background or the gods, and wanted to provide a concrete plan for success that depended entirely on us. The book also sold because it was not simply Hill’s dreamed-up ideas, but a distillation of the success secrets of hundreds of America’s most successful men (not many female tycoons in the 1930s), beginning with his patron, steel baron Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie had given Hill letters of introduction to the likes of Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and FW Woolworth, and he would spend 20 years synthesizing their experience and insights. Hill’s mission was simply to know ‘how the wealthy become that way’.

The prose has a galloping energy to it. The early pages allude to a secret that the book contains but does not spell out. Hill suggests we ‘stop for a moment when it presents itself, and turn down a glass, for that occasion will mark the most important turning point in your life’. Try to resist that! The book has no shadows or complications; it is philosophically clean, setting out the things ‘which work’, and leaving others, rightfully, to the realm of mystery. Here are the keys to success in manifesting all your desires in life:

AllIWantInLife1. Desire The first step to achieving your goals is having a BURNING desire. You must be completely and entirely in love with your goal. When you are in love, you constantly think and dream about the other person. No one needs to tell you to daydream about them–you just do. You must treat your goals in that same way. Your goal should scare you and excite you all at the same time.

Hill relates the story of Edwin C Barnes, who arrived on Thomas Edison’s doorstep one day and announced that he was going to be the inventor’s business partner. He was given a minor job, but chose not to see himself as just another cog in the Edison business wheel, imagining himself as the inventor’s silent partner. This he eventually did become. Barnes intuitively knew the success secret of willingness to burn all bridges, ensuring there is no retreat to a former, mediocre life. Definiteness of purpose always yields results, and Hill includes a six-step method, developed by Andrew Carnegie, for turning ‘white-hot desires’ into reality.

Hill counsels never to worry if others think your ideas are crazy. Marconi’s friends took him to a mental hospital for believing that he could send `messages through the air’ (he invented radio). Hill’s famous statement is: ‘What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve’, but his great insight is that no more effort is required to aim high in life than to accept an existence of misery and lack. He quotes the verse: ‘I worked for a menial’s hire/Only to learn, dismayed/That any wage I had asked of Life/Life would have willingly paid.’

2. Faith Faith is KNOWING without a shadow of a doubt that your goals WILL come true. Regardless of how things may appear on the outside, have FAITH that you WILL achieve your goals. Never give up no matter what. Never doubt because that will slow down the process.

3. Autosuggestion Autosuggestion is self-suggestion. Create a paragraph of the goal you are working on and write it in present tense and affirm it to yourself at least twice daily. Your subconscious mind is listening at all times and it is your subconscious mind that creates what it believes.

4. Specialized Knowledge It is not necessary to have all the answers. It is impossible to know everything. When achieving your goal, surround yourself with knowledgeable people – people with an expertise in what you want to accomplish. Ask for help and work with experts.

5. Imagination Imagination is NOT just for children. The most successful people have a wild imagination. Napoleon Hill says “What the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.” Your imagination is what will make your goals real and come alive. The more vivid your imagination, the more you will attract it to you. The mind does not know the difference between reality and what is imagined. The same parts of the brain are used for both. Think it first and then live it.

6. Organized Planning Once you are sure about what you want, you need to have a plan of action. Your plan can include a strategic plan or a marketing plan. You will need some sort of idea on how exactly you are going to achieve your goal. You also have to surround yourself with a group of people, a mastermind group that will support you in getting there.

7. Decision Make a DECISION and have a no-turning-back attitude. Decide that you WILL accomplish your goal. When you decide and eliminate all other options, the universe will conspire to help you achieve what you are focused on. Make decisions promptly and act on them immediately, the universe loves speed.

8. Persistence Never give up. Keep moving towards your dream. You may need to alter your plan slightly but never give up on your goal. NEVER. All successful people have had to move through all the tough stuff in order for them to achieve what they want.

9. Power Of The Mastermind Napoleon Hill said, “No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind.” A synergy effect is created when multiple people are gathered together in a spirit of helping each other achieve success. A mastermind brings together a wide range of knowledge and expertise helping you move towards your goal quicker. It also gives you the accountability and support needed to get you moving faster.

10. The Mystery of Sex Transmutation Sexual desire is one of the most powerful emotions. Sexual transmutation is not about suppressing this desire but rather taking that energy and using that same desire and energy for the purpose of realizing your goals.

11. Infinite Intelligence Hill illustrates the concept of Infinite Intelligence through analogy to a radio receiver. Just as we can receive important messages if we are tuned in, thoughts we hold about ourselves are effectively beamed out to the world through the subconscious, boomeranging back as our ‘circumstances’. By understanding that our experiences matter only because of how we perceive them, and becoming the master of our own thoughts, we can control what filters into our subconscious. It becomes a better reflection of what we actually desire, and ‘broadcasts’ to the infinite realm clear messages of those desires. Since all thought tends to find its physical equivalent, we create the right conditions for manifesting our desires. This is why it is important to write down the exact figure of how much money we want to possess. This amount, once entrenched in our subconscious, is removed from the conscious mind and its doubts, and helps to shape our actions and decisions towards its realization.

The concept extends to prayer. Most people give up on prayer because it doesn’t work for them, but Hill believed this to be essentially a failure of method. Whatever we seek through prayer has slim chances of eventuating if it is just a heartfelt wish, muttered through the conscious mind. What we desire cannot remain at this level – it must become part of our unconscious being, almost existing outside of us, for it to really have effect.

13. Subconscious Mind Whenever you think a negative thought about your dreams, immediately and forcefully remind yourself that not only is such a thought a waste of time, it actually just pulls the dream out of your grasp. Instead, make an effort to think in positive ways about your plan, slowly training your mind to not pull up negative thoughts about achieving what you want to achieve.

14. Brain The brain is a sending and receiving station that sends out signals of what you are thinking and what you desire or do not desire. Your brain is also picking up feedback from the universe that some of us call intuition. Your intuition will lead you to the right places or will cause you to be at the right place at the right time. You must learn to strengthen your intuition and listen carefully to what it is saying.

13. Sixth Sense The chapter on the sixth sense is acknowledging a higher power, an energy that cannot be fully explained. Some call this energy God, some call it Infinite Intelligence or the universe. The sixth sense is about learning how to connect to this higher power for it will guide you and lead the way.

14. The Six Ghosts of Fear The six primary fears that fill people’s lives and keep them from being successful are poverty, criticism, ill health, lost love, old age, and death. However, if you let those constantly guide your life, you’re bound to not reach your dreams.