Hey there, Dean here. I run content and SEO at AppSumo. Here, I write and share about productivity, leadership, money, psychology, marketing, and more.
Think and Grow Rich is the father of all modern self-help book. The title itself may make you skeptical, but it’s one of many great book you should check out at least once. The author, Napoleon Hill spent 20 years of his lifetime on researching and analyzing hundreds of well-known men during his time to come up with this masterpiece.
There is quite an irony to the fact that Hill had not been rich when he wrote Think and Grow Rich – far from it – which may, on the surface, undermine his apparent authority to write such device. Yet Hill might have answered that this was exactly the point: here was a success philosophy that worked as long as it was faithfully practiced, and which inevitably would pay off handsomely.
Anything the human mind can believe, the human mind can achieve.
“Thoughts are things,” and powerful things at that, when they are mixed with definiteness of purpose, persistence, and a burning desire for their translation into riches, or other material objects.
I had learned, from years of experience with men, that when a man really desires a thing so deeply that he is willing to stake his entire future on a single turn of the wheel in order to get it, he is sure to win.
One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat. Every person is guilty of this mistake at one time or another.
Before success comes in any man’s life, he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and, perhaps, some failure. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to quit. That is exactly what the majority of men do.
Success comes to those who become success conscious.
Failure comes to those who indifferently allow themselves to become failure conscious.
Another weakness found in altogether too many people is the habit of measuring everything, and everything, by their own impressions and beliefs.
We are the masters of our fate, the captains of our soils because we have the power to control our thoughts.
Desire was not a hope! It was not a wish! It was a keen, pulsating desire, which transcended everything else. It was definite.
Every person who wins in any undertaking must be willing to burn his ships and cut all sources of retreat. Only by so doing can one be sure of maintaining that state of mind known as a burning desire to win, essential to success.
Success requires no apologies, failure permits no alibis.
Practical dreamers do not quit!
Dreams are not born of indifference, laziness, or lack of ambition.
All who succeed in life get off to a bad start, and pass through many heartbreaking struggles before they “arrive.” The turning point in the lives of those who succeed usually comes at the moment of some crisis, through which they are introduced to their “other selves”.
No one ever is defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.
Our only limitations are those we set up in our own minds.
Faith is the head chemist of the mind. When faith is blended with the vibration of thought, the subconscious mind instantly picks up the vibration, translates it into its spiritual equivalent, and transmits it to infinite intelligence, as in the case of prayer.
The emotions of faith, love, and sex are the most powerful of all the major positive emotions.
Love and faith are psychic; related to the spiritual side of man. Sex is purely biological and related only the physical. The mixing, or blending, of these three emotions, has the effect of opening a direct line of communication between the finite, thinking the mind of man, and infinite intelligence.
Repetition of affirmation of orders to your subconscious mind is the only known method of voluntary development of the emotion of faith.
Every man is what he is, because of the dominating thoughts which he permits to occupy his mind.
Your subconscious mind recognizes and acts upon only thoughts which have been well-mixed with emotion or feeling.
Do not wait for a definite plan, through which you intend to exchange services or merchandise in return for the money you are visualizing, but begin at once to see yourself in possession of the money, demanding and expecting meanwhile, that your subconscious mind will hand over the plans you need. Be on the alert of these plans, and when they appear, put them into action immediately.
Knowledge is only potential power. It becomes power only when, and if, it is organized into definite plans of action, and directed to a definite end.
Anything acquired without effort, and without cost is generally unappreciated, often discredited; perhaps this is why we get so little from our marvelous opportunity in public schools.
One of the strange things about human beings is that they value only that which has a price.
There is one weakness in people for which there is no remedy. It is the universal weakness of lack of ambition.
Too many people who begin at the bottom never manage to lift their head high enough to be seen by opportunity, so they remain at the bottom. It has a tendency to kill off ambition because we form the habit of the daily routine of accepting our fate.
We rise to high positions or remain at the bottom because of conditions we can control if we desire to control them. Both success and failure are largely the results of habits!
Man’s only limitation, within reason, lies in his development and use of his imagination.
Your imaginative faculty may have become weak through inaction. It can be revived and made alert through use. This faculty does not die, though it may become quiescent through lack of use.
Ideas are intangible forces, but they have more power than the physical brains that give birth to them. They have the power to live on after the brain that creates them has returned to dust.
If the first plan which you adopt does not work successfully, replace it with a new plan, if this new plan fails to work, replace it, in turn with still another, and so on, until you find a plan which does work. The majority of men meet failure, because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail.
No men are ever whipped until he quits – in his own mind.
A quitter never wins – and – a winner never quits.
There are two types of people in the world. One type is known as leaders, and the other as followers. Most great leaders began in the capacity of followers. They became great leaders because they were intelligent followers.
Efficient leadership calls for the ability to organize and to master details.
Every person must be his own salesman of personal services.
You should know all of your weaknesses in order that you may either bridge them or eliminate them entirely. You should know your strength in order that you may call attention to it when selling your services.
Everyone wants more – but it is something entirely different to be worth more!
The yearly analysis should disclose a decrease in faults, and an increase in virtues. Annual self-analysis will disclose whether advancement has been, made, and if so, how much. It will also disclose any backward steps one may have made.
Capitalism consists not alone of money, but more particularly of highly organized, intelligent groups of men who plans ways and means of using money efficiently for the good of the public and profitably to themselves.
Money, without brains, always is dangerous. Properly used, it is the most important essential of civilization.
No system has ever has created by which men can legally acquire riches through mere force of numbers, or without giving in return an equivalent value of one form or another.
The “system” denies no one this right, but it does not, and cannot promise something for nothing, because the system itself is irrevocably controlled by the law of economics which neither recognizes nor tolerates for long, getting without giving.
Procrastination, the opposite of decision, is a common enemy which practically every man must conquer.
One of Henry Ford’s most outstanding qualities is his habit of reaching decisions quickly and definitely and changing them slowly.
The majority of people who fail to accumulate money sufficient for their needs, are, generally, easily influenced by the “opinions” of others. “Opinions” are the cheapest commodities on earth.
The value of decisions depends upon the courage required to render them. The great decisions were reach by assuming great risks, which often meant the possibility of death.
In your search for the secret of the method, do not look for a miracle, because you will not find it. You will find only the eternal laws of Nature.
The leaders in every walk of life decide quickly and firmly.
Indecision is a habit which usually begins in youth. The major weakness of all educational systems is that they neither teach nor encourage the habit of the definite decision.
The basis of persistence is the power of will.
You may find it necessary to snap out of your mental inertia, through a similar procedure, moving slowly at first, then increase your speed, until you gain complete control over your will. Be persistent no matter how slowly you may, at first, have to move. With persistence will come success.
Every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent advantage.
Persistence, concentration of effort, and definiteness of purpose were the major sources of achievements.
The “Master Mind” may be defined as: Coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.
A group of brains coordinated in a spirit of harmony will provide more thought-energy than a single brain.
The positive emotions of thought form the side of the stream which carries one to fortune. The negative emotions form the side which carries one down to poverty.
Poverty needs no plan. It needs no one to aid it because it is bold and ruthless. Riches are shy and timid. The have to be “attracted.”The men of greatest achievement are men with highly developed sex natures; men who have learned the art of sex transmutation.
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 woman.
A better definition of a genius is, “a man who has discovered how to increase the vibrations of thought to the point where he can freely communicate with sources of knowledge not available through the ordinary rate of vibration of thought.”
The sixth sense is “Creative Imagination.” The faculty of creative imagination is one which the majority of people never use during an entire lifetime, and if used at all, it usually happens by mere accident.
The reasoning faculty is often faulty because it is largely guided by one’s accumulated experience. Not all knowledge, which one accumulates through “experience”, is accurate.
The human mind responds to stimulation. Among the greatest, and most powerful of these stimuli is the urge of sex.
Sex energy is the creative of all genii. There never has been, and never will be a great leader, builder, or artist lacking in this driving force of sex.
The urge of sex has been grossly misunderstood, slandered, and burlesqued by the ignorant and the evil-minded, for so long that the very word sex is seldom used in polite society. Men and women who are known to be blessed – yes, blessed – with highly sexed natures.
When the emotion of love is mixed with the emotion of sex, that same man will guide his actions with more sanity, balance, and reason.
The road to genius consists of the development, control, and use of sex, love, and romance.
If you believe yourself unfortunate, because you have “loved and lost,” perish the thought. One who has loved truly, can never lose entirely. Love is whimsical and temperamental. Its nature is ephemeral and transitory.
Man’s greatest motivating force is his desire to please woman! It is this inherent desire of man to please woman, which gives woman the power to make or break a man.
You cannot entirely control your subconscious mind, but you can voluntarily hand over to it any plan, desire, or purpose which you wish transformed into concrete form.
Positive and negative emotions cannot occupy the mind at the same time. One or the other must dominate. It is your responsibility to make sure that positive emotions constitute the dominating influence of your mind.
Form the habit of applying and using the positive emotions! Eventually, they will dominate your mind so completely, that the negatives cannot enter it.
Through the medium of the ether, in a fashion similar to that employed by the radio broadcasting principle, every human brain is capable of picking up vibrations of thoughts which are bring released by other brains.
The “depression” was a blessing in disguise. It reduced the whole world to a new starting point that gives everyone a new opportunity.
All men have become what they are, because of their dominating thoughts and desires.
Before you can put any portion of this philosophy into successful use, your mind must be prepared to receive it. The preparation is not difficult. It begins with study, analysis, and understanding of three enemies which you shall have to clear out. These are indecision, doubt, and fear!
Indecision is the seedling of fear! Indecision crystallizes into doubt, the two blend and become fear! They germinate and grow without their presence being observed.
Fears are nothing more than states of mind.
Every human being has the ability to completely control his own mind.
The fear of poverty paralyzes the faculty of reason, destroys the faculty of imagination, kills off self-reliance, undermines enthusiasm, discourages initiative, leads to uncertainty of purpose, encourages procrastination, and makes self-control an impossibility. It takes the charm from one’s personality, destroys the possibility of accurate thinking, diverts concentration of effort, it masters persistence, turns the willpower into nothingness, destroys ambition, beclouds the memory and invites failure in every conceivable form; it kills love and assassinates the finer emotions of the heart, discourages friendship and invites disaster in a hundred forms, leads to sleeplessness, misery, and unhappiness.
The fear of criticism robs man of his initiative, destroys his power of imagination, limits his individuality, takes away his self-reliance, and does him damage in a hundred other ways.
The fear of loss of love is the most painful of all fears. It probably plays more havoc with the body and mind than any of the other basic fears, as it often leads to permanent insanity.
The fear of death is useless. Death will come, not matter what anyone may think about it. Accept it as a necessity, and pass the thought out of your mind. It must be a necessity, or it would not come to all. Perhaps it is not as bad as it has been pictured.
Worry is a state of mind based upon fear. It works slowly, but persistently. It is insidious and subtle. Worry is a form of sustained fear caused by indecision, therefore, it is a state of mind which can be controlled.
Kill the habit of worry, in all its forms, by reaching a general, blanket decision that nothing which life has to offer is worth the price of worry. With this decision will come poise, peace of mind, and calmness of thought which bring happiness.
The most common weakness of all human beings is the habit of leaving their minds open to the negative influence of other people.