Think and Grow Rich Summary (Napoleon Hill)

This Think and Grow Rich Summary is a formula for success.
It’s a manual derived from interviews with some the richest men of the 20th century, including JD Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. 

Hill interviewed these great minds over 30 years and the book is a distillation of those ideas. 

Despite its title, the book doesn’t solely apply to wealth creation, but any pursuit of success, however you define it.

The big idea

“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.”

The one big idea from the book: To become successful we must harness the power of the subconscious mind.

Communication between the conscious and subconscious mind is constant, but we must direct and channel that dialogue.

The subconscious mind is significantly more powerful than the conscious mind and we can program it to achieve our goals.

3 key takeaways

1. Even though the subconscious mind is more powerful, it’s still controlled by the conscious mind. The conscious mind is the gardener and the subconscious mind the garden. The conscious mind plants intentions and the subconscious cultivates them, making them possible. 

2. The subconscious is always working. But here’s the kicker; it’s always working either for or against us. When we inadvertently plant negative thoughts and emotions that predominate our conscious existence, it works against us. The output of our subconscious mirrors its input. We must, therefore, be conscious of positivity and success. 

3. The subjective mind is not subjective. That’s to say, it doesn’t discriminate between the information you feed it, whether positive or negative.

5 keys to reprogramming the subconscious mind 

1. Clear focus

We need clarity around our goals to provide a clear target for our subconscious minds. So often we have vague aims like become rich or get fit. No clear purpose or goal provides the subconscious with no clear direction. To assist the subconscious we must get specific. What do we really want?

2. Use the power of autosuggestion, or affirmations

Repetitively restating your goals is essential to engrain them in our subconscious mind. Like a gardener tending to a garden, it’s an endless process.

3. Use the power of emotions.

Emotional states make the subconscious suggestive and receptive. Thoughts by themselves don’t move the subconscious mind and they must be charged emotion. Imagining your feelings of positivity when embodying your goals feeds the subconscious, whereas any negative thoughts paired with their corresponding feelings have the opposite effect. Positive thoughts and feelings compound.

4.Visualisation and acting as if

Don’t postpone your imaginary success until a distant point in the future. When you visualise your goal, imagine it as accomplished. Think, act and feel the emotions that align with your success now, programming your subconscious with the sensation of having already achieved your aim.

5. Persistence and repetition

“Everlasting persistence in thoughts, mixed with emotions, mixed with faith.”

This is an endless process and forms a virtuous cycle. Positive thoughts lead to positive emotions, attracting more of the same, which predisposes your subconscious to create the desired results.

Burn the boats

Hernan Cortez sailed to fight the Aztecs (now modern-day Mexico) – his army was badly outnumbered and his soldiers hesitant.

Cortez ordered the boats to be burned, telling the soldiers that no retreat possible. It was do or die.

We can utilise the same principle for our subconscious mind.

To be successful, we must go all in, removing all avenues of retreat to infuse the subconscious with a burning passion, desire and obsession. 

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