Top 9 Lessons from Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Nearly everyone today is searching for the secret to success. In fact, YouTube is full of tutorials from self-acclaimed gurus who tell you how to be the most successful man on Earth.

If you’ve exhausted your research or searching for that one piece of advice to cut to the chase, this blog is for you. 

Inspired by Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, we will tell you what makes success come to you and not the other way around. 

Think and Grow Rich was written after 25 years of research on the accomplishments and attributes of 500 of the most successful people in business.

The book sold over 20 million copies in the life of Napoleon Hill and continues being a best-seller after all these years.

Some people even refer to it as the grandfather of personal development books. 

Think and Grow Rich includes 13 principles you can follow to make your dream a reality. 

We’ll shed light on the 9 lessons you can derive from the book.

So, let’s begin. 

Top 9 lessons from Think and Grow Rich

Thoughts have the power to change things

The book’s main idea revolves around thoughts.

According to Napoleon, thoughts are things. When combined with purpose, persistence, and desire, thoughts can translate into riches or other material successes. 

Imagine thinking about what you want to become all day and becoming that just with a thought. 

This principle aligns well with the famous saying, ‘we become what we eat.’

Desire leads to action

The second lesson you can learn from Think and Grow Rich is about desire.

Napoleon stresses that desire isn’t merely a wish or hope. Instead, your desire must be a burning one, to the point of becoming a consuming obsession backed by definiteness and persistence.

Napoleon also outlined six steps to achieving your desire:

  1. Fix the exact amount of money you desire in your mind
  2. Determine what you will offer in return for that money
  3. Select a definite date to possess the money
  4. Create a definite plan and implement it immediately
  5. Summarize steps 1-4 by writing down a clear statement of the money you will acquire, the date of its acquisition, what you will give in return, and your plan for accumulation
  6. Read this statement aloud twice daily, before bed and first thing after waking up

Remember to see, feel, and believe that you already possess that money.

Faith is key to achieving goals

It’s impossible to acquire something until you believe you are ready to receive it.

Faith is a learned thing, and you can do that by repeatedly affirming and visualizing the attainment of your desire. 

Have faith that you thought of your desires because you’re meant to accomplish them. This way, you can attain them within a blink of an eye.

Besides that, remember that emotions and the subconscious mind play a crucial role in determining your success. For example, emotions magnetize your thoughts. Once mixed with faith, thoughts translate into their physical equivalent, i.e., manifest into reality.

Apart from that, the subconscious mind doesn’t differentiate between positive or negative thought impulses.

So, if you carry negative beliefs, you can create your misfortune.

Specialized knowledge is necessary for success

Knowledge itself doesn’t generate wealth.

It becomes power only when organized into definite action plans and directed to a definite end. That means you’ll need specialized knowledge of the product, service, or niche you intend to serve. This way, you can offer something valuable in return for riches.

It’s less about working on what you know and more about identifying the specialized knowledge you need and acquiring it. 

Here are some ways you can acquire specialized knowledge, according to Napoleon Hill:

  • Personal experience and education
  • Others’ experience and education
  • Colleges and universities
  • Public libraries
  • Specialized training courses

Imagination trumps all

Even with specialized knowledge, you will need a powerful imagination to combine with ideas.

Doing this creates the necessary action to bring riches. 

Imagination is of two types:

  • Synthetic Imagination, which includes arranging concepts, ideas, or plans into new forms
  • Creative imagination, which is equivalent to the sixth sense, with hunches and intuition coming through connection with infinite intelligence

Your imagination works like muscles. It grows stronger with use and weaker with inaction.

To convert desire into money, you must rely on your synthetic imagination. However, the greatest leaders in the world leverage creative imagination. 

Being a decision-maker vs. procrastinator

Successful people and failures are different because of their ability to make prompt decisions.

While successful people never dilly-dally, the ones who struggle to accumulate money always procrastinate.

The ability to decide immediately and then change those decisions when needed is a gift. And only people with a purpose, backed by a strong desire and faith, can attain this gift. 

Like decision-making, indecision is a habit too. It develops at a young age and becomes permanent with age. A lack of purpose is the common culprit behind procrastinating.

Napoleon also warns against talking too much and listening or doing too little. Instead, modesty and silence should be practiced. 

Using more of your eyes and ears and less of your mouth is key. 

A powerful mind is a masterful mind

A powerful mind is all you need to accumulate and retain money. But it requires an organized effort of at least two people working in harmony toward a shared goal. 

We’ve previously shed light on the sources you can use to acquire knowledge.

The real challenge is converting that knowledge to power.

You must assemble knowledge into definite plans and take concrete action. Unfortunately, that’s not achievable on your own. 

For great wealth and success, masterminding is crucial. 

Master Mind is the coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people to attain a definite purpose. 

When two or more minds work together, a third mind comes into being, which pushes beyond the boundaries to achieve the unattainable. 

The subconscious mind pulls the strings

Think and Grow Rich refers to the subconscious mind as the bridge to infinite intelligence.

It’s the subconscious mind where every thought reaching the mind through the five senses is classified, recorded, and can be willingly retrieved.

Your subconscious mind has several characteristics:

  • It works day and night to receive and file all impressions and thoughts, whether positive, negative, true, or false. 
  • You can only voluntarily plant any plan, thought, or purpose in it, although you can’t fully control the subconscious mind. 
  • The subconscious mind works on the dominating desires magnetized with emotions, translating them into their physical equivalent. 

It’s crucial to avoid negative emotions and draw on positive emotions while giving instructions to your subconscious mind.

Here are the seven key positive emotions you need:

  • Desire
  • Faith
  • Love
  • Sex
  • Enthusiasm
  • Romance
  • Hope

And avoid these seven negative emotions at all costs:

  • Fear
  • Jealousy
  • Hatred
  • Revenge
  • Greed
  • Superstition 
  • Anger

Fear is the worst enemy of success

Fear is your toughest opponent on the road to financial, mental, and spiritual success. It stops even the best of people from becoming what they desire. And it will try stopping you, too – if you let it. 

The worst types of fears you can have include:

Fear of poverty

There’s a simple rule to becoming wealthy: it can’t coexist with the fear of poverty in mind.

You can only have either one of them at a time. So, if you wish to become wealthy or financially stable, decide between rags or riches.

Think about the riches you want to accumulate and wave your fear of poverty goodbye.

Fear of criticism

We no longer live in Hitler’s era, where voicing contrary opinions meant punishments. And yet, even though the freedom to speak your mind is practiced, people still fear criticism like in old times. 

Remember to regard criticism as profound. However, also note that too much of everything is bad.

It can rob youngsters of power, self-confidence, and independent thinking if criticized exaggeratedly. 

Fear of ill health

This fear relates more to mental health than physical.

In the current era, your mental health is influenced by people and the media.

The first factor – people – are the ones surrounding your life. Some enjoy being pessimistic to the core. Pessimism and negativity are bound to rub on you, leading to ill health. 

The media uses awareness as a counterargument to emotionalize every single event. Watching negative news all day also leads to becoming ill-minded without you being aware.

Ultimately, it leads you astray from your true purpose. 

Fear of loss of love

Losing a loved one is the most terrifying feeling for some.

This loss occurs for several reasons: expensive cars, houses, and clothes.

It can also embed in your mind from past experiences, preventing you from achieving your dream. 

Fear of old age

Old age comes with a whole lot of baggage.

Loss of sexual appeal, more chances of getting ill, less mobility and strength – you’re bound to experience all these as you grow old. However, fearing these natural consequences or refusing to acknowledge the positivity of aging can result in living in fear.

So, remember that aging is a part of life.

Take old age as an opportunity to gather life experiences, and spread your wisdom and knowledge with those you care about. 

Fear of death

Like aging, death is inevitable, too. So, no number of ponderings like:

  • What does death mean?
  • Where am I going to end up?
  • Is there a heaven or hell?

Would slow the process or make it go away. 

Your questions may be legit, but they don’t carry definite answers, so spending time overthinking is pointless. What matters is how you spend your life pursuing your purpose.

And that’s the message Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill conveys.