Think and Grow Rich is one of the most famous inspirational books ever written, often cited as number 1 on many lists. Napoleon Hill wrote this book in 1937 during the time of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, and the world greatly needed this inspiration. Not surprisingly, these ideas express the main ideas of the Law Attraction, which have roots in ancient spiritual traditions. The book describes the power of mind, the power of thoughts to transmute into reality.
Wouldn't you love to grow rich? Of course we do. It's the "think" part we need to grasp.
He consistently talks of the “secret,” predating the film that recently brought mental principles into popular consciousness, with the powerful theme that thoughts are things. He does name this secret directly but place it in each chapter to be discovered, like a vein of gold.
He gives another description of the law of attraction: “…our brains become magnetized with the dominating thoughts which we hold in our minds, and by means with which no man is familiar, these “magnets” attract to us the forces, the people, the circumstances of life which harmonize with the nature of our dominating thoughts.” Therefore, to accumulate riches, we must magnetize our minds with an intense DESIRE for riches.
Hill credits Andrew Carnegie, the steel magnate, with introducing him to the secret formula. Carnegie challenged Hill to spend the next 20 years to bring it to the world. Hill actually spent 25 years in research and analyzing more than 250,000 to fully understand why wealthy men became that way.
He discusses the work of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Marshal Field, George Eastman, Charles Schwab, John Rockefeller, F. W. Woolworth, and so many more. In fact, Hill says, “I have never known anyone who was inspired to use the secret, who did not achieve noteworthy success in his chosen calling.” He tells the story of the Chicago fire, after which many of the store owners packed up and left. One man decided to stay and was determined to rebuild and succeed. That man was Marshal Field, and his store became one of the most successful department stores, eventually to be acquired by Macy’s. Education is not the primary key, for in the case of Edison, he had only three months of formal schooling; Ford did not make it to high school.
No summary of the book is adequate to convey the power and intensity of the words. The energy almost leaps off the page, as though the words have a vibrational power transmuted through 81 years. Clearly, Hill had a burning desire to convey this material and reach as many people as he could and must account for its popularity for so long. Thoughts are things, affirms Hill, when they are mixed with definiteness of purpose, persistence and a BURNING DESIRE for their translation into riches or other material objects. He adds that when riches begin to come they come so quickly and with such great abundance that one wonders where they have been hiding all those lean years.
He tells the story of Edwin Barnes who had a burning desire to become a business associate of Thomas Edison. He had no background and no money for the fare. But he traveled by freight train and when he spoke to Edison, the inventor was taken by his expression of determination and gave him a menial job. Barnes eventually found an opportunity that made him a valuable associate and brought riches to himself and Edison. He knew what he wanted and the determination to stand by that desire until he realized it.
Napoleon Hill tells story after story of sheer determination to accomplish some desire and repeat the main ideas until they penetrate the subconsciousness and into belief. Hill bought a dictionary and when he went to the page with word “impossible,” he neatly clipped it out of the book.
He discusses the old idea of “ether” as a substance, “…a form of energy moving at an inconceivably high rate of vibration, and that the ether is filled with a form of universal power which adapts itself to the nature of the thoughts we hold in our minds and INFLUENCES us, in natural ways, to transmute our thoughts into their physical equivalent.”
It all starts with an intense desire, but without emotion they lack sufficient fuel for the flame. The power of emotion, to see and feel and believe the riches are already present right now, is the key. But you might ask, how can you feel money is present when it isn’t?
This is where faith comes in, which he calls the head chemist of the mind “When FAITH is blended with the vibration of thought, the subconscious mind instantly picks up the vibration, and transmits it to Infinite Intelligence, as in the case of prayer.” Faith can be developed through affirmations, which he calls auto-suggestions, which instruct the subconscious mind into belief. The subconscious mind acts on that belief, which transmits definite plans for procuring your desires. In other words, any impulse of thought which is repeatedly passed on to the subconscious mind translates that impulse into its physical equivalent, by the most practical procedure available.
“FAITH is the basis of all “miracles,” and all mysteries which cannot be analyzed by the rules of science!” Faith is demonstrated expectancy, actually expecting the results of riches. We are dealing with a mystical idea, but which has laws just as laws in the physical world. The thoughts, ideas, and plans of the human mind are constantly attracting vibrations that harmonize with what dominates the human mind. Clearly, it’s important to eliminate or neutralize negative and self-defeating thoughts, as those will manifest as surely as positive thoughts.
He gives six definite, practical steps to engage in. I won’t give them here because I urge you to read the book! Many summaries are present on various websites, but the only thing that can convey the power of the ideas is from Hill’s own words. It is not a long book and can be found on many websites for a free download, so it can be read in short stints until absorbed. I am familiar with the ideas of mental science, but as I re-read the book, I was again inspired to engage again with his formula and practice. I’ll keep you posted on the progress. I would love to hear from your experience with these ideas. You can find contact information on the “About” page. Let me know!
I have a passion for stories and inspirational literature.