Tuesday, October 7, 2008

"Whatever your mind can conceive and believe it can achieve." ~ Napoleon Hill

Think and Grow Rich, written by Napoleon Hill, is a motivational book and a collection of principles for the attainment of wealth and financial freedom.

When Napoleon Hill was a journalist for Success magazine, he was sent to interview the richest man in America, steel magnate, Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie offered to give Napoleon “the greater part of his fortune”, which turned out not to be money but his accumulated wisdom on how anyone could become wealthy.

Napoleon who was a poor journalist, armed with just an introductory letter from Carnegie, set out to interview over five hundred successful people including Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Henry Ford, Elmer Gates, Charles M. Schwab, Theodore Roosevelt, William Wrigley Jr, John Wanamaker, WIlliam Jennings Bryan, George Eastman, Woodrow Wilson, William H. Taft, John D. Rockefeller, F. W. Woolworth, Jennings Randolph, etc, to find a success formula that could be used by the average person.

Napoleon then revealed this priceless wisdom of his research in the form of the thirteen steps to success in Think and Grow Rich. This book was essentially a condensed version of this larger work and a sum total of the numerous interviews and research by Napoleon about the rich people in the world.

Napoleon talked to these successful people at length and tried to devise out their paths to success. Napoleon also dealt with many more factors in his book about why some people attain success while some others do not. Andrew Carnegie had an obsession for being successful and wealthy. He wanted more and more people to achieve this level of success and money too.

Think and Grow Rich is the master book of all other wealth-creation or self-development books. It took twenty long years for Napoleon to collect and assimilate all the information in this book. The main and underlying message in the book is that you can achieve whatever you want in life if you have sufficient desire to achieve it.

Napoleon Hill drafts out the various success principles outlined in the success stories of the rich and successful. He divulges all the secrets of these individuals while on their rise to the top. Most of the top achievers of today are thankful to Napoleon Hill for helping them draft and chart their way to success and wealth.

Think and Grow Rich is a book written almost seventy to eighty years back. Therefore, the language is a bit formal and repetitive. I highly recommend this book despite these minor drawbacks. Rather, these do not amount to drawbacks, as the book is perfect for the written period. Even today, Think and Grow Rich is a very useful book.

Here are some interesting observations by Napoleon Hill, the greatest gurus on achieving success:

"Before us lie two paths -- honesty and dishonesty.

The shortsighted embark on the dishonest path; the wise on the honest.

For the wise know the truth; in helping others we help ourselves; and in hurting others we hurt ourselves.

Character overshadows money, and trust rises above fame. Honesty is still the best policy.”

"Understand this law and you will then know, beyond room for the slightest doubt, that you are constantly punishing yourself for every wrong you commit and rewarding yourself for every act of constructive conduct in which you indulge."

"Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements."

"Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit."

"Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed on an equal or greater benefit."

"Hold a picture of yourself long and steadily enough in your mind's eye, and you will be drawn toward it."

"If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self."

"One must marry one's feelings to one's beliefs and ideas. That is probably the only way to achieve a measure of harmony in one's life."

"The ladder of success is never crowded at the top."

"The majority of men meet with failure because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail."

"Until you have learned to be tolerant with those who do not always agree with you; until you have cultivated the habit of saying some kind word of those whom you do not admire; until you have formed the habit of looking for the good instead of the bad there is in others, you will be neither successful nor happy."

"War grows out of the desire of the individual to gain advantage at the expense of his fellow man."

"When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal."

"You must get involved to have an impact. No one is impressed with the won-lost record of the referee."

"I have proved, times too numerous to enumerate, to my own satisfaction at least, that every human brain is both a broadcasting and a receiving station for vibrations of thought frequency."

"If this theory should turn out to be a fact, and methods of reasonable control should be established, imagine the part it would play in the gathering, classifying and organising of knowledge. The possibility, much less the probability, of such a reality, staggers the mind of man!"

"The sixth sense is that portion of the subconscious mind which has been referred to as the creative imagination. It has also been referred to as the 'receiving set' through which ideas, plans and thoughts flash into the mind. The flashes are sometimes called hunches or inspirations."

"The sixth sense defies description! It cannot be described to a person who has not mastered the other principles of this philosophy, because such a person has no knowledge and no experience with which the sixth sense may be compared. Understanding the sixth sense comes only by meditation through mind development from within."

"After you have mastered the principles described in this book, you will be prepared to accept as truth a statement which may, otherwise, be incredible to you, namely:

"Through the aid of the sixth sense, you will be warned of impending dangers in time to avoid them and notified of opportunities in time to embrace them."

"There comes to your aid and to do your bidding, with the development of the sixth sense, a 'guardian angel' who will open to you at all times the door to the temple of wisdom.""