Book Review: Think & Grow Rich By Napoleon Hill
Those who are looking for ways to increase control over their thoughts and financial future, but can also distinguish what is outdated or woo-woo.
Difficulty to digest:
In my opinion, even after being revised and updated the book is written in a way that feels a bit strange. This is likely due to the original text being rather old. Most readers should be able to get some actionable material out of the text, but will have to wade through several concepts or sections that are dense or confusing due to age.
Think and Grow Rich aims to uncover the psychological underpinnings which lead to wealth and success. Originally written in 1937, there is quite a bit which is out of date – especially the underlying mechanics behind some of the ideas in the book. With that caveat in mind, however, there are many useful concepts throughout the book which still apply. A few of the values are visualization, perseverance, education, creating opportunities, and value repetition.
Hill repeatedly emphasizes the power of visualizing and formalizing your goals around money. The better you can articulate and envision what you hope to achieve, the more easily you can see next steps. After creating these goals, it is absolutely essential you commit to them at the deepest level, if you truly wish to accomplish them. Without a burning desire, your motivation is likely to wane.
Perseverance is key.
After committing to your new financial goals, you must also be prepared to persevere in the face of failure. You will need to draw on your underlying desire and commitment to push through obstacles as they arise. Hill mentions that many individuals give up just shy of achieving their desires. While it may not be easy, constant execution of willpower is what drives individuals closer to their financial freedom.
The book also mentions the power of repetition in multiple realms. By repeating various goals, power mantras, or other positive thoughts, you build empowering mental habits. Over time, you train your brain to recognize opportunities and naturally create thoughts which increase your self-confidence. This confidence, in turn, feeds into your ability to persevere and visualize effectively creating a cycle of self-empowerment.
Learn AND take action.
Hill’s take on education is insightful – claiming knowledge is fruitless without being paired with execution. This is critical, as he mentions multiple times that desire and education are essential, but on their own create nothing. Don’t fall into the trap of simply wishful thinking, you must take action as well. He also emphasizes value of ‘master minds’, which are groups of talented individuals who you meet with on a regular basis to obtain insight and direction. Surrounding yourself with these types of individuals can jump-start your education and your effectiveness by providing powerful ideas and resources towards achieving your goals.
Your ability to create opportunity and cultivate creativity are also heavily emphasized throughout the book. Many examples are given of individuals using ingenuity to create massive amounts of wealth. Creating value for others is the only way to create wealth, but there are many paths to creating value. Stay open to potential ideas, and utilize education, execution, and creativity to find an opportunity to create massive amounts of value for others.
Woven throughout are examples of others who have lived by and exemplified these values, as well as concrete exercises to perform. These stories help illuminate the broader concepts while the exercises give readers an easy way to enter the space and attempt them. The revised version adds additional examples of more recent figures who exemplify the values, making the read feel a bit more modern.
As mentioned several times, take the explanation of various psychological mechanics with a serious grain of salt. The book often refers to powers of the universe and human psyche in way which feel woo-woo much of the time. If you’re able to parse out some of this, however, there is a substantial amount of useful information.
The organization and speech style of the book can also be confusing. In addition, chapters move in a way which concepts bounce back and forth like a pendulum. Most of them are fairly easy to digest, however, the order of content seems slightly haphazard. In addition, some of the terms and phrases are clearly dated – as well as some of the concepts. When combined, these factors can lead slightly less smooth read.
This is still a highly insightful book, just a few things to be aware of if you decide to pick it up!
ANSWER THE EXERCISES IN THE COMMENTS:
1. Understanding your financial goals can give you clarity on what to achieve. What are you ultimate financial goals? Be as specific as possible.
2. What mantras or ideas empower you? Look for at least one mantra or idea of your own which makes you feel stronger.
3. What skills, talents, or ideas do you have which can add massive amounts of value to the world? How will you cultivate and execute on them?
4. Who would you want in your master mind group? Reach out to these individuals and find a time to meet on a weekly basis to discuss ideas and improve your life.
I encourage you to participate and build our community! If you have any questions or topics you’d like me to cover, please let me know. I’d be happy to look in to them for you.
Reflect, Take Action, and Enjoy Life