Think and Grow Rich – Book Summary

Think and Grow Rich, published in 1937, Hill draws on stories of Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and other millionaires of his generation to illustrate his principles.

The 13 Principles of Success are outlined in this book in an exceptional manner. Anyone who reads and applies the principles in this book is bound for success.

Book Summary

Every sentence in italics is a direct quotation from the book.

Chapter 1: Thoughts are Things

TRULY, “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.

<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">Consider this procedure for success:Consider this procedure for success:

Thought → Desire → Plan → Persistence → Success

People who fail at becoming successful in life, fail in one of these steps of the procedure.

Let us analyze this sentence briefly

Thought is considered Step 0, it is one of the ‘requirements’ of the procedure to success.

Both poverty and riches are the offspring of thought

Everything which man creates begins in the form of a thought impulse.

Many people will say ‘I want success‘ but all they think about is how they can fake being successful.

If they begin to think about actually attaining success they have begun the procedure.

Then the actual start of the procedure for success begins at desire.

Everything man creates or acquires begins in the form of desire.

If people are thinking & ruminating about success but don’t have an intense desire they will fail at the second step: desire

Obviously, an individual may have more than one desire. If the desire for success is not the highest (prioritized) desire, then success cannot be attained.

Most people in the world fail in the desire step.

Everyone desires to be successful but most desire short term pleasures much more. That is holding these people back. You cannot attain something that you don’t fully desire.

The next step is planning.

Planning is difficult because it requires deep logical thinking, something people avoid these days.

There is no hope of success for the person who does not have a central purpose, or definite goal at which to aim.

People fail at planning because they don’t have the patience to sit down and list what they really want and how they will achieve what they really want.

It’s easy to say, ‘I want money’, but it’s hard to come up with a definite plan onto how you will acquire that money.

People work hard and see no results because they don’t plan or don’t plan correctly.

The final step in the attainment of success is persistence. Persistence is doubly harder than planning.

It is one thing to plan something out, and another to actually work it out.

Most of us are good ‘starters’ but poor ‘finishers’ of everything we begin. Moreover, people are prone to give up at the first signs of defeat.

Writers have to write complete books for years just to get rejected.

Athletes, need to stay on par regarding their diet, exercise regimen and mental attitude all the time.

Businessmen lose so much money and opportunities while in the pursuit of success.

Most people would give up.

Only those who persist can be victorious.

The reason we have spent some time explaining one sentence is because the whole book can be summarized in that sentence!

Of course, there are many techniques that the author mentions that can assist such as autosuggestion, emotion transmutation and concentration but that procedure is the essence.


Chapter 2: DESIRE

Six Ways to Turn Desire into Gold.

First. Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire. It is not sufficient merely to say “I want plenty of money.” Be definite as to the amount.

Second. Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire. (There is no such reality as “something for nothing.”)

Third. Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money you desire.

Fourth. Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.

Fifth. Write out a clear, concise statement of the amount of money you intend to acquire, name the time limit for its acquisition, state what you intend to give in return for the money, and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to accumulate it.

Sixth. Read your written statement aloud, twice daily, once just before retiring at night, and once after arising in the morning. AS YOU READ— SEE AND FEEL AND BELIEVE YOURSELF ALREADY IN POSSESSION OF THE MONEY.

Look at the keywords mentioned in this procedure:







What does this show us?

It shows us the importance of detailed planning.

When you ask some people how they will make money, they will reply in general statements such as; ‘start a YouTube channel’ or ‘start and online business’, or ‘become a developer’.

They never have the details and the actual procedure; they are stuck in the desire stage.

In these times we have all the tools & resources to help us in the accumulation of riches. We have analytic tools, tools that check for trends, resources that people have provided, multitudes of books and so much more.

There cannot be an excuse as to why you are not planning.


Chapter 3: FAITH

FAITH is the head chemist of the mind. When FAITH is blended with the vibration of thought, the subconscious mind instantly picks up the vibration, translates it into its spiritual equivalent, and transmits it to Infinite Intelligence, as in the case of prayer.

If you do not have faith in yourself, your abilities and the future, how are you to succeed?

The person who does not have faith gives up easily because he cannot see himself succeeding in life.

Never place yourself in a box and say ‘this is where I am, this is where I belong.’

There are no limitations to the mind except those that we acknowledge.

How to Develop Faith?

Faith is something that can be developed.

The master of his mind can plant the seeds of faith, and watch them grow into a beautiful fruit bearing tree.

However, the slave to his mind is affected by external situations and his faith is always wavering.

Affirmations is the first exercise in building faith.

FAITH is a state of mind which may be induced, or created, by affirmation or repeated instructions to the subconscious mind, through the principle of auto-suggestion.

Repetition reinforces what ever you say and do.

If you repeat a certain activity every day, you are surely going to become better at it.

If you repeat a certain statement (true or false) you will start to believe in that statement.

It is a well known fact that one comes, finally, to BELIEVE whatever one repeats to one’s self, whether the statement be true or false.

Faith is an absolute necessity when ‘Thinking to Grow Rich’.

ALL THOUGHTS WHICH HAVE BEEN EMOTIONALIZED, (given feeling) AND MIXED WITH FAITH, begin immediately to translate themselves into their physical equivalent or counterpart

This can be summarized into a formula of sorts:


Many people fail with auto-suggestion and affirmation due to the reason that they don’t emotionalize and add faith to their statements.

Remember: Do not simply repeat an affirmation superficially. You must add emotion and faith to the statement.

Emotion is raw energy & Faith is the force that imprints a statement into the subconscious.

To add emotion, you must feel the manifestation of your affirmation.

If your affirmation is; ‘I am wealthy.’ You must feel as if you are wealthy at that moment.

You may say, ‘How I can feel something that I truly know to be false?’

The answer is – REPETITION.

The more you repeat something, the more common it becomes to the mind and hence, the more valid it becomes.

Later on, the author emphasizes on the importance of positive thoughts.

It is essential for you to encourage the positive emotions as dominating forces of your mind, and discourage –and eliminate negative emotions.

A mind that is only concerned with positive thoughts becomes a breeding place for faith. The positive mind has faith and hope while the negative one has misery and despair.

How can you maintain a positive mind?

It is true that the mind can never remain positive all the time. But it is advised that man should keep his mind in a positive state.

Here are some different tips and techniques:

  • Stay away from negative people, media (movies, music, news) and environments.
  • Regularly practice gratitude. You cannot be grateful and sad at the same time.
  • Mindfulness and Meditation.
  • Associate with positive people, media and environments.

We will end this chapter with some thought-provoking verses that the author mentions in the book.

 “If you think you are beaten, you are,
 If you think you dare not, you don't
 If you like to win, but you think you can't,
 It is almost certain you won't.
 “If you think you'll lose, you're lost
 For out of the world we find,
 Success begins with a fellow's will-
 It's all in the state of mind.
 “If you think you are outclassed, you are,
 You've got to think high to rise,
 You've got to be sure of yourself before
 You can ever win a prize.
 “Life's battles don't always go
 To the stronger or faster man,
 But soon or late the man who wins
 Is the man WHO THINKS HE CAN!" 

Chapter 4: Autosuggestion


AUTO-SUGGESTION is a term which applies to all suggestions and all self-administered stimuli which reach one’s mind through the five senses.

Sometimes people wait for an opportunity or a plan to start making money. Instead of just waiting, you should hand over your issue to the subconscious mind, and it will bring opportunities and plans to you.

Do not wait for a definite plan, but begin at once to see yourself in possession of the money, demanding and expecting meanwhile, that your subconscious mind will hand over the plan, or the plans you need.

When visualizing the money you intend to accumulate, see yourself rendering the service, or delivering the merchandise you intend to give in return for this money. This is important!

This is important indeed. Many people imagine and daydream about money, but never make any progress because it’s just a dream!

However, when you begin to feel the happiness of accumulating money and when you begin to visualize yourself exchanging goods and services for money, the visualization becomes clear and will become real one day because you have ‘tricked’ your subconscious into believing you are already rich.

How to stimulate the subconscious mind?

The subconscious mind is a sponge. It absorbs any thought that has been emotionalized and mixed with faith.

For our efforts of working with the subconscious mind to be successful, we must send clear, on point and faithful auto-suggestions to the subconscious mind.

You must perform the following exercises after you have finished the Six Steps in the previous chapter:

FIRST: go into some quiet spot . . ., close your eyes and repeat aloud, the written statement of the amount of money you intend to accumulate, the time limit for its accumulation, and a description of the service or merchandise you intend to give in return for the money.

SECOND: repeat this program night and morning until you can see (in your imagination) the money you intend to accumulate.

THIRD: place a written copy of your statement where you can see it night a morning, and read it just before retiring, and upon arising until it has been memorized.


Chapter 5: Specialized Knowledge

There are two types of knowledge. One is general, the other is specialized.

General knowledge is of little use towards the purpose of making money.

Specialized knowledge concerns direct intention of making money.

In 3 Economic Principles for Success we mentioned there are three types of knowledge that can benefit the seeker.

1. Theoretical Knowledge

2. Practical Knowledge

3. Relevant News

These three fall under the category of specialized knowledge.

Theories are important, because they explain the bigger picture of things, practical knowledge converts those theories into specialized actions, lastly the relevant news is important as markets depend on so many factors, and it is wise for the individual to stay in the know of any changes.

One statement I wish to emphasize on is:

Knowledge is only potential power. It becomes power only when, and if, it is organized into definite plans of action and directed to a definite end.

Also, Napoleon Hill mentions a statement that I cannot stress enough upon:

You can get all the knowledge you need.

This book was written in the 1930s, a time before internet & communication networks.

Imagine if the author was present today. He will be shocked by the amount of knowledge and surprised at the amount of lazy people.

What is your excuse?

We are at a time when knowledge has been made and converted into many formats:



Online Courses


Audio Books

Book Summaries

Do not think you can become successful without gaining any knowledge.

Forget those advertisers telling you about their different e-commerce and drop shipping techniques, that is all garbage being promoted, so they can make money off you.

Another important thing to mention here is that no matter how old you are, busy you are, etc., you still can seek knowledge. Especially in these times, where knowledge has been made into digestible courses and summaries.

Just to keep the record straight, and to anticipate the alibis of those who will say, “I couldn’t go to school because I have a family to support” or “I’m too old”, I will add the information that Mr. Wier was past forty, and married when he went back to school. Mr. Wier completed in two years the work for which the majority of law students require four years.


Chapter 6: Imagination

The imagination is literally the workshop wherein are fashioned all plans created by man.

There are two types of imagination:

– Synthetic Imagination

– Creative Imagination

Synthetic Imagination is the arrangement or rearrangement of old ideas, plans or concepts into new combinations and creations.

Creative Imagination concerns the connection of the human mind to the ‘Infinite Intelligence’. It is the faculty through which “hunches” and “inspirations” are received.

There is an old tradition that proposes that only hard work and honesty will provide wealth.

This is not the case.

Riches are built upon the application of certain principles, the response to a certain demand and boom and bust fluctuations.

The subsequent chapters looks at imagination more deeply and practically.

We would like to end with an amazing statement by the author.

Ideas are intangible forces, but they have more power than the physical brains that give birth to them. They have the power to live on, after the brain that creates them has returned to dust.


Chapter 7: Organized Planning

If the first plan which you adopt does not work successfully, replace it with a new plan; if this new plan fails to work, replace it in turn with still another, and so on, until you find a plan which does work.

10 Causes of Failure in Leadership

No attention to detailAn effective leader does not ignore the little things
Reluctant to provide a good serviceYou must rush to perform a good service even if that means you must sacrifice time and money
Fear of CompetitionThe leader that fears his competition has already conceded to them.
Expect to get paid for what they know instead of what they could doWhat you know wont benefit anyone. It is what you can do with your knowledge
DisloyaltyThe leader who cannot keep his word will not maintain his leadership.
Loves AuthorityThe one who loves authority more than doing whats right is never a successful leader
Emphasis of TitleDemands people to refer to him by a certain title. The good leader gives respect to all his followers and doesn’t expect to be called by a title. (Sir, Boss, Mr. , etc)
Lack of ImaginationThe unimaginative one cannot adapt to the situation nor create new ideas
SelfishThe one who is selfish will not get far, he must give credit where due. A good leader motivates.
The ill tempered oneThe one who cannot control his emotions causes misfortune in the whole workplace

How to get the job you want.

First determine what job you exactly want, then choose the company who wish to work with, study your prospective employer and understand what they like & don’t like. Then match yourself with the role, determine your skills and how those skills will benefit your prospective employer. Write precisely your key selling points (what makes you valuable).

We wish to make a distinction between two methods of applying for jobs.

The first is the method that most people do; they simply click apply on online job seeking platforms, they don’t tailor their resume & cover letter on a company to company basis.

Then you have those who practice what we mention in the first paragraph, they research their prospective employer and tailor their application towards the employers interests.

The latter process will take more time, but it will receive much more results. Companies don’t want to see another generic application, they are looking for the application that stands out.

The Major Causes of Failure

Lack of a clear purpose in lifeIf you have no compass you are most likely to get lost in life.
Lack of Self DisciplineIf you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self.
Lack of AmbitionIf you aim for sub par results, you will live a sub par life.
Little EducationKnowledge is the difference between a successful person
ProcrastinationThe one who keeps saying ‘tomorrow’ will never see success.
Subservience to sexual urgesBecause sex is the most powerful of the emotions it must be transmuted into a project or something productive.
Wrongful selection of friends and colleaguesThese are people who you most likely spend most of your time, you will be affected my their negative quailites if you spend time with these people.
Lack of PersistenceYou must not give up halfway. Imagine you are digging for gold and are 2 hits away from striking gold and then you just pack up your stuff and leave.
NegativityNegativity fosters failure and misery. Positivity fosters success and joy.

Chapter 8: Decision

In order for you to become successful you must make your own decisions rather than following the opinions and the whims of the people, even if those people are those who are the closest to you.

You must stay silent, as the silent person gains more by remaining silent. If you talk all the time, especially in front of people who are more learned, you miss out, and valuable information that they might mention.

Genuine wisdom is usually conspicuous through modesty and silence.

Free Self Development Books

Chapter 9: Persistence

Will Power + Desire = Success

If one has willpower but no desires of his own, he will work hard for the fulfilment of another person or company.

If one has no willpower but many desires, he is considered as a fanciful dreamer who is known for saying “oh I wish and I desire” and not “I desire and I WILL.

How you can train yourself to become persistent.

Define your Purpose: One can never be persistent in the pursuit of a phantasm. The requirement for persistence is definiteness of purpose.

Raise your desire: Think of desire as fuel and persistence as fire. The more fuel there is the stronger the fire.

Rely on Yourself: You must believe that you can succeed in order for you to become more persistent. How do you expect to persist in something that you don’t believe in.

Increase your Willpower. Through the habit of concentrating one’s thoughts upon the building of plans for the attainment of a definite purpose leads to persistence.

Choose your habits carefully. Man is the summation of his habits. It will be difficult for one to become persistent if his habits are diametrically opposed to persistence.


Chapter 10: Power of the Master Mind

Sources of Knowledge:

  • Infinite Intelligence – see previous chapters.
  • Accumulated Experience – All the things man has learnt and practised in his life.
  • Experiment and Research – One must use this type of knowledge when certain knowledge is not available yet.

The mastermind may be defined as: Coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.

A group of brains coordinated in a spirit of harmony will provide more thought energy than a single brain, just as a group of electric batteries will provide more energy than a single battery

Chapter 11: The Mystery of Sex Transmutation

Sex transmutation means the switching of the mind from thoughts of physical expression, to thoughts of some other nature.

Sex desire is the most powerful of human desires. When driven by this desire, men develop keenness of imagination, courage, will-power, persistence, and creative ability unknown to them at other times.

The Ten Stimuli of the Mind

1. The desire for sex expression

2. Love

3. A burning desire for fame, power or financial gain, money.

4. Music.

5. Friendship

6. A Mastermind Alliance based upon the harmony of two or more people,

7. Mutual Suffering, such as that experienced by people who are persecuted.

8. Autosuggestion.

9. Fear.

10. Narcotics and alcohol.

Methods that are Used by Geniuses

1. He stimulates his mind through the 10 stimulants so that he can function on a higher level and mental state.

2. He focuses on the finished result of his invention and the unfinished parts of an invention and sends that thought to the subconscious mind.

What is Personal Magnetism (Charisma)

Personal Magnetism is nothing more nor less than sex energy.

People who refrain from masturbation and sex hold more ‘vital energy’, within themselves and can work much better than anyone who does not.

This energy can be observed through the following mediums:

1. If you feel a sense of power and strength in the handshake.

2. Magnetism / Sex energy, makes the voice more musical and charming

3. People with high levels of sex energy have good posture and walk with brace and ease.

4. Highly Sexed People mix the emotion of sex with their thoughts, making it easier for them to influence the people around them.

Chapter 12: The Subconscious Mind

Every impulse of thought that reaches the conscious mind through any of the five senses, is classified and recorded.

Consider this diagram:

The subconscious acts first on the dominating desires which have been mixed with emotional feeling such as faith

You may voluntarily plant in your subconscious mind any plan, thought, or purpose which you desire to translate into its physical or monetary equivalent

The subconscious mind becomes easier to influence when a thought is mixed with feeling or emotion.

One should increase the use of positive emotions and decrease the use of negative emotions in order to manifest a good position in life.

The 7 Major Positive Emotions








The 7 Major Negative Emotions









Chapter 13: The Brain

The result of sex transmutation, is the increase of thoughts to such a pitch that the creative imagination becomes highly receptive to ideas.

Chapter 14: The Sixth Sense

The sixth sense cannot be described to anyone who had not experienced the sixth sense. It defies description!, says Napoleon Hill.

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.

To acquire the sixth sense, you must apply all the principles that are mentioned in this book

Chapter 15: The Six Ghosts of Fear

There are six fears which prevent men from becoming successful., they are:

1. Fear of Poverty

2. Fear of Criticism.

3. Fear of ill health

4. Fear of loss of love of someone.

5. Fear of old age

6. Fear of Death

How to protect yourself against negative influence

Understand: everyone is susceptible to suggestions that will make them weaker

Recognize: negative influences influence your subconscious, hence stay away from any negative people or environments.

Without doubt, the most common weakness of all human beings is the habit of leaving their minds open to the negative influence of the other people.

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