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.

economics and success

3 Economic Principles for Success


Economics is a field mainly utilised by governments and corporations in order to analyse the strength or weakness of a financial system.

What comes after the analysis is the implementation of custom policy for the purpose of either expanding and contracting the economy.

Most people regard economics as an academic science that only concerns professors and governments . However, there are fundamental laws in economics that must be learnt.

Principle 1

Economics of Information

Markets tend to favour the party that knows more

Charles Wheelan

What is the Economics of Information?

The economics of information is the study of how information can affect an economy and influence economical decisions.

While most people want to learn about demand and supply, macro and microeconomics, monetary and fiscal policy, they overlook one of the most important ideas in economics.

George J. Stigler (1961) starts with this sentiment in the beginning of his journal article The Economics of Information.

ONE should hardly have to tell academicians that information is a valuable resource: knowledge is power. And yet it occupies a slum dwelling in the town of economics.

The Economics of Information can be applied to many phenomena such as business markets, price, marketing, self-development, sports and much more.

The Economics Perspective.

Let us look into the economic explanation of this principle.

A main notion that economists tend to refer to while discussing this topic is the situation in which one party in a market has more knowledge than the other party and the former is at an advantage because of this.

This is also known as information asymmetrywhere one agent had information not available to another” (E. Stiglitz, 2017).

It must be understood that some people, corporations, and small businesses will go as far to promote information asymmetry in the marketplace, the marketing process, the disclaimer of regulations and so on.

Some market participants realise that opportunities for profit can be enhanced by increasing information asymmetries and devote efforts to ensuring the existence and persistence of these information asymmetries, as costly as they may be to the economy as a whole.” (E. Stiglitz, 2017).

This is how companies can sell you products that you think you need but you don’t actually need, this is how some businesses get away with breaking several laws and regulations, this is how companies are able to stay competitive in an ever-expanding market, etc.

Information Asymmetry can occur on different levels:

  • If you are selling a good, you obviously know more about it and you can choose to say a few things about it and choose not to say some things about it. (e.g., selling a used car or used items)
  • If you know of resources, manufacturing process, ideas, and other market inputs that your competition don’t know about, you can perform better.
  • If you know your target audience better, you can develop and market your products better.
  • If customers know & understand Fair Trading Laws better, they can make better decisions.
  • If customers research products deeply they can make better decisions.

There may be some more, but we believe this list is adequate for our purposes in this article.

How can we apply the Economics of Information Principle?

The practical application of the Economics of Information principle is all about making sure you keep updated with all kinds of information, so to stay relevant and profitable in the market.

The principle is sound. If you know more, you are much better off.

Knowledge is the difference between a mediocre product and an innovative product.

Knowledge is the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful marketing campaign.

Knowledge is the difference between a satisfied and unsatisfied customer.

People foolishly disdain knowledge for pleasures, money and relaxation.

There are those who are too proud to participate in an internship. They say “why on earth should I work for free?” Well there are a few answers to this ignorant question.

One will suffice though.

The more knowledge you have, the more you can ask in return.

Human capital theory predicts that differences in wages arise because of differences in human capital. The latter can be accumulated in two ways: through experience and education” (Serneels, 2008).

If you don’t have much skills and knowledge, then why should you expect companies to pay you with a higher wage.

You should never disdain an apprenticeship with no pay. In fact, it is often the height of wisdom to find the perfect mentor and offer your services as an assistant for free” (Greene, 2012).

We advise everyone to pursue internships and apprenticeships, as the Economics of Information is a merciless principle.

In the end, what you don’t know can hurt you. For example:

If Nokia knew of and invested in touch screen technology, they probably would have been the leader in smartphones today.

If Kodak weren’t blinded by their success, they would have known of the rise of digital technologies.

If Blockbuster researched Netflix deeply they would have known that Netflix is the future and hence would have bought it for $50 million when they had the chance and now they would have been worth over $8.5 billion.

The lesson here is simple and clear:

Gain as much knowledge as you can.

Read books, listen to podcasts, attend classes, learn a skill and so on.

We would like to mention that there are a few different types of knowledge:

  • Theory: This is the information that is concerned with ‘how things work’. You couldn’t be able to compete with Elon Musk if you don’t know the theories of physics.
  • Practical: This is the actual skills that turn theories into products and innovation. Elon may have the theory, but he might not have the handy skills of a tradesmen or engineer.
  • Relevant News: This concerns the economic and business environment that surrounds you. You would not start a business in a recession and you most likely won’t sell your business in a boom.

We should also mention an important point.

Knowledge will not attract money, unless it is organised, and intelligently directed, through practical plans of action, to the definite end of accumulation of money” (Hill, 1983).

For instance, you may have more physics, engineering and computer science knowledge than Elon Musk but if there is no ‘practical plan of action’ then that what benefit will that knowledge do for you.

People like to say ‘knowledge is power’ butit is nothing of the sort! Knowledge is only potential power. It becomes power only when, and if, it is organised into definite plans of action and directed to a definite end” (Hill, 1983).

The main advice here is not to gain as much knowledge as you can but to apply the knowledge that you do have.

Do not attempt to read as much books as you can. Attempt to read one book deeply and apply the concepts in your daily life.

You don’t need to attend to the ‘self help’ guru scene. Why should you? They repeat they same thing over and over again. The problem is not your lack of knowledge per say, it is your lack of the application of knowledge.

The liability is on you to apply the knowledge that has already been taught for centuries into your daily life.

Marketers simply use the ‘fear of missing out’ phenomena in order to get you to attend pointless events and conferences. The attentive person will realise that the contemporary ‘self help’ gurus are not providing new information, they are simply rephrasing what has been said many years ago.

The only time where these events are important to attend is when the knowledge that is provided has been adapted to the modern world. For instance a good conference to attend will be ‘personal development in the digital age.’

We will conclude by reemphasising the importance of all forms of knowledge in every situation. Whether it be financial, philosophical, psychological, scientific, etc, knowledge is a must.

The last essential advice is the application of that knowledge whenever possible.

Principle 2

Opportunity Cost / Utility

Intelligent people make decisions based on opportunity costs.”

Charlie Munger

What is opportunity cost?

Opportunity costs represent the potential benefits an individual, investor, or business misses out on when choosing one alternative over another(Investopedia).

The Production Possibilities Curve (PPC) is a model that captures scarcity and the opportunity costs of choices when faced with the possibility of producing two goods or services.

Points on the interior of the PPC are inefficient, points on the PPC are efficient, and points beyond the PPC are unattainable.

The opportunity cost of moving from one efficient combination of production to another efficient combination of production is how much of one good is given up in order to get more of the other good (Khan Academy).

Opportunity cost can be applied to literally anything.

You are now reading this article instead of doing many other things like walking the dog, watching a movie, cooking a meal and so on.

If you at this time read this article you will acquire specific benefits. But if you walked the dog instead you will miss out on the benefits of reading the article and acquire the benefits of walking the dog.

The main concern of this economic principle is how can we choose the right decision.

Life is complex and uncertain. There are an infinite number of things that we can be doing at any time. Indeed, every decision that we take involves some kind of trade off. We may trade off utility now against utility in the future”(Wheelan, 2019).

Choosing the right option is a daunting task. There is an infinite amount of possibilities!

We will not explain how to choose the right option, because that is up to the reader. What you value will be different to what I value.

But what is important, is to understand that you must choose what seems most valuable to you at that moment.

Do not allow those intrusive thoughts enter your head and whisper, “You could be doing this”, or “Why are you wasting your time on that when you could be doing this” and so on.

The Economics Perspective

The notion of choosing the right option & profiting from it as much as possible is known as Utility Maximisation in economics.

Utility simply means value, and obviously several parties in the market want to maximise the value of their economic decisions.

A humorous example of this, is when you check out of an hotel, you make sure you take all the condiments, towels, cleaning products, etc. with you. When you do this, you are maximising the utility of your stay at the hotel.

Corporations strive to maximise utility at each possible moment.

Firms don’t simply make a product and just sell it.

Rather, firms spend big money on researching and planning ways to maximise utility from each economic action.

They wont only profit through selling you a good. They will prompt you to sign up for their newsletter or rewards program. They will ask you to refer their business to your friends. They will ask you to follow them and interact with them on social media and so on.

If companies are focusing on maximising utility, then why aren’t you?

How can we apply the Opportunity Cost / Utility Principle?

In order for you to succeed in life you need to maximise your utility in three main things:

  1. Time

Most people spend their time in their present relaxing and burning their time on mindless entertainment.

We understand this though, coming home from work does not motivate you to read a book, start a project, go for a run, etc.

However sacrificing pleasure and relaxation is necessary for future everlasting relaxation.

You have to trade off your utility in the present for utility in the future.

If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift (Charles Bukowski)


How many people have you heard complain the same thing over and over again; “The system is rigged against me, the rich get rich and the poor get poorer”. He says this while spending the little money he has on Gucci and Prada and while the real wealthy people are simply wearing jeans and a shirt.

There is nothing wrong with the system rather there is something wrong with these people’s attitude.

Foolish people purchase goods that only provide utility once.

For example; If you buy liquor, you only drink it once and feel the effects once. You cant drink your liquor and have it too.

You must purchase goods & services that will benefit you now and in the future.

For example; Instead of buying a hotshot car, you should buy property. When you own property you can either; live in it in the present and rent it out in the future, or rent it out immediately and earn regular income in the present and in the future.

By choosing property instead of the car you may miss out on the benefit of looking rich and being popular but you acquire the amazing benefit of regular passive income.

This notion can also be observed in relation to education. “If you skip buying a BMW and invest in a college education instead, your future income will be higher” (Wheelan, 2019).


A man does not need brilliance or genius, all he needs is energy” (Albert M. Greenfield)

Energy has the potential to turn rubbish into gold. But unfortunately people don’t realise this, hence they waste their energy on fruitless activities.

I, personally am very devoted to the topic of energy. In my article The awful dream: “My dream job is at Google I argue that people have the skills and the energy to do great things, rather than to work for a corporation.

The world does not need more drone workers simply following orders.

The world needs strong, passionate and intellectual minds who will transform the world into a better place.”

Do not misplace your energy into a corporation who will fire you at the blink of an eye.

Your energy is sacred. Utilise it in the projects you wish to follow.

To conclude on this principle.

You have to trade off your utility in the present for utility in the future which means:

Stop buying unnecessary products (Games, iPhones, Expensive Food, etc.). Stop trying to look rich. Stop going out to unnecessary outings. Stop associating with lazy friends.


Start waking up early. Start good habits. Start a project. Associate with good friends

There are much more examples to give, however we believe we have explained the notion sufficiently.

Utility is value and the lesson here is, you must maximise your utility in the present & the future.

Principle 3

Human Capital

Human Capital is an Economic Passport

What is Human Capital?

Human capital is the sum total of skills embodied within an individual: education, intelligence, charisma, creativity, work experience, entrepreneurial vigour. (Wheelan, 2019).”

The above skills are absolutely necessary for an individuals success.

Wheelan makes the point that people are poor not because they can’t find good jobs but rather the real issue is a lack of skills and human capital.

True, people are poor in America because they cannot find good jobs. But that is the symptom, not the illness. The underlying problem is the lack of skills” (Wheelan, 2019).

There is an important difference between the individual who possess useful, in-demand skills and knowledge than someone who does not have any skills or knowledge.

The one with more useful skills and knowledge finds jobs easier because the human capital he posses is of high quality and of high demand.

If you work in a fast-food restaurant and some incident occurs which prompts management to fire some workers, you will be fired without a second thought. That is because you are not valuable to them, you can easily be replaced because flipping burgers is not akin to splitting atoms.

However, if you work as an electrical engineer and management may need to fire some people, they will be reluctant to fire you as you have the education and the skills that they really require.

We will return to an important quote we mentioned in the beginning of this principle.

Human capital is an economic passport” (Wheelan, 2019).

If you posses a great human capital, you are highly demanded and your economic passport can take you many places just as a regular passport will.

If you started your own million-dollar empire in an industry and say for instance you lost all of that.

It will be no issue.

Other companies or entrepreneurs will be interested to work with you as they know you possess great human capital.

Wherever you are in the world you could show people your economic passport and easily find work, however if you don’t have no skills or education, you most likely will be working low level jobs.

The Economic Perspective

The concept of human capital recognises that not all labour is equal. But employers can improve the quality of that capital by investing in employees—the education, experience, and abilities of employees all have economic value for employers and for the economy as a whole” (Investopedia).

It is in the best interests of employers to improve the quality of human capital. Because as human capital increases, productivity increases. And as you may know, when productivity increases costs are reduced and profits may rise.

The human resources departments of many corporations are invested in providing seminars and conferences for employees because “Productivity growth depends on investment in physical capital, human capital, in research and development, …” (Wheelan, 2019)

We will mention one last quote reemphasising the importance of investment into human capital.

In a sample of 64 countries, there is clear evidence that output growth is positively correlated with the change in educational attainment, even when one conditions on physical capital accumulation (Temple, 1999)

How can we apply the Human Capital Principle?

The first application of this principle is to get an education, preferably in an industry that is in demand.

Regardless if you wish to follow you passions or not, you should still pursue an education because some passions cant be relied upon for a basic income. You should receive a degree of sorts, find work in relevant industries and work on your passions on the side.

The world is a competitive arena. If you cannot compete in the labour market then you will not be able to get a job, if you do somehow to manage to get a job, it will not be a good paying job.

The uneducated & unskilled always tumbles and trips in life.

It is absolutely necessary for you to become ‘So Good They Can’t Ignore You’ as Cal Newport would say.

Forget these Gary Vee fanboys saying that they want to skip an education.

Skipping education is understandable, especially if you can’t afford the tuition, but we advise everyone who can afford an education in a university or a trade to do so.

Alternatively if you cannot acquire an education, you should be able to learn some important skills and showcase those skills with a portfolio of some sorts. There are plenty of online courses that one can take and there are plenty of other methods of acquiring quality human capital.

Don’t give me examples of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs becoming successful without an education. You most likely are no where near on their level. They are revolutionising the technology industry while you are struggling to start a drop shipping store.

The next important application of this principle is to aquire work experience.

Many of you may know, graduating from college does not secure you a good job. The internet is filled with the complaints of graduates not being able to find work. This is mainly due to two reasons; a) the labour market is competitive and b) employers have the freedom to choose from many applicants in the job market.

There are tons of graduates.

What differentiates between the ones who get jobs and the ones who don’t is the amount of experience they have on their belt.

Now of course, we are aware that nepotism is a main reason why some people may not get jobs, the Wall Street scene in America is largely built on networks and connections. Posh students already have a guaranteed spot with a company, so some of them tend to party their way through college and afterwards slide into a cushy desk job.

The advice for this unfair situation is the same. Make sure you are so good that these companies that involve themselves in nepotism cant ignore you. In some cases they will hire you, because you are so much better than one of their family members or friends.

Work experience is not only important for staying competitive in the job market, it is also important for building your character, developing discipline, training the mind and transforming yourself into the best version of your self.

In the process (of an apprenticeship) you will master the necessary skills, discipline your mind, and transform yourself into an independent thinker, prepared for the creative challenges on the way to mastery” (Greene, 2012)

This quote leads us to the last practical application of The Principle of Human Capital

You must develop social intelligence, charisma and entrepreneurial vigour.

You may be smart and skilled, but if you can work well with people then who would want to hire you.

If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far (Goleman, 2006).

I have seen people with no skills or experience get hired.

Its shocking and it frustrates me sometimes. How can someone with less skills get the job instead of me who has more skills?

The answer is simple. People with social intelligence & charisma can interact with customers, clients and other team members much better and by doing so they create a productive workplace and can turn customers in to repeating customers.

The different ways you may improve your social intelligence and charisma include:

  • Improving communication skills

Communication is the most important skill in life” (R. Covey, 1989/2004)

  • Improving listening skills

Transforming your self into a deep listener will not only prove more amusing as you open your mind to their mind but will also provide the most invaluable lessons about human psychology” (Greene, 2018)

  • Improving your body language presentation.

Our nonverbal cues are a bit like magnets. They can repel people. “Wow, that guy is angry – or he thinks he’s pretty important – I think I’ll steer clear of him.” They can also attract people. Non verbals signal that you are open to someone – that you like them – and they have a feeling that you like them if they have a feeling that you are like them. This goes a long way toward helping us make a connection with someone” (Hoobyar & Dotz, 2013).


We have outlined three important success principles that are sourced from Economics.

These lessons are universal lessons that can be applied to any situation and we advise our readers to constantly keep these principles close by.

The three economic priniciples for succcess were:

  • Economics of Information: “Markets tend to favour the party that knows more.”
  • Oppurtunity Cost / Utility: Intelligent people make decisions based on opportunity costs.”
  • Human Capital: “Human Capital is an Economic Passport.”

We will be expanding on the notion of sourcing success lessions from Economics in an upcoming book entitled 10 Economic Principles for Success.

If you want to get this book for free when it is released, subscribe to my fortnightly newsletter. My Current subscribers got this book for free.

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7 Mental Alchemy Principles

This article contains extracts from the e-book: Practical Mental Alchemy

In this article our aim is to give our readers a brief outline of the 7 Universal Principles:

  1. The Principle of Mentalism.
  2. The Principle of Correspondence.
  3. The Principle of Vibration.
  4. The Principle of Polarity.
  5. The Principle of Rhythm.
  6. The Principle of Cause & Effect.
  7. The Principle of Gender.

These 7 Principles are used for the purpose of Mental Transmutation.

Mental Transmutation means the art of changing and transforming mental states, forms, and conditions into others.

Just as how copper is transmuted into gold. Negative mental states can be transmuted into positive mental states.

Mind may be transmuted, from state to state; degree to degree; condition to condition; vibration to vibration.”

The Kybalion mainly looks at the theory of these important principles. It is our aim to provide the practical techniques that can assist you in mental transmutation. This article lists the main techniques that correspond to each principle. If one wishes to read the full explanation, he is advised to read through the free eBook: Practical Mental Alchemy

If the reader is after hermetic alchemy, then this article and the Kybalion is not suited for his purposes. We will outline the true essence of Hermeticism in a later article.

While The Kybalion is not a great book on Hermeticism, it is a powerful book containing powerful principles that every neophyte should understand and apply.



The Principle of Mentalism

“If the Universe is Mental in its nature, then Mental Transmutation must be the art of CHANGING THE CONDITIONS OF THE UNIVERSE, along the lines of Matter, Force and Mind.”

This principle is the backbone of all other principles.

The neophyte must understand that the Universe is a Mental Creation.

You may ask, “What is meant by the statement: The Universe is a Mental Creation?”

In the perspective of the Kybalion:

The Universe is Mental—held in the Mind of The All.”

The All creates the Universe mentally, in a manner akin to the process whereby
Man creates Mental Images.

These two quotes show us that alchemy is in fact a mental activity.

The rest of the principles build up on the Principle of Mentalism as you will see below:

  • Correspondence: Utilizing the knowledge of the two minds to change deeply rooted thought processes & habits.
  • Vibration: Changing mental states and moods by raising or reducing the vibration of the individual.
  • Polarity: Changing mental states by switching from one mental state to its polar opposite.
  • Rhythm: Neutralizing the negative effects of the constant ups and downs of life. 
  • Cause and Effect: How we can avoid being affected by internal and external situations and instead become the cause for external and internal situations.
  • Gender: How we can balance our mind and obtain the appropriate level of objectivity and subjectivity. 

All the principles correlate together perfectly and they all work towards achieving the same goal: Mental Transmutation.

The Principle of Correspondence

“As Above, so Below., as Below, so Above”

Whatever occurs repeatedly in the conscious mind will be imprinted in the subconscious mind, and whatever is in the subconscious mind will manifest in the conscious mind.

The principle also means:

The rate of vibration at your mental plane will affect the rate of vibration at the physical plane and vice versa.

If the mental vibrations are low, then so will the physical vibrations be low.

Why do think many people suffer from a lack of energy and motivation?

Why are more and more people suffering from mental illness?

If their physical vibrations are low then so will their mental vibrations be low. When the vibrations of the body and mind are low this affects the body in totality keeping it at a weak and feeble state.

Correspondence is simple. Make sure you fill your subconscious mind with positivity so that you can manifest positivity in your daily thought patterns.

Read The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy for more on this.

The Practical Application:

1. Create Good Habits & Leave Bad Habits.

Whatever you busy yourself with physically and consciously, will manifest in
the subconscious.

Habits are so powerful that if you did not apply anything but this technique, you will be performing greatly.

Habits can change your life at an exponetial rate.

“Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement”

James Clear

2. Make Changes to Your External Environment

The subconscious is like a sponge, it absorbs any external stimulus and imprints your mind with such stimulus.

If your external environment is clean, peaceful, and organized, so will be your mind.

By making changes to your external environment, you also make changes to your internal environment.

The main aspect of this technique is cleaning and making sure the areas where you
spend most of your time are organized and emanate positive vibrations.

3. Substitute negative beliefs with its positive counterpart.

To substitute beliefs:

  1. You must enter into a state where your conscious mind is submerged. Enter into
    a sleepy, drowsy state, either through meditation, hypnosis or before sleep. “In this
    state the negative thoughts, which tend to neutralize your desire and so prevent
    acceptance by your subconscious mind are no longer present” (Murphy, 2011).
  2. Then, sum up your idea or belief you wish to impregnate the subconscious mind
    in a short, easy to say, lullaby.Charles Baudouin, a professor at the Rousseau Institute in France concocted this method in 1910, he mentions that the short and easy lullaby eases the process of
    impregnating an idea into the subconscious.
  3. While you are in a sleepy drowsy state, repeat the lullaby over and over again. Depending on how deeply the negative belief has been ingrained, you will start tosee some positive results in a week to a months’ time. Of course, results will vary from person to person. For me, I started to see some results in a fortnight.

The Principle of Vibration

“To change your mood or mental state–change your vibration.”

“One may change his mental vibrations by an effort of Will, in the direction of deliberately fixing the Attention upon a more desirable state.”

The Practical Application:

1. Mental State Check & Switch

2. Raise Your Vibration.

The Principle of Polarity

To destroy an undesirable rate of mental vibration, put into operation the Principle of Polarity and concentrate upon the opposite pole to that that you desire to suppress. Kill out the undesirable by changing its polarity.”

“If you are possessed by Fear, do not waste time trying to “kill out” Fear, but instead cultivate the quality of Courage, and the Fear will disappear.”

“The mastery of Polarization is the mastery of the fundamental principles of Mental Transmutation or Mental Alchemy”

Practical Application

1. The Symbolism Technique

2. Perform Actions that Correspond to your Desired State

3. Focus on the Desired State.

The Principle of Rhythm

“The Master by rising mentally to the higher plane causes the swing of the mental pendulum to manifest on the Lower Plane, and he, dwelling on his Higher Plane, escapes the consciousness of the swing backward.”

This involves raising the vibrations to a certain level, so that one enters a higher plane. Once he is in the higher plane, the events of the lower plane won’t affect him as much.

“It is akin to rising above a thing and letting it pass beneath you.”

The Principle of Rhythm is always active, however its effects can be avoided.

Practical Application

1. The Law of Neutralization

2. Always Remember the Principle of Rhythm

3. Ride The Pendulum


The Principle of Causation

“Nothing escapes the Principle of Cause and Effect, but there are many Planes of Causation, an one may use the laws of the higher (cause) to overcome the laws of the higher to overcome the laws of the lower (effect)

“The masses of people are carried along, obedient to their environment; the wills and desires of others stronger than themselves; the effects of inherited tendencies; the suggestions of those about them: and other outward causes; which tend to move them about on the chess-board of life like mere pawns.” 

By rising above these influencing cause, the advanced Hermetitist seek a higher plane of mental plane of mental action, and by dominating their moods, emotions, impulses and feelings, they create for themselves new characters, qualities and powers, by which they overcome their ordinary environment, and thus become practically players instead of mere Pawns.”

Practical Application

1. Become a Cause not an Effect.

The Principle of Gender

There is this dual aspect in the mind of every person. The “I” represents the Masculine Principle of Mental Gender—the “Me” represents the Feminine Principle

“The tendency of the Feminine Principle is always in the direction of receiving impressions, while the tendency of the Masculine Principle is always in the direction of giving out, or expressing”

“The Feminine Principle conducts the work of generating new thoughts, concepts, ideas, including the work of the imagination, . . . and the Masculine Will in stimulating and energizing the creative portion of the mind.”

The Feminine is not better than the Masculine Principle and the Masculine is not better than the Feminine Principle, They complete each other,

If one had high levels of the Feminine Principle, they would be in their head most of the time, very creative and thoughtful, however they won’t be able to act on their ideas and their creativity.

If one has high levels of the Masculine Principle, they would be very motivated, objective and active, but they won’t have any ideas or creativity that would make their work creative or deep.

Practical Application

1. Work within Your Strengths.

2. Balance Masculine & Feminine Principle.