Think and Grow Rich: For Men and Women Who Resent Poverty

Think and get rich

Summary of “Think and get rich”: This book explains why some people amass great fortunes while others fail to make ends meet. Since its launch in 1937, it’s always been the reference book for people who want to get rich.

by Napoleon Hill, 1937, 250 pages

Note: this article is written by our guest writer Nicolas Bazard from the Object if 10% blog.

Book chronicle and summary of “Think and get rich”

Chapter 0: Introduction

The author of Think and get rich, Napoleon Hill, studied and interviewed the 500 richest men of his time: Carnegie, Rockefeller, Ford,… To try and determine if there were any commonalities between these men who knew how to get wealthy.

Is there a reproducible method to learn how to become rich?

The answer is yes! And this method, the fruit of 25 years of research, has been divided into 13 steps. Napoleon Hill tells us that personal enrichment is possible provided we know one and only one secret. This secret will never be precisely named in the book, but will nonetheless be evoked more than a hundred times because this secret is more effective when it is simply left in sight, where those who are willing and looking for it, will be able to use it… But it is clear that through these 13 steps, you think and become rich.

Andrew Carnegie taught this secret to him when Napoleon Hill was still a young man. The latter then spent the next 20 years of his life revealing this secret to more than 100,000 men to check its effectiveness.

The author gives us a number of examples of people who have succeeded after acquiring this secret. For him, all the people who acquired this secret and used it were carried away by success! Then the author says that this secret has nothing to do with in-depth studies or being particularly well educated. He cites the example of Henry Ford who never attended high school.

Finally, Napoleon Hill concludes by saying that if the reader of Think and get rich is ready for this secret then it will pop out of the text before his very eyes and he will recognise this secret in each of the chapters of the book.

In the end, Napoleon Hill declares: “Every success, every fortune begins with an idea.”

Chapter 1: The man who “in his mind” wanted to become Thomas A Edison’s associate.

Napoleon Hill tells the story of Edwin C. Barnes, a man who eagerly wanted to meet and work with Thomas A Edison.

However, Barnes did not know Thomas Edison and could not afford the trip to Edison’s office. These obstacles would have stopped most people, but not Barnes, who wanted so badly to work with Edison. So he took a freight train and managed to get an interview.

Barnes was a very ordinary boy but despite this, Edison felt that his desire to work with him was very strong, so he hired him as a simple employee.

This did not dampen Barnes’ willingness and focus to become Edison’s partner and not his employee. After several years, Barnes still had his goal in mind and an opportunity arose. Edison had just invented a new machine that none of his salesmen could sell.

Barnes seizes this opportunity and goes on to sell this “Ediphone” for over thirty years! He pocketed millions of dollars. It was this era that gave birth to the slogan “invented by Edison and installed by Barnes”.

He remains fixated on his idea: to become Edison’s associate, a straightforward man who managed to make a fortune. What did he have that others didn’t? He knew what he wanted and was willing to persevere until he reached his goal.

The link between all men who experience failure is abandonment. Barnes could have given up on many occasions, yet he persevered and succeeded.

Success comes after the failure

great fortunes

Napoleon Hill gives another example, that of a man who headed west in search of gold. He quickly found his sought-after metal and began to make a fortune. He exploited all the gold in his mine right up to the day it dried up. And what did he do then? He gave up.

An investor bought the apparently empty mine. He brought in an engineer who declared that there was still gold in the mine but one had to dig in a different area, close by. And this investor, who had consulted an engineer, made a fortune.

The moral of this story? Success rarely happens right away and you often have to endure several failures before enjoying success.

The normal reaction after a failure is to give up, which is what most people do. Of the 500 richest of our time, most confided to the author that they only enjoyed great success after a failure that seemed hopeless.

Failure only obscures success that is actually much closer than we think.

Henry Ford’s secret to becoming rich

One day, Henry Ford, the man who revolutionised the automobile, decided to produce his V8 engine. All his engineers told him that his idea was “impossible”. Ford ordered them to try it anyway. Six months passed, then six more… And the engineers couldn’t build the much-touted engine. Determined, Ford told them to keep looking.

Then one day, magically, engineers discover the secret to making the V8 engine.

It is Henry Ford’s legendary determination that is the source of his successes. Where more than one person would have abandoned ship, he remains focused on his purpose.

Chapter 2: First step towards wealth: the desire

Desire is the starting point for any personal success.

When Barnes got off the freight train to meet Thomas Edison, he could have been mistaken for a vagabond, but his thoughts were those of a king. Throughout the journey, he visualised himself working as Edison’s partner.

This desire was not a hope or a wish, it was a burning passion!

For everyone, Barnes was just another cog in Edison’s business. But in his own mind, he was Edison’s partner from the first day he started at the company.

How do you keep this ardent desire to win, in mind?

Napoleon Hill tells an old story about a warrior who sailed to a battle probably lost in advance. When he arrived at the scene, he asked his soldiers to set fire to the boats. There was therefore only one solution left: “Conquer or die”. And they won this supposedly unwinnable battle.

Those wishing to succeed in any business must eliminate all sources of retreat. This is the only way to maintain the ardent desire to win in mind, which is the key to success.

Instructions to turn your desires into cash

Here are 6 precise and practical instructions that will allow you to transform your desires in cash:

  1. Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you seek.
  2. Determine exactly what you intend to give in exchange for the money you want.
  3. Fix the date you want to be in possession of this sum.
  4. Define a specific plan that will help you achieve your desire, and immediately start putting it into action.
  5. Write clearly on a paper the amount you want to acquire, the time you have set and the specific plan you have developed to achieve all of this.
  6. Read your written goals a loud, twice a day, in the evening before bedtime and in the morning as you wake up.

During this reading, you must see, feel and believe in the possession of this money. Your mind must be overtaken with the desire for money.

Have a well-defined goal and an ardent desire. To be successful, you have to have a well-defined goal, to know exactly what you want and to have an ardent desire to possess it. All those who wish to become rich must bear in mind that the greatest skyscrapers, the most ingenious inventions, all started out as dreams.

Henry Ford’s secret to becoming rich

great fortunes

One day, Henry Ford, the man who revolutionised the automobile, decided to produce his V8 engine. All his engineers told him that his idea was “impossible”. Ford ordered them to try anyway. Six months passed, then six more… And the engineers couldn’t build that famous engine. Ford, determined, told them to keep looking.

Then one day, magically, engineers discover the secret of making the V8 engine.

It is the legendary determination of Henry Ford that is the source of all his successes. Where more than one person would have abandoned, it remains fixed on its purpose.

When you decide to acquire your share of wealth, do not sway, even if one mocks your dream. Lock into the spirit of the great pioneers whose dreams allowed the American civilisation to attain all that it holds most valuable, as well as the opportunity to develop and launch our talents.

Desire makes the impossible, possible

Napoleon Hill then tells us the story of his child, born deaf-mute. Seeing him, the author says to himself “I want my son to hear and speak, I want him to have a normal life.”

Every day Napoleon Hill repeated to himself that he wanted his son to have a normal life.

A few years later, the author buys a phonograph that his son then listens to for hours, his teeth clamped onto the device’s casing. The bone being a good conductor of sound, his son could hear the music, even softly.

More than anything in the world Napoleon Hill wanted his son to be able to hear, so he sought solutions in the technological advances of the time.

When the young boy arrived at university, he tried a high-tech electrical device that allowed him to hear for the first time!

Discovering a new world, the author’s son decided to devote his life to selling these hearing aids.

Napoleon Hill concludes that nothing is impossible for someone who has faith. He could have accepted that his son would never hear, but he fought his whole life to find a solution and eventually his son was found his hearing.

Chapter 3 The second step towards wealth: Faith

Faith is a state of mind obtained by affirming or repeating instructions to the subconscious, which plays a major role in creating desire, using the principle of auto-suggestion.

Let’s use yourself as an example, why are you reading this chronicle? Because you want to know how to turn your desire into its physical equivalent, that is money.

The only method to effectively develop faith is to repeat the following clear orders to one’s subconscious: I want 1 million euros, I want 1 million euros, I want … ».

All thoughts, positive or negative, influence the subconscious when stimulated by faith

When men are first confronted by crime, they hate it. The second time, they get used to it. Over time they end up totally accepting it as normal.

All thoughts repeated again and again, end up being accepted by our subconscious, whether they are good or bad.

Most people feel condemned to remaining poor and therefore keep repeating to themselves: “I could never become rich.” In the end, they convince themselves it’s true. They are the creators of their own misfortune.

Faith is a state of mind that is created by auto-suggestion

You can develop your faith by strongly suggesting to your subconscious that you have the faith. Your subconscious will then influence your actions.

If you understand this, then you will appreciate why it is essential to drive away ones negative thoughts (“I will fail”) and to encourage positive thoughts (“I will succeed”).

This faith is both the first step towards wealth and the only antidote to failure. This explains why the rich are always more successful and the poor always fail more.

The repetition of thought

How do you plant the seed of an idea in your mind?


It is very simple: any idea, plan or goal can be inserted into the mind by the repetition of the thought. This is why the author recommends writing down your main purpose on paper and precisely defining it, learning it by heart and repeating it aloud every day, until this thought is firmly installed in your mind.

Once this idea is fixed in your mind, nothing can make you ignore it.

Remember, wealth begins with a thought.

Chapter 4: The third step towards wealth: auto-suggestion, the tool to influence the subconscious mind

Auto-suggestion is a form of suggestion that is addressed to oneself.

The subconscious is like a garden. Left unattended, weeds will grow. Conversely, by nourishing your garden with positive thoughts, all negative thoughts will disappear and you’ll succeed in everything you undertake.

To act on your subconscious, think emotionally

In the chapter on desire, we learnt to repeat our goals a loud, twice a day. Unfortunately just reading aloud is not enough. You have to read and feel your goals at the same time. Your subconscious can only act if it is motivated by emotional thoughts.

On top of this, you have to believe in what you say.

With your eyes closed, you can “visualise” the money you desire and imagine that, at the same time you are helping others and this it is not just about acquisition or personal advantage, but about exchanging. There can be no enrichment without a service rendered in return.

The fact that you are reading this article proves that you really want to know the secrets of success. To obtain satisfactory results, you must follow all the instructions described in Think and get rich and deeply believe that your desire will materialise.

Man is the master of his earthly destiny

Many philosophers have found that man is the master of his destiny, but most have not been able to tell us why this is so. Man can become master of himself and all that surrounds him, because he possesses the power to influence his own subconscious.

Chapter 5: The fourth step towards wealth: specialisation, personal experiences or observations

There are two kinds of culture: general and specialised. General culture is of little use in the quest for wealth. Lengthy studying does not help you get rich, besides most professors are poor.

The main flaw in any educational system is the inability of schools to teach students about organisation and use of knowledge.

Henry Ford, in a defamation suit, had to answer a number of general culture questions to prove that he was not educated. What Henry Ford replied was unsettling: “I work with people who are all able to answer your questions, all I have to do is press a button and they will come and answer them. So why should I try to answer all these questions when I work with men who are there to help me if I fail? »

The lawyers didn’t know what to say. Everyone recognised that Ford’s words were those of an educated man.

Before you can transform your desire into its monetary equivalent, you first need to specialise in a particular field. Knowledge of the service, goods or profession that you intend to offer, in exchange for the fortune, is indispensable.

It’s never too late to learn

Successful men, in all spheres of activity, never cease to enrich their specialised knowledge.

Those who fail often make the mistake of believing that the time to learn ends with school. The truth is the school is just trying to teach us how we can acquire practical knowledge.

To be trained in something, most of the time pays off! Someone who stops studying, simply because they think that they have finished their studies, is desperately condemned to mediocrity. To achieve success, you have to continue to acquire knowledge.

That’s why I created my blog: 10% goal, which aims to help you find investments that will deliver at least 10% a year!

Chapter 6: The fifth step towards wealth: imagination, the mind’s workshop

Imagination is the workshop in which all human plans are developed. The desire is shaped, sculpted and nourished by the imaginative faculties of the mind.

It is with imagination that man conquered the sky, determined the distance from the sun and travelled faster than sound…

Napoleon Hill defines 2 types of imagination:

  • Synthetic Imagination: It does not create anything; it reheats old concepts, old ideas, and old plans. This form of imagination is based on experience, instruction and observation
  • Creative Imagination: With this, the mind knows no limits. It creates new ideas. It works thanks to the ardent desire of our subconscious.

Have precise intent and precise plans

If you are amongst those who believe that only hard work leads to wealth, think again, it is not! Money is not the result of work. Money is the answer to a demand. Those who get rich are those who respond to a specific demand, one shared by a large number of individuals on earth.

All sellers who master their profession know that an idea can be sold where the goods cannot. Bad sellers ignore it, which is why they will remain bad sellers!

The author then tells us the story of a book salesman who noticed that the best selling books were the ones that had the prettiest covers. So he changed the cover of the books he couldn’t sell and made a fortune!

As simple as it sounds, it’s a good idea! An idea springs from imagination.

For ideas, there is no standard price. The creator of ideas defines his own price and if he knows how to do it right, he will earn a lot of money.

The story of almost all the big fortunes begins on the day the creator of ideas and a salesman of ideas meet and work together.

Chapter 7: The sixth step towards wealth: the elaboration of plans, the crystallisation of desire in action

Everything one creates or acquires begins with desire. In the imagination workshop, where plans are created and organised, desire begins its journey, from the abstract to the tangible.

The development of defined and practical plans to achieve this transformation is a very important phase.

Here’s how to develop plans:

  • Bring together all the people who will need for your plan to succeed
  • Decide on the advantages and benefits you can offer the different members of your group in exchange for their cooperation.
  • Organise meetings with your group members at least twice a week until your plan is complete.
  • Finally, be in perfect harmony with each member of your group

Persevere until you succeed

If the first plan you make fails, replace it with a new plan. If that doesn’t succeed either, replace it again with a new one and so on until you find the one that works. This is exactly where the majority of people get discouraged and fail because of their lack of perseverance.

Temporary defeats leads to success

get rich Think and Grow

Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before inventing the electric light bulb. It could be said that he failed 10,000 times, but Napoleon Hill points out that he failed temporarily 10,000 times before his efforts were rewarded.

This is where the difference lies. Each failure should be considered as a temporary failure and a success-in-waiting. It is important not to give up at the first hurdle.

One is only ever beaten when one gives up mentally. No one can expect great financial success without experiencing temporary failures.

The author uses a phrase that I like very much: “A quitter never wins and a winner never lets go”

The key elements of leadership

There is no shame in being a follower, but you do not earn anything by staying as one. Most great leaders started as followers. They become great leaders because they are intelligent followers. With few exceptions, he who is unable to intelligently follow his leader will never be a good leader. Men who are close to their superiors are often the ones who pick up promotions first. An intelligent follower has several advantages, among them the opportunity to acquire the knowledge of its leader.

Here are the qualities that all the leaders should develop:

  • Infallible Courage
  • Self-control
  • A real sense of justice
  • Firmness in decisions
  • Accuracy of plans
  • The habit of doing more than others
  • A pleasant personality
  • Sympathy and understanding
  • Control of details
  • Willingness to take full responsibility
  • Cooperation

The 10 main causes of leadership failure

  • Neglect of details
  • Reluctance to provide a modest service
  • Seeking a salary for what they “know” and not for what they do with what they know
  • Fear of competition from subordinates
  • Lack of imagination
  • Selfishness
  • Intemperance
  • Disloyalty
  • Prioritising the authority of management
  • Putting emphasis on title

The top 30 causes of failure

Beyond the analysis of great successes, Napoleon Hill was able to observe significant failures. He highlights 30 reasons.

  1. An unfavourable hereditary background: a mental disability for example
  2. The lack of a well-defined goal in life
  3. Lack of ambition
  4. Inadequate education: Men are paid for what they know, but especially for what they do with their knowledge
  5. Lack of self-discipline
  6. Poor health
  7. Bad childhood influences: “The way a plant grows is influenced by its caretaker”
  8. Hesitation: The most common cause of failure. It’s never The Right Time
  9. Lack of perseverance
  10. A negative personality
  11. Lack of control of sexual needs
  12. Uncontrolled desire to get “something without giving anything”
  13. The lack of a well-defined decision
  14. One or more of the 6 basic fears: They are described in the “the Six Ghosts of Fear” section
  15. Poor choice of spouse: marital relationships will fail if they are marked by misery, sadness or the destruction of any sign of ambition.
  16. Excessive prudence
  17. Bad choice of business associates
  18. Superstition and prejudice
  19. The wrong vocation
  20. Spreading your efforts too widely
  21. The habit of spending without counting
  22. Lack of enthusiasm
  23. Intolerance
  24. Excesses concerning food, beverages and sex life
  25. The inability to cooperate, to work with others
  26. Possession of power not acquired by its own efforts: to inherit a great fortune for example
  27. Dishonesty
  28. Selfishness and vanity: these faults put others off
  29. Assessment instead of criticism: it is best to judge on reality and on “opinions”
  30. Lack of capital

Chapter 8: The seventh step towards wealth: the decision

Napoleon Hill studied several thousand cases of chess and concluded that one of the main causes of failure is indecision. Most people who make a fortune have the ability to make decisions quickly and stick to them.

Make your own decisions and keep to them

Most people who fail in their attempt to earn a lot of money are usually very impressionable.

Although it’s not their intention, close friends and parents often curb our ambitions by issuing reservations or expressing a negative opinion. Thousands of men and women carry inferiority complexes throughout their lives because a person destroyed their confidence with opinions and mockery.

You have a spirit and a mind, so use them to make your own decisions.

The value of a decision

The value of a decision depends on the courage it takes to make it. Men who are prepared to risk death take great decisions that drive civilisation forward.

The greatest decision in the entire history of the United States was taken in Philadelphia on July 4th, 1776 when 56 men signed a document, knowing that they may be buying freedom for all Americans, or hanging 56 of them by the neck until dead.

This document became The Declaration of Independence, which gave birth to the United States of America.

Chapter 9: Step eight towards wealth: perseverance, the effort required to have faith

Perseverance is what allows you to transform your desire for money into fully-fledged currency. Alongside perseverance, there is willpower. Combining these two attributes can get any man or woman to the summit of success.

Most people give up at the first resistance and that is why they never get rich.

A lukewarm desire brings meagre results

Desire is the origin of any enterprise. Never forget it. A small desire delivers only meagre results, just as a small fire gives off little heat. If you lack perseverance, fight this weakness by stimulating your desire until it becomes obsessive.

Just as water is attracted to the ocean, fortune is attracted to those who are prepared to receive it.

Those who cultivate the habit of perseverance are insured against failure. No matter how many defeats they endure, they are certain to win.

Perseverance is within reach for all

Perseverance is a state of mind, so it can be cultivated. To achieve this, here’s what is required:

  • Definition of the goal
  • Desire
  • Faith in itself
  • Accuracy of the plans
  • Adequate knowledge
  • Cooperation
  • Willpower
  • Habit

The enemies of perseverance

Here are the weaknesses that must be overcome by those who seek to make a fortune:

  • The inability to recognise and clearly define what you want.
  • Hesitation and its alibis and excuses.
  • Lack of interest in specialist education.
  • Indecision and the habit of letting others make our decisions.
  • The habit of relying on excuses instead of creating specific plans to find a solution to ones problem.
  • Self-satisfaction. Unfortunately there is nothing to treat this disease.
  • The indifference that usually comes about in the systematic search for compromise, where it would be better to face the obstacles and try to overcome them.
  • The habit of criticizing the mistakes of others and accepting unfavourable circumstances as inevitable.
  • The wish, and even sometimes being in a hurry, to give up at the first sign of defeat.
  • Lack of organised and carefully drafted plans for more effective studying.
  • The habit of neglecting opportunity.
  • Wishing instead of wanting.
  • The habit of making compromises with poverty instead of wanting a fortune. The total lack of ambition to be, act, or possess.
  • The quest for shortcuts leading to fortune; trying to take without giving anything.
  • Fear of being criticised, fear of “what will be said” which results in failure of the elaboration and application of plans.

Chapter 10: The ninth step towards wealth: the power of the “Master Mind” alliance

To make a fortune, power is indispensable. Napoleon Hill defines it as ” organised and intelligently-directed knowledge.”

The benefits of having a “mastermind” group

He who surrounds himself with intelligent men has a definite advantage over the loner. In addition, Napoleon Hill evokes mind synergies: 1 + 1 = 3. Two minds working together are more effective than two separate minds.

The key to power and success is to know how to surround oneself with brilliant men. This is no table in the case of Andrew Carnegie whose “Masterminds” group had fifty people whose mastery of the steel industry was at their fingertips. The success of great men is often down to the people who surrounded them.

Chapter 11: The tenth step towards wealth: The mystery of sexual transmutation

Sexual emotion is not only related to a physical state, but also to an emotion. This emotion exists for three reasons:

  • Reproduction
  • Health and well being
  • The transformation of mediocrity into genius

Sexual desire is the most powerful of desires. It stimulates, develops imagination, courage, will, perseverance and an ever-growing creative power.

Sexual desire

Sexual desire is extremely powerful. To satisfy it, some risk their lives and their reputation.

This desire must therefore be mastered, catalyzed to serve a “greater” cause than reproduction, for example the pursuit of wealth.

It has been proven that the most successful people are those who have a very strong sexual desire but are able to control it.

On the contrary, people who cannot catalyze this energy will always fail in life. It is for this reason that success does not materialise at 20 years old (with rare exceptions), but later when man eventually manages to master his sexual energy.

Chapter 12: The eleventh step towards wealth: the subconscious mind

The subconscious records and classifies all thought that reaches the conscious through 1 of the 5 senses. The subconscious works day and night.

Entrust your subconscious with your plan, desire or goal

By an unknown phenomenon, the subconscious feeds on our thoughts and transforms them into their physical equivalent. In addition, it always uses the most practical ways to do it.

You do not have control of your subconscious, but you can suggest an action plan. Once you have accepted the existence of your subconscious, you will understand why it is important to specify your desires and write them down. However, to act on the subconscious, you have to be patient and harness the power of habit: Repeat your goals and your plan aloud,every day.

If you do not try to control it, your subconscious will feed on thoughts that cross your mind, whether these thoughts are positive or not. Learn to master your thoughts and master your subconscious.

The seven positive emotions

You can choose to feed your subconscious with positive emotions:

  • Desire, faith, love, sexuality, enthusiasm, tenderness, hope

The seven negative emotions

Or you can choose to deal with your negative emotions:

  • Fear, jealousy, hatred, vengeance, greed, superstition, anger

Chapter 13: The twelfth step towards wealth: The human brain, a transmitter and receiver for thought

The human brain is similar to a radio station: it can emit waves, but also receive them. When the brain works intensely, it is able to give an emotional charge to the waves received so that they are integrated into our subconscious.

The subconscious is the “transmitter station” of the brain and the “creative imagination” is the “receiver unit” of the brain.

We are led by intangible forces

Napoleon Hill explains that there are intangible forces, things we cannot perceive with our five senses. Among these intangible forces is thought.

In the author’s era and even today, scientists understand brain functionality very poorly.

Setting up a positive environment can link the collective brains of your working group to each other. The author describes the ideal conditions for stimulating our “sixth sense” in the next chapter.

Chapter 14: The thirteenth step towards wealth: The sixth sense, the gate to the temple of wisdom

The sixth sense cannot be understood nor assimilated if one has not understood and mastered the other 12 principles of Think and get rich, right from the start.

Napoleon Hill defines the sixth sense as the part of the subconscious that has been named the “creative imagination”. By developing this sixth sense, you will possess a “guardian angel” that will open the door to the “temple of wisdom“.

temple of wisdom Think and Grow

For Napoleon Hill, the sixth sense is much like a miracle.

You can use the services of “invisible advisors”

It is beneficial to be inspired by great men. This becomes your “invisible advice” that can help you before any decision is made.

The author’s Personal Council is composed of the following 9 people:

  • Emerson: Leader of the literary movement of “Transcendentalism
  • Paine: Worked for the independence of the United States
  • Edison: Pioneer in the field of electricity
  • Darwin: Biologist, author of the Theory of Evolution
  • Lincoln: 16th president of the United States, abolished slavery
  • Burbank: Famous American horticulturist
  • Napoleon 1st: Emperor (you will notice that this is the only non-American)
  • Ford: Inventor of the Ford T
  • Carnegie: Billionaire who made a fortune in steel

How do you inspire the sixth sense?

Using and pausing the use one’s sixth sense cannot be done at will. However, by applying the principles of this book, one can develop one’s sixth sense.

The starting point for all fulfillment is desire and once there, one will discover the sixth sense. This unknown “something” has been the engine and source of inspiration for exceptionally great thinkers, entrepreneurs, artists and statesmen.

Any unexpected event that provokes emotions and causes the heart to beat faster than usual will awaken your sixth sense. The author takes the example of the car driver who turns the wheel at the last moment to avoid an accident: The sixth sense helped him.

By learning to develop your sixth sense, you will be able to transform your desire into its material equivalent.

Chapter 15: How to defeat the six ghosts of fear

To succeed, you must drive away any form of fear from your mind.

Fear can be divided into 6 different forms: Fear of poverty, criticism, illness, loss of love, old age and death.

However you must not forget that fear is a state of mind and that a state of mind can be controlled and directed. Unfortunately for the fearful, states of mind are transformed into their physical equivalent, whether the state of mind in question is voluntary or not.

The fear of poverty

The fear of poverty is the main fear that prevents us from enriching ourselves: “What if I fail?” Would I have to live on the streets? »

The fear of poverty is merely a state of mind. And yet it can be enough to destroy any chance of success. Many people do not invest their money for fear of losing it.

Fear of being criticised

Napoleon Hill asks himself the following question: How did man come to fear criticism?

The behaviour of most men is controlled by the fear of being judged negatively by others. That’s why everyone buys clothes so frequently, for fear of being out of fashion!

This fear removes man’s imagination and destroys any form of initiative. It is this fear of being “hit on the head” if you are out of the ordinary, which prevents men from living the life they really want.

Fear of disease

Man fears illness because he associates it with aging and death. However, a reputable physician has estimated that 75% of his patients had an imaginary sickness. It has also been proven that fear of the disease leads to…The disease itself!

This underlines the author’s thesis that thoughts turn into their physical equivalent.

Fear of losing one’s loved one

Jealousy and other forms of neurosis come from the fear of losing a loved one. It is a very powerful form of fear, one that probably causes the most havoc in the body and mind.

Prehistoric man tended towards polygamy and it was the strongest man who got to choose his wife. He would take her with brute force.

Man can have several children from several women at the same time while a woman can only have one child at a time and therefore only one partner. Moreover, women are more likely to be afraid of losing their love, as a result of the polygamous nature of man.

The fear of aging

A fear of aging is associated with two types of fear: that of weakening and dying. This form of fear leads to the fear of poverty, that of losing independence as well as physical and economic freedom.

The fear of death

This fear is the cruelest of all. This anguish has spawned a number of religious fanaticism. Religion only gives meaning to life by suggesting that there is a life after death. Religion tries to explain the following questions: “Where do we come from?” And where are we going?”

Destructive thoughts

The waves emitted by fear are transmitted and pass from one mind to the other. This is why negative people tend to project their pessimism and that positive people pass on their enthusiasm!

Whoever emits negative thoughts will destroy their creative imagination. Moreover, these thoughts lead to a negative personality and repel others, or even make them hostile! Fortunately, you can control your thinking, feed it with the ideas you have chosen. You will master your destiny as long as you control your thoughts. Many people use excuses.

People who do not succeed all have one thing in common: they know the reasons for their failures and explain them by making excusing for them! Unfortunately, excuses don’t make money.

Here are some commonly used excuses:

  • If I had money
  • If I was in better health
  • And if I had more time
  • If I could relive my life
  • If I was born rich
  • Weather my family understood me
  • If….

So no more imaginary excuses, ACT!

Book critique of “Think and get rich” :

Think and get rich is the very first book I’ve read on the subject of personal finances and personal development in general. It was after reading this book that I decided to take my life into my own hands.

As Napoleon Hill explains, the richest men are first and foremost men who never stop learning. I like to read, I like to learn. As a result of this first book, I went in search of other books on personal finances and I managed to change from a broke student to one with savings of €5000 when I embarked on working life.

I have also read several books on the stock exchange such as The Intelligent Investor, the principles of which I strictly follow. My portfolio achieves an average performance of 30%!

I am now getting into real estate, after reading several books such as Everyone Deserves To Be Rich and How I became Independently Wealthy In 4 Years.

Will I succeed in getting permanently rich with real estate? I’m sure I will!


Well because, as with my savings (which had started pretty well) or the stock exchange (my first investments were catastrophic) I will make mistakes… Even huge mistakes! But I will not give up, I will continue to train myself and learn. I will succeed someday.

This is the secret of Napoleon Hill’s wealth: You have to be persistent if you want to succeed in everything you undertake, because it is often after big failures that we enjoy our greatest successes.

I myself created five different blogs and two information services that were all failures. Am I ashamed of them? No, as I am not giving up and most of all: I learned from my mistakes! I remain convinced that one day or another I will succeed on the Internet, it will take the time it takes.

Here is a quote, which I believe sums up Napoleon Hill’s thinking pretty well:

“Success is going from failure to failure without losing one senthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

I hope Think and get rich will make you want to nurture your mind with positive thoughts and create your business, invest in the stock market or invest in real estate.

Strong and Weak Points of the Book Think and Grow Rich

Strong Points

  • Think and get rich is an highly motivating book that encourages action
  • Reads very easily and is peppered with many examples
  • Although theoretical, Napoleon Hill provides action points to be carried out daily
  • The “timeless” side of the book means that it will remain topical for decades to come
  • Also known under the title “Think and become rich”, this book teaches us the life philosophy of people who have learned how to get rich.

Weak Points

  • Think and get rich is very “American” in spirit and especially regarding the author’s relationship to money: for the author, personal enrichment may be a goal, whereas in France it is taboo to say that one wants to become a millionaire.
  • This book was written 80 years ago now, and one feels this occasionally, especially through some of the examples the author gives.

A Short Practical Guide to the Best-Seller Think and Grow Rich

The 13 principles of success of the book Think and Grow Rich

  1. Desire

Napoleon Hill says desire is the starting point of all achievements. “Anyone who is successful in anything he undertakes must be willing to burn his ships and remove all possibilities of retirement. It’s only in this way that one can be sure of maintaining that state of mind known as the ‘burning desire for success’ which is essential to success.

  1. Faith

By definition, faith is the visualization and belief in the realization of desire. ‘It is the chief engineer of the mind. When faith is mixed 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.’

  1. Autosuggestion

The autosuggestion is considered the means of influencing the subconscious mind. ‘Autosuggestion is the organ of control by which an individual can voluntarily feed his subconscious mind with thoughts of a creative nature, or, negligently, allow thoughts of a destructive nature to find their way into this rich garden of the mind.’

  1. Specialized Knowledge

Napoleon Hill’s book ‘Think and Grow Rich’ was completed and published in the 1930s, but even then, and especially now, you need a certain level of expertise, not general knowledge, to be successful on a day-to-day basis, and that is based on personal experience or observation. ‘Before you can be confident in your ability to turn DESIRE into its monetary equivalent, you will need SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE of the service, product or profession you intend to offer in exchange for your fortune.’

  1. Imagination

Imagination is considered the workshop of the mind. ‘Man’s only limitation, within reasonable limits, lies in his development and use of his imagination. He has not yet reached the peak of development in the use of his faculty of imagination. He has merely discovered that he has an imagination and has begun to use it in a very elementary way.’

  1. Organized Planning

Organized planning simplifies the crystallization of desire into action. ‘Every plan you adopt as you go about accumulating wealth should be the joint creation of yourself and all the other members of your master mind group.’ You may create your own plan, either in whole or in part, but make sure that these plans are checked and approved by the members of your master mind group.

  1. The Decision

Procrastination is a disease that consumes us every day if we allow it. We need to reach the stage of mastering procrastination. ‘A review of several hundred people who have accumulated fortunes far beyond the million-dollar mark revealed that each of them had a habit of making decisions quickly and changing them slowly if and when they were changed.’

  1. Tenacity

We tend to give up too soon, which is very bad in the short and long term. Sustained effort is required to create faith. Tenacity is an essential factor in the process of turning desire into its monetary equivalent. The basis of tenacity is willpower.”

  1. The Brain Force

The brain is considered the manager of the driving force. “Analyze the course of every man who has accumulated a great fortune and of those who have accumulated a modest fortune, and you will find that they have consciously or unconsciously used the principle of ‘The Master Mind.’

  1. The Mystery of Sexual Transmutation

‘The desire for sexual contact is so strong and so insistent. Men are willing to risk their lives and reputations to fulfill this need. When this sexual energy is harnessed and redirected in another direction, it retains all its attributes of eagerness, imagination, courage, etc., which can be used as powerful creative forces in literature, art or any other profession or vocation, including, of course, the accumulation of wealth.’

  1. The Subconscious Mind

The subconscious mind is the connecting link. ‘It consists of a field of consciousness in which every impulse of thought that reaches the objective mind through any of the five senses is filed and recorded, and from which thoughts can be recalled or withdrawn, file.’

  1. The Brain

The brain is actually the center of the diffusion and reception of thought. ‘Broadcasting your mind’ is a relatively simple procedure. You only have three principles to consider and apply when you want to use your station: subconscious mind, creative imagination and autosuggestion. The stimuli by which you applied these three principles have been described—the procedure begins with the desire.”

  1. The Sixth Sense

The 6th sense is the door to the temple of wisdom. “The 6th sense defies description! It cannot be described to a person who has not mastered the other principles of this philosophy, for such a person has no understanding and no experience with which the sixth sense can be compared.”

FAQ about the book Think and Grow Rich

  • Why is the book Think and Grow Rich still so successful after almost a century of existence?

People strive for wealth and social well-being. Napoleon Hill’s best-seller Think and Grow Rich is one of the best self-help books on how to get rich and one of the most comprehensive books on financial intelligence.

  • What are the different stages of wealth revealed by Napoleon Hill in his book?

Napoleon Hill reveals thirteen different stages in this book. For him, whatever your sector of activity, you need thirteen mandatory steps to get rich, including desire, faith, autosuggestion, specialized knowledge, imagination, organized planning, decision, tenacity, brain power, the mystery of sexual transmutation, the subconscious mind, the brain and finally the sixth sense.

  • Who is the Think and Grow Rich book for?

This book is for almost anyone in any industry. It is especially suitable for personal development coaches, entrepreneurs, civil servants, shopkeepers, craftsmen, unemployed people, students, etc.

  • How to overcome the six ghosts of fear?

According to Napoleon Hill, it is essential to chase away all forms of fear from your mind in order to succeed. For him, fear can take six different forms: fear of poverty, criticism, illness, losing your love, old age and death.

  • How to avoid destructive thoughts and excuses according to Napoleon Hill?

Napoleon Hill describes in a few lines the unfortunate consequences of negative thoughts on Man. For him, it is very important to be optimistic, to control one’s thoughts, to feed them with positive ideas and to avoid having excuses like the pessimists.

Who was Napoleon Hill?

Napoleon Hill was an American author. He embraced the career of writer and journalist at the age of 13. His most famous masterpiece is “Think and Grow Rich” which is one of the best personal development books published since 1937 and continues to be a phenomenal success to this day. With over sixty million copies sold worldwide, this book is a source of inspiration for many millionaires of the present and the future.

We can also cite many other books that are the fruit of his reflections, such as:

  • The Laws of Success
  • Success: Discovering the Path to Riches
  • Outwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom and Success
  • How to sell your way through life
  • Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude
  • Succeed and Grow Rich through Persuasion
  • You Can Work Your Own Miracles

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