Usually I’m not the type to write book reviews, but I truly believe in my heart of hearts that absolutely everyone should read this book. Don’t let the name fool you – this isn’t a book for those only looking to get rich. It’s a book for those that are looking to gain life’s riches, whether that be power, money, success, happiness, love, purpose, fulfillment; you name it. At its root, it’s a book that teaches you exactly how to get what you want out of life, as long as you are willing to work for it.
For a book written in 1937, its lessons are still very much applicable to today’s day and age. Why? Because the advice it gives and lessons it teaches are truly timeless. If anything, some of the insights regarding human consciousness and the power of the mind are way ahead of its time. In the book, Hill lays out 13 principles for acquiring riches:
10. Sex Transmutation
11. Subconscious Mind
12. The Brain
13. Sixth Sense
For a summary of these 13 principles, click here. Rather than spending time summarizing these 13 principles, I will instead pick out the lessons that I found to be most important and relevant; and discuss them in further detail.
To begin, I bought this book because it was recommended to my marketing class by my professor. Why would I take a book recommendation by one of my professors so seriously as to immediately go out and buy it? Because my professor, JP, is one of those people that just has such a good grasp at life. He has this magnetic, positive attitude and energy that’s paired with an exceptional work ethic. His whole philosophy is about creating a fun environment that truly encourages students to want to put out their best work. To put it simply, he’s mastered the art of work hard, play hard; and is definitely the type of guy that you would want to take book recommendations from.
Additionally, the fact that this book is $5 and change on Amazon makes it one of the least expensive book out there, which is quite a steal considering the immense value that it can bring to your life. Napoleon Hill wasn’t lying when he put “this book could be worth a million dollars to you” right on the cover.
What I loved most about this book is how it’s more of a philosophical self-help book rather than practical self-help. This book is NOT going to tell you to wake up at 4:30am, sleep 10 hours, exercise, write down 5 things you’re grateful for every day, etc. Although it is a “step by step guide”, the 13 steps are more so used as checkpoints to instil ways of thinking and challenge you to take inventory of yourself and the people in your circle. Rather than telling you explicit steps, Hill instead uses real-life examples of people that have embodied these steps for you to think for yourself about how you can apply each step to your own life.
The main point of the book is that your thoughts create your reality. This means that you are entirely in charge and responsible for what happens in your life by virtue of the power of your own thoughts and desires. However, it’s not enough to blindly say you desire something, this desire must be a burning desire. Something that you cannot fathom your life without. Further, this burning desire must be very specific, so you can create a definite step-by-step plan in order to achieve it. For Hill, it’s not enough to say “I want to be rich” or “I want to lose/gain weight”; you must specify the exact amount of money you want to earn or weight you want to lose/gain.
Secondly, you must couple this desire with belief. If you don’t believe you will be able to acquire the amount of money you desire or be able to reach your goal weight, you will never do it. This coupling of desire + belief = action is quite similar to philosopher, David Hume’s argument for the source of human motivation. In the 18th century, David Hume famously argued that reason is a slave to the passions; and that all actions are the result of the combination between belief and desire. For example, if you have the belief that there’s juice in the fridge; and you are thirsty (or have the desire to drink), then you will get up and get a glass of juice. If you think there’s no juice, or you’re not thirsty, then you will not get up to get any juice. Thus, Hill’s philosophy of success is essentially just a larger-scale application of Hume’s famous argument for motivation.
Now, if you have no desire, then you won’t achieve anything because there is nothing you want in the first place. However, if you have a burning desire but don’t have belief in yourself to achieve it or that you deserve it, you can train your brain into belief. This is achieved by surrounding yourself with the right people, visualization and affirmations. You must remove everything in your way that’s keeping you from believing in yourself; whether that’s critical and unsupportive family, friends and/or partners. Instead, surround yourself with those that impact you in a positive way; and will encourage you and help you reach your goals. Additionally, you must trade your worries and self-critical thoughts for positive ones. This can come from visualizing yourself achieving your goals; and affirming to yourself every day that you have the power to achieve you goals and deserve the riches you desire. The more you practice positive self-talk, it will slowly begin to change the way you think about yourself and your abilities.
Once you have this belief and burning desire, you must create a plan of action. Without a detailed plan, you can’t realize your goal. This is where motivation meets discipline. The path to riches involves tireless dedication, where you must continue down the path regardless of the setbacks and failures you encounter. The thing about success stories is, we only start to pay attention when the agent reaches the point of success. Therefore, we only see the final result, not the hundreds of setbacks and temporary failures that were encountered along the way. If you truly want to achieve your goal more than anything, you must be willing to work past these failures. This is where discipline comes in, where you must be mentally tough enough to keep working even when you become discouraged.
Finally, we exist in a world with infinite intelligence not understood by humans; and this intelligence responds to our vibrations. When we are sad, jealous, worrying; or think other negative thoughts, we lower our vibrations. However, when we think about love, joy, abundance and other positive thoughts, it raises our brain’s vibration. When we change our mental frequency and raise our vibration, we become better able to communicate with other finite minds; as well as tap into this infinite intelligence. Once we are able to tap into this, we begin to manifest our positive thoughts into reality. The more we pay attention to what’s good and abundant in our lives right now, the more happiness and abundance life brings us.
In conclusion, this book is so much more than about getting rich, it’s about re-wiring your brain to live a happier, more fulfilling life. This book is not here to tell you what you should aspire to, but rather how to achieve it. It instills the idea in each of us that we are the masters of our own destiny; and the only thing standing in our way is ourselves. There’s no such thing as being not good enough, not educated enough, not rich enough, not good looking enough, etc. All there is, is you thinking these things and letting them stand between you and success. The sooner you stop getting in the way of your own life, the sooner you can start living it.
Have you read Think and Grow Rich? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!