5 Things I’ve Learned from “Think And Grow Rich”

“Think and Grow Rich” is a book written by Napoleon Hill in 1937. This book is still popular because the principles still apply.

Think and Grow Rich is in the top ten bestselling self-help books of all time, because anyone at any time can start applying the steps to their own life and see improvements.

This post was originally published August 2nd, 2017 and has been updated to be current with new information. This post may contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Full disclosure is here.

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My Favorite Think And Grow Rich Principles

Hill wrote that his inspiration was Andrew Carnegie, who challenged Hill to interview wealthy and successful people to see what they were doing, so that he could apply these principles to his own life.

Hill interviewed Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison to name a few. From these interviews Hill created “The Law of Success”, an 8-volume course, and then later “Think and Grow Rich”, which was Hill’s most successful book.

Many of today’s most successful self-help gurus owe their success to reading Think and Grow Rich.

Let’s take a look at 5 principles that Hill wrote 80 years ago and see how we can apply this thinking to growing our successful websites today!


Think and Grow Rich
PIN IT!! Think and Grow Rich

Thoughts Are Things

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve” – Napoleon Hill

I truly believe this. The first step in this process is figuring out what you really want, and then spending time thinking about what your life will be like when you have it.

You really need to see yourself in this scenario, living what you want.

If you want to be successful, you must be able to visualize your success. Even in the face of defeat or set-backs, you must keep your eyes on the prize that you want. There will always be troubles in life, but if you can stay focused, and ignore temporary defeat, you will see success.

Sometimes, when we are first starting out with changing our thinking, we may limit what we can conceive and believe. That is ok. This starts to change as the positive things that we focus on become reality for us.

The important part of this is that if we can conceive of our success, then it will happen.

Everything ever created started as a thought, usually as a solution to some problem. It is no different for those of us who have blogs and a desire to help others.

For me, I tried to imagine how I would spend my time if I already had all the money and things that I think I need. How can I help others to be where I imagine myself to be?

In my case, it is a blog teaching beginner affiliate marketing, with tips and reviews for those new to the concept of online marketing. I have plans for more than one blog, because I feel that I can help in other ways as well.


“The starting point of all achievement is desire”.

Or more specifically, burning desire! Think and Grow Rich is about your desire for success.

“What a different story men would have to tell if only they would adopt a definite purpose, and stand by that purpose until it had time to become an all-consuming obsession!”- Napoleon Hill

Hill tells the story of Edwin C Barnes, who wanted to become a business associate of Thomas Edison.

Barnes saw himself standing in Edison’s presence. He heard himself asking Edison for an opportunity to become an associate of Edison’s.

Barnes’ desire was not a wish or hope, it was desire, which transcended everything else in his life.

Edwin C Barnes was obsessed with making his desire a reality, and he was successful with this, even though it took five years. He left no room for retreat.

When Barnes next stood in Edison’s office, his goal was a reality.

Hill lists the six steps to go from desire to reality.

In chapter 2, Hill specifically refers to an amount of money that you may want, but the principles apply to any goal.

  1. Fix in your mind what you desire
  2. Determine what you will give in return for what you desire (time working on your business, time away from family and friends while building your business, less time watching tv, limiting beliefs etc.). Nothing in life is free, and this applies to your success as well.
  3. Establish a date when you intend to possess your goal.
  4. Create a definite plan/timeline for carrying out your desire, and begin at once.
  5. Write out a clear and concise statement of what you want and when you want it and what you will give up for it, and how you intent to acquire it.
  6. Read your written statement aloud twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, and see and feel yourself in possession of your desires.

The lesson here? Practice makes perfect!


“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”.

Hill says love and faith are psychic, related to the spiritual side of man.

Auto-suggestion allows us to use repetition of affirmations to voluntarily develop faith.

This is seen in a positive way with prayers, and in a negative way with crime.

Criminals justify, over and over, their reasons for why they should be allowed to take from others to get what they want.

Creating positive affirmations that we can repeat daily, give us the ability to create faith where there was none before.

If you want to change your thinking, use affirmations. You may not believe them right away, but over time you will accept what you are saying and it becomes second nature.

They say it takes 21 days to develop a habit, good or bad, so you might as well create a habit that enhances your life!

Telling yourself daily that you are successful, you are wealthy, you are confident will eventually change you into a successful, wealthy and confident person!


“The sustained effort necessary to induce faith”, in other words the power of will.

Napoleon Hill says “Will power and desire, when properly combined, make an irresistible pair.

Men who make great fortunes are generally known as cold-blooded but often they are misunderstood.

What they have is will-power, which they mix with persistence and place on the back of their desires to insure the attainment of their objectives”.

An online dictionary defines persistence as: Firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.

In spite of opposition! You must have such a burning desire for success that when the nay-sayers pop up, and they will, you will not cave in to “popular thinking”, but will continue to pursue your goals.

Which is why you should keep your goals to yourself, and just keep on keeping on.

What people do not know, they cannot criticize.

When you are successful, people will ask you what you did, and then you can impart your wisdom on persistence, desire, faith, and visualization.

I never understood this lesson when I was younger. I gave up constantly. When I was criticized, I caved in.

If I was berated in front of my co-workers, I found another job so I would not have to face them, or my boss again.

If I did stand up for myself, I was usually angry, demanding and resentful.

Now I know that my success is up to me.

I believe in myself and what I can do. I clearly set my intentions and I feel good as much as I can, trying to be positive and happy.

Which brings us to number 5…understanding your three enemies:


“Before you can put any portion of this philosophy into successful use, your mind must be prepared to receive it”.

Hill says “indecision is the seedling of fear”.

Indecision crystallizes into doubt and the two blend to become fear. The blending may take time, and so may go unobserved, which is why they are so dangerous!

There are six basic fears:

  1. Poverty
  2. Criticism
  3. Ill Health
  4. Loss of Love of Someone
  5. Old Age
  6. Death

Fears are nothing more than states of mind. If you focus on any of these fears, they can build and build and cripple your life. If you ignore them, they will fade away.

We see this with people who can walk on hot coals, or people who “will away” their illnesses, and even cancer.

The easiest way to kick your fears to the curb is GRATITUDE.

Being grateful for everything that you have ensures that you will receive more of it, because this is where you are focusing your mind. Since you are in control of your success, you control your poverty.

If you focus on eating what your body requires for fuel, you control your health.

If you are positive and happy, you will avoid most criticism.

In fact, you will likely attract more and more people to you, because people would rather be around happy people than those who are negative and unhappy.

There is nothing that you can do about old age and death, so enjoy every day that you have and be grateful for each breath that you take!

Be grateful for all of the people in your life, and they will be happy to stay in your life!

Related Post: Books To Read To Get Rich


There are things in life that we have no control over, but we have a lot more control than we may think about many things.

This is the basis of “Think and Grow Rich”, and one of the reason why so many millionaires were made during the great depression.

People took advantage of inexpensive start-ups, or cashed in on businesses that were in receivership. Many businesses were started by finding solutions to current problems.

The creator of the game Monopoly, Charles Darrow, became the first millionaire game designer!

This only goes to prove that anyone can become successful at any time, regardless of what is going on in the world. It happened for them, and it can happen for you!

Related Post: Escape Your Poverty State of Mind

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I hope that you have enjoyed this post, and please share it with anyone that you think can benefit from it. Our success benefits everyone! And sharing is caring 🙂

-Irma 🙂

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18 thoughts on “5 Things I’ve Learned from “Think And Grow Rich””

  1. I will definitely have to read Think and Grow Rich! I often feel that my failures are a result of my state of mind. Keeping a gratitude journal helps me out a lot though. Thanks for the great article!

    • Hi Laurel, and thank you for stopping by

      I know when I started a gratitude journal, it was a turning point for my success mindset. Actively looking at things in my life and being grateful for them, made me feel so much better about where I am at in life.

      Irma 🙂

  2. This post give so much positive energy. Make that the start of making your dreams come true and the circle is complete.
    I have had a very deep burn-out in the past, and one thing i learned is to start every day with a positive vision. Your day becomes happy and beautiful. That spirit you can use for every goal in your life.
    Nice post Irma

    • Hello Philip, and thank you for stopping by today!

      I think that positive thinking and having high self esteem should be taught in the very first year of school. Imagine the world that we would have if everyone was lifting everyone else up and encouraging them to succeed!

      Irma 🙂

  3. Great explanation Irma! These 5 key aspects of success are most of the ones I have used over the years to build my internet businesses. Though I never read Think and Grow Rich, I can relate to the philosophy behind it.

    The problem many have when starting their own business online is that they lack the determination and patience to see it slowly grow into a money maker. They seem to think that online wealth will happen quickly, and this could be a result of what most of the online scams promote.

    If anyone were to do some simple research they will find that all of the successful internet entrepreneurs took years to become financially successful. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, who is now a billionaire, didn’t even turn a profit until the 2nd year of Amazon’s existence. But did he quit? No, he kept on moving forward, learning from his mistakes.

    When I started my online journey to be able to work from home on my own time, I did not start by saying, I will give this a try. I said I am going to do this no matter what. Like Yoda in Star Wars said to Luke Skywalker, “Do or do not, there is no try.” When we can face our fears of not succeeding and say I WILL SUCCEED, half of the battle has been won.

    • Hi Robert, and thank you for stopping by today!

      I totally agree! In fact, when I was first deciding to “go for it” and sign up with WA, my motto was “there is no try”. Yoda had the best philosophy ever! That is something that comes across in Think and Grow Rich; how many people did not give up when life was telling them to do otherwise. Their philosophy is to keep on trying and choosing to believe that they will be successful.
      And Napoleon Hill used that philosophy to convince his son, Blair, that he could hear and speak even though he was born with no ears and doctors said that he would never hear or speak! Blair was not raised with these limiting beliefs, so they did not handicap his life.

      Irma 🙂

  4. Thanks for this article Irma. I read “Think a Grow Rich” a few years ago. Next to “The Secret”, it is one of the most influential books that I’ve ever read. I think that when most people come across books that speak about the Law of Attraction they stop at the thoughts and desire aspects of the process. They fail to realize that thoughts and desire are just the beginning. You have to have faith (which is the opposite to indecision, doubt and fear) and must also possess persistence in your action. I myself had fallen in that trap. I had my vision boards but never really set about doing anything to actually achieve my desires. Vision without action is an illusion.

    • Hi Kevon,

      I very much agree! Vision boards just help you to start thinking about what you really want and then put it into concrete terms. Just saying “I want a bigger house” does not mean that much…and extra 100 square feet is bigger, but is that all that you want? Think and Grow Rich is about figuring out who you are as a person, and what will really give your life meaning, and how you can help others to find meaning in their lives.

      Irma 🙂

  5. Hi Irma,
    I remember this saying which I’ve read somewhere before and thought that it’s rather harsh… but after contemplating it for a while, I realized it is so true. The saying is “You are exactly where you are supposed to be”.

    Some of us will look at our lives and think that life hasn’t been fair because we are not this or that in terms of achievements, and that we should be in a better place. However, I guess how much we reap are really based on how much we have sown. Perhaps the 5 things that you have listed in your article are those that we need to sow.

    • Hello Alex, and thank you for stopping by,

      I totally agree. I remembering an aha moment where I realized that I was where I was supposed to be, and I knew something had to change. Since I changed my attitude, things in my life are getting rapidly better. Even if that is a coincidence, I like it!

      Irma 🙂

  6. Hi Irma, I am glad you wrote this post. I think it is the most important message our fellow humans should hear and learn and start to practice. It’s funny, I got deeper into the topic about one month ago too. Did you watch the movie “the Chance”? It goes in the same direction. Actually, I wanted to write a post about this important way of looking at life myself.
    Thanks for the motivation

    • Hi Stefan, and thank you for stopping by today!

      I think that anything that inspires people to push on in a positive direction can only help everyone! I look forward to reading your post, and your inspiration for writing it.

      Irma 🙂

  7. Hey Irma..
    Very interesting Article… My thoughts on Napoleon Hill’s Philosophy in a nutshell as follows:
    The entire philosophy can be summed up as’Whatever the Mind can Conceive & Believe, the Mind Can achieve’
    The Conception happens from the mind,.. the ideation happens from the mind..
    The Belief comes from the heart.. so the first two parts is a combination of your mind and heart together…
    and the final and the most critical part if ACT-CHIEVE.. which is the ACTION part..
    A combination of all the three parts together… will have you achieve the impossible
    Thanks and Best Regards

    Sid Shah


    Think & Grow Rich Academy

    Exclusive Licensee for India from the Napoleon Hill Foundation

    • Hello Sid, and thank you for your comments 🙂

      I have read other books similar to Think and Grow Rich, but using the mastermind book with the workbook helped me to put the ideas into practice. I think that working out our own futures with whatever inspires us is integral in the process of growing as people, as we can cherry pick what we need and leave the rest.

      Irma 🙂

  8. Hi Irma,
    Very well written ! I have never read Mr. Hill’s book, although I’v read similar works. I do believe I’ll have to make time for this one. I appreciate the inspiration and will get right after this. I’ll also bookmark this post for future inspiration.
    Regards !
    Mike Long

    • Hello Mike and thank you for stopping by!

      I think that Andrew Carnegie was the first to promote this philosophy, and then Napoleon Hill who then mentored many others, including W. Clement Stone, who was the mentor of Jack Canfield. So there is a long history of millionaire entrepreneurs inspiring others to be successful and wealthy!

      Irma 🙂

  9. What a Great Article. I have read Think And Grow Rich before but it has been a while. This really gave me a boost of energy and recharged my batteries. It’s amazing how we get busy with life and forget such powerful principles. I believe these principles are true and they can really make our life so much better. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Hi Mitch and thank you for stopping by,

      I agree. I have been thinking about Think and Grow Rich quite a bit for a couple of weeks now. I dug out my copy of the mastermind edition, which I purchased with the workbook, and thought about what inspired me and motivated me the most about what Napoleon Hill wrote. I need reminders, sometimes,that fear is controllable and to have faith that I am on the right path. I have renewed purpose after reading even one chapter!

      Irma 🙂


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