Manila, Philippines

Good Read: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

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A good read but also a tough read. Originally published in 1937, I must admit I am a late bloomer in reading this “old book” as I just read this last year. With that said, this is one tough book to read, the writing style is quite dry and very different from the more entertaining and straightforward books of today. Nonetheless it is a fountain of wisdom for those who seek financial freedom (aren’t we all?), it is a gem that merits a couple of re-reads after Juan’s first try.

It can be considered the grandfather of personal finance books, probably ahead of its time when getting rich wasn’t a general concern (yet) for everybody. It dwells with the basics and fundamentals, not with the technicals. Likewise, it is not meant to be finished in one sitting, rather it offers a framework to get rich, a series of steps that Juan can adopt and master in time and through repeated application. As expected, there are many workbooks out there to aid us and organize our thoughts as we read this book.

The underlying message is basically this: Think and in time, you’ll grow rich. It all begins in the mind, in what we think. Think, not just in our brains, but in our whole being, in our deep thoughts and heart of hearts. It’s like The Alchemist asking us: what do we want with all our hearts, something that the whole Universe will conspire for us to get it.

In brief, the series of steps offered by Hill are as follows:


What’s inside of us is really fundamental. If begins with what we think. Do we really desire financial freedom? This is further echoed by more modern books such as T. Harv Eker in his Secrets of The Millionaire Mind, echoed by our very own Bo Sanchez in 8 Secrets of the Truly Rich.

Probably among the underestimated factors to success, we tend to put less weight on our mindsets, on what we think, on how much we desire it, and how conscious we are to success. Do we really think and act like we aim for success for every breath we take? Or do we just work and work and work hard, but our minds and smarts are not into it?


After desire, what he calls “an all-consuming obsession”, the other steps are

  • Faith: believe that you deserve it, that you will get it, a peaceful patient confidence
  • Autosuggestion: again, what thoughts do we allow to reside in our minds?
  • Specialized Knowledge
  • Imagination
  • Organized Planning: you have to come up with definite concrete steps to reach your goals
  • Decision: make that jump! Indecision hinders you from freedom.
  • Persistence
  • Power of the Master Mind
  • The Mystery of Sex Transmutation: yeah this actually helps. Stimulation!
  • The Subconscious Mind
  • The Brain
  • The Sixth Sense

Some of the many quotable quotes from the book:

When the opportunity came, it appeared in a different form, and from a different direction than Barnes had expected. That is one of the tricks of opportunity. It has a sly habit of slipping in by the back door, and often it comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat. Perhaps this is why so many fail to recognize opportunity.

Barnes literally thought himself into a partnership with the great Edison! He thought himself into a fortune. He had nothing to start with, except the capacity to KNOW WHAT HE WANTED, AND THE DETERMINATION TO STAND BY THAT DESIRE UNTIL HE REALIZED IT.

One of the main weaknesses of mankind is the average man’s familiarity with the word “impossible.” He knows all the rules which will NOT work. He knows all the things which CANNOT be done. This book was written for those who seek the rules which have made others successful, and are willing to stake everything on those rules.

Success comes to those who become SUCCESS CONSCIOUS. Failure comes to those who indifferently allow themselves to become FAILURE CONSCIOUS.


That our brains become magnetized with the dominating thoughts which we hold in our minds, and, by means with which no man is familiar, these “magnets” attract to us the forces, the people, the circumstances of life which harmonize with the nature of our dominating thoughts.

Before we can accumulate riches in great abundance, we must magnetize our minds with intense DESIRE for riches, that we must become “money conscious” until the DESIRE for money drives us to create definite plans for acquiring it.

There is a difference between WISHING for a thing and being READY to receive it. No one is ready for a thing, until he believes he can acquire it. The state of mind must be BELIEF, not mere hope or wish. Open-mindedness is essential for belief.

You may CONVINCE the subconscious mind that you believe you will receive that for which you ask, and it will act upon that belief, which your subconscious mind passes back to you in the form of “FAITH,” followed by definite plans for procuring that which you desire.

There are millions of people who BELIEVE themselves “doomed” to poverty and failure, because of some strange force over which they BELIEVE they have no control. They are the creators of their own “misfortunes,” because of this negative BELIEF, which is picked up by the subconscious mind, and translated into its physical equivalent.

DEFINITENESS OF PURPOSE is the starting point from which one must begin. BURNING DESIRE to translate that purpose into its material equivalent. IDEAS CAN BE TRANSMUTED INTO CASH THROUGH THE POWER OF DEFINITE PURPOSE, PLUS DEFINITE PLANS.

LACK OF DECISION was near the head of the list of the 30 major causes of FAILURE.

REACHING DECISIONS PROMPTLY, and of changing these decisions SLOWLY, if, and when they were changed. People who fail to accumulate money, without exception, have the habit of reaching decisions, IF AT ALL, very slowly, and of changing these decisions quickly and often.

Riches do not respond to wishes. They respond only to definite plans, backed by definite desires, through constant PERSISTENCE.

PERSISTENCE, concentration of effort, and DEFINITENESS OF PURPOSE, were the major sources of their achievements.

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Happy reading! May we all have richer lives!

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