Book Summary: Think And Grow Rich

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In this article I'll be summarizing one of the greatest self-help books of all time so make sure to take notes!


Think And Grow Rich is arguably one of the greatest self-help books of all time – why? because in it is the combined knowledge about how to become successful from some of the greatest minds of the 20th century, including John D Rockefeller, who was the richest man the world has ever seen; Andrew Carnegie the biggest steel tycoon of his times and second only to Rockefeller in terms of wealth; Henry Ford the founder of Ford Motor Company; Thomas Edison the inventor of the lightbulb and holder of over 2,000 patents, and over 500 such great minds.

The author Napoleon Hill spent nearly 30 years interviewing these great men to figure out what made them successful and the book is a distillation of those ideas, and I intend to compress the entire book and the knowledge from these 500 great men into one encompassing idea that will simplify the whole book for you, and even though the title of the book is Think And Grow Rich, the idea is applied to accomplishing any goal that you desire.

Now here's the all-encompassing idea - in order to do great things, whether it be to accumulate great riches or any other goal for that matter, we have to enrol and harness the power of our subconscious mind, and that is what we will discuss going forward.

Now why do we need to do that? Well, we all have two minds inside of us - the conscious and the subconscious. However, in terms of sheer power the subconscious mind is orders of magnitude more powerful than the conscious mind. There is literally no comparison - if the size of the conscious mind is the size of a microwave oven, the subconscious mind is the size of the Milky Way!

It's extremely powerful and the computational resources it has are humongous - millions of times more powerful than the conscious mind, so in order to accomplish your big goals, you need to harness the power of your subconscious mind by programming it with the goal that you want.

So how do we harness the power of the subconscious mind? Well, given the natures of our subconscious mind and the conscious mind, it is not easy to program the subconscious mind, but it is entirely possible, and this book is all about understanding precisely how to do that, so let's understand the basics of the subconscious mind and then we will talk about the keys to program it for massive success.


Firstly, even though the subconscious mind is way more powerful than the conscious mind, it is still being controlled by the conscious mind. Our conscious mind is the master of our subconscious mind.

The subconscious mind is like a garden while the conscious mind is the gardener. The conscious mind is sowing the seeds of part while the subconscious is working to bring those thoughts to fruition.

Second of all we have to understand that our subconscious mind is always working and for most people it is working against them. Now you might be wondering why the subconscious mind would work against you, well it is because of the thoughts and emotions that are dominating your existence, every single moment, every single day.

If your thoughts are dominated by negativity, fear, poverty and failure, well the subconscious mind is busy making those thoughts a reality for you and hence it is working against you, on the other hand if you are feeding your subconscious mind deliberately designed thoughts and feelings of riches, success and positivity, then the subconscious mind gets busy making those thoughts a reality for you instead.

Now the challenge is that if you do not actively plant deliberately chosen thoughts and emotions in there, it will work on the thoughts it receives as a result of neglect and unfortunately those are not usually positive, uplifting thoughts, as you are constantly being bombarded with negativity all around you thirdly.

The subconscious mind is objective - it does not distinguish between positive or negative, it does not distinguish between a penny or a million dollars, it will take whatever thoughts and emotions you think and feel and get busy making them a reality, whether positive or negative.

Okay, so now that we understand the subconscious mind a little better, how do we go about programming our subconscious mind for great success? How do we create that burning desire that literally turns on the power of the subconscious mind in our favour and makes us unstoppable? Well here are the five keys to do exactly that!


First of all, we must have a definite purpose. We must become very clear on what we want - on the specific goal we want to achieve. The clearer the purpose or the end goal, the easier it is to get there. Only when we are clear about our goal can we program that goal into our subconscious mind. If you provide your subconscious mind with no clear purpose or goals you will get no real power from it. It will be like a giant ship with immense power but without any destination to aim for, so what's the use of a ship without a clear destination?

a lot of people have these wake calls about maybe becoming rich or losing weight, but those goals are so broad and generic that it's almost useless, you have to be very clear, you have to have a very clear goal, a very clear dollar amount that will help you harness the power of your subconscious mind, because it allows you to focus your effort and it gives you a clarity of direction, clarity of making decisions.

The second key to programming your subconscious mind is to use the power of auto-suggestion. Auto-suggestions are deliberately designed statements or commands you give to yourself, also known as affirmations.

Once you know what you want you must repeat that command to your subconscious mind over and over and over and over and over again no end to it, there's no end to maintaining your garden and you have to keep on doing this, you never stop doing it so you keep on repeating these affirmations to yourself, these are the suggestions to yourself over and over again.

The third key to program your subconscious mind is to use the power of emotions to direct your subconscious mind. Now it is not enough to think about your goals and just repeat them, you must mix those thoughts of your goals with emotions - the emotions you want to feel when the goal will be accomplished. The subconscious mind only understands the language of emotions. Emotionless thoughts do not affect the subconscious mind, that is a fact. It does not understand the subject, does not understand the language of logic or reason so any language you use in order to program your subconscious mind has to involve emotions, you have to feel the feelings in order to be able to program your subconscious mind.

You must mix your thoughts with positive emotions, or thoughts mixed with negative emotions will unfortunately reach your subconscious mind by default, and thoughts mixed with emotions have a magnetic force to them in the sense that they attract similar thoughts and emotions. Positive emotions will keep on attracting more of those positive thoughts, more of those positive emotions, so your job is to minimize the inflow of negative and disempowering thoughts and emotions, and to instead program your subconscious with deliberately designed positive and empowering thoughts, emotions and feelings, and when we can consistently do that that's when we have the key to unlocking our subconscious mind.

The fourth key to programming your subconscious mind is visualization. In order to program our subconscious mind, we must see and feel the goal as if the goal is already accomplished, that you already have what you desire. Ask yourself how would you act if you had already accomplished your goal, how would you feel, what would you do, what feelings would dominate your mind?

The key to visualization is to actually be able to see and feel yourself as having already accomplished the goal, rather than thinking of it as a distant possibility, so if you have a goal of making a million dollars by December 31st of next year, visualize yourself on December 31st as having already accomplished that goal. Don't think of it as something you would like to accomplish in the future - that is creating the feeling of not having the goal right now, instead, feel that it is December 31st of next year right now, and you have already accomplished the goal. I really cannot emphasize this point enough, so you might want to take a note of this, as this is great wisdom right here!

The fifth key to programming your subconscious mind is persistence and repetition.

So what is the price of being able to harness the power of your subconscious mind? it is, as Napoleon Hill says it, everlasting persistence and thoughts mixed with emotions, faith and endless repetition of that desire, and positive emotions, no matter what the circumstances, no matter what you see externally in the world, there's no lower price we can pay - we must consistently persist and repeat these thoughts over and over and over again.

When we decide to program our, subconscious mind, there is no end to it - we have to do it over and over and over again so the amazing thing is that, as you begin to increase your thoughts about your goal and you mix it with your positive emotions, what will happen is those thoughts and those emotions will begin to attract more of the same thoughts and emotions, until you become completely charged with this thought pattern, with these emotions.



Okay, so we just talked about the five keys to programming your subconscious mind, however there is one power strategy that literally puts this whole book on steroids!

This strategy makes the above five steps automatic and that strategy is to ‘burn the boats’.

Now let me tell you the story of Spanish Conqueror Hernan Cortes back in the 1500s to really explain what it means to burn the boats.

When Hernan Cortes warships arrived on what was then the Aztec empire, he had clear intentions of fighting the Aztecs and conquering that area of what is now modern-day Mexico, however he quickly realized that his army was badly outnumbered almost of the ratio of one to 100, and he saw that his soldiers were starting to hesitate and thinking of retreating in case the war did not go according to plan so in order to get the very best out of his soldiers in order to get them to win he ordered his men to burn their boats, and once the boats were burnt there was no way of retreating, the soldiers knew very clearly that they only had two options - either win or die, there was no other way out, do or die.

That created a burning obsession inside of them to win and to live, and that is why his army went on to win the war even though they were outnumbered one to hundred. That is the power of burning the boats - it quickly gets us to harness the power of our subconscious mind because when our survival is at stake, the subconscious mind brings all its power to a given situation. In those situations we become unstoppable!

So, if you want to create a burning, obsessive, pulsating desire for something - if you really want to program your subconscious mind with your goal, you need to cut off all other paths of retreat, you need to cut off all other possibilities you have other than to go all in - just one option, and sometimes these situations are externally manufactured for us. For example, you are running out of money in your venture and you have a clear deadline by which you must make the business work or the business will die, many great entrepreneurs have actually stated that those moments are the ones that really turned their businesses around.

At other times we have to burn the boats ourselves when there are no external manufactured situations available to us, and one of the ways you can do that is to publicly commit to a goal, or another way to do that is to create real deadlines with real consequences if the goal is not accomplished. Whatever you do to burn the boats, make sure that it leads to a state of burning obsession where you are almost obsessively thinking about the goal you need, that fire you need, that obsession you need in order to program your subconscious mind, and that is what will trigger you to greatness.

So there you have it, an in-depth understanding of Think And Grow Rich.

So just to recap, what we learned was that in order to accomplish our greatest goals we must enrol and harness the power of our subconscious minds. Just trying to use the conscious mind to accomplish our goals is not enough, and we talked about the five keys to harness the power of the subconscious mind and also about the one power strategy that literally makes us unstoppable. If you enjoyed this Think and Grow Rich summary and learnt something new from it, feel free to share on social media and leave a comment below to let us know what you thought!

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