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Book:  Think and Grow Rich

Author:  Napoleon Hill

Purchase:  PrinteBook | Audiobook

Citation:  Hill, N. (2015). Think and Grow Rich. Edison: Book Sales.

Three Big Takeaways

  • The person who stops studying merely because they have finished school is forever hopelessly doomed to mediocrity, no matter what their calling. The way of success is the way of continuous pursuit of knowledge. (pg. 86)

  • Capitalistic society guarantees every person the opportunity to provide useful service and to collect riches in proportion to the value of the service. The system denies no one this right, but it does not and cannot promise something for nothing. The law of economics itself irrevocably controls the system that neither recognizes nor tolerates for long getting without giving. (pg. 155)

  • Willpower and desire, when properly combined, make an irresistible pair. People who accumulate great fortunes are generally known as cold-blooded and sometimes ruthless. Often they are misunderstood. What they have is willpower, which they mix with persistence and use as the basis of their desires to ensure the attainment of their objectives. (pg. 175)

Other Key Ideas

  • If I should really want to answer the foolish question you have just asked, or any other questions you have and asking me, let me remind you that I have a row of buttons on my desk, and by pushing the right button, I can summon to my aid people who can answer any question I desire to ask concerning the business to which I am devoting most of my efforts. Now, will you kindly tell me why I should clutter up my mind with general knowledge, for the purpose of being able to answer questions, when I have people around me who can supply any knowledge I require? (pg. 81)

  • Successful people, in all callings, never stop requiring specialized knowledge related to their major purpose, business or profession. Those who are not successful usually make the mistake of believing that the knowledge-acquiring ends when they finish school. The truth is that schooling does little more than point one in the direction of how to acquire practical knowledge. (pg. 85)

  • The habit of doing more than paid for is one of the major attributes of leadership. Alternately, one of the penalties of leadership is the necessity of a willingness, upon the part of the leaders, to do more than they require of their followers. (pg. 120)

  • Lack of ambition to aim above mediocrity is one of the major causes of failure. We offer no hope for the person who is so indifferent as to not want to get ahead in life, and who is not willing to pay the price. (pg. 137)

  • A negative personality is one of the major causes of failure. There is no hope of success for the person who repels people through a negative personality. Success comes through the application of power, and power is attained through the cooperative efforts of other people. A negative personality will not induce cooperation. (pg. 139)

  • This is a capitalistic society. If you are one of those who believe that riches can be accumulated by the mere act of people who organize themselves into groups and demand more pay for less service, you may rest securely on your belief, with certain knowledge that no one will disturb you because this is a free country where everyone may think as they please, where nearly everybody can live with but little effort, where many may live well without doing any work whatsoever. However, you should know the full truth concerning this freedom of which so many people boast and so few understand. As great as it is, as many privileges as it provides, it does not and cannot bring riches without effort. There is but one dependable method of accumulating and legally holding riches, and that is by providing useful service. No system has ever been created by which people can legally acquire riches through mere force of numbers, or without giving in return an equivalent value of one form or another. (pg. 153)

  • Analysis of several hundred people who accumulated fortunes well beyond the million dollar mark disclose the fact that every one of them have the habit of 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. The majority of people who fail to accumulate money sufficient for their needs are, generally, easily influenced by the opinions of others. They permit the newspapers and the gossiping neighbors to do their thinking for them. Opinions are the cheapest commodities on Earth. Everyone has a flock of opinions ready to be wished upon anyone who will accept them. If you are influenced by opinions when you reach decisions, you will not succeed in any undertaking. (pg. 157)

  • Mind control is the result of self-discipline and habit. You either control your mind or it controls you. There is no halfway compromise. The most practical of all methods for controlling the mind is the habit of keeping it busy with a definite purpose, backed by a definite plan. Study the record of people who have achieved noteworthy success and you will observe that they have control over their minds; more ever, that they exercise that control and directed toward the attainment of definite objectives. Without this control, success is not possible. (pg. 286)