Author: Napoleon Hill
Publisher: Gospel Press
Reviewer: Goke Ilesanmi
Thinking is very critical to ability to achieve success in life. It is not just any thinking, but right thinking. Your thinking is a reflection of whom you are. That is why I want us to examine the book tagged Think and Grow Rich this week.
It is written by Napoleon Hill, who was born in 1883 in a one-room log cabin in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. As a teenager, Hill worked as a newspaper reporter to finance his way through Georgetown University Law School. As a result of his excellent display of (journalistic) excellence while working as a reporter, he attracted the attention of Robert L.Taylor, Governor of Tennessee and owner of Bob Taylor’s magazine who employed him at the age of 25 to write a series of success stories of great and famous men, among whom was Andrew Carnegie.
Carnegie was so impressed with Hill’s write-ups that he commissioned him to interview 504 of America’s most successful men and find through their experiences a success strategy that would work for the average man. The result of the various interviews Hill had with these great and famous men is this book. Hill reveals how to surmount obstacles on the road to success and accomplish your goals in life. He also stresses why one man marches forward all his life accomplishing, earning and multiplying his wealth and happiness while another man is languishing in poverty.
Hill discloses what gives one man great personal power and why another man is effectual. According to him, when you know the success principles that govern the entire universe, what they mean to your life and how to deploy them for maximum results, you will definitely achieve success and its accompaniments such as good health, happiness, wealth, etc. He says you will never fall victim of negative influences that dampen enthusiasm, eliminate love and prohibit you from experiencing the riches of fulfilment that can easily be yours, only if you are able to deploy these success principles well.
Structurally, the book is segmented into 16 chapters. Chapter one is christened The power of thought. According to Hill here, truly, thoughts are powerful things when they are mixed with definiteness of purpose, persistence and a burning desire for their translation into riches or other material objects.
He adds that the power that signals success is the power of your mind, adding that it is how to make life say Yes instead of No to your plans and ambition. “One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat. Every person is guilty of this mistake at one time or another,” says Hill.
According to him, when defeat overtakes a man, the easiest thing to do is to quit. Hill says failure is a trickster with a keen sense of irony and cunning. He adds that failure takes delight in tripping one when success is almost within reach.
In chapter two tagged Desire: The starting point of all achievement, Hill identifies desire as the first step to riches. According to him, dreams come true when desire transforms them into concrete action. Hill says the method by which desire for riches can be transformed into its financial equivalent consists of six steps. These are that you should fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire; determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire; establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money desired; create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once to put the plan into action; write out a clear, concise statement of the amount of money you intend to acquire; and read your written statement aloud twice daily.
In chapters three to eight, Hill identifies faith, auto-suggestion, specialised knowledge, imagination, organised planning and decision as steps two to seven when we are talking about strategic rungs of attaining riches.
In chapter nine, persistence is identified as the eighth step towards attaining riches. According to Hill here, persistence is an essential factor in the procedure of transmuting desire into its monetary equivalent. He says the basis of persistence is the power of will. Hill stresses that when the will power and desire are properly combined, they become an irresistible pair. He adds that men who accumulate great fortunes are generally known to be cold-blooded, and sometimes ruthless.
Hill says when you recognise and sweep aside certain weaknesses which stand between you and your goals, your persistence develops into a respected, proved, progressive power. This author submits that persistence is a state of mind and it can be cultivated.
In chapters ten to 14, the author identifies power of the master mind; the mystery of sex transmutation; the subconscious mind; the brain; and the sixth sense as the ninth to thirteenth steps respectively towards attaining riches.
In his words, “The thirteenth principle is known as the sixth sense, through which Infinite Intelligence may and will communicate voluntarily, without any effort from, or demands by, the individual.” Hill submits that this principle is the apex of the philosophy, and it can be assimilated, understood, and applied only by “first mastering the other twelve principles”.
Chapter 15 is labelled How to outwit the six ghosts of fear. Here, Hill says before you can put any portion of the success philosophy into fruitful use, your mind must be prepared to receive it. He submits that the preparation begins with the study, analysis and understanding of the three enemies that you will have to clear out. These enemies he calls indecision, doubt and fear. According to Hill, six basic fears are poverty, criticism, ill-health, lost love, old age and death. He says fears are nothing more than states of mind.
Chapter 16 is tagged The Devil’s workshop. Here, Hill says another evil by which people suffer is the susceptibility to negative influences.
By conceptual X-ray, the depth and efficacy of various wealth-creation strategies offered by Hill in this book deserve commendation. The language is simple while the ideas are well integrated. By predicating the ideas on the experiences of real people, Hill is able to convince and motivate readers. To boost understanding, he states the major points at the end of every chapter.
But the title of the book should have been better tagged “Think Right and Grow Rich”.
If you are prepared to deploy your thinking properly and get rich, then you need to get a copy of this book.
GOKE ILESANMI, Managing Consultant/CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is an International Platinum Columnist, Certified Public Speaker/MC, Communication Specialist, Motivational Speaker and Career Management Coach. He is also a Book Reviewer, Biographer and Editorial Consultant.
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