Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill [Actionable Summary]

This is a comprehensive summary of the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Covering the key ideas and proposing practical ways for achieving what’s mentioned in the text. Written by book fanatic and online librarian Ivaylo Durmonski. Supporting Members get access to a downloadable worksheet.

The Book In Three Or More Sentences:

A vault full of wisdom containing the experience of more than 500 men who began from scratch, worked for years till they’ve mastered their craft and eventually accumulated great wealth. In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill gives us the philosophy behind making money along with an easy-to-implement action plan that will help us get what we truly want from life. Though it sounds super cliche-ish, this is a book worth exploring.

The Core Idea:

People spend an awful amount of time fooling themselves by creating lame excuses to cover up their weaknesses. “If I only had…” is commonly used by the average person. But the real world doesn’t care about your excuses. The key idea by Napoleon Hill here is creating a burning desire to achieve something in your mind. After that, restlessly pursuing it without complaining.


  • Have faith in yourself and in what you’re doing.
  • Write down your goals and frequently read what you wrote out loud.
  • Do what scares you. This is the only way you can overcome your fears.

5 Key Lessons from Think and Grow Rich:

Lesson #1: You Need To Convert Thoughts Into Money

According to the author, you can materialize any amount you desire by following six simple steps. Yes, it sounds strange but we’ll comment on that later. Here are the steps:

  1. First: Define the exact amount you want. Be precise, don’t simply say, “I want to be as rich as Jeff Bezos.” Say how much money precisely you want.
  2. Second: Say exactly what you intend to give in return for the amount of money you just wrote. The second step quickly vaporizes the excitement of the first. I know. But there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.
  3. Third: Set an exact date. On what date you intend to possess the money you desire?
  4. Fourth: Create an action plan for achieving your desire. Start now, whether you are ready or not. No excuses, no complains.
  5. Fifth: Write everything down: The amount of money you want; The end date to get them; State what you’re willing to do in order to get that money; Write down the action plan with all the major steps.
  6. Sixth: Read what you’ve just written out loud, twice a day, once before going to sleep, and once you wake up. And my favorite part directly from the book: “AS YOU READ – SEE AND FEEL AND BELIEVE YOURSELF ALREADY IN POSSESSION OF THE MONEY.”

The final step sounds like an abracadabra trick, “Just say the words and money will appear.” Obviously, this is not true. Still, this trick has a major role in the grand script. By continuously reminding yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep the momentum going. Keep pushing when you don’t feel like doing anything. That’s the big difference between people who make it rain and those who still live with their parents.

Lesson #2: Your Faith Will Keep You Going

Religion is based on these two words, “have faith” for a reason. Faith – in God or the others – is the difference between a religious person and such who despise the church. But faith can be used for something greater than just praising a divine entity.

Some people have a very strong faith in their God but lack the needed self-esteem to keep a project going. Having faith in yourself and in your own actions is way more important than anything else.

Even though the author is exaggerating a bit by saying, “FAITH is the “eternal elixir” which gives life, power, and action to the impulse of thought!” It’s safe to say that without faith in what you’re doing, you won’t do much in life.

Your faith is the force that will help you get started and also the fuel that will keep you going. Make sure to cherish your belief and don’t forget to endorse it. Otherwise, your dream will be only that, a dream.

Lesson #3: Write Down Your Goals

Napoleon Hill repeatedly suggests in the book to formulate a plan. To clearly state your goals and desires. And more importantly, to write everything down and to regularly check what you’ve written.

According to some experts, writing things down, on a piece of paper, enhances our ability to remember stuff.

Yes, we have access to Evernote, Google Keep, Word, and other online tools that are easier to use and can be accessed on multiple devices. Still, the old-fashioned pen and paper seem to have a greater impact on our brain. Here we’re talking about positive impact – rewiring the brain and stuff.

So, don’t throw away your old notebooks just yet. Take your time to define your personal success plan. Write everything down. Make it as detailed as possible. Later, you can summarize the essential steps on a smaller note and place it somewhere where you can see it (I choose my refrigerator).

The grand idea is to see your plan every day. This will remind you why you’ve started in the first place and also what you should be doing, now.

Lesson #4: Keep Learning

This lesson is not a secret. If you stop learning the moment you leave school you’ll be condemned to eternal mediocrity.

This lesson is especially true today. In the fast-growing world, and in the ocean of information, you need to constantly update your knowledge, reinvent yourself.

The old jobs are slowly dying and if we don’t take the needed time to keep with the pace we’ll end up working a not so satisfactory job.

Here we’re not talking about general knowledge – social media posts and news. General knowledge, no matter how great in quantity, how interesting, or how various it may be, is of but little use in the accumulation of money and success goal. What you need to be focusing on is specialized knowledge. Unfortunately, you won’t find such wisdom in school or in college. But you can find it online. In sites, in books, and in YouTube video. There are a lot of great resources online that are designed to help us learn, not only waste our time. You only need to find them.

Lesson #5: How To Overcome Your Fears

There are six basic fears in the world from which we all suffer at a certain stage in our lives. These fears are:

  1. The fear of poverty
  2. The fear of criticism
  3. The fear of ill health
  4. The fear of loss of love of someone
  5. The fear of old age
  6. The fear of death

All other fears we experience fall under one of the above-mentioned categories. Even watching horror movies it’s not an additional section, it’s a subcategory of the last heading.

A lot of times fear can be a stimulus for action. You’re afraid about your health? Then, you’re mindful about what you eat and what type of clothing you wear.

You’re afraid of being attacked by a wild beast? You don’t go deep into the woods.

Still, this unpleasant emotion is also the reason we don’t move forward in life. It’s like a disease and it has the power to paralyze your thoughts and your actions. A lot of times, the fear of failure, or whatever, is the reason for not trying anything new in life, therefore we stay in the same mental and physical state till the end of your days.

Fortunately, there is a way to mitigate the effect of these feelings and rise above the thick mist of unpleasant emotions.

Our fears are nothing more than states of mind. Thankfully, this is something we have absolute control over. When we’re afraid, we can quickly change our mood by changing our thoughts. Yes, it’s going to be hard in the beginning, but it’s essential if you want to achieve things you weren’t able to do before. Because, “Everything which man creates, begins in the form of a thought.”

Actionable Notes:

  • Positive vibes: Positive and negative emotions cannot coexist in the mind at the same time. It is your responsibility to make sure that positive emotions dominate and influence your mind if you want to feel good.
  • Have a purpose: You can’t expect to be successful if you don’t have a well-defined purpose, or a definite goal at which to aim. Lack of a well-defined purpose in your life is basically a self-sabotaging act. If you still don’t know why you’re doing what you’re doing, don’t move on before you have a clear goal.
  • Take inventory of yourself: This means self-analyzing your actions and your thoughts. Annual self-analysis is an essential in the effective marketing firms, as is annual inventory in merchandising. Why not use this technique to understand ourselves better? The purpose of an annual self-analysis is to disclose what kind of advancement has been made and with how much. Also, show you what you can improve upon.

Commentary And My Personal Takeaway

Contrary to what the author is saying, you can’t simply think – juggle thoughts inside your brain – and get rich. You need to act. But before you act, you need to decide exactly what you want to do in your life. How to devote your time? Otherwise, you’ll be wandering around and wasting your time.

Think and Grow Rich Napoleon Hill it’s a classic. A book worthy for your library. It’s kind of you-can-do-it-all type of book. A mixture of Tony Robbin’s speech and the cliche quotes you see online about becoming ultra-successful. Napoleon often mentions in the book that you’ll see the truth about becoming rich only if you’re worthy, which can trigger an eye-rolling response. Nevertheless, it has some really inspiring stories and the principles inside can actually motivate you to start pushing and pursuing your goals.

Personally, I’ll recommend this book to someone who is looking for inspiration. People who feel lost and don’t know what path to take.

The principles in the book often sound cheezy and kind of spiritual but nevertheless, there’s a lot you can learn about becoming rich. Not only materially rich but mentally as well.

Notable Quotes:

“The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.” Napoleon Hill

“Set your mind on a definite goal and observe how quickly the world stands aside to let you pass.” Napoleon Hill

“Happiness is found in doing, not merely possessing.” Napoleon Hill

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