Program 3 Week 1 – An introduction to Think and Grow Rich

An introduction to Think and Grow Rich

Napoleon Hill, then a young special investigator for a nationally known business magazine, was sent to interview the steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. During that interview, Carnegie dropped a hint of a certain master power he used, a magic law of the human mind, a little-known psychological principle that he said was amazing in its power.

Carnegie suggested to Hill that upon that principle he could build the philosophy of all personal success, whether it be measured in terms of money, power, position, prestige, influence, or the accumulation of wealth.

That part of the interview never made it into Hill’s magazine, but it did launch the author on a research journey that lasted twenty years. He was commissioned by Carnegie to study over five hundred self-made millionaires, the business titans of the early 20th century including such men as Henry Ford, J.P. Morgan, and John D Rockefeller.

The result was Think and Grow Rich, a condensed, accessible explanation of his Law of Success philosophy which includes thirteen steps to riches – financial, emotional, and spiritual riches.

Over the next ten weeks we will delve deeply and mastermind on each of the 13 principles so here is a quick summary of each one:

The first and most important success principle is Desire. This does not mean wishing for something that is missing. Desire here means an intense passion, wanting something so fiercely that it motivates a person to action. The specific desire must be very precisely defined, or it may fall back into wishful thinking.

Next comes the principle of Faith; “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” This simply means having faith that this desire will come true. Believing anything negative will cause the subconscious mind to translate the negativity into reality, sabotaging the final goal. The principle involves visualising the person we want to be and the things we want in our life and acting as if the desire has already been achieved.

The third principle is called Autosuggestion which means programming our subconscious mind intentionally so that what we think about and how we act are in alignment with our desires and our vision.

This is a 13-step system, and these first three principles are the core of the system. The remaining ten principles are effectively tools to put the system into practice.

The first tool is the principle of Specialised Knowledge. We will delve into the importance of specialised knowledge over general knowledge. In modern speak this means discovering our niche, knowing our strengths and our uniqueness.

Next comes adding Imagination on to knowledge. The principle of imagination is a big one, we will look at the distinction between synthetic imagination which takes existing ideas, plans, or concepts and rearranges them into new combinations, and creative imagination which creates something new from nothing.

The sixth principle of Organised Planning requires a concrete plan and an alliance with others to carry out the plan.

Next, we will look at the principle of Decision. The author says that without exception, all successful people make decisions quickly. This does not mean impulsive decision-making for the sake of leadership. Rather, the ability to decide quickly comes from knowing what it is you want, and it is that ability that defines leaders.

Persistency is next, Hill says this principle is a major factor differentiating between success and failure. He says it is a state of mind. It must be cultivated and applied to all of the principles in the book.

The ninth principle is the power of the Mastermind. Hill is saying that when a group of like-minded individuals come together to debate problems and come up with solutions, they create something more than the sum of their parts. And that being surrounded by such people will motivate the individual to achieve more.

The tenth principle is The Mystery of Sex Transmutation. He says, “When driven by this desire, men develop keenness of imagination, courage, will-power, persistence, and creative ability unknown to them at other times.” This was a controversial chapter; he suggests men rarely become truly successful until later in life when they are less focused on women and instead redirect their sexual energy towards creative pursuits.

Napoleon Hill’s emphasis on the power of The Subconscious Mind was well ahead of his time. This is the eleventh principle that we will delve into. Next is The Brain – “A Broadcasting and a Receiving Station for our thoughts and the twelfth step towards riches”.

The final principle he calls The Sixth Sense. He says when you can control your mind and your thoughts you have mastered the ability to tap into Infinite Intelligence which communicates in the form of hunches and inspirations through the sixth sense.

Hill says this is the apex of the philosophy, it can only be applied because you have mastered the other 12 principals.

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