Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Action Guide, Concepts & Exercises

We suggest keeping a notebook handy for exercises.

Summary & Review of Think & Grow Rich

After reading Think & Grow Rich at least 4x for this page I’ve come to enjoy the book. And I can easily see why it’s sold 70 million+ copies, it’s a phenomenal book and should be read repeatedly.

The idea that any person is capable of succeeding in their quest for achievement is exciting and motivational. And a decent amount of the book is written to motivate you to chase your dreams.

The premise is that anyone can be successful if they:

Have faith and a burning desire, practice autosuggestion, have specialized knowledge, are creative, plan to succeed, are decisive and persistent, have a mastermind, use sex transmutation (which I compare to passion), control their thoughts and tap into a great source of intelligence (6th sense).

Some of it is obvious; desire, persistence, planning, etc.

A few aspects are wishy-washy; sex transmutation (passion), 6th sense(instinct), even using the brain to pick up on others’ signals, and autosuggestion. But they are worth not overlooking since some of the greatest minds and most successful people agree with the book and the 13 principles. 

A few were really helpful to me; autosuggestion (positive thinking is a part of it), the importance of creativity, decisiveness, and having a mastermind.

Overall, the motivational nature of the book was very inspiring and it allows you to consider thoughts beyond your own in a different way while encouraging you to adopt the elements of success.

It is hard, after all, to argue with those who have participated and agreed with the book; Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Andrew Carnegie.

1. What Is The Secret of Success?

As you read Think & Grow Rich there are several hints to a ‘secret’ to success, but it is never expressly shared. When you are ready for it, you will know it, as the book says.

My opinion is that the secret is that anyone is capable of being successful as long as they are willing to follow the principles in this book. Anyone can be successful, it’s really up to you.

But others have deeply researched works of Napoleon Hill and Andrew Carnegie to come up with their own ideas of what the secret is. Here are a couple suggestions from this article.  

“The great Master-Key to riches is nothing more nor less than the self-discipline necessary to help you take full and complete possession of your own mind.”

“Anything the human mind can believe, the human mind can achieve. That is the Supreme Secret. Truly, deeply believe you will have great wealth, and you will have it.”

Do it: What do you believe the secret is? If you know that everyone is capable of being successful, what do you believe the secret to success is? How does this change your perspective on becoming successful yourself?

“Whatever your mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill

Here are several other answers to What Is The Secret in Think & Grow Rich on Quora.

2. Burning Desire - The Starting Point of All Achievement

The Starting Point of All Achievement

There’s a major difference between simply wanting something and having a burning desire, nay, a determination to get it.

For whatever you want out of life, you will be dedicating a lot of effort to it, make sure it is something you have a burning desire for.

Think of the story (in the book) of the little girl who would not leave until she got the fifty cents her mother needed, or the man who traveled to Philadelphia to meet and work for Thomas Edison with no plan, but years later sold the Ediphones and made millions working with the great inventor.

Do It: Are you honestly filled with a burning desire to be successful doing what you are doing? Are you willing to move cross-country to chase your dream? If the answer is no, it’s time to start working on a dream that you would do anything for. 

If your desire is not as strong as it should be, follow some of these steps by Steve Pavlina to cultivate the desire you need

Here is one way to come up with an idea that includes your passions: 

Combine 3 things about yourself to fill a need. For instance, a passion for helping people combined with a knowledge of using Android devices and your ability to talk on video could become a Youtube channel about troubleshooting Android devices. To further help that idea, check out Crushing It! where we will be discussing building your personal brand.

3. Faith - Visualization of, and Belief in Attainment of Desire

“Repetition of affirmation of orders to your subconscious mind is the only known method of voluntary development of the emotion of faith.”

Before you can be successful you must believe you are capable of doing it. Additionally, you must believe that your idea or business can be successful.

It’s OK if you don’t have faith just yet, you can use the power of auto-suggestion to build your faith until you believe in yourself.

Do it: Can you succeed? Now, do you have a heartbeat? 

Most of us know without any hesitation that we have a heartbeat. Duh, of course, I do, I’m alive, aren’t I? But, are you as sure about your success as you are about the fact you have a heartbeat? Because if not, you have work to do. 

The best way to do that is to repeat your statement of demands with belief every day, twice a day.   

Additionally, I really enjoyed this poem in the book as a reminder of how important our own feelings are.

“If you think you are beaten, you are,

If you think you dare not, you don’t

If you like to win, but you think you can’t,

It is almost certain you won’t.

“If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost

For out of the world we find,

Success begins with a fellow’s will—

It’s all in the state of mind.

“If you think you are outclassed, you are,

You’ve got to think high to rise,

You’ve got to be sure of yourself before

You can ever win a prize.

“Life’s battles don’t always go

To the stronger or faster man,

But soon or late the man who wins

Is the man WHO THINKS HE CAN!”

3a. Confidence - You've Got This

Self-Confidence Formula

I really liked how Napoleon shared the importance of confidence in the Faith chapter. Here is the formula he shared. 

First. I know that I have the ability to achieve the object of my Definite Purpose in life, therefore, I DEMAND of myself persistent, continuous action toward its attainment, and I here and now promise to render such action.

Second. I realize the dominating thoughts of my mind will eventually reproduce themselves in outward, physical action, and gradually transform themselves into physical reality, therefore, I will concentrate my thoughts for thirty minutes daily, upon the task of thinking of the person I intend to become, thereby creating in my mind a clear mental picture of that person.

Third. I know through the principle of auto-suggestion, any desire that I persistently hold in my mind will eventually seek expression through some practical means of attaining the object back of it, therefore, I will devote ten minutes daily to demanding of myself the development of SELF-CONFIDENCE.

Fourth. I have clearly written down a description of my DEFINITE CHIEF AIM in life, and I will never stop trying, until I shall have developed sufficient self-confidence for its attainment.

Fifth. I fully realize that no wealth or position can long endure, unless built upon truth and justice, therefore, I will engage in no transaction which does not benefit all whom it affects. I will succeed by attracting to myself the forces I wish to use, and the cooperation of other people. I will induce others to serve me, because of my willingness to serve others. I will eliminate hatred, envy, jealousy, selfishness, and cynicism, by developing love for all humanity, because I know that a negative attitude toward others can never bring me success. I will cause others to believe in me, because I will believe in them, and in myself.

I will sign my name to this formula, commit it to memory, and repeat it aloud once a day, with full FAITH that it will gradually influence my THOUGHTS and ACTIONS so that I will become a self-reliant, and successful person.

Do It: Print it out, sign it, and set yourself a notification to read it at least once a week. 

3b. Failures & Set Backs

Early in the book Napoleon Hill shares some interesting thoughts on failure and setbacks. I hope you find these encouraging, as I did. 

“Failure is a trickster with a keen sense of irony and cunning. It takes great delight in tripping one when success is almost within reach.”

“Before success comes in any man’s life, he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and, perhaps, some failure. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to QUIT. That is exactly what the majority of men do.

More than five hundred of the most successful men this country has ever known, told the author their greatest success came just one step beyond the point at which defeat had overtaken them. “

One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.

WHEN RICHES BEGIN TO COME THEY COME SO QUICKLY, IN SUCH GREAT ABUNDANCE, THAT ONE WONDERS WHERE THEY HAVE BEEN HIDING DURING ALL THOSE LEAN YEARS.

Failure comes to those who indifferently allow themselves to become FAILURE CONSCIOUS.

EVERY FAILURE BRINGS WITH IT THE SEED OF AN EQUIVALENT SUCCESS.”

Thomas Edison dreamed of a lamp that could be operated by electricity, began where he stood to put his dream into action, and despite more than ten thousand failures, he stood by that dream until he made it a physical reality. Practical dreamers DO NOT QUIT!

Where failure is experienced, it is the individual, not the method, which has failed. If you try and fail, make another effort, and still another, until you succeed.

FAITH is the only known antidote for FAILURE!”

“I am also trying to emphasize another point, namely, that both success and failure are largely the results of HABIT!”

Temporary defeat is not permanent failure.

4. The Miraculous Power of AutoSuggestion

Autosuggestion is our ability to suggest our desires to our subconscious by coloring our thoughts with emotions, either positive or negative, and reaping the rewards of those thoughts as the subconscious starts producing the results we have suggested. 

To begin using this tool of success we have to make sure that all positive thoughts are combined with positive emotions: Love, Passion/Sex, Faith, Desire, Enthusiasm, Romance, Hope. 

Now to use those emotions while also focusing on what specifically you want.

Read It: The main idea of Think & Grow Rich is that you can think your way to success.

By creating and repeating your statement of demands (SOD) twice a day every day you are practicing persistence, auto-suggesting faith, desire, imagination, the subconscious mind, & planning.

Do It:  Use the following sentence as a template for your Statement of Demands:

I will ___(goal – make 14 million dollars)___ by ____(date – October 2020)___ by ___(what you will do to get succeed)____.

Tip: Repeat your SOD in the shower every morning and as you are falling asleep each night to easily fit it into your routine.

5. Specialized Knowledge & Education

If you have a formal college education, that’s great, but not everyone does, and not everyone needs it. In fact, knowledge is only potential power, but how it is used is most important.

Several of the people featured in Napoleon Hill’s research had little to no formal education but knew their industries or how to acquire the information they needed.

Do It: Today you are going to collect your resources. What knowledge will you need to be successful in your industry? How will you find it? With the Internet, you can easily seek out information, but you should know where you plan on learning things.

For example:

  • Will you need to connect with authors like I do? Where would you do that?
  • Will you need to hire a lawyer? Who would you ask?
  • Does your target market have a community? Where is it?
  • Will you need a writer?
  • What courses should you take?
  • What books should you read?

6. Your Creativity & Imagination Are Amazing Tools

“Ideas are the beginning points of all fortunes”

I LOVE imagination and being creative. This is probably the one thing I’ve learned from Napoleon Hill that has most immediately changed my life.

You need to be creative to visualize what you want before it is physically here. You also need to be creative to handle decision-making, coming up with new ideas for your business, conceiving your business idea in the first place, planning for your success (coming up soon) and several other aspects of success.

Do It: Start planning time to be creative. Yes, that’s right, plan an hour a week (or more) to sit down with your thoughts, to brainstorm, to work through your business problems, and to let ideas flow.

This has been amazing for me. I use a Rocket Everlast Notebook & Frixion pen and sit and think a few times a week because it is so fruitful for where I’m going. Sol Orwell, a founder of Examine.com recently wrote a blog post and mentioned enjoying taking walks and thinking, this works too.

Do whatever works for you, but PLAN on it, every week, you should spend at least an hour tapping into your creative muscle so that it’s there when you need it. You will not regret this.

7. Planning To Succeed

“Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”

It’s hard to know exactly what your future will hold as you work on your idea, stay on top of your SOD, and keep hustling. But you must plan to succeed, that takes the imagination from above, and a bit of help from your mastermind in Day 12.

When you plan, you are sending even more positive vibes to your subconscious, and a plan (even when it does change) gives you the feeling that things are under control and you have a path to follow to get where you want to go.

Do It: Write out your plan for success.

Today take the time to sit down and draw up a plan for achieving your success. Include: 

  • What struggles do you plan on encountering on the way?
  • What special skills or resources do you have access to?
  • What needs to be done to move to the next phase? 
  • Remember to ask others questions to get help in creating your plan.

Tip: This is probably going to take a bit of time, so if you have to do it over the upcoming weekend, go ahead. It’s better to be a little late with the exercise than to not get it done at all.

7a. Your Weekly Self-Analysis

Napoleon recommends spending time every week analyzing where you are on your path to success and how you behave. Here are the questions to consider once a week. 

  1. Do you complain often of “feeling bad,” and if so, what is the cause?
  2. Do you find fault with other people at the slightest provocation?
  3. Do you frequently make mistakes in your work, and if so, why?
  4. Are you sarcastic and offensive in your conversation?
  5. Do you deliberately avoid the association of anyone, and if so, why?
  6. Do you suffer frequently with indigestion? If so, what is the cause?
  7. Does life seem futile and the future hopeless to you? If so, why?
  8. Do you like your occupation? If not, why?
  9. Do you often feel self-pity, and if so why?
  10. Are you envious of those who excel you?
  11. To which do you devote most time, thinking of SUCCESS, or of FAILURE?
  12. Are you gaining or losing self-confidence as you grow older?
  13. Do you learn something of value from all mistakes?
  14. Are you permitting some relative or acquaintance to worry you? If so, why?
  15. Are you sometimes “in the clouds” and at other times in the depths of despondency?
  16. Who has the most inspiring influence upon you? What is the cause?
  17. Do you tolerate negative or discouraging influences which you can avoid?
  18. Are you careless of your personal appearance? If so, when and why?
  19. Have you learned how to “drown your troubles” by being too busy to be annoyed by them
  20. Would you call yourself a “spineless weakling” if you permitted others to do your thinking for you?
  21. Do you neglect internal bathing until auto-intoxication makes you ill-tempered and irritable?
  22. How many preventable disturbances annoy you, and why do you tolerate them?
  23. Do you resort to liquor, narcotics, or cigarettes to “quiet your nerves”? If so, why do you not try will-power instead?
  24. Does anyone “nag” you, and if so, for what reason?
  25. Do you have a DEFINITE MAJOR PURPOSE, and if so, what is it, and what plan have you for achieving it?
  26. Do you suffer from any of the Six Basic Fears? If so, which ones?
  27. Have you a method by which you can shield yourself against the negative influence of others?
  28. Do you make deliberate use of auto-suggestion to make your mind positive?
  29. Which do you value most, your material possessions, or your privilege of controlling your own thoughts?
  30. Are you easily influenced by others, against your own judgment?
  31. Has today added anything of value to your stock of knowledge or state of mind?
  32. Do you face squarely the circumstances which make you unhappy, or sidestep the responsibility?
  33. Do you analyze all mistakes and failures and try to profit by them or, do you take the attitude that this is not your duty?
  34. Can you name three of your most damaging weaknesses? What are you doing to correct them?
  35. Do you encourage other people to bring their worries to you for sympathy?
  36. Do you choose, from your daily experiences, lessons or influences which aid in your personal advancement?
  37. Does your presence have a negative influence on other people as a rule?
  38. What habits of other people annoy you most?
  39. Do you form your own opinions or permit yourself to be influenced by other people?
  40. Have you learned how to create a mental state of mind with which you can shield yourself against all discouraging influences?
  41. Does your occupation inspire you with faith and hope?
  42. Are you conscious of possessing spiritual forces of sufficient power to enable you to keep your mind free from all forms of FEAR?
  43. Does your religion help you to keep your own mind positive?
  44. Do you feel it your duty to share other people’s worries? If so, why?
  45. If you believe that “birds of a feather flock together” what have you learned about yourself by studying the friends whom you attract?
  46. What connection, if any, do you see between the people with whom you associate most closely, and any unhappiness you may experience?
  47. Could it be possible that some person whom you consider to be a friend is, in reality, your worst enemy, because of his negative influence on your mind?
  48. By what rules do you judge who is helpful and who is damaging to you?
  49. Are your intimate associates mentally superior or inferior to you?

How much time out of every 24 hours do you devote to:

a. your occupation
b. sleep
c. play and relaxation
d. acquiring useful knowledge
e. plain waste

Who among your acquaintances

a. encourages you most
b. cautions you most
c. discourages you most
d. helps you most in other ways

 

  1. What is your greatest worry?
  2. Why do you tolerate it?
  3. When others offer you free, unsolicited advice, do you accept it without question, or analyze their motive?
  4. What, above all else, do you most DESIRE?
  5. Do you intend to acquire it?
  6. Are you willing to subordinate all other desires for this one?
  7. How much time daily do you devote to acquiring it?
  8. Do you change your mind often? If so, why?
  9. Do you usually finish everything you begin?
  10. Are you easily impressed by other people’s business or professional titles, college degrees, or wealth?
  11. Are you easily influenced by what other people think or say of you?
  12. Do you cater to people because of their social or financial status?
  13. Whom do you believe to be the greatest person living?
  14. In what respect is this person superior to yourself?
  15. How much time have you devoted to studying and answering these questions? (At least one day is necessary for the analysis and the answering of the entire list.)

To make it easier, here is a spreadsheet you can copy to track your answers each week. Additionally, I suggest you add this to your calendar to look at once a week, Fridays are good but Saturday mornings are better. 

8. Be Decisive - The Mastery of Procrastination

“INDECISION is the seedling of FEAR!”

Since you already know that fear leads to poverty, you want to be very careful of indecision. Through the research Mr. Hill and Andrew Carnegie did, they found that successful people are very decisive. They make decisions and stick with them.

This reminds me of Henry Ford’s decision to continue manufacturing the Model T for years after he was advised to change it. He knew what he wanted to do, and made millions of dollars doing it because of his decisive action.

Do It: Chances are you are struggling or procrastinating on a decision, but there’s no better way to handle it than to sit down, collect the information, and decide already. Pick any decision you need to make (in regards to your business) and decide today. This will encourage you to do the same in the future.

I really like this vide of Tim Ferriss talking about defining fears instead of goals. I find it helpful when making decisions.

 

Additionally, I found two great blog posts that help you make decisions quickly.

Potential 2 Success – How to make important decisions quickly

Life Hacker – 4 Tricks to help you make any difficult decision

9. Persistence - The Sustained Effort Necessary to Induce Faith

When so many options are available (today’s world), it seems easy to just give up and move on. Successful people do NOT do this. What if Mark Zuckerberg gave up when Facebook didn’t grow as quickly as he wanted? What if Google never started because there were already other search engines?

We have to be consistent and commit to our success if we plan on getting there. Do not accept overall failure, keep working at something to succeed.

Here are some encouraging quotes:

“I am also trying to emphasize another point, namely, that both success and failure are largely the results of HABIT!”

“The person who makes PERSISTENCE his watch-word, discovers that “Old Man Failure” finally becomes tired, and makes his departure. Failure cannot cope with PERSISTENCE.”

“Riches do not respond to wishes. They respond only to definite plans, backed by definite desires, through constant PERSISTENCE.”

And, finally, how to develop persistence: 

1) A DEFINITE PURPOSE BACKED BY BURNING DESIRE FOR ITS FULFILLMENT.

2) A DEFINITE PLAN, EXPRESSED IN CONTINUOUS ACTION.

3) A MIND CLOSED TIGHTLY AGAINST ALL NEGATIVE AND DISCOURAGING INFLUENCES, including negative suggestions of relatives, friends and acquaintances.

4) A FRIENDLY ALLIANCE WITH ONE OR MORE PERSONS WHO WILL ENCOURAGE ONE TO FOLLOW THROUGH WITH BOTH PLAN AND PURPOSE

Do It: Today I want to reiterate the importance of your Statement of Demands, have you been repeating it every day? This is the first test in persistence.

Please take the time today to evaluate how committed you are to your demands, and FIX it! This is non-negotiable. 

10. The Mastermind - The Driving Force

“Great businesses and successes are almost never achieved by oneself alone.”

Two minds working together can almost always achieve more than one person alone. We simply need people to contribute if we are going to be successful.

It’s important to have a quorum of people you can default to when you are struggling with your idea. And starting today you are going to make that happen.

Do It: Email 10-15 people today who you would like to have in your mastermind. It’s very easy to do, here’s a simple script: 

Hello [Dave], I wanted to reach out because I highly respect you and all you’ve accomplished.

Would you please consider joining my new mastermind of success-oriented people?

I would unquestionably value your participation. What do you think?

Additionally, you need to spend time with your mastermind at least once a week, preferably twice while you work on building your business. This is invaluable and non-negotiable. 

11. Passion - Sex Transmutation

In Think & Grow Rich Napoleon talks about how a man’s passion for a woman drove their success. Both Lincoln and Napoleon were madly in love at the start of their rises to success. They seemingly applied their sexual feelings as passion (my word not Napoleon’s) towards their aspirations and became successful. 

While Napoleon Hill focuses on sex transmutation and a man’s success. Sex transmutation can be most easily summed up as using your passion towards your aspirations for being successful. 

Do it: Using your passions in life for your success makes sense, no one wants to spend their lives focusing on something that doesn’t interest them.

  • Does your business or path to success include your passion?
  • How can you more easily incorporate one of your passions to make your path more enjoyable?
  • What passion can you draw on for your ventures?

12. The Subconscious - The Door To The Temple of Wisdom

“MAN’S THOUGHT IM- PULSES BEGIN IMMEDIATELY TO TRANSLATE THEMSELVES INTO THEIR PHYSICAL EQUIVALENT, WHETHER THOSE THOUGHTS ARE VOLUNTARY OR INVOLUNTARY.”

“There is still very little known about the subconscious mind, but through feelings you can impress your desires for the future. The subconscious mind uses feelings along with its connection to the Universal Intelligence to make things happen. “

The emotions that most strongly suggest things to the subconscious are: 

Love, Passion/Sex, Faith, Desire, Enthusiasm, Romance, Hope, Fear, Jealousy, Hatred, Revenge, Greed, Superstition, Anger. 

An interesting interpretation of the subconscious and how it affects life is described here by Theresa Vigarino

First, you must understand some basics about how your mind controls your life. Literally, your SUBCONSCIOUS mind is at work to create your reality, based upon many factors.

 

One of the underlying causes of the way our life unfolds is based upon early experiences that mold “stories” in our subconscious. These memories then have a meaning attached to them. Once there is a meaning attached to the memory, then it becomes a belief system.

 

A belief system then becomes part of our anatomy in the form of a neural pathway. The neural pathway then gets triggered by circumstances that the brain links to an original pathway, adding to the belief system.

 

When triggered, the belief system (neural pathway) then lights up and activates the emotional body into feelings. Once feelings are active, then our behavior is driven by this response. This happens for the good, the bad and the ugly.

Do It: Start spending time every day reading inspirational quotes. This exercise suggested by Brian Tracy is meant to help you build or enhance positive feelings. Here is the quote from his article

“This is why motivational activities, such as reading inspirational quotes, are so impactful for people committed to positive thinking. By focusing your thoughts on uplifting ideas, your subconscious will begin to implement a positive pattern in your way of thinking and your outlook on life.”

Read more about the subconscious mind, it is very interesting and will help you understand the power the subconscious has. Specifically, this quote is inspirational for how much we have to learn about the subconscious. 

“Neuroscience has recognized that the subconscious controls 95% of our lives.” This is a great article about the power of the subconscious

13. The Brain - A Broadcasting & Receiving Station for Thought

“Through the medium of the ether, in a fashion similar to that employed by the radio broadcasting principle, every human brain is capable of picking up vibrations of thought which are being released by other brains.”

A major theme in Think and Grow Rich is that you not only control your thoughts but you must be careful which thoughts or signals you allow yourself to pick up from others. The brain is like a satellite dish, it receives and sends signals.

There are beneficial and destructive signals to pick up from others, you must learn to decipher the signals and release what doesn’t work for you. As thoughts come to your mind, be quick to release any negativity.

It’s important to remember that you can pick up creative thoughts from others, so use this as a tool to enhance your creativity and decision-making. 

As in the mastermind, you can pick up thoughts from others as the combined intelligence and brainpower of many is much more impactful than just one person’s

Thinking of the brain like this does seem odd. But this quote from the book gives pause for considering the potential for using the brain this way. 

“Is it not likely that the same system, which gives billions of brain cells the media for communication one with another, provides, also the means of communication with other intangible forces?”

Do It: Monitor your thoughts for a day to see what kind of positive and negative thoughts you are considering. 

This activity should help you be aware of your tendencies and help you work towards dismissing poor thoughts and working with the positive thoughts you encounter. 

I actually enjoyed this (poorly designed) article on the Brain and the science of Napoleon Hill’s brain principle, check it out if you have time. 

14. The 6th Sense - The Door To The Temple of Wisdom - Do

This is probably the chapter/principle of Think & Grow Rich that is met with the most skepticism. 

The 6th sense, the Universal Intelligence, Infinite Intelligence, Instinct, Epiphanies, Hunches, and many other names describe this topic, an almost divine level of insight that is reached through mastering the use of your brain, creativity, and all of the other principles. 

This supreme level of intelligence is said to only be applied and understood by first mastering the other 12 principles of Think & Grow Rich. 

“The sixth sense probably is the medium of contact between the finite mind of man and Infinite Intelligence, and for this reason, it is a mixture of both the mental and the spiritual. It is believed to be the point at which the mind of man contacts the Universal Mind.

 

After you have mastered the principles described in this book, you will be prepared to accept as truth a statement which may, otherwise, be incredible to you, namely:

 

Through the aid of the sixth sense, you will be warned of impending dangers in time to avoid them, and notified of opportunities in time to embrace them.”

This principle truly takes time to conquer but is a bit of an extension of your creativity, which you should be spending weekly time exercising. 

Do It: Consider the quorum of people the author envisioned as Napoleon’s counsel. Who would be on your counsel and what would you ask them? What do you think their answers would be? 

Now try guessing what their answer would be to a problem you are struggling with today. Do you think this exercise helps you answer questions or make decisions? 

Additionally, work on the other principles until you are no longer skeptical of this one. It comes with time, so leave this until everything else is mastered. 

15. Outwitting the Ghosts of Fear & Worry

“Fears are nothing more than states of mind.”

“INDECISION is the seedling of FEAR!”

Fear is one of the biggest elements that hold people back from success. By understanding fear you can overcome it and continue on your journey. 

Napoleon shares 6 ghosts of fear, or 6 types of fear that get in your way. They are: 

  • The fear of POVERTY
  • The fear of CRITICISM
  • The fear of ILL HEALTH
  • The fear of LOSS OF LOVE OF SOMEONE
  • The fear of OLD AGE
  • The fear of DEATH

Here’s a quick look at each: 

Fear of Poverty

“The Fear of Poverty is, without doubt, the most destructive of the six basic fears.”

This fear is the most difficult to master. Fearing poverty leads to poverty as you are using one of the strongest emotions to autosuggest the very thing you do not want. You aren’t using your options to control and autosuggest success. 

Here are the symptoms of fear of poverty:

  • Indifference
  • Indecision
  • Doubt
  • Worry
  • Over-Caution
  • Procrastination

Do It: Whip the fear of poverty by reaching a decision to get along with whatever wealth you can accumulate WITHOUT WORRY.

Fear of Criticism

Another highly common fear today, because of the Internet, the fear of criticism can also be paralyzing. Here are the symptoms: 

  • Self-Consciousness
  • Lack of Poise
  • Inferiority Complex
  • Extravagance
  • Lack of Initiative
  • Lack of Ambition

Do It: Put your foot upon the neck of the fear of criticism by reaching a decision NOT TO WORRY about what other people think, do, or say.

It may help to read Crushing It by Gary Vaynerchuk, he talks about building a business and overcoming fears like this. 

Fear of Ill Health

Similar to fear of death and fear of old age, this fear is also based in negative thinking or at least can get worse with negative thinking. The symptoms include: 

  • Negative self-talk
  • Hypochondria
  • Lack of Exercise
  • Susceptibility
  • Self-coddling
  • Intemperance

Do It: Acquit yourself of the fear of ill health by the decision to forget symptoms.

Fear of Loss of Love

The fear of loss of love is still very real for some people and comes from the idea that if they don’t do what the other person wants or needs they will lose that person. Symptoms include: 

  • Jealousy
  • Fault-finding
  • Gambling or other harmful activities

Do It: Master the fear of loss of love by reaching a decision to get along without love, if that is necessary. 

Fear of Old Age

 The fear of old age is based on accepting that at some age you will not be able to function or do things of a certain caliber any longer. The major symptom is acting or accepting that you are too old to do things ranging from business decisions to physical restrictions. 

Do It: Eliminate the fear of old age by reaching a decision to accept it, not as a handicap, but as a great blessing which carries with it wisdom, self- control, and understanding not known to youth.

Fear of Death

Possibility the scariest fear this is the cruelest of the basic fears. The biggest symptom is constantly thinking about death. 

Do It: Relieve yourself, forever of the fear of death, by reaching a decision to accept death as an inescapable event. There are books that might help such as You Can Live An Exceptional Life co-authored by Louise Hay. 

Worry

Worry starts in a fear-based mind and leads to indecision and as you learned in the concept on decision this is an obstacle to success.

It’s important to monitor your thoughts for fear and worry and 

Do It: Kill the habit of worry, in all its forms, by reaching a general, blanket decision that nothing which life has to offer is worth the price of worry. With this decision will come poise, peace of mind, and calmness of thought which will bring happiness.”

Your business in life is, presumably to achieve success. To be successful, you must find peace of mind, acquire the material needs of life, and above all, attain HAPPINESS. All of these evidences of success begin in the form of thought impulses.

15a. The Devil's Workshop - The 7th Basic Evil - Negative Thought

If you’ve looked at other pieces of work by Napoleon Hill you will notice how he places massive importance on positive thinking. 

In Think & Grow Rich, he warns against negative influences. To be successful you must overcome negativity. The following is his suggestion to do this:

“To protect yourself against negative influences, whether of your own making, or the result of the activities of negative people around you, recognize that you have a WILL-POWER, and put it into constant use, until it builds a wall of immunity against negative influences in your own mind.

Recognize the fact that you, and every other human being, are, by nature, lazy, indifferent, and susceptible to all suggestions which harmonize with your weaknesses.

Recognize that you are, by nature, susceptible to all the six basic fears, and set up. habits for the purpose of counteracting all these fears.

Recognize that negative influences often work on you through your subconscious mind, therefore they are difficult to detect, and keep your mind closed against all people who depress or discourage you in any way.

Clean out your medicine chest, throw away all pill bottles, and stop pandering to colds, aches, pains and imaginary illness.

Deliberately seek the company of people who influence you to THINK AND ACT FOR YOURSELF.

Do not EXPECT troubles as they have a tendency not to disappoint.

Without doubt, the most common weakness of all human beings is the habit of leaving their minds open to the negative influence of other people.”

Building New Habits from Think & Grow Rich

There are a lot of elements of this book you’ll want to revisit, spend time on every week, and even daily. I hope to summarize it all for you here:

Daily:

Twice a day repeat your statement of demands, in the shower in the morning and at bedtime works best. Use your positive emotions while visualizing your success, and keep at it for 5 minutes each time. 

Weekly: 

  • Schedule time to be creative, at least 1 hour, every week. This is a skill you really want to learn to tap into. 
  • Schedule time with your mastermind at least once a week, 2-3 times if possible. 
  • Schedule a time for your self-analysis every week. 

As you realize you are struggling with any of the principles revisit that chapter in the book. 

Monthly: 
Check your plan for success to make sure you do not need to make changes, plan for new obstacles, etc. Stay ahead of upcoming issues. 

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