Celebrated as one of the best self-help book ever written, Think And Grow Rich has a lot to teach its readers.
I have read the book thrice; it is one you go back to whenever you find yourself in danger of forgetting its invaluable lessons. In order to write this post, I read it again and once again, ended up learning something new.
I don’t think we are ever completely ready for a book of this magnitude. It packs quite a punch!
You read it cover to cover and take away as much wisdom as you can.
A year or a few years later, when you find yourself with more experience and a mind more open to learning, you come back to the book with a new appreciation.
There is always the sense of dissatisfaction that comes from knowing that despite all my attempts, I have still not managed to integrate all the lessons into my character. There is still work to be done.
I hope you find this post as useful as I have found the book or at least, it convinces you to give the book itself a thorough reading. You won’t regret it.
Here are the lessons I learned from the book, Think And Grow Rich –
1. Desire – The starting point of all achievement
Success is the eventual result of concentrated effort, but it all starts with the birth of a desire.
A desire that consumes your soul to the extent, that it becomes physically impossible for you to remain inactive is what you need to start on your mission to success.
This desire should be very, very clear in your mind and the achievement of the said desire should be non-negotiable. No doubts should be entertained.
Remember, all the greatest inventions were desired for before they were ever even believed possible.
2. Mental Clarity
You need to get really, really clear about your goals. As the desire takes shape in your mind, establish a timeline for its achievement.
Come up with a definite plan of action. State the parameters and the resources required.
Put it down on paper and read it everyday.
As you follow the process and ponder over the different aspects of your plan, things will start to become clearer in your head. The author lays great emphasis on the importance of writing down your desire and the following course of action.
It is a way of communicating it to the subconscious and highlighting its importance to your own internal self. This allows you to tap into powers that may not be so easily apparent to you.
3. Cultivate Unshakeable Faith
This is true for all of us – the most important of our dreams and ambitions are always accompanied by a great deal of fear. It is so because the achievement of these dreams is incredibly important to us.
As we think about them and allow them to assume the proportion of a burning desire, doubt starts to permeate the chambers of our mind. The distance between where we are presently and where we are trying to get seems insurmountable. The more you want something, the more you fear failure.
This can be damaging to your progress. In the presence of fear, faith will not be allowed to work its magic, and in the absence of faith, even the resources that you do have won’t work for you.
Therefore, as you set out on this path, you must cultivate unshakeable faith!
As stated in the book –
Repetition of affirmation of orders to your subconscious mind is the only known method of voluntary development of the emotion of faith.
Through autosuggestion, we can cultivate faith.
Due to its importance, this concept has been repeated in the book several times. We decide what occupies our mind. This makes it imperative that we control the thoughts entering our mind and redirect the negative ones onto a more positive path.
Also, all thoughts which have been emotionalized, and mixed with faith, begin immediately to translate themselves into their physical equivalent or counterpart.
Attach emotion to positive affirmations and they will soon convert into enduring faith in the vision of your success. As faith starts to take root, your subconscious will lend its powers to devising plans and ideas that may help you turn desire into reality.
4. Acquire Specialized Knowledge
As we build clear plans, we will realize that the plan needs resources – knowledge, experience, skill – that we may not have.
However, this gap can be bridged with intellectual effort. There are books available on every subject. We should invest time and energy into attaining mastery over our chosen area.
Only with complete knowledge can we hope to fulfill all our plans- Identify limitations in time, improve all aspects of it, and enlist other resources that may add to the plan in motion.
Use the library, online forums, work spaces- anything and everything you can find and turn it into a medium for learning.
5. Find the right associates
Men take on the nature and the habits of those with whom they associate.
Surround yourself with people who can supply you with the knowledge you need or experiences that may prevent you from making fatal mistakes. Associate with those whose intellect either compliments or challenges yours.
We can’t do everything ourselves. It is always for the best if we focus our energy on doing what we excel at, and add to our current set of skills.
The right team can make a world of difference.
6. Become Extremely Decisive
All the great and defining events of history that altered the course of time were driven by a decision made by someone acting on the conviction of their beliefs.
It goes without saying, even the most wonderful, foolproof ideas are useless if not put into action. So, the skill ESSENTIAL to success is that of efficient decision-making.
If you are not decisive, you will find yourself procrastinating because only with a mind driven with firm decisions do you push fear out. If you’re indecisive, you leave your mind vulnerable to fear and doubt.
A good leader has the ability to reach decisions quickly and firmly. They stick to their decisions no matter the difficulties.
The only way to become more decisive is to truly believe in your mission and your plan of action. You should be able to stake all your resources on the strength of that belief.
It has been said often enough, there is no such thing as an overnight success. All those who reach the finish line do so after having endured a great many failures and having learned from each and every one of them.
It is their persistence in the face of failures that allows them to, eventually, enjoy the joys of victory.
The ease with which lack of persistence may be conquered will depend entirely upon the INTENSITY OF ONE’S DESIRE.
The author seems to believe that those who don’t pass the ‘Persistence Test’ will never succeed. It seems to be almost against the laws of nature for someone lacking in persistence to ever so much as desire success.
According to the book, all we need to develop persistence is a burning desire greedy for fulfillment backed by a clear plan of action, a mind immune to the negative opinions of others, and someone willing to encourage you to follow through on your vision.
8. Learn to tap into the powers of Creative Imagination
Another book, another writer that’s trying so hard to make its readers understand just what a focused mind can really achieve.
Napoleon Hill propagates the idea that while our synthetic intelligence (the one gathered through life experiences & intellectual learning) is definitely useful, it is no rival to our creative intelligence and its capabilities.
By simply sitting with our eyes tight shut and our senses disconnected from the external world and trained onto the questions presently occupying our mind, we can obtain answers that will rapidly carry us to successful completion of our task.
Another way to stimulate the creative imagination and tap into its power is by using one of ten mind stimulants (as listed in the book) – sex, love, desire for money, music, friendship, master mind alliance, mutual suffering, auto-suggestion, fear, narcotic & alcohol.
The book shares names of many extremely successful men, all of whom had a high sex drive in common. They used their sex drive as a source of inspiration to do brilliant work. The author defines it as ‘transmutation of sex’, it is another way of tapping into the powers of creative imagination – the one with all the answers!
Sex combined with the power of love has the capacity to completely alter our life. It can be the greatest driving force, if well-understood and carefully utilized.
9. The ever-powerful subconscious mind is easily influenced
The subconscious mind can be running the show without you even being aware of it. Every thought that crosses your mind finds a foothold in the subconscious. Therefore, you would do well to ensure that all of those thoughts are of a nature beneficial to your cause.
…Only emotionalized thoughts have any action influence upon the subconscious mind.
Consciously, feed your mind positive thoughts charged with faith, love, and certainty of success. Anytime a negative thought enters the realm of your mind, transform it into a constructive idea or feeling. (This is part of cultivating faith, as discussed above)
There are other lessons that I have not covered in this article. I left them out deliberately simply because I don’t think I can do them justice without borrowing the words from the book itself.
To anyone building a life of purpose, I strongly recommend this book. It is one you can and should read at your own pace. Read a chapter a day – even that’s enough! This book has a lot to offer; the best change I see in myself every time I read this book is an increase in accountability.
I find myself being more conscious of how I am spending my time which translates into increased productivity, better habits, and more success on all fronts.
If you are struggling with your goals, I suggest you pick a copy of this book and find the answers you need.