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What I learnt From Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich

Think And Grow Rich is a 1937 self-development Book by American, Napoleon Hill but was suggested by Andrew  Carnegie who was a very wealthy business magnate. The book which was published in 1970 sold over 100 million copies by 2015 and it is still ranked one of the top ten best-selling books about success roughly about 70 years after.

Why is the book so valuable? The book is claimed to be the result of more than twenty years of research of people who have been very wealthy. Napoleon Hill studied these men and developed principles that can easily be followed if you want to attain as much wealth as these men.  If you have not read it, then you should. But before you do, let’s discuss what I personally learned from the book:

Think And Grow Rich which has 238 pages is an easy read which interviews almost 500 wealthy men in history: John. D. Rockafella, Henry Ford, J.P Morgan, Thomas Edison; the list is plenty sha!


The first chapter which is titled ‘Desire’ easily makes the reader realize that the starting point to accomplish anything of importance is Desire. Without first having a desire, man would not be active.  I mean, if you do not have a desire to eat, I doubt you would leave your house as early as 5 am, get into Lagos traffic that is if care is not taken you may grow white hair in, and then tolerate an annoying and insensitive boss, would you? I seriously doubt.

However, the book does not speak of desire on the surface level. That is, it is not mere wishing but a burning, intense desire.


After having this burning desire, you must, however, believe that the subject of your desire is attainable. I was in a business seminar one time when the speaker who had traveled to Dubai and met the King who had supervised the building of a seaport in a desert, had said that there is nothing the mind can hold that the eyes cannot.

This part is very important and the author attributes present conditions, whether successful or unsuccessful, to how much faith we possess in our desires.


This is not a principle in itself but a manner of strengthening the faith we have in both our abilities to attain our object of desires and our desires themselves. It includes constantly telling ourselves positive things. However, it is more specific. Assuming one desire is to become a medical doctor, by constantly suggesting to himself that he would become a doctor soon, the desire suddenly becomes realizable and not so unattainable. This particularly makes sense and it may be basic psychology:

Growing up, we realize that we believe what most people say about us. We believe them so much that they form our core personalities. If somebody we love and respect tells us we are ugly constantly, we then feel ugly and then become ugly. If they tell us we are beautiful on the other hand, we feel beautiful and then become beautiful. What is the difference between other people telling us things and we telling ourselves, Think And Grow Rich makes it clear?

Specialized Knowledge:

I call this practical knowledge. We go to school, especially secondary school, to gain general knowledge. The only importance of general knowledge is to point us in the direction of practical or specialized knowledge. Tertiary Institutions are meant to give this type of knowledge but we live in Nigeria so…

Specialized knowledge involves practical problem-solving skills: how to fix a leaking pipe, how to make a TV work and blah blah blah. However, it goes deeper than this. It involves bringing all our experiences; the hurt, the pain, the moment of happiness, and putting them into a very useful process that helps us become valuable to our society. Makes sense? For instance, how does a musician put all of his experience into telling his story with his music? How does an artist make his/her audience see his experiences through his art? How does a technician solve technical problems so that his personality exhumes from his endeavors? Yea that is the point exactly.

General knowledge is not designed to make anyone successful or rich. It only makes you understand your environment. This is the main reason why first-class holders in Nigeria still end up broke; not necessarily because the Government is dysfunctional; because in Universities in Nigeria, we still deal with general knowledge. Remember #lazynigerianyouths.


Think And Grow Rich helped me understand that my desires are formed in the mind with the help of my emotions. However, we need to develop these desires. Desires are the ‘what’, we would need the ‘how’! The author makes us realize that this is the main purpose of our imaginations. We can easily use our imaginations to solve problems if we know how to develop it for that purpose. Again, this is not mere wishing, but imagining for the main purpose of bringing into reality. By creating visual pictures of the things we yearn to attain, we would consciously or unconsciously build our reality around the images our mind holds. This is why I hold this to be a truth:

Our desires are mostly vague and it is difficult to express them without attaching them to images. When we constantly create images around our desires, we find that we are more inspired. And when we are inspired we see ourselves pursuing these images and trying to make them into reality. Here is a real-life example:  Beyonce recently headlined Coachella, a long time music festival in the US. It was such a huge success that the management of Coachella dubbed the festival s ‘Beychella’. In the event, Beyonce announced to an over-250,000 audience that she was supposed to have had this performance last year but she could not. This is because she was pregnant with her twins, Rumi and Carter Junior. However, she announced that that did not stop her determination. She could not headline the show, but she could dream of how she wanted the show to be. She did this for a year, and according to reports, when she was fit enough to perform, employed a 100-team of dancers. She also rehearsed 11 hours a day. Do you see how our imaginations can inspire us into creating the realities we always dream of?

We can use our imagination in two ways, according to the book: re-arranging existing concepts and ideas in ways that they form new ones, and to create something out of nothing.

So, Guys, these are the lessons I learned from Napoleon Hills’ best-seller, Think And Grow Rich. Funny, these are not all to learn from the book. The author still wrote about decision-making, organized planning, building confidence, and mastering the mind. The book is a practical guide to attaining your dreams, and if you love self-improvement, then this book is a must-have. Read it and also share your lessons with us.

Thanks and Ciao!!

This post first appeared on Akokosblog, please read the originial post: here

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What I learnt From Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich


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