Everyone who seeks financial wealth has this question at some stage: “What do rich people have in common?” More specifically: “How does their thinking patterns differ from ‘normal’ people?” To attract money, you have to have a certain mindset. What that mindset looks like also was the starting question of Napoleon Hill’s project: Interviewing the most successful people of his time (e.g Henry Ford, Charles Schwab, Roosevelt, etc.) and capturing their particular traits. In more than 20 years, he finished his work and summarized the results in this book.
He divides his research in fourteen principles. In the following, I will guide you through the most important ones.
In this chapter, Hill stresses the importance of having a definite goal and putting all the energy, effort and willpower into its achievement. He also emphasizes that it is important to ‘burn all bridges’ behind you. Once you’ve set one goal, you have to stay on track and kill all possibilities of quitting/changing paths.
He also describes a way for internalizing your goals: Set a specific goal, set a specific date, create a plan to reach it, and most important: write all these things down and read your written statement twice a day, loud (e.g. when waking up in the morning and going to bed at night). While reading it, you should feel like you already posses/ achieved the money/goal. That step is important because then you will get the goal in your subconscious mind. This will help you to become aware of opportunities in your everyday life because you actually imprinted that goal into your deeper, subconscious mind.
The process described above is essential because according to Hill, “Faith” must be build through auto-suggestion (e.g. reading your goals out loud). He describes auto-suggestion as a repeated instruction to the subconscious mind. He further states that “Faith” can only be reached when applying and acting on the fourteen principles that are covered in the book. This is because using these principles will bring you results, and the results strengthen your faith which will result in more action.
According to Hill, the lack of decision is one of the most common reasons for failure. Procrastination must be fought by everyone. The way the really rich people, who Hill analyzed, make decisions can be described as following: They make decisions very quick, but once they made them, they rarely or only slowly change their opinion. You should at all times defend yourself from unnecessary opinions from the outside (e.g. other people, the media, etc.). Also relatives and close friends can handicap your way towards riches because they can make you doubt yourself through comments or ridicule.
To acquire the habit of prompt decisions, Hill says that you should listen more than you talk. You should gain the needed information without making your own plans public. Others could use your plan to destroy/ handicap you. Closed mouth and open ears/eyes!
4. Power of the “Master Mind”
Hill defines the “Master Mind” as a coordination of knowledge and effort between two or more people for the attainment of a definite purpose. He sees two advantages in such a collaboration group: You can work together towards a common goal and you can adapt habits and traits of other successful/powerful people during the process. He basically refers to the principle of 1+1 equals 3, not 2. And further, as often quoted: You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. He therefore recommends a very cautious selection of your inner circle.
My Personal Conclusion
That was just a quick overview of the most important principles Hill describes. The others are equally important. In my opinion, the book is the definite guide to the right thinking process of getting rich. There is so much internal change on this pathway. But as Hill emphasizes throughout the book: One must also take action! And that is the main weakness of the book: There isn’t something you could apply immediately, be it an investment advice or business rules. I think it’s hard to internalize Hill’s principles during the first read, therefore I read it 3 times in different stages of my life. He recommends this multiple reading too, I think because it’s simultaneously also a kind of “auto-suggestion”.
My key take away from the book is the following: You cannot think your way to riches, but you have to have a certain attitude, ethic and mind structure in order to make the right decisions and act the right way. I hope that book helps you to get it!
Until next time,