Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill | Book summary, notes, lessons

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill is about believing in what you’re capable of doing.

Audible | Hardcover | Kindle | Paperback

In short

  • Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill is about believing in what you’re capable of doing.
  • You’re in charge of your own thoughts and because of that, you’re in charge of your life.
  • Know what you want. Persist. Create opportunity from failure. Succeed no matter what.

Best takeaways

  • Desire is the starting point of success.
  • Decide on what you want. Make it specific. Write it.
  • Plant your goals in your mind through repetition.
  • Visualize your goals as if you already have them.
  • What you keep in your mind tends to manifest because it makes the mind more attentive to the relevant details you encounter everyday.
  • Persist with your plans. Obsess over your goals.
  • Know what it is you’re willing to do to achieve your goal.
  • Defeats are temporary. With each failure there’s a “seed of opportunity”.
  • Create a mastermind group, your own committee of people you respect, living or dead.
  • Acquire knowledge specific to your goals and use it.
  • Become worth what you’re asking for.
  • An intelligent follower grows into a good leader.
  • Timing will never be right.
  • “No more effort is required to aim high in life, to demand abundance and prosperity, than is required to accept misery and poverty.”
  • “Every man is what he is because of the dominating thoughts which he permits to occupy his mind.”

Chapters in one sentence

  • Thoughts are things
  • Desire – The starting point of all achievement
  • Faith – Visualization of, and belief in attainment of desire
  • Autosuggestion – The medium for influencing the subconscious mind
  • Specialized knowledge – Personal experiences or observations
  • Imagination – The workshop of the mind
  • Organized planning – The crystallization of desire into action
  • Decision – The mastery of procrastination
  • Persistence – The sustained effort necessary to induce faith
  • Power of the mastermind – The driving force
  • The mystery of sex transmutation
  • The subconscious mind – The connecting link
  • The brain – A broadcasting and receiving station for thought
  • The sixth sense – The door to the temple of wisdom
  • The six ghosts of fear – Fear of poverty, criticism, ill health, loss of love of someone, old age, death


Throughout the book, Hill talks about the money-making secret that was used by the wealthy. He says that Andrew Carnegie, a self-made business mogul, “carelessly tossed it into my mind, when I was but a boy.” That was the beginning.

Napoleon Hill analyzed hundreds of the most successful men in his time. He did this for 20 years. Though the book’s title is Think and Grow Rich, it isn’t about money. It’s about creating a state of mind that leads to success. The book was first published in 1937 (I have a revised version from 1960) – keep this in mind while reading. It may seem like the writing is a bit old school but the message is timeless. You will see most of the ideas mentioned in the book in many modern self-help books today.