Andrew Carnegie met the skilled journalist, Napoleon Hill, during his successful career. He trusted him with the task of spending 20 years to analyze the strategies that led him to becoming wealthy, successful, and one of the world’s greatest businessmen.
With their combined efforts, they created “Think and Grow Rich,” by Napolean Hill. Their purpose was to share their secret with the world, as Hill writes in the preface, “It was Mr. Carnegie’s idea that the magic formula, which gave him stupendous fortune, ought to be placed within reach of people who do not have time to investigate how men make money, and it was his hope that I might test and demonstrate the soundness of the formula through the experience of men and women in every calling.”
His “money making secret” is divided into 13 major principles. As Hill identifies through his principles, mastering money requires a psychological approach over any other method.
“You either master money, or, on some level, money masters you!” Tony Robbins
Here are 13 Think and Grow Rich Principles in Hill’s words and ours:
1. Desire: You need a burning desire.
Wealthy people who accumulate massive fortunes all started out with a desire, followed by wishing, hoping, and planning for there riches. Before they saw any of the money in there bank account, they began with imagining what it would be like to have the money they desired. Hill explains:
Every human being who reaches the age of understanding of the purpose of money, wishes for it. Wishing will not bring riches. But desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways and means to acquire riches, and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure, will bring riches.
The starting point of desire is behind every goal that you set for yourself, and plays a huge role in your ability to obtain the money that you want.
2. Faith: Believe in yourself, and your ability to succeed.
A mindset of belief in yourself, mixed with faith in your ability to succeed will help you accumulate wealth. Hill emphasizes:
RICHES begin in the form of THOUGHT! The amount is limited only by the person in whose mind the THOUGHT is put into motion. FAITH removes limitations! Remember this when you are ready to bargain with Life for whatever it is that you ask as your price for having passed this way.
Adopting a faith based mindset in yourself and your abilities will accelerate your path towards riches. Without faith, and without believe in yourself, you are left with a burning desire, and no way to move forward.
You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.You have to trust in something–Your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. -Steve Jobs
3. Auto-Suggestion: Use affirmations to influence your subconscious mind.
We can effectively use mantras and affirmations to influence our subconscious mind. If you were tending to a garden, you would want to plant the right seeds to grow the garden you desire. Your mind is the same way, and you reap what you sow. Hill writes:
AUTOSUGGESTION is the agency of control through which an individual may voluntarily feed his subconscious mind on thoughts of a creative nature, or by neglect, permit thoughts of a destructive nature to find their way into this rich garden of the mind.
An example of the use of auto-suggestion would be repeating to yourself with faith an affirmation like, “I am so happy and grateful now that money is coming to me in increasing amounts, through multiple sources, on a continuous basis.” You would repeat this to yourself as often as you could throughout the day.
4. Specialized Knowledge: Continue to learn and grow in experience.
Many people hold the belief that knowledge is power. Knowledge is not power, rather POTENTIAL power. An education can be beneficial, but you won’t make the money you desire unless you apply it. Hill explains:
KNOWLEDGE will not attract money, unless it is organized, and intelligently directed, through practical PLANS OF ACTION, to the DEFINITE END of accumulation of money. Lack of understanding of this fact has been the source of confusion to millions of people who falsely believe that “knowledge is power.”
To acquire riches, you must take the knowledge you learn and organize it, make plans, and direct it towards a definite financial goal. If you have attended college or some sort of schooling, your learning does not end there. Hill writes:
Successful men, in all callings, never stop acquiring specialized knowledge related to their major purpose, business, or profession. Those who are not successful usually make the mistake of believing that the knowledge acquiring period ends when one finishes school. The truth is that schooling does but little more than to put one in the way of learning how to acquire practical knowledge.
Many of the most successful people continue to read, learn, and grow. Specialized knowledge related to their craft is constantly sought after. This applies to growing a business, acquiring wealth, and even athletic endeavors.
5. Imagination: Brainstorm ideas and visualize your future.
Everything we plan is fueled by our imagination. Hill writes:
The imagination is literally the workshop wherein are fashioned all plans created by man. The impulse, the DESIRE, is given shape, form, and ACTION through the aid of the imaginative faculty of the mind. It has been said that man can create anything which he can imagine.
When it comes to your future, you are the master of it. No one else is going to figure it out for you. Your imagination is going to be your best friend when you are brainstorming ideas, and visualizing your future. It will be there every step of the way, helping you see possibilities that you never knew were possible. Challenges and problems will come your way, but they are not your limitations. As Hill emphasizes:
MAN’S ONLY LIMITATION, within reason, LIES IN HIS DEVELOPMENT AND USE OF HIS IMAGINATION.
6. Organized Planning: Transform your desire into action.
Now that you have decided what you want, and you’ve visualized your desires coming to fruition, it is time to take action. This is when you go into a full pursuit towards your goals. During the planning and actions we take, we also will face what Hill calls “temporary defeat”. This is NOT failure. Hill explains:
When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal. If you give up before your goal has been reached, you are a “quitter.”
No one wants to bear the title of “quitter”. Instead of accepting failure, and becoming a quitter, we can take inspiration from people such as Thomas A. Edison, who learned to be persistent in the face of temporary defeat. Hill writes:
Thomas A. Edison “failed” ten thousand times before he perfected the incandescent electric light bulb. That is-he met with temporary defeat ten thousand times, before his efforts were crowned with success.
Each time you experience temporary defeat, realize that you are just one step closer to your reward.
7. Decision: Overcome procrastination with decisiveness.
The ability to make decisions promptly was noted by Hill to be the habit that many millionaires had in common. For people who experience failure, lack of decision is usually one of the major causes. Hill explains:
ACCURATE analysis of over 25,000 men and women who had experienced failure, disclosed the fact that LACK OF DECISION was near the head of the list of the 30 major causes of FAILURE.
The opposite of decision, which is procrastination, is the major enemy that must be conquered by anyone who wants to be successful. After Hill’s careful analysis that concluded in the realization that wealthy people reach decisions promptly, he wrote:
People who fail to accumulate money, without exception, have the habit of reaching decisions, IF AT ALL, very slowly, and of changing these decisions quickly and often.
The ability to make decisions is crucial to accumulating wealth, and success. If you make a decision you regret, you can always course correct as you move forward.
8. Persistence: Don’t let any circumstance prevent you from reaching your goals and desires.
Accumulating wealth and riches can be a challenging task. It requires you to provide value to others, in return for the money you desire. Especially when you are starting out, the journey can seem disheartening. When the circumstances are difficult, persistence will get you through. Hill explains:
THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR PERSISTENCE! It cannot be supplanted by any other quality! Remember this, and it will hearten you, in the beginning, when the going may seem difficult and slow. Those who have cultivated the HABIT of persistence seem to enjoy insurance against failure.
If you set high goals for yourself, it won’t always be easy. Expect to face opposition, temporary defeat, and difficulties. What you decide to do when you experience these things is what will ultimately bring you your greatest desires. Hill writes:
The majority of people are ready to throw their aims and purposes overboard, and give up at the first sign of opposition or misfortune. A few carry on DESPITE all opposition, until they attain their goal. These few are the Fords, Carnegies, Rockefellers, and Edisons.
9. Power of the Master Mind: Surround yourself with winners.
People who are wealthy and successful realize the importance of gaining power through a “master mind” group. When multiple individuals gather together for a common cause, their power is far greater than that of the individual. Hill gives his definition of the “master mind” group:
The “Master Mind” may be defined as: “Coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirt of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.”
Once this group is formed, your ability to accumulate riches and meet your goals increases. Hill explains:
When a group of individual brains are coordinated and function in Harmony, the increased energy created through that alliance, becomes available to every individual brain in the group.
Wealthy and successful people tend to associate with other people who are also successful. As Jimh Rohn, an American entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker once said, “You become like the five people you spend the most time with. Choose carefully.”
10. The Mystery of Sex Transmutation: Choose a loving partner who stimulates your imagination.
The energy and drive that comes from sex energy is very powerful. When this energy is used properly, it can enhance many areas of our lives. Hill explains:
Sex desire is the most powerful of human desires. When driven by this desire, men develop keenest of imagination, courage, will-power, persistence, and creative ability unknown to them at other times.
This sex energy can greatly stimulate the creative imagination. As an example, Hill points out Lincolns great success as a leader, and his relationship with a woman named Anne Rutledge. Hill writes:
Lincoln was a notable example of a great leader who achieved greatness, through the discovery, and use of his faculty of creative imagination. He discovers, and began to use this faculty as the result of the stimulation of love which he experienced after he met Anne Rutledge, a statement of the highest significance, in connection with the study of the source of genius.
11. The Subconscious Mind: Dominate with positivity, and release negative emotions.
Your subconscious mind, as Hill writes, “works day and night.” Whether or not it is intentionally influenced is up to you. Although the subconscious mind is continually working on its own, you can direct it by flooding your mind with positive emotions. Hill explains:
Positive and negative emotions cannot occupy the mind at the same time. One or the other must dominate. It is your responsibility to make sure that positive emotions constitute the dominating influence of your mind.
Creating a habit of positivity is going to be the best way to drown out the negative emotions that are ever present in the subconscious mind. To attain riches, it is critical to have a positive mindset.
12. The Brain: Associate with smart and intelligent people.
Our brain acts as a station for broadcasting and receiving thoughts. This is similar to the way a radio station works. It is important to remember to spend time with people who are going to help you learn, grow, and expand. Hill writes:
Every human brain is capable of picking up vibrations of thought which are being released by other brains.
With this in mind, you can see how associating with people who are smart, positive, and growth minded is going to help you. This principle is an extension of “The Master Mind” principle. Once you have surrounded yourself with winners, this principle suggests that you gather 2-3 people together to blend your 3 minds into 1, and tackle the problem at hand. This is simply the practical application of the Master Mind principle, which is going to provide you with knowledge outside of your own experience.
13. The Sixth Sense: Acting from your gut feelings.
This 13th principle can only be learned once you have complete mastery over the previous 12 principles. Although Hill explains most people don’t fully develop the sixth sense until they are 40, it is a state of being that is extremely valuable. Basically it is a shift in your intuition which enables you to naturally make good decisions with ease, that benefit you in financially, emotionally, or spiritually. This final sense takes time to cultivate, but you don’t need to learn it right away. Hill writes:
No matter who you are, or what may have been your purpose in reading this book, you can profit by it without understanding the principle described in the chapter. This is especially true if your major purpose is that of accumulation of money or other material things.