By Napoleon Hill

Think and Grow Rich is one of the most interesting books I have read recently for these reasons:

  • Its practical step by step approach for obtaining goals and success
  •  It was developed through interviewing hundreds of famous highly successful people of his time such as Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison
  • Its broad range of topics from the science of how the brain works and thoughts to how to build self-confidence
  • it was written in 1937 and gives a peek into an interesting period of American history
  • the ideas presented are amazingly timeless and yet likely new knowledge to many
  • His methods are very popular with speakers and writers today

Today I’d like to introduce you to this book by sharing the following:

  • A summary
  • An outline of major ideas and how you can use this information to improve your goal setting


Napoleon Hill was commissioned by Andrew Carnegie to interview the 500 most successful businessmen of his time over a period of 20 years to see if there was a common thread to their success that he could then teach to others. The knowledge he gained led to this and other books and courses.

What he found was that these successful men shared an uncommon strong desire and persistence that would accept nothing less than achieving their goals. Hill dug into their habits and thought process, as well as researching brain science and the power of thought to develop what he refers to as the Carnegie Formula for Success. You may recognize some of the elements in today’s “SMART goal” formula, and some elements in today’s popular use of affirmations.

Major ideas and how to use the success formula:

Know specifically what you want

  • Fix your mind on a definite, specific goal
  • Determine exactly what you will give in return for the desire (service/product)
  • Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the desire
  • Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put the plan into action
  • Write out a clear, concise statement of these steps
  • Read aloud this statement twice daily, seeing, believing, feeling, you are already in possession of this desire

 Have faith and believe that you will obtain your goal

  • Your subconscious mind believes what it is told, so positive affirmations are important
  • Thoughts are important, so visualize the outcome you wish

Learn whatever you need to, to bring your goal to pass

  • Be a life-long learner

Develop your creative mind because IDEAS bring success

Organize a support group of talented people to help you obtain your goal

  • Surround yourself with people of varied skills and experience who can work with you to achieve your goals and benefit as well

Study the qualities of great leaders and poor leaders (he lists these)

Become a quick decision-maker

  • The men he studied made quick decisions and were slow to change their mind

Develop relentless persistence (check out my next article for how to’s!)

Become a student of how the brain, thoughts, and 6th sense work

  • Hill devotes chapters to each, which amazingly his findings have been proven by today’s science

Summarizing all of Hill’s ideas into 2 pages was a very difficult task, so I encourage you to read it yourself, as I believe it is a treasure to have a summary of practices from great achievers from the 20th century.

I have written an article sharing his ideas about persistence, as I believe it is a great virtue many struggle with today, so check that out next time!

-Jan Jones

Link to the audio book Think and Grow Rich