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By Napoleon Hill - Book Review
I am not sure how I first came to hear about this book, but I quickly discovered that it is well recognized as one of the all time greats for examining the psychology of people in terms of obtaining riches in the material, educational, and emotional sense of the word. After just one time reading the book it was clear why this book has lasted the test of time since being released during the Great Depression in 1937. Mr. Napoleon Hill wrote this book based on his life followings as an associate and biographer of Andrew Carnegie. The book contains timeless advice and insight to understanding human emotion and thought, straight from one of America's most successful entrepreneurs. I strongly suggest anyone interested in the philosophy of what drives human actions read this book and take note of its primary message.
To open the book, Napoleon Hill outlines that there are 12 areas of real riches, nearly all of which cannot be quantified in a material sense:
1) A Positive Mental Attitude - (NOTE- Positive attitude comes first)
2) Sound Physical Health
3) Harmony in Human Relations
4) Freedom from Fear
5) Hope of Future Achievement
6) Capacity for Applied Faith
7) Willingness to Share Ones Blessings with Others
8) To Be Engaged in Labor of Love
9) Open Mind to All Subjects and All People
10) Complete Self Discipline
11) Wisdom to Understand People
12) Financial Security - (NOTE - Money comes last)
Immediately following this introduction of key areas, Napoleon Hill challenges his readers that throughout the book there is one central theme throughout each chapter that has helped to create many successful and rich men and women. Hill explains that this theme is crucial to fully understanding how to grow rich in life and that it is made mention to quite often. He teases that he will not explain exactly what that idea is, as it becomes much more powerful when you read between the lines and discover it for yourself. I will highlight this theme later in the review, but first I think it is important to look at the main area Napoleon Hill feels we must grow rich:
Positive Mental Attitude
A positive Mental Attitude heads the list of items needed for a person to grow rich. The reason being is that every single other item included in the twelve is virtually impossible to attain without the positive mental attitude to start. There is no way to be free from fear in life, when you let negativity and self doubts overcome you thoughts. There is no way to be fully engaged in love when have no self confidence or lack the ability to make another feel good. There is no way to be open to a new person or idea if unwilling to accept the potential benefits to be gained. There is no way to advance your financial situation if you subscribe to notion that you are victim and a change cannot be made. It all of these situations you must possess the positive self image, hope, and foresight for the future that is needed to grow rich in any situation.
A positive mental attitude and the understanding that can you achieve, instills the new perspective and level of confidence needed to take on mastery of all riches. A positive mental attitude in turn creates hope for the future. When you have hope for the future, anything is possible. So focus your mental attitude, build your hope, and then work on mastery of the remaining riches. I have worked constantly on my mastery of a positive mental attitude and can proudly say that is the fuel behind much of my fire. When you start to cut out the negativity and start to be solution oriented, the world has amazing possibilities.
What It Takes To Grow Rich (According to Napoleon Hill)
As mentioned, I have pinpointed the principles and theme presented in the book that Mr. Hill refers, but will not implicitly say. I call them the 4 D's. Essentially, these D's provide what it is needed to be successful and grow rich:
1) DEFINITE OF PURPOSE - Once you identify your purpose, everything takes a new level of significance. Wandering in the dark will only get you so far and will leave you with some bumps and bruises. Set your goals and purpose and once the target is marked, proceed forward with a lighted path.
2) DESIRE - Once you have defined your purpose, there is still no guarantee you will act on it. Hill infers that deep desire for what you want and passion in the pursuit of it is a must. As Tony Robbins would say, make it feel like achieving your purpose will create ultimate pleasure.
3) DEDICATION- Hill speaks to levels of maturity and understanding that commitment, dedication, and sacrifices are needed to obtain riches. In Hill's personal example, Andrew Carnegie asked Hill to work for him for years without pay, with the agreement that Hill would someday be able to chronicle his experiences. This required years of sacrifice, but ultimately this dedication was the determining factor in the success of Hill.
4) DETERMINATION - I understand this to be the overcoming of obstacles. Things will inevitable stand in your way in quest of your purpose. You must use your desire and dedications to stay determined and let persistence carry you through challenges. Often times financial struggles will act as a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, use your resources to work past this.
Hill refers to all of these throughout his book and tells countless stories when all of the four are applied. Overall he suggests that to think and grow rich we must apply ourselves passionately and use these four D's. Hill also goes in much more depth about attaining riches in each of the highlighted 12 areas that are most important.
As I stated, I believe his in depth analysis on the psychology of people is dead on. As an entrepreneur I have found countless ways to apply his methods and have proceeded to re-read his book twice over.
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