There are so many incredible books that have been written on success.
He Who Thinks He Can by Orison Swett Marden, The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie to name just a few.
But one book is mentioned time and time again by nearly every thought leader I can think of.
That book is Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich.
Now before you rush out and buy yourself a copy, I would like to add that it doesn’t break into my top 40 success books, though I do have two copies of it in my collection.
The first two chapters were amazing. I was enthralled, especially when he talked about his own son being born without ears.
That story struck a cord with me and it still brings tears to my eyes when I read it today.
If only the rest of the book was as moving or as memorable. Sadly, in my opinion, it’s not.
That being said, it has some very powerful ideas contained within it. Of the 17 concepts discussed I found 7 compelling, so let me share them with you:
- Mastermind Group
Faith is what he addresses first and for good reason.
Success begins with faith. Starting a new business can be scary, but faith is what keeps us going.
Faith has a somewhat magical ability to dismiss the haters as well as win over even the strongest objectors.
Knowledge is the gathering of knowledge, and one would think this would be the easy part as we have practically unlimited access to knowledge today, thanks to Google, YouTube, and Amazon not to mention your local library.
But as my mentor taught me, what’s easy to do is also easy not to do.
And guess what? More people choose NOT to do the things they know they should simply because they’re “too busy” or, more realistically, too lazy.
What’s also important to know is that knowledge alone won’t do it.
We have all been told that “knowledge is power” but this is only half true.
More correctly, knowledge is potential power. It’s when we take action based on that knowledge that we create change within our world.
We all know people who say they knew that the stock market would crash or that a stock would take off, but if they didn’t take action on their hunches then what good is it.
Knowledge must be combined with planning, action (power) and continually done (persistence) to create habits which will in turn produce the results you desire.
Earl Nightingale actually wrote his classic, The Strangest Secret, based upon this book and he summed it up best when he said that the secret was “We become what we think about.”
The more I thought about them, the more I began to see the wisdom within them.
Our thoughts (T) become feelings (F), our feelings, actions (A) and actions lead to results (R). Or, in short, TFAR.
6 simple words, but when understood can change everything.
The final point on my list is what Napoleon Hill calls the mastermind group. While one person can achieve incredible success, the greatest success comes from teamwork.
Michael Jordan was an incredible individual player for many years before he became a world champion.
At first it was all Jordan. But year after year, despite his incredible personal accolades the Chicago Bulls couldn’t break through.
It was only when Scottie Pippen and other teammates stepped up that he went on to create a dynasty.
Just remember, T.E.A.M. – Together Everyone Achieves More.
And there you have it, 7 principles from the classic Think and Grow Rich. It may not be the book I turn to for answers, but it does deserve a place in anyone’s library and the chapter on faith alone is worth the price of the book.