3 Lessons from Think and Grow Rich | Napoleon Hill

How To Become A Billionaire Of the Mind

Jack Yang
4 min readNov 29, 2020
Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill


This book is written in 1937 and has been one of the best selling books of all time. I finally picked up this book since it has been sitting on my “want-to” reads list for a while. Initially, I thought this is a book on wealth management or ways to increase my earning power. I was surprised that the book doesn’t offer any advice on making money, instead, it focuses on getting wealthy psychologically. Personally, I am not a big fan of self-motivational books, and I was worried I am going to get a bunch of empty cliches in this book. I was glad that the author, Napoleon Hill, offers a series of helpful advice on how to set your mindset for success and riches. Before reading this book, I never pay attention to how my psychology is playing a part in achieving success, but the book offers me a new perspective to inspect myself.

Score: 4.5/5

Recommendation: People who want to uncover the power of the mind to help them succeed


1. Have a Burning Desire and Remind Yourself To It

“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.”

This is the first step toward achieving mentally wealthy is to a burning desire that you are willing to pour all of your efforts into achieving it. For instance, it can be to help a thousand children to receive a proper education, or it can be to get rid of certain diseases from the world. It is important to note that simply wishing for money will not get you very far; however, if you are willing to making your desire an obsession, your mind will automatically search for ways to achieve it and money will come as a side product of your success. It is important to believe you can achieve your goal, not merely hope or wish to do so.

Once you find your true desire, visualize it. Visualization helps your subconscious mind to work with your emotions and attract similar thoughts that are related. In other words, have faith in your desire. This is the same as the Law of Attraction, which believes that positive thoughts would attract positive experiences. For example, my goal is to transform the education scene with virtual reality. During my daily life, I will automatically pay attention that could contribute to achieving my goal, whether that is some news on educational technology or other people who share similar desires. To maintaining faith in your burning desire, you should autosuggest yourself, or self-suggesting to encourage yourself to reach your desire. A crucial aspect of autosuggestion is to use emotional words since unemotional words cannot trigger your subconscious mind.

2. Bring Your Desire to Action

It is useless to simply have an empty desire but no action to back it up. There are a couple of key components to bring your goals to fruition:

  • Specialized knowledge: There is generalized knowledge, which most people learn in school, and specialized knowledge, which is knowledge in a specific area. The latter is the key to excel in a particular domain and make you stand out from the rest.
  • Imagination: There are two forms of imagination: synthetic imagination, which is rearrangements of old ideas to form new ones, and creative imagination, which the author describes as “imagination through the communication of infinite intelligence to generate new ideas.” When specialized knowledge is combined with imagination, unique business ideas begin to appear.
  • Organized planning: In order to achieve a goal, you need a practical and well-defined plan to set everything into action. No plan is perfect. The most important thing is to make sure to keep your faith and stick with your goal.
  • Decisions: The most successful people make decisions promptly and definitely and change them slowly. They make decisions that are aligned with their goals and plans and are not easily swayed by the opinions of others.
  • Persistence: When a burning desire to succeed is combined with an unmoved determination and persistence to achieve that desire, good things happen.
  • Mastermind: A lone wolf might not be enough. A group of people with the same goal and complementary skillset will push you closer to your goal.

3. Redirect Your Subconscious Mind

As mentioned previously, you should constantly feed in your conscious mind positivity and desire for reaches so that your subconscious mind works in tandem to bring you to your goal. An interesting point that the book mentions, which I thought are very eye-opening, is the transmutation of sex. The author states that sex is one of the most powerful human desires, and when sexual energy is redirected to other pursuits, which can be used as a driving source for success.

Another interesting point that Hill brings up is the sixth sense, referring to the creative imagination, or what people call “hunches,” that guides people to make split decisions. Hills believes this to be from the Infinite Wisdom. With newer scientific research, I believe the sixth sense that Hill is talking about is mental models developed from years of practice, as mentioned in Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink.

The last things that could potentially hinder your way to success are what Hill calls “six ghosts of fear”:

  • Fear of poverty
  • Fear of criticism
  • Fear of Ill Death
  • Fear of Loss of Someone’s Love
  • Fear of Old Agee
  • Fear of Death

The author advocates fears as only a state of mind and is subject to control. Therefore, instead of constantly look for negativity and live in a bubble of fear, redirect your attention and energy toward the pursuit of your desire.