Another of the old bestsellers, this book was some kind of a precursor to 'The Secret'. It has many of the Secret's theories, is more practical in the way it goes about things after the first visualisation and has tonnes of stuff that one can use on the way to becoming rich. Surely if one really does want to become rich, and follows the principles he has laid out, nothing can stop anyone. But like he says, if you do not desire it, you will not have it.
So Napolean Hill starts you off on your journey by explaining how Thoughts are Things and how they have power to create. He gives several examples of people who grew rich based on one idea. One idea is all that it takes, says Napolean, and nothing else. The idea is where it begins.
Desire is the next step. Without desire he says nothing can be done even if you have a million dollar idea. Napolean Hill suggests burning all bridges as one way to increase desire. Another, is to write down exact amounts, dates, what you want to give in return for the money, a definite plan to start at once. Then make a clear concise statement which has all of the above and read it out aloud twice a day. Desire, dreams-same things.
The he talks of the importance of Faith through repeating affirmations to influence your sub conscious mind. He talks of Auto Suggestion, of mixing feelings of having already achieved what thoughts (affirmations) are seeking. Feeling is important.
In autosuggestion he gives a method on how to write a program which can influence the sub conscious mind into believing, into changing its belief.
Then he talks of the importance of Specialised Knowledge as a prerequisite. Any specialised knowledge is important. Next in the list comes Imagination, which he says is the place are plans are laid out. He urges the active use of imagination to make it a more potent tool to transmute ideas into cash Then comes organised planning! Hill asks you to ally and associate with a Master Mind group, a group that will guide you through your business.
Then he talks of Decision. He says that people who are slow to take a decision and change it once they make it are not likely to succeed whilst the other group, the ones who arrive at a decision quickly and do not change it so easily after making it do succeed. He talks of how one must make one's own decisions and not get influenced by people who are not qualified to comment and take away power from your plans.
Hill talks of Persistence as a hallmark of the successful. Here he deals with money and poverty consciousness. Then he discusses the power of the Master Mind group before heading out into the chapter on The Mystery of Sex Transmutation. Here he emphasizes that sex energy is the greatest of all and if it can be converted into something productive (other than making babies) it works. he cites examples of highly sexed up people who are successful. He talks of the sex energy or what is now called the X factor, how men seldom find success before forty, and a rather contentious subject of how wife's are important to a man's success. He says that the spouse is important - can make or break the man.
In his chapters on Subconscious Mind he emphasizes the positive emotions and how to make them work for you through constant awareness. Then follows, the Brain, telepathy, followed by the Sixth Sense, and concludes the book with the Six Ghosts of Fear which inhibit one's growth. These ghosts are the fear of poverty, fear of criticism, fear of ill health, fear of loss of love of someone, fear of old age and fear of death.
Napolean Hill makes a sincere attempt to share the formula for success and it shows in all the information he tries to fit into each chapter. It makes a lot of sense in every way and I have no doubt if one were to follow it, one cannot go off the mark. This book was written sometime in the 1930s so some ideas, some shades of ideas may appear rather old fashioned, but we must appreciate and comprehend the wisdom and the intention behind the book. For anyone who is starting an enterprise to make money, and is looking for literature to give ideas on how-to, this book should be on the list right away! This all time bestseller has sold 20 million copies by 1970, the time of Hills death.