Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

“Success requires no explanation and failure permits no alibi.” In this modern time, everyone hankers after success. People are rushing to their goals. No one has time to stop, to examine or to experiment with life. Life is very short. With the advent of technology, life has gained speed and become complicated. People have many opportunities. Everything is at hand and seems easily reachable. But many cannot find success. Here success doesn’t necessarily mean financial richness but success in financial, spiritual and social life. So, they suffer from frustration and waste their valuable time and energy, sometimes even life.

It is said that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Like this, Napoleon Hill comes with his Think and Grow Rich, a 1937 book. This book has been called the ‘Granddaddy of all Motivational Literature’. Napoleon Hill, a Great Depression-era author, writes this book based on researching 25,000 people over 25 years. Hill identifies 13 success principles and draws the stories of Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and many other successful people to illustrate his principles. Some of his principles are Desire, Faith, Autosuggestion, Specialized Knowledge, Imagination, Organized Planning, Power of the Master Mind and Sixth Sense. Each chapter of the book describes one principle and all sections work together because they are interrelated. The writer delineates each principle in details and goes to the depth.

“A quitter never wins and a winner never quits.” A burning desire is a must for success. To the author, desire must be definite. That I want to earn a lot of money, is not a desire. Amount of money, time allotted for the task and method to accomplish the task should be definite. Hill emphasizes, “The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results.” Success comes to those who become success conscious. And failure comes to those who indifferently allow themselves to become failure conscious. A clear and definite goal with constant efforts is the foremost condition of the journey of life to success.

Again “If you don’t conquer self, you will be conquered by self.” Self-control is a great battle, battle within yourself. The first battle you have to win to succeed. “You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.” Hill claims that the most successful people have strong discipline and self-control. On the contrary, unsuccessful people have little self-control. Self-control is important as it is said, “More gold had been mined from the mind of men than the earth itself.” So, mind is money.

“Action is the real measure of intelligence.” That how much and how we work matters. Hill emphasizes on hardworking and says, “Happiness is found in doing, not merely possessing.” To him, an educated man is not necessarily a man of abundant knowledge. Rather he is an educated man who has developed his mind that he may acquire anything he wants without violating the rights of others. And of course, he is a man of action.

Napoleon Hill finds out the six ghosts of fear. These which keep people from being successful are poverty, criticism, ill health, loss of love, old age, and death. The author also explains which situation and the reason these ghosts have entered into an occupied the human mind. They frighten and weaken us morally, socially and financially. Because of these ghosts, we sometimes lose faith in the supremacy of the Almighty which is an example of moral degradation. As a result, we suffer from insecurity in our own society and create many problems. However, we are fortunate that a great philosopher like Napoleon Hill teaches us how to outwit the Six Ghosts of Fear. At the end, we can repeat from the book, “Patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”

The writer of this review is an alumnus of IML, University of Dhaka. 

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