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Think and Grow Rich

09/28/2008

Every Sunday here at Ask Mr. Credit Card we review a personal finance book. We give you the no-holds-barred lowdown on the top titles so that you can decide whether or not they are worth your hard earned money!

This weekend we’re reviewing a classic: “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. It’s sold over 15 million copies worldwide since it’s original release in 1937.

So what could a 70 year old book possibly have to say that’s worthwhile? Can it really make you rich? Can you actually “think” your way to wealth?

Honestly, I think that if you use the pattern laid out in this book, you can probably “think” your way to nearly anything you want. Whether your goal is wealth, a job, a situation – anything you put your mind to.

This is more of a book on the psychology of the mind than anything financial, but I did love it.

Let’s take a quick look at the different steps that Think and Grow Rich says you should take to achieve the riches you only dream about.

  1. Decide what you want – The mind is like a guided missile, if you don’t give it a direction, it will never reach it’s goal. So the first step in this book is simple: Decide exactly how much money you want. Pick a specific number, write it down, and focus on it every single day.
  2. Have a strong desire for your goal – Get your emotions involved, and visualize yourself achieving it, especially what it will feel like once you’ve reached your goal.
  3. Have faith that you will reach your goal – Suspend your disbelief, and truly believe that your goal is possible for you. It’s harder than you think it will be, but then that’s what the author means by faith. The suspension of disbelief. Keep it in your mind that not only will you have the amount of money you seek, but that it is right, and normal for you to have it. Believe that you will have it.
  4. Decide what you are going to give up to achieve your goal – Think and Grow Rich is very specific on this point. Nothing is free, and nothing is without sacrifice.
    So, by deciding beforehand what you are going to give up, you make a willing sacrifice to move forward.
  5. Draw up a plan of action – It’s hard to get anywhere without a map. Pick specific dates and actions that will help you along the path to wealth. Set road markers. For example, you may want to make a million in the stock market.

    So, you would decide what you would have to learn to get there. You would have to pick specific types of investments, or carefully research a financial advisor. Basically set mini-goals within the larger goal.

  6. Overcome Procrastination – If this one were easier, we’d all be successful! Seriously though, this is one of the most important steps in the entire book. Once you have decided what you want, and drawn up a road map, then the next step is just to start doing it. Regularly. Every day. No matter what.
  7. Rinse, and Repeat until you get there – That’s it.

Parts of the book are frankly full of psychobabble, mumbo jumbo. Some of which I put more stock in than others.

Mostly though, Think and Grow Rich lays out an excellent plan of action for pretty much any goal. The author, Napoleon Hill does believe that by following these steps you unite your conscious and subconscious mind towards one goal. He believes that as long as you continue to do that, you will always achieve your goal.

I think that the book’s title is a tad deceptive “think” and grow rich, well, it all starts with the thinking, but it’s the hard work after the thinking that gets you where you are going.

If you enjoy reading about how to better harness the power of your own mind, and you aren’t put off by the idea that thoughts exist as real physical things (with vibrations and all!) then definitely pick this book up. Run, don’t walk – it’s that good.

If you’re not into all that, then take the recommendations above, and try them out in your own life before ing the book. It’s pretty much the standard plan for success of any sort, and it’s served me (and apparently 15 million others!) very well in the past. Enjoy!

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