“Think and Grow Rich” was written by Napoleon Hill and published in 1937.
It follows on from [although not connected with] Wallace Wattles “The Science Of Getting Rich”.
The book was promoted as a personal development and self-improvement book, so although the book may appear to be all about making money Hill claimed that his philosophy can be adapted to help people do anything or become anything they wanted.
Published during the Great Depression in the US it is not surprising that the book has sold so well at currently over 15million copies.
Napolean Hill claimed to be inspired by a suggestion from business magnate and later-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and that he spent 25 years interviewing many millionaires to uncover their success secrets. Then post publication of Think And Grow Rich and the success that followed he claims to have been an advisor to Presidents…
However the reality is very different.
Prior to the publication of “Think And Grow Rich” Napolean Hill was involved in a succession of shady and criminal activities.
He was not encouraged to write the book by Andrew Carnegie who he never met, and most if not all the interviews with successful business men did not take place.
He was not an advisor to any President.
# The Modern Self Help Industry Is Based On Foundations Of Fraud, Spurious Claims and People Selling Shovels
In summary, Napolean Hill was a fraud, and his only success was this book which was a work of fiction that makes massive unsubstantiated claims.
His personal life was a total mess with 5 broken marriages and shattered relationships with his ex wives and children.
This book is not based on any of his own experiences of success, in fact this book was his only commercial success.
And yet… this man… this self promoting liar and fraud is the founding father of the modern self-help industry.
Napolean Hill’s fiction forms the basis of the work of many if not most of the “big names” in the personal development industry – a legacy built on lies and deceit.
How many of the well known self help gurus that we all know of have actually ever made any commercial success aside from selling their own self material?
For most of them, like Napolean Hill, their fortunes are based on “selling shovels to gold prospectors”.
# Think And Grow Rich – An Assessment Of The Book
Regardless of what we may think about Napolean Hill as a person and the background of his personal life and business life, a number of things are very clear:
- “Think And Grow Rich” has been a major commercial success.
- Many people claim to be have been helped by his book.
- People will believe what they want to believe and won’t look very far or very deeply to investigate or validate a person, or a teaching.
- Human beings are hardwired to look for short cuts and our cognitive biases lead us to anything that confirms that which we want to hear.
- Belief coupled with expectation has tremendous power. The placebo effect proves this.
- Most of the principles outlined in “Think And Grow Rich” are solid tried and tested tenets of the power of positive thinking.
- In my opinion the oddest principle is the mystery of sex transmutation – especially in the context of Napolean Hill’s messy personal life.
- In my opinion the most original principle is the power of the mastermind group. As Jack Canfield [and others] has said: “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”
Would I recommend it? Yes, definitely as part of background reading on the whole genre of self help and personal development material. Of the books of this period, my favourite is Wallace Wattles’ “The Science Of Getting Rich”
Read the full article here: Think And Grow Rich