You know how some people talk about Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill as if it’s the holy grail of personal development?
Well, it’s kind of like the Bible in that realm, and loads of folks (including yours truly) have recommended it time and time again.
Funny enough, when I was going through a massive decluttering phase before moving house, this book managed to survive the great purge.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t because I was head over heels for it or anything. It’s just that I either hadn’t finished reading it yet, or I felt this sort of loyalty to it as a die-hard personal growth enthusiast.
It’s like how a Christian wouldn’t dream of tossing out their Bible, you know what I mean?
Now, if you’ve been paying attention, you might’ve picked up on the fact that I’m not exactly gushing about this book.
I’ve been meaning to write a review for a while, but after reading it, I just felt… well, a bit deflated, to be honest.
And that’s bound to raise a few eyebrows, especially among those who absolutely adore the book or have it on their must-read list.
I’ve got to give credit where it’s due, though.
At first, I was genuinely into it. I even got inspired enough to write a blog post about Chapter 2, which is all about desire.
But from there, it was pretty much downhill, and I had to muster all my willpower to make it through the rest of the book.
Book Overview: Think and Grow Rich – Key Details
|Book Type||Non-fiction, Personal Development, Self-Help|
|Main Focus||Principles for achieving wealth and success|
|Key Takeaway||Personal success is influenced by mindset, desire, and persistence|
|Reading Difficulty||Easy to moderate|
Scrutinising the Claims about the Book and Napoleon Hill
Author Background and Controversial Details
You know, I’ve got this habit of looking up authors after finishing a book, just to get a better sense of who they are.
And what I found about Napoleon Hill, well, let’s just say it didn’t exactly help my already lukewarm impression of Think and Grow Rich.
It turns out he started a bunch of businesses that went belly-up. Now, I’m not one to judge failure – I’ve had my own business flop, too.
But what really gets me going are those stories about people who, despite setbacks, find success in the end.
You know, those “don’t give up, keep going” tales.
Maybe it was this book that finally did it for Hill. Who can say?
I mean, take Mark Twain, for example.
He went bankrupt, but then built a thriving business from the ground up.
And the cherry on top?
He even paid off his old creditors when he didn’t have to.
Now that’s the kind of inspiration I’m talking about – someone who succeeds and then makes things right with those who suffered from their failures.
It’s that integrity and generosity I admire.
Ghostwriting Rumours and Fabricated Encounters
Now, there’s also some chatter about Think and Grow Rich and Napoleon Hill Rich – Hill’s second wife, Rosa Lee Beeland, is believed to have contributed substantially to the authoring and editing of the book.
After their divorce in 1940, Rosa retained the royalties from Think and Grow Rich, as they had been put in her name to protect them from any claims by Hill’s previous wife, Florence, and her children.
Honestly, that’s not a huge deal. Ghostwriters are a dime a dozen.
The real kicker, though, is this: Hill’s supposed meeting with Andrew Carnegie, which he mentions in the book, is rumoured not to have happened.
Same goes for encounters with other famous figures. So, it’s looking like a lot of stories in the book might be pure fiction.
Sure, some might argue that these details shouldn’t take away from the book’s valuable lessons. And I can see where they’re coming from, but I can’t fully agree.
Pros and Cons of “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill
|Wide range of personal development topics||Outdated language and style|
|Timeless messages and principles||Struggles to engage modern readers|
|Engaging anecdotes (true or not)||Endless listicles in most chapters|
|Dubious claims about the author and book|
The Highlights: What I Liked about Think and Grow Rich
Alright, so it wasn’t all doom and gloom. There were parts of Think and Grow Rich that I genuinely enjoyed.
The book covers a wide range of topics crucial to personal development – just take a peek at the table of contents I’ve included below.
The core messages and principles? Spot on and pretty useful. Plus, it kicked off in a way that was engaging, informative, and educational.
I’ve also got to admit that I was a fan of the various anecdotes sprinkled throughout the book (even if some might’ve been made up).
The story about Hill’s son, for example, was a standout for me.
Table of Contents
• Chapter 1. Thoughts are things
The Man Who “Thought” His Way into Partnership with Thomas A. Edition
• Chapter 2. Desire
The Starting Point of All Achievement
• Chapter 3. Faith
Visualisation of, and Belief in Attainment of Desire
• Chapter 4. Autosuggestion
The Medium for Influencing the Subconscious Mind
• Chapter 5. Specialised Knowledge
Personal Experiences or Observations
• Chapter 6. Imagination
The Workshop of the Mind
• Chapter 7. Organized Planning
The Crystallization of Desire Into Action
• Chapter 8. Decision
The Mastery of Procrastination
• Chapter 9. Persistence
The Sustained Effort Necessary to Induce Faith
• Chapter 10. Power of the Master Mind
The Driving Force
• Chapter 11. The Mystery of Sex Transmutation
• Chapter 12. The Subconscious Mind
The Connecting Link
• Chapter 13. The Brain
The Broadcasting and Receiving Station for Thought
• Chapter 14. The Sixth Sense
The Door to the Temple of Wisdom
• Chapter 15. The Six Ghosts of Fear
The Downside: What I Didn’t Like about Think and Grow Rich
Okay, so here’s where things started to go south for me.
After getting through a few chapters, my interest began to wane, and finishing the book became a real slog.
It just felt so… outdated. Like it had lost touch with the modern reader.
Now, I’ve read and enjoyed books with an old-fashioned vibe before – like that ancient Babylonian story I mentioned in a previous review. But even with its antiquated language, the story still managed to captivate me and deliver timeless messages.
Sadly, that wasn’t the case with Think and Grow Rich. I mean, those endless listicles in most chapters? They nearly did me in.
I did manage to finish the book, but not because it inspired me. No, it was more about finally putting it to rest.
Now, I know a lot of people absolutely love this book, and you might too.
But I’d recommend giving the Amazon reviews a good once-over before you decide to buy it.
The edition I read was an older one, but there’s a more recent version that’s been “Updated for the 21st Century.”
Maybe that one would’ve held my attention better.
But honestly, I can’t help but feel that there are so many other more relevant and engaging books out there that you might want to invest your time and money in instead.
Where to Buy Think and Grow Rich
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Final Thoughts on Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Think and Grow Rich has certainly left its mark on the personal development landscape, but it’s important to examine the book with a discerning perspective.
Some readers may connect with the enduring principles it presents, while others might feel it’s lost its relevance and have difficulty engaging with the material.
In the end, it’s up to you to determine whether the book retains its value in our ever-evolving world.
And remember, there’s a wealth of modern personal development books waiting to be discovered, so don’t hesitate to explore other options that may align more closely with your interests and goals.
You Might Also Enjoy…
- Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins
- Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
- Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life… And Maybe the World by William H. McRaven
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