Think and Grow Rich is one of the most popular self-help books of all time (some estimates point to sales of around 100 million copies).
In this blog post, I’m going to explore the most prescient ideas from the book and explain why, almost a century later, they still have the power to change your life.
First, we’re going to look at the DCA or Definite Chief Aim. Napoleon Hill (the author) believed everybody should have one and I’ll show you how to create, and use it, so you can realize your life’s purpose.
Then, I’ll explain the true value of Think and Grow Rich, breaking down Hill’s 12 Steps to Riches and explaining how to use each one in turn.
Finally, I’ll reveal The Secret to unlimited riches that Hill frequently refers to, but never explicitly states.
There are six steps to creating your Definite Chief Aim. Taken from the book, they are;
Step 1: Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire. It is not sufficient to say “I want plenty of money.” Be definite as to the amount.
Step 2: Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire.
Step 3: Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money you desire.
Step 4: Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.
Step 5: Write out a clear, concise statement of the amount of money you intend to acquire, name the time limit for its acquisition, state what you intend to give in return for the money, and describe clearly, the plan through which you intend to accumulate it.
Step 6: Read your statement out loud, twice daily, once just before retiring at night, and once after arising in the morning. As you read – see and feel and believe yourself already in possession of the money.
Let’s explore the implications of these 6 steps.
One of the key themes of Think and Grow Rich is definiteness of purpose. You must be certain about how much money you want. Therefore, when creating your DCA, you don’t use guestimates, hopes or wishes. Instead, set your figure with conviction.
How much money do you want?
For a moment, forget societies standards. This isn’t about being realistic. Instead, give your imagination free reign and be honest. How much money will it take for you to be financially free?
Whatever that figure might be (and be precise, down to the penny), write it down now.
Now, what are you going to do to achieve it?
You have to do something. Winning the lottery won’t cut it.
Do you know your life’s purpose?
If so, great. You already know the means through which you’ll generate your riches.
If you aren’t sure, then go with your best idea. Don’t over analyse. Right now, what’s the most inspiring way you can think of, that stands some chance of success, to make money?
Got that? Good, use it for your DCA (you can always choose something else further down the line if you find it more inspiring and there’s a greater chance you can make money from it).
When do you want to realize your DCA?
The importance of set dates, and an exact sum of money, is that it sends a clear message/instruction to your subconscious. The second section will reveal how important the subconscious is but, for now, know it can only help you, if you help it.
Giving yourself a lifetime to achieve your DCA will mean you won’t achieve it until it’s too late. However, if you instruct your subconscious that 10 or 5 years is the deadline, then it knows the urgency with which it needs to deliver the money-making ideas.
So, go ahead and create your DCA.
If you need a little help, here’s Bruce Lee’s, taken from the book Fighting Spirit,
“I, Bruce Lee, will be the first highest-paid Oriental superstar in the United States. In return I will give the most exciting performances and render the best quality in the capacity of an actor. Starting 1970, I will achieve world fame and from then onwards until the end of 1980 I will have in my possession $10,000,000. I will live the way I please and achieve inner harmony and peace.”
Bear in mind that his was written in 1969, before Fists of Fury or Enter the Dragon. At the time, Lee was an injured, out of work actor with mounting debts.
In his mind, however, he was a superstar and, what some might have called empty words, soon became his reality. Be bold.
Think and Grow Rich is not a wealth creating manual, it’s an idea generating manual. Don’t be fooled by the title. You won’t find any advice on investments or saving your money. However, what you will find, is a lot of information on how to access the ideas that are going to create your fortune.
Hill believes in an idea generating loop that looks like this. The conscious mind (if there is enough emotion behind your thoughts), can make an imprint on the subconscious. The subconscious mind shares a connection with The Infinite Intelligence (the source of all knowledge and creation). The Infinite Intelligence will send ideas back to you, in the form of hunches or flashes of inspiration, which are received through your creative imagination.
Sounds far-fetched, right?
I’ll use myself as an example. My DCA is to sell 1 million copies of my books and, because I’m passionate about this goal, I get hunches from The Infinite Intelligence. These hunches take the form of book ideas – I currently have six titles in the pipeline. However, it doesn’t end there.
The Infinite Intelligence also gives me ideas for where I might find opportunities to sell my books. For example, I had hunch that I should attend a YES Group meeting in London to listen to a speaker. While there, I bought his book, got chatting to him and found out which company published his work.
A month or so later, I emailed him, after reading and reviewing his book, and asked if he had any contacts at the company to whom I could submit a book proposal. He did, I did and, a year and half later, I had my own book deal.
Here are two very real things – book titles and a book deal – gained through ideas generated by The Infinite Intelligence. It works.
To ensure you can share in these wealth generating ideas, you must master Hill’s 12 Steps to Riches. They are as follows,
1. Desire – each day, think about what you want to achieve.
2. Faith – feel, and live, as if you’ve already achieved it.
3. Auto-Suggestion – programme your mind by reading your DCA and other affirmations or visualizations on a daily basis.
4. Specialized Knowledge – Become an expert at something. This will increase the quality of your ideas about the subject you intend to become rich through.
5. Imagination – Recognize a great idea when you have it.
6. Organized Planning – Each month, write a new plan on how to achieve your DCA.
7. Decision – Reach decisions quickly. A mind constantly wavering between two or more options doesn’t have the power to make a connection with The Infinite Intelligence.
8. Master Mind – An individual only has one connection with The Infinite Intelligence. A group of ten people, all with knowledge pertaining to the realization of your DCA, has ten connections. Take advantage of this and surround yourself with intelligent people willing to help you in a reciprocal relationship.
9. Sex Transmutation – Channel your sex drive. Take the motivation it creates and, instead of pursuing physical gratification, seek spiritual rewards through working on your DCA.
10. Subconscious Mind – See previous explanation.
11. The Brain – Your thoughts have power. However, it’s only the thoughts backed by deep emotion that will carry enough power to make a connection with other minds and The Infinite Intelligence.
12. The Sixth Sense – Follow steps one through eleven and The Infinite Intelligence will communicate with you through your sixth sense. Act upon these intuitions.
Hill claims that a secret to infinite riches was passed onto him by Andrew Carnegie during their first meeting (the steel magnate gave Hill the idea for writing Think and Grow Rich). Although he spends most of the Introduction waxing lyrical about its importance, he never explicitly mentions what it is. Instead, he leaves clues, claiming it’s referred to one hundred times throughout the book and, at least, once in every chapter.
I’ve now read Think and Grow Rich three times. It was on my final reading that I finally deduced the meaning of the secret. Ironically, Hill gives it away in the first line of the first chapter when he writes, ‘truly, thoughts are things’. Furthermore, a quote included between chapters, in a later edition of the book, spells it out even more clearly.
Is this news to you?
Probably not. Essentially, it’s what’s become known as The Law of Attraction. Your thoughts, feelings and beliefs, whether you direct them consciously or not, attract the circumstances, events and outcomes of your life.
You should be EXCITED about this information. Right now, you’re being presented with a way to transform your life and create whatever it is you desire. Shouldn’t you be jumping up and down, celebrating in the knowledge that your life will be great from now on?
I bet you’re not!
I also think I know why you’re not. After all, The Law of Attraction isn’t really a law, is it? There’s no mainstream scientific study validating its’ claims. Furthermore, nobody outside the personal development world thinks this way. They all KNOW that events and outcomes are determined by chance and that only those lucky enough to be born with an amazing talent get to do something extraordinary with their life. For the rest of us, we just have to make do, accepting whatever role The System gives us.
But who wants to live like that?
Isn’t it worth experimenting with Napoleon Hill’s secret to see if there’s something in it? Why not give yourself six months to see if you can create some results by changing the way you think, feel and what you believe? If it doesn’t work out then you can go back to how you lived before.
But, what if, there happens to be something in this secret?
If it’s true, then you’ll never be the same again. This could be the moment you realize that YOU are the master of your destiny. You have the power to shape your reality through your connection with The Infinite Intelligence.
Surely this knowledge is worth far more than material riches.
(image taken from firstname.lastname@example.org photostream flickr.com)