This summary chapter by chapter is designed to be read in 5 minutes.
Below is a summary of the main ideas and core concepts of the book after I have studied them for more than 2 years.
Think and Grow Rich contains 14 chapters plus a prologue.
You can also find our specific summary chapter by chapter in PDF.
What is this book about?
Think and Grow Rich talks fundamentally about three main theories.
First is it is not intended for everyone. The book is intended for individuals who want to be rich and have decided to make the necessary efforts to achieve it. If you are not among this group of persons, understand the book was not written for you.
The second point is it vehemently upholds the American proverb “there is no such thing as a free lunch”. This means the book is not about shortcuts. The book is about giving and obtaining. But note that giving always must come first. Of course, the more you expect to receive, the more you should give in the first place.
The third idea of the book is you must evolve. If you are the one who will make money, you must shape yourself into a tool that efficiently makes money. You must invest time and effort in becoming a different person.
The book talks about a mysterious secret that only a few people know about. In truth, the secret is no other than realizing you can shape yourself using repetition and visualization techniques.
Chapter 1. Thoughts are things.
This chapter can be condensed into only one idea. You must have confidence and believe you can make money from scratch.
If you are reading Think and Grow Rich, it is probably because you don’t have real money yet. And if you are looking for a summary it is because you are reluctant to invest time in something you do not rely on.
Well, know that other people have become rich through hard work before you, and therefore you can also make it. No doubt. Of course, provided you will work hard in exchange.
Chapter 2. Desire.
You should try to define what is your purpose in life. What you desire to obtain. What you expect to receive from life.
If you start changing your goal from time to time, you will probably never reach any of them. You will feel lost, and you will almost certainly end up moving from one project to another, never reaching the end of any.
The second part of this chapter is about getting passionate about your desire. The book describes the six steps method to make you feel so obsessed with your desire you will not be able to forget it even for a second.
Chapter 3. Faith.
Once you have learned to become fascinated with your desire, the next step is to develop faith and self-confidence.
This chapter is all about the value of having faith and boosting your self-confidence, so you believe for real you can reach your goal.
The chapter includes another repetition-based method to induce self-confidence. Keep in mind you will start a very long and hard journey towards riches, and if you have doubts about yourself, you will probably end up quitting sooner or later.
Temporary defeat is your major enemy. Every single time it will make you think you cannot reach your objectives. The more you develop self-confidence, the smaller chances you end up quitting.
Chapter 4. Autosuggestion.
Chapter 4 main idea is the above points (previous chapters) are great, but they are not enough. You must also become passionate at your subconscious level.
This way your mind will work on your project every single second. Even when you sleep. Having this advantage is something you will appreciate in your journey to success.
The book also contains a technique for self-hypnosis, also based on repetition.
Chapter 5. Specialized knowledge
This chapter covers two areas.
The first one is the distinction between general and specialized knowledge. Although general knowledge may be attractive and result good for socialization with other individuals, it cannot be exchanged for money. Specialized knowledge, on the opposite, can be exchanged for cash.
The second topic covered is that of education. In this book, an educated person is defined as a person who knows where to find specialized knowledge when needed.
The summary is it is more valuable to be educated than having a particular specialized knowledge, at least when it comes to the accumulation of money.
Chapter 6. Imagination.
You have to develop your imagination to achieve.
There are two types of imagination
- Synthetic imagination: it arranges ideas and concepts into new combinations and generates new compounded thoughts.
- Creative imagination: this is a synonym for inspiration. It is the capability to create new designs and ideas out of nothing.
It is not easy to bolster your creative imagination. The development of inventiveness is achieved through drilling and practicing, but also by the application of the other principles explained in this book.
Everything in this book is interconnected and will help you improve your synthetic and creative imagination.
Chapter 7. Organized planning.
First of all, define what service you plan to offer in exchange for the money. Then you can start building a commercial strategy.
Even if you do not have a definite plan, start at once and put it into practice. If you fail, look at what happened, think about how to improve, and try again. You must realize trial and error is at the heart of every achiever.
Although it is true that “quitters never win, and winners never quit”, there are some attributes of leadership that can make your life much easier. Having courage, self-control, a pleasant personality, mastery of detail, etc. will help you accomplish.
On the other side, weaknesses like fear, selfishness, authority, or disloyalty will be obstacles in your journey to success. Try to control yourself and become a better version of yourself. Try to become a person who deserves success.
Never stop asking yourself whether you delivered the service in enough quality and sufficient quantity. And never stop thinking about whether you have been persistent enough. This will make you progress significantly.
Chapter 8. Decision.
The summary of this chapter is straightforward. Do not procrastinate and stick to your decisions.
Temporary defeat, lack of trust in yourself, and failure after failure will make you think twice and alter your decisions.
The problem is that if you keep on changing your decisions, you will never try enough to learn, and therefore you will never be successful. You have to make an effort not to replace your goals and decisions with others that may appear easier or closer.
That is why it is important to stick to your decisions and be sure it is preferable to be stubborn than a procrastinator. Obstinate people may be successful, procrastinators will not.
Chapter 9. Persistence.
You must assume poverty is like a black hole that attracts everything. If you relax you will finish by giving up and your fall will be deep.
Remember persistence has no other substitute. You must apply the other principles with perseverance until the day you reach your goal.
Keep in mind dedication will be easier when all these routines become a habit. However, it will still involve a lot of effort and power of will.
This is the most important point in Think and Grow Rich, and the starting point of this summary. There is no shortcut, detour, or magic trick to avoid persistence.
This is why at the beginning of the book Napoleon Hill says this book is only for those who know what they want and are determined.
Chapter 10. The Mastermind.
Concisely, a mastermind group is a group of people who work together to attain a specific goal. This group has very particular qualities.
Mastermind members are counselors who work and think in perfect harmony to achieve a common goal. It is also important to say each counselor belonging to the mastermind group must be beneficial and add real value to the group.
The most important aspect of the mastermind is all the participants when together, unite all the necessary skills to accomplish a specific objective efficiently.
These are just the guidelines because it is a summary, but you can also find a complete article on how Napoleon Hill’s mastermind works.
Chapter 11. Mystery of sex transmutation
This is at the same time a complex chapter and one of the most important ones in Think and Grow Rich. There are three main ideas.
The initial point is about being aware that each of us has sexual energy. Sexual energy is understood as a change in physiological performance of the body (intellectually and physically) when sexually excited.
The second point is about learning how to take advantage of this sexual energy to increase your performance when doing something other than sex. This is what Napoleon Hill means by a transformation of sexual energy.
In fact, through sex transmutation, you can improve your aptitudes considerably, and outperform yourself to levels you would barely expect.
Finally, the chapter goes across some tips which can help you achieve this sexual transmutation. However, the most important advice is to maintain sexual energy by not dissipating it. That means no masturbation.
Chapter 12. The subconscious mind.
This chapter is almost an addition to that on autosuggestion. In brief, it reasserts the value of using your subconscious mind to your benefit and introduces some tips which might help you develop it.
It introduces the idea that some emotions such as desire, faith, or love can help you develop your subliminal mind and fill it with the ideas and thoughts you want. This way, your subconscious will be involuntarily always working for you.
In this chapter, Napoleon Hill reveals a technique called “the invisible counselors”. This is a visualization technique that consists in imagining you are discussing with individuals you admire. It could be Rockefeller, Steve Jobs, President Lincoln, or whoever you may think would be of great value to you.
Chapter 13. The brain.
Chapter 13 speaks about the brain almost from a spiritual point. It sees the brain as a broadcasting and receiving station for vibrations of thought.
In short, this chapter explains it is very important you keep yourself motivated and in the right mood, so your brain works at full speed. This will allow you to think clearer and will help you receive inspiration effortlessly.
At the end of the chapter, Napoleon Hill talks about the brainstorming technique, which may allow you to boost up your brain and obtain innovative results when needed.
Chapter 14. The sixth sense.
In Think and Grow Rich, the sixth sense is also called the ultimate principle. A principle that is mystical and of a supernatural nature.
In summary, Napoleon Hill says when you manage to master all the principles and techniques mentioned in this summary, you will start experiencing something mysterious which cannot be explained.
You will easily get inspired and feel you can open “the temple of wisdom” as if your mind were in contact with a Universal Mind granting you instant access to the most valuable knowledge available.