The second chapter of Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill talks about how desire is key for achieving one’s goals. The author states that success has a big price, and that without a strong and clear desire it is not worth paying for it. Then, the chapter proposes a six-step method for converting desire into riches, which involves having a goal, a plan, a desire, a mindset, an action, and an attitude. Finally, the author shares some techniques for boosting self-confidence, such as affirmations, imagery, and role models. He cites the case of Mary Kay Ash, the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, who followed these techniques to become a wealthy businesswoman.
Summary of chapter 2
Definiteness of purpose
Napoleon says when one is truly definite on his purpose he may burn all the bridges behind to ensure there is no way back. In other words, when one has a clear and firm purpose, he may destroy all the paths behind him to make sure he cannot go back.
Also, you have to decide to give up your entire life in order to advance towards your purpose even if it is to make just a small step. When one is resolute, one follows his dreams and ignores what others say when meeting temporary setback or defeat.
This chapter introduces us to Mr Edwin C Barnes, who always thought of himself as Mr Edison’s partner. He had this mindset from the moment he started working for him, even if his job was not directly related to Edison’s.
Success is not easy to achieve. It requires more than just giving up your past options. It also requires facing a personal challenge that shows you what you are capable of. Sometimes, you need a critical situation to reveal your hidden talents. Riches are not the result of chance, fortune, or luck. They are the result of hard work and persistence.
As an example, Edison failed many times before he discovered the genius sleeping within his mind. This state of mind can only be obtained through persistence and a burning desire.
The 6 Steps method for transmuting desire into riches
Chapter 2 of Think and Grow Rich presents six steps that Napoleon Hill’s followers know well. They are a formula by Andrew Carnegie, which Edison also approved as essential for achieving any specific goal.
Napoleon Hill tells us that those who don’t know how the mind works will find these instructions hard to follow and will fail. Here are the instructions:
- Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire; as accurate as possible.
- Determine exactly what you intend to give in return, as there is no such thing as something for nothing.
- Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money you desire.
- Create a plan and begin at once, whether you are ready or not.
- Write points 1 to 4 as clear and concise as possible.
- Read point 5 twice daily. In the morning after rising and before retiring at night.
With the application of these principles, you will convince yourself as you become definitely determined. In fact, money consciousness is a state of mind so saturated with desire you see yourself already in possession of it.
Mary Kay techniques for self-confidence
Mary Kay shows that Think and Grow Rich is for women too. She has suggested some steps to boost self-confidence, which agree with Carnegie’s principles.
- Visualize yourself successful. Visualize yourself in this new environment, capable and self-confident.
- Reflect on your past success. Recall it to remember your potential.
- Set definite goals and be aware when you deviate to undertake corrective action.
- Respond positively to life. e.g. delete the word impossible and many others.
Chapter 2 analysis and explanation
Burning your bridges or boats means doing something that makes it impossible to go back to how things were before. This phrase means that you have no choice but to move forward.
It comes from a war strategy that makes soldiers fight harder because they cannot run away. When soldiers take over new places, they know they cannot go back and they have to survive and win.
In Chapter 2, we learn how Mr Edwin C Barnes and Thomas Edison became partners. Barnes admired Edison’s inventions and wanted to work with him. He left everything behind to meet Edison and got a low job in his company. Over time, his faith in Edison’s products and his hard work made Edison give him a special contract to sell and market a device across the country.
How much actual cash that original desire of Barnes was worth to him, I have no way of knowing. Perhaps it brough him two or three million dollars. Whatever the amount, it becomes insignificant when compared to the greater asset he acquired, the definite knowledge that an intangible impulse of thought can be transmuted into its physical counterpart by the application of known principles.Think and Grow Rich, Chapter 2 – Desire : Edwin C Barnes and Thomas Edison
You need to follow the six steps exactly. They may look simple but they are not. They make you have a clear goal in your life and think about what you are ready to do to reach your goals.
All in all, chapter 2 is about a practical materialization of the american old saying There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, which in Think and Grow Rich it is expressed as there is no such thing as something for nothing.
If you want to have a deeper understanding of these principles you should read the 5-min complete summary.