While most of the entrepreneurial world swoons over Think And Grow Rich, I'm a little less enthused by it. Well, a lot less actually. Don't get me wrong, it's a great book and I know a lot of people have learnt a lot and applied a lot from it, and attributed it to their financial (and other) success. Just not me. Here's why...

I’m a bit confused about why so many people love ‘Think And Grow Rich’ so much?

It’s not that I hate the book. I don’t at all.

It’s just that I don’t understand the almost fanatical love that people have for it.

I’ve lost count of the number of successful business people, entrepreneurs, bloggers and writers that have talked about how Napoleon Hill and his famous book changed their lives. How they went from being down and out strugglers to rich and free enthusiasts of life.

I read how they credit Napoleon Hill with showing them how to change their mindset and thinking patterns.

Why don’t I have that fanatical love?

  • I struggle a little bit with the language. Published in 1937, the book has a more formal way of writing than what we’re used to.
  • There’s no clear ‘do this, then do this and then you will be successful’ formula.
  • It’s quite long. Sitting at about 300 pages (there are a few different versions available) it feels like each page of the book has a purpose in being there. No fluff.
  • It’s a lot to take in. All 17 chapters cover a topic that could probably have been made in to a book in itself.
Napoleon Hill holding book 1937" by New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper staff photographer.

Napoleon Hill holding book 1937″ by New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper staff photographer.

I feel a bit embarrassed to admit the points above. Even though I’m in my 40’s I’m a product of the generation in which we live. We talk about how ‘young people these days’ (can you just hear your grandmother saying that to you when you were a teenager) have so much information at their fingertips and expect everything they want to happen almost instantaneously. They consume terabytes of information at lightning speed and if it can’t be said in a tweetable quote, then is it really inspirational?

So I think that the main reason that this book doesn’t ‘click’ so much with me, is that it’s not an easy read. It requires setting aside some time to really think about the concepts that Hill is talking about, thinking about how they play out in your own brain, and how you will change your own thought patterns to bring about the desired change.

It’s worth noting the amount of successful people that claim to love ‘Think And Grow Rich’. I don’t think it’s any accident that those people are the ones that are now successful! And here I am, someone who never felt a ‘click’ with the book… still struggling to find my way to success and/or fulfilment. As Tony Robbins would say, “Something to think about…!” 

 The Law of Success

Think And Grow Rich was founded on Hill’s earlier work called ‘The Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons’. The ‘Law of Success’ was originally a set of booklets that were combined to make a book in 1925. The lessons that Hill goes through are:

  1. A Definite Purpose
  2. Self-Confidence
  3. Initiative and Leadership
  4. Imagination
  5. Action
  6. Enthusiasm
  7. Self-Control
  8. Habit Of Performing More Service Than Paid For
  9. Attractive Personality
  10. Accurate Thought
  11. Concentration
  12. Tolerance
  13. Failure
  14. Cooperation
  15. Habit of Saving
  16. The Golden Rule

I’m going to read this over the next couple of weeks and let you know how I go. Maybe this book will be the one that changes MY life?!

Do you have a book that everyone else raves about, but you never understood what was so special about it?