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SBS.95

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Over the years I've tried reading it multiple times, listening to the audio book, the updated/revised edition, etc. I've only ever made it all the way through once or twice. I don't think it's a bad read, it just doesn't live up to all of the hype it receives. It may have been groundbreaking from the time, and I'm not trying to disregard it in that regard.

However, I think if you are talking about the select few business books everyone should read, it doesn't make the cut, at least in my opinion. I found TMF , Choose Yourself, and even Rich Dad, Poor Dad to all be more eye-opening.

If you want to read a great book written in the 1930s that still holds up today, read How to Win Friends and Influence People. :)
 

liquidglass

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I may be among the minority (not sure) but I love TAGR, even if it is boring. It was the first 'self-help' book I ever read, it was boring, I fell asleep reading it a lot, but I pushed through it, and honestly I can't even read fiction now, it just feels like a waste of my time. It sparked my desire that had long been killed by collegiate indoctrination and started me on my current trajectory, even if I've taken detours here and there. I did the affirmations and then I realized they needed work to, well, work! When I re-read the book I saw that HIll never recommend just imagining but laying out a mental scaffolding and build on it with your actions.


For those that think it's fluff

- first most of the posts I've seen belittling the ideas also say they didn't finish the book, I'll leave it at that.

Don't think positive affirmations work? How about some science behind it?
Check out Dr. Caroline Leaf (drleaf.com) and her book 'Switch Your Brain On'
- she dives into the actual science of positive thinking and how it works to LITERALLY effect your neurons and synapses by creating new connections and destroying old ones. You literally can shape your mind by the way you think.

Hill was on to something back then and fathered in our modern age of shaping your life with thought rather than being mindless drones.


Now that's not to say "the secret" is going to put a check in your mailbox of course it won't. But you must think(plan) to grow rich, it doesn't happen by accident.


Here's my TL;DR version of the idea:
=imagine what you want (point B)
=figure out what steps come between A and B
=f*cking take action
=constantly remind yourself of point B - which keeps you focused and driven.
 

Tyler Ellison

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My current love of the book didn't happen when I first tried to read it.

It's a different book from a different time, written to a different audience (could say the same thing about ancient religious texts that people love to misinterpret...)

The first time I read it I hated it. I didn't get it. I couldn't understand why so many people loved it. I had just finished reading 'Rich Dad Poor Dad' and had loved that one.

Then I got the abridged audio version, where it is NAPOLEON HILL HIMSELF presenting. That was when it changed for me. Getting it 'from the horse's mouth' was different, and the way I was reading it in my head versus the way Napoleon was reading it were radically different. I decided that's probably why others loved it and I didn't, because I was reading it wrong.

Here's a YouTube video I just quickly found that appears to be a compilation of Napoleon himself presenting his philosophies. Think of it as one of the oldest self-help video programs in existence:
 

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It might me interesting to see a breakdown of the Think and Grow Lovers vs. Haters by age group. My hypothesis is that the lovers will trend towards the older segment while the haters will be younger. I base this on the fact that many have complained it was boring or "hard to get through." The book was written in the early decades of the last century. Writing styles have changed over time, as have the phrases and expressions in common use. I suspect those of us born closer to Hill's time are more accustomed to his "old fashioned" writing style than you young whippersnappers. Perhaps an updated version swapping Bill Gates for Andrew Carnegie and Steve Jobs for Thomas Edison, and written in a more modern style would resonate better with the younger crowd. Any thoughts?

Cheers,
O-2
 

Tyler Ellison

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It might me interesting to see a breakdown of the Think and Grow Lovers vs. Haters by age group. My hypothesis is that the lovers will trend towards the older segment while the haters will be younger. I base this on the fact that many have complained it was boring or "hard to get through." The book was written in the early decades of the last century. Writing styles have changed over time, as have the phrases and expressions in common use. I suspect those of us born closer to Hill's time are more accustomed to his "old fashioned" writing style than you young whippersnappers. Perhaps an updated version swapping Bill Gates for Andrew Carnegie and Steve Jobs for Thomas Edison, and written in a more modern style would resonate better with the younger crowd. Any thoughts?

Cheers,
O-2

The closest thing I've seen to that is 'Outliers' which takes the approach of explaining away success as a combination of lucky opportunities. He has a whole chapter essentially on Bill Gates. That's what the modern world wants to sell - scientific debunking of what many of us actually feel to be true.
 

OscarDeuce

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He has a whole chapter essentially on Bill Gates

Yea, I kind of threw those names out there as recognizable alternatives, although I'm far from convinced Gates' accomplishment was equivalent to Carnegie's or Jobs' to Edison's. Then again, I'll admit to knowing a great deal more about Carnegie and Edison than I do about the other two.

Cheers,
O-2
 

Vincent_Vega

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By the way, the version of Think and Grow Rich commonly available is the abridged (read "censored") version. My wife found a copy of the original manuscript which she gave me as a present. It contains a lot of spiritual / metaphysical stuff that was apparently too much for the publishers back in the 1930s. The abridged version "works," that's what I started with. But, it was interesting to read the original, if only to better understand the author's beliefs better.

Also understand, it doesn't matter whether the spiritual / metaphysical really exists or not. For me, I don't care whether success comes because I've put some "thought vibration" in effect in some unseen dimension, or simply because I've put myself into the right mental state to become successful. All I care about is that it comes!

Cheers,
O-2

@OscarDeuce: Do you know where I can find the original manuscript?
 

Entire

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screw think and grow rich.. check out The richest man in babylon. now that's a book worth reading.
the funny thing is I have recommended this book to people, and only a select number read it.. from that select group only a few people understood it.
 

Tyler Ellison

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screw think and grow rich.. check out The richest man in babylon. now that's a book worth reading.
the funny thing is I have recommended this book to people, and only a select number read it.. from that select group only a few people understood it.

That's a great one too, and just like Think and Grow Rich - most people never read it and many that do just don't get it. But I'm a fan of George Samuel Clason's book too. We should start a thread on it to discuss.
 

Impressive M

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If you want to read a great book written in the 1930s that still holds up today, read How to Win Friends and Influence People. :)

I read this book and was really impressed how simple techniques can help you influence people but last night i read somewhere that the author Dale Carnegie, committed suicide, just have been thinking alot since then
 

Impressive M

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screw think and grow rich.. check out The richest man in babylon. now that's a book worth reading.
the funny thing is I have recommended this book to people, and only a select number read it.. from that select group only a few people understood it.

Even funnier is, that from the few who understood it, very few will ever make it to the top.... Learning and understanding is one thing, implementing principles in life is another....
It's the book on my read list, right after i finish... power of habbits... so far, good read
 

MattR82

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I read the richest an in Babylon. It was ok. Had some things I agree with. I think the best thing I took from it was to do with knowing what you are getting involved in i.e. not setting up a jewellery business if all you know is bricklaying etc haha.

As for think and grow rich. I had it recommended to me by someone much older in my family who is hugely successful and somewhat of a mentor to me. I only made it half way through (if that). I think it was great to stress the importance and affect of positive and negative thinking. What you are telling yourself with your inner voice. But I'm definitely not going to start standing in front of the mirror telling myself I am awesome and will have 10 million bucks soon :p
 

bob johnson

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The main reason it is popular imo is that it is well written. The author was actually a writer.

Most business books, are very very poorly written - if compared to historians, novelists and journalists.
 

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It might me interesting to see a breakdown of the Think and Grow Lovers vs. Haters by age group. My hypothesis is that the lovers will trend towards the older segment while the haters will be younger. I base this on the fact that many have complained it was boring or "hard to get through." The book was written in the early decades of the last century. Writing styles have changed over time, as have the phrases and expressions in common use. I suspect those of us born closer to Hill's time are more accustomed to his "old fashioned" writing style than you young whippersnappers. Perhaps an updated version swapping Bill Gates for Andrew Carnegie and Steve Jobs for Thomas Edison, and written in a more modern style would resonate better with the younger crowd. Any thoughts?

Cheers,
O-2
In response to your comment, its not age that separates the two. It's desire to understand, achieve, and change your circumstances - for some that's 35, others 17.

Im 21 and I've read Think and Grow Rich probably about 100 times since I was 17 when my dad gave it to me.

At first I didn't get it, but my dad said if you want to be successful just read this one book. I kept reading it over and over. I think for most people their desire is not there, you really need to hate your circumstances and life to change and for almost everyone they accept their life and accept mediocrity.

That's what keeps people's minds and lives closed off from opportunity, change, and growth. If you wake up and start to chase your goals and dreams everything starts to become clear. If you study all these personal development based entreprenuers, speakers and investors... Theres consistency in what they're all saying but the answer is deceiving until you are ready for it.

The answer is in the book but you need to be ready for it.

I spent 4 years figuring shit out and one day it all clicked. I'd probably re-listened and read that book dozens of times before answers started coming together from all the work I had done. (work isn't thinking, its doing)

If you think the book sucks, you don't get it. Why would success come to someone who doesn't even have the patience, persistence, or desire to understand what Hill and the successful men he interviewed had to say?

It doesn't happen in a day but over the years everything will come together if you follow the teachings.

@Likwid24 was on point with his comment +REP
 

dru-man

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Hill knew it took work to make money. Note the "ready or not" statement in there.

His entire premise is helping people overcome the psychological barriers that keep them from wealth.

That is the purpose of the book.

Well said.

I've found this tendency to drastically oversimplify an author's ideas in an attempt to discredit him or her is often the case when people slam books and ideas (as others pointed out, often when they're talking about a book they just couldn't stomach enough to finish). Inevitably, they slam some watered-down version of the book that removes half of what the author was saying and make arguments the author already addressed within the text in an effort to not be misunderstood.

This was true for "Think and Grow Rich," a book that talked about the need for hard work and study and correct knowledge and the ability to accept failure as a given but temporary obstacle.

This was true for "The Secret;" while it undoubtedly discussed the law of attraction as a metaphysical force of nature, it also stressed the need to take action to turn all your wishes and dreaming into something.

This was true about "The Four-hour Workweek," which very clearly stated the need for a massive effort, the benefit of continuing to work even once it's unnecessary for basic survival, and that the title was nothing more than the result of a split test.

Some authors and ideas just leave a bad taste in people's mouths, I guess.

And some critics just like to strawman in their attempt to convince themselves they're a "realist" that sees through BS. We've all got our pscyhological methods for tricking ourselves into maintaining our current paradgisms, and it's much easier to dismiss ideas that make you uncomfortable if you water them down and turn them into some cartoonish stereotype of what they really are.

But you're the only one that loses.

While we're at it, let's not forget that "Think and Grow Rich" has been credited by countless rich and famous people from a diversity of backgrounds as a huge playing factor on their path to success.

I do agree the book itself can sometimes be a challenging read. As another poster mentioned, the abridged audio version is a lot easier to swallow. I used to listen to that one everyday in my truck and attribute some very fast, very impressive business progress at the time to that habit.

Wouldn't be a bad idea to pick it up again.
 
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ChrisJTurner

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Does anyone else think this LOA stuff is actually a conspiracy to stop "normal" people getting under the toes of the rich? ha ha
Rather than tell people they cant achieve, tell people they can achieve by just believing in it.

I used to read LOA, but that all changed when I went to a conference called "Achievers and Believers".
It was all high-five's and dancing around, I just humored it.
The whole meeting was centred around belief, whilst I am an advocate for belief, one of the speakers had so much belief, it was unbelievable.
so much so, he actually wrote a book about how to be financially wealthy by just believing that you could become wealthy.
I was curious, so I asked him a few probing questions (who doesn't want to be wealthy) and I cannot remember what I asked him but I specifically recall
his answer.
He said "Well I've been invited to another speaking event but (...... wait for it.....)I have to go to work that day"
Boom... there it was, the truth.

I digress, I dont think its a conspiracy. I just think it gives people hope and whilst it helps some people, its not for me.
I do have to say. I've never known anyone in real life get rich by thinking about it, doesn't work.
 

dru-man

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I do have to say. I've never known anyone in real life get rich JUST by thinking about it, doesn't work.

Fixed that for you.

Again, "Think and Grow Rich" is not a book about sitting around thinking about getting rich until money falls in your lap.

It never was, and anyone who thinks that either misunderstood or didn't read much of it.

People can cherry-pick passages from the book and make it seem like that's what it was about - the same way they can use stats to prove just about anything - but that's an extremely misguided treatment of the book's actual material.
 

Torobaro

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Think and Grow Rich is one of the best books out there. Its not about affirmations and repeating stuff in the mirror, It´s not about dreaming about stuff. Hill talks about the importance of taking action a lot through the book.

However taking action is not as easy as waking up one day and out of the blue saying "hey I´m going to take some kick a$$ action", some may start taking action and stop after they receive the first setback. That is where all the other stuff comes, each chapter deals with one important issue required for taking action:

Faith, Desire, Knowledge, Imagination, Persistence, Organized Planning, Decision, Persistence...

Think and Grow Rich is an amazing book, but you have to read it several times to grasp all what the book has to offer.
 

stevedg

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Why is it so popular? Timing + Catchy Title + Good Info.

Timing: It was written in 1937. It has almost 100 years of word of mouth, and back in the day it was one of the first books on how to make money, obviously a topic that everyone is interested in to some degree.

Catchy Title: Think & Grow Rich is an amazing title.. its short, catchy, and the concept of think (super easy on the surface level) and grow rich (what everyone wants).. is a tantalizing title that sparks the person's curiosity right away.. "OMG I can THINK & grow rich.. wow gotta read this book!!".

Good Info: While the title is misleading and sounds alot like The Secret (just think about what you want and it will come to you BS), if you take the time to actually read Think & Grow Rich, it flows something like this: Influence your subconscious with wealth ideas and the exact amount of money you want, develop a specific action plan on how to achieve it, write out your goal and your plan, read your plan 3 times a day, and take action towards it every day. (it's something like that, I wrote that from memory and haven't read the book in years lol). So it starts with THINK, but actually talks a lot about how ACTION is necessary. The title is just catchy/misleading slightly.

My personal issue with the book is how it's loaded with too many long drawn out boring stories that serve as examples. If you want a more modern book that will teach you the same concepts only better writing style, check out Maximum Achievement or Goals by Brian Tracy. Both are great books. And if you haven't read Millionaire Fastlane yet, then I suggest reading every single page in that BEFORE any other books.
 

JAJT

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My personal issue with the book is how it's loaded with too many long drawn out boring stories that serve as examples.

Yeah - that was my issue as well.

There's a lot of bloat in that book. It's not a bad book, but I'd argue that there are plenty of other books that teach the same subject in a better and more modern way.

Worth reading? Yes. Some kind of holy grail of information you can't find in a better form elsewhere? Hardly.
 

Karl Chester

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Does anyone else think this LOA stuff is actually a conspiracy to stop "normal" people getting under the toes of the rich? ha ha
Rather than tell people they cant achieve, tell people they can achieve by just believing in it.
I think in cases where Jim Carrey claims he used belief and LOA to transmute his $10m check from nothing in to actual cash just because he wrote "for acting services rendered" like he's offering something to the universe. And other cases like his do distract people from actually putting work in to their dreams, I mean dreams are all dandy until you wake up and realise your late to that monotonous job you hate where you make someone else's dream a reality... Unlike Napoleon Hill some guys don't talk about the struggles of doing more than your worth and perusing your idea with a strategy enforced by action and persistence instead of just belief. So I conclude, maybe, just maybe some don't want others to actually succeed and don't let on to all they know.
 

ravenspear

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Although almost all people who bust their a$$ and become rich had the desire, not all who have the desire will become rich.
Very true, but that mostly has to do with how many failures those who did not gave up after.

Walt Disney was denied 302 times by banks before he got the first loan he needed.

Howard Shultz was denied 242 times before he founded Starbucks.

The people who succeed are also many times those who failed the most first.
 

ZF Lee

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Read the book. Got bored. It basically says 'Focus on your goal very hard and you will get it.'
It's like saying 'Aim very hard at the target and you will hit it.'

And you fire and IT HITS....and it's the wrong target.

People climb corporate ladders only to find at the top that they have wasted the best years of their lives, missing time to see kids grow and to grow old with their spouses. So you can't just think....we have to go FASTLANE, the road of supercars that zoom like crazy
 

Sanj Modha

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I've read it and I think it's down to the fact that it was one of the first books to really delve deep into the science of getting rich.

Guys like Napolean Hill and Dale Carnegie interviewed billionaires to identify key success traits.

If you look back. That's revolutionary thinking.
 

H Dog

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I think it's a great beginner's read to start getting people inspired... but without closing your eyes and dreaming about things there isn't really any actionable points to the book (I may be wrong, it was a long time ago I read it).

However it's a great book to start inspiring and getting you in the mood to take action and be disruptive!!

I think the people who rave on about it mostly are the people who are starting out. It's almost like a pre-intro the MFL... then after MFL, you start going off on specific tangents such as sales, processes, copy, SEO etc... I remember when I first read it I loved it, now I like to read stuff that helps me within the areas where I'm wanting to improve.
 

AntiGuru

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Why is it so popular? Timing + Catchy Title + Good Info.
Catchy Title: Think & Grow Rich is an amazing title.. its short, catchy, and the concept of think (super easy on the surface level) and grow rich (what everyone wants).. is a tantalizing title that sparks the person's curiosity right away.. "OMG I can THINK & grow rich.. wow gotta read this book!!".

Interesting anecdote about that title - Napoleon Hill couldn't come up with one until his publisher told him "you have 24 hours to give us the title, and failing that, we're going with..." (wait for it) "Use your Noodle to get the Boodle".

I am not joking. Napoleon protested vigorously but they insisted: 24 hours or else this is what we're going with. Know what he did? He took a nap. And woke up with Think and Grow Rich. At least this is the story as told in Maxwell Maltz's Psycho-Cybernetics.

I stumbled on this thread because I was about to start a thread called "What one book would you wish you read a long time ago" because for me, it's this one. I actually thought I read it. I recommended it to somebody earlier this summer, then was reading the story behind "Three Feet From Gold" and realized it was unfamiliar to me, I must not have read it. Turned out I was confused with one of As a Man Thinketh, or Science of Success or even Richest Man in Babylon.

So I downloaded it from Audible and am listening to it. Wow. I have read a lot of these books (including MFL, which I've given several copies of to friends, great book), but this one, well something finally clicked for me in this one. As he says, "you already have one part of the secret by picking up this book, the other part will fall into place at some point as you read this" and boy did it ever.

It goes beyond "Law of Attraction" stuff, which is really watered down and widely misunderstood to mean "if I wish for it hard enough, I'll get it". No you won't.

But if there's one thing this book is trying to tell you it's this: There is an overall architecture to the universe (which is primarily mental) and there are two currents running through it opposite of each other, one positive, one negative. If you train your mind to run in the positive direction, good things will happen. If you allow your mind to be attracted into and mired down by the negative current, they won't. Don't let the simplicity of this previous sentence fool you: it's NOT about being upbeat enough to win a lottery. Turn that frown upside down. No. It's about harnessing one form of energy and eschewing the other, and that will bring certain rewards: clarity, focus, imagination, creativity and the energy and courage to act. The other path, will sap all that away from you.

That's my take on it anyway.
 
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Interesting anecdote about that title - Napoleon Hill couldn't come up with one until his publisher told him "you have 24 hours to give us the title, and failing that, we're going with..." (wait for it) "Use your Noodle to get the Boodle".

I've since verified this anecdote about the title of TAGR (I was actually wondering about it) - on the audio series Your Right To Be Rich, which are recordings of a series of Napoleon Hill lectures, he relates this story. (Originally I only knew about it from Maxwell Maltz's telling it in Psycho-Cybernetics)
 

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