Deep Summary

Think and Grow Rich

By Napoleon Hill
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What's it about?

Think and Grow Rich is a timeless classic that reveals the secrets of success used by the world's most accomplished people. Napoleon Hill explores the power of positive thinking, goal setting, and persistence, and how they can lead to wealth and achievement. With its practical advice and inspirational stories, this book is a must-read for anyone looking to transform their mindset and achieve their dreams.

Napoleon Hill was a pioneer in the self-help genre, best known for his classic book "Think and Grow Rich." His writing style is motivational and practical, focusing on the power of positive thinking and goal setting. Hill's work emphasizes the importance of perseverance, self-discipline, and a strong work ethic in achieving success. He also delves into the concept of the law of attraction and the idea that our thoughts have the power to shape our reality.

15 Key Ideas of Think and Grow Rich

Edwin C. Barnes' story is an extraordinary example of how a single, definitive desire can shape one's destiny. His unwavering determination to become Thomas Edison's business partner was not just wishful thinking; it was a resolute intention that he set his mind to achieve against all odds.

Barnes didn't merely want to work for Edison; he wanted to work with him as an equal partner. This wasn't about securing any job but about fulfilling a specific aspiration that consumed his thoughts and actions.

From Thought to Reality: Edwin C. Barnes' Journey

When Barnes first approached Edison, he did not present the aura of success—he looked more like an ordinary tramp than a potential business associate. However, what set him apart was the confidence in his eyes, which spoke volumes about his inner certainty and purpose.

Despite starting at the bottom, doing menial tasks unrelated to sales (the area where he aimed to excel), Barnes saw this as merely stepping stones toward his ultimate goal. He knew that opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune or temporary defeat—this perspective allowed him not only to persist but also thrive under circumstances where others might have given up.

His patience paid off when Edison introduced a new invention—the Ediphone—that needed marketing expertise. It was then that Barnes seized the chance with both hands, demonstrating his unique selling abilities and finally becoming Edison’s partner—a dream actualized through sheer mental fortitude and tenacity.

Embracing Opportunity Through Persistence

The essence of Barnes’ success lay in recognizing opportunity even when it wasn’t obvious—and having the persistence to wait for it without losing sight of his goal. His approach teaches us valuable lessons:

  • Opportunities may be hidden: Success requires vigilance and readiness for when the right moment arrives.
  • Persistence is key: Even if your initial attempts don’t yield immediate results, perseverance can eventually lead you towards your desired outcome.
  • Mindset matters: Maintaining belief in oneself despite external appearances or current status is crucial for long-term achievement.

In conclusion, Edwin C. Barnes exemplifies how aligning one’s thoughts with action can create powerful outcomes—even partnership with one of history’s greatest inventors!


  • Maintain Definiteness of Purpose: Clearly define your goals and desires while ensuring they are specific enough to serve as an unwavering focal point for your actions.
  • Persist Through Setbacks: Embrace temporary defeats as part of the journey towards success; maintain resilience and continue pursuing your objectives despite challenges.
  • Cultivate Success Consciousness: Shift your mindset from failure consciousness to success consciousness by focusing on positive outcomes rather than dwelling on past setbacks.
  • Apply Known Principles Consistently: Identify proven principles related to your goals or aspirations; consistently apply these principles in pursuit of desired outcomes.
  • Embrace Perseverance Over Obstacles: Develop an unyielding determination similar to Barnes' approach; commit yourself wholeheartedly toward accomplishing your definitive major purpose even amid adversity.

Key Examples/Data

  1. Edwin C. Barnes' Partnership with Thomas A. Edison. Edwin C. Barnes desired to become a business associate of Thomas A. Edison. Despite not knowing Edison and lacking the money to travel to New Jersey, Barnes was determined to find a way. He traveled by "blind baggage" to East Orange on a freight train and presented himself at Edison's laboratory, expressing his desire to work with the inventor. Edison recognized Barnes' determination and gave him an opportunity to work in the Edison offices, leading to a successful business partnership.
  2. Three Feet from Gold. R. U. Darby's uncle staked a claim during the gold rush and discovered a vein of gold ore. When the vein disappeared, Darby's uncle quit and sold the machinery, only to find out later that the vein was just three feet from where they had stopped drilling. Darby learned from this experience and applied the lesson to his life, becoming one of the few individuals who sell more than a million dollars in life insurance annually.
  3. A Fifty-Cent Lesson in Persistence. A young colored child's persistence in asking for fifty cents from Darby's uncle, despite being initially refused, led to the uncle eventually giving her the money. This incident taught Darby the lesson of persistence, which he later applied to his career in selling life insurance, leading to his success.
  4. Henry Ford's Determination. Henry Ford's determination to produce the V-8 motor, despite his engineers deeming it impossible, led to the discovery of the secret after a year of persistent effort. This story illustrates the power of determination and the application of principles of success.
  5. The Power of Thought. The passage emphasizes the power of thought and its influence on attracting riches. It explains how our dominating thoughts magnetize our minds and attract circumstances that align with those thoughts, whether they are of poverty or riches.


  1. "Thoughts are things, and powerful things at that, when they are mixed with definiteness of purpose, persistence, and a burning desire for their translation into riches, or other material objects."
  2. "When a man really desires a thing so deeply that he is willing to stake his entire future on a single turn of the wheel in order to get it, he is sure to win."
  3. "Before success comes in any man’s life, he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and, perhaps, some failure."
  4. "Success comes to those who become success conscious. Failure comes to those who indifferently allow themselves to become failure conscious."
  5. "The ether in which this little earth floats, in which we move and have our being, is a form of energy moving at an inconceivably high rate of vibration, and that the ether is filled with a form of universal power which adapts itself to the nature of the thoughts we hold in our minds."
  6. "The principles were gathered from the life experiences of more than 500 men who actually accumulated riches in huge amounts; men who began in poverty, with but little education, without influence. The principles worked for these men. You can put them to work for your own enduring benefit."

Think and Grow Rich Summary: Common Questions

Think and Grow Rich focuses on the principles of success and wealth creation.

Mohammad YektaBy Mohammad Yekta
We would recommend Think and Grow Rich to anyone looking to improve their mindset, achieve their goals, and gain financial success. It is suitable for individuals from all walks of life who are willing to apply the principles taught in the book.

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