“Think and Grow Rich” was written by Napoleon Hill and published in 1937.

It follows from [although not connected with] Wallace Wattles “The Science of Getting Rich”.

The book was marketed as a self-development and self-improvement book, so even though it might seem like the book is just about making money, Hill said his philosophy can be adapted to help people do anything or become whatever they want.

Published during the Great Depression in the US, it’s no wonder the book has sold so well with over 15 million copies now.

Napolean Hill claimed to be inspired by a suggestion from business tycoon and later philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and that he spent 25 years interviewing many millionaires to discover the secrets of their success. After publishing the publication of Think and Grow Rich and the success that followed, he claims to have been an adviser to presidents…

However the reality is very different.

Prior to the publication of “Think and Grow Rich”, Napoleon Hill was involved in a succession of shady and criminal activities.

He was No encouraged to write Andrew Carnegie’s book whom never putand most, if not all, interviews with successful businessmen Nope occur.

He was No adviser to any president.

# The modern self-help industry is built on the foundations of fraud, false claims, and people selling shovels

In short, Napoleon Hill was a fraud, and his only success was this book, which was a work of fiction that makes massive, unsubstantiated claims.

His personal life was a total disaster with 5 broken marriages and shattered relationships with his ex-wives and children.

This book is not based on any of his own successful experiences, in fact this book was his only commercial success.

And yet… this man… this self-promoting liar and swindler is the founding father of the modern self-help industry.

Napoleon Hill’s fiction forms the basis of the work of many, if not most, of the “big names” in the personal development industry: a legacy built on lies and deception.

How many of the well-known self-help gurus we all know have achieved any commercial success other than selling their own stuff?

For most of them, like Napoleon Hill, their fortunes are based on “selling shovels to prospectors.”

# Think and Grow Rich: An Evaluation of the Book

Regardless of what we may think of Napoleon Hill as a person and the background of his personal and business life, a number of things are very clear:

  • “Think and Grow Rich” has been a huge commercial success.
  • Many people claim to have been helped by his book.
  • People will believe what they want to believe and will not look too far or too deeply to investigate or validate a person or teaching.
  • Humans are hardwired to look for shortcuts, and our cognitive biases lead us to anything that confirms what we want to hear.
  • Belief coupled with expectation has tremendous power. The placebo effect proves it.
  • Most of the principles outlined in “Think and Grow Rich” are sound, proven principles of the power of positive thinking.
  • In my opinion, the strangest principle is the mystery of sexual transmutation, especially in the context of Napolean Hill’s messy personal life.
  • In my opinion, the most original principle is the power of the intellectual group. ace jack canfield [and others] has said, “You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”

I recommend? Yes, definitely as part of the background reading on the whole genre of self-help and personal development material. Of the books from this period, my favorite is “The Science of Getting Rich” by Wallace Wattles.

Read the full article here: Think and Grow Rich

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