261 of 273 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2008
If you asked me to recommend to you the single best success book I have ever read, my answer would be a very definite "Think and Grow Rich".
First published in 1937, this is the end product of two decades of research conducted by Napoleon Hill. His research started when Andrew Carnegie (the steel tycoon who was then the richest man on earth) gave him the assignment of organizing a Philosophy of Personal Achievement. Hill, who was a poor journalist, armed with just an introductory letter from Carnegie, set out to interview over five hundred successful people including Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, John D. Rockefeller, George Eastman, William Wrigley Jr. and Charles M. Schwab. Hill then revealed the priceless wisdom of his research in the form of the thirteen steps to success (in Think and Grow Rich) and the seventeen principles of success (in courses and lectures he conducted).
The concepts taught by Napoleon Hill transformed my life. Some of these include developing a definite purpose, building a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA), channeling the power of the sub-conscious mind and dealing with adversity. Everything he wrote about or talked about is thought provoking. He was wise, humble and funny. His philosophy is universal; he did not mix it with religion. The riches he referred to were more than money, for the Philosophy of Personal Achievement can be applied to anything in life.
Hill was well ahead of his time. This book has a chapter dedicated to some of today's most important issues - Specialized Knowledge, Decision Making, Imagination and Organized Planning (in which he deals with Leadership). He also has principles for Teamwork, Creative Vision, Health, etc.
This is a classic, and hence the examples are old (not to be confused with outdated). But they are as relevant today as they were in the early twentieth century. Here is an example from T&GR in the chapter on Desire:
On the morning after the Great Fire of Chicago (1871), a group of merchants on Chicago's State Street went into a conference to decide whether to rebuild their stores or leave Chicago. All but one decided to leave. The merchant who decided to stay pointed a finger to the remains of his store and said "Gentlemen, on that very spot I will build the world's greatest store, no matter how many times it may burn down." His name was Marshall Field and his store still exists, and in Hill's words is "a towering monument to that state of mind known as a burning desire." I lived in Chicago from 2002 through 2004 and worked three blocks away from this impressive store on State Street. Sometimes I would visit it or stand outside it to derive inspiration and be reminded of the power of desire. It is amazing that Hill describes "burning desire" with a story based on the Chicago Fire.
There are thousands of self-help books out in the market and hundreds of self proclaimed "gurus" who have made a living by copying the wisdom in Hill's books. As I went through some of those books I realized that there was not much in them that Hill had not already written about. I recommend quality over quantity. Instead of reading through many books, I recommend that you study the following works of Hill and internalize his wisdom:
1. The Think and Grow Rich Action Pack (1937) - I recommend the Action Pack edition,
2. Napoleon Hill's Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal Achievement - this is an excellent guide to his principles,
3. Your Right To Be Rich [Unabridged] - this consists of 12 hours of live lectures covering the 17 principles, that Hill conducted in Chicago in 1954.
By internalizing, I mean studying in depth - analyzing the ideas, making notes and summaries. I own more CDs by Hill, but I believe that these 3 items make the perfect study plan on the Philosophy of Personal Achievement.
I am greatly indebted to Napoleon Hill. The purpose of my writing this is to spread awareness of his work so that more people can benefit from it. This, I believe is the best way in which Hill would have liked to have been repaid.
This review was written for the original version, which is the core of this version. This revised edition has more recent examples.
240 of 253 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2005
Arthur took a classic and added his own garbage to it. I started reading it (and getting alot out of it) when I came across some material that just didn't have the ring of truth in it. I looked in an older copy of Think and Grow Rich and discovered that the parts that I didn't agree with (from a moral and business standpoint) were the lines that Arthur Pell added. The up-to-date examples were ok, it was the changes to the original core values that I just couldn't tolerate. Get the original or another version that has high reviews. I give this version 5 stars for the Napoleon Hill part, -3 stars for Dr. Arthur's input, for a total of 2 stars. DON'T BUY THIS VERSION OF A TRUE CLASSIC!
143 of 155 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2008
This is a classic (pun intended) example of what's happening with books that many of us read in the `60's and `70's. The books were written in the `20's, `30's, and even earlier. The Secret, which was no secret, was based on these authors' books. I ordered two of Dr. Joseph Murphy's books to replace ones I had given away only to find out they had been "revised." I was so disgusted I gave them away. Genevieve Behrend's books have been taken over by Joe Vitale. His name even appears first on the covers. The description for one of them starts out with, "Fiery Texas author breathes life into dead woman." If you really want to know what Napoleon Hill had to say, get the original version. The book stands on its own merit without any "help" from people who have no new ideas of their own and are just seeking to make money from someone else's work.
49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2006
The first batch of significant books that had the greatest influence on me in terms of attaining personal achievement includes mostly Napoleon Hill's books:
- The Law of Success (early edition);
- Think & Grow Rich;
- The Keys to Success;
- Success through a Positive Mental Attitude;
- Succeed & Grow Rich through Persuasion;
The others were from Clement Stone, Dale Carnegie, & Earl Nightingale.
That was the early 70's when I had just started work as a young engineer.
The author, Napoleon Hill, had impressed me most by his relentless dedication in spending some two to three decades of his life in pursuing & researching the success secrets of the rich & famous...with a little help from Andrew Carnegie, of course.
As matter of fact, many of the famous people he interviewed were also favourite role models of mine e.g. Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, just to name a few
Till this day, I have never forgotten what he said:
"The most powerful instrument we have in our hands is the power of our mind."
I have never ceased to be fascinated by the simplicity & the potency of his ABCs of personal achievement: CONCEIVE, BELIEVE & ACHIEVE!
It is certainly enlightening to note that even Stephen Covey had drew inspiration from Napoleon Hill's work even though he never made that credit. He only admitted that the 7 Habits had its origins from "200 years of success literature in the United States." That remark itself is self explanatory.
Anthony Robbin's Mastery program as embodied in his books as well as his audio/video resources is no exception, even though he has been influenced in larger extent by NLP.
If you look at & compare the 17 principles of personal achievement in 'The Law of Success' &/or the 13 Steps to Riches in 'Think & Grow Rich', one can obviously see the uncanny resemblance of the 7 Habits & the Mastery principles...in one way or another.
At this juncture, let me outline the principal theme of each book:
The Law of Success: the original course on the fundamentals of success - all the seventeen essential principles of personal achievement (over 1,000 pages of information);
Think & Grow Rich: The seventeen essential principles are reframed & condensed in terms of thirteen concrete steps to wealth creation (in actuality, this is a condensation of the Law of Success) ;
The Keys to Success: a further elaboration of the seventeen essential principles with concrete suggestions, exercises & advice;
Success Through Positive Mental Attitude: joint authorship with Clement Stone, with a further emphasis on developing a positive mental attitude;
Succeed & Grow Rich Through Persuasion: joint authorship with Clement Stone, with a further emphasis on developing master salesmanship & networking;
[It is pertinent to note that Clement Stone actually built his insurance business empire with these principles.]
My most productive, personal learning experience from Napoleon Hill's work is the understanding - & application - of his success principle #1: Develop Definiteness of Purpose.
[Very surprisingly, J Y Pillay, former Chairman of Singapore Airlines, - who had been credited for building the airline to what it is today, A GREAT WAY TO FLY! - also credited his work axiom to this same success principle, but he attributed it to an ancient Hindu scripture known as Bhagavad Gita.]
I am certainly gratified to note that Napoleon Hill's work had casted so much influence on - & empowered - so many people in the world, including myself.
35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2005
I have read the original version a few years ago, but the distance and time between when Dr.Hill wrote the book and our generation of 2000's made some of his concepts misunderstood or not completely understood. I am fascinated with this version's extensive commentary which is like a mentor explaining in modern terms Dr. Hill's concepts. This is like a modern version of this business bible, none of the original ideas or concepts is lost in this version.
57 of 69 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2004
This version of Think and Grow Rich is a major disappointment. The beauty of Napoleon Hill's original book is that it is seamless -- you almost can't wait to get to the next page, the next idea. But in this book the editors stick in huge sections of italicized material every few pages that have little or nothing to do with Hill's ideas at that point in the text. It's almost as if he is constantly being interrupted. All that italics material just gets in the way when you're trying to absorb Hill's ideas, which are themselves wonderful. I am not certain what the editors were trying to do here, but they completely succeeded in messing up a great book, which I have read perhaps fifteen times.
38 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2005
THINK & GROW RICH is a true classic for a very good reason -- it has sound advice that works. This new edition is retypeset (at last!) with larger type that is easier to read. I own most of the editions of TGR on the market, and this one is by far my favorite. The small nuggets of additional material by Dr. Arthur Pell (an expert on Dale Carnegie) are helpful -- and they are also set off at the end of each chapter so readers can decide for themselves if they want to read the updated material. Personally, I found it useful and insightful. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, and especially this edition. Read it, use it, and prosper!
36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2005
After reading the reviews (both postitive and negative), I bought a copy with an open mind, and can now report that this is a faithful, corrected edition of THINK & GROW RICH -- easier to read (better type size) and with nicer paper than some of the other editions. The small amount of added material the other reviewers are writing about by Arthur Pell is minimal, and set off by itself -- so it's not intrusive and if it doesn't enrich your reading, you can skip right over it. On the other hand, from my perspective, it is nice to have a few examples of TGR in action from the 20th century. But again, that added material is extremely short and set off by itself, and either way, this new edition is really terrific. A welcome edition.
50 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2005
I bought this book with high, but nervous expectations. I was looking forward to seeing how this book had been "revised and updated" for the 21st century. What I found was a terrible hatchet and cut-and-paste job on Napoleon Hill's classic book. The editor, Arthur Pell, completely destroys the rhythm and flow of Dr. Hill's ideas by inserting contemporary examples at the end of Hill's chapters. It's a travesty. We don't need a "21st century version" of "Think and Grow Rich." The one that has worked so well all these many years is still the best. If someone wants to publish a 21st century book, they should simply write an entirely new one. Even minor revisions of a classic like "Think and Grow Rich," to eliminate outdated language or correct errors, should be undertaken with the utmost care and respect for the original. When the project is over, it should still be Napoleon Hill's book.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2006
I was at first put off by the book I saw as unscientific and crass. But too many people I admired swore by it so I could not resist a peek...
Than BANG! I was indeed blind, but now I do see! The principles and techniques described DO WORK, period. I could do you no greater favor than to somehow talk you into buying this book and applying its recipies to achieve whatever worthy goals you have (or to find out your goals in the first place).
Yes, the language used in the book is one of its time, and yes again, some of the explanations are certainly more scientifically sound than the rest. But that is clearly irrelevant! Hill himself urges the reader to "grab whatever tools are available immediately for the task at hand and get better ones later along the way".
If mere archaic language and florid style are enough to deter you, there is no helping you. And if you are put off by the less than scientific flavor of parts of the text, please bear this in mind:
-Napoleon Hill unfortunately had no formal scientific training, but we should not hold it against him since that did not prevent him from making valuable contributions to understanding of practical methods for realizing a full human potential.
-In his time science proper did not really begin to pay attention the subject matters with which he dealt, so he did not lose that much, after all.
-When later on the subject matter did receive the proper scientific attention, it turned out that Hill was right on most accounts.
You can check that out, for example, in these two outstanding books by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a preeminent academic psyhologist: "Flow" (as scientifically sound and respectable as psychology books get but writen for intelligent lay audience) and "Optimal Experience" (more technical and demanding).
For those that think there is nothing concrete in "Think & Grow Rich" I can attest that there is and point out a paralel: Most people do not believe Warren Buffett when he says in interviews that his investment strategy is perfectly described in "Intelligent Investor" by Ben Graham. Obviously, there is nothing concrete in that book, too ;) But, not everyone can be helped...
Back to the book. The short final chapters alone are worth many times the sticker price. They are:
Self-analysis test questions (at last a full day is required to answer all of them properly, back than it took me a full week)
The One Thing Over Which You Have Absolute Control
55 Famous Alibis by Old Man IF
Also, this is the book that introduced the word "mastermind" into the popular culture, but mastermind for Hill means so much more, and so it could for you...
Do browse through the book, at least check the chapter titles using the "Search inside this book" function, just to get the sense what is it all about. Than go and buy it, apply what it teaches and never look back! It is that good.
Perhaps a more authentic, more complete edition published in 2004 by Aventine would also be a wise choice. 21st century has nothing to do with it. The advice in the book is timeless. And the Swan of Avon said it well about attempts to gild the solid gold...