Think and Grow Rich from Napoleon Hill. Analysis and opinion of the book.

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

It is not difficult to find numerous self-help books on the market, and personal improvement written many times by gurus of more or less success. Tonny Robbins, or Robert Kiyosaki among many, are contemporary examples of our time. We live in a century where, thanks to the excess of information and the way of life, we find ourselves empty and lost before the world. We are looking for master recipes and quick and easy answers. Our grandparents did not ask themselves so many things and when they did, they had the great luck of living in a more peaceful world that allowed them to answer these questions with calm and wisdom based on their own experience and long-term, meditated and worked knowledge.

Being a bit direct, self-help books come to simplify the answers to our wishes, fears, failures, etc .; That is why we currently live moments in which gurus live by incessantly telling us what to do regardless of whether they do it themselves. However, Think and Grow Rich has the distinction of being a self-help book written in America in 1937. Seventy million copies in sales and translations into XNUMX different languages ​​give us an idea that we are dealing with the most influential book of the genre and famous of all times. In fact, there are many successful entrepreneurs and people who confess to being inspired by its content or business schools that include phrases from the book among their mantras.

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Think & Grow Rich Tech Sheet

  • Title: Think and Grow Rich
  • Author: Napoleon Hill
  • Edition: 9th Edition Editions Obelisco 2017
  • Page: 318

Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich Analysis

Part One: Essential Virtues and Motivation for Success.

Napoleon Hill said he met in person the quintessential iron and steel magnate, Scotsman Andrew Carnegie. From that meeting came the commission to carry out a work that would serve as a compendium of the thoughts of personalities such as John D. Rockefeller, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and a list of up to 500 millionaires who were interviewed by Hill himself.

The author, the fruit of the knowledge acquired in these interviews, develops in this book 13 steps that constitute the path that anyone who wants to be successful and money must carry out:

The book could be divided into two different parts. The first refers to how the individual, through desire, autosuggestion, planning or persistence, can undertake a successful path to wealth. This part is highly recommended since Hill appeals to some virtues that have been demonstrated as efficient and necessary (not enough), to find success in life. No one with the minimum dose of common sense will be able to deny the usefulness of strongly desiring something as the first step towards success. Few people will be able to turn their back on persistence is an essential virtue in any goal that human beings pursue in life. Napoleon Hill develops these steps with an effective prose, versatile and easy to digest for all types of reader to the point that one comes to think (too optimistic in my opinion) that anything, implausible and complicated as it may seem, is possible to get.

In my opinion this is a positive quality, since it is the minimum that should be asked of a book of help, help and motivation. In this sense, a point of prudence could be introduced, since, although as noted, motivation is an essential ingredient in the diet of those who want to succeed, it is no less true that an excess of something can cause serious indigestion, especially all if you are not used to digesting it. Hill's writing is sumptuous and seductive for those in financial or personal delicate situations, evoking the epic and placing almost invincible wings on the shoulders of the afflicted and depressed. But beware, a motivated "fool" can be more dangerous than an unmotivated smart one. Motivation yes, realism and sense of things too. That is why this book and the first part in particular I would only recommend it in cases of people who have a high level of self-control and who are not in desperate situations. Otherwise it could harm more than help.

Second Part: esotericism and metaphysics.

In the second part of the book, Hill turns towards esotericism and occultism presenting as valid towards the achievement of wealth “virtues” of very doubtful value such as “The transmutation of Sex” (yes, you read that correctly), “The subconscious” or "The sixth Sense". Enter terms such as "ether", "Infinite Intelligence", "vibration of the mind" or "God as Great Architect". These terms are more typical of an esoteric and occult science program. And even the meaning "Great Architect" referring to a creator God, emanates from a Masonic and occult current of the way of understanding God. I have to admit that this part of the book was difficult for me to finish, and even as a practicing Catholic some parts of it made me deeply uncomfortable.

We could say that 100 of the more than 300 pages orbit around useless and weightless concepts. For example, Hill goes so far as to say that individuals with more libido and sexual drive are more prone to wealth as they channel those desires into other areas such as business. Or even that the rich man is so to make a woman who needs wealth happy, not because he needs that wealth himself. These are two clear examples of the intellectual destitution through which these 100 pages walk.

Who was Napoleon Hill?

The official version

Photo de Napoleon Hill

Photo de Napoleon Hill

According to the official version, Hill was a writer born in 1883 in Virginia, who had the great opportunity to interview and even maintain a close relationship with characters like Graham Bell. Henry Ford or Andrew Carnegie. As a result of those experiences, his works are born, and more specifically what is considered the most prestigious self-help work ever written: Think and Get Rich. A successful writer, a family man and a virtuous man, he left a legacy in the field of self-help that to this day is cherished and a source of inspiration for world leaders and successful men.

Currently a foundation, The Napoleon Hill Foundation, is in charge of spreading the work and ideas of the American writer. Although it should be noted that, based on their website, they carry out an activity eminently focused on the sale of books and courses based on Hill's work.

The alternative version

According an article by Matt Novak for GizmodoHill was a con artist, brawler, and perpetrator who perpetrated numerous scams and frauds and whose book is full of lies and inaccuracies. Novak claims that there is no evidence that Hill knew Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford or Thomas Edison in person, as he goes on to claim in the book. And much less that he became close friends with any of them. According to Novak, the book in which he supposedly interviews Andrew Carnegie would be a work of fiction, a product of Hill's imagination. The only photograph in existence that could prove her relationship with Edison is a simple request for him to pose for the camera. There would be no such relationship.

I would remain skeptical about this version as there is no evidence to sufficiently demonstrate it. Be that as it may, I dare say that Hill's work is full of light and shadow.


Think and Get Rich, for just seven euros, (see the book on Amazon) contributes more than it takes away since, except for its last hundred pages, which could well be ignored by the reader, it does not say anything that does not make sense. Even so, I would like to insist on the idea that excess motivation (“You just have to want it to have it”), It can have a negative effect on poorly focused people or in a complicated situation, so I only recommend it as a complementary reading and with an appropriate attitude and approach.

To finish, I take the phrase of another motivation guru such as Emilio Duró “As much as you are motivated, with a donkey you will not be able to jump the obstacles of the Grand National. A donkey is not a thoroughbred and is prepared to jump what it jumps”. Perhaps a bit excessive, but it wisely teaches us that not everything is possible just by wanting it, other things are also needed.

The best and worst of Think and Grow Rich


  • It contains useful tools on the path to success and wealth.
  • A phrase: “Those who drop out never win; the winners never quit ".


  • At times it can seem like a multilevel sales manual, coming to seem the work of a true charlatan.
  • The second part of the book loaded with esoteric and occult ideas.