Monday, June 3, 2019

Book Review: Think and Grow Rich

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Book Review: Think and Grow Rich

By Shreyans Singh 

Who it's for: This book is a must-read book for anyone and everyone who wants to succeed in life. It's a bit dated, but its principles are timeless.

Readability: HIGH. It's a relatively short read meant to be read in multiple sitting to allow the reader to reflect on the information presented.

What We liked about it: This book is one of the few books I've read. To say it offers significant value for the money is an understatement. The author covers so many topics so densely and vividly, the material requires us to focus on the ideas and concepts presented, sometimes more repeatedly. I find the book to be effective in inducing both reflection and a particular action on the part of the reader minds. I can say that anyone who has read this book must have, in any way, felt a change in their lives.

What I didn't like about it: The title. This book goes far beyond the concept of money. It's about how we think and how we use should use our own energy. A more suitable title would have been around what you conceive and what you believe to get.

Where to find it:

Amazon @ $8.99

Amazon India @ Rs 75

"Think and Grow Rich" is The Guide to set the Thoughts and Actions That Lead to Success

I just cannot give a short summary of the book as then it would be a disservice of the author. The details are so organised that it keeps the reader intact. The focus is on:

the power of our thoughts, and

the potential we have within ourselves

Hill is often seen quoting Carnegie in the book because he is the man who inspired Hill to dedicate much of his life to exploring and communicating the concepts of managing our own thoughts and energy can be life-changing for us.

The following are three themes in the book that most resonate with me:

The Power of Thought

The Power of the Subconscious

The Power of Purpose

1. The Power of Thought: We are what we think. Our thoughts affect how we see the world and how we see ourselves. As a result, our thoughts have a great deal of impact on how we feel and on how much energy we have to deal with a required action or situation. Our thoughts make us more or less responsive and observant of the things, circumstances and people around us. Hill goes as far as stating that this extends to the material world:

Thoughts = Things

2. The Power of the Subconscious: Where do you get your best ideas? I can almost guarantee you that it's not while you're at work. We usually get our best ideas when we're not consciously thinking about the problem we're trying to solve or the idea we're trying to come up with.

Eureka moments hardly ever occur while we're "working hard", but rather when we're "hard-working".

Unfortunately, our way of life seems to invite us to ignore both the power of the subconscious mind and the breathing room we need to give it at some point. In order to feed our subconscious, we need to give it:

the raw materials it needs to work through (including a clear picture of what problem or opportunity we're trying to address),

little-to-no time pressure, and

no attention whatsoever, as it does its work.

Think And Grow Rich

When we take time to rest, play, or engage in any day-to-day conversation with others (including mastermind groups), learn from and about the experiences of others lives, we make room for the powerful subconscious to work its magic. The magic? To make connections to ideas that offer solutions we could never have come up with consciously.

The author tells it:

"You cannot entirely control your subconscious mind, but you can voluntarily hand over to it any plan, desire, or purpose which you wish transformed into concrete form." (pg. 198)

3. The Power of Purpose: Deep down, we know what we want and need to accomplish over the long-term. It might not be crystal clear, but we have a good idea of the direction we want to pursue. Unfortunately, rationalization, self-justification and doubt leads us to second guess it or explain it away, to our peril.

Here's a quote from the book:

"People who do not succeed have one distinguishing trait in common. They know all the reasons for failure and have what they believe to be air-tight alibis to explain away their own lack of achievement." (pg. 249)

When we focus on what we know we need to do, we can more easily establish an action plan and forge ahead. We feel driven, alive, passionate. We have the energy to invest in ourselves and others. We have the energy to grow as a person. We learn what we need to know to be successful, not what others say we should know. We ignore the naysayers and objectors. We're curious and engaged.

Purpose as a Guide = A Fulfilling Life

And yes, the author does talk about money and offers many concrete tools and references to allow us to be increasingly introspective and take explicit action. But I think we can all appreciate the broader insights shared above also serve to help us in that aspect of our lives. For more on the money concepts within it, I would suggest reading Chapter 2 titled "Desire", "The Thirty-One Major Causes of Failure" in the middle of the book and the "Fear of Poverty" section toward the end of the book.

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