The Ultimate personality development book of all times!
I was an avid reader during my childhood. However, the pressures of undergraduate and postgraduate medical education had put the reader in me into deep hibernation. During a visit to my friend Dr. Devan house in Kerala sometime during 1997, I found an old book which claimed to be the first motivational book ever published in the world. What attracted me, even more, was the quote on the back page, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve,” I was not a speed reader then and I made use of my 3 days of stay with Dr. Devan to read that book completely. That day, that book thawed me completely and woke up the reader in me. On the way back home, I picked up that book from my favorite book shop now on MG Road, Bangalore, “Higginbotham”. I have read this book several times later, recommended and gifted it to many. That unique book is “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.
This book was first published during the Great Depression in 1937 and had sold more than 100 million copies and has undergone several modifications to make it contemporary. According to Hill, the book is a result of inspiration and guidance form business tycoon and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. The book remains sixth-best selling business book even after 70 years of publication in BusinessWeek magazine’s Best-Seller List. And it’s in the Lifetime “Must Read” Books list in all other book rankings.
Even though the book’s title and content appear to be helping us in becoming rich, it guides us to succeed in every aspect of life. Without any hesitation, I attribute all my success in most aspects of my life to this book. Most important of all, it rekindled my reading habits. Most other personality development and motivational books I have read later appear to have taken inspiration from this book.
The book suggests “13 steps” or principles as Philosophy of achievement. They are 1. Desire, 2. Faith. 3. Autosuggestion. 4. Specialized Knowledge, 5. Imagination, 6. Organized Planning, 7. The decision, 8. Persistence. 9. Power of the Master Mind, 10. The Mystery of Sex Transmutation, 11. The Subconscious Mind, 12, The Brain & 13. The Sixth Sense. Now it’s a time-tested principle that, if we have the desire (goals), faith (self-belief), focus, persistence, and if we can suppress our negative thoughts, we can achieve anything. Napoleon Hill says, “The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.”
The famous quote which must have been re-quoted by umpteen number of times, “A quitter never wins-and-a winner never quits,” is from this book. There are at least a hundred life changing quotes in this book. My favorite ones are:
- “You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.”
- “The way of success is the way of continuous pursuit of knowledge.”
- “Every adversity, every failure, every heartbreak, carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”
For me definitely, this is an ultimate personality development and motivational book of all times. Hence, it’s needless to say, this book is for all goal-oriented people.
Dr. Prahlada, Chitradurga.