Think And Grow Rich – Chapter 12: The Subconscious Mind: The Connecting Link

Continuing my analysis of Think and Grow Rich.

This is for Chapter 12, The Subconscious Mind: The Connecting Link.

(Go here to start from the beginning.)

Quote and Analysis

“The Subconscious Mind: The Connecting Link”

The “connecting link” is between your conscious mind and Infinite Intelligence. Infinite Intelligence is what provides you with inspired ideas and plans.

Quote and Analysis

“THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND consists of a field of consciousness, in which every impulse of thought that reaches the objective mind through any of the five senses, is classified and recorded, and from which thoughts maybe recalled or withdrawn as letters may be taken from a filing cabinet.

It receives, and files, sense impressions or thoughts, regardless of their nature. You may VOLUNTARILY plant in your subconscious mind any plan, thought, or purpose which you desire to translate into its physical or monetary equivalent. The subconscious acts first on the dominating desires which have been mixed with emotional feeling, such as faith.

Consider this in connection with the instructions given in the chapter on DESIRE, for taking the six steps there outlined, and the instructions given in the chapter on the building and execution of plans, and you will understand the importance of the thought conveyed.”

In the chapter on Desire (Chapter 2), the six steps are essentially: be specific about what you want, choose something to give in return, choose a date, create a plan (and begin to put it into action), write out a clear and concise statement of these points, and read that statement aloud twice daily before bed and when you awake…and as you read, see and feel yourself already in possession of the money. (Again, it doesn’t have to be “money”, it could be anything you want.)

In doing that last step of reading the written statement aloud, you get the statement via the senses of sight and hearing. Then you “feel” yourself already in possession of it as well…that is you infuse the desire with emotional feeling. So now you have passed this idea through your senses with emotional feeling to your subconscious which means your subconscious will start to act on it and translate the idea into its physical equivalent. That’s why reading it aloud and feeling it matters so much.

Quote and Analysis

“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. Read, again, instructions for using the subconscious mind, in the chapter on autosuggestion.”

The instructions in the chapter on autosuggestion (Chapter 4) are all about taking that written statement, reading it aloud twice a day, and visualizing (“seeing”) yourself already in possession of what you want. And doing this with “FAITH”, which is the emotion of confidence (or belief or certainty) that tells the subconscious to act.

Quote and Analysis


If the desires are not clear, then you can’t imagine what they will feel like. By reducing them to writing you make sure they are clear enough. And you can repeatedly review them, day and night. The physical piece of paper will remind you to repeatedly review them.

Quote and Analysis

“You will also understand the necessity of PERSISTENCE in carrying out instructions.”

In autosuggestion (Chapter 4), the point is made that “…the subconscious mind takes any orders given it in a spirit of absolute FAITH, and acts upon those orders, although the orders often have to be presented over and over again, through repetition, before they are interpreted by the subconscious mind.”

So if you don’t do it twice a day. And you don’t persistently invoke belief/confidence/certainty/faith when you do, then you won’t get the results.

Quote and Analysis

“The thirteen principles are the stimuli with which you acquire the ability to reach, and to influence your subconscious mind. Do not become discouraged, if you cannot do this upon the first attempt. Remember that the subconscious mind maybe voluntarily directed only through habit, under the directions given in the chapter on FAITH. You have not yet had time to master faith. Be patient. Be persistent.”

The mastery of faith/belief/confidence/certainty comes through use and practice. Practice is persistently trying to do something even when it’s not working perfectly.

Quote and Analysis

“A good many statements in the chapters on faith and auto-suggestion will be repeated here, for the benefit of YOUR subconscious mind. Remember, your subconscious mind functions voluntarily, whether you make any effort to influence it or not. This, naturally, suggests to you that thoughts of fear and poverty, and all negative thoughts serve as stimuli to your subconscious mind, unless, you master these impulses and give it more desirable food upon which it may feed.”

This is simply a reminder to craft your environment and to weed out sources of negative perspectives like news, negative people, advertising, etc. And conversely to spend more time with positive perspectives.

Quote and Analysis

“The subconscious mind will not remain idle! If you fail to plant DESIRES in your subconscious mind, it will feed upon the thoughts which reach it as the result of your neglect. We have already explained that thought impulses, both negative and positive are reaching the subconscious mind continuously, from the four sources which were mentioned in the chapter on Sex Transmutation.”

Here’s the part where he talks about this in Sex Transmutation (Chapter 11):
“When ideas or concepts flash into one’s mind, through what is popularly called a “hunch,” they come from one or more of the following sources :-

1. Infinite Intelligence

2. One’s subconscious mind, wherein is stored every sense impression and thought impulse which ever reached the brain through any of the five senses

3. From the mind of some other person who has just released the thought, or picture of the idea or concept, through conscious thought, or

4. From the other person’s subconscious storehouse.”

So even if you don’t think something is going to affect you, like say a violent movie, it does. It might be ever so slightly each time, but the cumulative effect builds over time and overwhelms the intentionally positive perspective that you are trying to build.

Quote and Analysis

“For the present, it is sufficient if you remember that you are living daily, in the midst of all manner of thought impulses which are reaching your subconscious mind, without your knowledge. Some of these impulses are negative, some are positive. You are now engaged in trying to help shut oil the flow of negative impulses, and to aid in voluntarily influencing your subconscious mind, through positive impulses of DESIRE.

When you achieve this, you will possess the key which unlocks the door to your subconscious mind. Moreover, you will control that door so completely, that no undesirable thought may influence your subconscious mind.”

So that’s the ability we’re shooting for. A control of our mental attitude so completely that no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in, we feel good, we feel positive. We are able to gloss over and ignore the “negative” influences. (I put negative in quotes because a thing is only negative or positive based on your perception of it. You have the ability to decide if something is negative or positive.)

Quote and Analysis

“All thought impulses, intended for transmutation into their physical equivalent, voluntarily planted in the subconscious mind, must pass through the imagination, and be mixed with faith. The “mixing” of faith with a plan, or purpose, intended for submission to the subconscious mind, maybe done ONLY through the imagination.”

This is again just telling us that we have to imagine ourselves in the situation that we want to be in. We have to think about what our senses would sense in that situation using our imagination. And that imagining makes it feel real and gives us faith/confidence/belief/certainty that it will happen.

Quote and Analysis

“You are preparing yourself to influence and control the “inner audience” of your subconscious mind, in order to hand over to it the DESIRE for money, which you wish transmuted into its monetary equivalent. It is essential, therefore, that you understand the method of approach to this “inner audience.” You must speak its language, or it will not heed your call. It understands best the language of emotion or feeling. Let us, therefore describe here the seven major positive emotions, and the seven major negative emotions, so that you may draw upon the positives, and avoid the negatives, when giving instructions to your subconscious mind.


The emotion of DESIRE

The emotion of FAITH

The emotion of LOVE

The emotion of SEX

The emotion of ENTHUSIASM

The emotion of ROMANCE

The emotion of HOPE

There are other positive emotions, but these are the seven most powerful, and the ones most commonly used in creative effort. Master these seven emotions (they can be mastered only by USE), and the other positive emotions will be at your command when you need them. Remember, in this connection, that you are studying a book which is intended to help you develop a “money consciousness” by filling your mind with positive emotions. One does not become money conscious by filling one’s mind with negative emotions.”

BOOM. You are studying a book which is intended to help you develop a “money consciousness” by filling your mind with positive emotions. That’s it. Your whole job is to fill your mind with positive emotions.

And these positive emotions can only be mastered through USE!

So how do you “use” an emotion?

You practice it.

You close your eyes and imagine a situation that fills you with that particular emotion. Do this daily around the same time of day. It’s a kind of meditation. And notice how your body feels, and what position it naturally takes when you feel that way.

For example, when you feel faith/confidence/belief/certainty, you probably put your shoulders back and puff out your chest some.

Then after some days of practicing a particular emotion you won’t need to imagine the situation any more, you’ll just be able to call up the emotion at will or by putting your body in the position that gives you that fosters that feeling.

Then when you are meditating and “feeling” your Definite Chief Aim, the amount of money or whatever it is that you want, you can just call up the faith/confidence emotion and know that that reality is on it’s way.

Quote and Analysis


The emotion of FEAR

The emotion of JEALOUSY

The emotion of HATRED

The emotion of REVENGE

The emotion of GREED

The emotion of SUPERSTITION

The emotion of ANGER”

What I find interesting about these is that Faith (Confidence/Belief/Certainty) and Love are enough to put them all down.

Faith/Belief/Confidence conquers Fear, Superstition, Anger, and Greed. If you’re sure you’re going to succeed at your endeavor then there is no Fear. You might be curious about how it’s all going to unfold in your favor given the current circumstances, but there is no doubt that it will, so there’s no fear.

Superstition is a belief that something outside of you has some control over you or your circumstances. Confidence that this is not true erases that.

Anger is just a response to Fear. If you’re angry, then you are fearful that something can do something to you that you can’t stop. If you were confident that you could stop it, or survive it, or even flourish in that circumstance, then there would be no anger.

And finally Greed is the fear that there isn’t enough so you have to hoard it, rather than the confidence/belief/faith/certainty that you can create everything that you need or want.

Love conquers the rest…jealousy, hatred, revenge. These are all attacks on someone or something else. If you have love for all humanity (as the Self-Confidence formula from this book affirms), then you are not jealous, hateful, or vengeful. You simply want everyone to be happy. You have positive intentions toward everyone.

So if you practice the emotions of feeling Faith/Belief/Confidence/Certainty that you will flourish…not just survive, but flourish in whatever circumstances come your way, and you practice Love for all humanity, then you’ve wiped out all the negatives and the only thing you’ll feel are positives. Which brings us to…

Quote and Analysis

“Positive and negative emotions cannot occupy the mind at the same time. One or the other must dominate. It is your responsibility to make sure that positive emotions constitute the dominating influence of your mind. Here the law of HABIT will come to your aid.

Form the habit of applying and using the positive emotions! Eventually, they will dominate your mind so completely, that the negatives cannot enter it.

Only by following these instructions literally, and continuously, can you gain control over your subconscious mind. The presence of a single negative in your conscious mind is sufficient to destroy all chances of constructive aid from your subconscious mind.”

There you go. Confidence and Love will tip the balance in your favor.

Quote and Analysis

“Less than a hundred years ago, men believed the lightning to be evidence of the wrath of God, and feared it. Now, thanks to the power of FAITH, men have harnessed the lightning and made it turn the wheels of industry.”

What I find interesting about this statement is how it shows the idea of turning adversity into advantage, fear as a stepping stone to success. The feared lightning becomes the path forward to abundance for all.

Whatever it is you fear if you confidently stare it in the face and find out what it’s all about, you will likely find something valuable that you can use there. If for no other reason than that everyone else is so scared of it they have never taken the opportunity to figure it out. They’ve always run away before they could understand and harness the opportunity there.

Quote and Analysis

“Moreover, the approach can be made only by the individual himself. Paid prayers are worthless. Infinite Intelligence does no business by proxy. You either go direct, or you do not communicate.”

I’m always looking for shortcuts (or smart-cuts if you will), so this is something I needed to hear in particular.

Quote and Analysis

“The subconscious mind is the intermediary, which translates one’s prayers into terms which Infinite Intelligence can recognize, presents the message, and brings back the answer in the form of a definite plan or idea for procuring the object of the prayer.”

So here’s the expected result. You decide what you want. You believe that it will be yours. That it’s already on its way to you. And you repeatedly review that specific desire. Your subconscious takes that desire, and passes it on to Infinite Intelligence. Infinite Intelligence then passes back a plan or idea about how to go about getting that desire in the most efficient way possible. It might not be the exact way you thought it would or should happen, but it will be the best way. For this reason, when you receive a plan or idea, be open-minded about how it could lead to what you desire…or something even better.

Think And Grow Rich – Chapter 11: The Mystery of Sex Transmutation

Continuing my analysis of Think and Grow Rich.

This is for Chapter 11, The Mystery of Sex Transmutation.

(Go here to start from the beginning.)

Quote and Analysis

“Sex transmutation is simple and easily explained. It means the switching of the mind from thoughts of physical expression, to thoughts of some other nature.”

Here’s my disclaimer for this chapter: I’m not sure I get what he means by “sex transmutation”.

He can’t JUST mean “switching of the mind” because that’s easily accomplished by being hungry instead. Eating trumps sex when you don’t have food.

My guess is that he means rechanneling the energy that would normally go into pursuing sex to pursuing a greater purpose.

During the rest of the analyses for this chapter I’ll be looking for clues to what it is that he really means here, and how to do it.

Quote and Analysis

“The transmutation of sex energy calls for the exercise of will-power, to be sure, but the reward is worth the effort.”

So we will need willpower to make this work. So we are going to be “pushing against” something.

So it’s not the same as a more pressing concern (for example, hunger or thirst) taking precedence, since that doesn’t require willpower.

I don’t know though what the thing is that we are trying to avoid, or trying to force ourselves to do with the willpower.

Quote and Analysis

“The emotion of sex is an “irresistible force,” against which there can be no such opposition as an “immovable body.” When driven by this emotion, men become gifted with a super power for action. Understand this truth, and you will catch the significance of the statement that sex transmutation will lift one to the status of a genius.”

So one of the benefits of being able to transmute sex is that you can be gifted with a super power for action. Specifically action.

And then it’s almost like he’s linking action with genius. Which I can definitely buy. The more I do, the more I know, and the smarter I look to someone that isn’t doing or trying.

Quote and Analysis

“The desire for sex expression comes at the head of the list of stimuli, which most effectively “stepup” the vibrations of the mind and start the “wheels” of physical action. Eight of these stimuli are natural and constructive. Two are destructive. The list is here presented for the purpose of enabling you to make a comparative study of the major sources of mind stimulation. From this study, it will be readily seen that the emotion of sex is, by great odds, the most intense and powerful of all mind stimuli.”

Here he calls it “the desire for sex expression”. That seems different than just a desire for sex. But I’m not sure exactly how.

He gives a list of stimuli, but he says here that the emotion of sex is the most intense and powerful by great odds…so I’m not going to worry about the others.

Again he notes that the goal here is to start the “wheels” of physical action.

Quote and Analysis

“A better definition of a genius is, “a man who has discovered how to increase the vibrations of thought to the point where he can freely communicate with sources of knowledge not available through the ordinary rate of vibration of thought.””

This was also discussed in the chapter on Imagination.

He’s talking here about communicating with Infinite Intelligence.

And he’s saying that the way to get access to Infinite Intelligence is to increase the “energy”, the vibrations of thought through a stimuli, like the emotion of sex.

I’m still not sure what “the emotion of sex” is though.

Quote and Analysis

“The faculty of creative imagination is the direct link between the finite mind of man and Infinite Intelligence. All so-called revelations, referred to in the realm of religion, and all discoveries of basic or new principles in the field of invention, take place through the faculty of creative imagination.”

So when you are using the emotion of sex to stimulate your mind to draw on Infinite Intelligence, you should be expecting insights of a new or fundamental nature. Not just a recombination of existing knowledge, but things that you might only have a hunch could work a particular way, but no solid reason why.

Quote and Analysis

“Moreover, while on this higher level of thought, the individual is not hampered or bound by any of the stimuli which circumscribe and limit his vision while wrestling with the problems of gaining the three basic necessities of food, clothing, and shelter. He is in a world of thought in which the ORDINARY, work-a-day thoughts have been as effectively removed as are the hills and valleys and other limitations of physical vision, when he rises in an airplane.”

So here again is a description of the quality of the thoughts you should be having.

It sounds similar to the “flow” state, where time seems to alter and the action or work just flows effortlessly.

Quote and Analysis

“The creative faculty becomes more alert and receptive to vibrations, originating outside the individual’s subconscious mind, the more this faculty is used, and the more the individual relies upon it, and makes demands upon it for thought impulses. This faculty can be cultivated and developed only through use.”

So this is a “practice”. It’s something you have to actively seek to use and exercise to get better at.

Quote and Analysis

“Dr. Elmer R. Gates…earned his living by “sitting for ideas” for individuals and corporations. Some of the largest corporations in America paid him substantial fees, by the hour, for “sitting for ideas.”

This chapter inspired me to look this guy up:

This guy really was a surreal inventor. He discovered things that we still haven’t fully explored or explained. His experiments with evolution are astoundingly interesting. (At least I think so…almost everyone I’ve tried to share the findings with thinks otherwise…)

He invented in multiple areas of science. Generally a person becomes familiar with one area and just sticks to it. But this guy was inventing across disciplines. He was working in acoustics, biology, chemistry, weather, weapons, gold mining, psychology, brain development, and more.

And he really did exercise this creative imagination. He would analyze everything he knew about a subject and try to find connections between different apparently unrelated ideas. And then he would just sit and wait in the dark with all other distractions removed. The room he would sit in was sound proof, light proof, UV proof, and was even up on shocks to remove external vibrations.

He wanted to know how to make the brain work better, so he investigated what the best environment was for the brain to work, and he viewed inventing as the best work that the brain could do.

Quote and Analysis

“The reasoning faculty is often faulty, because it is largely guided by one’s accumulated experience. Not all knowledge, which one accumulates through “experience,” is accurate. Ideas received through the creative faculty are much more reliable, for the reason that they come from sources more reliable than any which are available to the reasoning faculty of the mind.”

He’s saying to trust a hunch more than experience.

Quote and Analysis

“For example, the scientific inventor, or “genius, begins an invention by organizing and combining the known ideas, or principles accumulated through experience, through the synthetic faculty (the reasoning faculty). If he finds this accumulated knowledge to be insufficient for the completion of his invention, he then draws upon the sources of knowledge available to him through his creative faculty. The method by which he does this varies with the individual, but this is the sum and substance of his procedure:

1. HE STIMULATES HIS MIND SO THAT IT VIBRATES ON A HIGHER-THAN-AVERAGE PLANE, using one or more of the ten mind stimulants or some other stimulant of his choice.

2. HE CONCENTRATES upon the known factors (the finished part) of his invention, and creates in his mind a perfect picture of unknown factors (the unfinished part), of his invention. He holds this picture in mind until it has been taken over by the subconscious mind, then relaxes by clearing his mind of ALL thought, and waits for his answer to “flash” into his mind.

Sometimes the results are both definite and immediate. At other times, the results are negative, depending upon the state of development of the “sixth sense,” or creative faculty. Mr. Edison tried out more than 10,000 different combinations of ideas through the synthetic faculty of his imagination before he “tuned in” through the creative faculty, and got the answer which perfected the incandescent light. His experience was similar when he produced the talking machine.”

I’m copying this here for myself for use when I need to surmount a challenge.

Imagine using this for any challenge you might be facing. It doesn’t have to be an “invention”. It could be the solution to a relationship problem, a business issue, a health problem, or any other challenge that you want a solution to.

Quote and Analysis

“If good taste would permit, we might easily mention scores of men, well known to the American people, who climbed to great heights of achievement under the stimulating influence of their wives, only to drop back to destruction AFTER money and power went to their heads, and they put aside the old wife for a new one.”

Now we’re back into the specifics of the emotion of sex.

He’s linking it specifically to one particular woman, the “old wife”. So it has something to do with that relationship.

Quote and Analysis

“The human mind responds to stimulation! Among the greatest, and most powerful of these stimuli is the urge of sex. When harnessed and transmuted, this driving force is capable of lifting men into that higher sphere of thought which enables them to master the sources of worry and petty annoyance which beset their pathway on the lower plane.”

Again a hint of what it feels like to do this right. Your mind should be free of “worry and petty annoyance”.

Quote and Analysis

“I discovered, from the analysis of over 25,000 people, that men who succeed in an outstanding way, seldom do so before the age of forty, and more often they do not strike their real pace until they are well beyond the age of fifty. This fact was so astounding that it prompted me to go into the study of its cause most carefully, carrying the investigation over a period of more than twelve years.

This study disclosed the fact that the major reason why the majority of men who succeed do not begin to do so before the age of forty to fifty, is their tendency to DISSIPATE their energies through over indulgence in physical expression of the emotion of sex. The majority of men never learn that the urge of sex has other possibilities, which far transcend in importance, that of mere physical expression. The majority of those who make this discovery, do so after having wasted many years at a period when the sex energy is at its height, prior to the age of forty-five to fifty. This usually is followed by noteworthy achievement.”

If nothing else, this particular section is interesting because it reminds us that we don’t have to “succeed” early in life. No need to beat ourselves up about wasted time and energy.

Quote and Analysis

“The world is ruled, and the destiny of civilization is established, by the human emotions. People are influenced in their actions, not by reason so much as by “feelings.” The creative faculty of the mind is set into action entirely by emotions, and not by cold reason. The most powerful of all human emotions is that of sex.”

Emotions make us act. You can’t reason someone into action. But if you can make them feel a certain way, you can get them to move. The same is true of ourselves. If we can take control of our emotions, how we “feel” about something, then we can induce action.

If we know logically why we should do something, but we don’t feel like doing it, then it probably won’t happen. Like avoiding cookies.

If we feel like we should do something, but logically we know we shouldn’t, there’s a damn good chance we’re going to do it regardless of what we know…unless we can find another emotion or feeling to counter the “do it” one.

If you’re trying to force yourself to do something, take a step back and figure out what feeling you would need to want to do that thing, and then build that feeling through auto-suggestion, and visualizing the result in a way that makes you feel good about doing the work.

Quote and Analysis

“The explanation is, that the factor of personality known as “personal magnetism” is nothing more nor less than sex energy. Highly sexed people always have a plentiful supply of magnetism.”

Okay, so it’s not so much a desire for sex, as it is an energy that you exude.

Quote and Analysis

“People who lack sex energy will never become enthusiastic nor inspire others with enthusiasm, and enthusiasm is one of the most important requisites in salesmanship, no matter what one is selling.”

Okay, so it’s linked to enthusiasm. If you’re not enthusiastic, or excited, then you are missing that energy.

Also interesting that he talks about inspiring others with enthusiasm. Giving them the energy and drive to pursue your aims. So more is done toward your Definite Chief Aim than you would be able to alone.

Quote and Analysis

“Master salesmen attain the status of mastery in selling, because they, either consciously, or unconsciously, transmute the energy of sex into SALES ENTHUSIASM! In this statement may be found a very practical suggestion as to the actual meaning of sex transmutation.

The salesman who knows how to take his mind off the subject of sex, and direct it in sales effort with as much enthusiasm and determination as he would apply to its original purpose, has acquired the art of sex transmutation, whether he knows it or not.”

Okay, so, transmutation of sex energy is taking the same energy and enthusiasm that a guy would pursue sex with, and instead directing it at some other aim.

An example comes to mind. A startup CEO said that every time he was handling a customer service call, he would visualize the customer as a hot girl. Instantly his demeanor and willingness to help this person skyrocketed. And I imagine his energy and interest were elevated as well.

So given that, it would be like putting the object of your sex desire on the other side of the thing you want. So say you want to climb a mountain. Then you would imagine that getting to the top of that mountain would get you more sex.

So maybe the willpower comes in when you decide that you will deny yourself a faster route to sex and require of yourself that this aim and sex are inseparably linked.

Quote and Analysis

“It seemed quite significant to the author, when he made the discovery that practically every great leader, whom he had the privilege of analyzing, was a man whose achievements were largely inspired by a woman. In many instances, the “woman in the case” was a modest, self-denying wife, of whom the public had heard but little or nothing. In a few instances, the source of inspiration has been traced to the “other woman.” Perhaps such cases may not be entirely unknown to you.”

Why “modest, self-denying”? Is this code for “plain”? And so the man isn’t always thinking about sex with his wife?

But that doesn’t fit with the “other woman”.

Perhaps, as above, the man tells himself that he must achieve his goal for the sake of the wife or other woman?

Another possibility that occurred to me after reading further is that the “self-denying” wife is allowing her husband to take the spotlight. She’s allowing him to “feel like a man”. If the wife is instead one that hogs the spotlight and brings her husband down in order to elevate herself, then that would tend to detract from his drive to succeed.

Quote and Analysis

“Intemperance in sex habits is just as detrimental as intemperance in habits of drinking and eating. In this age in which we live, an age which began with the world war, intemperance in habits of sex is common. This orgy of indulgence may account for the shortage of great leaders. No man can avail himself of the forces of his creative imagination, while dissipating them. Man is the only creature on earth which violates Nature’s purpose in this connection. Every other animal indulges its sex nature in moderation, and with purpose which harmonizes with the laws of nature. Every other animal responds to the call of sex only in “season.” Man’s inclination is to declare “open season.””

It sounds like maybe this is a context for this chapter that I’m missing. Just like other chapters are written in the context of the stock market crash of the time, maybe this one is written with an eye towards gluttony and orgies of the time that I’m unaware of?

Quote and Analysis

“Between the ages of thirty and forty, man begins to learn (if he ever learns), the art of sex transmutation. This discovery is generally accidental, and more often than otherwise, the man who makes it is totally un-conscious of his discovery. He may observe that his powers of achievement have increased around the age of thirty-five to forty, but in most cases, he is not familiar with the cause of this change; that Nature begins to harmonize the emotions of love and sex in the individual, between the ages of thirty and forty, so that he may draw upon these great forces, and apply them jointly as stimuli to action.

Sex, alone, is a mighty urge to action, but its forces are like a cyclone-they are often uncontrollable. When the emotion of love begins to mix itself with the emotion of sex, the result is calmness of purpose, poise, accuracy of judgment, and balance. What person, who has attained to the age of forty, is so unfortunate as to be unable to analyze these statements, and to corroborate them by his own experience?

When driven by his desire to please a woman, based solely upon the emotion of sex, a man may be, and usually is, capable of great achievement, but his actions may be disorganized, distorted, and totally destructive. When driven by his desire to please a woman, based upon the motive of sex alone, a man may steal, cheat, and even commit murder. But when the emotion of LOVE is mixed with the emotion of sex, that same man will guide his actions with more sanity, balance, and reason.”

I think he is saying love tempers lust. A general desire to provide for and make the other person feel good that goes beyond just wanting to have sex with them.

Quote and Analysis

“Reformation comes, if at all, through the heart, or the emotional side of man, not through his head, or reasoning side.

Reformation means, “a change of heart.” It does not mean a “change of head.” A man may, because of reason, make certain changes in his personal conduct to avoid the consequences of undesirable effects, but GENUINE REFORMATION comes only through a change of heart -through a DESIRE to change. Love, Romance, and Sex are all emotions capable of driving men to heights of super achievement. Love is the emotion which serves as a safety valve, and insures balance, poise, and constructive effort. When combined, these three emotions may lift one to an altitude of a genius. There are genii, however, who know but little of the emotion of love. Most of them may be found engaged in some form of action which is destructive, or at least, not based upon justice and fairness toward others. If good taste would permit, a dozen genii could be named in the field of industry and finance, who ride ruthlessly over the rights of their fellow men. They seem totally lacking in conscience. The reader can easily supply his own list of such men.”

Again the presentation of the power of emotion versus logical reasoning in causing a change which will result in different actions.

And a reminder that the goal is not just love of your partner, but eventually love and justice and fairness toward all.

Quote and Analysis

“The emotions are states of mind. Nature has provided man with a “chemistry of the mind” which operates in a manner similar to the principles of chemistry of matter. It is a well known fact that, through the aid of chemistry of matter, a chemist may create a deadly poison by mixing certain elements, none of which are-in themselves-harmful in the right proportions. The emotions may, likewise, be combined so as to create a deadly poison. The emotions of sex and jealousy, when mixed, may turn a person into an insane beast.

The presence of any one or more of the destructive emotions in the human mind, through the chemistry of the mind, sets up a poison which may destroy one’s sense of justice and fairness. In extreme cases, the presence of any combination of these emotions in the mind may destroy one’s reason.

The road to genius consists of the development, control, and use of sex, love, and romance. Briefly, the process maybe stated as follows:

Encourage the presence of these emotions as the dominating thoughts in one’s mind, and discourage the presence of all the destructive emotions. The mind is a creature of habit. It thrives upon the dominating thoughts fed it. Through the faculty of will-power, one may discourage the presence of any emotion, and encourage the presence of any other. Control of the mind, through the power of will, is not difficult. Control comes from persistence, and habit. The secret of control lies in understanding the process of transmutation. When any negative emotion presents itself in one’s mind, it can be transmuted into a positive, or constructive emotion, by the simple procedure of changing one’s thoughts.”

Here’s the recipe. Train your mind to toss aside “destructive emotions” and search out “constructive emotions”. And you do this through practice.

You notice you don’t like something. Okay, fine. Now, what DO you like? What piece of this can be good. Or if nothing can be good about it, then be glad that you are alive, and have had better times in the past. Or that when it’s over, everything else is going to feel even better than it did before. Like getting that first drink of water after being thirsty for a long time.

Quote and Analysis

“Even the memories of love are sufficient to lift one to a higher plane of creative effort. The major force of love may spend itself and pass away, like a fire which has burned itself out, but it leaves behind indelible marks as evidence that it passed that way. Its departure often prepares the human heart for a still greater love. Go back into your yesterdays, at times, and bathe your mind in the beautiful memories of past love. It will soften the influence of the present worries and annoyances. It will give you a source of escape from the unpleasant realities of life, and maybe-who knows?-your mind will yield to you, during this temporary retreat into the world of fantasy, ideas, or plans which may change the entire financial or spiritual status of your life.”

There’s a specific example of how to cast aside a destructive emotion and go back into your past and find a constructive emotion to encourage.

Quote and Analysis

“Love is, without question, life’s greatest experience. It brings one into communion with Infinite Intelligence. When mixed with the emotions of romance and sex, it may lead one far up the ladder of creative effort. The emotions of love, sex, and romance, are sides of the eternal triangle of achievement-building genius. Nature creates genii through no other force.

Love is an emotion with many sides, shades, and colors. The love which one feels for parents, or children is quite different from that which one feels for one’s sweetheart. The one is mixed with the emotion of sex, while the other is not.

The love which one feels in true friendship is not the same as that felt for one’s sweetheart, parents, or children, but it, too, is a form of love.

Then, there is the emotion of love for things inanimate, such as the love of Nature’s handiwork. But the most intense and burning of all these various kinds of love, is that experienced in the blending of the emotions of love and sex. Marriages, not blessed with the eternal affinity of love, properly balanced and proportioned, with sex, cannot be happy ones-and seldom endure. Love, alone, will not bring happiness in marriage, nor will sex alone. When these two beautiful emotions are blended, marriage may bring about a state of mind, closest to the spiritual that one may ever know on this earthly plane.

When the emotion of romance is added to those of love and sex, the obstructions between the finite mind of man and Infinite Intelligence are removed.”

I think he’s saying that “love” is the key to “sex transmutation”. And that romance is needed even beyond love and sex to take advantage of the connection to Infinite Intelligence.

Quote and Analysis

“It is an interpretation which would, when properly understood, bring harmony out of the chaos which exists in too many marriages. The disharmonies often expressed in the form of nagging, may usually be traced to lack of knowledge on the subject of sex. Where love, romance and the proper understanding of the emotion and function of sex abide, there is no disharmony between married people.

Fortunate is the husband whose wife understands the true relationship between the emotions of love, sex, and romance. When motivated by this holy triumvirate, no form of labor is burdensome, because even the most lowly form of effort takes on the nature of a labor of love.”

Okay, so if the wife is understands (and presumably puts into action) the relationship between love, sex, and romance, then she can get her husband to happily do anything.

I’ve heard this called “chore-play”.

Quote and Analysis

“It is a very old saying that “a man’s wife may either make him or break him,” but the reason is not always understood. The “making” and “breaking” is the result of the wife’s understanding, or lack of understanding of the emotions of love, sex, and romance. Despite the fact that men are polygamous, by the very nature of their biological inheritance, it is true that no woman has as great an influence on a man as his wife, unless he is married to a woman totally unsuited to his nature. If a woman permits her husband to lose interest in her, and become more interested in other women, it is usually because of her ignorance, or indifference toward the subjects of sex, love, and romance. This statement presupposes, of course, that genuine love once existed between a man and his wife.

The facts are equally applicable to a man who permits his wife’s interest in him to die. Married people often bicker over a multitude of trivialities. If these are analyzed accurately, the real cause of the trouble will often be found to be indifference, or ignorance on these subjects. Man’s greatest motivating force is his desire to please woman! The hunter who excelled during prehistoric days, before the dawn of civilization, did so, because of his desire to appear great in the eyes of woman. Man’s nature has not changed in this respect. The “hunter” of today brings home no skins of wild animals, but he indicates his desire for her favor by supplying fine clothes, motor cars, and wealth. Man has the same desire to please woman that he had before the dawn of civilization. The only thing that has changed, is his method of pleasing. Men who accumulate large fortunes, and attain to great heights of power and fame, do so, mainly, to satisfy their desire to please women.

Take women out of their lives, and great wealth would be useless to most men. It is this inherent desire of man to please woman, which gives woman the power to make or break a man.

The woman who understands man’s nature and tactfully caters to it, need have no fear of competition from other women. Men may be “giants” with indomitable will-power when dealing with other men, but they are easily managed by the women of their choice.

Most men will not admit that they are easily influenced by the women they prefer, because it is in the nature of the male to want to be recognized as the stronger of the species. Moreover, the intelligent woman recognizes this “manly trait” and very wisely makes no issue of it. Some men know that they are being influenced by the women of their choice-their wives, sweethearts, mothers or sisters-but they tactfully refrain from rebelling against the influence because they are intelligent enough to know that NO MAN IS HAPPY OR COMPLETE WITHOUT THE MODIFYING INFLUENCE OF THE RIGHT WOMAN. The man who does not recognize this important truth deprives himself of the power which has done more to help men achieve success than all other forces combined.”

I quoted that in its entirety so I wouldn’t get in trouble trying to tease out specific pieces.

He points out that it’s both the man’s and the woman’s job to keep the love, sex, and romance in the marriage.

He also points out that women are the only reason men want money. As a friend of mine says “Men want sex, and women want money.” And “money” is just a way of getting security and comfort. That may not always be the case, but on average it has the ring of truth.

If you read this chapter carefully, what you find is that Hill is saying the woman really has all the power. She can make or break the man, but to use that power, she has to appear to give away the credit.

What I find interesting about that is that it is an excellent definition of the perfect leader. Someone who empowers their “followers” to do great things, and then gives the followers all the credit so they will go out and do even greater things.

And if you read that even more carefully, this chapter is really saying that men are just tools in the hands of women. That the only power men have is in choosing the right woman to wield.

That’s a pretty awesome specific example of the way to get yourself to do anything in life. You craft your environment, so that you make the things you logically want to have done the physically and emotionally easiest things to do.

You choose a wife who is going to support you in becoming wealthy.

You choose to only have healthy food in the house, so that when you are hungry and tired, you would have to get in your car and drive to get something unhealthy.

You remove TVs from your house, and avoid reading the news, to keep from accidentally absorbing someone else’s opinions.

You put your cash in investments so you can’t frivolously spend it.

You set an alarm to wake you up when you want to get up.

And so on.

Craft the environment now, so your future self can’t help but do the things you want it to do.

Think And Grow Rich – Chapter 10: Power of the Master Mind

Continuing my analysis of Think and Grow Rich.

This is for Chapter 10, Power of the Master Mind.

(Go here to start from the beginning.)

Quote and Analysis



This comes after the next quote, but I wanted to quote it first to establish why we would want “POWER”.

Also, note this says power is required, not just helpful, but required.

And further note that even after you get the money you want, you have to keep your Master Mind group to retain the money.

Quote and Analysis

“Power, as the term is here used, refers to ORGANIZED effort, sufficient to enable an individual to transmute DESIRE into its monetary equivalent. ORGANIZED effort is produced through the coordination of effort of two or more people, who work toward a DEFINITE end, in a spirit of harmony.”

Note the key terms here: organized, definite, and harmony. If you’re missing any of those, it’s not a Master Mind group, and you won’t get the Power.

Organized means you are coordinating your efforts and communicating with one or more other people.

Definite means you all know exactly what you’re aiming for. The details are clear to all.

Harmony means you appreciate, support, and generally feel positive and open toward the other people in your Master Mind group. Love and brotherhood would not be too much to say here.

Of all the terms here “Harmony” is no doubt the most difficult one to achieve and maintain. Ego tends to get in the way.

And note that according to the previous quote, if you lose any of these, “organize”, “definite”, or “HARMONY”, you will not be able to retain the money that you have accumulated up to that point.

So if what you have accumulated starts slipping away, do an inventory of these three terms, and see if you find yourself deficient in any of them.

Quote and Analysis

“Examination of the three major sources of knowledge will readily disclose the difficulty an individual would have, if he depended upon his efforts alone, in assembling knowledge and expressing it through definite plans in terms of ACTION.”

Here he’s noting a couple of practical reasons why we need the cooperation of others.

First it would be extremely difficult and time consuming to attain all of the knowledge we would need by ourselves.

And second it would be difficult to take all the action needed by one’s self.

Quote and Analysis

“If you carry out these instructions with PERSISTENCE and intelligence, and use discrimination in the selection of your “Master Mind” group, your objective will have been half-way reached, even before you begin to recognize it.”

This sentiment of the goal being half-way, or mostly reached, before you recognize it, comes up numerous times in the book. It’s the reason that Faith/Belief/Confidence is needed. So you persist in doing the things that are working, even if you can’t yet see they are working.

Quote and Analysis

“You may catch a significant suggestion from this statement: “No two minds ever come together without, thereby, creating a third, invisible, intangible force which may be likened to a third mind.””

In a previous quote I mentioned some “practical” benefits to a Master Mind. Here he’s talking about a benefit that is less obvious. He’s saying that cooperating with someone else gives you access to more than just that other person’s knowledge and ability. He’s saying it opens up a communication path to “Infinite Intelligence”. This is the source of “genius” and “inspired thoughts”. So cooperating with another person is actually worth more than just adding on that other person’s knowledge and abilities.

Quote and Analysis

“Mr. Carnegie’s Master Mind group consisted of a staff of approximately fifty men, with whom he surrounded himself, for the DEFINITE PURPOSE of manufacturing and marketing steel. He attributed his entire fortune to the POWER he accumulated through this “Master Mind.””

50 people. Just an example of the size of group we’re talking here. And these are all people who need to work in HARMONY. 50 people. In harmony. Elsewhere in the book Hill talks about how Carnegie wouldn’t keep a man on if he couldn’t get along with everyone, no matter how great that man’s skills were.

Quote and Analysis

“Men take on the nature and the habits and the POWER OF THOUGHT of those with whom they associate in a spirit of sympathy and harmony.”

And here’s another reason to craft your Master Mind group. The people around you are going to influence you. You can’t choose not to be influenced, but you can choose whom you are around and thus choose how you are influenced.

Look at how the people around you are, and you will see a reflection of how you are or will be. If you don’t like that picture, you can change it by changing the people you spend time with.

Quote and Analysis

“The other two major sources from which the knowledge, necessary for the accumulation of POWER, maybe obtained are no more reliable than the five senses of man. The senses are not always reliable. Infinite Intelligence DOES NOT ERR.”

You have access to the knowledge of man through libraries and the internet (which are the products of other people’s 5 senses), and you can see how the world works by using your 5 senses. The 5 senses can be tricked though. We see and hear things that aren’t there, for example. And so if we rely only on our 5 senses, then it is possible that we are working with false information.

But through cooperation in harmony with another person you gain access to this third source of knowledge, Infinite Intelligence. And this third source cannot be tricked. It is reliable. So if you want to make sure that you are working with accurate information, so that your plans are actually valid and match the reality of the situation, then you must form a Master Mind group with at least one other person to get access to this connection to Infinite Intelligence.

Quote and Analysis

“When money comes in quantities known as “the big money,” it flows to the one who accumulates it, as easily as water flows down hill.”

Just have to include this quote because of the term “the big money”. Notice the lack of effort implied here. It flows as easily as water down hill. It just happens. You create the hill. You stand at the bottom. And the money flows to you.

Quote and Analysis

“Every man who has accumulated a great fortune, has recognized the existence of this stream of life. It consists of one’s THINKING PROCESS. The positive emotions of thought form the side of the stream which carries one to fortune. The negative emotions form the side which carries one down to poverty. This carries a thought of stupendous importance to the person who is following this book with the object of accumulating a fortune.

If you are in the side of the stream of POWER which leads to poverty, this may serve as an oar, by which you may propel yourself over into the other side of the stream. It can serve you ONLY through application and use. Merely reading, and passing judgment on it, either one way or another, will in no way benefit you.”

Positive emotions (love, appreciation, faith/confidence/belief) bring fortune.

Negative emotions (hate, anger, envy, jealousy, doubt) bring poverty.

And he includes a warning. Even if you agree with this, it’s not enough. You have to actually put it into practice (“application and use”). You have to actively monitor your emotions. You have to actively counter the negative emotions when they come up. You have to practice seeing the “bright side” and feeling those good feelings.

Even when the circumstances of a situation would call for a normal person to be in a bad mood, you must maintain an exuberant mood. Remember, you have to be different than 98% of other people. You have to maintain your positive emotions even in the face of no evidence.

Quote and Analysis

“Poverty and riches often change places. The Crash taught the world this truth, although the world will not long remember the lesson. Poverty may, and generally does, voluntarily take the place of riches. When riches take the place of poverty, the change is usually brought about through well conceived and carefully executed PLANS. Poverty needs no plan. It needs no one to aid it, because it is bold and ruthless. Riches are shy and timid. They have to be “attracted.””

Here again is the concept of “poverty” or a negative mindset being the default. And only through an intentional effort can you turn your mind to the positive and start attracting the “riches” you want.

Think And Grow Rich – Chapter 9: Persistence

Continuing my analysis of Think and Grow Rich.

This is for Chapter 9, Persistence.

(Go here to start from the beginning.)

Quote and Analysis

“Persistence: The Sustained Effort Necessary to Induce Faith”

“Persistence” is sustained effort.

“Faith” in this context is self-confidence or belief that you will get what you want.

So if you continually pursue what you want, you will convince yourself that you are going to get it. And from else where in the book, being convinced, being confident, believing that you are going to get something will make it a reality.

Quote and Analysis

“Men who accumulate great fortunes are generally known as cold-blooded, and sometimes ruthless. Often they are misunderstood. What they have is will-power, which they mix with persistence, and place back of their desires to insure the attainment of their objectives.”

The subtle point here is to just be aware that if you are pursuing your goals, others might perceive you as being selfish, cold-blooded, or ruthless. It doesn’t mean you are doing the wrong thing or that you should change. It’s just the *opinions* of others, which you should be ignoring anyway.

Quote and Analysis

“If you are following this book with the intention of applying the knowledge it conveys, your first test as to your PERSISTENCE will come when you begin to follow the six steps described in the second chapter. Unless you are one of the two out of every hundred who already have a DEFINITE GOAL at which you are aiming, and a DEFINITE PLAN for its attainment, you may read the instructions, and then pass on with your daily routine, and never comply with those instructions.”

There’s your warning. If you don’t do those 6 steps, you’re making your choice about who you are. You’re showing yourself, your brain, which of the groups you are in…the 98% or the 2%. And your brain will act accordingly.

98%…”we don’t have to persist…we just do what everyone else does…and complain about the results like everyone else does”.

2%…”we persist and we get what we want”.

Quote and Analysis

“If you find you are weak in PERSISTENCE, center your attention upon the instructions contained in the chapter on “Power”; surround yourself with a “MASTER MIND” group, and through the cooperative efforts of the members of this group, you can develop persistence. You will find additional instructions for the development of persistence in the chapters on auto-suggestion, and the subconscious mind. Follow the instructions outlined in these chapters until your habit nature hands over to your subconscious mind, a clear picture of the object of your DESIRE. From that point on, you will not be handicapped by lack of persistence.

Your subconscious mind works continuously, while you are awake, and while you are asleep. Spasmodic, or occasional effort to apply the rules will be of no value to you. To get RESULTS, you must apply all of the rules until their application becomes a fixed habit with you. In no other way can you develop the necessary “money consciousness.””

Here he’s laying out a few remedies for weak persistence.

1) Get someone in your Master Mind group, the people that you trust and council with that are aimed at your same goal, who will prod you to keep going when you aren’t motivated. I think the second remedy is MUCH better than this one.

2) Use auto-suggestion. This means every day you repeat to yourself an idea you want to believe, you auto-suggest…suggest to yourself. You make a habit of it. This habit ingrains the idea in your unconscious mind. Then your unconscious mind, which makes most of your decisions throughout the day, will be working from that idea, and your decisions and thus actions will be consistently aligned with that idea. It will be a habit. You will be persistent.

He mentions “money consciousness” here, but it could be any consciousness that you want to be more prominent in your life…“health consciousness”, “happiness consciousness”, “teaching consciousness”, “love consciousness”. Whatever thing it is that you desire, you want to build habits that support that so that you are always aware and open to opportunities that will allow you to get closer to your desire.

Quote and Analysis

“POVERTY is attracted to the one whose mind is favorable to it, as money is attracted to him whose mind has been deliberately prepared to attract it, and through the same laws. POVERTY CONSCIOUSNESS WILL VOLUNTARILY SEIZE THE MIND WHICH IS NOT OCCUPIED WITH THE MONEY CONSCIOUSNESS. A poverty consciousness develops without conscious application of habits favorable to it. The money consciousness must be created to order, unless one is born with such a consciousness.”

This is a warning that the poverty consciousness is the DEFAULT. If you don’t choose a consciousness other than poverty, poverty is what you will get.

Quote and Analysis

“You may find it necessary to “snap” out of your mental inertia, through a similar procedure, moving slowly at first, then increasing your speed, until you gain complete control over your will. Be PERSISTENT no matter how slowly you may, at first, have to move.”

Persistence does not imply any particular speed, just a continual movement in a specific direction. So don’t be discouraged or stop if you are not moving toward your desire as quickly as you expected. You can reduce your effort, but don’t stop it.

Quote and Analysis

“For four years Miss Hurst learned about “The Sidewalks of New York” from first hand experience. She spent her days laboring, and her nights HOPING. When hope grew dim, she did not say, “Alright Broadway, you win!” She said, “Very well, Broadway, you may whip some, but not me. I’m going to force you to give up.”

One publisher (The Saturday Evening Post) sent her thirty six rejection slips, before she “broke the ice and got a story across. The average writer, like the “average” in other walks of life, would have given up the job when the first rejection slip came. She pounded the pavements for four years to the tune of the publisher’s “NO,” because she was determined to win.

Then came the “payoff.” The spell had been broken, the unseen Guide had tested Fannie Hurst, and she could take it. From that time on publishers made a beaten path to her door. Money came so fast she hardly had time to count it. Then the moving picture men discovered her, and money came not in small change, but in floods. The moving picture rights to her latest novel, “Great Laughter,” brought $100,000.00, said to be the highest price ever paid for a story before publication. Her royalties from the sale of the book probably will run much more.”

An example of the kind of persistence we are looking to develop. Persistence that is 36 times as high as 98% of people. If many others are willing to try something twice before giving up, then we have to be ready to try 72 times. It may happen way before that 72nd time, but we are willing to go that far if need be.

Also an example of a possible timeframe. We could get our desire in a few days, or it might take 4 years or longer.

Quote and Analysis

“And here is an encouraging statement which carries with it a suggestion of great significance- THOUSANDS OF SINGERS WHO EXCEL KATE SMITH ARE WALKING UP AND DOWN BROADWAY LOOKING FOR A “BREAK”- WITHOUT SUCCESS. Countless others have come and gone, many of them sang well enough, but they failed to make the grade because they lacked the courage to keep on keeping on, until Broadway became tired of turning them away.”

Even if someone else is better than you at what you want to do, it doesn’t matter. Keep trying. Eventually they will give up, or you will get better. Either way persistence wins.

Quote and Analysis

“Persistence is a state of mind, therefore it can be cultivated.”

So even if you think you are someone who has “no willpower”, you can still build it up. And since persistence can lead you to anything else, this really means that you can be anything you want.

Quote and Analysis

“DEFINITENESS OF PLANS. Organized plans, even though they maybe weak and entirely impractical, encourage persistence.”

Here he’s talking about one of the things that supports persistence. Just having a plan can be enough to move you forward.

Quote and Analysis

“ACCURATE KNOWLEDGE. Knowing that one’s plans are sound, based upon experience or observation, encourages persistence; “guessing” instead of “knowing” destroys persistence.”

Again, another support of persistence. But this is actually a warning. If you can feel that you don’t *know* for certain that your plan is sound, then you will hold back. You won’t give it everything. You’ll hold back in case the plan is bad, which can cause the plan to fail EVEN IF the plan is a good one to start with.

Quote and Analysis

“HABIT. Persistence is the direct result of habit. The mind absorbs and becomes a part of the daily experiences upon which it feeds. Fear, the worst of all enemies, can be effectively cured by forced repetition of acts of courage. Everyone who has seen active service in war knows this.”

This is auto-suggestion said another way. It also points out that your mind, you, become what you feed yourself. The news you consume, the people you are around, the shows you watch.

Or from the positive side, the affirmations you repeat, the positive messaging you read, the acts that you practice, and the emotions that you continually feel like faith, courage, happiness.

He is actually saying here that you can practice courage, and that you will become less fearful.

Quote and Analysis

“Before leaving the subject of PERSISTENCE, take inventory of yourself, and determine in what particular, if any, you are lacking in this essential quality. Measure yourself courageously, point by point, and see how many of the eight factors of persistence you lack. The analysis may lead to discoveries that will give you a new grip on yourself.”

I didn’t list all 8 here, but this inventory is still something you should do.

This is another test to see if you are a 98% or a 2%.

You should ask someone to do this analysis with you, so you can’t fool yourself into skipping over one of the factors. You might think you wouldn’t do this, but the brain is very tricky, and very happy to gloss over painful points. The one you skip will likely be the one that is holding you back the most.

I’m happy to help if you don’t have anyone else you’d like to do this with. Feel free to email me (Aleks,

Quote and Analysis


Here you will find the real enemies which stand between you and noteworthy achievement. Here you will find not only the “symptoms” indicating weakness of PERSISTENCE, but also the deeply seated subconscious causes of this weakness. Study the list carefully, and face yourself squarely IF YOU REALLY WISH TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE, AND WHAT YOU ARE CAPABLE OF DOING.”

I’m not going to list them here. But again, this is a test. 98% or 2%. You choose.

Again it helps to have someone else go through this inventory with you. And again, I’m happy to help if you have no one else.

Also, note that almost all of these are the result of not taking responsibility for how your life is. Everything is within your control. Once you believe that, then you know that all you have to do is be persistent to craft your life like you want it to be. And even that is not hard because you can be persistent with very low effort. Continuing to do something is the only requirement. That habit will build on itself and you will do more and more without feeling burdened by it. You will want to do it.

Quote and Analysis

“FEAR OF CRITICISM, failure to create plans and to put them into action, because of what other people will think, do, or say. This enemy belongs at the head of the list, because it generally exists in one’s subconscious mind, where its presence is not recognized. (See the Six Basic Fears in a later chapter)”

This is the only one of the symptoms that I will call out specifically because he notes how insidious it is.

Fear of criticism hides in your mind and masquerades as other things, the alibis you create. It lets you think that you aren’t doing the things you want because of some other reason than fear of what someone will say or think.

For example, I just put my email address up there and offered to help anyone that emails me to inventory themselves and break through the barriers that are holding them back.

It could be done anonymously if the person wants to use a throwaway email address that has no relation to their name.

But I bet no one emails me at all to do this. I bet that the people who don’t have anyone else are too afraid of what someone else might think of them (that someone else being me). I hope I’m wrong. If you have even a slight urge to email me, do. That’s your small quiet voice. It won’t speak louder. It’s asking for help.

Quote and Analysis

“Examine the first hundred people you meet, ask them what they want most in life, and ninety eight of them will not be able to tell you. If you press them for an answer, some will say-SECURITY, many will say-MONEY, a few will say- HAP- PINESS, others will say-FAME AND POWER, and still others will say-SOCIAL RECOGNITION, EASE IN LIVING, ABILITY TO SING, DANCE, or WRITE, but none of them will be able to define these terms, or give the slightest indication of a PLAN by which they hope to attain these vaguely expressed wishes. Riches do not respond to wishes. They respond only to definite plans, backed by definite desires, through constant PERSISTENCE.”

2%…definite desire and a plan for getting it.

98%…not definite, no plan.


Quote and Analysis


There are four simple steps which lead to the habit of PERSISTENCE. They call for no great amount of intelligence, no particular amount of education, and but little time or effort. The necessary steps are:-



3. A MIND CLOSED TIGHTLY AGAINST ALL NEGATIVE AND DISCOURAGING INFLUENCES, including negative suggestions of relatives, friends and acquaintances.


These four steps are essential for success in all walks of life. The entire purpose of the thirteen principles of this philosophy is to enable one to take these four steps as a matter of habit. These are the steps by which one may control one’s economic destiny. They are the steps that lead to freedom and independence of thought. They are the steps that lead to riches, in small or great quantities. They lead the way to power, fame, and worldly recognition. They are the four steps which guarantee favorable “breaks.” They are the steps that convert dreams into physical realities.

They lead, also, to the mastery of FEAR, DISCOURAGEMENT, INDIFFERENCE.”

There’s the recipe. He’s even telling you that the 13 chapters of this book are only trying to get you to do these 4 things automatically.

Want something. Create a plan for getting it. Ignore people that are negative. Spend time with people that are positive.

Quote and Analysis

“What is the greatest thing on earth? The Master called it love-not man made rules, criticism, bitterness, slander, or political “marriages,” but love.”

Multiple times I’ve found a statement in this book that I had previously glossed over and didn’t realize I didn’t know what it meant.

I have been looking them up and finding very interesting things that I didn’t know anything about before.

I tried to look this one up, and I couldn’t find what it was referring to. Who is “the Master”? Is that Shakespeare?

Quote and Analysis

“What mystical power gives to men of PERSISTENCE the capacity to master difficulties? Does the quality of PERSISTENCE set up in one’s mind some form of spiritual, mental or chemical activity which gives one access to supernatural forces? Does Infinite Intelligence throw itself on the side of the person who still fights on, after the battle has been lost, with the whole world on the opposing side?

These and many other similar questions have arisen in my mind as I have observed men like Henry Ford, who started at scratch, and built an Industrial Empire of huge proportions, with little else in the way of a beginning but PERSISTENCE. Or, Thomas A. Edison, who, with less than three months of schooling, became the world’s leading inventor and converted PERSISTENCE into the talking machine, the moving picture machine, and the incandescent light, to say nothing of half a hundred other useful inventions.

I had the happy privilege of analyzing both Mr. Edison and Mr. Ford, year by year, over a long period of years, and therefore, the opportunity to study them at close range, so I speak from actual knowledge when I say that I found no quality save PERSISTENCE, in either of them, that even remotely suggested the major source of their stupendous achievements.”

How interesting is that? He’s saying that these massive successes had nothing but persistence to get them to where they got. It doesn’t matter where you start. There is no excuse or alibi.

Quote and Analysis

“When he had been preaching ten years he had nothing to show for it but banishment, poverty and ridicule. Yet before another ten years had passed, he was dictator of all Arabia, ruler of Mecca, and the head of a New World religion which was to sweep to the Danube and the Pyrenees before exhausting the impetus he gave it.”

10 years of effort, and no results. 4 years for the writer mentioned above.

Previously in the book he talks about how the lights rise so slowly that you may not notice they are being raised until they are almost all the way up.

If you are putting in your continuous effort, and you aren’t seeing the results you want to see, and you do feel your plans are sound, persist. 80% or more of the effort is done before you see real results.

This doesn’t mean you have to keep doing the same plan, but it does mean you must keep pursuing your desire. Every day. Continuously. Persistently.

Think And Grow Rich – Chapter 8: Decision

Continuing my analysis of Think and Grow Rich.

This is for Chapter 8, Decision.

(Go here to start from the beginning.)

Quote and Analysis

“Decision: the Mastery of Procrastination

You will have an opportunity to test your capacity to reach quick and definite DECISIONS when you finish reading this book, and are ready to begin putting into ACTION the principles which it describes.”

I’m tempted to analyze nothing more about this chapter than this quote because it contains nearly all you need to know about decision.

Decision is the mastery of procrastination, meaning that inaction (procrastination) is the result of indecision. So you will know that you have made a real decision when you take action. Delay of action is delay of decision.

Which means to make a quick decision means to quickly move to taking action. And when you take an action, it is by default and by its very nature specific and definite.

Quote and Analysis

“Analysis of several hundred people who had accumulated fortunes well beyond the million dollar mark, disclosed the fact that every one of them had the habit of REACHING DECISIONS PROMPTLY, and of changing these decisions SLOWLY, if, and when they were changed. People who fail to accumulate money, without exception, have the habit of reaching decisions, IF AT ALL, very slowly, and of changing these decisions quickly and often.”

Make a decision. Move to take action on it quickly. Then, delay changing your mind, or stopping the action.

This will keep you from giving up your desire before it has come to fruition. Remember, the lights are raised so slowly that you might not notice they are being raised until they are almost all the way up. In other words, 90% of the way to what you want, 90% of the time you are doing your action, there might not be any signs that it’s working. So if you allow yourself to falter, and doubt your decision, you’ll stop before it’s done, even though it was working.

Quote and Analysis

“There is but little doubt that Mr. Ford’s habit of definiteness of decision assumes the proportion of obstinacy, but this quality is preferable to slowness in reaching decisions and quickness in changing them.”

Bias your decisiveness toward obstinacy instead of wishy-washy-ness.

Quote and Analysis

“The majority of people who fail to accumulate money sufficient for their needs, are, generally, easily influenced by the “opinions” of others. They permit the newspapers and the “gossiping” neighbors to do their “thinking” for them. “Opinions are the cheapest commodities on earth. Everyone has a flock of opinions ready to be wished upon anyone who will accept them. If you are influenced by “opinions” when you reach DECISIONS, you will not succeed in any undertaking, much less in that of transmuting YOUR OWN DESIRE into money.”

Ignore the opinions of others, which include all forms of “news” and all gossip. Opinions also include all insults and all compliments. Compliments can just as easily lead you into doubt as insults.

Quote and Analysis

“If you are influenced by the opinions of others, you will have no DESIRE of your own. Keep your own counsel, when you begin to put into practice the principles described here, by reaching your own decisions and following them. Take no one into your confidence, EXCEPT the members of your “Master Mind” group, and be very sure in your selection of this group, that you choose ONLY those who will be in COMPLETE SYMPATHY AND HARMONY WITH YOUR PURPOSE.

Close friends and relatives, while not meaning to do so, often handicap one through “opinions” and sometimes through ridicule, which is meant to be humorous. Thousands of men and women carry inferiority complexes with them all through life, because some well-meaning, but ignorant person destroyed their confidence through “opinions” or ridicule.”

Keep your decisions and plans to yourself. Don’t waste your time by sharing them with people who could even potentially disagree with you. Limit your discussions of them to only those in complete sympathy and harmony with your Definite Chief Aim.

And a further point to select only people in your Master Mind that meet that qualification.

And also that just because someone is family, a close friend, or relative does not mean they qualify to be told your decisions or plans.

Quote and Analysis

“You have a brain and mind of your own. USE IT, and reach your own decisions. If you need facts or information from other people, to enable you to reach decisions, as you probably will in many instances; acquire these facts or secure the information you need quietly, without disclosing your purpose.”

Don’t ask for an opinion on whether or not your idea will work. Ask for a specific fact that will help you answer that question for yourself.

Quote and Analysis

“It is characteristic of people who have but a smattering or a veneer of knowledge to try to give the impression that they have much knowledge. Such people generally do TOO MUCH talking, and TOO LITTLE listening. Keep your eyes and ears wide open-and your mouth CLOSED, if you wish to acquire the habit of prompt DECISION. Those who talk too much do little else. If you talk more than you listen, you not only deprive yourself of many opportunities to accumulate useful knowledge, but you also disclose your PLANS and PURPOSES to people who will take great delight in defeating you, because they envy you.”

I quoted this part because I disagree with it. He’s saying “talk less, listen more”. I would say “talk less, listen less”. It protects your confidence in what you are doing because you ignore others’ opinions, and it gives you more time to do. Very little of what you need to know can’t be found by taking action. So if you take action, you get most of what you would get by listening, and you find out the specific things you don’t know or could ask for facts on, and as a bonus you have actual results that you can continue to build on.

Quote and Analysis

“Keep in mind the fact that every person with whom you associate is, like yourself, seeking the opportunity to accumulate money. If you talk about your plans too freely, you may be surprised when you learn that some other person has beaten you to your goal by PUTTING INTO ACTION AHEAD OF YOU, the plans of which you talked unwisely.”

A further point here is that if you are talking, and you haven’t actually done it yet, then you’re just spouting an opinion and possibly damaging someone else’s confidence.

This is the equivalent of saying that “deeds, and not words, are what count most.”

Quote and Analysis

“It was such men as these who, without power, without authority, without military strength, without money, sat in solemn consideration of the destiny of the colonies, beginning at the opening of the First Continental Congress, and continuing at intervals for two years-until on June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee arose, addressed the Chair, and to the startled Assembly made this motion:

Let this happy day give birth to an American Republic. Let her arise, not to devastate and to conquer, but to reestablish the reign of peace, and of law. The eyes of Europe are fixed upon us. She demands of us a living example of freedom, that may exhibit a contrast, in the felicity of the citizen, to the ever increasing tyranny.””

No power, no authority, no military strength, and no money. Evidently there are no excuses for why you can’t have what you want.

Also, note their focus. It wasn’t to create a new kingdom that they could rule over. It was to be an example, to GIVE to the world an example of peace and law. It was unselfish. In their minds, they weren’t just saving themselves; they were saving everyone.

Quote and Analysis

“Throughout this philosophy will be found the suggestion that thought, backed by strong DESIRE, has a tendency to transmute itself into its physical equivalent.”

Ahem, that’s the “secret”. Hill lays it out specifically in the book Grow Rich with Peace of Mind.

Anything the mind of man can conceive and believe, the mind of man can achieve.

Quote and Analysis

“Those who reach DECISIONS promptly and definitely, know what they want, and generally get it. The leaders in every walk of life DECIDE quickly, and firmly. That is the major reason why they are leaders. The world has the habit of making room for the man whose words and actions show that he knows where he is going.”

Know specifically what you want, and you can make decisions easily, and then take action to get that specific thing. And people who don’t know what they want will often move aside to make room for you.

Quote and Analysis

“Ninety-eight out of every hundred people working for wages today, are in the positions they hold, because they lacked the DEFINITENESS OF DECISION to PLAN A DEFINITE POSITION, and the knowledge of how to choose an employer.”

If you’re definite about what you want, and you’re making plans to get it, then out of every 99 people you meet, only 1 is going to be of a similar mindset. That tells you how rarely you should be sharing your desires and plans with other people.

Quote and Analysis

“These instructions will be of no value to you UNLESS YOU DEFINITELY DECIDE to organize them into a plan of action.”

And then carry out that plan.

Think And Grow Rich – Chapter 7: Organized Planning

Continuing my analysis of Think and Grow Rich.

This is for Chapter 7, Organized Planning.

(Go here to start from the beginning.)

This is a really long chapter, and it’s jam packed with great information. I tried to only pull out ideas that I thought were kind of buried. Anything that was just a really good point (which is pretty much the whole chapter), I passed over. So you should definitely read the chapter and not depend on this as a summary, but rather as a supplement.

Some of the core themes in this chapter are:

Cooperate with others.

Be pleasant so that others will want to cooperate with you.

Render useful service.

Give more than is expected.

Quote and Analysis

“You have learned that everything man creates or acquires, begins in the form of DESIRE, that desire is taken on the first lap of its journey, from the abstract to the concrete, into the workshop of the IMAGINATION, where PLANS for its transition are created and organized.”

This statement tells you how some of these 13 principles (the chapter titles) work together.

You can change a desire (something just in your mind) into a reality. To do this, you pass your desire to your imagination. Your imagination then hands you back a plan that helps you turn that desire into a reality.

This chapter is all about plans.

Quote and Analysis

“Ally yourself with a group of as many people as you may need for the creation, and carrying out of your plan, or plans for the accumulation of money, making use of the “Master Mind” principle described in a later chapter. (Compliance with this instruction is absolutely essential. Do not neglect it.)”

Interesting that he calls this out so specifically in parenthesis. I would assume that everything in the book is “essential”. In fact, at one point he even says that he included no superfluous information. So the fact that he’s specifically hammering this point may mean something.

One possibility is that he knows people are more likely to skip over this instruction. It requires talking to other people. It requires opening up, sharing, and trusting.

Another possibility is that this is a gateway instruction. If you do this instruction, if you start allying with other people, you can lean on them when your own convictions waiver. And that extra support will make it more likely that you’ll do and stick with the other instructions in the book.

Also, this contains one of the major themes of this chapter, and the book in general. That theme is cooperation. Working together with others to get everyone more of what they want.

Quote and Analysis

“Before forming your “Master Mind” alliance, decide what advantages, and benefits, you may offer the individual embers of your group, in return for their cooperation. No one will work indefinitely without some form of compensation. No intelligent person will either request or expect another to work without adequate compensation, although this may not always be in the form of money.”

Here is another major theme of this chapter, and the book in general. Focus on what you can give, before focusing on what you can get.

Also, it points out that money is not the only motivator.

And lastly, I just love that he accidentally calls the Master Mind members “embers”. Get enough embers together, and eventually you have enough heat to create a blazing success.

Quote and Analysis

“Temporary defeat should mean only one thing, the certain knowledge that there is something wrong with your plan. Millions of men go through life in misery and poverty, because they lack a sound plan through which to accumulate a fortune.”

He talks about temporary defeat a bunch in earlier chapters, but here he is specifically saying that any time you are defeated it just means you need to try a different plan.

The deeper message here is that nothing is impossible. You just need to keep trying plans until you find the one that gets you to your desire.

Quote and Analysis

“The Insull fortune was built on plans which were sound. The business depression forced Mr. Insull to CHANGE HIS PLANS; and the CHANGE brought “temporary defeat,” because his new plans were NOT SOUND. Mr. Insull is now an old man, he may, consequently, accept “failure” instead of “temporary defeat,” but if his experience turns out to be FAILURE, it will be for the reason that he lacks the fire of PERSISTENCE to rebuild his plans.”

This points out that a “plan” is not a final destination. Plans can work for a while, and then stop working. If that happens, then it’s time to look to your imagination for a new plan.

Quote and Analysis


This is actually the same point from before to “focus on what you can give, before focusing on what you can get”. If you intend to be paid more in the future, then do the work now that you want to be paid for in the future.

Also, he mentions “habit”. So you don’t try to figure out which situation is more likely to result in getting paid in the future, you just ALWAYS as a matter of habit do more than is expected. It becomes who you are and how other people see you.

Quote and Analysis

“UNWILLINGNESS TO RENDER HUMBLE SERVICE. Truly great leaders are willing, when occasion demands, to perform any sort of labor which they would ask another to perform. “The greatest among ye shall be the servant of all” is a truth which all able leaders observe and respect.”

This is another theme of this chapter, and the book overall, the theme of serving others. Again, giving. Doing more than is expected of you.

The term “render useful service” shows up a ton in this chapter. It’s a key theme.

Quote and Analysis

“EXPECTATION OF PAY FOR WHAT THEY “KNOW” INSTEAD OF WHAT THEY DO WITH THAT WHICH THEY KNOW. The world does not pay men for that which they “know.” It pays them for what they DO, or induce others to do.”

I just wanted to specifically call out the “induce others to do”. A generous portion of this chapter is about being a leader, and inducing, or inspiring, others to do something is a way to multiply the overall effort that goes toward making your desire a reality.

Quote and Analysis

“DISLOYALTY. Perhaps this should have come at the head of the list. The leader who is not loyal to his trust, and to his associates, those above him, and those below him, cannot long maintain his leadership. Disloyalty marks one as being less than the dust of the earth, and brings down on one’s head the contempt he deserves. Lack of loyalty is one of the major causes of failure in every walk of life.”

I particularly like the vitriol that he uses here “less than the dust of the earth”. But the real point is that disloyalty, or broken trust, is fatal to cooperation. And this chapter is all about the fact that you need the cooperation of others to turn your desire into reality.

Quote and Analysis

“EMPHASIS OF THE “AUTHORITY” OF LEADERSHIP. The efficient leader leads by encouraging, and not by trying to instill fear in the hearts of his followers. The leader who tries to impress his followers with his “authority” comes within the category of leadership through FORCE. If a leader is a REAL LEADER, he will have no need to advertise that fact except by his conduct, his sympathy, understanding, fairness, and a demonstration that he knows his job.

EMPHASIS OF TITLE. The competent leader requires no “title” to give him the respect of his followers. The man who makes too much over his title generally has little else to emphasize. The doors to the office of the real leader are open to all who wish to enter, and his working quarters are free from formality or ostentation.”

I thought these were interesting because they classify a “leader” by the person’s actions. So anyone in an organization can be a leader if they just take the initiative and inspire others to do better work. And by the same token, just because someone is in a position of power it does not by default make that person a leader.

Quote and Analysis

“Sixth. New leaders will be required in the field of Journalism. Newspapers of the future, to be conducted successfully, must be divorced from “special privilege” and relieved from the subsidy of advertising. They must cease to be organs of propaganda for the interests which patronize their advertising columns. The type of newspaper which publishes scandal and lewd pictures will eventually go the way of all forces which debauch the human mind.”

Evidently “eventually” can be a long time in coming…

Quote and Analysis

“Fourth. By analysis of yourself, your talents and capabilities, figure WHAT YOU CAN OFFER, and plan ways and means of giving advantages, services, developments, ideas that you believe you can successfully deliver.

Fifth. Forget about “a job.” Forget whether or not there is an opening. Forget the usual routine of “have you got a job for me?” Concentrate on what you can give.”

Again, a major theme of this chapter and book is to focus on what you can give, instead of on what you can get.

Quote and Analysis

“…one must adopt and follow the “QQS” formula which means that QUALITY, plus QUANTITY, plus the proper SPIRIT of cooperation, equals perfect salesmanship of service. Remember the “QQS” formula, but do more, APPLY IT AS A HABIT!”

Again, a habit. Just a way of living life, not a conditional.

Quote and Analysis

“2. QUANTITY of service shall be understood to mean the HABIT of rendering all the service of which you are capable, at all times, with the purpose of increasing the amount of service rendered as greater skill is developed through practice and experience. Emphasis is again placed on the word HABIT.”

This kind of took me by surprise. Not just do the best job you can, but look for ways to do a better job next time. Most people will get to a level of competence and then coast. This says to keep looking for ways to do better, even if that means nominating yourself as a leader by your own actions, and training someone else to do your job. Or even writing a manual, or recording a video, to help train everyone else how to do the job better.

Quote and Analysis

“As you go over the list, check yourself by it, point by point, for the purpose of discovering how many of these causes-of-failure stand between you and success.”

The book is full of these quietly mentioned instructions kind of left half-hidden in the text that are really huge suggestions about how to become better.

I need to write a post about the Self-Confidence Formula from the chapter on Faith. I’ve been following it for months now, and it’s awesome.

Quote and Analysis

“Any person who is educated is one who has learned to get whatever he wants in life without violating the rights of others.”

This is another theme throughout the book. Get what you want without violating the rights of others. Don’t take or trick others to get what you want. Instead give them so much that they want to give you what you want.

Quote and Analysis

“ILL HEALTH. No person may enjoy outstanding success without good health. Many of the causes of ill health are subject to mastery and control. These, in the main are: …b. Wrong habits of thought; giving expression to negatives.”

He’s mentioned this before, but I thought I’d call it out again, the idea that negative thoughts can actually affect your health.

Quote and Analysis

“Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.”

I really like this.

Your Definite Chief Aim doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s a tool. Start with something and you’ll refine it.

Your plans don’t have to be perfect. Start with something, check it with your Master Mind group, and refine it if you meet with failure, or Infinite Intelligence presents you with a hunch via your imagination that tells you an even better way to go about transmuting your desire into reality.

Quote and Analysis

“We emulate those with whom we associate most closely. Pick an employer who is worth emulating.”

So be careful whom you associate with…

Quote and Analysis

“SUPERSTITION AND PREJUDICE. Superstition is a form of fear. It is also a sign of ignorance. Men who succeed keep open minds and are afraid of nothing.”

Dang…“afraid of nothing”…that’s a high bar! Luckily, we can start from where we are and find better tools along the way.

Quote and Analysis

“Annual self-analysis is an essential in the effective marketing of personal services, as is annual inventory in merchandising. Moreover, the yearly analysis should disclose a DECREASE IN FAULTS, and an increase in VIRTUES. One goes ahead, stands still, or goes backward in life. One’s object should be, of course, to go ahead. Annual self-analysis will disclose whether advancement has been, made, and if so, how much. It will also disclose any backward steps one may have made. The effective marketing of personal services requires one to move forward even if the progress is slow.”

Here’s another of those quiet instructions. Conduct an annual self-analysis, and take note which direction you are headed in compared to previous years.

Quote and Analysis

“Have I attained the goal which I established as my objective for this year? (You should work with a definite yearly objective to be attained as a part of your major life objective).”

Another quiet instruction. Have a definite (specific) objective for the year that matches up to achieving your Definite Chief Aim.

Quote and Analysis

“CAPITAL consists not alone of money, but more particularly of highly organized, intelligent groups of men who plan ways and means of using money efficiently for the good of the public, and profitably to themselves.”

Sounds like his definition of a Master Mind group.

Also interesting to note how much of the book’s philosophy is packed into this one statement.

Money is not the valuable thing.

Cooperate and work together with groups of other people.

Make plans.

The plans, ideas, and actions that use the money are the valuable thing.

Use money efficiently.

Use money for the good of the public, and you will profit too.

Quote and Analysis

“The “System” denies no one this right, but it does not, and cannot promise SOMETHING FOR NOTHING, because the system, itself, is irrevocably controlled by the LAW OF ECONOMICS which neither recognizes nor tolerates for long, GETTING WITHOUT GIVING.”

This is an insight for every relationship in life, even the one you have with yourself.

Give if you want to get.

Now, sing along with me from the “Sunshine In My Suitcase” CD:

Can’t get something for nothing…can’t get nothing for free…wondering what the cost is gonna be…

Think And Grow Rich – Chapter 6: Imagination

Continuing my analysis of Think and Grow Rich.

This is for Chapter 6, Imagination.

(Go here to start from the beginning.)

Quote and Analysis

“SYNTHETIC IMAGINATION: – Through this faculty, one may arrange old concepts, ideas, or plans into new combinations. This faculty creates nothing. It merely works with the material of experience, education, and observation with which it is fed. It is the faculty used most by the inventor, with the exception of he who draws upon the creative imagination, when he cannot solve his problem through synthetic imagination.”

Hill defines two types of Imagination. This version, the Synthetic Imagination, is the logical one. It’s the one that allows you to see two things and put them together to create something better than the two by themselves.

For example, if you saw an eraser and a pencil, and realized that they were always used at the same time, so you put the eraser on the end of the pencil.

Quote and Analysis

“CREATIVE IMAGINATION: -Through the faculty of creative imagination, the finite mind of man has direct communication with Infinite Intelligence. It is the faculty through which “hunches” and “inspirations” are received. It is by this faculty that all basic, or new ideas are handed over to man. It is through this faculty that thought vibrations from the minds of others are received. It is through this faculty that one individual may “tune in,” or communicate with the subconscious minds of other men.”

Here he is saying that Creative Imagination is the ability to receive new ideas directly from an outside source, Infinite Intelligence, or the minds of others.

And by new ideas, he means ideas that are not just combinations of previous ideas or concepts, but new concepts not yet before known.

He uses the word “basic”, meaning something that would be a law of nature, but that we hadn’t yet discovered. The idea of this unknown law of nature would be handed to someone as a hunch, and then that person would go try an experiment and find that the hunch proved true.

He’s also saying that this same ability is the basis for telepathy, communication between humans through thought alone.

Quote and Analysis

“The creative imagination works automatically, in the manner described in subsequent pages. This faculty functions ONLY when the conscious mind is vibrating at an exceedingly rapid rate, as for example, when the conscious mind is stimulated through the emotion of a strong desire.”

The Synthetic Imagination is something you can use anytime you want. You see two objects or ideas, and you can attempt to come up with some combination of the two.

The Creative Imagination is different. The way you use it is to be open to receiving a message from Infinite Intelligence, or another mind. In this way it works “automatically”. He explains more about how it works in later chapters.

The way to be “open to receiving” is to be focusing on a strong emotion, like desire. So when you focus on and cultivate your Burning Desire, you are more likely to receive flashes of insight, hunches, and inspirations that give you a new idea on how to achieve your goal.

Quote and Analysis

“The creative faculty becomes more alert, more receptive to vibrations from the sources mentioned, in proportion to its development through USE. This statement is significant! Ponder over it before passing on.”

Vibrations in this context are thoughts or ideas. They are the communications from Infinite Intelligence and other minds.

The more often you practice being open to receiving these vibrations (or ideas), the better you will get at receiving them.

Again, being “open to receive” is to be focusing on a strong emotion, so practicing being open to receive means practicing a strong emotion.

This means thinking about and emotionally feeling your desire, and trying to intensify that desire.

You can also practice faith/confidence/belief. This is another “emotion” that he discusses. The Self-Confidence formula from Chapter 3, Faith, is an exercise in practicing faith/confidence/belief.

What this means is that the more strongly you cultivate the feeling of the desire, and the stronger your faith in your desire, the more likely it is that you will receive an inspiration that will show you a better path to that desire.

Quote and Analysis

“Keep in mind as you follow these principles, that the entire story of how one may convert DESIRE into money cannot be told in one statement. The story will be complete, only when one has MASTERED, ASSIMILATED, and BEGUN TO MAKE USE of all the principles.”

This book is a presentation of a philosophy. The philosophy allows you to take a desire and transform it into riches (whatever that is to you).

To use the philosophy, you must master, assimilate, and make use of all the principles of the philosophy.

All the principles are the chapters of the book.

We master them by knowing what they are and practicing them, actually taking each principle and practicing it in our daily lives.

The Self-Confidence Formula is a daily example of practicing Faith, the second principle.

And the morning and nightly repetition of the Definite Chief Aim is an example of practicing Desire.

To assimilate the principles means to understand how each interacts and supports the others.

This seems like a good place to give a quick overview of how the principles covered so far interact and support each other.

Desire is the starting point. It’s what you want to achieve by using the philosophy. It’s also an emotion that can stimulate your Imagination to bring you help from Infinite Intelligence.

Faith is confidence that you can achieve your desire, which keeps you pursuing that desire. It’s also an emotion that can stimulate your Imagination.

Auto-Suggestion is a method for training yourself. You use it to train yourself to have more Faith, more confidence, and more desire by repeating your Definite Chief Aim to yourself. You train your subconscious mind to automatically feel good about what you are working toward achieving.

Specialized Knowledge is an ingredient. Your Synthetic Imagination uses it to create new combinations of ideas to move you toward what you desire.

Imagination is where ideas and plans come from, new ideas from outside of yourself, or new combinations of ideas you already know. These are the plans you will follow to achieve your desire.

Quote and Analysis

“Both the synthetic and creative faculties of imagination become more alert with use, just as any muscle or organ of the body develops through use.”

This has already been stated above, but I want to call it out specifically.

The more you practice using the synthetic imagination, the better it will get. One way to do this is to daily make a list of 10 ideas related to one thing.

The more you practice using the creative imagination, the more receptive it will get. The way you practice this is to intensify your desire and faith, and then sit quietly and listen. Listen for a small hint of what will get you to that desire, a hunch or inspiration. Usually we have too many things going on to notice these small voices.

Quote and Analysis

“While the synthetic imagination is the one which will be used most frequently, in the process of transforming the impulse of DESIRE into money, you must keep in mind the fact, that you may face circumstances and situations which demand use of the creative imagination as well.”

He gives us a little hint that we will likely most often use the synthetic imagination (recombining existing ideas), but that sometimes, our only way forward will be to use the creative imagination (ideas that come from outside of us). To sit quietly and listen for a new idea, hunch, or inspiration that has never occurred to us before, and that will move us past the circumstances or situation we are facing.

Quote and Analysis

“Transformation of the intangible impulse, of DESIRE, into the tangible reality, of MONEY, calls for the use of a plan, or plans. These plans must be formed with the aid of the imagination, and mainly, with the synthetic faculty.”

Desire is turned into money through plans. Plans come from the imagination. Mostly they will come from the synthetic imagination, but that means that sometimes they will come from the creative imagination too.

Quote and Analysis

“Read the entire book through, then come back to this chapter, and begin at once to put your imagination to work on the building of a plan, or plans, for the transformation of your DESIRE into money. Detailed instructions for the building of plans have been given in almost every chapter. Carry out the instructions best suited to your needs; reduce your plan to writing, if you have not already done so. The moment you complete this, you will have DEFINITELY given concrete form to the intangible DESIRE. Read the preceding sentence once more. Read it aloud, very slowly, and as you do so, remember that the moment you reduce the statement of your desire, and a plan for its realization, to writing, you have actually TAKEN THE FIRST of a series of steps, which will enable you to convert the thought into its physical counterpart.”

The whole point of this philosophy is to change your desires (non-physical thoughts) into physical things.

Say you want a $1M, but it’s not yet in your possession. You desire $1M, but it’s not yet a physical reality.

This philosophy is saying that the desire for that $1M can be turned into that $1M being in your physical possession.

And this quote says that a step toward changing the desire into an actual $1M is to write out a plan to get there.

When you have written down the plan, you will have changed your intangible idea into something physical. You will be holding in your hand an actual physical item (the piece of paper) that can lead to $1M. You will have made the intangible tangible. You will have turned your thought into something physical.

One further point about making a plan is that it makes you be definite. It makes you get specific about how you will go about getting your desire. Which means you will become more aware of opportunities around you that can lead to achieving your desire.

Quote and Analysis

“Moreover-and this statement is of stupendous importance-this earth, every one of the billions of individual cells of your body, and every atom of matter, began as an intangible form of energy. DESIRE is thought impulse! Thought impulses are forms of energy. When you begin with the thought impulse, DESIRE, to accumulate money, you are drafting into your service the same “stuff that Nature used in creating this earth, and every material form in the universe, including the body and brain in which the thought impulses function.”

This is really just meant to give you faith/confidence/belief in the process. He’s saying that you CAN turn your desire, your thought energy, into something tangible because that’s how nature already works. It’s a “natural” process and has been done before.

Quote and Analysis

“Assimilate that which you understand, as you read this philosophy for the first time, then, when you reread and study it, you will discover that something has happened to clarify it, and give you a broader understanding of the whole. Above all, DO NOT STOP, nor hesitate in your study of these principles until you have read the book at least THREE times, for then, you will not want to stop.”

This is true of anything you read. As you pick up the basic concepts, you’ll begin to understand the more complicated concepts.

I can attest that I’ve read this book at least twice in the past, and don’t even remember some of these chapters being in there before. And even now, I’m picking up nuances that I didn’t notice before.

So read it 3 times. Do the exercises it says to do. And see what happens.

Also interesting to note that this is an admonition to be persistent, which is one of the later chapters. And that doing something over and over (like reading 3 times) is an application of auto-suggestion. The book not only tells you what the principles are, but it also tells you what actions to take that will lead you to use those principles, even if you don’t realize that’s what you are doing.

Quote and Analysis

…destined to yield great wealth to many people
…destined to bring to the South the most far-flung benefit since the Civil War
…paid, and still pays huge fortunes to men and women all over the world
…providing jobs of a permanent nature to thousands of men and women
…providing jobs to huge numbers of glass workers
…gives employment to an army of clerks, stenographers, copy writers, and advertising experts
…brought fame and fortune to scores of artists
…converted a small Southern city into the business capital of the South, where it now benefits, directly, or indirectly, every business and practically every resident of the city.
…now benefits every civilized country in the world, pouring out a continuous stream of gold to all who touch it.
…built and maintains one of the most prominent colleges of the South, where thousands of young people receive the training essential for success.
…has done other marvelous things
…through the world depression, when factories, banks and business houses were folding up and quitting by the thousands, the owner of this Enchanted Kettle went marching on, giving continuous employment to an army of men and women all over the world
…thrilling tales of romance in every language
…romances of professional men and women who are daily being stimulated by it”

This section discusses Asa Candler and how he bought the recipe for Coca-Cola for $500 (his life savings), and went on to create a huge empire from that because he had the imagination to see it’s potential. And the doctor who sold it only had enough imagination to pay off his own debts.

What struck me when I read this was the focus of the benefits of Asa’s imagination. I don’t see anywhere in the description where it says that Asa became rich. I don’t see anywhere that it talks about how all of the gold from the kettle flowed to Asa.

On the contrary, all the excerpts above are examples of the results of Asa’s imagination (and risk of his life savings) benefiting tons of other people.

This philosophy is not a selfish one. It’s a philosophy of abundance. The more you create and provide for other people, the more you will receive.

This philosophy says to focus on what you are giving, what you are providing, not what you are getting.

When you are thinking about what you want and desire, put it in terms of what you are giving or providing to someone else.

Quote and Analysis


This is referring to Dr. Gunsaulus’ story about wanting to start a college.

The story talks about a feeling of assurance, or faith/confidence/belief, that he would get the money once he made the decision to get it.

Maybe that’s a way to know if you are on the right track for you, a way to know if you have actually made the decision. If instead, you don’t feel that assurance that it will work out, then maybe you haven’t actually committed yet.

Also, in this case, his sermon was a description of his plan, which is very similar to Schwab’s speech where he laid out a plan for combining steel companies. In both cases, the plan was created and it inspired people who had money to fund the plans and make what the plan creators imagined come to life. It was a very short step from making the tangible, physical representation of their ideas (the paper on which they wrote the plans) to having those ideas be swept on to becoming reality.

Just an aside, the Gunsaulus story was about him wanting to start a college to benefit other people. He didn’t want the $1M for himself. So it’s the same idea from the Coca-Cola story above about focusing on the benefits to others.

And in the case of Schwab, he highlighted how they could bring down the cost of steel and benefit everyone.

Quote and Analysis


Be definite. Definite purpose. Definite plans. A vague idea doesn’t count. And as I pointed out before, negative, “I don’t want…” is not definite. Say what you do want, what you do desire.

Quote and Analysis

“If you are one of those who believe that hard work and honesty, alone, will bring riches, perish the thought! It is not true!

Riches, when they come in huge quantities, are never the result of HARD work! Riches come, if they come at all, in response to definite demands, based upon the application of definite principles, and not by chance or luck. Generally speaking, an idea is an impulse of thought that impels action, by an appeal to the imagination. All master salesmen know that ideas can be sold where merchandise cannot.”

Again, “no hard work” doesn’t mean “no work”. It could still be work, but you will probably enjoy it because it will be work leading you to what you desire.

An idea “impels action”. The idea is so enthralling that it makes you want to work on it. It makes you imagine how awesome the results of your work are going to be and you share that vision with others who get excited as well. And those others help you themselves, fund you, or talk about you to someone else that can help you.

The “idea” sells them on getting involved. It impels, or inspires, them to act.

Quote and Analysis

“The moving picture industry created a whole flock of millionaires. Most of them were men who couldn’t create ideas-BUT-they had the imagination to recognize ideas when they saw them.”

Reminded me of the Specialized Knowledge chapter where he talks about building a Master Mind group. You don’t have to have the ideas yourself; you just have to have the imagination to recognize a good one. And a good one is one that inspires you and gives you an emotional jolt.

Quote and Analysis

“If the foregoing comment on the opportunities of radio has not started your idea factory to work, you had better forget it. Your opportunity is in some other field. If the comment intrigued you in the slightest degree, then go further into it, and you may find the one IDEA you need to round out your career.”

So if you are considering something, and after a little research you don’t find yourself swept along and generating lots of ideas, or excited about them to the point that you can’t stop yourself from working on them, then maybe keep looking.

He also states that you really only need to come up with ONE idea.

Quote and Analysis

“Never let it discourage you if you have no experience in radio. Andrew Carnegie knew very little about making steel-I have Carnegie’s own word for this-but he made practical use of two of the principles described in this book, and made the steel business yield him a fortune.

The story of practically every great fortune starts with the day when a creator of ideas and a seller of ideas got together and worked in harmony. Carnegie surrounded himself with men who could do all that he could not do. Men who created ideas, and men who put ideas into operation, and made himself and the others fabulously rich.”

Again, a reminder of the Specialized Knowledge chapter and the Master Mind principle discussed in a later chapter.

Also, I just particularly like comment that great fortunes are built when a creator of ideas and a seller of ideas get together and work in harmony. The harmony is crucial.

Also, he made himself and the others fabulously rich. He shared the wealth. He provided the benefits he wanted for himself to others as well.

Quote and Analysis

“It was no ordinary DESIRE that survived disappointment, discouragement, temporary defeat, criticism, and the constant reminding of “waste of time.” It was a BURNING DESIRE! AN OBSESSION!

When the idea was first planted in my mind by Mr. Carnegie, it was coaxed, nursed, and enticed to remain alive. Gradually, the idea became a giant under its own power, and it coaxed, nursed, and drove me. Ideas are like that. First you give life and action and guidance to ideas, then they take on power of their own and sweep aside all opposition.”

Here’s a reminder of how high you need to pump the desire up. It needs to be so great that it can withstand the external onslaught of nay-sayers and setbacks.

But once it’s there. Once you have built it up to that point, it will then turn around and support you. And others will be inspired by your idea and the tide will turn to help you instead of hindering you.

Quote and Analysis

“For example, take the power of Christianity. That began with a simple idea, born in the brain of Christ. Its chief tenet was, “do unto others as you would have others do unto you.””

I did a little research on the tailor mentioned in the Preface, Arthur Nash. It appears that the unique experiment that he did was to make his “sweat shop” a co-op and to give his employees a share in the profits. And to give them Saturdays off (instead of just Sundays), but to still pay them the same amount for the week. And all of this giving ended up in them all doing much better for it.

That mirrors a lot of the giving in this chapter that benefited other people as well as the giver.

That’s a pretty good example of “do unto others as you would have others do unto you”, or rather “give if you want to get”. Focus on what you can give.