13 Principles of Success – Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich)

Napoleon Hill was one of the greatest people that ever lived on this earth. His work was probably used by many successful individuals in the personal development space.

After he was given an assignment by Andrew Carnegie – who was a Scottish-American industrialist, business magnate, and philanthropist. 

Napoleon spent many years of his life doing research and compiling the important trades that successful people had in common.

In the 1930’s he finally came up with the book ‘Think and Grow Rich’ which is now one of the 10 best-selling self-help books of all time. The book did not only change the lives of those who wanted to be successful but played a major role in the self-help and personal development world.

Napoleon Hill’s philosophy is not only found repackaged in books, but in e-books, audio, video, and blogs, by the numerous authors who have taken Hill’s philosophy, expanded on it or scaled it down, and made it their own.

The great take away from Think and Grow Rich is the 13 Principles of success that Hill speaks about.

Let’s dive into the 13 principles and see how you can adopt them in your success journey.

Principle 1: Desire

Everything starts with a Desire. It is the number one starting point for all achievement, and it is the first step toward riches. But this is easier said than done. Someone will say, “I know what I desire or want, but how easy is it to get it?”

The laws says, you would not have the desire for something unless you were capable of its achievement.

So, your burning desire is nothing more than an accurate picture of what you will one day become. So right here, firmly establish in your mind that which you desire more than anything else and cherish and nurture that desire. A man without desire has within him no principle of action, nor motive to act.

Principle 2: Faith

Faith is having a strong belief in the mental image of yourself already having accomplished your main desire, it is you having complete trust or confidence in something without proof.

It is the state of mind that may be created by affirmation or auto suggestion to the subconscious mind by conscious. Faith is vital in this journey as it goes beyond hope. While much of hope lives in the mind, faith is steeped in the heart and the spirit. Life can be hard at the best of times, and faith is the knowledge, deep down inside, that things will get better.

Principle 3: Auto Suggestion

Autosuggestionis the hypnotic or subconscious adoption of an idea which one has originated oneself’.

It is a psychological technique related to the placebo effect, developed by apothecary Émile Coué at the beginning of the 20th century. It is a form of self-induced suggestion in which individuals guide their own thoughts, feelings, or behaviour. The technique is often used in self-hypnosis.

For one to access the power of auto suggestion, you must repeat the affirmation to yourself often. Or find a quiet place, perhaps before you wake in the morning or before going to bed at night. Close your eyes and repeat aloud so you may hear your own words. Affirm your desire and adopt the feelings as you have already achieved that goal.

Principle 4: Specialized Knowledge

Knowledge is potential power but applied knowledge is power. For you to be able to attain your riches or desire you need to have specialised skills in the field in which you want to exchange your service for monetary value.  

Understand what skill you need and set time aside daily to learn all you can about your specialty to enable you the ability to offer the service, product, or profession that you intend to offer in return for a profit.

Principle 5: Imagination

The Imagination is the workshop where everything is created. It is said that men can achieve anything he can imagine. Whatever that you can imagine and believe, you can achieve. Things are created twice, first in your imagination, then in reality. The only limitation within reason lies in the development and use of the imagination and subsequent motivation to take action Self – motivation.

Successful people in business, and great artists, musicians, poets, and writers became great because they developed the power of self-motivation.

When going about doing your work, constantly think of ways in which it could be done better and more efficiently.

Principle 6: Organized Planning

In order to succeed, you need a concrete plan. This plan should be a way to achieve what you desire. Take time to draft a plan and then write it down. Once you write it down, the chances of it becoming a reality increase, so always make sure that you write down your plans and then proceed to divide them into workable goals.

Put a plan in action


  1. Align yourself with a person or group of people for the creating of your plan – make use the master mind principle
  2. Decide what benefits or advantages you will offer the individuals or group for their involvement
  3. Meet with your group or members weekly until you have perfected your plan or achieved your desire
  4. Maintain perfect harmony within your group – have focused plans

Organized planning is one the most important principles, because a person without a plan is like a driving with no set destination.

Principle 7: Decision

Procrastination is the opposite of decision.

Successful people make decisions quickly and change them slowly. And have the habit of changing these decisions slowly, if and when they were changed.

Principle 8: Persistence

Persistence is the fact of continuing with a course of action despite difficulty or opposition. It is the power of will. Willpower and desire, when properly combined, make an irresistible pair.

Many people give up on the first attempt, claiming that the challenge is too tough for them and as a result these people barely ever succeed. In order to succeed, there should be an unwavering quality to the desire. In other words, you want it and you will do anything and spend as long as it takes to make this desire a reality.

Principle 9: The Power of the Mastermind

One of the most important principles, this principle explains that in order to achieve what you desire, you need to align your thought vibrations with similar vibrations which can be achieved by keeping company of likeminded people.

No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third — a third invisible, intangible force that may be likened to a third mind. You may have noticed many times that by discussing something with another person you suddenly get good ideas as a result of the discussion, ideas you would not have gotten without this association. Associating with your mastermind alliance is not meant as a means of letting others do your thinking for you, but to stimulate your own thinking through the association with other minds. No one knows everything. The more sympathetic minds you get together, the more related information is going to be available.

Principle 10: Transmutation

I find this as one of the more controversial points in Hill’s book. He explains that we all have a strong sexual energy within us that we use to charm and attract the people we have an interest in. If we gather this energy and use it through creative imagination, we will be able to sound and seem more charming to people. This charm can help us get what we want by convincing people around us, through whom we may be able to achieve what we desire.

Principle 11: The Subconscious Mind

The subconscious mind is the connecting link through any of the five senses are classified and recorded. 

No one knows very much about what we call the subconscious mind, but we do know that it is incalculably powerful and can solve our problems if we go about using it the right way.

The best way is to hold in your conscious mind as often as possible a clear picture of yourself already having accomplished your goal. Know what you want. Define it clearly, and then project it on the motion picture screen of your mind. Hold it. See yourself doing and having the things you have when your objective will have been reached. Do this as often as practical, particularly at night just before you go to sleep and the first thing upon waking. As you do this, your subconscious will begin to lead you toward your objective

Principle 12: The Power of the Brain

The brain is a broadcasting and receiving station for thought. 

According to research, when our creativity spikes, our subconscious mind reaches a state where it can be programmed comparatively easily which is why we need to be involved in creative tasks that help us get into the right state of the mind.

You own in your brain the most marvellous, miraculous, inconceivably powerful force the world has ever known.

It is the brain that has given us the computer, supersonic airplane, our deep rocket probes into outer space, the sciences, and the arts. All of what we know today and will achieve tomorrow is born from this small, grey mass each of us carries around.

Recognize its power, give it the job you’ve decided to accomplish, and watch it handle it

Principle 13: The Sixth Sense

The sixth sense can be described as the sense through which your infinite intelligence may and will communicate. This is your intuition or gut feeling and it becomes more profound when you start meditating and tuning into your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind is your connection with the infinite wisdom of the universe. When we tune into our subconscious, which is in turn tuned into the universe, we get answers to our questions that would otherwise have eluded us. These answers may come to us as hunches or gut feelings and therefore they must not be ignored. The ability to understand and use this great power comes slowly through application and by first mastering the other 12 principles.

Learn, familiarize and begin to use these 13 Principles. It has been more than 70 years after its first publication, and Hill’s lessons are as timely as ever.

Good luck!

With Love





Set your mind on a definite goal and observe how quickly the world stands aside to let you pass.’’

Napoleon Hill

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