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“If Benjamin Franklin had picked someone to teach the lessons in self-mastery that he used in his life, he would have picked Bob Burg.”

~ Vic Johnson, Founder AsAManThinketh.net

A Favorite Paragraph from Think and Grow Rich

May 7th, 2013 by Bob Burg

ThinkandGrowRichWhat a joy to present recently in Del Mar, California at the Think and Grow Rich Summit 2013. Hosted by speaker/author, Tony Rubleski in conjunction with the Napoleon Hill Foundation, it was three days jam-packed with terrific speakers, authors, thought and business leaders. While I could only stay for part of it, every speaker I saw rocked the house and, from what I heard, the rest of them did the same.

The focus of the event was on how the principles from the classic by Napoleon Hill touched so many lives and every speaker included that as part of their presentation.

While I spoke on The Five Laws from John David Mann’s and my book, The Go-Giver, it was very easy to cite numerous instances where its message was greatly influenced by Think And Grow Rich. And, as I re-read it just prior to the conference I happened upon a paragraph that has always been one of my favorites.

It’s step number five in Dr. Hill’s Self-Confidence Formula within his chapter on Faith (the book was published in 1937):

“I fully realize that no wealth or position can long endure, unless built upon truth and justice; therefore, I will engage in no transaction which does not benefit all whom it affects. I will succeed by attracting to myself the forces I wish to use, and the cooperation of other people. I will induce others to serve me, because of my willingness to serve others. I will eliminate hatred, envy, jealousy, selfishness, and cynicism by developing love for all humanity, because I know that a negative attitude toward others can never bring me success. I will cause others to believe in me because I will believe in them, and in myself.”

If you go through the above paragraph and make a study of it, you’ll see that it calls for you to focus on being of service (value) to others. It calls for you to focus on that, and on them. It calls for you to genuinely and continually place their interests first. And, in every aspect of such, you receive in-kind.

There is such immense brilliance in that paragraph, isn’t there?

What did you receive from that paragraph that I might have missed? And, how do you do in terms of applying Dr. Hill’s wisdom in this regard?

20 Responses to “A Favorite Paragraph from Think and Grow Rich”
  1. Clovia Hamilton said at 7:55 am on

    I love Think and Grow Rich. The only thing that keeps us from growing rich is our mindset and how we think.

    Clovia Hamilton
    Lemongrass Consulting

  2. Jim Brown said at 7:59 am on

    Love this book. Who am I to even think about correcting Napoleon Hill but I really think the title should have been, “Think and THEN Grow Rich”. Unfortunately a lot of folks think the “Rich” part of the title refers to money. You grow “rich” in far more ways then just wealth. My advice would be, READ THE BOOK!

    As for losing the book. A good friend of mine, Michael Dunn who wrote What’s The BIG Secret? says he receives calls and emails from people who say they found his book in the trash or discovered it in all kinds of places and who also say they are very thankful for whomever misplaced the book because of the insights they learned from the book. There is a reason for everything! Someone is going to learn a very valuable lesson.

  3. Bob Burg said at 8:04 am on

    Clovia: Yes, the mindset is like a premise, isn’t it? It’s the foundation from which everything else takes place. Without the right mindset…..

  4. Bob Burg said at 8:05 am on

    Jim: I absolutely do agree that the title itself is incomplete. None of the hugely successful people in his book got there without taking action and working at it. His 8th Principle was “Persistence” and that doesn’t happen just by thinking about it. And, yes, the “Rich” part had to do with all forms of abundance, not only monetary. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

  5. Christie Ellis said at 8:50 am on

    I am so grateful I was able to be in CA and attend this wonderful event. I am reading through TAGR again as well and finding more nuggets and reminders. 🙂 One thing I also read in here is the first line “unless built upon truth and justice” tells me that without being authentic my foundation will never sustain itself. I believe it is the truth and justice of our behavior and thoughts.

  6. TrishZ said at 9:06 am on

    “I fully realize that no wealth or position can long endure, unless built upon truth and justice; therefore, I will engage in no transaction which does not benefit all whom it affects.”

    This sentence hit me hard because I’ve just come off of a 6 year stint of trying to make different “niches” work, so I could make money. But, I never felt “right” down into my core about what direction I was heading – it was about money not service to others. Once I changed direction and became more true to my own truth and once I realized that “truth” was about helping others so it “benefit[s] all whom it affect”, it’s going in a direction that’s scary.

    Thanks for sharing this today.

  7. Bob Burg said at 9:43 am on

    Christie: So great having you at the event! And, yes, isn’t that first line AWESOME?!?!…a great foundation upon which everything takes place. A strong foundation, built on authenticity (in this context, truth and justice), means that one will never have to worry themselves with the “house of cards” effect. Thank you for sharing with us!

  8. Bob Burg said at 9:52 am on

    Trish: Beautifully said! Once you focused on providing value to/for others, the energy kicked in and the marketplace responded big-time. This is why John David Mann and I say that, “Money is an echo of value.” Focus on providing value to others (benefiting others) and money comes to YOU. Huge Congratulations to you, Trish!! And, thank you for sharing that with us!

  9. Olamide OPEYEMI said at 10:43 am on

    You know I just think that there are classics and their are books. Books are usually echoes of classics. Think and grow Rich is indeed a classic. 25 years of research is not a joke. As per the paragraph, it just presents a fundamental truth that many would have love to read if they were patient enough to pick up the book and read. Some people are just offended by the title as though it’s just about lazy people fantasising about money-making. I am still reading this wonderful classic of a book now and just like most classics, I have a plan to keep re-reading. it is a wonderful treatise on money-making with subtle urgings on the lines of morality. What a mix!

  10. Bob Burg said at 10:48 am on

    Olamide: Thank you so much for joining the conversation. And, I think that all of your points are terrific and right on the mark! Thank you for sharing with us!

  11. Doug Wagner said at 3:03 pm on

    I just got my replacement copy of Think and Grow Rich a few weeks ago. This is such a poignant reminder of how the book itself takes on new meaning as we grow. It is also a good reminder it is time to re-read it.

    This idea of focusing first on the other person but not at the exclusion of self is so important. All must benefit.

    This is central to both The Go-Giver and how we are building out own coaching practice and software tools for coaches and businesses. Actually the coaching business when done right pretty much requires that you embrace that paragraph.

    Thanks for the post and a chance to use poignant.

  12. Bob Burg said at 3:24 pm on

    Doug: Thank you. It really does take on new meaning, doesn’t it. It’s like the saying goes, “it isn’t the book that has changed; it’s we who have changed, and (hopefully) 🙂 grown since the last time we read it.” Each time I read through it I’m always amazed at the new things I notice and how many of the fundamentals I continue to utilize. Yes, “focusing on the other but not at the exclusion of self” is so vitally important. I believe that’s what Adam Grant, in his excellent book, “Give And Take” meant by, “Otherish.” There is nothing self-sacrificial about being a Go-Giver, and it’s something that I always hope people intuitively understand. And, indeed, coaching – and I’d imagine practically any business which is free-market based does require embracing Dr. Hill’s paragraph. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us! I loved YOUR post today, at http://bit.ly/13tyA6P

  13. eric said at 4:24 pm on

    Yes, I am only 9 but I grew up on Napoleon Hill books, read by me and to me by my Mum. Maybe you think it is too early, but I think that all what Napoleon wrote is so absolutely clear for childre, he wrote the book to remind adults this principles. Yes, it is the most amazing thing to help and inspire people, and this is my life purpose. I think that Napoleon Hill , all books are to be read before you are 18 so than you grew in them and live by them a successful life. Do not forget Life is a Game Make your Rules , Play and Win! Enjoy the Game

  14. Bob Burg said at 4:54 pm on

    Eric: 9 years old?? WOW!! Good (make that, GREAT) for you! Very proud of you, my friend. And, no, I don’t think it is one bit too early. Keep on the learning track, my friend.

    {Take a look at 9 year old Eric’s website, his speech, business, and the game he invented at http://www.thewinneracademy.com}

  15. Josh Hinds said at 4:45 pm on

    Great post Brother Bob. Gotta’ love the wise words of Mr. Napoleon Hill. Timeless 🙂


  16. Bob Burg said at 4:54 pm on

    Josh: You know it, my brother. Timeless, indeed!

  17. Amy Wells said at 7:16 pm on

    I’ve read that before, but for the first time “got,” go out of ypu way to help those who have hurt you too.

  18. Great post as always Bob. TAGR is most definitely a book that one can read every year with new aha or layers. That paragraph is the foundation to everything, if a transaction doesn’t benefit all parties. The ability to give is vital to all aspects of life and plays out in all relationships.

  19. Dan Black said at 1:29 am on

    This book is full of golden nuggets of wisdom. Reading this reminds me about the importance of self-leadership. We first need to know and lead our self well before we can influence others. This means removing the bad and putting in the good. Great post!

    also, it’s great to see you guest posting on other sites.

  20. […] leadership authority, Doug Conant recently tweeted this famously-profound quote from the classic, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon […]

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