Lesson II - Think and Grow Rich - Notes + Recording



  • Napoleon Hill:

  • Mitch’s story… In 2013, read Think and Grow Rich seriously for the first time. Took it seriously, as if it was the most important thing to listen to in his life (we should read this as though our life depended on it, just seriously treat it this way). Treat it like it is, “urgent work of operating instructions for life.”

  • "Absolute passionate resolve."

  • “You have to approach this book and do the exercises as if your life depended upon it. I promise you, seeker to seeker, good things will happen to you and your life.” (Mitch)

  • Napoleon Hill, 1937. Claims he had a life changing experience in 1908. As a young journalist, “he achieved the ultimate debt.” Claims that Andrew Carnegie said to him that he should “make a comprehensive study of traits that can be commonly found in high achievers across a wide range of fields.” This may or may not be a true story.

  • The Law of Success (1928)

  • Think and Grow Rich: If we can look beyond the title (it’s not only about material wealth), we find a book that is about concretizing desires into reality. “Possibly the greatest modern self-help book ever made.”

  • Some core ideas… What they are, and why they work.

  • You will benefit more from the secret if you arrive at it from your own devices, he says, but Mitch shares it with us.

The Secret

  • This secret is ‘encrypted in every chapter.’ The secret? Emotionalized thought directed towards a passionately held aim, aided by organized planning and the mastermind, is the root of all accomplishment.

1 - Emotionalized Thought

  • "Passionately felt aim." Foundational importance of possessing a definite chief aim. It’s the heart. The Skelton key. If you have one, everything in this program becomes open to you.

  • You must have one passionately, even obsessively held aim in life. Doorway to everything else. It is a natural law that a concentration of energies brings force.

  • This aim is exquisitely clear. This claim must be so clear that it can be boiled down to a single sentence on a piece of paper… And you must be able to do this. No habitual thought. No ambiguity.

  • Ask yourself in an unembarrassed and unadorned way, “what do I want in life?” Specific, focused, clear, honest.

  • You don’t have to share this with your friends or family members. It’s best not to share it. Other people will detract from or run down your aim.

  • “You don’t need the opinions, the peer pressure, the outlook of other people. Only your most deeply felt conviction… There is a unique power in silence.” Friends, relatives, family members will offer you their opinions, but they will be wrong about things. Opinions line up against what you’re doing sometimes, but that doesn’t mean they’re right.

  • Expertise comes in… But it comes from a “Mastermind group.” But don’t share with friends/family.

  • What is it? It can’t be general, vague. It can be a confusion of different things.

  • What you want needs to be actionable as well. Otherwise it’s a daydream.

  • Small steps in the direction of the aim, it’s authentic. “Do I have the right training? Am I in the right place geographically? Can I attain these things?” These are the kinds of questions to ask oneself.

  • Obsession isn’t negative, like we think it is today. So many examples… Soldiers, diplomats, activists.

  • A tough bargain that life strikes: You will receive exactly what you want, provided that you make it your sole focus. This is difficult, as life makes multiple demands on us.

  • One well chosen aim may cover a lot of bases, but it will be yours and passionate… Mitch says, “we communicate with the subconscious… through emotion. Exuberance, passion, enthusiasm, persistence.”

  • When you have a definite chief aim, you will discover energies that you never knew were there.

  • This was all 1) Emotionalized thought

2 - Organized Planning

  • 2) Aided by organized planning. This must be actionable. Not a pipe dream. Hence geography, age, skill set, education. All this weighs upon it. You have to be able to take concrete steps in the direction you wish to be doing. It still can be bold.

  • Not a program of passivity.

  • Organized planning comes up frequently in the book. Planning with $ attached: Hill says that once you come up with DFA (Definite Chief Aim) and distilled it to paper, you then need to write down a dollar amount that you wish to earn in connection with your aim, the date by which you wish to earn it, and the services that you wish to provide for this dollar amount.

  • Commerce is as vital as physicality. The Dead Sea Scrolls are made up of contracts for an exchange of services. Always be willing to write down a dollar amount and a date. A progressively earned sum (not all at once), a plausible future date.

  • Yellow sticky note about his earnings, which he forgot about. “This happened!”

  • Summarizing: a) Tactile writing committed to a sheet of paper is really important. b) A date and a sum of money. c) Then the services you provide.

  • And then start taking steps, however small, towards the realization of your goal.

  • Just as importantly, you have to have the faith and confidence that this will happen. When you read “faith” with Hill, you can substitute it with “persistence.” No need to define faith, but the product of faith is persistence. Persistence is quite remarkable. It’s a statistical law that runs of luck will always reverse.

  • Successes are remembered much more than failures. Promotions are not based on merit. Workplaces are not meritocracies. Runs of luck reverse. If you are able to be persistent, you will have remarkable runs of luck, but imagine how much more successful you could be if you were working on developing your skills diligently…

3 - A Mastermind group

  • Collection of trusted, cooperative, similarly valued and well tempered people who get together to mutually support one another’s aims. In a group setting of this type, where people pool their mental energies, you have the effect that he called the mastermind.

  • Hill: We exist under something called ‘infinite intelligence.’ We can tap into it when we’re functioning in a harmonious group setting. Christ, “when two or more gather in my name I am there with them.” Congregational setting.

  • “The group is a profoundly valuable thing that’s been rediscovered as a tool of spiritual progress and development in the 20th century.”

  • Trusted mastermind group can share your ideas, concerns, needs… No gossip. Just earnest fellowship. Like an AA meeting.

  • Strongly recommended that it’s in person, face to face. A coffee house, an apartment, etc.

  • The mastermind is infinite intelligence, localized. When you work in this mastermind group, you tap into that.

The Taboo Subject - “The Mystery of Sex Transmutation”

  • Sexual impulse: the urge of the individual to procreate, not just the species but all things. Creative principle of life. It’s not just physical.

  • Vedic, Taoist masters, magical practitioners, etc. – what they gleaned was that the sexual urge is the life urge seeking expression. That expression can be manifested through procreation, propagation of the species, but is at the back of everything that you as a generative being wish to create.

  • Being made in God’s image? Being procreative. Sexual pleasure is one expression but there are other expressions.


  • Formula: You can harness the forces of sex transmutation by channeling the sexual urge into some other form of creativity. Channeling and thus transmuting the sexual urge into other forms of creativity… When a salesman is being enthusiastic, when an artist is expression passion, a minister is exuding holy passion – all sexual urge being transmuted to other channels of expression.

  • Don’t sublimate the sexual urge. It must have healthy channels (progressive statement for the 30s).

  • Mitch: it’s helpful to at least identify exuberance/enthusiasm as a kind of transmuted sexual energy. If you can transmute in the direction to something you wish to accomplish, “you can be raised to the status of a genius.”

Emotionalized thought directed towards a passionately held aim, aided by organized planning and the mastermind, is the root of all accomplishment.


Awesome Notes, thank you so much for these! Looking forward to the next class!


Thanks so much for these notes, JJ!


Hi, everyone!

Posted the recording here (also available in the Class Portal):

Lesson III notes will also have the recording posted.

Email going out to everyone tonight with everything we have so far (Lessons I+II, notes, and video/audio recordings).

Looking forward to catching you on Wednesday night for session III!



pinned #5


When is Lesson #3 going to be posted?