Could you imagine being in a room with Napoleon Hill and Andrew Carnegie? As it turns out, “How to Own Your Own Mind” by Napoleon Hill has preserved a major conversation between those great men. The contents were recently discovered after being stored away in the Napoleon Hill Foundation archives since 1941. In Hill’s interview, Carnegie called proper thought “mental dynamite,” and he claimed that poorly organized thoughts are a “mental explosive” that can derail dreams. This tome builds upon that wisdom: It teaches readers how to decide what knowledge to pursue and to train their minds to pursue it.
Readers discover how to identify a “Definite Major Purpose” to focus on with their mental endeavors. Between using creativity and actions, you can learn to think like Carnegie did when he advised Hill. This book details the 10 principles for a successful “Creative Vision.” The idea is for you to be able to tell when there is an opportunity. Once you find one, you must harness inspiration and initiative to take advantage of it. Hill devised three charts to show how to organize your thoughts toward your goals. They include the disciplines of honing your willpower and being in control to act on your thoughts.
The book includes many parts of Hill’s first interview with Carnegie in 1908, which Hill expanded upon 30 years later. Those later notes stress the importance of forming good habits. You may notice that Carnegie’s insights on two types of imagination, synthetic versus creative, apply today more than ever. Carnegie describes to Hill why the latter type of imagination is more challenging to develop. He details the examples of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, among others, and their processes of invention to show what he means. With the final main ingredient of success, “Controlled Attention,” readers learn to keep habitual, intense focus on their thoughts and goals.