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Thank you for the love
02 December 2020 (17:06)
Sociological book is very important for everyone
05 January 2021 (20:33)
Mettelus Delivrans Directeur du Lycee Quesnel Laguerre
05 January 2021 (20:33)
absolutely love this!
24 January 2021 (10:24)
No one knows tomorrow
18 April 2021 (21:15)
Praise for Think and Grow Rich! “Think and Grow Rich! has had a tremendous impact on my life. My company, Contours Express, would not exist if not for this book. And now, seven years, 15 additional readings, and more than 350 fitness centers later, I still find new personal and business applications each time I read it. Without question this is the greatest business book ever written.” —Daren Carter founder of Contours Express fitness centers, located in six countries “Dr. Hill’s original work transformed the 20th century. This newly revised version will do the same for the 21st century. No writer, thought leader or guru of personal growth and development comes close to Napoleon Hill. This landmark work takes his stature to an even more monumental level.” —Bill Brooks, author of The New Science of Selling and Persuasion “'I read it every two or three years to keep my drive going.'” —Daymond John, founder and CEO of FUBU apparel and co-star of ABC TV’s Shark Tank “The cogent advice articulated by Napoleon Hill is as relevant and pertinent today as the day it was written.” —Donald R. Keough, former President and CEO of Coca-Cola, Chairman of Allen & Company, Inc. “Think and Grow Rich!…Buy it…you have a book. Read it…you have the blueprint. Do it…you have the world!” —Cactus Jack Barringer, entrepreneur, inventor, salesman extraordinaire “It took me 17 years to become World Champion, but I always knew, deep down, that I would win the ‘big one’ someday. Napoleon Hill's Think And Grow Rich! changed my life. It inspired and excited me, and with the belief in myself I received through its pages, I, too, passed the ‘'persistence’ test and achieved my lifetime goal. This life-changing book will help you achieve your goals too!” —Peter Ebdon, World Snooker Champion “I must have read that book 100 times while in training, and I became a stronger person for it….Think and Grow Rich! changed my life dramatically. I was going to fight Muhammad Ali. I was a green fighter, but yet I won, all through readin; g this book.” —Ken Norton, world heavyweight boxing champion famous for his trilogy of bouts with Ali “This book is a national treasure, the ultimate guidebook to success. It should be mandatory reading in every school. It takes ‘the dream’ out of the American dream and makes finding it a reality accessible to everybody. This book unlocks the hidden potential in all of us and helps us access unlimited opportunity. It is my bible!” —Catherine Oxenberg, film and television actress, Harvard University alumna who starred in the prime-time soap opera Dynasty, The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana, and The Omega Code “Think and Grow Rich! is a book that changed every aspect of my life. This new edition is exciting and is one that folks should read, study and share with people they love. I’m buying multiple copies for people that I love. Our team produced multiple millionaires using these principles, and money was not even the greatest benefit. Buy the book and open the floodgates to a proven success philosophy. I thank God we did.” —Leighton Cubbage, co-founder/chairman of Serrus Capital Partners real estate investment, South Carolina Entrepreneur of the Year “I first read Think and Grow Rich! when I was going through a divorce and had to become financially literate—fast! The information in this book changed my life and my financial prospects enormously!” —Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of Mother-Daughter Wisdom, The Wisdom of Menopause, and Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom “Unfortunately, we don’t learn success principles in school. Fortunately, we can learn the keys to success by reading Think and Grow Rich! Napoleon Hill masterfully explains concepts such as definite purpose, positive mental attitude and handling adversity. When you apply these concepts, your life is going to improve dramatically! I am forever grateful to Napoleon Hill for writing this remarkable book.” —Jeff Keller, author of Attitude is Everything “I was introduced to Think and Grow Rich! as a high school student. This book was recommended to me by my teacher who taught a class called ‘Everyday Living.’ At that point in my life I suffered from low self-esteem, and this book was a motivating factor for me. It gave me a new lease on life when I realized I could do anything if I had the desire and believed I could achieve my goals.” —S. Truett Cathy, founder, Chairman and CEO of Chick-fil-A, Inc. “Think and Grow Rich! is timeless and will continue to change lives. It’s powerful in turning people’s dreams and passions into life-long realities. It did mine and still remains my number one reference book.” —Don L. Price, professional speaker, author, sales/marketing & positive change solution provider “My first copy of Think and Grow Rich! by Napoleon Hill cost me 25 cents (yes, two dimes and a nickel) in a used book store. Dr. Hill’s words in that book have inspired me for more than 35 years—and they still do. It’s a classic at any price.” —Dr. Jim Tunney, former NFL referee, educator, speaker, author of It’s the Will, Not the Skill “The book that changed my life.” —Tom Hess, virtuoso guitarist and composer for the band HESS “I first read Think and Grow Rich! 30 years ago at age 18. I found it to be the most fascinating book I had or have ever read, excluding the word of God. It is much more than instructions on how to obtain wealth. It strengthens your spirit, your soul, and promotes the proper attitude to achieve peace, endurance, and a loving family—the real measures of success in life. My life has been richly blessed as a result of reading and rereading Think and Grow Rich! Dr. Hill performed a wonderful work for mankind and was a useful vessel for God when he wrote this book for all people and all ages. I know all readers will be enriched upon reading this new edition of Think and Grow Rich! —Emerson B. Hall, president of TruBody Shaving Gels “I just bought a new edition of Think and Grow Rich! by Napoleon Hill. It’s a collection of interviews with the richest people in the world, to find out the secret of their success. I must’ve read it 20 times.” —Michael Flatley, dancer and choreographer (Riverdance) “If you follow the principles in Think and Grow Rich! and allow it to become a part of your life, you will be successful in all of your endeavors. I read Think and Grow Rich! more than 50 times over the years while creating the world’s first premium pest elimination company, servicing thousands of restaurants, hotels, hospitals and cruise ships halfway around the world.” —Al Burger, co-founder, with wife, Sandee, of Bugs Burger Bug Killers “I am a fifth generation exterminator and second generation ‘think and grow richer.’ The stories in Think and Grow Rich! are both memorable and inspiring. I strongly recommend this book to all who are seeking instant motivation.” —Andrew Burger, President, “Bugs” Burger Bug Killers “Personal development isn’t something that just happens; you have to work for it. This book cuts to the quick in the way of leading you down your own path toward individual freedom.” —Karen E. Spaeder, freelance business writer and former Managing Editor of Entrepreneur magazine “As a teenager growing up in the rural south, I never dreamed that I could ever accomplish anything financially other than earn a good living. Even though I graduated from Emory University, I majored in psychology, which didn’t qualify me for a job that paid a substantial income. In 1969, however, I was introduced to Think and Grow Rich! by Napoleon Hill. This book entirely changed my economic mindset. Dr. Hill taught me that by studying successful people and heeding their advice, anyone, including Bill Lee, could accumulate wealth. I pray that as a result of this updated edition of Dr. Hill’s work, many other young people can receive the blessings of his research.” —Bill Lee, CSP, founder of Lee Resources, Inc., author of 30 Ways Managers Shoot Themselves in the Foot and 26 Factors Affecting Your Bottom Line “Ross Cornwell has made it easier than ever to learn from a giant of a leader and thinker. Napoleon Hill’s wisdom applies to us all, any generation, any background and station in life! Napoleon Hill has served as Mentor to Millions. Why not you?” —Ty Boyd, CEO of Ty Boyd Executive Learning Systems and author of The Million Dollar Toolbox “Napoleon Hill’s writings have influenced my life to understand that our God-given destiny is to soar on eagles’ wings. You have to stretch yourself before you can soar, and once you have a burning desire, a significant goal you can stretch much farther than you previously had thought possible. Beware: Every time an eagle raises its wings to fly, someone will put an arrow to the bow, but remember, eagles can soar higher than any arrow can fly. May this revised and updated edition of Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich! enable you to Reach—Stretch—Soar! —Father Brian Cavanaugh (Third Order Franciscan), Franciscan University of Steubenville, editor of Appleseeds and author of The Sower’s Seeds series “Zen teacher Richard Rose said a spiritual seeker could find Enlightenment by following Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich!, and substituting ‘God’ or ‘Truth’ wherever the book says ‘money.’” —August Turak, founder of Raleigh Group International, Elsinore Technologies, Inc., and the Self Knowledge Symposium Foundation “A classic! If you haven’t read it, read it! If you have read it, read it again!” —Thomas Crum, author The Magic of Conflict and Journey to Center “I believe and trust in God. He will use many things in life to get your attention. I believe he used this book to get mine. I have without a doubt been endowed with the power to THINK of ways to optimize every situation in my life, whether positive or negative, and to GROW RICH spiritually, physically, financially, and emotionally.” —Corey Honore, professional body builder and fitness expert “It’s so simple and yet we need to be reminded again and again, ‘What we think about is who we become.’ Each time we open this book we begin a most rewarding journey. Of course the key is to open it—what are you waiting for?” —W Mitchell, member of the CPAE Hall of Fame, author of It’s Not What Happens To You, It’s What You Do About It “For over 10 years we have applied the principles of Think and Grow Rich!, especially the MASTERMIND GROUP concept. We formed a Mastermind Women’s Group, and we set and monitor goals in all areas of our life—spiritual, family, financial, health, education, business, recreation, personal, and civic. As a result, hundreds of lives have been changed, especially financially through forming investment clubs. This book is the success system that cannot fail.” —Ann McNeill, President, MCO Construction & Services, Inc. “I belong to an industry that is plagued with struggling. It’s more than a stereotype. Artists are convinced from a young age by family, friends, teachers and society that you cannot achieve financial freedom from art sales alone. Using the principles I’ve learned by reading Think and Grow Rich! numerous times since I was a young man, I’m breaking down this stereotype and not just surviving as a professional artist…but thriving.” —John Ross Palmer, founder of the Art Movement of Escapism “I was introduced to Think and Grow Rich! by an alcoholic member of our cemetery sales team. I had a wife and three children at the time, and we were just barely making it. My only source of income was the commissions I made knocking on doors selling cemetery property, and they were hard to come by, especially since almost nobody was a permanent resident in the Miami area. “Reading Think and Grow Rich! gave me a crutch to lean on as I forced myself out to pound those doors where the potential prospects were. If my family was going to eat, I had to convince people to buy cemetery property 30 or 40 or more years before they would need it. The Six-Step Success Formula helped me to realize that there was a way even for an uneducated lunkhead like me to make it like the big guys. I followed the success formula faithfully, and, lo and behold, my whole life turned around. “Two of my most useful tools in the book were the poem ‘My Wage’ (‘I bargained with Life for a penny…’) and ‘If You Think You Are Beaten’ (‘Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man…’). I truly believe that Dr. Hill had the same message the Bible has for us. It was just little easier for me to apply. I went on to build the largest cemetery organization in the country starting out from my basement on Concord Ave. in Anderson, S. C. In 1970, we sold 30 cemeteries to Service Corporation International, making it possible for them to become the largest funeral-cemetery company in the world. I served as President of their Cemetery Division for three years. “I’m now 85 years old, living comfortably on the shores of Lake Hartwell with my wife of 65 years. Almost all my good fortune came about because I had the good fortune to be introduced to Think and Grow Rich! in 1953. I have given away many cases of this great book. It was required reading in my company and in my family, and it has made a difference in a lot of the people’s lives who were given the opportunity to make it part of their lives. “Thank you, Ross, for giving me this opportunity to look back and appreciate how really important all of this is and what a difference it has made in my life and the lives of so many others.” —Dick Herbert, founder of National Heritage Corporation, former President of the Cemetery Division, Service Corporation International For more testimonials, see page 384 and following. Think and Grow Rich! Think and Grow Rich! By Napoleon Hill The Original Version, Restored and RevisedTM With Revisions, Editor’s Foreword and Annotations By Ross Cornwell MINDPOWER PRESS This book is affiliated solely with The Mindpower Press and not with any other organization, company, or foundation. Copyright © 2004, 2015 Ross Cornwell. Original edition copyright © 1937 Napoleon Hill. Special Foreword copyright © 2007 Bob Proctor. All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyrights reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, or digital, including photocopying, recording, or otherwise, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the copyright holder. Special Discounts: Copies of this book are available at special discounts for educational, business, or sales promotional use, or for Master Mind Alliance study groups. The book is also available for bulk purchases as premiums or special editions, including personalized covers and personalized forewords for organizations. For more information, contact: The Mindpower Press 1208 North Main Street, Anderson, SC 29621 www.MindpowerPress.com E-mail: MindpowerPressTGR@gmail.com www.facebook.com/MindpowerPress Distributed by SCB Distributors www.scbdistributors.com (800) 729-6423 For foreign and translation rights, contact: Nigel J. Yorwerth E-mail: nigel@PublishingCoaches.com ISBN: 978-0-9907976-0-9 (paperback) ISBN: 978-0-9907976-1-6 (ebook) Library of Congress Control Number: 2015901413 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 The Original Version, Restored and RevisedTM is a trademark of Achieve It, Inc. Cover design by Nita Ybarra. Book design by Keith Pearson. Editorial consultation by Patricia Spadaro. Sketch (page 289) by Pam Latour. Printed in the United States on acid-free paper. Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve. —Napoleon Hill Contents Special Foreword by Bob Proctor The Editor’s Foreword The Author’s Preface Introduction: MINDPOWER: The Man Who “Thought” His Way 1. DESIRE: The Starting Point of All Achievement The First Step to Riches 2. FAITH: Visualization and Belief in the Attainment of Desire The Second Step to Riches 3. AUTOSUGGESTION: The Medium for Influencing the Subconscious Mind The Third Step to Riches 4. SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE: Personal Experiences or Observations The Fourth Step to Riches 5. IMAGINATION: The Workshop of the Mind The Fifth Step to Riches 6. ORGANIZED PLANNING: The Crystallization of Desire into Action The Sixth Step to Riches 7. DECISION: The Mastery of Procrastination The Seventh Step to Riches 8. PERSISTENCE: The Sustained Effort Necessary to Induce Faith The Eighth Step to Riches 9. POWER OF THE MASTER MIND: The Driving Force The Ninth Step to Riches 10. THE MYSTERY OF SEX TRANSMUTATION The Tenth Step to Riches 11. THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND: The Connecting Link The Eleventh Step to Riches 12. THE BRAIN: A Broadcasting and Receiving Station for Thought The Twelfth Step to Riches 13. THE SIXTH SENSE: The Door to the Temple of Wisdom The Thirteenth Step to Riches Epilogue: HOW TO OUTWIT THE 6 GHOSTS OF FEAR Take Inventory of Yourself Appendix Acknowledgements Endnotes Index SPECIAL FOREWORD BY BOB PROCTOR YOU AND I have something in common. We have both selected one of the greatest books ever written, Think and Grow Rich! by Napoleon Hill. However, it is almost 50 years since my mind was first exposed to the information that you are holding in your hands. The content of this book has the potential to improve the quality of your life to a degree that is very likely, at this time, beyond the scope of your imagination. You see, I probably know this book and what it can do as well, if not better, than most people alive today. Fifty years of studying the same book does something to you. Let me explain. In 1963 my brother Al handed me a gift that I consider a true treasure. He gave me a copy of Think and Grow Rich! that he had bound in black Moroccan leather. Although I had already been studying another copy of the book for a few years, I have carried Al’s copy with me every day, everywhere I go, since receiving it. So much in my life has changed for the better since that day. Just a year ago Al sent me an e-mail explaining how grateful he was that I began studying Think and Grow Rich! He went on to tell me that our entire family enjoys greater prosperity and joy today because of Napoleon Hill’s wonderful book. The philosophy contained in the following pages is one of the best perspectives on success that you will find anywhere. It has worked itself into our family’s way of thinking and into our way of living. As I am dictating these words, I am sitting in my library surrounded by a few thousand books—great books, but none of them have had the impact on my life that Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich! has. Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, Thomas Edison, and Alexander Graham Bell were a few of the people who were close friends of Napoleon Hill. Even without any research, you have a pretty good idea of the impact that the work of these great individuals has had on the world. We’re aware of their accomplishments because, in most cases, their name is associated with it. And yet, to my way of thinking, it is nearly impossible to accurately describe the positive impact that Napoleon Hill and his work have had on the world. Through his books, Napoleon Hill has transformed the lives of millions of people. Today, Hill’s incredible research and the organized information that came from his years of dedicated effort, percolate in the mind of countless millions of people worldwide—many of whom have never heard of Napoleon Hill. Yet these same individuals enjoy the wisdom that has been shared by others who have been impacted by Napoleon Hill’s great work. When Think and Grow Rich! was first placed in my hands, I was sitting in a fire hall in a suburb of Toronto, Canada. I was a very confused, unhappy, and broke 26-year-old. I had virtually no formal education and no business experience. My mental focus was always on what I didn’t have, what I was lacking, and why I couldn’t do the things I dreamed about. However, Hill’s work inspired me; it caused me to focus on what I could do. As I studied the powerful information shared in this book, I began to search for ways of how I could do things, rather than why I couldn’t. Think and Grow Rich! taught me to work at developing my strengths and managing my weaknesses. With the repetition of reading each chapter over and over again, I began to develop a healthy respect for my potential and my capabilities. Today I own a number of very prosperous companies that operate worldwide. I have attracted business partners with whom anyone would be proud to work. The LifeSuccess Group of Companies is focused on providing service in the same area in which Hill dedicated his life—helping people understand their potential and how to develop it. I have formed the habit of reading a few lines from Think and Grow Rich! every day and have arrived at the conclusion that whatever challenge I may face, my solution will be found in the pages of this wonderful book. Another habit I have formed that I would urge you to follow is to read the chapter on “Persistence” every day for 30 days at least twice a year. Recently, I traveled to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to speak at the international conference of the Napoleon Hill Foundation, where the Prime Minister of Malaysia was presented with the Napoleon Hill Award. Although Napoleon Hill has moved on to the next phase of his eternal journey, the Napoleon Hill Foundation continues his great work. I clearly remember the moment I walked into the Foundation’s library, which houses much of Hill’s original work. A deep feeling of gratitude came over me; I felt indebted to him and to the Foundation for the abundant life that I enjoy. Make up your mind right now—make a firm decision that you are going to harness the philosophy in this book to do for you what it has done for millions of people all over the world! I strongly urge you to do as I did some 46 years ago, to read Think and Grow Rich!: The Original Version, Restored and Revised over and over again until it becomes a part of your way of thinking, your way of being. You will be richly rewarded for doing so. Bob Proctor, best-selling author, You Were Born Rich DON’T WAIT. THE TIME WILL NEVER BE JUST RIGHT. THE EDITOR’S FOREWORD BEFORE THE CLOSE of the first decade of the 21st century, America and the world faced a financial and economic abyss that came close to collapsing the world economic system. By most estimates, the meltdown would have been far worse—up to five times greater—than that of the Great Depression. Billions of people could have been ruined and hundreds of thousands of businesses destroyed. Like ducks in a shooting gallery, one giant financial institution and big business after another teetered on the brink of disaster—Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Bros, AIG, Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, General Motors. Many failed. All were imperiled. We were facing an economic black hole. Today, for the moment, the ship seems to have righted, the “black hole” of 2008 avoided. During the Great Depression of the 1930s there was born a cultural and publishing phenomenon that was tailor-made to help down-on-their-luck, down-in-the-dumps people survive the most trying financial difficulties. It was the landmark book Think and Grow Rich!, researched and written by Napoleon Hill during the Depression years. No book ever written had more relevance then, or has today, as Americans and other people around the globe continue to rebuild and strengthen their economies and try to plan for a personal economic future that despite many good signs and steps taken still remains uncertain. So get ready. If this is your first exposure to Think and Grow Rich!, I urge you to stop reading at the end of the third paragraph below and turn immediately to “The Author’s Preface” on page 1. The beginning of a life-altering experience of the most profound kind awaits you there—an experience that has given thousands of men and women the key to success every year since Napoleon Hill first published this landmark work. What they learned helped many survive the Depression and many since then to go on to achieve great success and wealth in the years since those desperate times. Think and Grow Rich! is the ONLY “how-to” book or other resource on personal success that you MUST have. It will help you grow rich—it will enrich your life—in all ways that matter, not just financially and materially. The ideas behind Think and Grow Rich! are the wellspring from which all “Personal Success” and “Positive Mental Attitude” movements have flowed. Every book, CD, DVD, podcast, speech, seminar, online resource or other product on personal success that has been produced since Think and Grow Rich! was first published does little more than rediscover or repackage Dr. Hill’s ideas and principles. If you are reading Think and Grow Rich! for the first time, pay no attention for now to footnotes, the 52 pages of endnotes, and the appendices in this book. They contain information that will one day expand your appreciation for the book, but during your first reading, they will simply slow you down and interrupt your learning process. When you have completed your first reading (there will be many!) and thus begun your journey on the road to high personal achievement, financial independence, and true success in life, return to this foreword for the additional insights it provides into Think and Grow Rich! and the philosophy it entails. Study the endnotes, where you will gain further insight into such things as “Positive Mental Attitude,” the era in which Napoleon Hill worked and wrote, the people he wrote about, and Napoleon Hill himself. So again, I urge you, First-Time Reader: Do not hesitate. Waste no time. Turn to “The Author’s Preface” to begin your study—and DO IT NOW! If you are not a newcomer to Napoleon Hill’s work and have already used another version of Think and Grow Rich!, a different sort of reward awaits you. The edition of Think and Grow Rich! you are now holding, as its subtitle indicates, is the Original Version, Restored and RevisedTM. Remember that Dr. Hill first published Think and Grow Rich! and the money-making secret it contains in 1937, at the depths of the Great Depression. In 1960, he published a revised edition of the book, which deleted many sections that appeared in the original. Much of this deleted material focused on specific matters related to the environment of a deep economic depression. These and other changes in the original manuscript were made so as not to “date” the book. Copies of the 1960 edition and its subsequent printings have, until now, been just about the only ones available in bookstores and most libraries since the 1960s. Ironically, because of the enormous economic upheavals, dislocations, and uncertainties that have swept America and the world since the near collapse of the world economy in 2008, much of what was omitted from the 1960 edition turns out to be amazingly relevant to circumstances and conditions that prevail today. Think and Grow Rich! in its original form speaks as clearly and meaningfully to people in the 21st century as it did to those who came before—and perhaps more so. The version of Think and Grow Rich! you at this moment are reading restores the book to its original form by reinstating material that was edited out more than five decades ago. (A few original passages are not restored in the main body of the text because of their obsolescence, but these passages are fully quoted and explained in the endnotes.) In addition, the original “look” of Think and Grow Rich! has been re-created. The typeface used, combined with Dr. Hill’s creative use of italics and “all caps” words, gives a vigorous, enthusiastic “visual quality” to the text. While this new version restores Think and Grow Rich! to its original form and look, the book has also been revised throughout. In every chapter there are minor changes in punctuation, terminology, and, occasionally, phrasing. Financial and economic data are updated where it made sense to do so (for example, using updated dollar values in illustrations and figures), so that readers will not constantly be forced to do in-the-head calculations to make comparisons. Each such revision of word or figure was made solely to remove any obstacles to a full understanding of Dr. Hill’s ideas. The goal at every step has been to make Think and Grow Rich! as user-friendly as possible for today’s reader. This edition is revised also in that it is the first and only fully annotated version of Think and Grow Rich! ever published, the first with footnotes, endnotes, and appendices, and it contains the first comprehensive index to assist readers in using the book more effectively. Most of the annotations will be of interest primarily to the Napoleon Hill devotee who seeks greater understanding of the historical context in which Dr. Hill created Think and Grow Rich! While his message itself is timeless, many of the persons, events, and circumstances he discusses in his commentary and illustrations are no longer familiar to most readers. Think and Grow Rich!: The Original Version, Restored and Revised aims—in the sense of a “revised standard version”—to make all of these things as clear as possible without in any way interfering with or disturbing the integrity and message of the original work. What to make of Think and Grow Rich!? Dr. Hill’s book is a publishing phenomenon. Year after year, people continue to “discover” it—tucked away inconspicuously on a bookstore or library shelf or passed along from a family member, friend, or associate—and they have read it, loved it, and used it to turn their lives around and their powers of creativity and imagination loose. The first copy of Think and Grow Rich! was sold in 1937. Eleven years later, in February 1948, Coronet magazine polled 300 successful young men and women, asking, “What book or books most influenced your life and contributed to your success?” Think and Grow Rich! ranked fourth on the list. In September 1986—38 years and eight U.S. presidents later—USA Today published a list of the “10 top-selling paperback books about investments” in America for that month. Despite the fact that it is only in the most general sense an investment book, being primarily about investing in yourself and other people, Think and Grow Rich! ranked No. 1 on the list. (Books it beat? How to Buy Stocks, The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need, and Getting Yours.) Some years ago the Library of Congress conducted a survey asking what books most influenced readers’ lives. The top answer, by a wide margin, was the Bible. In second and third place were, respectively, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and Think and Grow Rich! by Napoleon Hill. In 2002, Business Week magazine published “The BusinessWeek Best-Seller List” in its October 14 edition. Almost incredibly, Think and Grow Rich! ranked tenth on the list of the current 15 top-selling paperback business books—65 years after the first copy of the book was purchased! Walk into any well-stocked bookstore in America or check any online seller and you will find a few paperback copies of Think and Grow Rich! for sale (usually the 1960 version in one of its manifestations) in the business or self-motivation sections. Think and Grow Rich! endures because it works. For three years it was my privilege to serve as the first editor-in-chief of Think & Grow Rich Newsletter, published by Imagine, Inc., for the Napoleon Hill Foundation, a charitable organization he had established. My experience in that position not only provided me with the insight and confidence needed to undertake this restoration/revision of Think and Grow Rich!, but also introduced me to the living power of this book in changing people’s lives. I was exposed to the kind of correspondence and phone calls that pour in daily from people throughout the world, in all walks of life and in all circumstances, who have read Think and Grow Rich!, applied its principles diligently, and attained self-confidence, self-understanding, and levels of success that most people only dare dream of. You may one day find yourself giving such a personal testimonial. Yet there is more to Think and Grow Rich! than the power of the principles it explains. Part of the book’s appeal is the uncanny, almost prophetic insights of Napoleon Hill about matters and issues that are very much “today.” He talked about concepts such as networking, participatory management, excellence in customer service, visualization techniques, brainstorming, and the use of written goals and objectives long before any of these became corporate or psychological buzzwords—even before, in most instances, the terms themselves were created. He spends almost an entire chapter discussing the concept of mentorship, although he never refers to it as such and puts an unusual “Hill twist” on it. His speculations on human brain functions anticipate the whole area of right brain/left brain research. Any one of the numerous self-analysis tests scattered throughout his pages is thoroughly applicable today and well worth the price of this book alone. Fifty years before the word “downsizing” would come into vogue, Napoleon Hill spelled out in specific detail the perfect strategy and tactics to use when one finds oneself suddenly forced to look for a job or trying to start a business. His analysis of what capitalism is and means (in Chapter 6) is the most compelling and persuasive ever made and should be required reading for everyone. No matter what town, state, province, or country you may live in, your personal success library will never be complete without this restored, revised, fully annotated, and fully indexed version of Think and Grow Rich! It contains all of the book’s original contents. It includes restored material that makes it more relevant and valuable to today’s economy than it was when it was first written. Teaching the practical steps to the attainment of financial independence and even great wealth is one of the main purposes of Think and Grow Rich! But it turns out that the greatest value of this wonderful book is not that it can make you financially successful, but that it can help YOU, or ANYONE, achieve success however you may define it—and help you get whatever else it is that you desire from life. To paraphrase Napoleon Hill’s most famous statement: “Whatever, friend, you can conceive and believe, you can achieve!” Think and Grow Rich!: The Original Version, Restored and RevisedTM shows you step-by-step just how to do it. Ross Cornwell THE AUTHOR’S PREFACE IN EVERY CHAPTER of this book, mention has been made of the money-making secret which has made fortunes for more than 500 exceedingly wealthy people whom I have carefully analyzed over a long period of years. The secret was brought to my attention by Andrew Carnegie more than a quarter of a century ago. The canny, lovable old Scotsman carelessly tossed it into my mind when I was but a boy.1 Then he sat back in his chair, with a merry twinkle in his eyes, and watched carefully to see if I had brains enough to understand the full significance of what he had said to me. When he saw that I had grasped the idea, he asked if I would be willing to spend 20 years or more preparing myself to take it to the world to men and women who, without the secret, might go through life as failures. I said I would, and with Mr. Carnegie’s cooperation, I have kept my promise. This book contains the secret, after having been put to a practical test by thousands of people in almost every walk of life. It was Mr. Carnegie’s idea that the magic formula which gave him a stupendous fortune ought to be placed within reach of everyone who does not have time to investigate how successful people make money. It was his hope that I might test and demonstrate the soundness of the formula through the experience of men and women in every calling. He believed the formula should be taught in all public schools and colleges, and he expressed the opinion that if it were properly taught, it would so revolutionize the entire educational system that the time spent in school could be reduced to less than half. His experience with Charles M. Schwab and other young associates of Mr. Schwab’s type convinced Mr. Carnegie that much of what is taught in schools and colleges is of no value whatsoever in connection with the business of earning a living or accumulating riches. He had arrived at this decision because he had taken into his business one young person after another, many of them with but little schooling, and by coaching them in the use of this formula, developed in them rare leadership. Moreover, his coaching made fortunes for every one of them who followed his instructions. In Chapter 2 on “Faith,” you will read the astounding story of the organization of the giant United States Steel Corporation as it was conceived and carried out by one of the young associates through whom Mr. Carnegie proved that his formula will work for all who are ready for it. This single application of the secret by that young man—Charles M. Schwab—made him a huge fortune in both money and OPPORTUNITY. Roughly speaking, this particular application of the formula was worth six hundred million dollars* to the people involved. * In today’s dollars, approximately $12.5 billion. These facts—and they are facts well known to almost everyone who knew Mr. Carnegie—give you a fair idea of what the reading of this book may bring to you, provided you KNOW WHAT IT IS THAT YOU WANT. Even before it had undergone 20 years of practical testing, the secret was passed on to many thousands of men and women who have used it for their personal benefit, as Mr. Carnegie planned that they should. Many have made fortunes with it. Others have used it successfully in creating harmony in their homes. Arthur Nash, a Cincinnati tailor, used his near-bankrupt business as a "guinea pig" on which to test the formula. The business came to life and made a fortune for its owners. The experiment was so extraordinary that newspapers and magazines gave it more than a million dollars worth of laudatory publicity.2 The secret was passed on to Stuart Austin Wier of Dallas, Texas.3 He was ready for it—so ready that he gave up his profession and studied law. Did he succeed? That story is told too. I gave the secret to Jennings Randolph the day he was graduated from college, and he would go on to use it so successfully that it carried him to a seat in the United States Senate and a long and distinguished career in public service at the national level. While serving as advertising manager of LaSalle Extension University when it was little more than a name, I had the privilege of seeing J. G. Chapline, president of the university, use the formula so effectively that he went on to make LaSalle one of the great extension schools of the country.4 The secret to which I refer is mentioned no fewer than a hundred times throughout this book. It has not been directly named, for it seems to work more successfully when it is merely uncovered and left in sight, where THOSE WHO ARE READY and SEARCHING FOR IT may pick it up. That is why Mr. Carnegie tossed it to me so quietly, without giving me its specific name. If you are READY to put it to use, you will recognize this secret at least once in every chapter. I wish I might feel privileged to tell you how you will know if you are ready, but that would deprive you of much of the benefit you will receive when you make the discovery in your own way. While this book was being written, my own son, who was then finishing the last year of his college work, picked up the manuscript of Chapter 1, read it, and discovered the secret for himself. He used the information so effectively that he went directly into a responsible position at a beginning salary greater than the average person ever earns. His story is briefly described in Chapter 1. When you read it, perhaps you will dismiss any feeling you may have had at the beginning of the book that it promised too much. And, too, if you have ever been discouraged, if you have had difficulties to surmount which took the very soul out of you, if you have tried and failed, if you were ever handicapped by illness or physical affliction, this story of my son’s discovery and use of the Andrew Carnegie formula may prove to be the oasis in the “Desert of Lost Hope” for which you have been searching. This secret was used extensively by President Woodrow Wilson during the First World War. It was passed on to every soldier who fought in the war, carefully incorporated or “embedded” in the training he received before going to the front. President Wilson told me it was also a strong factor in raising the funds needed for the war.5 In the early days of this century, Manuel L. Quezon (then Resident Commissioner of the Philippine Islands) was inspired by the secret to gain freedom for his people, and he went on to become the first president of that free island nation.6 A peculiar thing about this secret is that those who once acquire it and use it find themselves literally swept on to success, with what seems to be little effort, and they never again submit to failure! If you doubt this, study the names of those who have used it wherever they have been mentioned, check their records for yourself, and be convinced. There is no such thing as SOMETHING FOR NOTHING! The secret to which I refer cannot be had without a price, although the price is far less than its value. It cannot be had at any price by those who are not intentionally searching for it. It cannot be given away, and it cannot be purchased for money, for the reason that it comes in two parts. One part is already in possession of those who are ready for it. The secret serves equally well all who are ready for it. Education has nothing to do with it. Long before I was born, the secret had found its way into the possession of Thomas A. Edison, and he used it so intelligently that he became the world’s greatest inventor, although he had but three months of schooling. The secret was passed on to a business associate of Mr. Edison. He used it so effectively that, although he was then making only $12,000 a year, he accumulated a great fortune and retired from active business while still a young man. You will find his story at the beginning of the next chapter. It should convince you that riches are not beyond your reach, that you can still be what you wish to be, that money, fame, recognition and happiness can be had by all who are ready and determined to have these blessings. How do I know these things? You should have the answer before you finish this book. You may find it in the very first chapter or on the last page. While I was performing the more than 20-year task of research which I had undertaken at Mr. Carnegie’s request, I analyzed hundreds of well-known individuals, many of whom admitted that they had accumulated their vast fortunes through the aid of the Carnegie secret. Among these individuals* were: HENRY FORD JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER WILLIAM WRIGLEY, JR. THOMAS A. EDISON JOHN WANAMAKER FRANK A. VANDERLIP JAMES J. HILL F. W. WOOLWORTH FANNIE HURST COL. ROBERT A. DOLLAR GEORGE S. PARKER EDWARD A FILENE E. M. STATLER EDWIN C. BARNES HENRY L. DOHERTY ARTHUR BRISBANE CYRUS H. K. CURTIS WOODROW WILSON GEORGE EASTMAN WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT THEODORE ROOSEVELT LUTHER BURBANK JOHN W. DAVIS EDWARD W. BOK MARIE DRESSLER FRANK A. MUNSEY ELBERT HUBBARD KATE SMITH WILBUR WRIGHT ELBERT H. GARY WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL DR. DAVID STARR JORDAN JOHN H. PATTERSON J. OGDEN ARMOUR JULIUS ROSENWALD CHARLES M. SCHWAB STUART AUSTIN WIER ERNESTINE SCHUMANN-HEINK DR. FRANK CRANE DR. FRANK GUNSAULUS J.G. CHAPLINE DANIEL WILLARD ARTHUR NASH KING GILLETTE ELLA WHEELER WILCOX RALPH A. WEEKS CLARENCE DARROW JUDGE DANIEL T. WRIGHT JENNINGS RANDOLPH 7 *Additional information about these individuals will be found throughout the endnotes, beginning on page 313. Many are discussed on pages 316-322 These names represent but a small fraction of the hundreds of well-known Americans whose achievements, financial and otherwise, prove that those who understand and apply the Carnegie secret reach high stations in life. I have never known anyone who was inspired to use the secret who did not achieve noteworthy success in his or her chosen calling. I have never known any person to achieve true professional distinction, or to accumulate riches of any consequence, without possession of the secret in one form or another. From these two facts I draw the conclusion that the secret is more important, as a part of the knowledge essential for self-determination, than any which one receives through what is popularly known as “education.” What is EDUCATION anyway? This will be answered in full detail. As far as schooling is concerned, many of these individuals had very little. John Wanamaker once told me that what little schooling he had he acquired in very much the same manner as a steam locomotive takes on water, by scooping it up as it runs.8 Henry Ford never reached high school, let alone college. I am not attempting to minimize the value of formal education, but I am trying to express my earnest belief that those who master and apply the secret will reach high stations, accumulate riches, and bargain with life on their own terms, even if their schooling has been meager. Somewhere, as you read, the secret to which I refer will jump from the page and stand boldly before you IF YOU ARE READY FOR IT! When it appears, you will recognize it. Whether you receive the sign in the first or the last chapter, stop for a moment when it presents itself and celebrate—for that occasion will mark the most important turning point of your life. We pass now to our “Introduction” chapter and to the story of my very dear friend who has generously acknowledged having seen the mystic sign and whose business achievements are evidence enough that he discovered the secret. As you read his story and those that follow, remember that they deal with the important problems of life such as all people experience—the problems arising from one’s endeavor to earn a living, to find hope, courage, contentment, peace of mind, to accumulate riches, and to enjoy freedom of body and spirit. Remember, too, as you go through this book that it deals with facts and not with fiction, its purpose being to convey a great universal truth through which all who are READY may learn not only WHAT TO DO, BUT ALSO HOW TO DO IT—and receive, as well, THE NEEDED STIMULUS TO MAKE A START. As a final word of preparation, before you begin the next chapter, may I offer one brief suggestion which may provide a clue by which the Carnegie secret may be recognized? It is this: ALL ACHIEVEMENT, ALL EARNED RICHES, HAVE THEIR BEGINNING IN AN IDEA! If you are ready for the secret, you already possess one half of it, therefore, you will readily recognize the other half the moment it reaches your mind. Napoleon Hill Success comes to those who become SUCCESS CONSCIOUS. § § § Failure comes to those who indifferently allow themselves to become FAILURE CONSCIOUS. Introduction MINDPOWER The Man Who “Thought” His Way TRULY, THOUGHTS ARE THINGS—and powerful things at that when they are mixed with definiteness of purpose, persistence, and a BURNING DESIRE for their translation into riches or other material objects. Edwin C. Barnes discovered how true it is that individuals really do THINK AND GROW RICH.1 His discovery did not come about at one sitting. It came little by little, beginning with a BURNING DESIRE to become a business associate of the great Thomas Alva Edison. One of the chief characteristics of Barnes’ desire was that it was definite. He wanted to work with Edison, not for him. Observe carefully the description of how he went about translating his DESIRE into reality, and you will have a better understanding of the 13 steps which lead to riches. When this DESIRE, or impulse of thought, first flashed into Barnes’ mind, he was in no position to act upon it. Two difficulties stood in his way. He did not know Mr. Edison, and he did not have enough money to pay his railroad fare to Orange, New Jersey, where Mr. Edison’s laboratories were located. These difficulties were sufficient to have discouraged the majority of people from making any attempt to carry out the desire. But his was no ordinary desire! He was so determined to find a way to carry out his desire that he finally decided to travel by “blind baggage,” rather than be defeated. (In other words, he went to East Orange on a freight train.) He presented himself at Mr. Edison’s laboratory and announced he had come to go into business with the inventor. Years later, in speaking of the first meeting between Barnes and Edison, Mr. Edison said, “He stood there before me looking like an ordinary tramp, but there was something in the expression of his face which conveyed the impression that he was determined to get what he had come after. I had learned from years of experience with men that when a man really desires a thing so deeply that he is willing to stake his entire future on a single turn of the wheel in order to get it, he is sure to win. I gave him the opportunity he asked for because I saw he had made up his mind to stand by until he succeeded. Subsequent events proved that no mistake was made.” Just what young Barnes said to Mr. Edison on that occasion was far less important than that which he thought. Edison himself said so! It could not have been the young man’s appearance which got him his start in the Edison office, for that was definitely against him. It was what he THOUGHT that counted. If the significance of this statement could be conveyed to the person who reads it, there would be no need for the remainder of this book. Barnes did not get his partnership with Edison on his first interview. He did get a chance to work in the Edison offices at a very nominal wage, doing work that was unimportant to Edison but most important to Barnes because it gave him an opportunity to display his “merchandise” where his intended partner could see it. Months went by. Apparently nothing happened to bring the coveted goal which Barnes had set up in his mind as his DEFINITE MAJOR PURPOSE. But something important was happening in Barnes’ mind. He was constantly intensifying his DESIRE to become the business associate of Edison. Psychologists have correctly suggested that “when one is truly ready for a thing, it puts in its appearance.” Barnes was ready for a business association with Edison. Moreover, he was DETERMINED TO REMAIN READY UNTIL HE GOT THAT WHICH HE WAS SEEKING. He did not say to himself, “Ah well, what’s the use? I guess I’ll change my mind and try for a sales job.” But he did say, “I came here to go into business with Edison, and I’ll accomplish this end if it takes the remainder of my life.” He meant it! What a different story people would have to tell if only they would adopt a DEFINITE PURPOSE and stand by that purpose until it had time to become an all-consuming obsession! Maybe young Barnes did not know it at the time, but his bulldog determination, his persistence in standing back of a single DESIRE, was destined to mow down all opposition and bring him the opportunity he was seeking. When the opportunity came, it appeared in a different form and from a different direction than Barnes had expected. That is one of the tricks of opportunity. It has a sly habit of slipping in by the back door, and it often comes disguised in the form of misfortune or temporary defeat. Perhaps this is why so many fail to recognize opportunity. Mr. Edison had just perfected a new office device, known at that time as the Edison Dictating Machine (later the Ediphone). His sales staff were not enthusiastic about it. They did not believe it could be sold without great effort. Barnes saw his opportunity. It had crawled in quietly, hidden in an odd-looking machine which interested no one but Barnes and the inventor. Barnes knew he could sell the Edison Dictating Machine. He suggested this to Edison and promptly got his chance. He did sell the machine. In fact, he sold it so successfully that Edison gave him a contract to distribute and market it all over the nation. Out of that business association grew the famous slogan “Made by Edison and Installed by Barnes.” The business alliance was a great success for more than three decades. Out of it Barnes made himself rich in money, but he did something infinitely greater. He proved that one really can “Think and Grow Rich.” How much actual cash that original DESIRE of Barnes was worth to him, I have no way of knowing. Perhaps it brought him two or three million dollars.2 But the amount, whatever it may have been, was insignificant when compared to the far greater asset he acquired in the form of the definite knowledge that an intangible impulse of thought can be “transmuted” into its physical counterpart by the application of known principles.3 Barnes literally thought himself into a partnership with the great Edison! He thought himself into a fortune. He had nothing to start with except the capacity to KNOW WHAT HE WANTED AND THE DETERMINATION TO STAND BY THAT DESIRE UNTIL HE REALIZED IT. He had no money to begin with. He had but little education. He had no influence. But he did have initiative, faith, and the will to win. With these intangible forces he made himself “number one man” with the greatest inventor who ever lived.4 Three Feet from Gold Now let us look at a different situation and study someone who had plenty of tangible evidence of riches, but lost them—because he stopped three feet short of the goal he was seeking. One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat. Every person is guilty of this mistake at one time or another. An uncle of R. U. Darby5 was caught by “gold fever” in the gold rush days and went west to DIG AND GROW RICH. He had never heard that more gold has been mined from the human brain than has ever been taken from the earth. He staked a claim and went to work with pick and shovel. The going was hard, but his lust for gold was definite. After weeks of labor, he was rewarded by the discovery of the shining ore. He needed machinery to bring the ore to the surface. Quietly, he covered up the mine, retraced his footsteps to his home in Williamsburg, Maryland, and told his relatives and a few neighbors of the “strike.” They got together money for the needed machinery and had it shipped. The uncle and Darby went back to work the mine. The first car of ore was mined and shipped to a smelter. The returns proved they had one of the richest mines in Colorado! A few more cars of that ore would clear the debts. Then would come the big killing in profits. Down went the drills! Up went the hopes of Darby and Uncle! Then something happened. The vein of gold ore disappeared! They had come to the end of the rainbow, and the pot of gold was no longer there! They drilled on, desperately trying to pick up the vein again—all to no avail. Finally, they decided to QUIT. They sold the machinery to a junkman for a few hundred dollars and took the train back home. Some junkmen are dumb, but not this one. He called in a mining engineer to look at the mine and do a little calculating. The engineer advised that the project had failed because the owners were not familiar with “fault lines.” His calculations showed that the vein would be found JUST THREE FEET FROM WHERE THE DARBYS HAD STOPPED DRILLING! That is exactly where it was found! The junkman took millions of dollars in ore from the mine because he knew enough to seek expert counsel before giving up. Most of the money which went into the machinery was procured through the efforts of R. U. Darby, who was then a very young man. The money came from his relatives and neighbors because of their faith in him. He paid back every dollar of it, although he was years in doing so. Long afterward, Mr. Darby recouped his loss many times over when he made the discovery that DESIRE can be transmuted into gold. The discovery came after he went into the business of selling life insurance. Remembering that he had lost a huge fortune because he STOPPED three feet from gold, Darby profited from the experience in his chosen work by the simple method of saying to himself, “I stopped three feet from gold, but I will never stop because people say ‘no’ when I ask them to buy insurance.” Darby in his day was one of a small group of fewer than 50 individuals who sold more than a million dollars of life insurance annually. He owed his “stickability” to the lesson he learned from his “quitability” in the gold mining business. Before success comes in anyone’s life, that individual is sure to meet with much temporary defeat and, perhaps, some failure. When defeat overtakes a person, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to QUIT. That is exactly what the majority of people do. More than 500 of the most successful individuals this country has ever known have told me that their greatest success came just one step beyond the point at which defeat had overtaken them. Failure is a trickster with a keen sense of irony and cunning. It takes great delight in tripping one when success is almost within reach. A 50-Cent Lesson in Persistence Shortly after Mr. Darby received his degree from the “University of Hard Knocks” and had decided to profit by his experience in the gold mining business, he had the good fortune to be present on an occasion that proved to him that “no” does not necessarily mean no. One afternoon he was helping an uncle grind wheat in an old-fashioned mill. The uncle operated a large farm on which a number of black sharecropper farmers lived. Quietly, the door was opened and a small child, the daughter of one of the tenant families, walked in and took her place near the door. The uncle looked up, saw the child, and barked at her roughly, “What do you want?” Meekly, the child replied, “My momma say to send her fifty cents.” “I’ll not do it,” the uncle retorted. “Now you run on home.” “Yes sir,” the child replied. But she did not move. The uncle went ahead with his work, so busily engaged that he did not pay enough attention to the child to observe that she did not leave. When he looked up and saw her still standing there, he yelled at her, “I told you to go on home! Now go or I’ll take a switch to you.” The little girl said, “Yes sir,” but she did not budge an inch. The uncle dropped a sack of grain he was about to pour into the mill hopper, picked up a barrel stave, and started toward the child with an expression on his face that indicated trouble. Darby held his breath. He was certain he was about to witness a horrible beating. He knew his uncle had a fierce temper. In those days, poor children, especially sharecropper children, simply were not allowed to exhibit such overt defiance. When the uncle reached the spot where the child was standing, she quickly moved forward one step, looked up into his eyes, and screamed at the top of her shrill voice, “MY MOMMA’S GOTTA HAVE THAT FIFTY CENTS!” The uncle stopped, looked at her for a minute, then slowly laid the barrel stave on the floor, put his hand in his pocket, took out a half-dollar, and gave it to her. The child took the money and slowly backed toward the door, never taking her eyes off the man she had just conquered. After she had gone, the uncle sat down on a box and looked out the window into space for more than ten minutes. He was pondering, with awe, the whipping he had just taken. Mr. Darby, too, was doing some thinking. That was the first time in all his experience he had seen a black child deliberately master a white adult. How did she do it? What happened to his uncle that robbed him of his fierceness and made him as docile as a lamb? What strange power did this child use that made her master over this man? These and other similar questions flashed into Darby’s mind, but he did not find the answer until years later when he told me the story. Strangely, the story of this unusual experience was told to me in the old mill, on the very spot where the uncle took his whipping. Strangely, too, I had devoted nearly a quarter of a century to the study of that same power which enabled a small, illiterate sharecropper’s child to conquer a powerful figure of authority. As we stood there in that musty old mill, Mr. Darby repeated the story of the unusual conquest and finished by asking, “What can you make of it? What strange power did that child use that so completely whipped my uncle?” The answer to his question will be found in the principles described in this book. The answer is full and complete. It contains details and instructions sufficient to enable anyone to understand and apply the same force which the little child stumbled upon accidentally. Keep your mind alert and you will observe exactly what strange power came to the rescue of the child. You will catch a glimpse of this power in the next chapter. Somewhere in this book you will find an idea that will quicken your receptive powers and place at your command, for your OWN benefit, this same irresistible power. The awareness of this power may come to you in the first chapter, or it may flash into your mind in some subsequent chapter. It may come in the form of a single idea. Or it may come in the nature of a plan or a purpose. Again, it may cause you to go back into your past experiences of failure or defeat and bring to the surface some lesson by which you can regain all that you “lost” through defeat. After I had described to Mr. Darby the power unwittingly used by the little child, he quickly retraced his 30 years of experience as a life insurance salesman and frankly acknowledged that his success in that field was due in no small degree to the lesson he had learned from the child. Mr. Darby pointed out: “Every time a prospect tried to bow me out without buying, I saw that child standing there in the old mill, her big eyes glaring in defiance, and I said to myself, ‘I’ve gotta make this sale.’ The better portion of all sales I have made were made after people had said ‘NO.’” He recalled, too, his mistake in having stopped only three feet from gold, “but that experience,” he said, “was a blessing in disguise. It taught me to keep on keeping on no matter how hard the going may be, a lesson I needed to learn before I could succeed in anything.” This story of Mr. Darby, his uncle, the child, and the gold mine doubtless will be read by hundreds of men and women who make their living in sales. To all of these, I wish to offer the suggestion that Darby owed to these two experiences his ability to sell more than a million dollars of life insurance every year—an incredible feat in his day. Life is strange and often imponderable! Both its successes and its failures have their roots in simple experiences. Mr. Darby’s experiences were commonplace and simple enough, yet they held the answer to his destiny in life, therefore, they were as important (to him) as life itself. He profited by these two dramatic experiences because he analyzed them and found the lesson they taught. But what of the person who has neither the time nor the inclination to study failure in search of knowledge that may lead to success? Where and how is that individual to learn the art of converting defeat into steppingstones to opportunity? To answer these questions, this book was written. The answer calls for a description of 13 steps, or principles, but remember as you read, the answer you may be seeking to the questions which have caused you to ponder over the strangeness of life may be found in your own mind—which through some idea, plan, or purpose which may spring into your mind as you read. One sound idea is all that one needs to achieve success. The principles described in this book contain the best and the most practical of all that is known concerning ways and means of creating useful ideas. Before we go any further in our approach to the description of these principles, I believe you are entitled to receive this important suggestion: WHEN RICHES BEGIN TO COME, THEY COME SO QUICKLY, IN SUCH GREAT ABUNDANCE, THAT ONE WONDERS WHERE THEY HAVE BEEN HIDING DURING ALL THOSE LEAN YEARS. This is an astounding statement, and all the more so when we take into consideration the popular belief that riches come only to those who work hard and long. When you begin to THINK AND GROW RICH, you will observe that riches begin with a state of mind—with definiteness of purpose and with little or no hard work. You and every other person ought to be interested in knowing how to acquire that state of mind which will attract riches. I spent 25 years in research, analyzing thousands of people, because I, too, wanted to know “how wealthy people become that way.” Without that research, this book could not have been written. Here take notice of a very significant truth: The Great Depression started in 1929 and continued on to an all-time record of economic destruction until sometime after President Franklin D. Roosevelt entered office. Then the Depression began to fade into nothingness. Just as an usher in a theater raises the lights so gradually that darkness is “transmuted” into light before you realize it, so did the spell of fear in the minds of the people gradually fade away and become faith. Observe closely that as soon as you master the principles of this philosophy and begin to follow the instructions for applying those principles, your financial status will begin to improve and everything you touch will begin to transmute itself into an asset for your benefit. Impossible? Not at all. One of the main weaknesses of the human race is the average person’s familiarity with the word “impossible.” People know all the rules which will NOT work. They know all the things which CANNOT be done. This book was written for those who seek the rules which have made others successful and who are willing to stake everything on those rules. A great many years ago I purchased a fine dictionary. The first thing I did with it was to turn to the word “impossible” and neatly clip it out of the book. That would not be an unwise thing for you to do. Success comes to those who become SUCCESS-CONSCIOUS. Failure comes to those who indifferently allow themselves to become FAILURE-CONSCIOUS. The object of this book is to help all who seek it to learn the art of changing their minds from FAILURE CONSCIOUSNESS to SUCCESS CONSCIOUSNESS. Another weakness found in altogether too many people is the habit of measuring everything and everyone by their own impressions and beliefs. Some who read this will believe that no one can THINK AND GROW RICH. They cannot think in terms of riches because their thought habits have been steeped in poverty, want, misery, failure, and defeat. These unfortunate people remind me of a prominent Asian who came to America when he was a student to be educated in American ways. He attended the University of Chicago. One day President William Rainey Harper6 met this young man on the campus, stopped to chat with him for a few minutes and asked what had impressed him as being the most noticeable characteristic of the American people. “Why,” the student exclaimed, “your eyes!” What does the typical Caucasian say about people of Asian descent? We refuse to believe, or we think odd, that which is not familiar or which we do not understand. We foolishly believe that our own limitations are the proper measure of limitations. Sure, another person’s eyes may appear “different” BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT THE SAME AS OUR OWN. Millions of people look at the achievements of highly successful entrepreneurs, such as Henry Ford, after they have arrived and envy them because of their good fortune, or luck, or genius, or whatever it is that they credit for the entrepreneurs’ fortunes. Perhaps one person in every hundred thousand knows the secret of entrepreneurial success, and those who do know are too modest or too reluctant to speak of it because of its simplicity. A single event will illustrate the “secret” perfectly. One day, Ford decided to produce his now famous V-8 automobile engine, one of the most successful developments in the history of the automobile industry. He chose to build an engine with the entire eight cylinders cast in one block, and he instructed his engineers to produce a design for the engine. The design was placed on paper, but the engineers agreed, to a man, that it was simply impossible to cast an eight-cylinder gas engine block in one piece. Ford said, “Produce it anyway.” “But,” they replied, “it’s impossible!” “Go ahead,” Ford commanded, “and stay on the job until you succeed, no matter how much time is required.” The engineers went ahead. There was nothing else for them to do if they were to remain on the Ford staff. Six months went by; nothing happened. Another six months passed, and still nothing happened. The engineers tried every conceivable plan to carry out the orders, but the thing seemed out of the question—“impossible!” At the end of the year, Ford checked with his engineers, and again they informed him they had found no way to carry out his orders. “Go right ahead,” said Ford. “I want it, and I’ll have it.” They went ahead, and then, as if by a stroke of magic, the secret was discovered. The Ford DETERMINATION had won once more!7 This story may not be described with minute accuracy, but the sum and substance of it is correct. Deduce from it, if you wish to THINK AND GROW RICH, the secret of the Ford millions. You’ll not have to look very far. Henry Ford was a success because he understood and applied the principles of success. One of these is DESIRE—knowing what you want. Remember this Ford story as you read, and pick out the lines in which the secret of his stupendous achievement has been described. If you can do this, if you can lay your finger on the particular group of principles which made Henry Ford rich, you can equal his achievements in almost any calling for which you are suited. You are “the Master of Your Fate, the Captain of Your Soul” When poet William Ernest Henley wrote the prophetic lines, “I am the Master of my Fate, I am the Captain of my Soul,” he should have informed us that we are the Masters of our Fate, the Captains of our Souls, because we have the power to control our thoughts. He should have told us that the universe in which this little earth floats, in which we move and have our being, is itself a form of energy, and it is filled with a form of universal power which ADAPTS itself to the nature of the thoughts we hold in our minds—and INFLUENCES us, in natural ways, to transmute our thoughts into their physical equivalent. If the poet had told us of this great truth, we should know WHY IT IS that we are the Masters of our Fate, the Captains of our Souls. He should have told us, with great emphasis, that this power makes no attempt to discriminate between destructive thoughts and constructive thoughts, that it will urge us to translate into physical reality thoughts of poverty just as quickly as it will influence us to act upon thoughts of riches. He should have told us, too, that our brains become “magnetized” with the dominating thoughts we hold in our minds. And that by means which no one fully understands, these dominating thoughts, like magnets, attract to us the forces, the people, the circumstances of life which harmonize with the nature of our dominating thoughts. He should have told us that before we can accumulate riches in great abundance, we must magnetize our minds with intense DESIRE for riches, that we must become “money conscious” until the DESIRE for money drives us to create definite plans for acquiring it. But, being a poet and not a philosopher, Henley contented himself by stating a great truth in poetic form, leaving those who followed him to interpret the philosophical meaning of his lines. Little by little, the truth has unfolded itself, until it now appears certain that the principles described in this book hold the secret of mastery over our economic fate. We are now almost ready to examine the first of The 13 Steps to Riches that underlie The Think and Grow Rich Philosophy. Maintain a spirit of open-mindedness, and remember as you read that these principles are the invention of no one individual. The principles were gathered from the life experiences of more than 500 people who actually accumulated riches in huge amounts—people who began in poverty, with but little education, without influence. The principles worked for these individuals. You can put them to work for your own enduring benefit. You will find it easy, not hard, to do. Before you read about The First Step to Riches in the next chapter, I want you to know that it conveys factual information that might easily change your entire financial destiny, just as it so definitely brought changes of stupendous proportions to two persons to be described. I want you to know also that the relationship between these two individuals and myself is such that I could have taken no liberties with the facts even if I had wished to do so. One of them was my closest personal friend for more than a quarter of a century. The other is my own son. The unusual success of these two men, success which they generously accredit to the principle described in the next chapter, more than justifies this personal reference as a means of emphasizing the far-flung power of this principle. Many years ago, I delivered the commencement address at Salem College in Salem, West Virginia.8 I emphasized the principle described in the next chapter with so much intensity that one of the members of the graduating class definitely appropriated it and made it a part of his own philosophy. That young man went on to become a distinguished member of Congress and an important figure in the national government. Just before this book went to the publisher, this U. S. Senator wrote me a letter in which he so clearly stated his opinion of the principle outlined in the next chapter that I have chosen to publish his letter here as a “foreword” to that chapter. It gives you an idea of the rewards to come. My dear Napoleon: My service as a Member of Congress having given me an insight into the problems of men and women, I am writing to offer a suggestion which may become helpful to thousands of worthy people. With apologies, I must state that the suggestion, if acted upon, will mean several years of labor and responsibility for you, but I am enheartened to make the suggestion, because I know your great love for rendering useful service. You delivered the Commencement address at Salem College, when I was a member of the graduating class. In that address, you planted in my mind an idea which has been responsible for the opportunity I now have to serve the people of my State, and will be responsible, in a very large measure, for whatever success I may have in the future. The suggestion I have in mind is that you put into a book the sum and substance of the address you delivered at Salem College, and in that way give the people of America an opportunity to profit by your many years of experience and association with [those] who, by their greatness, have made America the richest nation on earth. I recall, as though it were yesterday, the marvelous description you gave of the method by which Henry Ford, with but little schooling, without a dollar, with no influential friends, rose to great heights. I made up my mind then, even before you had finished your speech, that I would make a place for myself, no matter how many difficulties I had to surmount. Thousands of young people will finish their schooling this year, and within the next few years. Every one of them will be seeking just such a message of practical encouragement as the one I received from you. They will want to know where to turn, what to do, to get started in life. You can tell them, because you have helped to solve the problems of so many, many people. If there is any possible way that you can afford to render so great a service, may I offer the suggestion that you include with every book, one of your Personal Analysis Charts, in order that the purchaser of the book may have the benefit of a complete self-inventory, indicating, as you indicated to me years ago, exactly what is standing in the way of success. Such a service as this, providing the readers of your book with a complete, unbiased picture of their faults and their virtues, would mean to them the difference between success and failure. The service would be priceless. Millions of people are now facing the problem of staging a comeback,…and I speak from personal experience when I say, I know these earnest people would welcome the opportunity…to receive your suggestions for the solution. You know the problems of those who face the necessity of beginning all over again. There are thousands of people in America today who would like to know how they can convert ideas into money, people who must start at scratch, without finances, and recoup their losses. If anyone can help them, you can. If you publish the book, I would like to own the first copy that comes from the press, personally autographed by you. With best wishes, believe me, Cordially yours, JENNINGS RANDOLPH 9 What that commencement address had kindled in Senator Jennings Randolph as he was about to set out on adult life, was his first real understanding of the enormous power of DESIRE—The First Step to Riches. A BURNING DESIRE TO BE AND TO DO is the starting point from which the dreamer must take off. Dreams are not born of indifference, laziness, or lack of ambition. Chapter 1 DESIRE The Starting Point of All Achievement The First Step to Riches WHEN EDWIN C. BARNES climbed down from that freight train in Orange, N.J., he may have resembled a tramp, but his thoughts were those of a king! As he made his way from the railroad tracks to Thomas Edison’s office, his mind was at work. He saw himself standing in Edison’s presence. He heard himself asking Mr. Edison for an opportunity to carry out the one CONSUMING OBSESSION OF HIS LIFE, a BURNING DESIRE to become the business associate of the great inventor. Barnes’ desire was not a hope! It was not a wish! It was a keen, pulsating DESIRE that transcended everything else. It was DEFINITE. The desire was not new when he approached Edison. It had been Barnes’ dominating desire for a long time. In the beginning, when the desire first appeared in his mind, it may have been, probably was, only a wish, but it was no mere wish when he appeared before Edison with it. A few years later, Edwin C. Barnes again stood before Edison in the same office where he first met the inventor. This time his DESIRE had been translated into reality. He was in business with Edison. The dominating DREAM OF HIS LIFE had become a reality. People who later knew Barnes envied him because of the “break” that life had yielded him. They saw him in the days of his triumph, without taking the trouble to investigate the cause of his success. Barnes succeeded because he chose a definite goal, placed all his energy, all his willpower, all his effort, everything back of that goal. He did not become the partner of Edison the day he arrived. He was content to start at the most menial work as long as it provided an opportunity to take even one step toward his cherished goal. Five years passed before the chance he had been seeking made its appearance. During all those years, not one ray of hope, not one promise of attainment of his DESIRE, had been held out to him. To everyone except himself, he appeared to be only another cog in the Edison business wheel, but in his own mind HE WAS THE PARTNER OF EDISON EVERY MINUTE OF THE TIME from the very day that he first went to work there. It is a remarkable illustration of the power of a DEFINITE DESIRE. Barnes won his goal because he wanted to be a business associate of Mr. Edison more than he wanted anything else. He created a plan by which to attain that purpose. But he BURNED ALL BRIDGES BEHIND HIM. He stood by his DESIRE until it became the dominating obsession of his life—and, finally, a fact. When he went to Orange, he did not say to himself, “I will try to induce Edison to give me a job of some sort.” He said, “I will see Edison and put him on notice that I have come to go into business with him.” He did not say, “I will work there for a few months and if I get no encouragement, I will quit and get a job somewhere else.” He did say, “I will start anywhere. I will do anything Edison tells me to do, but before I am through, I will be his associate.” He did not say, “I will keep my eyes open for another opportunity in case I fail to get what I want in the Edison organization.” He said, “There is but ONE thing in this world that I am determined to have, and that is a business association with Thomas A. Edison. I will burn all bridges behind me and stake my ENTIRE FUTURE on my ability to get what I want.” He left himself no possible way of retreat. He had to win or perish! That is all there is to the Barnes story of success! A long while ago, a great warrior faced a situation which made it necessary for him to make a decision which ensured his success on the battlefield. He was about to send his armies against a powerful foe whose men outnumbered his own. He loaded his soldiers into boats, sailed to the enemy’s country, unloaded soldiers and equipment, then gave the order to burn the ships that had carried them. Addressing his troops before the first battle, he said, “You see the boats going up in smoke. That means that we cannot leave these shores alive unless we win! We now have no choice. We win— or we perish!” They won. Those who would win in any undertaking must be willing to burn their ships and cut all sources of retreat. Only by so doing can one be sure of maintaining that state of mind known as a BURNING DESIRE TO WIN, essential to success. The morning after the great Chicago Fire, a group of merchants stood on State Street looking at the smoking remains of what had been their stores.1 They went into a conference to decide if they would try to rebuild or leave Chicago and start over in a more promising section of the country. They reached a decision—all except one—to leave Chicago. The merchant who decided to stay and rebuild pointed a finger at the remains of his store and said, “Gentlemen, on that very spot I will build the world’s greatest store, no matter how many times it may burn down.” That was in 1871. The store was built. It became a towering monument to the power of that state of mind known as BURNING DESIRE. The easy thing for Marshal Field to have done would have been exactly what his fellow merchants did. When the going was hard and the future looked dismal, they pulled up and went where the going seemed easier.2 Mark well this difference between Marshal Field and the other merchants because it is the same difference that distinguished Edwin C. Barnes from thousands of other young people who worked in the Edison organization. It is the same difference which distinguishes practically all who succeed from those who fail. Every individual who reaches the age of understanding the purpose of money, wishes for it. Wishing will not bring riches. But desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways and means to acquire riches, and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure, will bring riches. The method by which DESIRE for riches can be transmuted into its financial equivalent consists of six definite, practical actions: First. Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire. It is not sufficient merely to say, “I want plenty of money.” Be definite as to the amount. (There is a psychological reason for definiteness which will be described in a subsequent chapter.) Second. Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire. (There is no such reality as “something for nothing.”) Third. Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money you desire. Fourth. Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action. Fifth. Write out a clear, concise statement of the amount of money you intend to acquire, name the time limit for its acquisition, state what you intend to give in return for the money, and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to accumulate it. Sixth. Read your written statement aloud, twice daily, once just before retiring at night and once after arising in the morning. AS YOU READ, SEE AND FEEL AND BELIEVE YOURSELF ALREADY IN POSSESSION OF THE MONEY. It is important that you follow the instructions described in these six actions. It is especially important that you observe and follow the instructions in the sixth. You may complain that it is impossible for you to “see yourself in possession of money” before you actually have it. Here is where a BURNING DESIRE will come to your aid. If you truly DESIRE money so keenly that your desire is an obsession, you will have no difficulty in convincing yourself that you will acquire it. The object is to want money and to become so determined to have it that you CONVINCE yourself you will have it. Only those who become “money-conscious” ever accumulate great riches. Money-consciousness means that the mind has become so thoroughly saturated with the DESIRE for money that one can see one’s self already in possession of it. To the uninitiated, who have not been schooled in the working principles of the human mind, these instructions may appear impractical. It may be helpful to all who fail to recognize the soundness of the six actions to know that the information they convey was received from Andrew Carnegie, who began as an ordinary laborer in the steel mills, but managed, despite his humble beginnings, to make these principles yield him a fortune of considerably more than one hundred million dollars.3 It may be of further help to know that the six actions here recommended were carefully scrutinized by Thomas A. Edison, who placed his stamp of approval upon them as being not only the steps essential for the accumulation of money, but necessary for the attainment of any definite goal. The steps call for no “hard labor.” They call for no “sacrifice.” They do not require one to become ridiculous or unthinking. To apply them calls for no great amount of education. But the successful completion of these six actions does call for sufficient imagination to enable one to see, and to understand, that accumulation of money cannot be left to chance, good fortune, and luck. One must realize that all who have accumulated great fortunes first did a certain amount of dreaming, hoping, wishing, DESIRING, and PLANNING before they acquired money. You may as well know, right here, that you can never have riches in great quantities UNLESS you can work yourself into a white heat of DESIRE for money and actually BELIEVE you will possess it. You may as well know also that every great leader, from the dawn of civilization down to the present, was a dreamer. Christianity became one of the greatest powers in the world because its founder was an intense dreamer who had the vision and the imagination to see realities in their mental and spiritual form before they had been transmuted into physical form. If you do not see great riches in your imagination, you will never see them in your bank balance. Never in the history of America has there been so great an opportunity for practical dreamers as now exists. The hardships of these recent tough and unsettled economic times have put many people back at square one. A new race is about to be run. The stakes represent huge fortunes which will be accumulated within the next few years. The rules of the race have changed because we now live in a CHANGED WORLD that definitely favors those who have had little or no opportunity to win under the conditions existing recently, when fear often paralyzed personal and economic growth and development. We who are in this race for riches should be encouraged to know that this changed world in which we live is demanding new ideas, new ways of doing things, new leaders, new inventions, new methods of teaching, new methods of marketing, new books, new literature, new features for the mass media, new ideas for entertainment. Back of all this demand for new and better things there is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is DEFINITENESS OF PURPOSE—the knowledge of what one wants and a burning DESIRE to possess it. We have witnessed the death of one age and the birth of another. This changed world requires practical dreamers who can and will put their dreams into action. The practical dreamers have always been and always will be the pattern makers of civilization. We who desire to accumulate riches should remember that the real leaders of the world always have been individuals who harnessed and put into practical use the intangible, unseen forces of unborn opportunity, and converted those forces (or impulses of thought) into skyscrapers, cities, factories, airplanes, automobiles, and every form of convenience that makes life more pleasant. Tolerance and an open mind are practical necessities of the dreamer of today. Those who are afraid of new ideas are doomed before they start. Never has there been a time more favorable to pioneers than the present. True, there is no “Wild and Woolly West” to be conquered as in the days of the covered wagon. But there is a vast business, financial, and industrial world to be remolded and redirected along new and better lines. In planning to acquire your share of the riches, let no one influence you to scorn the dreamer. To win the big stakes in this changed world, you must catch the spirit of the great pioneers of the past whose dreams have given to civilization all that it has of value. It is that spirit which serves as the lifeblood of America—the burning desire to take full advantage of the wonderful opportunity, yours and mine, to develop and market our talents in a free land. Let us not forget, Columbus dreamed of an Unknown World, staked his life on the existence of such a world, and discovered it! Copernicus, the great astronomer, dreamed of a multiplicity of worlds and revealed them! No one denounced him as “impractical” after he had triumphed. Instead, the world worshiped at his shrine, thus proving once more that “SUCCESS REQUIRES NO APOLOGIES, FAILURE PERMITS NO ALIBIS.” If the thing you wish to do is right and you believe in it, go ahead and do it! Put your dream across, and never mind what “they” say if you meet with temporary defeat, for “they” perhaps do not know that EVERY FAILURE BRINGS WITH IT THE SEED OF AN EQUIVALENT SUCCESS. Henry Ford, poor and uneducated, dreamed of a “horseless carriage,” went to work with what tools he possessed without waiting for opportunity to favor him, and now evidence of his dream belts the entire earth. He put more wheels into operation than anyone who ever lived—because he was not afraid to back his dreams. Thomas Edison dreamed of a lamp that could be operated by electricity, began where he stood to put his dream into action, and despite more than 10,000 failures, he stood by that dream until he made it a physical reality. Practical dreamers DO NOT QUIT!4 Lincoln dreamed of freedom for the slaves, put his dream into action, and barely missed living to see a united North and South translate his dream into reality. The Wright brothers dreamed of a machine that would fly through the air. Now one may see evidence all over the world that they dreamed soundly. Marconi dreamed of a system for harnessing the intangible forces of the electromagnetic spectrum.5 Evidence that he did not dream in vain may be found in every radio and television set in the world. Moreover, Marconi’s dream brought the humblest cabin and the stateliest manor house side by side. It has made the people of every nation on earth back-door neighbors. It gave the President of the United States the means by which to talk to all the people of America at one time and on short notice. It may interest you to know that Marconi’s “friends” had him taken into custody and examined in a mental hospital when he announced he had discovered a principle through which he could send messages through the air, without the aid of wires or other direct physical means of communication. The dreamers of today fare better. The world has become accustomed to new discoveries. It has shown a willingness to reward the dreamer who gives the world a new idea. “The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn; the bird waits in the egg; and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. DREAMS ARE THE SEEDLINGS OF REALITIES.”6 Awake, arise, and assert yourself, you dreamers of the world. Your star is in the ascendancy. Worldwide economic uncertainty has brought the opportunity you have been waiting for. It has taught many people humility, tolerance, and open-mindedness. The world is filled with an abundance of OPPORTUNITY the dreamers of the past never knew. A BURNING DESIRE TO BE, AND TO DO, is the starting point from which the dreamer must take off. Dreams are not born of indifference, laziness, or lack of ambition. The world no longer scoffs at dreamers, nor calls them impractical. If you think it does, take a trip to Tennessee and visit the mighty dams and power plants of the Tennessee Valley Authority to witness what a “dreamer” President did in the way of harnessing and using the great water power of America. At one time, such a dream would have seemed like madness.7 You may have been disappointed, you may have suffered setbacks and defeat during hard economic times, you may have felt the great heart within you crushed until it bled. Take courage, for these experiences have tempered the spiritual metal of which you are made—they are assets of incomparable value. Remember, too, that all who succeed in life get off to a bad start and pass through many heartbreaking struggles before they “arrive.” The turning point in the lives of those who succeed usually comes at the moment of some crisis, through which they are introduced to their “other selves.” John Bunyan wrote Pilgrim’s Progress, which is among the finest works in all of English literature, after he had been confined in prison and sorely punished because of his views on religion. O. Henry discovered the genius which slept within his brain after he had met with great misfortune and was confined in a prison cell, in Columbus, Ohio. Being FORCED, through misfortune, to become acquainted with his “other self” and to use his IMAGINATION, he discovered himself to be a great author, instead of a miserable criminal and outcast.8 Strange and varied are the ways of life, and stranger are the ways of Infinite Intelligence,9 through which human beings are sometimes forced to undergo all sorts of trouble and tribulation before discovering their own brains and their own capacity to create useful ideas through imagination. Edison, the world’s greatest inventor and scientist, started out as a “tramp” telegraph operator.10 He failed innumerable times before he was driven finally to the discovery of the genius that slept within his brain. Charles Dickens began by pasting labels on blacking pots. The tragedy of his first love penetrated the depths of his soul and converted him into one of the world’s truly great authors. That tragedy produced, first, David Copperfield, then a succession of works that made this a richer and better world for all who read his books.11 (Disappointment over love affairs can have the effect of driving many to drink and others to ruin—and this because most people never learn the art of transmuting their strongest emotions into dreams of a constructive nature. This power of “transmutation” will be dealt with in detail later.) Helen Keller became deaf and blind shortly after birth and for years could not speak. Despite her misfortune, she wrote her name indelibly in the pages of the history of the great. Her entire life served as evidence that no one ever is defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality. Robert Burns was an illiterate country lad who was cursed by poverty and who grew up to be a drunkard in the bargain. The world was made better for his having lived because he clothed beautiful thoughts in poetry and thereby plucked a thorn and planted a rose in its place. Booker T. Washington was born in slavery, handicapped by race and color in the society in which he lived. Because he was tolerant, had an open mind at all times and on all subjects, and was a DREAMER, he left his imprint for good on an entire nation. Beethoven was deaf, Milton was blind, but their names will last as long as civilization endures because they dreamed and translated their dreams into organized thought. Before passing to the next chapter, resolve yourself to kindle in your mind the fire of hope, faith, courage, and tolerance. Once you have these states of mind and a working knowledge of the principles described in this book, all else that you need will come to you—when you are READY for it.12 There is a difference between WISHING for a thing and being READY to receive it. You are never ready for a thing until you believe you can acquire it. The state of mind must be BELIEF, not mere hope or wish. Open-mindedness is essential for belief. Closed minds do not inspire faith, courage, and belief. Remember—no more effort is required to aim high in life, to demand abundance and prosperity, than is required to accept misery and poverty. Jessie B. Rittenhouse has correctly stated this universal truth through these lines in his poem “My Wage”: I bargained with Life for a penny, And Life would pay no more, However I begged at evening When I counted my scanty store. For Life is a just employer, He gives you what you ask, But once you have set the wages, Why, you must bear the task. I worked for a menial’s hire Only to learn, dismayed, That any wage I had asked of Life, Life would have willingly paid. Desire Outwits Mother Nature As a fitting conclusion to this chapter, I wish to introduce one of the most unusual persons I have ever known. I first saw him many years ago, a few minutes after he was born. He came into the world without any external, physical sign of ears, and the doctor admitted, when pressed for an opinion, that the child would likely be deaf and mute for life.* * This was long before the advent of the kind of reconstructive surgery that is commonplace today. I challenged the doctor’s opinion. I had the right to do so. I was the child’s father. I, too, reached a decision and rendered an opinion, but I expressed the opinion silently, in the secrecy of my own heart. I decided that my son would hear and speak. Nature could send me a child without normal organs of hearing, but Nature could not induce me to accept the reality of the affliction. In my own mind, I knew that my son would hear and speak. How? I was sure there must be a way, and I knew I would find it. I thought of the words of the immortal Emerson: “The whole course of things goes to teach us faith. We need only obey. There is guidance for each of us, and by lowly listening, we shall hear the right word.” The right word? DESIRE! More than anything else, I DESIRED that my son should not be deaf and mute. From that desire I never receded, not for a second. Many years previously I had written, “Our only limitations are those we set up in our own minds.” For the first time I wondered if that statement were true. Lying on the bed in front of me was a newborn child, without the natural equipment of hearing. Even though he might eventually hear and speak, he was obviously disfigured for life. Surely, this was a limitation which that child had not set up in his own mind. What could I do about it? Somehow, I would find a way to transplant into that child’s mind my own BURNING DESIRE for ways and means of conveying sound to his brain without the aid of ears. As soon as the child was old enough to cooperate, I would fill his mind so completely with a BURNING DESIRE to hear that Nature would, by methods of her own, translate that desire into physical reality. All this thinking took place in my own mind, but I spoke of it to no one. Every day I renewed the pledge I had made to myself not to accept this disability for my son. As he grew older and began to take notice of things around him, we observed that he had a slight degree of hearing. When he reached the age when children usually begin talking, he made no attempt to speak, but we could tell by his actions that he could hear certain sounds slightly. That was all I needed to know! I was convinced that if he could hear even slightly he might develop still greater hearing capacity. Then something happened which gave me hope. It came from an entirely unexpected source. We bought a Victrola, an old fashioned phonograph. When the child heard the music for the first time, he went into ecstasies and promptly appropriated the machine. He soon showed a preference for certain records, among them “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary.” On one occasion, he played that piece over and over for almost two hours, standing in front of the Victrola with his teeth clamped on the edge of the case. The significance of this self-formed habit of his did not become clear to us until years afterward, for we had never heard of the principle of “bone conduction” of sound at that time. S