"Peace, Power & Plenty"
by Orison Swett Marden
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In the Author's own words this Book teaches that man need not be the victim of his environment,but can be the master of it;that there is no one outside of him which determines his life,his aims,that the person can shape his own environment,creates his own opinion,that the cure for poverty,ill health and unhappiness in bringing one's self through scientific thinking into the pious union with the great source of infinite life of opulence of health and harmony.
NEVER before in the history of mankind has there been such an awakening to the great possibilities of the power of right thinking as we are now witnessing in all civilized countries.
Metaphysical schools are springing up under different names in all parts of the enlightened world. People are getting hold of little bits of one great divine truth, a new gospel of optimism and love, a philosophy of sweetness and light, which seems destined to furnish a universal principle upon which people of all nations, of varying philosophies and creeds, can unite for the betterment of the race.
The basic principle of this great metaphysical movement has opened up many possibilities of mind building, character building, body building and success building which are destined to bring untold blessings to the world.
We are all conscious that there is something in us which is never sick, never sins and never dies, a power back of the flesh but not of it, which connects us with Divinity, makes us one with Infinite Life.
We are beginning to discover something of the nature of this tremendous force back of the flesh, this power which heals, regenerates, rejuvenates, harmonizes and upbuilds, and which will ultimately bring us into that state of blessedness which we instinctively feel is the birthright of every human being.
To present in clear, simple language, shorn of all technicalities, the principles of the new philosophy which promise to lift life out of commonness and discord and make it worthwhile; to show how these principles may be grasped and applied in a practical way in every-day living to each person's own individual case is the object of this volume.
There is a growing belief that "God never made His work for man to mend." We are just beginning to discover that the same Principle which created us, repairs, restores, renews, heals us; that the remedies for all our ills are inside of us, in Divine Principle, which is the truth of our being. We are learning that there is an immortal principle of health in every individual, which if we could utilize would heal all wounds and furnish a balm for all the hurts of mankind.
The author attempts to show that the body is but the mind externalized, the habitual mental state out pictured; that the bodily condition follows the thoughts, and that we are sick or well, happy or miserable, young or old, lovable or unlovable, according to the degree in which we control our mental processes. He shows how man can renew his body by renewing his thought, or change his character by changing his thought.
This book teaches that man need not be the victim of his environment, but can be the master of it: that there is no one outside of him which determines his life, his aims, that the person can shape his or her own environment, create their own opinion, that the cure for poverty, ill health and unhappiness is bringing one's self through scientific thinking into the conscious union with the great source of infinite Life, of opulence, of health and harmony, thus getting in tune with the infinite secret of all peace, power and prosperity.
It emphasizes man's oneness with Infinite Life, and the truth that when he comes into the full realization of his inseparable connection with the creative energy of the universe, he shall never know lack or want again.
This volume shows how man can stand porter at the door of his mind, admitting only his friend thoughts, only those suggestions that will produce joy, prosperity; and excluding all his enemy thoughts which would bring discord, suffering or failure.
It teaches that "your ideal is a prophecy of what you shall at last unveil", that "thought is another name for fate", that we can think ourselves out of discord into harmony, out of disease into health, out of darkness into light, out of hatred into love, out or poverty and failure into prosperity and success.
Before an individual can lift themselves, they must lift their thought. When we shall have learned to master our thought habits, to keep our minds open to the great divine inflow of life force, we shall have learned the secret of human blessedness. Then a new era will dawn for the race.
O. S. M.
The Power of the Mind to Compel the Body
Our destiny changes with our thought; we shall become what we wish to become, do what we wish to do, when our habitual thought corresponds with our desire.
"The divinity that shapes our ends" is in ourselves; it is our very self."
LONG before Henry Irving's death, his physician cautioned him against playing his famous part in "The Bells" on account of the tremendous strain upon his heart. Ellen Terry, his leading woman for many years, says in her biography of him:
Every time he heard the sound of bells , the throbbing of his heart must have nearly killed him. He used always to turn quite white — there was no trick about it. It was imagination acting physically on the body.
His death as Matthias—the death of a strong, robust man—was different from all his other stage deaths. He did really almost die — he imagined death, with such horrible intensity. His eyes would disappear upward, his face grow gray, his limbs cold.
No wonder then that the first time that the Wolverhampton doctor's warning was disregarded, and Henry played "The Bells" at Bradford, his heart could not stand the strain. Within twenty-four hours of his last death as "Matthias" he was dead.
As Becket on the following night—the night of his death—his physicians said that he was undoubtedly dying throughout the entire performance. So buoyed up and stimulated was he by his great zeal for his work and the bracing influence of his audience that he actually held death at bay. It is a common experience for actors who are ill to be cured for a time and to be entirely forgetful of their aches and pains under the stimulus of ambition and the brain-quickening influence of their audiences.
Edward H. Southern says that he feels a great increase of brain activity when he is on the stage, and this is accompanied by a corresponding physical exhilaration. "The very air I breathe" says Mr. Southern, "seems more stimulating. Fatigue leaves me at the stage door; and I have often given performances without any suffering when I should otherwise have been under a doctor's care." Noted orators, great preachers and famous singers have had similar experiences.
That imperious "must" which compels the actor to do his level best, whether he feels like it or not, is a force which no ordinary pain or physical disability can silence or overcome. Somehow, even when we feel that it is impossible for us to make the necessary effort, when the crisis comes, when the emergency is upon us, when we feel the prodding of this imperative, imperious necessity, there is a latent power within us which comes to our rescue, which answers the call, and we do the impossible.
It is an unusual thing for singers or actors and actresses to be obliged to give up their parts even for a night, but when they are off duty, or on their vacations, they are much more likely to be ill or indisposed. There is a common saying among actors and singers that they cannot afford to be sick.
"We don't get sick," said an actor, "because we can't afford that luxury. It is a case of 'must' with us; and although there have been times when, had I been at home, or a private man, I could have taken to my bed with as good a right to be sick as anyone ever had, I have not done so, and have worn off the attack through sheer necessity. It is no fiction that will-power is the best of tonics, and theatrical people understand that they must keep a good stock of it always on hand."
I know of an actor who suffered such tortures with inflammatory rheumatism that even with the aid of a cane he could not walk two blocks, from his hotel to the theater; yet when his cue was called, he not only walked upon the stage with the utmost ease and grace, but was also entirely oblivious of the pain which a few moments before had made him wretched. A stronger motive drove out the lesser, made him utterly unconscious of his trouble, and the pain for the time was gone. It was not merely covered up by some other thought, passion, or emotion, but it was temporarily annihilated; and as soon as the play was over, and his part finished, he was crippled again.
General Grant was suffering greatly from rheumatism at Appomattox, but when a flag of truce informed him that Lee was ready to surrender, his great joy not only made him forget his rheumatism but also drove it completely away — at least for some time.
The shock occasioned by the great San Francisco earthquake cured a paralytic who had been crippled for fifteen years. There were a great many other wonderful cures reported which were almost instantaneous. Men and women who had been practically invalids for a long time, and who were scarcely able to wait upon themselves, when the crisis came and they were confronted by this terrible situation, worked like Trojans, carrying their children and household goods long distances to places of safety.
We do not know what we can bear until we are put to the test. Many a delicate mother, who thought that she could not survive the death of her children, has lived to bury her husband and the last one of a large family, and in addition to all this has seen her home and last dollar swept away; yet she has had the courage to bear it all and to go on as before. When the need comes, there is a power deep within us that answers the call.
Timid girls who have always shuddered at the mere thought of death have in some fatal accident entered into the shadow of the valley without a tremor or murmur. We can face any kind of inevitable danger with wonderful fortitude. Frail, delicate women will go on an operating table with marvelous courage, even when they know that the operation is likely to be fatal. But the same women might go all to pieces over the terror of some impending danger, because of the very uncertainty of what might be in store for them. Uncertainty gives fear a chance to get in its deadly work on the imagination and make cowards of us.
A person who shrinks from the prick of a pin and who, under ordinary circumstances, cannot endure without an anesthetic the extraction of a tooth or the cutting of flesh even in a trivial operation, can, when mangled in an accident, far from civilization, stand the amputation of a limb without as much fear and terror as they might suffer at home from the lancing of a felon.
I have seen a dozen strong men go to their deaths in a fire without showing the slightest sign of fear. There is something within every one of us that braces us up in a catastrophe and makes us equal to any emergency. This something is the God in us. These brave firemen did not shrink even when they saw every means of escape cut off. The last rope thrown to them had consumed away; the last ladder had crumbled to ashes, and they were still in a burning tower one hundred feet above a blazing roof. Yet they showed no sign of fear or cowardice when the tower sank into the seething cauldron of flame.
When in Deadwood, in the Black Hills of South Dakota, I was told that in the early days there, before telephone, railroad, or telegraph communication had been established, the people were obliged to send a hundred miles for a physician. For this reason the services of a doctor were beyond the reach of persons of moderate means. The result was that people learned to depend upon themselves to such an extent that it was only on extremely rare occasions, usually in a case of severe accident or some great emergency, that a physician was sent for. Some of the largest families of children in the place had been reared without a physician ever coming into the house. When I asked some of these people if they were ever sick they replied, "no, we are never sick, simply because we are obliged to keep well. We cannot afford to have a physician, and even if we could, it would take so long to get him here that the sick one might be dead before he arrived."
One of the most unfortunate things that has come to us through what we call "higher civilization" is the killing of faith in our power of disease resistance. In our large cities people make great preparations for sickness. They expect it, anticipate it and consequently have it. It is only a block or two to a physician; a drug-store is on every other corner, and the temptation to send for the physician or to get drugs at the slightest symptom of illness tends to make them more and more dependent on outside help and less able to control their physical discords.
During the frontier days there were little villages and hamlets which physicians rarely entered, and here the people were strong and healthy and independent. They developed great powers of disease resistance.
There is no doubt that the doctor habit in many families has a great deal to do with the developing of unfortunate physical conditions in the child. Many mothers are always calling the doctor whenever there is the least sign of disturbance in the children. The result is that the child grows up with this disease picture, doctor picture, medicine picture in its mind, and it influences its whole life.
The time will come when a child and any kind of medicine will be considered a very incongruous combination. Were children properly reared in the love thought, in the truth thought, in the harmony thought, were they trained to right thinking, a doctor or medicine would be rarely needed.
Within the last ten years tens of thousands of families have never tasted medicine or required the services of a physician. It is becoming more and more certain that the time will come when the belief in the necessity of employing someone to patch us up, to mend the Almighty's work, will be a thing of the past. The creator never put man's health, happiness and welfare at the mercy of the mere accident of happening to live near physicians.
He never left the grandest of His creations to the mercy of any chance, cruel fate or destiny; never intended that the life, health and well-being of one of His children should hang upon the contingency of being near a remedy for his ills; never placed him where his own life, health and happiness would depend upon the chance of happening to be where a certain plant might grow, or a certain mineral exist which could cure him.
Is it not more rational to believe that He would put the remedies for man's ills within himself— in his own mind, where they are always available — than that He would store them in herbs and minerals in remote parts of the earth where practically but a small portion of the human race would ever discover them, countless millions dying in total ignorance of their existence?
There is a latent power, a force of indestructible life, an immortal principle of health, in every individual, which if developed would heal all our wounds and furnish a balm for the hurts of the world.
How rare a thing it is for people to be ill upon any great occasion in which they are to be active participants! How unusual for a woman, even though in very delicate health, to be sick upon a particular day on which she has been invited to a royal reception or to visit the White House at Washington!
Chronic invalids have been practically cured by having great responsibilities thrust upon them. By the death of some relative or the loss of property, or through some emergency, they have been forced out of their seclusion into the public gaze; forced away from the very opportunity of thinking of themselves, dwelling upon their troubles, their symptoms, and lo! the symptoms have disappeared.
Thousands of women are living today in comparative health who would have been dead years ago had they not been forced by necessity out of their diseased thoughts and compelled to think of others, to work for them, to provide and plan for those dependent upon them.
Multitudes of men and women would be sick in bed if they could afford it; but the hungry mouths to feed, the children to clothe, these and all the other obligations of life so press upon them that they cannot stop working; they must keep going whether they feel like it or not.
What does the world not owe that imperious " must" — that strenuous effort which we make when driven to desperation, when all outside help has been cut off and we are forced to call upon all that is within us to extricate ourselves from an unfortunate situation?
Many of the greatest things in the world have been accomplished under the stress of this impelling "must" — merciless in its lashings and proddings to accomplishment.
Necessity has been a priceless spur which has helped man to perform miracles against incredible odds. Every person who amounts to anything feels within themselves a power which is ever pushing them on and urging them to perpetual improvement. Whether they feel like it or not, this inward monitor holds them to their task.
It is this little insistent "must" that dogs our steps; that drives and bestirs us; that makes us willing to suffer privations and endure hardships, inconveniences and discomforts; to work slavishly, in fact, when inclination tempts us to take life easy.
Poverty, A Mental Disability
The worst thing about poverty is the poverty-thought. It is the conviction that we are poor and must remain so that is fatal to the gaining or competence. Holding the poverty thought keeps us in poverty-stricken and poverty-producing conditions.
POVERTY is an abnormal condition. It does not fit any human being's constitution. It contradicts the promise and the prophecy of the divine in man. The Creator never intended that man should be a pauper, a drudge, or a slave. There is not a single indication in man's wonderful mechanism that he was created for a life of poverty. There is something larger and grander for him in the divine plan than perpetual slavery to the bread winning problem.
No individual can do their best work—bring out the best thing in them—while they feel want tugging at their heels; while they are hampered, restricted, forever at the mercy of pinching circumstances.
The very poor, those struggling to keep the wolf at bay, cannot be independent. They cannot order their lives. Often they cannot afford to express their opinions or to have individual views. They cannot always afford to live in decent locations or in healthful houses.
Praise it who will, poverty in its extreme form is narrowing, belittling, contracting, ambition-killing — an unmitigated curse. There is little hope in it, little prospect in it, little joy in it. It often develops the worst in man and kills love between those who would otherwise live happily together.
It is difficult for the average human being to be a real man or a real woman in extreme poverty. When worried, embraced, entangled with debts, forced to make a dime perform the proper work of a dollar, it is almost impossible to preserve that dignity and self-respect which enable a man to hold up his head and look the world squarely in the face. Some rare and beautiful souls have done this and in dire poverty have given us examples of noble living that the world will never forget; but on the other hand, how many has its lash driven to the lowest depths!
Everywhere we see the marks of pinching, grinding, blighting poverty. The hideous evidences of want stare us in the face everyday. We see it in prematurely old, depressed faces, and in children who have had no childhood and who have borne the mark of the poverty-curse ever since their birth. We see it shadowing bright young faces, and often blighting the highest ambition and dwarfing the most brilliant ability.
Poverty is more often a curse than a blessing, and those who praise its virtues would be the last to accept its hard conditions.
I wish I could fill every youth with an utter dread and horror of it; make them feel its shame, when preventable, its constraint, its bitterness, its strangling effect.
There is no disgrace in unpreventable poverty. We respect and honor people who are poor because of ill-health or misfortune which they cannot prevent. The disgrace is in not doing our level best to better our condition.
What we denounce is preventable poverty, that which is due to vicious living, to slovenly, slipshod, systemless work, to idling and dawdling, or to laziness; that poverty which is due to the lack of effort, to wrong thinking, or to any preventable cause.
Every man and women should be ashamed of poverty which they can prevent, not only because it is a reflection upon their ability, and will make others think less of them, but also because it will make them think less of themselves.
The trouble with many of poverty's victims today is that they have no confidence that they can get away from poverty. They hear so much about the poor man's lack of opportunities; that the great money combination will compel nearly everybody in the future to work for somebody else; they hear so much talk of the grasping and the greed of the rich, that they gradually lose confidence in their ability to cope with the conditions and become disheartened.
I do not overlook the heartless, grinding, grasping practices of many of the rich, or the unfair and cruel conditions brought about by unscrupulous political and financial schemers; but I wish to show the poor man that, not withstanding all these things, multitudes of poor people do rise above their iron environment, and that there is hope for him. The mere fact that so many continue to rise, year after year, out of just such conditions as you may think are fatal to your advancement, ought to convince you that you also can conquer your environment.
When an individual loses confidence, every other success quality gradually leaves them, and life becomes a grind. They lose ambition and energy, are not so careful about their personal appearance, are not so painstaking, do not use the same system and order in their work, grow slack and slovenly and slipshod in every way, and become less and less capable of conquering poverty.
Because they cannot keep up appearances and live in the same style as their wealthy neighbors, poor people often become discouraged, and do not try to make the best of what they have. They do not "put their best foot forward" and endeavor with all their might to throw off the evidences of poverty. If there is anything that paralyzes power it is the effort to reconcile ourselves to an unfortunate environment, instead of regarding it as abnormal and trying to get away from it.
Poverty itself is not so bad as the poverty-thought. It is the conviction that we are poor and must remain so, that is fatal. It is the attitude of mind that is destructive, the facing toward poverty and feeling so reconciled to it that one does not turn about face and struggle to get away from it with a determination which knows no retreat.
It is facing the wrong way, toward the black, depressing, hopeless outlook that kills effort and demoralizes ambition. So long as you carry around a poverty-atmosphere and radiate the poverty-thought, you will be limited.
You will never be anything but a beggar while you think beggarly thoughts, a poor man or woman while you think poverty thoughts, a failure while you think failure thoughts.
If you are afraid of poverty, if you dread it, if you have a horror of coming to want in old age, it is more likely to come to you, because this constant fear saps your courage, shakes your self-confidence, and makes you less able to cope with hard conditions.
The magnet must be true to itself, it must attract things like itself. The only instrument by which man has ever attracted anything in this world is his mind, and his mind is like his thought; if it is saturated with the fear-thought, the poverty-thought, no matter how hard he works, he will attract poverty.
You walk in the direction in which you face; if you persist in facing toward poverty, you cannot expect to reach abundance. When every step you take is on the road to failure, you cannot expect to reach the success goal.
If you can conquer inward poverty, we can soon conquer poverty of outward things, for when we change the mental attitude, the physical changes do correspond.
Holding the poverty-thought keeps us in touch with poverty-stricken, poverty-producing conditions; and the constant thinking of poverty, talking poverty, living poverty, make us mentally poor. This is the worst kind of poverty.
We cannot travel toward prosperity until the mental attitude faces prosperity. As long as we look toward despair, we shall never arrive at the harbor of delight.
The individual who persists in holding their mental attitude toward poverty, or who is always thinking of their hard luck and failure to get on, can by no possibility go in the opposite direction, where the goal of prosperity lies.
I know a young man who was graduated from Yale only a few years ago—a broad-shouldered, vigorous young fellow—who says that he hasn't the price of a hat, and that if his father did not send him five dollars a week he would go hungry.
This young man is the victim of discouragement, of the poverty-thought. He says that he does not believes there is any success for him. He has tried many things, and has failed in them all. He says he has no confidence in his ability, that his education has been a failure, and that he has never believed he could succeed. So he has drifted from one thing to another, and is poor and a nobody, just because of his mental attitude, because he does not face the right way.
If you would attract good fortune you must get rid of doubt. As long as that stands between you and your ambition, it will be a bar that will cut you off. You must have faith. No man or woman can make a fortune while they are convinced that they can't. The "I can't" philosophy has wrecked more careers than almost anything else. Confidence is the magic key that unlocks the door of supply.
I never knew a person to be successful who was always talking about business being bad. The habit of looking down, talking down, is fatal to advancement.
The creator has bidden every human being to look up, not down, has made them to climb, not to grovel. There is no providence which keeps a person in poverty, or in painful or distressing circumstances.
A young man of remarkable ability who has an established position in the business world, recently told me that for a long time he had been very poor, and remained so until he made up his mind that he was not intended to be poor, that poverty was really a mental disease of which he intended to rid himself. He formed a habit of daily affirming abundance and plenty, of asserting his faith in himself and in his ability to become a man of means and importance in the world. He persistently drove the poverty-thought out of his mind. He would have nothing to do with it.
He would not allow himself to think of possible failure. He turned his face toward the success goal, turned his back forever on poverty and failure, and he tells me that the result of this positive attitude and persistent affirmation has been marvelous.
He says that he used to pinch himself in every possible way in order to save in little ways. He would eat the cheapest kind of food, and as sparingly as possible. He would rarely go on a street-car, even if he had to walk for miles. Under the new impulse he completely changed his habits, resolved that he would go to good restaurants, that he would get a comfortable room in a good location, and that he would try in every way to meet cultured people, and to form acquaintances with those above him who could help him.
The more liberal he has been, the better he has been to himself in everything which could help him along, which would tend to a higher culture and a better education, the more things have comes his way. He found that it was his pinched, stingy thoughts that shut off his supply.
Although he is now living well, he says that the amount he spends is a mere bagatelle compared with the larger things that come to him from his enlarged thought, his changed attitude of mind.
Stingy, narrow minds do not attract money. If they get money they usually get it by parsimonious saving, rather than by obeying the law of opulence. It takes a broad, liberal mind to attract money. The narrow, stingy mind shuts out the flow of abundance.
It is the hopeful, buoyant, cheerful attitude of mind that wins. Optimism is a success-builder; pessimism, an achievement-killer.
Optimism is the great producer. It is hope, life. It contains everything which enters into the mental attitude which produces and enjoys.
Pessimism is the great destroyer. It is despair, death. No matter if you have lost your property, your health, your reputation even, there is always hope for the man who keeps a firm faith in himself and looks up.
As long as you radiate doubt and discouragement, you will be a failure. If you want to get away from poverty, you must keep your mind in a productive, creative condition. In order to do this you must think confident, cheerful, creative thoughts. The model must precede the statue. You must see a new world before you can live in it.
If the people who are down in the world, who are side-tracked, who believe that there opportunity has gone by forever, that they can never get on their feet again, only knew the power of reversal of their thought, they could easily get a new start.
I know a family whose members completely reversed their condition by reversing their mental attitude. They had been living a discouraging atmosphere, so long that they were convinced that success was for others, but not for them. They believed so thoroughly that they were fated to be poor that their home and entire environment were pictures of dilapidation and failure. Everything was in a run-down condition. There was almost no paint on the house, no carpets on the floors, and scarcely a picture on the wall — nothing to make the home comfortable and cheerful.
All the members of the family looked like failures. The home was gloomy, cold and cheerless. Everything about it was depressing.
One day the mother read something that suggested that poverty was largely a mental disease, and she began at once to reverse her thinking habit, and gradually to replace all discouraging, despondency, failure thoughts with their opposites. She assumed a sunny, cheerful attitude, and looked and acted as if life were worth living.
Soon the husband and children caught the contagion of her cheerfulness, and in a short time the whole family was facing the light. Optimism took the place of pessimism. The husband completely changed his habits. Instead of going to his work unshaven and unkempt, with slovenly dress and slipshod manner, he became neat and tidy. He braced up, brushed up, cleaned up and looked up. The children followed his example. The house was repaired, renovated within and without, and the family forever turned their backs on the dark picture of poverty and failure.
The result of all this was that it brought what many people would call "good luck." The change in the mental attitude, the outlook towards success and happiness instead of failure, re-acted upon the father's mind, gave him new hope and new courage, and so increased his efficiency that he was soon promoted, as were also his sons. After two or three years of the creative, inspiring atmosphere of hope and courage, the entire family and the homes were transformed.
Every man and woman must play the part of their ambition. If you are trying to be a successful person you must play the part. If you are crying to demonstrate opulence, you must play it, not weakly, but vigorously, grandly. You must feel opulent, you must think opulence, you must appear opulent. Your bearing must be filled with confidence. You must give the impression of your own assurance, that you are large enough to play your part and to play it superbly.
Suppose the greatest actor living were to have a play written for them in which the leading part was to represent a man in the process of making a fortune — a great, vigorous, progressive character, who conquered by his very presence. Suppose this actor, in playing the part, were to dress like an unprosperous man, walk on the stage in a stooping, slouchy, slipshod manner, as though he had no ambition, no energy or life, as though he had no real faith that he could ever make money or be a success in business; suppose he went around the stage with an apologetic, shrinking, sulking manner, as much as to say "Now, I do not believe that I can ever do this thing that I have attempted; it is too big for me. Other people have done it, but I never thought that I should ever be rich or prosperous.
Somehow good things do not seem to be meant for me. I am just as ordinary man, I haven't had much experience and I haven't much confidence in myself, and it seems presumptuous for me to think I am ever going to be rich or have much influence in the world." What kind of an impression would he make upon the audience? Would he give confidence, would he radiate power or forcefulness, would he make people think that kind of a weakling could create a fortune, could manipulate conditions which would produce money? Would not everybody say that the man was a failure? Would they not laugh at the idea of his conquering anything?
Suppose a young man should start out with a determination to get rich, and should all the time parade his poverty, confess his inability to make money, and tell everybody that he is "down on his luck"; that he "always expects to be poor." Do you think he would become rich? Talking poverty, thinking poverty, living poverty, assuming the air of a pauper, dressing like a failure, and with a slipshod, slovenly family and home, how long will it take a man to arrive at the goal of success?
Our mental attitude toward the thing we are struggling for has everything to do with our gaining it. If an individual wants to become prosperous, they must believe that they were made for success and happiness; that there is a divinity in them which will, if they follow it, bring them into the light of prosperity.
Erase all the shadows, all the doubts and fears, and the suggestions of poverty and failure from your mind. When you have become master of your thought, when you have once learned to dominate your mind, you will find that things will begin to come your way. Discouragement, fear, doubt, lack of self-confidence, are the germs which have killed the prosperity and happiness of tens of thousands of people.
If it were possible for all the poor to turn their backs on their dark and discouraging environment and face the light and cheer, and if they should resolve that they are done with poverty and a slipshod existence, this very resolution would, in a short time, revolutionize civilization.
Every child should be taught to expect prosperity, to believe that the good things of the world were intended for them. This conviction would be a powerful factor in the adult life if the child were so trained.
Wealth is created mentally first; it is thought out before it becomes a reality.
When a young man or woman decides to become a physician, they put themselves in a medical atmosphere just as much as possible. They talk medicine, read medicine, study medicine, think medicine until they become saturated with it. They do not decide to become a physician and then put themselves in a legal atmosphere, read law, talk law, think law. So if you want success, abundance, you must think success, you must think abundance.
Stoutly deny the power of adversity or poverty to keep you down. Constantly assert your superiority to your environment. Believe that you are to dominate your surroundings, that you are the master and not the slave of circumstances.
Resolve with all the vigor you can muster that, since there are plenty of good things in the world for everybody, you are going to have your share, without injuring anybody else or keeping others back. It was intended that you should have a competence, an abundance. It is your birthright. You are success organized, and constructed for happiness, and you should resolve to reach your divine destiny.
When you make up your mind that you are done with poverty forever; that you will have nothing more to do with it; that you are going to erase every trace of it from your dress, your personal appearance, your manner, your talk, your actions, your home; that you are going to show the world your real mettle; that you are no longer going to pass for a failure; that you have set your face persistently toward better things—a competence, an independence — and that nothing on earth can turn you from your resolution, you will be amazed to find what a reinforcing power will come to you, what an increase of confidence, reassurance, and self-respect.
The very act of turning your back upon the black picture and resolving that you will have nothing more to do with failure, with poverty; that you will make the best possible out of what you do have; that you will put up the best possible appearance; that you will clean up, brush up, talk up, look up, instead of down — hold your head up and look the world in the faces instead of cringing, whining, complaining — will create a new spirit within you which will lead you to the light. Hope will take the place of despair, and you will feel the thrill of a new power, of a new force coursing through your veins.
Thousands of people in this country have thought themselves away from a life of poverty by getting a glimpse of that great principle, that we tend to realize in the life what we persistently hold in the thought and vigorously struggle toward.
"Peace, Power & Plenty" by Orison Swett Marden
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