The keynote of this entire lesson may be found in the word definite.

It is most appalling to know that 95 percent of the people of the world are drifting aimlessly through life, without the slightest concept of the work for which they are best fitted, and with no concept whatsoever of even the need for such a thing as a definite objective toward which to strive.

There is a psychological. as well as an economic, reason for the selection of a Definite Chief Aim in life. Let us devote our attention to the psychological side of the question first. It is a well-established principle of psychology that a person's acts are always in harmony with the dominating thoughts of his or her mind.

No position in Life can be secure,
And no achievement can be permanent
unless built upon truth and justice

Any Definite Chief Aim that is deliberately fixed in the mind and held there, with the firm determination to realize it, finally saturates the entire subconscious mind until it automatically influences the physical action of the body toward the attainment of that purpose.
Your Definite Chief Aim in life should be selected with deliberate care, and after it has been selected it should be written out and placed where you will see it at least once a day. The psychological effect of this is to impress this purpose upon your subconscious mind so strongly that it accepts the purpose as a pattern or blueprint that will eventually dominate your activities in life and lead you, step by step, toward the attainment of the object behind that purpose.
The principle of psychology through which you can impress your Definite Chief Aim on your subconscious mind is autosuggestion, or suggestion that you repeatedly make to yourself It is a degree of self-hypnotism, but do not be afraid of it, for it was through the aid of this same principle that Napoleon lifted himself from the lowly station of poverty-stricken Corsican to the dictatorship of France.

It is through the aid of this same principle that Thomas Edison has risen from his lowly beginning to become accepted as the leading inventor of the world. It was also through the aid of this principle that Lincoln bridged the mighty chasm between his lowly birth, in a log cabin in the mountains of Kentucky, and the presidency of the greatest nation on earth. And it was through the aid of this principle that Theodore Roosevelt became one of the most aggressive leaders that ever reached the presidency of the United States.


You need have no fear of the principle of autosuggestion as long as you are sure that the objective for which you are striving is one that will bring you happiness of an enduring nature. Be sure that your definite purpose is constructive; that its attainment will bring hardship and misery to no one; that it will bring you peace and prosperity. Then apply, to the limit of your understanding, the principle of self-suggestion for the speedy attainment of this purpose.

On the street corner, just opposite the room in which I am writing, I see a man who stands there all day long and sells peanuts. He is busy every minute. When not actually engaged in making a sale, he is roasting peanuts and packing them in little bags. He is one of that great army constituting the 95 percent who have no definite purpose in life. He is selling peanuts not because he likes the work better than anything else he might do, but because he never sat down and thought out a definite purpose that would bring him greater returns for his labor. He is selling peanuts because he is a drifter on the sea of life, and one of the ttagedies of his work is that the same amount of effort he puts into it, if directed along other lines, would bring him much greater returns.

Another of the tragedies of this man's work is that he is unconsciously making use of the principle of self-suggestion, but he is doing it to his own disadvantage. No doubt, if a picture could be made of his thoughts, there would be nothing in that picture except a peanut roaster, some little paper bags, and a crowd of people buying peanuts. This man could get out of the peanut business if he had both the vision and the ambition, first to imagine himself in a more profitable calling and then the perseverance to hold that picture before his mind until it influenced him to take the necessary steps to enter a more profitable calling. He puts sufficient labor into his work to bring him a substantial return if that labor were directed toward the attainment of a definite purpose that offered bigger returns.

One of my closest personal friends is also one of the best-known writers and public speakers in this country. About ten years ago he saw the possibilities of this principle of self-suggestion and began immediately to harness it and put it to work. He worked out a plan for its application that proved to be very effective. At the time he was neither a writer nor a speaker.
Each night, just before going to sleep, he would shut his eyes and see, in his Imagination, a long council table at which he placed, also in his Imagination, certain well-known men whose characteristics he wished to absorb into his own personality. At the end of this table he placed Lincoln, and on either side of the table he placed Napoleon, Washington, Emerson, and Elbert Hubbard. He then proceeded to talk to these imaginary figures that he had seated at his imaginary council table, in something like this manner:

Mr. Lincoln: I desire to build in my own character those qualities of patience and fairness toward all mankind, and a keen sense of humor, which were your outstanding characteristics. I need these qualities and I shall not be content until I have developed them.
Mr. Washington: I desire to build in my own character those qualities of patriotism and self-sacrifice and Leadership which were your outstanding characteristics.
Mr. Emerson: I desire to build in my own character those qualities of vision and the ability to interpret the laws of Nature as written in the rocks of prison walls and growing trees and flowing brooks and growing flowers and the faces of little children, which were your outstanding characteristics.
Napoleon: I desire to build in my own character those qualities of selfreliance and the strategic ability to master obstacles and profit by mistakes and develop strength out of defeat, which were your outstanding characteristics.
Mr. Hubbard: I desire to develop the ability to equal and even to excel the ability which you possessed to express yourself in clear, concise, and forceful language.

Night after night for many months this man saw these men seated around that imaginary council table until finally he had imprinted their outstanding characteristics upon his own subconscious mind so clearly that he began to develop a personality which was a composite of their personalities.

The subconscious mind may be likened to a magnet; when it has been vitalized and thoroughly saturated with any definite purpose, it has a decided tendency to attract all that is necessary for the fulfillment of that purpose.


If you wish to increase your knowledge of these techniques, the following books will provide you with a diversity of information: Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain, Psycho-Cybernetics by Dr. Maxwell Maltz, Visualization: Directing the Movies of Your Mind by Adelaide 8ry, Getting Well Again by Dr. O. Carl Simonton, Self-Hypnosis by Leslie M. LeCron.

Like attracts like, and you may see evidence of this law in every blade of grass and every growing tree. The acorn attracts from the soil and the air the necessary materials out of which to grow an oak tree. It never grows a tree that is part oak and part poplar.
Every grain of wheat that is planted in the soil attracts the materials out of which to grow a stalk of wheat. It never makes a mistake and grows both oats and wheat on the same stalk.
People, too, are subject to this same law of attraction. Go into any cheap boardinghouse district in any city and there you will find people of the same general trend of mind associated together. Or go into any prosperous community and there you will also find people of the same general tendencies associated together. Those who are successful always seek the company of others who are successful; those who are on the ragged side of life always seek the company of those who are in similar circumstances. "Misery loves company".

Water seeks its level with no finer certainty than we all seek the company of those who occupy our own general status financially and mentally. A Yale University professor and an illiterate hobo have nothing in common. They would be miserable if thrown together for any length of time. Oil and water will mix about as readily as will people who have nothing in common.

All of which leads up to this: You will attract to you people who harmonize with your own philosophy of life, whether you wish it or not. This being true, can you not see now the importance of vitalizing your mind with a Definite Chief Aim that will attract to you people who will be of help to you and not a hindrance? Suppose your Definite Chief Aim is far above your present station in life. What of it? It is your privilege-in fact it is your duty-to aim high in life. You owe it to yourself, and to the community in which you live, to set a high standard for yourself

There is much evidence to justify the belief that nothing, within reason, is beyond the possibility of attainment by the person whose Definite Chief Aim has been well developed. Some years ago, Louis Victor Eytinge was given a life sentence in the Arizona penitentiary.
At the time of his imprisonment he was an all-around "bad man;' by his own admissions. In addition to this it was believed that he would die of tuberculosis within a year.
Eytinge had reason to feel discouraged, if anyone ever had. Public feeling against him was intense and he did not have a single friend in the world who came forth and offered him encouragement or help.
Then something happened in his own mind that gave him back his health, put the dreaded disease to rout, and finally unlocked the prison gates and gave him his freedom. What was that "something"?
It was that he had made up his mind to whip the white plague and regain his health. It was a very Definite Chief Aim. In less than a year from the time his decision was made he had won. Then he extended that Definite Chief Aim by making up his mind to gain his freedom. Soon the prison walls melted from around him.


The details of this case are interesting. In prison, Louis Eytinge decided to become a writer. He took magazines, catalogs, and anything else that contained marketing copy, and he began to rewrite it. As his confidence in what he was doing grew, he sent the revised copy to the companies that had produced it. Some were not flattered, but others recognized that he had skill. Soon he was earning a good sum of money. But more important, his dedication impressed a group of his clients and they decided to help him. They petitioned the governor of Arizona for clemency. It took some time, but Eytinge was eventually freed and walked out of the prison and into ajob with apublic relations firm.

Do not "tell" the world
What you can do - show it!

No undesirable environment is strong enough to hold the man or woman who understands how to apply the principle of autosuggestion in the creation of a Definite Chief Aim. Such a person can throw off the shackles of poverty; destroy the most deadly disease germs; rise from a lowly station in life to power and plenty.

All great leaders base their Leadership on a Definite Chief Aim. Followers are willing followers when they know their leader is a person with a Definite Chief Aim who has the courage to back up that purpose with action. Even a balky horse knows when a driver with a Definite Chief Aim takes hold of the reins, and it yields to that driver. When a person with a Definite Chief Aim starts through a crowd, everybody stands aside and makes way for them. But let that person hesitate and show by their actions that they are not sure which way they want to go, and the crowd will step all over their toes and refuse to budge an inch out of the way.
Nowhere is the lack of a Definite Chief Aim more noticeable or more detrimental than it is in the relationship between parent and child. Children sense very quickly the wavering attitude of their parents and they will take advantage of that attitude quite freely. It is the same all through life-those with a Definite Chief Aim command respect and attention at all times.


In 1990 Douglas Grant was paralyzed in an accident that left him in a wheelchair. But instead of deciding that his life was over, Grant embarked on the pursuit of a Definite Chief Aim. His father had told him he would never walk again unless he had a vision in life. Grant's vision was not just to walk, but to win a gold medal as a weightlifter. "I decided I would make it happen, " he says. He created his own strategy for rehabilitation and it started to restore his mobility. By 1993 he was not only walking but he had also won the World Championships of Powerlifting -getting that gold medal he had dreamed of.
Grant's battle to restore his strength had also excited his interest in nutrition. He created a Master Mind with a leading authority on enzymes, and developed an enzyme-activated nutritional system called Infinity2. The program is now used by such professional teams as the New York Yankees and the Houston Rockets, and Grant's company is doing millions of dollars of business each year.

The Definite Purpose and Finance

If a ship lost its rudder in mid-ocean and began circling around, it would soon exhaust its fuel supply without reaching shore, despite that it would use up enough energy to carry it to shore and back several times.
The person who labors without a definite purpose backed by a definite plan for its attainment resembles the ship that has lost its rudder. Hard labor and good intentions are not sufficient to carry anyone through to success, for how may any of us be sure that we have attained success unless a definite desired objective had been established in our minds?
Every well-built house started in the form of a definite purpose plus a definite plan in the nature of a set of blueprints. Imagine what would happen if one tried to build a house by the haphazard method, without plans. Workmen would be in each other's way, building materials would be piled all over the lot before the foundation was even completed, and everybody on the job would have a different notion as to how the house ought to be built. Result: chaos and misunderstandings, and costs that would be prohibitive.

Yet have you ever stopped to think that most people finish school, take up employment or enter a trade or profession, without the slightest concept of anything that even remotely resembles a definite purpose or a definite plan? In view of the fact that science has provided reasonably accurate ways and means of analyzing character and determining the work for which people are best fitted, does it not seem a modern tragedy that 95 percent of the adult population of the world is made up of men and women who are failures because they have not found their proper niches in the world's work?

If success depends upon power, and if power is organized effort, and if the first step in the direction of organization is a definite purpose, then one may easily see why such a purpose is essential.
Until you select a definite purpose in life you dissipate your energies and spread your thoughts over so many subjects and in so many different directions that they lead not to power but to indecision and weakness.
With the aid of a magnifying glass you can teach yourself a great lesson on the value of organized effort. Through the use of such a glass you can focus the sun's rays on a definite spot so strongly that they will burn a hole through a plank. Remove the glass (which represents the definite purpose) and the same rays of sun may shine on that same plank for a million years without burning it.

Andrew Carnegie's advice was: "Place all your eggs in one basket and then watch the basket to see that no one kicks it over." By that he meant, of course, that we should not dissipate any of our energies by engaging in sidelines. Carnegie was a sound economist and he knew that most people would do well if they harnessed and directed their energies so that some one thing would be done well.

Out of allied effort comes greater power. This is a point worthy of much repetition. The great fortunes of the world have been accumulated through the use of this principle of allied effort. What one individual can accomplish single-handedly, during an entire lifetime, is but meager at best, no matter how well-organized that individual may be. But what one person may accomplish through the principle of alliance with others is practically without limitation.
That Master Mind to which Andrew Carnegie referred during my interview with him was made up of more than a score of minds. In that group were men of practically every temperament and inclination. Each was there to playa certain part and he did nothing else. There was perfect understanding and teamwork among them. It was Carnegie's business to keep harmony among them.
And he did it wonderfully well.

If you are familiar with team sports you know, of course, that the winning team is the one that best coordinates the efforts of its players. Teamwork wins. It is the same in the great game of life.

In your struggle for success you should constantly keep in mind the necessity of knowing what it is that you want-of knowing precisely what your definite purpose is. At the same time, keep in mind the value of the principle of organized effort in the attainment of whatever it is that constitutes your definite purpose.

In a vague sort of way nearly everyone has a definite purpose - the desire for money. But this is not a definite purpose within the meaning of the term as it is used in this lesson. Before your purpose could be considered definite, even though that purpose were the accumulation of money, you would have to reach a decision as to the precise method through which you intend to accumulate that money. It would be insufficient for you to say that you would make money by going into some sort of business. You would have to decide just what line of business. You would also have to decide just where you would locate. And you would also have to decide the business policies under which you would conduct your business.
In answering the question "What is your definite purpose in life?" which appears in the questionnaire that I have used for the analysis'of more than 16,000 people, many answered in somewhat this way:
"My definite purpose in life is to be of as much service to the world as possible and to earn a good living:'
That answer is about as definite as a frog's concept of the size of the universe is accurate!

The object of this lesson is not to inform you as to what your life's work should be, for indeed this could be done with accuracy only after you have been completely analyzed. What this lesson isintended to do is to impress upon your mind a clear concept of the value of a definite purpose of some nature, and, as has also been stated, to be sure that you understand the value of organized effort as a means of attaining the necessary power with which to achieve that definite purpose.
Careful observation of the business philosophy of more than one hundred men and women who have attained outstanding success in their respective callings disclosed the fact that each was a person of prompt and definite decision.
The habit of working with a Definite Chief Aim will create in you the habit of prompt decision, and this habit will come to your aid in all that you do.

The best compensation for doing things
is the ability to do more.

Moreover, the habit of working with a Definite Chief Aim will help you to concentrate all your attention on any given task until you have mastered it.
Concentration of effort and the habit of working with a Definite Chief Aim are two of the essential factors in success which are always found together. One leads to the other.
The best-known, most successful business leaders were all people of prompt decision who always worked with one main, outstanding purpose as a chief aim.
The following are some notable examples:
F. W. Woolworth chose as his Definite Chief Aim the belting of America with a chain of stores, and concentrated his mind on this one task until "he made it and it made him:'
WilliamWrigley concentrated on the production and sale of a five- cent package of chewing gum and turned this one idea into millions of dollars.
Thomas Edison concentrated his efforts on the understanding of physical laws and he created more useful inventions than any other man who ever lived.
R. H. Ingersoll concentrated on a one-dollar watch and girdled the earth with them.
E. M. Statler concentrated on "homelike hotel service" and made himself wealthy and useful to millions of people.
Woodrow Wilson concentrated on the White House for twenty- five years and became its chief tenant, because he knew the value of sticking to a Definite Chief Aim.
Abraham Lincoln concentrated his mind on freeing the slaves and became our greatest American president while doing it.
John D. Rockefeller concentrated on oil and he became the richest man of his generation.
Henty Ford concentrated on inexpensive transportation for ordinary people and made himself the richest and most powerful man alive.
Andrew Carnegie concentrated on steel, made a great fortune, and plastered his name on public libraries throughout America.
King Gillette concentrated on a safety razor, gave the entire world a "close shave;' and made himself a multimillionaire.
George Eastman concentrated on the Kodak camera and made the idea yield him a fortune while bringing much pleasure to millions of people.
William Randolph Hearst concentrated on publishing sensational newspapers and made the idea worth millions of dollars.
Helen Keller concentrated on learning to speak, and, though she was deaf, dumb, and blind, she realized her Definite Chief Aim.
Marshall Field concentrated on the world's greatest retail store and it rose before him, a reality.
Philip Armour concentrated on the butchering business and established a great industry as well as a big fortune.
The Wright brothers concentrated on the airplane and mastered the air.
George Pullman concentrated on the sleeping car and the idea made him rich and millions of people comfortable in travel.
Millions of people are concentrating daily on poverty andjailure, and getting both in overabundance.


Marie Curie concentrated on scientific investigation and was the first woman
to win a Nobel Prize. And the first person to ever win it twice.
Coco Chanel concentrated on elegant fashion and defined the way women
dressed for ageneration.
Henry Kaiser concentrated on building ships and built the American Navy
during the Second World War.
Ray Kroc concentrated on hamburgers and made McDonald's the world's
most successful restaurant.
Martin Luther King Jr. concentrated on civil rights and led Americans of all colors forward.
Sam Walton concentrated on low prices and spread his stores across the country like a carpet.
George Lucas concentrated on Star Wars and made it into the most successful movie franchise of all time.
Stephen King concentrated on supernatural suspense novels and became the bestselling writer of his day.
Ted Turner concentrated on cable television and built an enormous media conglomerate.
Harry Helmsley concentrated on real estate and amassed more than $1 billion in land in New York City.
Oprah Winfrey concentrated on succeeding as a television broadcaster, got her own talk show, created her own studio, and became the most successful and wealthiest woman in the media.
Bill Gates concentrated on software and became America's richest person.

Finding Your Life's Work

Thus it will be seen that all who succeed work with some definite, outstanding aim as the object of their labors.
There is some one thing that you can do better than anyone else in the world could do it. Search until you find out what this particular line of endeavor is, make it the object of your Definite Chief Aim, and then organize all of your forces and attack it with the belief that you are going to win. In your search for the work for which you are best suited, it will be well if you bear in mind that you will most likely attain the greatest success by finding out what work you like best. It is a well-known fact that a person generally best succeeds in the particular line of endeavor into which they can throw their whole heart and soul.

Anyone can start
but only the thoroughbred will finish!

Let us go back, for the sake of clarity and emphasis, to the psychological principles upon which this lesson is founded, because it will mean a loss you can ill afford if you fail to grasp the real reason for establishing a Definite Chief Aim in your mind. These principles are:
First, every voluntary movement of the human body is caused, controlled, and directed by thought, through the operation of the mind.
Second, the presence of any thought or idea in your consciousness tends to produce an associated feeling and urge you to transform that feeling into appropriate muscular action that is in perfect harmony with the nature of the thought.
For example, if you think of winking your eyelid and there are no counterinfluences or thoughts in your mind at the time to stop that action, the motor nerve will carry your thought from the seat of government, in your brain, and the appropriate or corresponding muscular action takes place immediately.
Stating this principle from another angle: You choose, for example, a definite purpose as your life's work and make up your mind that you will carry out that purpose. From the very moment that you make this choice, this purpose becomes the dominating thought in your consciousness, and you are constantry on the alert or facts, information, and knowledge with which to achieve that purpose. From the time that you plant a definite purpose in your mind, your mind begins, both consciously and unconsciously, to gather and store away the material with which you are to accomplish that purpose.
Desire is the factor that determines what your definite purpose in life shall be. No one can select your dominating desire for you, but once you select it yourself it becomes your Definite Chief Aim and occupies the spotlight of your mind until it is transformed into reality, unless you permit it to be pushed aside by conflicting desires.
To emphasize the principle I am trying to make clear, I believe it not unreasonable to suggest that to be sure of successful achievement, one's Definite Chief Aim in life should be backed with a burning desire for its achievement. I have noticed that boys and girls who enter college and pay their way through by working seem to get more out of their schooling than do those whose expenses are paid for them. The secret of this may be found in the fact that those who are willing to work their way through are blessed with a burning desire for education. And such a desire, if the object of the desire is within reason, is practically sure of realization.
Science has established, beyond the slightest room for doubt, that through the principle of autosuggestion any deeply rooted desire saturates the entire body and mind with the nature of the desire and literally transforms the mind into a powerful magnet that will attract the object of the desire, if it is within reason. For those who might not properly interpret the meaning of this statement, I will explain this principle in another way. For example, merely desiring an automobile will not cause that automobile to come rolling in. But if there is a burning desire for an automobile, that desire will lead to the appropriate action through which an automobile may be paid for.
Similarly, merely desiring freedom would never release a prisoner if that desire were not sufficiently strong to cause him to do something to entitle himself to freedom.

Beyond Your Burning Desire

These are the steps leading from desire to fulfillment: first the burning desire, then the crystallization of that desire into a definite purpose, then sufficient appropriate action to achieve that purpose. Remember that these three steps are always necessary to ensure success.

I knew a very poor girl from a troubled family who had a burning desire for friends. She finally got many of them, and a husband too, but not without having transformed that desire into the development of a very attractive personality which, in turn, attracted other people.

I once had a burning desire to be able to analyze character accurately. That desire was so persistent and so deeply seated that it practically drove me into ten years of research and study of men and women.

George S. Parker makes one of the best fountain pens in the world, and despite the f~ct that his business is conducted from the little city of Janesville, Wisconsin, he has spread his product all around the globe and has his pen on sale in every civilized country. More than twenty years ago Mr. Parker's definite purpose was established in his mind, and that purpose was to produce the best fountain pen that money could buy. He backed that purpose with a burning desire for its realization, and if you carry a fountain pen the chances are that you have evidence in your own possession that it has brought him abundant success.

You are a contractor and builder, and, like those who build houses of wood and brick and steel, you must draw up a set of plans from which to construct your building. You are living in a wonderful age, when the materials that go into success are plentiful and cheap. You have at your disposal, in the archives of the public libraries, the carefully compiled results of two thousand years of research, covering practically every possible line of endeavor in which one would wish to engage.

If you wish to become a member of the clergy you have at hand the entire history of what has been learned by men and women who have preceded you in this field. If you want to become a mechanic you have at hand the entire history of the inventions of machines and the discovery and use of metals. If you wish to become a lawyer you have at your disposal the entire history of law procedure. Through the Department of Agriculture in Washington, nc., you have at your disposal all that has been learned about farming and agriculture, should you wish to find your life's work in this field.


Here, as in many other places, Hill seems well far ahead of his time. In the preceding passage, he anticipates the age of the Internet, recognizing that information may be the most valuable commodity any man or woman can possess.

The world was never so resplendent with opportunity as it is today. Everywhere there is an ever-increasing demand for the services of the man or the woman who makes a better mousetrap or performs a better service or preaches a better sermon or digs a better ditch or runs a more accommodating bank.

This lesson will not be completed until you have made your choice as to what your Definite Chief Aim in life is to be and then recorded a description of that definite purpose in writing and placed it where you will see it every morning when you arise and every night before you retire.

Procrastination is . . . but why preach about it? You know that you are the hewer of your own wood and the drawer of your own water and the shaper of your own Definite Chief Aim in life. Therefore, why dwell on what you already know?
A definite purpose is something that you must create for yourself No one else will create it for you and it will not create itself What are you going to do about it? and when? and how?


Start now to analyze your desires and find out what it is that you wish, then make up your mind to get it. Lesson Three will point out to you the next step and show you how to proceed. Nothing is left to chance in this course. Every step is clearly marked. Your part is to follow the directions until you arrive at your destination, as represented by your Definite Chief Aim. Make that aim clear and back it up with a persistence that does not recognize the word impossible.

When you come to select your Definite Chief Aim, just keep in mind that you cannot aim too high.
Also keep in mind the never-varying truth that you'll get nowhere if you start nowhere. If your aim in life is vague, your achievements will also be vague, and, it might well be added, very meager. Know what
you want, when you want it, why you want it, and how you intend to get it.
This is known to teachers and students of psychology as the WWWH formula-"what, when, why, and how."

Read this lesson four times, at intervals of one week apart.
You will see much in the lesson the fourth time you read it that you did not see the first time.
Your success in mastering this course and in making it bring you success will depend very largely, if not entirely, on how well you follow all the instructions it contains.
Do not set up your own rules of study. Follow those laid down in the course; they are the result of years of thought and experimentation. If you wish to experiment, wait until you have mastered this course in the manner suggested. You will then be in a position to experiment more safely. For the present, content yourself by being the student. You will, let us hope, become the teacher as well as the student, after you have followed the course until you have mastered it.
If you follow the instructions laid down in this course, you can no more fail than water can run uphill above the level of its source.

Applying the principles of this lesson

Through the introductory lesson you became familiar with the Master Mind principle of psychology.
You are now ready to begin using this principle as a means of transforming your Definite Chief Aim into reality. It must have occurred to you that one might as well have no Definite Chief Aim unless one also has a very definite and practical plan for turning that aim into a reality. Your first step is to decide what your major aim in life shall be. Your next step is to write out a clear, concise statement of this aim. This should be followed by a statement, in writing, of the plan or plans through which you intend to attain the object of your aim.

Every line a man writes, and every act in which he indulges,
and every word he utters,
serves as inescapable evidence of the nature of that which is deeply embedded in his own heart,
a confession that he cannot disavow.


Almost ten years later, when Hill wrote Think and Grow Rich, he placed even greater emphasis on the need to write down your chief aim. And, as was mentioned earlier in this revised edition of Law of Success, most of the self-improvement and motivational books written since agree that it is not enough for you to just know intellectually what you want,· you must commit it to paper. If Hill believed the actual act was important, and if hundreds of other motivational experts agree, then you would be foolish not to follow this simple advice. Just do it.

Your next and final step will be the forming of an alliance with some person or persons who will cooperate with you in carrying out these plans and transforming your Definite Chief Aim into reality.
The purpose of this friendly alliance is to employ the law of the Master Mind in support of your plans. The alliance should be made between yourself and those who have your highest and best interests at heart. If you are married, your spouse should be one of the members of this alliance, providing there exists between you a normal state of confidence and sympathy. Other members of this alliance may be your mother, father, brothers or sisters, or some close friend or friends.
If you are a single person your sweetheart, if you have one, should become a member of your alliance. This is no joke. You are now studying one of the most powerful laws of the human mind, and you will serve your own best interests by seriously and earnestly following the rules laid down in this lesson, even though you may not be sure where they will lead you.

Those who join with you in the formation of a friendly alliance for the purpose of aiding you in the creation of a Master Mind should sign, with you, your statement of the object of your Definite Chief Aim. Every member of your alliance must be fully acquainted with the nature of your objective in forming the alliance. Moreover, every member must be in hearty accord with this objective and in full sympathy with you. Each member of your alliance must be supplied with a written copy of your statement of your Definite Chief Aim. With this exception, however, you are explicitly instructed to keep the object of your chief aim to yoursel£ The world is full of "doubtingThomases" and it will do you no good to have these rattle-brained people scoffing at you and your ambitions. Remember, what you need is friendly encouragement and help, not derision and doubt.

If you believe in prayer you are instructed to make your Definite Chief Aim the object of your prayer at least once every twenty-four hours, and more often if convenient. If you believe there is a God who can and will aid those who are earnestly striving to be of constructive service in the world, surely you feel that you have a right to petition Him for aid in the attainment of what should be the most important thing in life to you.
If those who have been invited to join your friendly alliance believe in prayer, ask them to also include the object of this alliance as a part of their daily prayer.

We come now one of the most essential rules that you mustfollow. Arrange with one or all of the members of your friendly alliance to tell you, in the most positive and definite terms at their command, that they know you can and will realize the object of your Definite Chief Aim. This affirmation or statement should be made to you at least once a day; more often if possible.
These steps must be followed persistently, with full faith that they will lead you where you wish to go! It will not suffice to carry out these plans for a few days or a few weeks and then discontinue them. You must follow the described procedure until you attain the object of your Definite Chief Aim, regardless of the time required.

From time to time it may become necessary to change the plans that you have adopted for the achievement of your Definite Chief Aim. Make these changes without hesitation. No one has sufficient foresight to build plans that need no alteration or change.
If any member of your friendly alliance loses faith in the law known as the Master Mind, immediately remove that member and replace him or her with some other person.
Andrew Carnegie said to me that he, too, had found it necessary to replace some of the members of his Master Mind. In fact, he said that practically every member of whom his alliance was originally comprised had, in time, been removed and replaced with some other person who could adapt himself more loyally and enthusiastically to the spirit and objective of the alliance.
You cannot succeed when surrounded by disloyal and unfriendly associates, no matter what the object of your Definite Chief Aim may be. Success is built upon loyalty, faith, sincerity, Cooperation, and the other positive forces essential to your environment.

Many of you will want to form friendly alliances with those with whom you are associated professionally or in business, with the object of achieving success in your business or profession. In such cases the same rules of procedure which have been here described should be followed. The object of your Definite Chief Aim may be one that will benefit you individually, or it may be one that will benefit the business or profession with which you are connected. The law of the Master Mind will work the same in either case. If you fail, either temporarily or permanently, in the application of this law, it will be because some member of your alliance did not enter into the spirit of the alliance with faith, loyalty, and sincerity of purpose.
The last sentence is worthy of a second reading!

The object of your Definite Chief Aim should become your hobby.
You should ride this hobby continuously; you should sleep with it, eat with it, play with it, work with it, live with it, and think with it.

Yes, he succeeded… But he almost failed!
So did Robert fulton, and Abraham Lincoln, and nearly all the others whom we call successful.
No man ever achieved worthwhile success who did not, at one time or other,
find himself with at least one foot hanging well over the brink of failure.

Whatever you want you may get-if you want it with sufficient intensity, and keep on wanting it, providing the object wanted is one within reason, and you actually believeyou willget it! There is a difference, however, between merely wishing for something and actually believing you will get it. A lack of understanding of this difference has meant failure to millions of people. The doers are the believers in all walks of life. Those who believe that they can achieve the object of their Definite Chief Aim do not recognize the word impossible. Neither do they acknowledge a temporary defeat. They know they are going to succeed, and if one plan fails they quickly replace it with another plan.
Every noteworthy achievement met with some sort of temporary setback before success came. Edison conducted more than ten thousand experiments before he succeeded in making the first talking machine record the words "Mary had a little lamb."
If there is one word that should stand out in your mind in connection with this lesson, it is the word persistence!

You now have within your possession the key to achievement. You have but to unlock the door to the Temple of Knowledge and walk in. But you must go to the temple; it will not come to you. If these laws are new to you, the going will not be easy at first. You will stumble many times. But keep moving! Very soon you will come to the brow of the mountain you have been climbing, and you will behold, in the valleys below, the rich estate of knowledge which shall be your reward for your faith and efforts.
Everything has a price. There is no such possibility as "something for nothing." In your experiments with the law of the Master Mind you are jockeying with Nature in her highest and noblest form. Nature cannot be tricked or cheated. She will give up to you the object of your struggles only after you have paid her price, which is continuous, unyielding, persistent effort!

What more could be said on this subject?
You have been shown what to do, when to do it, how to do it, and why you should do it. If you will master the next lesson, on Self-Confidence, you will then have the faith in yourself to enable you to carry out the instructions laid down for your guidance in this lesson.

Master of human destinies am I!
Fame, love, and fortune on my footsteps wait.
Cities and fields I walk; I penetrate
Deserts and seas remote, and passing by
Hovel and mart and palace-soon or late
I knock, unbidden, once at every gate!
If sleeping, wake-if feasting, rise before
I turn away. It is the hour of fate,
And they who follow me reach every state
Mortals desire, and conquer every foe
Save death; but those who doubt or hesitate,
Condemned to failure, penury, and woe,
Seek me in vain and uselessly implore.
I answer not, and I return no more!

-- John J. Ingalls

Neglecting to broaden their view has kept some people
doing one thing all their lives.

Lesson 3: self-confidence

Amdist all the mysteries by which we are surrounded,
Nothing is more certain than that we are in the presence of an infinite and eternal energy
From which all things proceed.

-- Herbert Spencer

"You can do it if you believe you can!"

BEFORE APPROACHING THE FUNDAMENTAL principles upon which this lesson is founded it will be of benefit to you to keep in mind that it is practical-that it brings you the discoveries of more than twenty-five years of research -and that it has the approval of the leading scientific men and women of the world who have tested every principle involved.
Skepticism is the deadly enemy of progress and self-development. You might as well lay this book aside and stop right here as to approach this lesson with the feeling that it was written by some theorist who had never tested the principles upon which the lesson is based.
Surely this is no age for the skeptic, because it is an age in which we have seen more of Nature's laws uncovered and harnessed than had been discovered in all past history of the human race. Within three decades we have witnessed the mastery of the air; we have explored the ocean; we have all but annihilated distances on the earth; we have harnessed the lightning and made it turn the wheels of industry; we have made seven blades of grass grow where but one grew before; we have instantaneous communication between the nations of the world. Truly, this is an age of illumination and unfoldment, but we have as yet barely scratched the surface of knowledge. However, when we shall have unlocked the gate that leads to the secret power that is stored up within us, it will bring us knowledge that will make all past discoveries pale into oblivion by comparison.

Thought is the most highly organized form of energy known, and this is an age of experimentation and research that is sure to bring us into greater understanding of that mysterious force called thought. We have already found out enough about the human mind to know that one may throw off the accumulated effects of a thousand generations offear, through the aid of the principle of autosuggestion. We have already discovered the fact thatjear is the chief reason for poverty and failure and misery that takes on a thousand different forms. We have already discovered the fact that the person who mastersjear may continue on to successful achievement in practically any undertaking, despite all efforts to defeat them.
The development of Self-Confidence starts with the elimination of this demon calledjear, which sits on a persons shoulder and whispers into their ear: "You can't do it-you are afraid to try-you are afraid of public opinion-you are afraid that you will fail-you are afraid you do not have the ability."
Thisfear demon is getting into dose quarters. Science has found a deadly weapon with which to put it to flight, and this lesson on Self-Confidence has brought you this weapon for use in your battle with that enemy of progress:fear.


Every person falls heir to the influence of six basic fears. Under these six fears may be listed the lesser fears. The six basic or major fears are identified here and the sources from which they are believed to have developed are described. The six basic fears are:

Study the list, then take inventory of your own fears and ascertain under which of the six headings you can classify them.
Every human being who has reached the age of understanding is bound down, to some extent, by one or more of these six basic fears. As the first step in the elimination of these six evils, let us examine the sources from which we inherited them.

Physical and Social Heredity

All that man is, both physically and mentally, he came by through two forms of heredity. One is known as physical heredity and the other is called social heredity.
Through the law of physical heredity, man has slowly evolved from the ameba (a single-cell animal form), through the stages of development corresponding to all known animal forms now on this earth, including those known to have existed but which are now extinct.
Every generation through which man has passed has added to his nature something of the traits, habits, and physical appearance of that generation. Our physical inheritance, therefore, is a heterogeneous collection of many habits and physical forms.

There seems little if any doubt that while the six basic human fears could not have been inherited through physical heredity (these six fears being mental states of mind and therefore not capable of transmission through physical heredity), it is obvious that through physical heredity a most favorable lodging place for these six fears has been provided.
By far the most important part of a persons makeup comes through the law of social heredity. This term refers to the methods by which one generation imposes upon the minds of the generation under its immediate control the superstitions, beliefs, legends, and ideas that it, in turn, inherited from the generation preceding.
The term social heredity should be understood to mean any and all sources through which a person acquires knowledge, such as schooling of religious and all other natures, reading, word-of-mouth conversation, storytelling, and all manner of thought inspiration coming from his or her personal experiences.
Through the operation of the law of social heredity, anyone having control of the mind of a child may, through intense teaching, plant in that child's mind any idea, whether false or true, in such a manner that the child accepts it as true and it becomes as much a part of the child's personality as any cell or organ of its physical body (and just as hard to change in its nature).

It is through the law of social heredity that the religionist plants in a child's mind dogmas, creeds, and religious ceremonies too numerous to describe, holding those ideas before that mind until the mind accepts them and forever seals them as a part of its irrevocable belie£
The mind of a child which has not come into the age of general understanding, during an average period covering, let us say, the first two years of its life, is plastic, open, clean, and free. Any idea planted in such a mind by one in whom the child has confidence takes root and develops in such a manner that it never can be eradicated or wiped out, no matter how opposed to logic or reason that idea may be.

Many religionists claim that they can so deeply implant the tenets of their religion in the mind of a child that there can never be room in that mind for any other religion, either in whole or in part. The claims are not greatly overstated.
Fortunately, practically the entire mass of evidence submitted in this lesson is of such a nature that all who sincerely seek the truth may ascertain, for themselves, whether the evidence is sound or not.
For the moment at least, lay aside your prejudices and preconceived ideas (you may always go back and pick them up again, you know) while we study the origin and nature of man's worst enemies, the six basic fears.


Hill continued to reexamine the six fears throughout his life. His discussion of them appears in several variations. It appears first in the original version of Law of Success, published in pamphlet form. There, in the Lesson One Appendix, he lists the fears in a different order. Fear of ill health comes third and fear of criticism fifth; here their positions are reversed.
In Think and Grow Rich, he lists poverty, criticism, and ill health as the primary fears, saying that they are at the core of one's worries. Here one sees the reason for his fascination with the subject. "Indecision is the seedling of fear," he says. "Indecision crystallizes into doubt and the two become fear." Fear, then, becomes a symptom of the thought and action Hill shows us how to reform.

Remember that when you make an appointment with another person
You assume the responsibility of punctality,
and that you have not the right to be a single minute late.

The fear of Poverty

It requires courage to tell the truth about the origins of this fear, and still greater courage, perhaps, to accept the truth after it has been told. The fear of poverty grew out of man's inherited tendency to prey upon his fellow man economically. Nearly all lower forms of animals have instinct but appear not to have the power to reason and think; therefore, they prey upon one another physically. We, with our superior sense of intuition, thought, and reason, do not eat our fellow human beings bodily; we get more satisfaction out of eating othersfinancially!
Of all the ages of the world of which we know anything, the age in which we live seems to be the age of money worship. A person is considered less than the dust of the earth unless they can display a fat bank account. Nothing brings us so much suffering and humiliation as does poverty. No wonder wefear poverty. Through a long line of inherited experiences with others like us, we have learned for certain that this animal cannot always be trusted where matters of money and other evidences of earthly possessions are concerned.

Many marriages have their beginning (and oftentimes their ending) solely on the basis of the wealth possessed by one or both of the parties. It is no wonder that the divorce courts are busy!
"Society" could quite properly be spelled "$ociety," because it is inseparably associated with the dollar sign. So eager are we to possess wealth that we will acquire it in whatever manner we can; through legal methods if possible, through other methods if necessary.
The fear of poverty is a terrible thing!
A man may commit murder, engage in robbery, rape, and all other manner of violation of the rights of others and still regain a high station in the minds of people of his society, providing always that he does not lose his wealth. Poverty, therefore, is a crime-an unforgivable sin, as it were.
No wonder we fear it!

Every statute book in the world bears evidence that the fear of poverty is one of the six basic fears of mankind, for in every such book of laws may be found various and sundry laws intended to protect the weak from the strong.To spend time trying to prove either that the fear of poverty is one of man's inherited fears, or that this fear has its origin in man's nature to cheat his fellow man, would be similar to trying to prove that three times two are six.


From the Appendix to Lesson One: "Humans are such great offenders in this respect that nearly every state and nation has been obliged to pass laws, scores of laws, to protect the weak from the strong. Every code of laws ever written provides indisputable evidence of humanity's nature to prey upon its weaker members economically."
In Think and Grow Rich, Hill lists six symptoms of the fear ofpoverty: indifference (lack of ambition, laziness, and so forth); indecision; doubt (expressed through alibis and excuses); worrying (expressed through fault-finding;) overcaution (shown in general negativity); and procrastination.

Obviously no one would ever fear poverty if we had any grounds for trusting our fellow men, for there is food and shelter and raiment and luxury of every nature sufficient for the needs of every person on earth, and all these blessings would be enjoyed by every person except for the swinish habit that humans have of trying to push all the other swine out of the trough, even after everyone has all and more than needed.

The fear of Old age

This fear grows mainly out of two sources. First, the thought that old age may bring with it poverty. Second, human beings have learned to fear old age because it meant the approach of another, and a possibly much more horrible, world than this one which is known to be bad enough.

In the basic fear of old age, humans have two very sound reasons for their apprehension: the one growing out of distrust of those who may seize whatever worldly goods we possess, and the other arising from the terrible pictures of the world to come which were deeply planted in our minds, through the law of social heredity, long before any of us came into possession of that mind.
Is it any wonder that so many fear the approach of old age?

The fear of Criticism

Just how humans acquired this basic fear it would be difficult, if not impossible, to definitely determine. But one thing is certain, we all have it in well-developed form.
I am inclined to attribute the basic fear of criticism to that part of our inherited nature that prompts many of us not only to take away our fellow human's goods and wares but also to justify our actions by criticism of the character of others.
The fear of criticism takes on many different forms, the majority of which are petty and trivial in nature, even to the extent of being childish in the extreme.
The makers of all manner of clothing have not been slow to capitalize on this basic fear of criticism with which all humankind is cursed. Every season, it will be observed, the styles in many articles of apparel change. Who establishes the styles? Certainly not the purchasers, but the manufacturers of clothes. Why do they change the styles so often? Obviously so that they can sell more clothes.
For the same reason the manufacturers of automobiles (with a few rare and very sensible exceptions) change styles every season.
The manufacturers of clothing know how the human animal fears to wear a garment that is one season out of step with what "they" are all wearing now.
Is this not true? Does your own experience not back it up? Powerful and mighty is the fear of criticism.


From Think and Grow Rich: "The fear of criticism robs man of his initiative, destroys his power of imagination, limits his individuality, takes away his self-reliance, and does him damage in a hundred other ways. Parents often do their children irreparable injurybycriticizingthem…. Itshouldberecognizedasacrime(inrealityitisa crime of the worst nature), for any parent to build an inferiority complex in the mind of a child, through unnecessary criticism. Employers who understand human nature get the best there is in employees, not by criticism but by constructive suggestion. "

In every soul there has been deposited the seed of a great future,
But that seed will never germinate,
much less grow to maturity,
except through the rendering of useful service.

The Fear of Loss of Love of Someone

The source from which this fear originated needs but little description, for it is obvious that it grew out of man's nature to steal his fellow man's mate, or at least to take liberties with her.
There can be little doubt that jealousy and all other similar forms of more or less mild dementia praecox (insanity) grew out of the fear we all inherited of the loss of love of someone.
Of all the sane fools I have studied, the jealous lover is the oddest and strangest. Fortunately, I have had personal experience of this form of insanity, and from that experience I learned that the fear of the loss of love of someone is one of the most painful, if not in fact the most painful, of all the six basic fears. It seems reasonable to add that this fear plays more havoc with the human mind than do any of the other six basic fears of mankind, often leading to the more violent forms of permanent insanity.


From the Appendix to Lesson One: "This fear fills the asylums with the insanely jealous, for jealousy is nothing but a form of insanity. It also fills the divorce courts and causes murders and other forms of cruel punishment. It is a holdover, handed down through social heredity, from the Stone Age when man preyed upon his fellow man by stealing his mate by physical force. The method, but not the practice, has now changed to some extent. Instead of physical force man now steals his fellow man's mate with pretty colorful ribbons and fast motor cars and bootleg whisky and sparkling rocks and stately mansions."

The Fear of ill- Health

This fear has its origin, to considerable extent also, in the same sources from which the fears of poverty and old age are derived.
The fear of ill health is closely associated with both poverty and old age because it also leads toward the borderline of terrible worlds of which people know little, but about which there are many discomforting stories.
I strongly suspect that those engaged in the business of selling good health methods have had considerable to do with keeping the fear of ill health alive in the human mind.
For longer than the record of the human race can be relied upon, the world has known of various and sundry forms of therapy and health purveyors. If a person gains a living from keeping others in good health, it seems natural that he or she would use every possible means to persuade them of the need for caregiving services. Thus, in time, it might be that people would inherit a fear of ill health.


From the Appendix to Lesson One: "This fear is born of both physical and social heredity. From birth until death there is eternal warfare within every physical body; warfare between groups of cells, one group being known as the friendly builders of the body, and the other as the destroyers, or 'disease germs. ' The seed of fear is born inthephysicalbodytobeginwith, astheresultofnature:Scruelplanofpermittingthe stronger forms of cell life to prey upon the weaker. Social heredity has played its part through lack of cleanliness and knowledge of sanitation. Also, through the law of suggestion cleverly manipulated by those who profited by ill health."

In Think and Grow Rich Hill suggests that ill health comes from fear: "Thought impulses immediately begin to translate themselves into their physical equivalent, whether those thoughts are voluntary or involuntary. … All thought has a tendency to clothe itself in its physical equivalent. "

The Fear of Death

To many this is the worst of all the six basic fears, and the reason why it is regarded as such becomes obvious to even the casual student of psychology.
The terrible pangs of fear associated with death may be charged directly to religious fanaticism-the source that is more responsible for it than are all other sources combined.
So-called heathens are not as much afraid of death as are the civilized, especially that portion of the civilized population that has come under the influence of theology.
For hundreds of millions of years we have all been asking the still unanswered (and, it may be, the unanswerable) questions, whence? and whither? Where did I comefrom and where am I going after death?
The more cunning and crafty, as well as the honest but credulous, of the race have not been slow to offer the answer to these questions. In fact the answering of these questions has become one of the so-called learned professions, despite little learning being required to enter this profession.
Witness now the major source of origin of the fear of death.
"Come into my tent, embrace my faith, accept my dogmas (and pay my salary) and I will give you a ticket that will admit you straightway into heaven when you die," says the leader of one form of sectarianism. "Remain out of my tent," says this same leader, "and you will go direct to hell, where you will burn throughout eternity."

The truth is this-nothing less and nothing more-no person knows nor has any person ever known where we comefrom at birth or where we go at death. Anyone claiming otherwise is either deceiving themself or is a conscious impostor who makes it a business to live without rendering service of value, while preying upon the credulity of humanity.


From the Appendix: "You can make and put into action a plan of attack on fear. Ask yourself which of the six basic fears is doing you the greatest damage.
"Weareslowlydiscoveringmoreaboutthesesixbasicfears. Themosteffective tool with which to fight them is organized knowledge. Ignorance and fear are twins. They are generally found together. But for ignorance, the six basic fears would disappear from human thought. In every public library you can find the remedy for these six enemies.
"Begin with Ralph Waldo Emerson:S essay on Compensation. Then select some of the other books on self-suggestion and inform yourself about the principle through which your beliefs of today become the realities of tomorrow.
"Through the principle of social heredity, the ignorance and superstition of thepasthavebeenpassedontoyou. Butyouarelivinginamodernage. Onevery handyoumayseeevidencethateveryeffecthasanaturalcause. Beginnowto study effects by their causes, and soon you will emancipate your mind from the burden of the six basic fears.
"Begin by selecting two people whom you know close at hand; one should represent your idea of failure and the other should correspond to your idea of success. Find out what made one a failure and the other a success. Get the real facts. In the process of gathering these facts you will have taught yourself a great lesson on cause and effect.
"Nothing ever just happens. In a single month of properly directed self- suggestion you may place your foot upon the neck of every one of your six basic fears. In twelve months of persistent effort you may drive the entire herd into the corner where it will never again do you any serious injury.

You will resemble tomorrow the dominating thoughts that you keep alive in your mind today. Plant in your mind the seed of determination to whip your six basic fears, and the battle will have been half won then and there. Keep this intention in your mind and it will slowly push your six worst enemies out of sight, as they exist nowhere except in your own mind.

"A person who is powerful fears nothing; not even God. The powerful person loves God, but fears Him never! Enduring power never grows out of fear. Any power that is built upon fear is bound to crumble and disintegrate. Understand this great truth andyou will never be so unfortunate as to try to raise yourself to power through the fears of other people who may owe you temporary allegiance."

How lessons are learned

It is hardly sufficient to say that social heredity is the method through which humans gather all knowledge that reaches us through the five senses. It is more to the point to say how social heredity works, in as many different applications as will give you a comprehensive understanding of that law.


Appropriately enough, Hill here turns to animal stories as a way of discussing the development of human character. Hill's frequent references to Nature's bible demonstrate that he believed human beings are a part of Nature. But he also values the importance of the human social environment. In weighing in on the relative influences of Nature and nurture, Hill uses the term physical heredity for what we today might call genetic predisposition. By social heredity he means what we might simply call conditioning or social conditioning or socialization.

The Law of Social Heredity

Let us begin with some of the lower forms of animal life and examine the manner in which they are affected by the law of social heredity.


Many authors and lecturers of Napoleon Hill's day prided themselves on being storytellers, and they often drew upon the natural world for examples around which to spin a yam that would entertain while conveying the points they were trying to make. However, the America in which most of us live today is not nearly as bucolic as the one in which Hill grew up. There's a lot less catching of frogs in the creek or watching of grouse in the fields, and kids think chickens come as a half-dozen thighs or breasts shrink-wrapped in a package from the supermarket.
For that reason, as this edition was being prepared, there was considerable discussion among the editors about the inclusion of Hill's animal analogies. It was concluded that the points made are as valid today as they were when Hill wrote them, and though they might be considered quaint by the modem reader, the stories themselves provide interesting insights into the life and times of Napoleon Hill.

You are fortunate
If you have learned the difference between temporary defeat and failure;
More fortunate still, if you have learned the truth
that the very seed of success is dormant in every defeat that you experience.

The odor of a skunk, once experienced, is never to be forgotten. No other smell even remotely resembles it. It is nowhere recorded that any mother fox ever taught her young how to detect and keep away from the familiar smell of a skunk, but all who are informed on fox lore know that foxes and skunks never seek lodging in the same cave.

The term social heredity, as used in this lesson, refers to all methods through which a child is taught any idea, dogma, creed, religion, or system of ethical conduct, by its parents or by those who may have authority over it, before reaching the age at which it may reason and reflect upon such teaching in its own way. I would estimate the age of such reasoning power at between seven and twelve years.

Fear in Middle Age

We drive our bodies as if they were slaves because we are so afraid of poverty that we wish to hoard money. For what? Old age! This common form offear drives us so hard that we overwork our bodies and bring on the very thing we are struggling to avoid.

What a tragedy to watch men and women drive themselves when they begin to arrive at about the forty-year milepost of life-the age at which they are just beginning to mature mentally. At forty, we are just entering the age in which we are able to see and understand and assimilate the handwriting of Nature, as it appears in the forests and flowing brooks and faces of other adults and little children. Yet this devilfear drives us to the point that we become blinded and lost in the entanglement of a maze of conflicting desires. The principle of organized effort is lost sight of, and instead of taking hold of Nature's forces that are in evidence all around us, and permitting those forces to carry us to the heights of great achievement, we dery them and they become forces of destruction.


Perhaps none of these great forces of Nature are more available for our personal growth and self-improvement than is the principle of auto- suggestion. But ignorance of this force is leading the majority of people to apply it so that it acts as a hindrance and not as a help.

Here is a woman who sees nothing but the best in all whom she
meets. If her neighbors seem indifferent she takes no notice of it, for she makes it her business to fill her mind with dominating thoughts of optimism and good cheer and faith in others. If people speak to her harshly she speaks back in tones of softness. Through the operation of this same eternal law of attraction, she draws to herself the attention of people whose attitude toward life and whose dominating thoughts harmonize with her own. Tracing the principle a step further:
Here is a man who has been well schooled and has the ability to render the world some needed service. Somewhere, sometime, he has heard it said that modesty is a great virtue and that to push himself to the front of the stage in the game of life shows egotism. He quietly slips in through the back door and takes a seat at the rear while other players in the game of life boldly step to the front. He remains in the back row because hefears "what they will say." Public opinion, or what he believes to be public opinion, has him pushed to the rear and the world hears little of him. His schooling counts for naught because he is tifraid to let the world know that he has had it. He is constantly suggesting to himse!t (thus using the great force of autosuggestion to his own detriment) that he should remain in the background lest he be criticized, as ifcriticism would do him any damage or defeat his purpose.

It is a well-established fact that the faculties of the mind, like the limbs of the body, atrophy and wither away if not used. Self-Confidence is no exception. It develops when used but disappears if not used.

Your work and mine are particulary akin;
I am helping the laws of Nature to create more perfect specimens of vegetation,
while you are using those same laws, through the law of success philosophy,
to create more perfect specimens of thinkers.

-- Luther Burbank

The lives of not all rich men's sons turn out so unfortunately, but the fact remains, nevertheless, that inaction leads to atrophy and this, in turn, leads to the loss of ambition and Self-Confidence, and without these essential qualities an individual will be carried through life on the wings of uncertainty, just as a dry leaf may be carried here and there in the stray winds.

Far from being a disadvantage, struggle is a decided advantage, because it develops those qualities that would forever lie dormant without it. Many have found their place in the world due to having been forced to struggle for existence early in life. Lack of knowledge of the advantages accruing from struggle has prompted many a parent to say, "I had to work hard when I was young, but I shall see to it that my children have an easy time!" Poor foolish creatures. An "easy" time usually turns out to be a greater handicap than the average young man or young woman can survive. There are worse things in this world than being forced to work in early life. Forced idleness is far worse than forced labor. Being forced to work, and forced to do your best, will breed in you temperance and Self-Control and strength of will and content and a hundred other virtues which the idle will never know.

Not only does lack of the necessity for struggle lead to weakness of ambition and willpower, but, what is more dangerous still, it sets up in a person's mind a state of lethargy that leads to the loss of Self- Confidence. The person who has quit struggling because effort is no longer necessary is literally applying the principle of autosuggestion, undermining his or her own power of Self-Confidence. Such a person will finally drift into a frame of mind in which he or she will actually look with contempt upon the person who is forced to carry on.

The human mind, if you will pardon the repetition, may be likened to an electric battery. It may be positive or negative. Self-Confidence is the quality with which the mind is recharged and made positive.

He was a timid young man with a more or less retiring sort of nature. He was one of those who believe it best to slip in by the back door and take a seat at the rear of the stage of life. One evening he heard a lecture on the subject of this lesson, Self-Confidence, and that lecture so impressed him that he left the lecture hall with a firm determination to pull himself out of the rut into which he had drifted.
One would think that he would naturally have made up his list of the names of those whom he believed he could sell with the least effort, but he did nothing oj the sort. He listed only the names of the merchants on whom other advertising salespeople had called without making a sale. His list consisted of only twelve names. Before he made a single call he went to the city park, took out his list of twelve names, and read it over a hundred times, saying to himself as he did so, "You will purchase advertising space from me before the end of the month."
Then he began to make his calls. The first day he closed sales with three of the twelve "impossibilities:' During the remainder of the week he made sales to two others. By the end of the month he had opened advertising accounts with all but one of the merchants on his list. For the ensuing month he made no sales because he made no calls, except on this one obstinate merchant. Every morning when the store opened he was there to speak with this merchant and every morning the merchant said no. The merchant knew he was not going to buy advertising space, but this young man didn't know it. When the merchant said no, the young man did not hear it; he kept right on coming. On the last day of the month, after having told this persistent young man no for thirty consecutive times, the merchant said: "Look here, young man, you have wasted a whole month trying to sell to me. What I would like to know is this-why have you wasted your time?"

"Wasted my time nothing," he retorted, "I have been going to school and you have been my teacher. Now I know all the arguments that a merchant can bring up for not buying, and besides that I have been drilling myself in self-confidence."
Then the merchant said: "I will make a little confession of my own. I, too, have been going to school, and you have been my teacher. You have taught me a lesson in persistence that is worth money to me, and to show you my appreciation I am going to pay my tuition fee by giving you an order for advertising space."

And that was the way in which the Philadelphia North American's best advertising account was brought in. That one sale also marked the beginning of a reputation that has since made that same young man a millionaire. He succeeded because he deliberately charged his own mind with sufficient Self-Confidence to make that mind an irresistible force. When he sat down to make up that list of twelve names he did something that ninety-nine people out of a hundred would not have done-he selected the names of those whom he believed it would be hard to sell, because he understood that out of the resistance he would meet with in trying to sell them would also come strength and Self-Confidence. He was one of the very few who understand that all rivers and some people are crooked because of following the line of least resistance.

No one can foretell the possibilities of achievement available to the man or woman whose partner supports and encourages bigger and better endeavor. It is your right and your duty to encourage your mate in worthy undertakings until he or she finds an appropriate place in the world. You can induce your mate to put forth greater effort than can any other person in the world. Make him or her believe that nothing within reason is beyond reach, and you will have rendered a service that will go a long way toward winning the battle of life.

One of the most successful men in his line in America gives entire credit for his success to his wife. When they were first married she wrote a creed which he signed and placed over his desk. This is what it said:

I believe in myself I believe in those who work with me. I believe in my employer. I believe in my friends. I believe in my family. I believe that God will lend me everything I need with which to succeed if I do my best to earn it through faithful and honest service. I believe in prayer and I will never close my eyes in sleep without praying for divine guidance to the end that I will be patient with other people and tolerant with those who do not believe as I do. I believe that success is the result of intelligent effort and does not depend upon luck or sharp practices or double-crossing friends, fellow men, or my employer. I believe I will get out of life exactly what I put into it, therefore I will be careful to conduct myself toward others as I would want them to act toward me. I will not slander those whom I do not like. I will not slight my work no matter what I may see others doing. I will render the best service of which I am capable because I have pledged myself to succeed in life and I know that success is always the result of conscientious and efficient effort. Finally, I will forgive those who offend me because I realize that I shall sometimes offend others and I will need their forgiveness.
Signed …

The woman who wrote this creed was a practical psychologist of the first order. With the influence and guidance of such a marriage partner as a helpmate any man or woman could achieve noteworthy success.
Analyze this creed and you will observe how freely the personal pronoun is used. It starts off with the affirmation of Self-Confidence, which is perfectly appropriate. You could not make this creed your own without developing the positive attitude that would attract people who would aid you in your struggle for success.

Mere adoption, however, is not enough. You must practice it! Read it over and over until you know it by heart. Then repeat it at least once a day until you have literally transformed it into your mental makeup. Keep a copy of it in front of you as a daily reminder of your pledge to practice it. By doing so you will be making efficient use of the principle of autosuggestion as a means of developing Self-Confidence. Never mind what anyone may say about your procedure. Just remember that it is your business to succeed, and this creed, if mastered and applied, will go a long way toward helping you.

No man can become a great leader of men
Unless he has the milk of human kindness in his own heart,
And leads by suggesion and kindness, rather than by force

You learned in Lesson Two that any idea you firmly fix in your subconscious mind, by repeated affirmation, automatically becomes a plan or blueprint that an unseen power uses in directing your efforts toward the attainment of the objective named in the plan.
You have also learned that the principle through which you may fix in your mind any idea you choose is called autosuggestion, which simply means a suggestion that you give to your own mind. It was this principle of autosuggestion that Emerson had in mind when he wrote:
"Nothing can bring you peace but yourself!"

Similarly, you might well remember that nothing can bring you success but yourself. Of course, you will need the Cooperation of others if your aim is success of a far-reaching nature, but you will never get that Cooperation without the positive attitude of Self-Confidence.
Perhaps you have wondered why a few will advance to highly paid positions while others all around them, who have as much training and who seemingly perform as much work, do not get ahead. Select any two people of these two types, and study them, and the reason why one advances and the other stands still will be quite obvious to you. You will find that the one who advances believes in tbemseJt, and that he or she backs their belief with such dynamic, aggressive action that others can recognize it in them. You will also notice that this Self-Confidence is contagious; it is impelling; it is persuasive; it attracts others.

You will also find that the one who does not advance shows clearly, by the look on their face, by the posture of their body, by the lack of briskness in their step, by the uncertainty with which they speak, that he or she lacks Self-Confidence. No one is going to pay much attention to the person who has no confidence in themsel£
They do not attract others because their mind is a negative force that repels rather than attracts.
In no other field of endeavor does Self-Confidence, or the lack of it, play such an important part as in the field of sales, and one does not need to be a character analyst to determine, on first meeting, whether a salesperson possesses this quality. If you have it, the signs of its influence are written allover you. The moment you speak you inspire customers with confidence in you and in the goods you are selling.
We come now to the point at which you are ready to take hold of the principle of autosuggestion and make direct use of it in developing yourself into a positive, dynamic, self-reliant person. You are instructed to copy the following formula, sign it, and commit it to memory:


  1. I know that I have the ability to achieve the object of my definite purpose, therefore I demand of myself persistent, aggressive, and continuous action toward its attainment.
  2. I realize that the dominating thoughts of my mind will eventually reproduce themselves in outward, bodily action and then gradually transform themselves into physical reality. Therefore, I will concentrate my mind for thirty minutes daily on the task of thinking of the person I intend to be, by creating a mental picture of this person and then transforming that picture into reality through my actions.
  3. I know that through the principle of autosuggestion, any desire I persistently hold in my mind will eventually seek expression through some practical means of realizing it. Therefore I shall devote ten minutes daily to demanding of myself the development of the factors named in the seventeen lessons of the Law of Success course.
  4. I have clearly mapped out, and written down, a description of my Definite Purpose in life, for the next five years. I have set a price on my services for each of these five years, a price that I intend to earn and receive through strict application of the principle of efficient, satisfactory service, which I will render in advance.
  5. I fully realize that no wealth or position can long endure unless it is built upon truth and justice. Therefore, I will engage in no transaction that does not benefit all whom it affects. I will succeed by attracting to me the forces I wish to use and the Cooperation of other people. I will induce others to serve me because I will first serve them. I will eliminate hatred, envy, jealousy, selfishness, and cynicism by developing love for all humanity, because I know that a negative attitude toward others can never bring me success. I will cause others to believe in me because I will believe in them and in myself.

I will sign my name to this formula, commit it to memory, and repeat it aloud once a day with full faith that it will gradually influence my entire life so that I will become a successful and happy worker in my chosen field of endeavor.

Before you sign your name to this formula, make sure that you intend to carry out its instructions. Behind this formula is a law that is difficult to explain. Psychologists refer to this law as autosuggestion and let it go at that, but you should bear in mind one point about which there is no uncertainty, and that is the fact that whatever this law is, it actually works!

If you want a thing done well,
Call on some busy person to do it.
Busy people are generally the most painstaking and thorough in all they do.

Another point to be kept in mind is that just as electricity will turn the wheels of industry and serve mankind in a million other ways, or snuff out life if wrongly applied, so will this principle of autosuggestion lead you up the mountainside of peace and prosperity, or down into the valley of misery and poverty, according to the application you make of it. If you fill your mind with doubt and unbelief in your ability to achieve, then the principle of autosuggestion takes this spirit of unbelief and sets it up in your subconscious mind as your dominating thought and slowly but surely it draws you into the whirlpool ofjailure. But if you fill your mind with radiant Self-Confidence, the principle of auto- suggestion takes this belief and sets it up as your dominating thought and helps you master the obstacles that fall in your way until you reach the mountaintop of success.


Having, myself, experienced all the difficulties that stand in the road of those who lack the understanding to make practical application of this great principle of autosuggestion, let me tell you a little about the principle of habit, through the aid of which you may easily apply the principle of autosuggestion in any way and for any purpose whatsoever.
Habit grows out of environment, out of doing the same thing or thinking the same thoughts or repeating the same words over and over again. Habit may be likened to the groove in a record, while the human mind may be likened to the needle that fits into that groove. When any habit has been well formed, through repetition of thought or action, the mind has a tendency to attach itself to and follow the course of that habit as closely as a phonograph needle follows the groove in a record.

Habit is created by repeatedly directing one or more of the five senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and feeling, in a given direction. After habit has been well established, it will automatically control and direct our bodily activity, wherein may be found a thought that can be transformed into a powerful factor in the development of Self- Confidence: Voluntarily) and by force if necessary) direct your efforts and
your thoughts along a desired line until you haveformed the habit that will take hold and continue) voluntarily) to direct your efforts along the same line. The object in writing out and repeating the Self..:Confidence formula is to form the habit of making beliif inyourselfthe dominating thought of your mind until that thought has been thoroughly embedded in your
subconscious mind, through the principle of habit.

You learned to write by repeatedly directing the muscles of your
arm and hand over certain letter outlines, until finally you formed the habit of tracing these outlines. Now you write quickly and easily, without tracing each tetter slowly. Writing has become a habit with you.
The principle of habit will take hold of the faculties of your mind just the same as it will influence the physical muscles of your body, as you can easily prove by mastering and applying this lesson on Self- Confidence. Any statement that you repeatedly make to yourself, or any desire that you deeply plant in your mind through repeated statement, will eventually seek expression t~rough your physical, outward bodily efforts. The principle of habit is the very foundation upon which this lesson on Self-Confidence is built, and if you will understand and follow the directions laid down in this lesson, you will soon know more about the law of habit, from firsthand knowledge, than could be taught to you by a thousand such lessons as this.

You have little concept of the possibilities that lie sleeping within you, just awaiting the wakening hand of vision to arouse you, and you will never have a better concept of those possibilities unless you develop sufficient Self-Confidence to lift you above the commonplace influences of your present environment.

The human mind is a marvelous, mysterious piece of machinery, which I was reminded of a few months ago when I picked up Emerson's Essays and reread his essay on spiritual laws. A strange thing happened. I saw in that essay, which I had read scores of times previously, much that I had never noticed before. I saw more in this essay than I had seen during previous readings, because the unfoldment of my mind since the last reading had prepared me to interpret more.
The human mind is constantly unfolding, like the petals of a flower, until it reaches the maximum of development. What this maximum is, where it ends, and whether or not it ends at all, are unanswerable questions, but the degree of unfoldment seems to vary according to the nature of the individual and the degree to which they keep their mind at work. A mind that is forced or coaxed into analytical thought every day seems to keep on unfolding and developing greater powers of interpretation.

Down in Louisville, Kentucky, lives Mr. Lee Cook, a man who has practically no legs and has to wheel himself around on a cart. Despite Mr. Cook having been without legs since birth, he is the owner of a great industry and is a millionaire through his own efforts. He has proved that people can get along very well without legs if they have a well-developed Self-Confidence.
In the city of New York one may see a young man, without legs but otherwise able-bodied and able-headed, rolling himself down Fifth Avenue every afternoon with cap in hand, begging for a living. His head is perhaps as sound and as able to think as the average. This young man could duplicate anything that Mr. Cook of Louisville has done, if he thought oj himself as Mr. Cook thinks oj himself.
Henry Ford has more money than he will ever need or use. Not so many years ago, he was working as a laborer in a machine shop, with but little schooling and without capital. Scores of other men, some of them with better-organized brains than his, worked near him. Ford threw off the poverty consciousness, developed confidence in himself, thought of success, and attained it. Those who worked around him could have done as well had they thought as he did.

You can always become the person
You would have liked to be

Milo C. Jones of Wisconsin was stricken with paralysis a few years ago. So bad was the stroke that he could not turn himself in bed or move a muscle of his body. His physical body was useless, but there was nothing wrong with his brain, so it began to function in earnest, probably for the first time in its existence. Lying flat on his back in bed, Mr. Jones made that brain create a definite purpose. That purpose was prosaic and humble enough in nature, but it was definite and it was a purpose, something that he had never known before.
His definite purpose was to make pork sausage. Calling his family around him, he told of his plans and began directing them in carrying the plans into action. With nothing to aid him except a sound mind and plenty of Self-Confidence, Milo C. Jones spread the name and reputation of "Little Pig Sausage" all over the United States, and at the same time accumulated a fortune.
All this was accomplished after paralysis had made it impossible for him to work with his hands.


Dr. Hawking's mind has unfolded to a previously unimagined degree because he made it his habit to develop it.
He was divorced and unemployed. But he conceived an idea that came to dominate his mind. He wanted to serve in the New Hampshire legislature. He lost his first campaign, and his second. Others would have given up, but Leonard looked at himself and realized that his best chances lay in his own efforts, despite the fact that he had no experience and less money. So for his next campaign he began going door to door in his district. He met everyone he could, he walked in parades, and attended community meetings. He spent just $12 on some posters and $36 on filing fees, and that was the extent of his spending. And Peter Leonard was elected! His path was unusual, but he found it by making a habit of working toward being elected.

Henry Ford has made millions of dollars, and is still making millions of dollars each year, because he believed in Henry Ford'and transformed that belief into a definite purpose backed with a definite plan. The other machinists who worked along with Ford during the early days of his career envisioned nothing but a weekly pay envelope and that was all they ever got; they demanded nothing out of the ordinary of themselves. If you want to
get more, be sure to demand more of yourself Notice that this demand is to be made on yourself.

f you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don't;
If you like to win, but you think you can;
It is almost certain you won't.

If you think you'll lose, you've lost,
For out of the world we find
Success begins with a fellow's will-
It's all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are -
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to be sure oj yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man;
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.

It can do no harm if you commit this poem to memory and use it as a part of your working equipment in the development of your Self-Confidence.

Somewhere in your makeup there is a "subtle something" which, if it were aroused by the proper outside influence, would carry you to heights of achievement such as you have never before anticipated. Just as a master player can take hold of a violin and make it pour forth the most beautifUl and entrancing strains of music, so is there some outside influence that can take hold of your mind and cause you to go forth into the field of your chosen endeavor and playa glorious symphony of success. No one knows what hidden forces lie dormant within you. You, yourself, do not know your capacity for achievement, and you never will know until you come in contact with the particular stimulus that arouses you to greater action and extends your vision, develops your Self-Confidence, and moves you with a deeper desire to achieve.

It is not unreasonable to expect that some statement, some idea, or some stimulating word of this course on the Law of Success will serve as the needed stimulus that will reshape your destiny and redirect your thoughts and energies along a pathway that will lead you, finally, to your coveted goal in life. It is strange but true that the most important turning points of life often come at the most unexpected times and in the most unexpected ways.
I have in mind a typical example of this, and of what a person can accomplish when he or she awakens to a full understanding of the value of Self-Confidence. The incident to which I refer happened in the city of Chicago, while I was engaged in the work of character analysis.

One day a homeless man presented himself at my office and asked for an interview. As I looked up from my work and greeted him, he said, "I have come to see the man who wrote this little book," and he removed from his pocket a copy of a book entitled Seif-Corifidence, which I had written many years previously. "It must have been the hand of fate;' he continued, "that slipped this book into my pocket yesterday afternoon, because I was about ready to go out there and punch a hole in Lake Michigan. I had about come to the conclusion that everything and everybody, including God, had it in for me, until I read this book and it gave me a new viewpoint and brought me the courage and the hope that sustained me through the night. I made up my mind that if I could see the man who wrote this book he could help me get on my feet again. Now I am here and I would like to know what you can do for a man like me."

While he was speaking I had been studying him from head to foot and I am frank to admit that down deep in my heart I did not believe there was anything I could do for him, but I did not wish to tell him so. The glassy stare in his eyes, the lines of discouragement in his face, the posture of his body, the ten days' growth of beard on his face, the nervous manner about this man all conveyed to me the impression that he was hopeless, but I did not have the heart to tell him.

So I asked him to sit down and tell me his whole story. I asked him to be perfectly frank and tell me, as nearly as possible, just what had brought him down to the ragged edge of life. I promised him that after I heard his entire story I would then tell him whether or not I could be of service to him. He related his story, in lengthy detail, the sum and substance of which was this: He had invested his entire fortune in a small manufacturing business. When the world war began in 1914, it was impossible for him to get the raw materials necessary for the operation of his factory, and he therefore failed. The loss of his money broke his heart and so disturbed his mind that he left his wife and children and went to live on the streets. He had actually brooded over his loss until he reached the point at which he was contemplating suicide.

After he had finished his story, I said to him: "I have listened to you with a great deal of interest, and I wish that there was something I could do to help you. But there is absolutely nothing."
He became as pale as he will be when he is laid away in a coffin. He settled back in his chair and dropped his chin on his chest as much as to say, ''That settles it." I waited for a few seconds, then said:
"While there is nothing that I can do for you, there is a man in this building to whom I will introduce you, if you wish, who can help you regain your lost fortune and put you back on your feet again." These words had barely fallen from my lips when he jumped up, grabbed me by the hands, and said, "For God's sake lead me to this man:"
"There stands the man to whom I promised to introduce you. He is the only man in this world who can put you back on your feet again. And unless you sit down and become acquainted with that man, as you never became acquainted with him before, you might just as well go on over and 'punch a hole' in Lake Michigan, because you will be of no value to yourself or to the world until you know this man better."
He stepped over to the glass, rubbed his hands over his bearded face, studied himself from head to foot for a few moments, then stepped back, dropped his head, and began to weep. I knew that the lesson had been driven home, so I led him back to the elevator and sent him on his way. I never expected to see him again, and I doubted that the lesson would be sufficient to help him regain his place in the world, because he seemed too far gone for redemption. He seemed to be not only down) but almost out.
A few days later I met this man on the street. His transformation had been so complete that I hardly recognized him. He was walking briskly, with his head tilted back. That old, shifting, nervous posture of his body was gone. He was dressed in new clothes from head to foot. He looked prosperous and he felt prosperous. He stopped me and related what had happened to bring about his rapid transformation from .a state of abject failure to one of hope and promise.
"I was just on my way to your office," he explained, "to bring you the good news. I went out the very day that I was in your office, a down-and-out tramp, and despite my appearance I sold myself at a . salary of $3,000 a year. Think oj it) man) $3,000 ayear! And my employer advanced me money enough to buy some new clothes, as you can see for yourself He also advanced me some money to send home to my family, and I am once more on the road to success. It seems like a dream when I think that only a few days ago I had lost hope and faith and courage, and was actually contemplating suicide.

"I was comi~g to tell you that one of these days, when you are least expecting me, I will pay you another visit, and when I do I will be a successful man. I will bring with me a blank check, signed and made payable to you, and you may fill in the amount because you have saved me from myself by introducing me to myself-that self I never knew until you stood me in front of that mirror and pointed out the real me:'
As he turned and departed into the crowded streets of Chicago, I saw, for the first time in my life, what strength and power and possibility lie hidden in the mind of the person who has never discovered the value of self-reliance. Then and there I made up my mind that 1, too, would stand in front of that same mirror and point an accusing finger at myself for not having discovered the lesson that I had helped another to learn. I did stand before that same mirror. And as I did so, I then and there fixed in my mind, as my definite purpose in life, the determination to help men and women discover the forces that lie sleeping within them. The book you hold in your hands is evidence that my definite purpose is being carried out.
The man whose story I have related here is now the president of one of the largest and most successful concerns of its kind in America, with a business that extends from coast to coast and from Canada to Mexico.

One of the irreparable losses is the lack of knowledge that there is a definite method through which Self-Confidence can be developed in any person of average intelligence. What an immeasurable loss it is to civilization that young men and women are not taught this known method of developing Self-Confidence before they complete their schooling, for no one who lacks faith in themself is really educated in the proper sense of the term.

Oh, what glory anct satisfaction would be the happy heritage of the man or woman who could pull aside the curtain offear that hangs over humanity and shuts out the sunlight of understanding that Self- Confidence brings, wherever it is in evidence.

Where fear controls, noteworthy achievement becomes an impossibility. This brings to mind the definition offear as stated by a great philosopher:
"Fear is the dungeon of the mind into which it runs and hides and seeks seclusion. Fear brings on superstition, and superstition is the dagger with which hypocrisy assassinates the soul."

In front of the typewriter on which I am writing the manuscripts for this course hangs a sign with the following wording, in big letters:
"Day by day in every way I am becoming more successful."
A skeptic who read that sign asked if I really believed "that stuff" and I replied, "Of course not. All it ever did for me was to help me get out of the coal mines, where I started as a laborer, and find a place in the world in which I am serving upwards of lOO,OOO people, in whose minds I am planting the same positive thought that this sign brings out. Therefore, why should I believe in it?"
As this man started to leave, he remarked, "Well, perhaps there is something to this sort of philosophy, after all, for I have always been afraid that I would be a failure, and so far my fears have been thoroughly realized."
You are condemning yourself to poverty, misery, and failure, or you are driving yourself on toward the heights of great achievement, solely by the thoughts you think. If you demand success of yourself, and also back up this demand with intelligent action, you are sure to win. Bear in mind, though, that there is a difference between demanding success and just merely wishing for it. You should find out what this difference is and take advantage of it.

Love, beauty, joy, and worship are forever building,
tearing down, and rebuilding
the foundation of each man's soul

Do you remember what the Bible says about those who have faith as a grain of mustard seed? (Look it up in the book of Matthew, chapter I3.) Go at the task of developing Self-Confidence with at least that much faith if not more. Never mind "what they will say" because you might as well know that «they" will be of little aid to you in your climb up the mountainside of life toward the object of your definite purpose. You have within you all the power necessary to get whatever you want or need in this world, and about the best way to avail yourself of this power is to believe in yourself
"Know thyself, man; know thyself"
This has been the advice of the philosophers all down the ages. When you really know yourself..you will know that there is nothing foolish about hanging a sign in front of you that reads "Day by day in every way I am becoming more successful;' with due apologies to Emile CoUt~, who made this motto popular. I am not afraid to place this sort of suggestion in front of my desk, and, what is more to the point, I am not afraid to' believe that it will influence me so that I will become a more positive and aggressive human being.
More than twenty-five years ago I learned my first lesson in Self- Confidence building. One night I was sitting before an open fireplace, listening to a conversation between some older men on the subject of capital and labor. Without invitation I joined the conversation and said something about employers and employees settling their differences on the Golden Rule basis. My remarks attracted the attention of one of the men, who turned to me with a look of surprise on his face, and said:
"Why, you are a bright boy, and if you would go out and get a schooling you would make your mark in the world:"
His remark fell on fertile ears. It was the first time that anyone outside my family had ever told me that I was bright, or that I might accomplish anything worthwhile in life. It started me thinking, and the more I allowed my mind to dwell on those thoughts, the more certain I became that the remark had behind it a possibility.
It might be truthfully stated that whatever service I am rendering the world and whatever good I accomplish should be credited to that offhand remark.

Suggestions such as this are often powerful, and none the less so when they are both deliberate and self-expressed. Go back now to the Self-Confidence formula and master it, for it will lead you into the "powerhouse" of your own mind, where you will tap a force that can be made to carry you to the very top of the ladder of success.
Others will believe in you only when you believe in yourself They will "tune in" on your thoughts and feel toward you just as you feel toward yourself The law of mental telepathy takes care of this. You are continuously broadcasting what you think of yourself, and if you have no faith in yourself, others will pick up the vibrations of your thoughts and mistake them for their own. Once you understand the law of mental telepathy, you will know why Self-Confidence is the third of the seventeen laws of success.

If you have Self-Confidence, those around you will discover this fact. Let them make the discovery. They will feel proud of their alertness in having made the discovery, and you will be free from the suspicion of egotism. Opportunity never stalks the person with a highly developed state of egotism, but brickbats and ugly remarks do. Opportunity forms affinities much more easily and quickly with Self-Confidence than it does with egotism. Self-praise is never a proper measure of self-reliance. Bear this in mind and let your Self-Confidence speak only through the tongue of constructive service rendered without fuss or flurry.
Self-Confidence is the product of knowledge. Know yourself. know how much you know (and how little), why you know it, and how you are going to use it. Four-flushers come to grief; therefore, do not pretend to know more than you actually do know. There's no use of pretense, because any educated person will measure you quite accurately after hearing you speak for three minutes. What you really are will speak so loudly that what you claim you are will not be heard.
If you heed this warning, the last few pages of this one lesson may mark one of the most important turning points of your life.
Believe in yourself but do not tell the world what you can do. Show it!


The supreme mystery of the universe is life! We come here without our consent, from whence we know not. We go away without our consent, whither we know not.

We are eternally trying to solve this great riddle of life, and for what purpose and to what end?
That we are placed on this earth for a definite reason there can be no doubt by any thinker. May it not be possible that the power which placed us here will know what to do with us when we pass on beyond the Great Divide?

Would it not be a good plan to give the Creator who placed us here on earth credit for having enough intelligence to know what to do with us after we pass on? Or should we assume the intelligence and the ability to control the future life in our own way? May it not be possible that we can cooperate with the Creator very intelligently by assuming to control our conduct on this earth to the end that we may be decent to one another and do all the good we can in all the ways we can during this life, leaving the hereafter to one who probably know;, better than we, what is best for us?

From birth until death, the mind is always reaching out for what it does not possess.
The little child, playing with its toy~on the floor, sees another child with a different toy and immediately tries to lay hands on that toy.
Adults continueto pursue what they perceive as bigger, better, and more toys; the more the better.
F. W. Woolworth, the 5 and 10 Cent Stores king, stood on Fifth Avenue in New York City and gazed upward at the tall Metropolitan Building and said, "How wonderful! I will build one much taller:' The crowning achievement of his life was measured by the Woolworth Building. That building stands as a temporary symbol of man's nature to excel the handiwork of other men. A monument to the vanity ojman, with but little else to justify its existence!

The little ragged newsboy on the street stands, with wide-open mouth, and envies the businessman as he alights from his automobile at the curb and starts into his office. "How happy I would be," the newsboy says to himsel£ "if I owned a car like that:' And the businessman, as he sits at his desk in his office, thinks how happy he would be if he could add another million dollars to his already overswollen bankroll.

The grass is always sweeter on the other side of the fence says the jackass, as he stretches his neck in the attempt to get to it.
Let a crowd of boys into an apple orchard and they will pass by the nice mellow apples on the ground. The red, juicy ones hanging dangerously high at the top of the tree look much more tempting, and up the tree they will go.
The married man takes a sheepish glance at the ladies on the street and thinks how fortunate he would be if his wife were as pretty as they. Perhaps she is much prettier, but he misses that beauty because -well, because "the grass is always sweeter on the other side of the fence:"

Happiness is always just around the bend; always in sight but just out of reach. Life is never complete, no matter what we have or how much of it we possess. One thing calls for something else to go with it.
You long for a home-just a plain little house sitting off in the edge of the woods. You build it, but it is not complete; now you must have shrubbery and flowers and landscaping to go with it. Still it is not complete; you must have a beautiful fence around it, with a graveled driveway.
This calls for a second car and a garage.
All these little touches have been added, but to no avail. The place is now too small. You must have a house with more rooms. The Ford must be replaced by a Cadillac.
On and on the story goes, ad infinitum!

You receive a salary sufficient to keep yourself and your family fairly comfortable. Then comes a promotion, with an advance in salary of $1,000 a year. Do you put the extra $1,000 away in a savings account and continue living as before? You do nothing of the sort. Immediately you must trade the old car in for a new one. A porch must be added to the' house. Someone needs a new wardrobe. The table must be set with better food…. At the end of the year are you better off with such an increase? Not at all! The more you get the more you want, and the rule applies to the millionaire as much as it does to someone with only a few thousand dollars.

A young man selects the girl of his choice, believing he cannot live without her. After he gets her he is not sure that he can live with her. If a man remains a bachelor he wonders why he is so stupid as to deprive himself of the joys of married life. If he marries he wonders how she happened to catch him off guard long enough to "harpoon" him.
And the god of destiny cries out "0 fool, 0 fool! You are damned if you do and you are damned if you done'
At every crossroad of life the imps of discontentment stand in the shadows of the background, with a grin of mockery on their faces, crying, "Take the road of your own choice! We will get you in the end!"

Life is an everlasting question mark.
That which we want most is always in the embryonic distance of the future. Our power to acquire is always a decade or so behind our power to desire.
And if we catch up with the thing we want, we no longer want it!
Our favorite author is a hero and a genius until we meet him or her and learn the sad truth that this author is only human. As Emerson wrote, "How often must we learn this lesson? People cease to interest us when we find their limitations. The only sin is limitation. As soon as you once come up with a man's limitations, it is all over with him:'
How beautiful the mountain yonder in the distance. But the moment we draw near it we find it to be nothing but a wretched collection of rocks and dirt and trees.
Out of this truth grew the oft-repeated adage "Familiarity breeds contempt:'
Beauty and happiness and contentment are states of mind. They can never be enjoyed except through vision of the afar. The most beautiful painting by Rembrandt becomes a mere smudge of daubed paint if we come too near it.

Destroy the hope of unfinished dreams in a person's heart and he or she is finished.
he moment we cease to cherish the vision of future achievement we are through. Nature has built us so that our greatest and only lasting happiness is that which we feel in the pursuit of some yet unattained object. Anticipation is sweeter than realization. That which is at hand does not satisfy. The only enduring satisfaction is that which comes to the person who keeps alive in their heart the hope of future achievement. When that hope dies, writefinis across the human heart.
Life's greatest inconsistency is that most of what we believe is not true. Russell Conwell wrote an extremely popular lecture called "Acres of Diamonds:'The central idea of the lecture was that one need not seek opportunity in the distance; that opportunity may be found in the vicinity of one's birth. Perhaps, but how many believe it?
Opportunity may be found wherever one really looks for it, and nowhere else! To most of us the picking looks better on the other side of the fence. How futile it is to urge one to try their luck in their little hometown, when it is human nature to look for opportunity in some other locality.
Do not worry because the grass looks sweeter on the other side of the fence. Nature intended it so. Thus does she allure us and groom us for the lifelong task of growth through struggle.

Some modern "miracles"

Some people doubt the authenticity of the Bible because they believe that if miracles could have been performed over two thousand years ago, before the dawn of science, while the world was still steeped in illiteracy and superstition, it should be just as easy to perform them today.
I have read the Bible very carefully, some parts of it many times, and I am convinced that it contains no account of any alleged miracle that has not been more than matched in our times, in the open light of science. Moreover, these modern day miracles are subject to analysis and proof Any child of average intelligence, above the age of twelve years, may understand the miracles of today.

The Greatest oj All Miracles Is Faith

This is a wonderful age. It is an age of provable miracles. These are the modern miracles that have impressed me most:
The miracle which Edison performed when, after thousands of temporary failures, he wrested from Nature the secret by which the sound of the human voice may be recorded on a wax record and reproduced perfectly. That miracle was wrought through Edison'sfaith. He had no precedent to guide him. No other person had ever performed such a miracle.
One of the strange things about this miracle is that Edison began at the very outset to experiment with the rudimentary principle and the mechanical apparatus through which the talking machine {audio recorderandplayback} was later revealed. The principle was vibration and the apparatus was a tube made of wax which revolved on a cylinder that contacted the point of a needle. Nothing but faith could have enabled Edison to have begun so near the source of the secret that he sought, and nothing but faith could have given him the persistence to stick to his experiments through more than ten thousand failures.
It was faith that enabled Edison to concentrate his mind on the task which led him through many thousand failures before he created the incandescent lamp with which he harnessed the energy known as electricity and made it serve to light the world.
It was faith that prompted Edison to continue his experiments with the moving-picture machine {camera andprojector} until he made it actually perform the miracle that he must have seen through his own Imagination before he even began.
It was faith that sustained the Wright brothers through the years of hazardous experiments before they conquered the ,air and created a machine that excels, in both speed and endurance, the swiftest bird.
It was faith that prompted Christopher Columbus to set sail on an uncharted sea, in search of a land that, as far as he was concerned, existed nowhere except in his own Imagination. Considering the frailties of the little sailing vessels in which he embarked on that momentous voyage, his faith must have been of the kind that enables a person to see the object of their labor already attained, even before they begin.
It was faith that inspired Copernicus to see that portion of a universe which human eyes had never beheld. It was at a time in the history of the world when such revelations as those he wrought through his faith and his crude mechanical equipment might mean his destruction at the hands of his contemporaries who believedthere were no stars except those within range of the human eyes.
It was faith that enabled "Golden Rule" Nash to transform a failing business into a shining example of success, by dealing with his customers on the basis of a rule that Christ recommended nearly two thousand years earlier. Arthur Nash turned to faith after every other business principle failed him. By following the Golden Rule through the remainder of his life, Nash accumulated a vast fortune in money, to say nothing of leaving the world richer in spirit because of his example.
It was his faith in a cause that enabled Mahatma Gandhi of India to blend into a single mass the minds of more than two hundred million of his countrymen, everyone of whom would do Gandhi's bidding, even though it meant immediate death. No other influence except faith could have performed this miracle. Because his mind is capable of sustained faith, Gandhi wields this power passively. Gandhi has proved that faith can accomplish that which trained soldiers and money and implements of warfare cannot achieve.
It was faith that cut the shackles of limitation from the mind of Professor Einstein and revealed to him mathematical principles that the world had not even suspected to exist. No fear-bound mind could have uncovered such a miracle.
It was faith that sustained our own beloved Washington and drove him on to victory in opposition to vastly superior physical forces-a form of faith born of his love for freedom for mankind.

The profound principle known as faith is as available to you as it ever was to any human being who has passed this way.
If your world is one of limitation, misery, and want, it is because you have not yet realized that you have in your own mind a laboratory that is equipped to engender the power of faith.
lj we may judge the possibilities oj thefuture by the achievements oj the past, the miracles remaining to be uncovered are vastly greater in number and nature than those that have been revealed in the past. It is not yet revealed what our destiny may be.
This is an age of revelation!
Those who believe that the power of revelation passed away with the superstition and ignorance which prevailed a few hundred years ago have but little comprehension of our modern history.
Men like Edison, the Wright brothers, Columbus, Copernicus, Arthur Nash, Gandhi, Einstein, and Washington are all miracle men. They have removed the horizons of men's minds and discovered unto us new worlds. Ours is a day of miracles; and this is an age of faith.
The world is passing through an experience that will call for many forms of readjustment of human relationships. The real Leadership will be found among those who have great capacity for faith. There will be no place in the immediate future for the weaklings and those who still believe that miracles belong only in the age of the dead past, or that they are wrapped up in unfathomable mystery.
The miracles of thefuture will be revealed by science.