Ben Sweetland: How this Book Helps you Grow Rich (Chpt. 1)

August 28, 2008

How this Book Helps you Grow Rich

Whatever you want out of life, this book will show you the way to make it come to you. Be it money, influence, love, respect, or admiration—be it any or all of these— it will be yours in abounding measure.

This way to get rich is universal. It has brought riches to men who work at all kinds of occupations in many parts of the world. It does not depend on your education, your background or your luck.

It depends on the most essential, deepest-thinking part of you.

Just look around and you’ll see how few men really know what they want or where they’re going. Having no goal in mind, they can’t even discern the difference between what is good for them and what is bad.

If you too are that way—don’t worry. This book is going to change you. Start by remembering that you are better than you consciously think you are. In fact, if you already know how you would like to spend a lot of money, you are far ahead of most men!

Before you finish this book, you are going to know once and for all:

  • How to recognize your real goals in life—no matter what anyone else tries to tell you.
  • How to get acquainted with your real self—your true abilities, your vast fund of hidden talent.
  • How to fill yourself with such genuine, deep-down confidence, zest and good-will that other people will be pleased to help you get what you want.
  • How to find and hold the full, glorious picture of your own success and build toward that picture with every word and deed.

As your work multiplies in worth, remember this: You possess not only the things money can buy, but also the deep, inward satisfaction that comes with making your life what you want it to be. Growing rich in a way that really expresses you is just about the most constructive, healthful, joyous thing you can do for yourself!


This entire book is built around a saying in the Bible: As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.

Without changing the meaning of this timeless, golden truth, I give it to you more along the lines of modern psychology: A man is what his Creative Mind says he is.

You are not a body with a mind attached. You are a mind with a body attached. Remember this, and you take your first step toward self-mastery.

Actually, the mind has two levels. The one we know best is the conscious level. It takes in impressions through your senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. It is highly effective in making your daily thousand-and-one decisions.

When you perform any conscious act—pick up a pencil, speak to a waiter, make a phone call—your Conscious Mind sends the orders to your body. And when you go to sleep, your Conscious Mind goes to sleep.

The other level never sleeps. This is the Creative Mind.

Your Creative Mind literally keeps you alive. It is responsible for the involuntary life-functions such as your heartbeat and your breathing. It has great control over your glands, the master regulators of your body.

Most important for our purpose: Your Creative Mind also governs your personality, your character, your inmost drives, your deepest and most secret desires!

W. Clement Stone conceived a powerful picture in his Creative Mind; he saw himself controlling a large insurance company. Now, we all know that to start a business you need capital; in fact, most business failures are caused by lack of capital to tide-over a bad time. Well, my friend Stone had less than $100 in his pocket. But he has made a personal fortune of some $100,000,000… beginning as the head of an insurance company.

How many salesmen will go out today with a good product and a good sales pitch—and ring up no sale? It’s your Conscious Mind that knows the facts about a product and how it can benefit the user. But it’s your Creative Mind that determines whether you inspire trust or suspicion, belief or doubt—whether you are the kind of man who is well-liked as soon as he says Hello, or the kind who shapes up as a negative character whom it’s so easy not to do business with.

I don’t mean that an image of success in your Creative Mind means that you cannot possibly fail on any occasion. But I will show you men who, having first failed, came back and overcame every obstacle. They simply considered every setback a wonderful opportunity for improvement.

It’s your Creative Mind that can and will put you up there among the happy, well-clothed, and well-supplied people; the people who attract love, who find their way out of difficulties, and who seem always to live in the sun.


Just as its title promises, this book shows you how to grow rich while you sleep. You do it by communicating with your Creative Mind while your Conscious Mind sleeps along with the rest of you!

At this time, your Creative Mind is highly receptive and the Conscious Mind cannot interfere. Send your Creative Mind a message while you sleep, and that message sinks in. It even can eradicate undesirable old messages. (You can do this at other times, too, but the best time is when you are asleep.) And, by the way, you’ll sleep soundly.

As I shall show you, the actual process of communication is very easy. Some people take a few days to master this priceless secret. I know of several men who did it in one night. It’s a wonderful experience to find that magic genie at your command.

What shall you tell your Creative Mind while you are sleeping? First, I suggest you practice with the tested messages you’ll find in this book. I know by experience how powerful they are.

Very soon, however, you’ll create your own messages. Mind-pictures, really… of you driving the car you want to drive … living in the house you want… belonging to the clubs or social groups you’ve yearned to join. And, most of all, you supplied with plenty of money and spending it in the way that pleases you most!

Some men think they have tried and failed at this already. If you think so, I assure you the chances are a thousand to one that you never got through to your Creative Mind. Many a man “changes his mind” about the way he’ll handle his life—but all he changes is his Conscious Mind.

Now you are going to change yourself right down there where you really live. This time you’ll cast out all negation, self-doubt, self-defeat. Optimism, self-confidence, courage and wonderful new talent will be yours—and the road to riches is straight and wide.


I was not exaggerating in the least when I said that getting rich can be the most constructive, healthful, joyous thing you ever did. My only warning is that you must get rich in the way that expresses your own, best, personal achievement. Then you’ll earn more than just money.

 Since some three-quarters of our illness has a mental basis, doesn’t it stand to reason that your state of mind has a tremendous effect on you? In fact, the famous researcher Dr. John A. Schindler has shown that one of the most positive aids to health is a cheerful, constructive, forward-looking state of mind.

I know that many men get rich at the cost of their health— rich enough to be able to afford the most expensive doctors.

This is not going to happen to you. The next few years, while you build your fortune, will be your happiest years. You’ll free yourself of much inner conflict and have no psychosomatic reason to become a “headache type” or a “bag of ulcers.”

What’s more, you’ll rid yourself of a great deal of fatigue and get more work done with much less effort. For what is more fatiguing except defeat—the dreadful tiredness of continually butting your head against a wall? The best tonic for this tiredness is doing one job after another with sureness and success. At the end of a day you’re rarin’ to go off for a well-earned session with your favorite hobby.


A worried little woman once came to me for counsel. She could not get along with her husband. There was not enough money to clothe the family. Her children gave her a great deal of trouble. She thought of herself as being hopelessly doomed to a life of misery. She was sure of just one thing—she had no time in which to study for self-improvement.

I told her that the answers to her problems were contained in her Creative Mind. I spent a little over an hour with her, explaining what I explain in this book.

Six months later she came back to tell me that her married life was now ideal, that she had plenty of fine garments in her wardrobe, and that her children were now a joy instead of a care.

All she had done was to build firm mind-pictures of the ideal conditions she desired. These pictures literally became part of her Creative Mind. Yes, it also took a certain amount of “doing” in order to make her dreams come true. But only when she believed she could handle her situation did she set about getting things done.

Because I believe that a happy marriage is wealth beyond measure, I devote many pages to showing you how to find this happiness through the wonderful, natural power of your Creative Mind.


In writing this book I have drawn upon a vast amount of personal experience—and the experience of others.

Here is a favorite among all the true experiences that have been told to me. It concerns an experiment conducted with a laborer who could not read or write.

This man had worked with his muscles all his life. Now, in his early sixties, he began to age rapidly. But, through a tricky calculation, it was “proved” to him that the records were wrong and he actually was ten years younger than he thought.

Almost at once, this man looked younger, acted and felt younger. Where before he had complained he couldn’t work the way he used to, now he did a full day’s hard labor, every day, without excessive fatigue. There was nothing wrong with him. But he had thought in his Creative Mind that at sixty he had to complain and slow down—just the way all his friends did.

It has been noticed, too, that people who go blind when they are young often will look younger, thirty years later, than sighted people of the same age. It is said this happens because they remember their own faces as youthful faces. They don’t look for wrinkles, they don’t expect to see grey hair.

In the same way, many a man expects a mediocre performance of himself. He gets it!

Here are a few of the commonest ways in which people down-grade themselves:

“I’m just too shy to get along with others.” Often this means that your Creative Mind keeps on telling you that you don’t like yourself. Therefore you don’t like the way you act among other people, and would prefer to stay away from them.

But your Creative Mind can be persuaded to change its signals completely. Soon you are going to like yourself, like other people, and enjoy sharing their good times.

“My memory is so bad, it’s always embarrassing me.” Strangely enough, your essential memory cannot be bad—because your Creative Mind retains an impression of everything you have heard, seen, read, felt or tasted since the day of your birth—and perhaps even an impression of everything you have thought, as well.

So, when you “forget,” you really mean you cannot bring into your Conscious Mind something stored away in your Creative Mind. The mind-line is blocked. Hours or days later you may smite your brow and exclaim, “That’s it!” as the mind-line suddenly opens.

Millions of people waste the greater part of their minds by blocking-off their own memories. I will show you that an open mind-line not only improves your memory, but also strengthens and alerts other mental powers. It can be worth a great deal to be able to come up promptly with names, addresses, phone numbers, prices. Just remember—you have a perfectly good memory. We’ll get together and wake it up!

“I can’t concentrate.” People who are scatter-brained sometimes fear they are mentally defective. Except in rare cases, this is not so. More likely, your Creative Mind has learned bad habits.

You are going to see why thoughts have such power … how every action must begin with a thought. And you will see that you, in your Creative Mind, decide how much power to give to a particular thought.

First you will instruct your Creative Mind to concentrate on the concepts you want to be the most powerful. Then your Creative Mind will instruct your Conscious Mind to keep those concepts always in view. You’ll have no further trouble in concentrating. And it will be effortless concentration that eliminates a lot of worry and keeps your vital energies working together to attain your goals.


You are going to be a better person in so many ways, you’ll feel as though you had been born again!

Your Creative Mind will give you a cheerful, zestful attitude toward anything you do.

When you deal forcefully with problems and decisions, you’ll grow in poise and self-control. Things that fluster other people won’t fluster you.

Let me tell you one more story. It’s about myself.

Years ago, when I first began to realize the limitless power of the Creative Mind, I happened to need some repair work on my house. But I found reasons for putting it off. Probably I invented reasons!

When I finally got that job done, my conscience bothered me. How, I thought, can I instruct my Creative Mind to tell my Conscious Mind that things must get done when they ought to be done?

The answer was absurdly simple. Now, when I have a task to perform, I first give my Creative Mind a picture of the completed job. Doing this while I sleep, I can wake up and feel all the pleasure I am going to feel when I see the job accomplished. Then, when I go about actually doing it, obstacles seem to melt away—or at the most, they become merely details. When the job is done, I feel that good satisfaction all over again.

Right there is the key secret of getting rich.

Today, now, decide in your Conscious Mind that you are rich. (Your major job is completed!)

As soon as you read this book, you’ll know the sure, easy way to implant that million-dollar thought in your Creative Mind. And then nothing, absolutely nothing can stand in your way.

NEXT CHAPTER: Riches and Interpretation




August 27, 2008


HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE the word riches?

The answer you give is exactly what this book will mean to you. When the word riches is used from here on, it will mean riches according to your interpretation.

Some of you will visualize riches as an unlimited supply of money; a regal estate; a yacht; an airplane, etc. And if this is your objective—fine. Build upon it in your imagination and, as you continue reading this book, you’ll find it will be well within the realm of possibility to make your dream a reality.

Perhaps you interpret riches as meaning leadership: leadership in politics, in industry, in commerce, etc. Should your desires fall in this category, the contents of this book will put you on the right track to fulfillment.

You might think that wishing for both material riches and riches in personal power is expecting too much. But it is not. In fact you can hardly have one without the other. But beware! To wish for both—or even one—would get you nowhere. Be careful of that word wish! It can do you more harm than good as you’ll later learn.

I once heard a definition of riches which may apply to some of you.

Edel and I were visiting the cozy bungalow of a day laborer and his family. The house was small, but very tastefully fur- nished. It contained most of the modern conveniences. The small yard showed evidence of a green thumb. The mortgage on the house had been fully paid off. The husband had an income on which the family could live comfortably, and he was assured a pension when his day of retirement arrived. The total physical assets of this family would not exceed $12,000.

“I consider ourselves to be the richest family in town,” she said with great pride. “We have no financial worries” she continued, “and perfect harmony reigns throughout our house.”

If you have not attained this level of riches, you can think of it as your first plateau and use the power you will gain from this book to lift you up to it. Upon reaching this standard you can raise your sights once more and continue your climb to higher and higher realms.

There are those on this earth who possess practically nothing of a material nature, but who consider themselves rich, because of their happy minds and healthy bodies.

I do not believe any one of us should aspire to be a Croesus, because material riches can engender unhappiness as easily as they can raise one to the heights of ecstasy.

At this point I am going to ask you a very pertinent question: “What is the greatest good one may expect from riches?”

To have money in the bank; to own a palatial home; to be able to entertain lavishly; to be able to travel anywhere anytime—in first-class manner—and to have a wardrobe which would be the envy of all, are a few of the things you might consider as being the advantages of riches.

Think of these things and anything else which might be associated with money and you will still be wrong as far as an intelligent answer to the question is concerned.

The real reason for wanting riches is to be happy. This is the end result of all accomplishment. Although one thinks his goal is riches, in reality he is seeking the soul-satisfying happiness which comes with achievement; the riches are his reward for attaining his objective.

At this point, let me cite a few illustrations which will make my point clear:

A New England capitalist had a unique way of spending his surplus money. He owned a large, fully stocked farm. Each summer a large number of underprivileged children was invited to spend a few weeks at this farm. The kiddies were given the best of everything: fresh, pure dairy products; the best meats of all kinds; delicious fruits and vegetables, etc. The boys and girls were under the supervision of affectionate, capable attendants.

This philanthropist could not possibly be happier using his money in any other way. He would retire at night with a smile as he thought of the joy he was giving to children who were not used to it.

And then there is a generous financier in New York who gains his happiness in quite a different way. He knows the value of home ownership and enjoys seeing young people own their homes free and clear of all encumbrances. He is constantly on the lookout for deserving young couples. When he finds one, he has his assistant make an investigation to learn the extent of the mortgage and who holds it. This big-hearted man arranges to have the mortgage paid off—anonymously—and a clear deed sent to the worthy two.

It is not hard to imagine the peace of mind this open-handed individual is gaining from life.

Permit me to give you an illustration from the other side of the fence: the story of a couple whose lives have been made unhappy through the acquisition of riches.

As soon as they became rich, they had quite an extravagant home designed and built. Their garage housed two of the most expensive automobiles. The wife would not think of buying her gowns in any place except Paris. The husband was most popular in the swankiest country club.

But was this couple happy? Not by a long shot.

On week ends they would entertain sumptuously and, of course, on Mondays they would find themselves with big heads and a “dark brown” taste in their mouths.

Through overabundant living, their digestion and general health suffered. Through dissipation, their faces accentuated their ages and lacked the magnetism so easily acquired with proper living.

Were they happy? Their every expression revealed unbearable boredom. The head of this family worked diligently—and, undoubtedly, intelligently—in his pursuit of happiness. He gained his wealth, but because he didn’t understand just what true happiness was, he fell dismally short of his goal.

There is another definition of riches which should be considered and which, to my mind, is one of the most important of all.

“He lives a rich life” is often said about certain lucky people. What is a rich life? It is one well rounded with many interesting and illuminating experiences. Such a man’s day is separated into units of creative work, rest, recreation, and entertainment. No one of these, alone, is enough to produce happiness.

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is a saying I have heard since childhood; and it is true, no matter how many of us fail to heed its advice.

But to spend all your time resting would actually become tiresome. The purpose of the rest would be defeated. If rest and relaxation are indulged in between periods of work, they will both be thoroughly enjoyed, and you will also enjoy your work when you return to it.

Entertainment is the “dessert” one enjoys at the close of a satisfying day of work. Just as “all work and no play” is not to be desired, continuous entertainment would fail to give perfect happiness.

During periods of recreation you should allow time for constructive reading, and you should expand your circle of friends and acquaintances by allowing time to converse with others.

You can now see that a rich life is a blending of all the desirable elements of life.


Before starting this chapter, I asked this same question of many men and women in all walks of life. The variety of answers was as different as the people questioned.

A mechanic said: “I would give up my job, sell my house, then do nothing but travel for the next several years.”

Do you think he would be happy? I doubt it.

I knew a man who retired from the presidency of a large corporation. He sold his home and intended to spend much of his life traveling. He became so bored with this existence that he returned to his former city, bought a new home and established another business.

An office manager unhesitatingly answered the question thus: “I would buy this business and become my own boss.” One does not have to be a psychoanalyst to learn much about this man from this simple answer alone. It is likely that this man is “bossed” too much, which makes him want to own the business so that he can do the bossing.

No man in business is ever his own boss. He has as many bosses as he has customers. He must give satisfaction or his customers will begin bossing him.

Perhaps this office manager is having financial difficulties and feels it would be great to head a company and have each mail bring him huge checks. But what this man and others seldom think about is that an executive’s salary is just as dependent as the office manager’s on the amount of money that comes into a large company.

Do not misunderstand me. It’s great to head a business of your own; but you must grow into it.

A housewife was asked what she would do with riches. I liked her answer.

“I have so many friends and relatives who are not enjoying the best things in life. I would like to take them, one at a time, and do things to make them happy. One I might take to a fine

store and outfit her from head to toe with good clothes. Another I would take on an all-expense-paid trip. Still another has a good head for business, and I’d like to help him to develop a small business.”

The things she would do for others made a long and unselfish list. There was an expression of great sincerity on her face as she described what she would do with riches. She proved that she knew the truth of the statement that happiness comes from giving happiness.

A boy in his late teens was asked the same magic question: “What would you do if you had riches?”

“Aw, gee, mister, I don’t know. I think, first of all, I would get Dad the motor boat he has always wanted. I would get Mom all the modern things for her kitchen and laundry so she wouldn’t have to work so hard. And for me, I would go to one of the big colleges and study electronics.”

Doesn’t a statement like that make you wish you could give this lad riches right now so that he could put them to work in such a wonderful way?

An uncultured, uneducated man was asked what he would do with riches.

“What do I want with riches?” he blurted. “Shavin’ and dressin’ up for meals, and mixin’ with the snobs and high-hats is not for me. I’m satisfied just as I am.”

To men like him this book offers little help. They would read it fearing that some of the suggestions might rub off on them and cause them to change from their present relaxed mode of living.


As you will discover before you finish reading this book, you can acquire riches—and in a manner far simpler than you ever dared to imagine. You can become rich in any form you wish: rich in material goods—money, home, etc.; rich in mental and

spiritual blessings; rich in personal power and leadership; rich in friendships. Wouldn’t it be a good idea then to begin deciding now what kind of riches you feel would give you the happiness you strive for?

If you have been living as the average citizen lives, earning enough to get by, having the necessities of life, and a few of the luxuries, your interpretation of riches may be rather mild. Your bills all paid and a few thousand dollars in the bank could be a situation so far beyond your present status that it would seem foolish to “dream” further.

Do you know that the ability to acquire riches is a state of mind? Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, said: “Anything the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” To gain the full import of this statement, you must think about it. Your mind might conceive the wish: “I’d like to be a power among men; I’d like to have money—lots of it.” But if your mind could conceive the picture of yourself as having power and money; and if you really believed you could have power and money—brother, watch out; you’re on your way!

W. Clement Stone, when he was a young man (and he is still a young man), conceived the image of himself as the head of a large insurance company, and he deeply believed he could become the head. With a beginning of not more than $100, he went on to carve an insurance empire and multiply his original $100 into a personal fortune of $100,000,000. In the book he co-authored with Napoleon Hill, SUCCESS through a Positive Mental Attitude, he tells you how he did it. The pattern Mr. Stone followed was a simple one, once more proving the efficacy of Mr. Hill’s motto: “Anything the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”

Next Chapter: Grow Rich While you Sleep

Ben Sweetland: GROW RICH WHILE YOU SLEEP! (Chpt. 3)

August 26, 2008


Up to this point, nothing has been said about the provocative title of this book. It does sound fantastic, but as you learn more

about the operation of the mind, you will find that our futures— whether successful or otherwise—are shaped in our subconscious minds, and mostly during the period of sleep.

Hundreds of self-improvement books have been published, but I doubt if many of them have been able to convey an understandable picture of the vital part our subconscious minds play in our lives.

The average concept of “mind over matter” is that if you think in terms of success, you will manifest success. This is true; but what does it mean? Do you really understand it?

A woman came to me, principally to take issue with some of my theories. She did not disagree with my statement that “we first think in terms of success before we manifest success.” “But,” she explained, “it takes more stamina than I have to follow through with the effort necessary to back up my success thoughts and make them a reality.”

Her concept of developing mental power, and then making use of it is entirely wrong; and, I fear, it coincides with the thinking of most people who are exposed to theories of mental self-development.

I once wrote a booklet called “Developing the Urge for Self-Improvement.” This treatise pointed out that most people, after leaving school and college, realize that their education— instead of being complete—is just beginning. They realize that they should take steps to add to their storehouse of knowledge—and many of them do. They get books and home-study courses and make a brave attempt at adding to their present knowledge. It is questionable how much good they derive from this additional study, because they are doing it feeling they should do it. But, if they can create the urge to want to study, they will do so because they get a thrill every time they learn something new.

If you are trying to establish a thinking pattern along success lines, and have to discipline yourself to act contrary to your natural tendencies, it becomes drudgery, and extremely boring. Few will continue with such a regime; coming to the conclusion that “this is not intended for me.”

On the other hand, once you have accepted the idea that you are a success, your subconscious mind will guide you to the type of thought and action which will produce success. There will be no driving yourself to follow certain procedures; you will do all of the things in keeping with the success plan because you want to do them.

Isn’t all of this exciting? Can you wait until you begin taking the steps which you now instinctively know will liberate you from “pay-day blues”?

No, I am not digressing from the remarks I made earlier about “growing rich while you sleep.” I am including the previous points to help make it apparent to you that to grow rich while you sleep is not fantastic, but a natural phenomenon of the subconscious mind.

As I have pointed out in many of my previous books, we have two minds: the conscious and the subconscious minds. The conscious mind takes care of all of our thinking, scheming, and planning, while the subconscious mind looks after all of the involuntary operations in the body: breathing, circulation of blood, restoration of worn tissue, etc. In addition to this, it has reasoning powers independent of the conscious mind. While the conscious mind is working on one thought, the subconscious mind can be devoting itself to something else.

Haven’t you often said: “I have a feeling I should do this” or “I have a feeling I should not do that”? I know you have. Where did that “feeling” come from? It did not float from free air and bump into your mental antennae. It came from your subconscious mind.

If the “feeling” was negative in its nature, it was because you habitually feed your subconscious mind with negative thoughts. And the reverse is fortunately true. Positive thinking will create positive reactions in your inner mind.

When you arise in the morning, what is your normal tendency? Do you slip into consciousness with the thought: “Well, another day at the grind. Gosh, I wish I could sleep another hour or two!”

Or, do you start your day with vibrancy and the thought: “Boy, I feel good! I’m going out and shatter all records today.”

Why the great variation in day-openers?

Is there something physically wrong with the one who sluggishly starts his day? Perhaps yes in a few rare cases. In the great majority of instances, however, the condition at waking is a reflection of the thought pattern established in the subconscious mind the night before.

If you go to bed with thoughts such as: “Boy! Today was a tough one. I have some hard nuts to crack tomorrow which I am not looking forward to,” etc., etc., etc., you are apt to be restless all night long, while your subconscious mind mulls over the “tough day” thoughts you gave it earlier. Is it any wonder you awaken dreading the new day?

But, suppose you go to bed building on such thoughts as: “Boy, will I knock them over tomorrow! Today was a fairly good day, but nothing to be compared with what I’ll make it tomorrow. I’m going to turn in, have a good night’s sleep, and wake up early, raring to start the big day.” Isn’t it easy to understand how such an established thought pattern will bounce you out of bed with extreme enthusiasm?

Now then, isn’t a ray of light beginning to pierce the cloud of uncertainty which confronted you when you first saw the title: “Grow Rich While You Sleep”?

In fact, don’t you begin to appreciate the fact that the only way you can trigger success consciousness is while you sleep?

Whenever a powerful thought seeps into my consciousness I sense a slight twitching in the general neighborhood of my solar plexus. This, I am sure, is the building within of an urge to “get-up-and-at – ‘em.”

Right now as I reread this chapter before starting on the next, I notice the same physical reaction, indicating, I am sure, that although the thoughts in this book are my own, and even with as much as I am accomplishing, I have far from reached my capacity of achievement.


Has that “twitching” caught up with you? Do you now intuitively know that the magic password “Open Sesame!”, which unlocks the door to a life of great abundance and glorious happiness, is yours?

If you don’t feel the “twitch,” you have not been concentrating while reading. So, for your sake, have a little break of some kind—thoroughly relax—and then reread this chapter before starting the next one.

In fact, in any event, it might not be a bad idea to read the chapter again before proceeding. It will be a fine way to get a good start to the new life awaiting you.

NEXT CHAPTER: The Real Seat of Intelligence

Ben Sweetland: THE SEAT OF INTELLIGENCE (Chpt. 4)

August 26, 2008


Creditors were threatening suit; two of them had actually started litigation. Things looked so black for this man it seemed inevitable that his doors would soon be closed.

He was so discouraged that he dreaded coming to his office each morning, because he knew he would have to face a renewed barrage of telephone calls from creditors asking him for money and telling him what would happen if they did not get it.

One day while reading his newspaper on the train, he saw the story of a man who had taken over a nearly bankrupt business and had turned it into an outstanding success.

A series of provocative thoughts entered the mind of our troubled businessman.

“If that fellow could turn a near bankrupt business into a success, why can’t I take my own near bankrupt business and do the same?” our friend asked himself.

Without realizing it, he had sparked his creative mind into action. He began thinking in terms of I CAN and I WILL. Did he now hesitate to go to his office? NO! The next morning he hastened into the city and the moment he entered his office door he asked his bookkeeper to give him a full list of all his creditors.

One by one he phoned these people. “Give me just a bit more time and you’ll be paid in full—and with interest,” he said with new-found enthusiasm.

“Did you land a big contract?” one of the largest creditors asked.

“No, but I have gained something far more important,” replied the debtor. “I have acquired a new spirit which will put me over.”

“I believe you have. I can hear it in your voice. Yes, we will be happy to cooperate with you,” said the creditor with a note of real friendliness.

His voice, expressing sincere elation, drew a favorable response from every creditor who had formerly been threatening to sue him.

With his mind at peace, he concentrated his efforts on getting business; and with his newly found spirit, he had no difficulty in securing many worth-while contracts. It was not long before the books of this company showed no red ink, but important sums of earned profits.

In this case, nothing unusual happened. Business conditions were the same. The only change was in the mind of the man who had formerly felt his business was rapidly going on the rocks.


In the early 1800’s, when students of human behavior first began to realize that the mind was dual in its operation, the mind below the level of consciousness was named the subconscious mind. It was felt that the conscious mind, with its ability to think, scheme, plan and reason, would naturally be the master mind and that the other one would be subservient to it. This is far from being the truth.

As you are about to learn, the subconscious mind is the real seat of intelligence and power. No one ever has had or will have as much intelligence, consciously, as all of us have subconsciously.

The prefix “sub” means under, below, beneath, lower. For example: a post office substation is never as important as the main office. Why then, since the subconscious mind is the seat of intelligence and power, call it the subconscious mind?

Our thoughts and actions are continually being guided by the subconscious mind, whether or not we are led to success and happiness, or failure and despair.

As soon as we develop a success consciousness, the subconscious mind will direct us—in thought and action—to success and happiness. This being true, don’t you believe with me that the name Creative Mind would be more fitting? I’m sure you do, so from this page onward every time I mention the Creative Mind, I mean that which we formerly referred to as the subconscious mind.


The following is a very simple description of the Creative Mind and its relationship to the conscious mind. It is the same illustration I gave on the radio in New York in 1930, which the late Alfred Adler thought was the best description of the subconscious mind he had ever heard.

We will use a large manufacturing plant as an illustration. A big corporation, you know, has a president and a general manager. Of course it has many intermediate officers: vice-presidents, secretaries, treasurer, etc. For the sake of simplicity, we will think only of the president and the general manager.

Let us assume that the corporation in this illustration is an automobile plant.

The president does the planning; the general manager executes the plans.

When a new-model car is being contemplated, the president will make the decision as to all changes to be made. These changes will be given to the general manager. Designers and draftsmen are instructed to put the plans on paper; models are made; the plant is tooled up to create the new designs and on and on it goes until finally a car rolls off the line bearing all of the changes originally planned by the president.

This gives an ideal example of the relationship between the conscious and the creative mind.

The conscious mind is the president; the Creative Mind is the general manager.

The conscious mind does the thinking, planning, evaluating. The Creative Mind carries out the orders.

Let us assume, by way of illustration, that an individual was just getting by. He managed to keep food on the table and to pay his rent; but there never was any money left over for nice clothes, recreation, etc.

Suddenly a powerful thought entered his mind. He began to see himself as a success. He began to think in terms of “I AM a Success.” All right, what happens?

His general manager—his Creative Mind—accepts the thought “I AM a Success” as an instruction. It is a new model ordered by the president—the conscious mind.

Now then, just as the general manager in the factory would give instructions to his many department heads, so, too, will your general manager—Creative Mind—begin sending out messages to his assistants throughout your body.

Your general manager knows that to be a success you must look like one. He will make you more alert; he will put a spring in your step; he will put a look of determination in your eye; he will put an expression in your voice which rings of success.

But, most important of all, your general manager will direct your thinking so that you will be guided to do the things which will make you a success.

Several years ago a man came to me hoping I could help him to find a job. He was in quite a predicament. His rent was overdue. His telephone had been disconnected. His grocer was about to shut off his credit.

I asked this man to repeat to himself frequently for the next 24 hours, particularly before retiring, “I AM a Success.” This seemed incongruous to him, but I made him promise he would do it.

The next morning he awoke and had such an urge to go out and prove he was a success that he bolted down his breakfast to save every possible minute.

Leaving his house, instead of lagging along with the feeling that it would be another hopeless day, he marched with his chin up and chest out, with a mental attitude which told him he was facing a world of opportunities and that he could literally select the one best fitted to him.

Passing a department store, this revitalized man saw a small card in one of the windows which read: “Salesman Wanted, Hardware Department.” He stared at the card a moment, then with determination walked into the store. In the personnel department he faced the man authorized to hire employees.

“I’ve had no experience selling hardware, sir, but I love tools and I believe I could fill the job advertised in your window.”

The courageous and confident manner in which this applicant approached the personnel manager made an immediate good impression. Only a few preliminary questions were asked.

“I’d like to give you a chance to show what you can do. Can you start tomorrow morning?” said the man behind the desk.

This was several years ago. The man is now manager of his department and is making a good salary. He has purchased a comfortable home, drives a new car and is a very good provider for his wife and child.

The average ne’er-do-well feels that the road to success is long and tortuous. Is this true? The case just described proves it is not true. The tide turned for this man in just 24 hours.

After the pattern of success was implanted in the Creative Mind of this man, he, guided by the Creative Mind, became a success.

Isn’t this a revelation to you? Isn’t it hard to believe that you have been going through life wishing for things without realizing that through the use of your Creative Mind you do not have to wish, that you literally have it within your power to make your dreams come true?

Obtaining financial success is by no means the only use for your Creative Mind, as the following story shows.

A lonely “old maid” bemoaned the fact that she was not attractive to the opposite sex and that she was destined to a life of loneliness.

She was told to hold a thought, such as: “I am attractive to men. I will meet the man whom I can make happy and who, in turn, will make me happy.”

What do you think happened? Within a few weeks she met a fine man and just four months later they were married. The last I heard they were divinely happy.

Stories of this kind might lead one to believe that I am indulging in some form of legerdemain, but I’m not. It is merely another evidence of what the Creative Mind can do for you when you will it to do so. This woman had not been friendly enough, and was selfish to the extent of not thinking of anyone but herself.

The Creative Mind, which you know has reasoning faculties independent of the conscious mind, guided this woman to become more friendly and unselfish. It is not hard to sense a friendly attitude, and men like the company of friendly women. So there you have it. She met a man who quickly became attracted to her. As they spent time together, her generosity toward him made him think in terms of a life together. So, they were married, and, I feel sure, will live happily ever after.

For about 15 years of my life I was a radio personality. In San Francisco I maintained a 30-minute daily broadcast for over ten years.

Ordinarily an audience would tire of hearing a half-hour talk seven days a week by the same man. This was not true in my case. “You seem to be getting better and better,” letters by the score would declare.

I’m not trying to present myself as some sort of miracle man, because I am not. I did not do a thing you could not do. My secret, which enabled me to pull in up to 70 per cent of all the mail reaching the station, was that I made full use of my Creative Mind.

Script for a 30-minute program would require at least 14 pages of double-spaced typewriting. I used only a single page of the briefest kind of notes. In other words practically all of the talk was ad-libbed; a steady uninterrupted flow of words had to be forthcoming.

Every day, before going on the air, I would repeat to myself: ‘This broadcast will be the best one I have ever given.” And it would work just that way.

Immediately after greeting my listeners the thoughts would begin to flow and would continue until the clock said it was time to say good-bye.

My publishers comment on how few corrections have to be made in my manuscripts. Authors often have to rewrite entire portions—and sometimes all—of their books before printing. In my last book, Will, not a single page was rewritten.

Am I bragging? No! Because I am no better than you are. I am merely making use of a force we all have. I am using the Creative Mind which is always standing by ready to guide me.

Before sitting down to the typewriter I talk to my Creative Mind. I usually say something, such as: “I am being guided in the thoughts which will make this book a helpful one to all who read it.” And, just as though an inner voice were dictating to me, the thoughts flow and flow.

Please do not read these lines and say: “That sounds great. I’m going to try it sometime.”

That word “going” is a bad word. It is indefinite. You can say you are going to do something, and if you do not do it for ten years you are still telling the truth. Instead of going to do something—do it!

You will never know the potency of your Creative Mind until you make use of it. Give it a chance to prove itself to you. Right this very instant it is waiting for your command.

Do not approach your Creative Mind negatively. Do not say to yourself: “I will try it to see if it works for me.” The word “try” indicates a doubt. We do not try to do things we know we can do—we do them. To “see if it works for me” also expresses a doubt.

Think of something good you would like to have happen. As an example, suppose you had to make an important decision tomorrow. At the moment you are in a quandary; you do not know which course to take. All right! Right now begin holding a thought, such as: “Regarding the decision I must make, I will be guided to take the steps which will be best for all parties concerned.” Repeat this several times, and especially before retiring. Know that by the time you must reach your decision, the plan to follow will be clear to you. You will be amazed to find how logical your thinking is and you will instinctively know that your opinion is sound.

But, do not stop there. Give your Creative Mind another task. You cannot overdo it. Like your automobile which is always ready to serve you, your Creative Mind merely awaits instruction.

Remember this! Your Creative Mind is never idle. It is always working either for or against you. Therefore, isn’t it proper that you should keep it working for you?


There is intelligence in every cell of your body, and this intelligence is an important part of your Creative Mind.

Without further comment on my part, doesn’t this statement open up broad new vistas of understanding?

We started this chapter by referring to the Creative Mind as the seat of intelligence. There is one fact in this connection which should be mentioned at this time.

The Creative Mind, as you already know, accepts thoughts of the conscious mind as instructions and acts upon them. You have also learned that the Creative Mind has reasoning faculties independent of the conscious mind. Whether your thought is negative or positive, the Creative Mind without questioning will put the thought into effect.

If you think in terms of infirmities, your Creative Mind, which has contact with every cell in your body, will accept your thought as an instruction and will send out the message throughout your being to make you infirm, and as time goes on you will find a reflection of your thoughts in your being. You will slow down, your eyes will lose their sparkle, you will acquire an I-feel-miserable attitude.

Suppose, on the other hand, you begin developing an I-feel-great attitude; what will happen? You answer that question. With what you have already learned you know the answer. You will feel great.

A few years ago a New Orleans clinic published a paper which stated that 74 per cent of 500 consecutive patients admitted to the department handling gastrointestinal diseases were found to be suffering from emotionally induced illness. In 1951, a paper from the Outpatient Medical Department of an eastern university indicated that 76 per cent of patients coming to that clinic were suffering from emotionally induced illness, or, what is commonly referred to as psychosomatic symptoms.

If the ailments of 76 out of every hundred persons were mentally induced, doesn’t it stand to reason that a glad-to-be-alive feeling can also be mentally induced? Naturally!

In your experiments to prove the effectiveness of the Creative Mind in adding to your health, wealth and happiness, learn how it can add materially to your health by giving it the proper instructions.

Think in terms of: “I am guided in thought and action to do the things that will be conducive to better health. My Creative Mind—with its contact with every cell in my body—will establish a health pattern which will make me feel better, look better, and be better.”

Make this statement several times before retiring at night and note how much better you will feel the following day.

Do not overlook the importance of this chapter. It would make me happy if you were so enthusiastic about its contents that you reread it before proceeding to the next one.


Ben Sweetland: Man is Mind (Chpt. 5)

August 25, 2008

WHEN A MAN says to a young lady: “You are a very sweet girl,” what does he mean? Does he mean that her physical being is like the childhood rhyme: “Sugar and spice, and everything nice”? Does he mean that her features portray sweetness? Is it her smile and expression which prompt the statement that she is sweet? The answer to all of these questions is—No.

Not many people realize it, but it is the mind which reflects sweetness, or its opposite.

A sweet individual is one whose mind causes him to be generous, understanding, sympathetic, friendly, and helpful.

When we think of someone as having a magnetic personality, it is natural to associate that personality with his visible, physical being; but this, of course, is not correct.

There are beautiful girls with personalities so bad they are actually repulsive. There are girls with plain features, but whose personalities are so magnetic they appear as sweet and charming.

What is the difference between these girls? It is a matter of mind. The latter think in terms of giving, but the former think only in terms of receiving.

There are two men very much alike from a physical standpoint. One man is a good businessman. He makes money and saves money. The other one just gets by. He earns a small income and spends every cent of it.

What is the difference between the two men? It is a matter of mind. One man thinks in terms of good business and sound investments. The other man thinks in terms of earning merely for the pleasure of spending.

These illustrations could be carried on for many, many pages. The only difference between a writer and the one who does not write is a matter of mind. One man knows he can write; the other one is sure he cannot.

There is no important physical difference between the success and the failure. Again it is a matter of mind. One man sees himself as a failure; the other man knows he is a success.

As we make these comparisons we must conclude that the all-important part of a human being is his mind. His mind makes him what he is—whether that be good or bad.

Whenever one uses the personal pronoun “I” he is not referring to his physical being at all. He means his mental self. If he says: “I’m happy,” there is nothing about his being, as such, which can be happy. Of course, there is a physical response to the emotional fact of his happiness. His lips will indicate a smile; the body may even ripple with laughter, but without happiness and joy being in the mind, none of this will happen.

If I should say: “You are a fine person,” I am not referring to that which I see. There is nothing about your skin, flesh, and bones which can be fine or otherwise. It is your mind I refer to.

Doesn’t all of this discussion give emphatic evidence to the statement heading this chapter: “Man is Mind”?

“You are what you think you are” is a statement you will find in practically every book I have written, and you’ll see it again in books I will write in the future.

Do you fully comprehend the significance of this simple expression?

It does not mean that you are you because you are tall or short, dark or light, fat or lean. It means that the you which people like or dislike is a reflection of your mind.

You don’t have to be unhappy, you need not always be ailing and complaining, you can be successful. In other words, within the realm of that great mind of yours is the power and intelligence to guide your life in any direction you may choose.

For a moment, think of some of the monumental achievements of man. A streamlined train of many cars will travel at sixty or more miles per hour, yet it is controlled by a single man—the engineer—and we may go on to say that all of this is controlled by the mind of this single man.

The largest ships afloat are guided by a single man. Of course, he has his helpers, but there must be a master mind.

The giant airliners, carrying over a hundred passengers plus baggage and mail, are flown by a single man.

In the beginning, these trains, ships and planes were first conceived in the mind of man. They had to be created before they could be navigated.

Now then, suppose I should tell you that you have—within your mental self—a gigantic reservoir of power, most of which is unused. And suppose I tell you also that just as the pilot drives his plane, the captain steers his ship, the engineer speeds his train, you—your conscious mind—can steer your Creative Mind so that it will guide you in any direction you select to Health, Wealth and Happiness.


One of my countless blessings is a curious mind. I must have been born under the sign of a question mark. The adverbs How? Why? When? and Where? are the most overworked words in my vocabulary.

When I first learned to drive an automobile (before the days of the automatic gearshift), I was not content to be told how I should move the shift lever to change gears. I insisted upon having the lid of the gearbox removed so that I could see what happened when the lever was moved.

I have always been like that. Why does it work? How does it work? are just a couple of the questions always on the tip of my tongue.

Several years ago, while having dinner with a friend of mine, we began discussing a provocative subject: the mysteries of man. We talked about the power of mind and how it directed every cell in the body; that to take away mind would leave a decaying mass of flesh and bones. It was then that a great truth dawned upon me. Up to that time I had looked at man as a body with a mind. But he isn’t. Man is a mind with a body.

It is important to understand this truth, and as simple as it sounds, one must think about it quite awhile before he does understand it.

In reality, that body of yours is merely a utility for your mind —which is you.

Your legs provide you with locomotion. Your arms do the many jobs directed by your mind. The food you eat furnishes fuel for your “engine.” Your mouth performs a dual function. It acts as a “hopper” for your food intake, and as a mouthpiece for your vocal communication system. Your eyes are for guidance and your ears are receivers for your communication system.

Your physical being functions in a dual manner: 1, to keep itself alive and functioning and 2, to carry out and execute the dictates of the mind.


This is a guess on my part, but I would say that at least 95 per cent of everything we do is guided by habit rather than intellect.

When you awaken in the morning, do you dress consciously or subconsciously? The latter, of course. As you shave your face, you do not think about the manner in which you hold the razor; you do not think about it at all. Your mind may be on your business. As you eat your breakfast, you do not think about the way you use your knife and fork. You eat without thought of the mechanics of eating.

If you are a typist, you do not consciously pick out the keys.

You keep your mind on the material you are putting on paper; your Creative Mind guides your fingers.

A good automobile driver does not drive consciously. The use of the steering wheel, brakes, accelerator and horn is all prompted by the Creative Mind.

When learning something new, we are slow because we must think as we act. When the Creative Mind takes over, we become faster and far more accurate in that which we are doing. In other words, we become good after the act becomes a habit.

Now then, is it too premature to say that if you are not happy with your life as it is, all you have to do is to begin forming habit patterns which conform to the life to which you aspire? No, it is not, but only if you understand what you have already read.

We have been talking about habit. Let’s continue on this subject for a while, then you’ll be given a routine to follow in developing habits to promote Health, Wealth and Happiness.

Habits are not formed instantaneously. Do you recall the old adage: Habit is a cable, we weave a thread each day, and at last we cannot break it? This is true, only if we permit it to be true. Habits can be broken, if we set out, intentionally, to do so.

If your body is below par physically, a physical culturist can show you, in a very short time, how you should exercise in order to build it up. But merely showing you how is not enough. You must follow his instructions for a period of time before a noticeable change takes place.

If you are not successful, if you are not happy, if you are always ailing and complaining, it is because you are being guided by the type of habit which makes these conditions a reality. You think of yourself as a failure, perhaps one not entitled to success. You believe it is your lot to be unhappy. The natural consequences of a mind of failure and gloom is a body reeking with aches and pains, which gives you more reason for your self-pity.

A friend of mine—a very successful man—told me a story which has a direct bearing on what I have been telling you.

“A casual remark about me, which I should not have heard, changed my entire life,” this friend remarked.

“I had always been a ne’er-do-well, just getting by,” he continued, “but I always bragged about the big things I was going to do.

“One day I chanced to overhear a remark made by a man I thought to be a friend. He said to another, ‘Joe is a nice enough fellow, but he is an idle dreamer, always going to do something, but never doing anything.’

“It was that thought of being an idle dreamer which stiffened my spine. I decided then and there I’d prove I was not an idle dreamer.”

This man changed his thought pattern. The “idle dreamer” thought kept egging him on until he created a new picture of himself. He began to see himself as a doer instead of a mere “going to” talker. In time—not much—his new mental picture was complete and he became an outstanding success.


The negative person seldom thinks of himself as being negative. He most likely will put up an argument if you even subtly suggest he is negative.

I will give you a very simple test which will tell you, in no uncertain terms, whether your mind leans toward the negative or positive side.

Below are 25 ordinary words. Read these words slowly, noting carefully what mental association goes with each. The association will be either negative or positive. If you find you are negative on most of them—be happy. I say: Be Happy, because a great change is about to take place in your life which will give you Health, Wealth and Happiness.

1. Love

2. Crag

3. Money

4. Automobile

5. Food

6. Sex

7. Dark

8. Book

9. Rest

10. Law

11. Water

12. Letter

13. Garden

14. Maid

15. Boss

16. Home

17. Guests

18. Health

19. Animal

20. Father

21. Clothing

22. Music

23. Children

24. Write

25. Tests

Many of these words seem negative and others positive; but below you will find that each can be either negative or positive.

Love. The association flashing in the mind of a negative person might be: No one loves me. On the other hand, a mental picture of a loved one might appear in the mind of the positive one.

Crag. The negative one could easily picture dangerous crags on which his clothing could become torn, or he could be hurt in falling against one of them. Crags add beauty to the hillside in the mind of the positive thinker.

Money. Negative: debts, lack of it, etc. Positive: Comfort, security, generosity.

Automobile. Negative: Lack of one, or condition of present car. Positive: Enjoyable trips; fun for the family.

Food. Negative: Poor meals, indigestion. Positive: Pleasant repast with relatives and friends.

Sex. Negative: Resentment if not happy with mate, or if unpopular with opposite sex. Positive: Reverse of negative.

Dark. Negative: Loneliness. Positive: Rest, relaxation.

Book. Negative: Study, boredom. Positive: Enlightenment, pleasant pastime.

Rest. Negative: Works too hard; no time for rest. Positive: Recuperation, recreation.

Law. Negative: Traffic tickets. Positive: Order, protection.

Water. Negative: Drowning, rain. Positive: Swimming, boating, cleanliness.

Letter. Negative: Bad news. Positive: Good news.

Garden. Negative: Work, expense. Positive: Beauty.

Maid. Negative: Cannot afford one. Positive: Makes the wife’s home work more enjoyable.

Boss. Negative: Slave driver. Positive: Promotion, income.

Home. Negative: Fighting, nagging. Positive: Companionship with family.

Guests. Negative: Extra work and expense. Positive: Good fellowship.

Health. Negative: Awareness of aches and pains. Positive: A condition worth striving for.

Animal. A nuisance, expense. Positive: Loyalty, devotion, companionship.

Father. Negative: Strict, never gave one any breaks. Positive: Devotion.

Clothing. Scanty wardrobe, cheap clothing. Positive: Reverse.

Music. Negative: Noise, annoyance. Positive: Peace, inspiration.

Children. Negative: Pests, expense. Positive: Fulfillment.

Write. Negative: Inability to write which causes one to dread writing. Positive: Helps one to develop ideas.

Tests. Negative: Lack of faith in one’s ability to pass tests. Positive: Gives one an opportunity to try his skill.

Your reaction to these words may be entirely different from the illustrations given; but from these illustrations you will be able to determine whether or not your first impressions were negative or positive.

Psychological studies have shown that 95 per cent of all people lean toward the negative side. This figure coincides with the study which revealed that not more than 5 per cent of all people are successful. If you are among the 95 per cent of negative people, undoubtedly your flash reactions to the words were heavily on the negative side. If you find this to be true, as I said earlier: Be Happy.

“A fault discovered is half overcome” is a truism often heard. If you are largely negative in your thinking, it is reasonably certain that you are not enjoying as much success as you might like; that you are not as happy as you should be.

Think then, with rejoicing, that your day of emancipation is at hand. No longer will you be held in the bondage of lack, uncertainty and gloom. You can literally tilt your head heavenward, throw out your arms, and with unbounded enthusiasm proclaim: I am free!


Copy the list of words on a piece of paper. When you have guests you can suggest that they test themselves to see how negative they may be. Discuss the mind and how it can lead us to success or failure. Remember! The more conscious you become of the power of thought, the more cautious you will be as to the type of thoughts you allow to linger in your mind.

Here is another helpful game. Take each letter of the alphabet and see how many positive words you can think of for each letter. Among the positive words you could select for A, are Adorable, Admire, Agreeable, Alacrity, Alert, Ambitious, Amiable, etc. For B you might think of such words as Beautiful, Becoming, Beloved, Benediction, Benefit, Bounty, etc. Proceed through the alphabet, thinking of as many positive words as you can.

A good way to use this positive alphabet is to obtain a small card file, about the size of the usual cooking recipe file. Get a set of index cards and a quantity of blank 3″ x 5″ cards, obtainable from most stationery stores. Take a card for each positive word and file it after the correct letter. Soon you’ll have well over 100 name cards in your file.

Every time you learn something, or read something, about any one of the positive words, take that card from your file and add the information you obtained.

It is not likely that you will refer to this file often, but the very act of keeping it, makes you more positive-thought conscious.


In one of my earlier books I gave a formula which has been used with great success by, perhaps, hundreds of thousands of success-seeking men and women.

This formula is an extremely simple—and effective—way of re-educating your Creative Mind, making it natural for you to think positively, constructively.

For a full week, say to yourself as often as you think of it: I CAN be a Success! Say it before retiring at night; when you first awaken in the morning; several times during the day.

This fixes in your mind the fact that you CAN be a success. You will agree that unless you know you can .succeed, there is little use in trying. So burn this truth into your mind, even if, at first, you do not believe it. After a short period of time you will begin rejoicing in the thought that success can be yours.

But, knowing you CAN be a success is not enough. We all know lots of things we can do, but unless we do something about them, the positive knowledge is of little benefit to us. This brings us to the second phase of this formula: For another full week (you can take longer if you wish), every time you think of it, repeat to yourself: I WILL be a Success. Do this many times from early morning until the time you retire at night.

A great change will begin taking place within that mental reservoir of power of yours. You will experience a pleasant uneasiness. You’ll want to test your new powers. If, for example, you have yearned for a business of your own, you’ll begin preparing yourself for one. If you have no money at all, it doesn’t matter. Your Creative Mind will guide you to ways and means of obtaining it.

But you’re not yet through with your mental exercises. For at least another week, begin telling yourself: I AM a Success. Do this many times from early morning until you retire at night.

This statement may seem to be a bit premature, but it isn’t. If you have money in the bank, but none in your pocket, you know that, without effort, you can write a check and obtain money.

If you have a success consciousness and know that you CAN be a success, and that you WILL be a success, you have a fulfillment of your desire.

All statements given in this chapter are facts which have been proved, which are being proved, and which will be proved again and again.

They may seem too good to be true, but do not rest upon that thought. These principles are lifting others out of mediocrity to leadership. If they do not do so for you- it is because you are not giving them an opportunity to do so.

Before proceeding to the next chapter, pause a while and reflect over this one. If it has not excited you, if it has not caused you to overflow with enthusiasm, you have missed a point or two and should reread part, or all of it.

Although I have been using these principles for several years, just telling about them gets me excited all over again. I want all of you to get out of life what these truths are doing for me.

NEXT CHAPTER: Getting Acquainted with the real You

Ben Sweetland: Getting Acquainted with the Real You (Chpt. 6)

August 24, 2008

IN ABOUT 400 B.C., when Socrates said to his followers: “Know Thyself,” I am sure this great sage was not referring to the physical being. His every utterance was directed to the intellect, i.e., to the mind.

I once read a story in which the author said there were two entities residing within every being: a plus entity and a minus entity. The plus entity saw nothing but good—health, strength, success, happiness, etc. The minus entity saw just the opposite— gloom, poor health, failure, etc. This author felt that we were influenced by only one entity at a time. If we were to allow the plus entity to take over, we would walk erectly with chests out and chins up, a spark in our eyes and a resolute expression of determination on our faces. If the minus entity should be in charge, the reverse would be true. There would be a lag in our steps; with listless eyes and drooping mouths, our faces would reflect abject despair.

I am not so sure that two entities dwell within our beings, but I do know with certainty that our minds run either in a negative or a positive direction.

According to early psychologists, 95 per cent of all people lean toward the negative side in their thinking. This opinion would imply that most people are under the control of their negative selves, and it would also indicate why such a large percentage of people are unhappy and unsuccessful.

The title of this chapter is: “Getting Acquainted with the Real You.” If you are one of the 95 per cent who lean toward the negative side, you might not be particularly pleased to meet the real YOU. But, instead of being regretful, you will have cause for rejoicing, because you will have learned why you are as you are, and what you can do to change your situation.

In the previous chapter you were given a simple test to learn whether you are inclined negatively or positively. This is the first—and perhaps the most important—step toward getting acquainted with the real you.

The illustrations which follow are intended for those who are negatively inclined. In fact, this description may apply to most readers of this book, because, after all, a strictly positive-minded person really does not need it.

Let me tell you the story of a man who stayed awake all night—and was glad of it. We will call him Joseph Benson.

Joe had run into a streak of bad luck and found himself without money and with a mass of overdue bills on his desk. Things looked serious for this unhappy man, who was already feeling the effects of loss of sleep.

One night Joe went to bed and, as usual, began thinking about his many creditors and of the threats they had been making regarding his indebtedness.

A tide-turning thought entered Benson’s mind.

In one of my earlier books, he had read the same thought which is repeated in this book, to the effect that man is a mind with a body—not a body with a mind.

The statement hadn’t meant much to Joe when he first read it, but now it seemed to take on a new significance.

“If I am mind,” Benson thought, “I can be anything I want to be. All I have to do is make up my mind what I would like to be—and then be just that.”

Throughout the night his mind ran in constructive circles. He thought of himself as he was. He thought of others whom he would like to emulate. He thought of the changes he would have to make within himself to be able to accomplish what he would like to accomplish.

“What is the difference between me and the man I admire— and perhaps even envy?” he asked himself.

“I do not like to refer to myself as being spineless,” he thought, “but I might as well face it and admit it to be the truth.

“I shrink when asking others to grant me any request which might relieve my condition, because I feel I will be refused, as, invariably I am.

“The go-getter has forcefulness. He tells others what kind of deal he would like to make—one which will be of benefit to both. They listen to him and, in most cases, do as he wants them to do.

“My actions are guided by my mind. The other man’s actions are guided by his mind. Why can’t I change my mind to coincide with his?”

The early morning rays of the sun peeping through the openings in his curtains indicated the dawn of a new day.

Joe Benson arose, and instead of having a bedraggled appearance, he was alive and alert, with an expression quite similar to that of the miner who has just struck pay-dirt.

Mrs. Benson, upon seeing her changed husband, was actually timid about asking Joe what had happened. She didn’t have to, though, because at breakfast, she got the enthusiastic story of how a sleepless night would change the future for them both.

Joe stayed home that day—and with good reason.

With pencil and paper, he charted his problem according to the Mental Yardstick described in one of my former books. He decided what his objective would be; in his case it was a means of liquidating his indebtedness and establishing an income on which he could maintain a reasonably high standard of living. He next listed every obstacle which stood between him and his objective; then he outlined a plan of action which would enable him to hurdle the obstacles and attain his objective.

Before retiring that evening, he meditated on his new plan at great length, and determined to arise early in the morning to put it into action.

Without understanding the principles revealed in this book, Joe Benson was literally “Growing Rich While He Slept.” He had retired with his plan well in mind, and while his conscious mind was asleep, his Creative Mind had worked diligently on Joe’s constructive plan of action.

It would take many, many pages to tell the complete story of Joe Benson and what happened to him as a result of his sleepless night, but suffice it to say that he and his wife are now living in a large mansion, with an income ample to take care of it.

Do you understand why this was possible? The change took place when Benson learned the truth that he was a Mind with a Body and that he could—through a mere change of his mind— become whatever he wanted to be.


Permit me to ask a question!

Did the change of Joe Benson’s mental attitude require hard work and drudgery? Just the reverse! He approached his problems with firmness and determination. Those to whom he talked about his predicament were impressed by his spirit and wanted to assist this man because he seemed worth while. Before the change he would feebly approach a man with shaky hand and whining voice. Invariably, he would be turned down because he created the impression that he would be unable to keep any promises he might make.

Was it hard work to turn the tide? To the contrary. In former days, Joe would arrive home discouraged because he knew he would have to spend much time in battling with creditors.

With his new entity taking over, he would arrive home joyous, viewing life as he had never seen it before. And, instead of having mounting debts, he saw his savings and investments growing.

Another question comes to mind. Did Joe do anything you can’t do? No! Just as he changed his mind and began seeing himself as he wanted to be, so you can do exactly the same, and the change which will take place in your life will be just as spectacular as the change which took place in the life of Joe Benson.

I would not be truthful with you if I said that to change your consciousness as Joe Benson did is as easy as to change your mind and go to a movie instead of staying at home. No, a different mental process is required.

Perhaps this illustration will help you to understand more clearly. Have you ever seen someone do a trick of magic which seemed so baffling you couldn’t possibly imagine how it was done? Then the trick was exposed to you; you were told just exactly how it was performed.

At first you thought to yourself: “Oh, I can’t do that!” But then you studied the explanation given to you, and you exclaimed: “Now I get it!” When it dawned upon you just how simple the trick really was, you knew that with a little practice you could do it, too.

So many people feel they are destined to go through life doing without and making sacrifices, it seems a miracle to them that their salvation is so near at hand and that it is simple to get what they want in life. When these people read a book like this, they may hope for the better things in life, and wish they could have them, but they do not permit the thought to seep into their consciousness that abundance is within easy reach.

Here is another illustration which shows how a change in mental attitude took a man out of the doldrums and placed him on the road to Health, Wealth and Happiness.

Fred White was an average fellow. He made enough to get by on, but he was certainly not a man who could be classified as a success.

The head of the company for which Fred worked gave a lawn party for all his employees, including Fred. Before the party ended, all the guests were invited on a tour through his impressive home.

White didn’t even wish for such an estate; it seemed so far beyond his possibilities of attainment. But, that night Fred did a lot of thinking. He recalled how the large living room had been designed so that the picture window looked out upon a huge pool, giving the effect of a lakeside villa.

He remembered the priceless paintings adorning the large walls—mostly landscapes and portraits of his employer’s ancestors.

Fred was quite unhappy as he wondered why some people could have everything, while others go through life with just the barest of necessities.

Suddenly, a great truth dawned upon him.

“Why am I so unhappy?” he reasoned. “Right now I can enjoy practically everything my boss has. Within an hour I can drive to the lake where I can spend minutes, hours, or even a whole day, enjoying a lake view far more picturesque than my boss sees from his living-room window.

“I can drive out in the country or up in the hills and see far more beauty than is found on the canvasses in his home.

“My home may not be so elaborate, but I enjoy tasty, nutritious meals, and sleep in a comfortable bed.”

As Fred White made comparisons between his situation and that of the man he had been envying, he began to understand that he was not too badly off, and found a sense of peace stealing over him.

But Fred didn’t allow himself to become complacent. He began developing what I refer to in my book, / Will, as happy discontent. He was happy with the blessings he had, but discontent to remain happy with them since he felt he could, and had the right to, add to his possessions.

Envy is a restraining force. To envy indicates a lack of confidence in one’s ability to acquire what he envies; hence, it prevents the development of initiative to obtain what is envied.

Fred White’s realization that, even without riches, he could enjoy the same blessings which the wealthy enjoyed gave him a great sense of peace. He no longer envied his employer, but found that he was growing mentally and could begin thinking in terms of self-improvement.

As White took on stature as a man of affairs, his employer paid more attention to him and began lifting him up higher and higher in his company.

Need I carry this story further? Only to the extent of telling you that today Fred White is vice-president of the company and is now living in a very fine home himself.


I said earlier that 95 per cent of all people leaned toward the negative side, and that this figure probably included you. I believe, however, that even with negative people, there is more inborn positiveness than there is a negativity. The individual allows his positive self to become obscured by negative thoughts. He is like a house of wood which has been painted. In volume, there is thousands of times more wood than there is paint, yet the paint completely covers the wood.

If you were to take a white sheet of paper one foot square and place on it a small black spot only 1/16th of an inch square, although the paper is 36,864 times as large as the small black square, your eye would dwell on the spot more than it would on the large area.

No matter how negative you might have thought you were, I definitely believe you are far more positive than you are negative. But, if you are not enjoying out of life all that you hope for, it is not that Fate has anything against you. It is because you are allowing the negative side of you to take over.

You are allowing a negative veneer with which you have surrounded yourself throughout the years to influence your thinking, your acting, your achieving.

Train yourself to be positive. Every time you find yourself holding a negative thought, chase it out with a positive one. You may not see results immediately, but they will be forthcoming. If you plant a seed in the ground, it will be several days before anything shows above the surface. But, if the seed is a fertile one, and you cultivate and water it, you know it will, in time, produce a plant. When you first begin holding positive thoughts, you may not see anything happening at once, but with persistence, you will soon find your positive “entity” taking over and life will present an entirely new meaning to you.

“How can I be positive when everyone around me is negative?” you may ask. This raises a question I might ask. If you were at the railroad station and had the choice of two tickets, one, which would take you to a barren wasteland, and the other to a delightful land of fruits and flowers and enjoyment, which ticket would you select? The answer is obvious.

You have the choice of being either negative or positive. The former guides you to gloom, poor health and failure; the latter to Health, Wealth and Happiness. Which one do you choose?

With the percentage of negative people far exceeding that of positive people, it is logical to assume that all of us are surrounded with more negative people than we are with positive.

If those around you are negative, instead of aping them and making yourself miserable, guard your own happiness by refusing to follow in their footsteps.

You may, if you determine to do so, change some of the negative people into positive ones. Here is the case of a positive-minded wife who, through well-thought-out strategy, changed a negative husband into an enthusiastic positive-thinking mate.

“That mind-over-matter bunk will send you to the booby-hatch,” he constantly told his wife. Whenever something happened of a disappointing nature, and the wife would make some such statement as: “Oh, everything is for the best,” she would be told that she was “off her rocker.”

This wife could have resigned herself to a life of mediocrity, but she refused to do so. She knew the laws of positive thinking, and she also knew how her husband was holding himself back by his negative thinking.

An idea occurred to her. One evening while her husband was sitting around, doing nothing in particular, his wife busied herself by reading one of the many books on mental self-improvement.

“I can’t make head or tail out of this. Will you, with that good mind of yours, read part of this chapter and see if you can make out what the author is trying to say?” she said, as she handed the open book to her husband.

Flattered by her inference regarding his good mind, he accepted the challenge. He read the chapter, not intending to agree with the author but to find loopholes whereby he could prove to his wife that all mind-over-matter theories were a lot of nonsense.

But as he read on and on, the material he was reading began to make sense to him—it all added up. He slowly accepted the idea that negative thoughts produce negative reactions and that positive thoughts produce positive reactions.

This husband began thinking about his job. He realized that he had never done a lick of work over and above what was expected of him, and that what he did was just good enough to get by.

The next morning this man went to his job with a new attitude. He decided to do his work a bit better than he had ever done it before. Instead of sneaking every minute he could to swap stories with fellow workers, he kept happily on the job in an attempt to attain maximum perfection. In his eagerness to excel, he even made a discovery: he learned a short cut which would enable him to turn out more, and better, work. The discovery could even be used by others in the plant, making their efforts more efficient.

What happened? Must I really tell you? I’m sure you’re ahead of me. You know that the man gained recognition by his company and was properly compensated for what he did. Now if you try to talk against “mind over matter” to this changed man, he will put up as strong an argument in favor of it as I could put in this book.

“When one is not up on a thing, he is often down on it,” said a great philosopher, and how right he was.

“The Power of Positive Thinking” (borrowing the title of Norman Vincent Peale’s great book) has been so well established that it cannot be denied by any thinking individual. It is no longer a theory but a fact. And, best of all, it is a fact very easy to prove.

There are still those who will take exception. They will proclaim: “I tried it and it doesn’t work.” In questioning these doubtful ones, you will invariably find that they did not try positive thinking at all. They merely wished for success and happiness, and then because they did not get their wish, they decided that mind has no influence over matter at all.

Permit me to bring this chapter to a close by making the surprising statement that every day everyone is making use of the principle of mind over matter, whether they are benefiting from it or not.

The one who keeps himself miserable through failure, poor health and gloom is definitely being influenced by mind over matter. He does not wish for these conditions, but he sees himself as having them; he believes he is doomed to possess them.

Now then, if this same person could visualize—just as strongly —Health, Wealth and Happiness, not wish for them but see himself possessing them, don’t you agree with me that soon he would be blessed with Health, Wealth and Happiness?

Doesn’t this chapter inspire you to look at life now with a sort of Alice-in-Wonderland delight? Isn’t your vision beginning to pierce through the fog of uncertainty and doubt, and can’t you get a glimpse of the new life that will be yours?

NEXT CHAPTER: You are What you Think you Are

Ben Sweetland: You Are What You Think You Are! (Chpt. 7)

August 23, 2008

YOU ARE WHAT you think you are! As much as I have used this expression in my lectures and writings, I wonder just how many people really understand what it means.

After one of my lectures on this subject, a woman approached me with an accusation.

“Do you think I am poor because I want to be? Do you think I am unhappy because I want to be?” she demanded sternly.

Naturally no one wants to be poor or unhappy; but the fact still remains that we are what we think we are. It is so important that you fully comprehend the significance of this statement that an entire chapter will be devoted to it. If you think as you read, you’ll see a different you when you look into your mirror.

“I’m not a bit musical,” you’ll hear from the one who has not taken up music.

“I’m not at all handy with tools,” the man who has done nothing in the field of crafts will say.

“I’m not artistic”; “I’m not good at writing”; are statements often heard.

Then there are those who will attempt to describe their emotions: “I’m very easygoing,” one will say, while another will declare: “No one can put anything over on me.”

You are what you think you are! Our bodies do not reflect talent, or the lack of it.

If a man is not musical, it is not because there is some physical characteristic which makes him musical, or otherwise.

If one is awkward with tools, the body has nothing to do with it.

What we are is a reflection of the mental image we have been holding of ourselves.

Before any of you come forward with an exception, let me say that in talking about various talents and traits of character, I am referring to the normal individual. Naturally a one-legged man could not win a foot race, no matter what kind of mental pictures he might hold. A person with deformed hands could not excel as a pianist. A sightless person could not win fame as an artist.

What kind of mental picture does the successful business executive hold of himself? Does he see himself as a poor businessman? Not by a jug full! He has reached the heights in his field because he saw himself as a success.

When I had a house designed, I explained to the architect the type of structure I wanted. He reflected a moment, then said: “I think I know just what you want.” Did that architect have faith in his ability? Or did he see himself as a poor architect? This question is actually silly, because the answer is so obvious.

Here is some extremely good news! If there is something you have always wanted to do, but felt you couldn’t, all you have to do is to gain an awareness that you can do it, and you’ll have no difficulty in doing it.

I tried an experiment in my own household to prove the truth of this assertion.

My precious wife—the girl to whom this book is dedicated— had always maintained that she was not a bit artistic. She had never tried to draw or paint a picture, because she thought she couldn’t do so.

I started on a subtle campaign to establish in her mind an awareness that she could easily become an artist. In the selection of wearing apparel, I would compliment her on her taste in color—how well all her garments harmonized with each other— then drop a gentle hint that she would make a good artist.When taking pictures she would be complimented on how well she placed her subjects to get the best balance. This, of course, all added to the thought that she possessed artistic ability.

At Christmas, my gift to her was a complete outfit for painting and drawing. There were sets of oil colors, crayons for pastel work, pencils of all degrees of hardness. The outfit included canvases, sketching pads, easel, etc. From this complete set of materials, she could choose the medium in which she would like to work.

The first attempt was a 14 x 20-inch oil painting of the famous wind-blown cypress tree at Monterey, California. Without any training whatsoever, she did exceedingly well with this first canvas. Throughout our home there are many evidences of the artistic skill developed after she became aware that she had artistic ability.

The head of a large advertising agency tells how he became identified with advertising. In his late teens, he had felt he would like to be an engineer. In fact, in school, he had been preparing himself for that field. This man had a phonograph and a quantity of records he wanted to sell. He selected the names of a few friends who might be interested, and he wrote letters offering his musical outfit. One man, receiving the letter, bought the machine and records and in his reply complimented the seller on the fine letter he wrote, saying that he should go into the advertising business because he had the faculty of presenting an offer in such a convincing manner.

As a pebble dropped in a pool causes the ripples to go to the furthermost edge, this thought regarding an advertising career, dropped in the mind of this young man, kept growing and growing until he could not see himself as anything else but an advertising man. In other words, as soon as he began thinking of himself as an advertising man, he became one.

At a club meeting, a member was unexpectedly called upon to give a talk, telling about the trip he had recently taken. This man had never done any public speaking and was quite ill at ease in giving his talk. After the meeting was over, one of the members told the speaker that he should take up public speaking because he organized his talk in such logical sequence. Making speeches was the last thing that had ever entered this man’s mind, that is, until this suggestion was made to him. He began thinking of himself as a good speaker, and now, he is constantly being called upon to give talks.

Most people have so thoroughly accepted themselves as they are, they give little or no thought as to how they got that way.

In a large majority of cases, we are as we are owing to childhood influences. Most of the fears, phobias, inhibitions and complexes we carry through life were established in our minds when we were children.

Let us consider timidity, for example. Very few people ever become timid as adults. It is the suggestions regarding timidity which are given to us while very young which we enlarge upon and carry through life.

A mother might wish to show off little Mary before guests. She may ask Mary to recite, or to sing. For some reason, Mary hesitates; then her mother, without realizing the damage she is doing, will comment on how timid Mary is.

“When alone, she is a little chatterbox, but when company comes she shuts up like a clam,” the mother will explain.

Such comments, in the presence of the child, will create a timidity consciousness. As Mary grows up she comments on her timidity, wishing she could be comfortable when in the presence of others, but admitting she can’t because she is so timid. Those of us who know anything about the workings of the mind know that every time Mary gives voice or thought to her timidity, she is making it still worse. So, this lady goes through life, missing much enjoyment because of her timidity.

That feeling of insecurity so many people carry through life was not developed when they were adults. Again we must lay the blame at the door of parents who know little or nothing of child psychology.Little Willy is playing in the back yard and is warned: “You take care of those trousers—the good Lord only knows when you’ll get another pair.” If Willie leaves a crust of bread on his plate, he is told how many starving people there are who would love to have it, and he is further told that the time might come when he will wish he had it.

Willie goes through life never quite feeling secure. He fears doing anything which requires initiative because he thinks it might not turn out well.

I do not mean to imply that children should be reared to be wasteful and careless; but they can be brought up without feeling that poverty is always lurking around the corner.

It has been found that most of those who go through life as failures, had the failure instinct instilled in their minds when they were children.

Many are held back by a sense of inadequacy which they acquire during childhood.

“Get away from that, you’ll break it. You don’t know anything about tools.” The child is always told about the things he can’t do, but is seldom given credit for the things he can do. This is the type of boy who will grow up saying: “I’m not at all handy with tools.” He is not handy with them because he was told, early in life—at a time when he was most impressionable—that he knew nothing about tools, and he believed it.

Illustration after illustration could be given showing us why we are as we are.

In most cases a pattern is fixed in our minds to the effect that we are “this way” or “that way” and from then on we reflect that condition.

You are what you think you are. If your parents were wise enough to implant in your mind that you had the makings of a successful businessman, you would continue to see yourself as such and, in later years, you would reproduce in your affairs the picture you had maintained of yourself.

Have I made myself clear? Do you now understand what is meant by the statement: “You Are What You Think You Are”? Do you now know that, no matter what you have been up to now, you can be anything you want to be?


How long does it take to change yourself from what you are to what you’d like to be? That is a good question, and the answer will be interesting—and even inspiring.

Your transformation will not be instantaneous. After you gain an awareness that you can do the thing you have wanted to do, then you will begin developing the technique, which will not take long.

If, for example, you yearned to be a writer, but felt you were not “cut out” to be one, you might make an attempt at writing, but the result of your effort would not be good. Every sentence you wrote would reflect your lack of confidence in yourself. But, if you should build an awareness that you are a good writer, you would notice improvement in every page of material you would complete. Ideas would flow to you; you would become expression-conscious and find it easier and easier to locate just the right words to express your thoughts interestingly. The dictionary, encyclopedia, and other reference books would become friends of yours.

In a reasonably short time there would be acceptance checks coming to you from publishers eager to buy your works.

Let us assume you have always envied those in business for themselves. You never tried to get into a business of your own because you were afraid; afraid you lacked the ability to run a business and that you might fail. But, suppose that you had reeducated your Creative Mind so that you now saw yourself as a man who could build a successful business, what would happen? After deciding on the type of business you would enjoy, you would take the necessary steps to establish such a business. And, the success you would attain depends entirely upon the clarity of the mental pictures you have of yourself as business-man. The stronger the impression, the greater will be the success. Here is a statement I cannot overemphasize! Make sure you are not merely wishing for the change being considered. As you have read in so many of my books, wishing is negative. When you wish for something it is an indication that you do not expect to get it—otherwise you would not have to wish for it.

The mental state being discussed in this chapter is that of knowing you are a good businessman, you are a good writer, you are a great musician—or anything else you may like to be.

In later chapters detailed instructions will be given for easily—and quickly-changing from the way you are to the way you would like to be while you sleep. You will learn how to make use of your Creative Mind-and its reasoning faculties—in build-ing a new and greater you, while your conscious mind is in abeyance during sleep.


Those of you with young children, please, please be careful of everything you say to them. Whether you know it or not, you are molding the lives of the young ones and their future4s will reflect what you do for them while they are small children.

“You’ll spend your life in prison, or end up in the gas chamber” a mother was heard to say to her son who had done some wrong. Would it be a wonder if such a boy became a delinquent? He was given a reputation to live up to, and the chances are strong that he will do so.

When children are very young, they accept every word of their fathers and mothers as fact. If a parent says to a child: “You’re bad!” the child believes it, and, of course, he proves this statement to be true.

Never refer to a child as being anything except that which you wish him to be. To call him bad, stupid, lazy, timid—or any one of the conditions you wish to avoid—is actually planting seeds in his Creative Mind which will grow and mature.

“I can’t call my child good when he has been bad,” indignantly exclaimed an irate mother. No, this is not necessary, but there are ways of correcting the child without calling him bad.

“Good boys do not do that,” the parent might say. This compares the young one with the good instead of the bad.

“With that fine mind of yours, you can easily develop into a respected leader and not have to work hard all your life,” an intelligent mother counseled her son who was inclined to shirk his studies.

When a women has worked hard all day, it is exasperating to have the children misbehave, and it requires self-control to keep from “blowing her top.” But bear in mind, the effort required to keep them on the right track is nothing to the heartaches which can come, should the children become delinquent.

Having children is God’s greatest blessing, and it is also our greatest responsibility. When a child comes into being, it is like a piece of clay placed in our hands to mold as we wish. What that child will be in twenty years depends entirely on what we put into it while it is a child.

Some parents will blame the neighborhood for the bad habits their children acquire. Often, the fault lies elsewhere.

A family of my acquaintance moved into a questionable neighborhood. This family had a son of twelve, a boy who had been reared to know good from bad, and who was good because he wanted to be good. What effect did the neighborhood have on this boy? It would be better to ask: “What effect did this boy have on the neighborhood?” He organized a neighborhood club and encouraged the boys to become interested in constructive projects.

Remember! It is easier to be a good influence than a bad one. There is every reason in the world for being good, while there are none for being bad.

Knowing what to say to the children is only part of the parents’ obligation to them. They must guard what they say in the presence of their children.

A father complained because his children had no respect for him. It was learned that whenever his wife became angry with him she would call him “worthless,” “a lazy bum,” etc. Wouldn’t it seem natural for the children to lose respect? And, of course, if the husband called his wife names, it would have the same effect upon the children.

Vile language, excessive drinking, fighting and quarreling, should all be kept from the children, else they will be reflected in your offspring’s behavior.

Making a success of your marriage is proving your leadership in directing one of the greatest institutions on the face of the earth.

The children’s portion of this chapter might seem a digression from the theme, “You Are What You Think You Are,” but it is not.

As I explained earlier, most of the fears, phobias, complexes and inhibitions a person carries throughout life were implanted in his mind when he was a child.

If parents will make a concerted effort to shield their children from negative influences, the adults coming into being will be Healthy, Wealthy and Wise because they see themselves as such.

May I make a suggestion? This chapter is so important to all parents as well as to those expecting to be parents, that you would be rendering a genuine service if you would lend this book, or another copy, to those who could benefit from it. Many more will enjoy happier and more successful lives as a result of your thoughtful generosity.

You are what you think you are. Now that you understand the meaning of this statement, what do you think of yourself? Do you see yourself as a great leader? a successful businessman? a capable and efficient employee? a good spouse and parent?

Do you see yourself as an author? a painter? a popular lecturer?

Remember! No matter what you thought of yourself prior to starting this chapter, you can change the entire outlook on your life by literally “changing your mind.”

Go to bed each night holding thoughts as to what you will be in the future.

Do not wish you could change, but see yourself as having changed.

How about rereading this chapter before starting the next one? Burn it in your mind that you are what you think you are and that from this moment onward you will have a mighty good opinion of yourself.

NEXT Chapter: You Are Twice as Good as you Think you Are