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: 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: 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