THERE are ten weaknesses
against which most of us
must guard ourselves. One
of these is the habit of
trying to reap before we
have sown, and the other
nine are all wrapped up in
the one practice of creating
alibis to cover every
“You Can Do It if You Believe You Can!”
IT may seem to be a departure from the subject of this
lesson to start the lesson with a discussion of love,
but, if you will re serve your opinion until you have
completed the lesson, you may be ready to agree that
the subject of love could not have been omitted
without impairing the value of the lesson.
The word “love” is here used in an all-embracing
There are many objects, motives and people
which arouse one’s love-nature. There is some work
which we do not like, some that we do like
moderately, and, under certain conditions, there may
be work that we actually LOVE!
Great artists, for example, generally love their
work. The day laborer, on the other hand, usually not
only dislikes his work, but may actually hate it.
Work which one does merely for the sake of
earning a living is seldom liked. More often it is
disliked, or even hated.
When engaged in work which he loves, a man may
labor for an unbelievably long period of hours without
becoming fatigued. Work that a man dislikes or hates
brings on fatigue very quickly.
A man’s endurance, therefore, depends very
largely on the extent to which he likes, dislikes or
loves that which he is doing.
We are here laying the foundation, as you will of
course observe, for the statement of one of the most
important laws of this philosophy, viz.:
A man is most efficient and will more quickly and
easily succeed when engaged in work that he loves, or
work that he performs in behalf o f some person whom
Whenever the element of love enters into any task
that one performs, the quality of the work becomes
immediately improved and the quantity increased,
without a corresponding increase in the fatigue caused
by the work.
Some years ago a group of socialists, or perhaps
they called themselves “co-operators,” organized a
colony in Louisiana, purchased several hundred acres
of farm land, and started to work out an ideal which
they believed would give them greater happiness in
life and fewer of the worries through a system that
provided each person with work at the sort of labor he
Their idea was to pay no wages to anyone. Each
person did the work he liked best, or that for which he
might be best equipped, and the products of their
combined labors became the property of all. They had
their own dairy, their own brick-making plant, their
own cattle, poultry, etc. They had their own schools
and a printing plant through which they published a
A Swedish gentleman from Minnesota joined the
colony, and at his own request he was placed at work
in the printing plant. Very soon he complained that he
did not like the work, so he was changed and put to
work on the farm, operating a tractor. Two days of
this was all he could stand, so he again applied for a
transfer, and was assigned to the dairy. He could not
get along with the cows, so he was once more
changed, to the laundry, where he lasted but one day.
One by one he tried every job on the works, but liked
none of them. It had begun to look as if he did not fit
in with the co-operative idea of living, and he was
about to withdraw when someone happened to think of
one job he had not yet tried – in the brick plant, so he
was given a wheelbarrow and put to work wheeling
bricks from the kilns and stacking them in piles, in the
brick yard. A week’s time went by and no complaint
was registered by him. When asked if he liked his job
he replied, “This ban chust the job I like.”
Imagine anyone preferring a job wheeling bricks!
However, that job suited the Swede’s nature, he
worked alone, at a task which called for no thought,
and placed upon him no responsibility, which was just
what he wanted.
He remained at the job until all the bricks had
been wheeled out and stacked, then withdrew from the
colony because there was no more brick work to be
done. “The nice quiet job ban finished, so I yank I ban
go back to Minney-so-tie,” and back to “Minney-so-
tie” he went!
When a man is engaged in work that he loves it is
no hardship for him to do more work and better work
than that for which he is paid, and for this very reason
every man owes it to himself to do his best to find the
sort of work he likes best.
I have a perfect right to offer this advice to the
students of this philosophy for the reason that I have
followed it, myself, without reason to regret having
This seems to be an appropriate place to inject a
little personal history concerning both the author and
the Law of Success philosophy, the purpose of which
is to show that labor performed in a spirit of love for
the sake of the labor, itself, never has been and never
will be lost.
This entire lesson is devoted to the offering of
evidence that it really pays to render more service and
better service than one is paid to render. What an
empty and useless effort this would be if the author
had not, himself, practiced this rule long enough to be
able to say just how it works out.
For over a quarter of a century I have been
engaged in the labor of love out of which this
philosophy has been developed, and I am perfectly
sincere when I repeat that which I have stated
elsewhere in this course, that I have been amply paid
for my labors, by the pleasure I have had as I went
along, even if I received nothing more.
My labors on this philosophy made it necessary,
many years ago, for me to choose between immediate
monetary returns, which I might have enjoyed by
directing my efforts along purely commercial lines,
and remuneration that comes in later years, and which
is represented by both the usual financial standards
and other forms of pay which can be measured only in
terms of accumulated knowledge that enables one to
enjoy the world about him more keenly.
The man who engages in work that he loves best
does not always have the support, in his choice, of his
closest friends and relatives.
Combating negative suggestions from friends and
relatives has required an alarming proportion of my
energies, during the years that I have been engaged in
research work for the purpose of gathering,
organizing, classifying and testing the material which
has gone into this course.
These personal references are made solely for the
purpose of showing the students of this philosophy
that seldom, if ever, can one hope to engage in the
work one loves best without meeting with obstacles of
some nature. Generally, the chief obstacles in the way
of one engaging in the sort of work one loves best is
that it may not be the work which brings the greatest
remuneration at the start.
To offset this disadvantage, however, the one who
engages in the sort of work he loves is generally
rewarded with two very decided benefits, namely;
first, he usually finds in such work the greatest of all
rewards, HAPPINESS, which is priceless, and
secondly, his actual reward in money, when averaged
over a life-time of effort, is generally much greater,
for the reason that labor which is performed in a spirit
of love is usually greater in quantity and finer in
quality than that which is performed solely for money.
The most embarrassing and, I might without any
intention of disrespect say, the most disastrous oppo-
THERE is no more dangerous person dangerous to
himself and to others – than the person who passes
judgment without pretending to know the facts.
sition to my choice of a life-work came from my wife.
This, perhaps, will explain why I have made frequent
references, in many of the lessons of this course, to
the fact that a man’s wife may either “make” or
“break” him, according to the extent to which she
gives or withholds co-operation and encouragement in
connection with his chosen work.
My wife’s idea was that I should accept a salaried
position that would insure a regular monthly income,
because I had shown, by the few salaried positions I
had held, that I had marketable ability which should
command an income of from $6,000.00 to $10,000.00
a year without any very great effort on my part.
In a way I saw my wife’s viewpoint and was in
sympathy with it, because we had young growing
children coming on who needed clothes and education,
and a regular salary, even though it were not large,
seemed to be a necessity.
Despite this logical argument, however, I chose to
override my wife’s counsel. Came, then, to her rescue,
the combined forces of her family and mine, and
collectively they charged me, head-on, with what
amounted to a command to right-about-face and settle
down on a salary basis.
Studying other people might be all right for a man
who had the time to spend in this “unprofitable”
manner, they reasoned, but for a young married man
with a growing family this seemed hardly the thing to
But I remained adamant! I had made my choice
and I was determined to stand by it.
The opposition did not yield to my viewpoint, but
gradually, of course, it melted away. Meanwhile, the
knowledge that my choice had worked at least a temporary
hardship on my family, combined with the
thought that my dearest friends and relatives were not
in harmony with me, greatly increased my labors.
Fortunately, not all of my friends believed my
There were a few friends who not only believed I
was following a course that would ultimately bring me
out somewhere near the top of the mountain of useful
achievement, but, in addition to believing in my plans,
they actually went out of their way to encourage me
not to be whipped by either adversity or the
opposition of relatives.
Of this small group of faithful ones who gave me
encouragement at a time when it was badly needed,
perhaps one man should have the fullest credit, and
this man is Edwin C. Barnes, a business associate of
Thomas A. Edison.
Mr. Barnes became interested in my chosen work
nearly twenty years ago, and I owe it to him to state
here that had it not been for his unwavering faith in
the soundness of the Law of Success philosophy I
would have yielded to the persuasion of my friends
and sought the way of least resistance via the salary
This would have saved me much grief and an
almost endless amount of criticism, but it would have
wrecked the hopes of a life-time, and in the end I
would in all probability have lost, also, the finest and
most desirable of all things, HAPPINESS! for I have
been extremely happy in my work, even during the
periods when the remuneration it brought me could be
measured by nothing but a mountain of debts which I
could not for the moment pay.
Perhaps this may explain, to some extent, why the
subject of slavery through debt was so extensively
emphasized in Lesson Four, on the Habit of Saving.
We want that lesson to “sink in.”
Edwin Barnes not only believed in the soundness
of the Law of Success philosophy, but his own
financial success had demonstrated, as had also his
close business relationship with the greatest inventor
on earth, that he had the right to speak with authority
on the subject of the laws through which success may
I began my work of research with the belief that
success could be attained, by anyone with reasonable
intelligence and a real desire to succeed, by following
certain (then by me unknown) rules of procedure. I
wanted to know what these rules were and how they
could be applied.
Mr. Barnes believed as I did. Moreover, he was in
a position to know that the astounding achievements
of his business associate, Mr. Edison, came about
entirely through the application of some of the
principles which later were tested and included as a
part of this philosophy. From his way of thinking it
seemed that the accumulation of money, enjoying
peace of mind and finding happiness could be brought
about by the application of never-varying laws which
anyone might master and apply.
That was my belief, also. That belief has now
been transformed into not merely a provable, but a
PROVED reality, as I hope every student of this
course will have reason to understand when the course
shall have been mastered.
Please keep in mind that during all these years of
research I was not only applying the law covered by
this lesson, by DOING MORE THAN PAID FOR, but,
I was going much further than this by doing work for
which I did not, at the time I was doing it, hope ever
to receive pay.
Thus, out of years of chaos, adversity and
opposition this philosophy was finally completed and
reduced to manuscripts, ready for publication.
For a time nothing happened!
I was resting on my oars, so to speak, before
taking the next step toward placing the philosophy in
the hands of people who I had reason to believe would
“God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to
During the earlier years of my experience I
thought these words to be empty and meaningless, but
I have since modified my belief considerably.
I was invited to deliver an address in Canton,
Ohio. My coming had been well advertised and there
was reason to expect that I would have a large
audience. To the contrary, conflicting meetings being
held by two large groups of business men reduced my
audience to the lucky number of “thirteen.”
It has always been my belief that a man should do
his best, regardless of how much he receives for his
services, or the number of people he may be serving
or the class of people served. I went at my subject as
though the hall were filled. Somehow there arose in
me a sort of feeling of resentment on account of the
way the “wheel of fate” had turned against me, and if
I ever made a convincing speech I made it that night.
Down deep in my heart, however, I thought I had
I did not know until the next day that I was
making history the night before that was destined to
give the Law of Success philosophy its first real
One of the men who sat in my audience, as one of
the “thirteen,” was the late Don R. Mellett, who was
then the publisher of the Canton Daily News, brief
reference to whom I made in the Introductory Lesson
of this course.
After I had finished speaking I slipped out at the
back door and returned to my hotel, not wanting to
face any of my “thirteen” victims on the way out.
The next day I was invited to Mr. Mellett’s office.
Inasmuch as it was he who had taken the
initiative by inviting me in to see him I left it to him
to do most of the talking. He began in something like
“Would you mind telling me your entire life-
story, from the days of your early childhood on up to
I told him I would do so if he could stand the
burden of listening to so long a narrative. He said he
could, but before I began he cautioned me not to omit
the unfavorable side.
“What I wish you to do,” said he, “is to mix the
fat with the lean and let me take a look at your very
soul, not from its most favorable side, but from all
For three hours I talked while Mellett listened!
I omitted nothing. I told him of my struggles, of
my mistakes, of my impulses to be dishonest when the
tides of fortune swept against me too swiftly, and of
AMONG the other
things you intend to
“cut out” in your New
include the word
my better judgment which prevailed in the end, but
only after my conscience and I had engaged in
prolonged combat. I told him how I conceived the idea
of organizing the Law of Success philosophy, how I
had gone about gathering the data that had gone into
the philosophy, of the tests I had made which resulted
in the elimination of some of the data and the
retention of other parts of it.
After I had finished Mellett said: “I wish to ask
you a very personal question, and I hope you will
answer it as frankly as you have told the remainder of
your story. Have you accumulated any money from
your efforts, and, if not, do you know why you have
“No!” I replied. “I have accumulated nothing but
experience and knowledge and a few debts, and the
reason, while it may not be sound, is easily explained.
The truth is that I have been so busy all these years in
trying to eliminate some of my own ignorance so I
could intelligently gather and organize the data that
have gone into the Law of Success philosophy, that I
have had neither the opportunity nor the inclination to
turn my efforts to making money.”
The serious look on Don Mellett’s face, much to
my surprise, softened into a smile as he laid his hand
on my shoulder and said:
“I knew the answer before you stated it, but I
wondered if you knew it. You probably know that you
are not the only man who has had to sacrifice
immediate monetary remuneration for the sake of
gathering knowledge, for in truth your experience has
been that of every philosopher from the time of
Socrates down to the present.”
Those words fell as the sound of music upon my
I had made one of the most embarrassing
admissions of my life; I had laid my soul bare,
admitting temporary defeat at almost every cross-road
which I had passed in my struggles, and I had capped
all this off by admitting that an exponent of the Law
of Success was, himself, a temporary failure!
How incongruous it seemed! I felt stupid,
humiliated and embarrassed as I sat in front of the
most searching pair of eyes and the most inquisitive
man I had ever met.
The absurdity of it all came over me like a flash –
THE PHILOSOPHY OF SUCCESS, CREATED AND
BROADCASTED BY A MAN WHO WAS
OBVIOUSLY A FAILURE!
This thought struck me so forcibly that I
expressed it in words.
“What?” Mellett exclaimed, “a failure?
“Surely you know the difference between failure
and temporary defeat,” he continued. “No man is a
failure who creates a single idea, much less an entire
philosophy, that serves to soften the disappointments
and minimize the hardships of generations yet
I wondered what was the object of this interview.
My first conjecture was that Mellett wanted some
facts on which to base an attack, in his newspaper, on
the Law of Success philosophy. Perhaps this thought
grew out of some of my previous experiences with
newspaper men, a few of whom had been antagonistic
toward me. At any rate, I decided at the outset of the
interview to give him the facts, without embellishment
come from it what would.
Before I left Mellett’s office we had become
business partners, with the understanding that he
would resign as publisher of the Canton Daily News
and take over the management of all my affairs, as
soon as this could be arranged.
Meanwhile, I began writing a series of Sunday
feature-page editorials which were published in the
Canton Daily News, based upon the Law of Success
One of these editorials (the one entitled
“Failure,” which appears in the back of one of the
lessons of this course) came to the attention of judge
Elbert H. Gary, who was at that time the Chairman of
the Board of the United States Steel Corporation. This
resulted in the opening of communication between
Mellett and Judge Gary, which, in turn, led to judge
Gary’s offer to purchase the Law of Success course for
the use of the employees of the Steel Corporation, in
the manner described in the Introductory Lesson.
The tides of fortune had begun to turn in my
The seeds of service which I had been sowing
over a long period of toilsome years, by DOING
MORE THAN PAID FOR, were beginning to
germinate at last!
Despite the fact that my partner was assassinated
before our plans had much more than started, and
Judge Gary died before the Law of Success philosophy
could be re-written so it conformed to his
requirements, the “love’s labor lost” on that fateful
night, when I spoke to an audience of thirteen in
Canton, Ohio, started a chain of events which now
move rapidly without thought or effort on my part.
It is no abuse of confidences to enumerate here a
few of the events which show that no labor of love is
ever performed at a total loss, and that those who
render more service and better service than that for
which they are paid sooner or later receive pay for
much more than they actually do.
As this lesson is ready to go to the publisher
some of the following well known concerns are
considering favorably the purchase of the Law of
Success course for all their employees, while others
have actually arranged for the purchase of the course:
Mr. Daniel Willard, President of the Baltimore &
Ohio Railroad Co.
Indian Refining Company
Standard Oil Company
New York Life Insurance Company
The Postal Telegraph Commercial-Cable Company
The Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company
The Cadillac Motor Car Company
And some fifty other concerns of a similar size.
In addition to this, a newly organized club for
boys, similar in nature to the Y. M. C. A., has
contracted for the use of the Law of Success course as
the basis of its educational program, and estimates
that it will distribute more than 100,000 courses of the
philosophy within the next two years.
Quite aside from these sources of distribution, the
Ralston University Press, of Meriden, Conn., has
contracted to publish and distribute the course to
individuals throughout the United States, and perhaps
in some foreign countries. How many courses they
will distribute cannot be accurately estimated, but
when one stops to consider the fact that they have a
mailing list of approximately 800,000 people who
have faith in anything they offer for sale, it seems
very reasonable to suppose that their distribution will
place tens of thousands of courses in the hands of men
and women who are earnestly searching for the
knowledge conveyed by the Law of Success
Perhaps it is unnecessary, but I wish to explain
that my only object in here relating the story of how
the Law of Success philosophy has gained the
recognition described is to show how the law upon
which this lesson is based actually works out in the
practical affairs of life.
If I could have made this analysis without the use
of the personal pronoun I would have done so.
With this background of history concerning the
Law of Success philosophy as a whole, and this lesson
in particular, you are better prepared to accept as
sound the law on which this lesson is based.
There are more than a score of sound reasons why
you should develop the habit of performing more
service and better service than that for which you are
paid, despite the fact that a large majority of the
people are not rendering such service.
There are two reasons, however, for rendering
such service, which transcend, in importance, all the
First: By establishing a reputation as being a
person who always renders more service and better
service than that for which you are paid, you will
benefit by comparison with those around you who do
not render such service, and the contrast will be so
IF ye have faith as a
grain of mustard seed,
ye shall say unto this
hence to yonder place;
and it shall remove;
and nothing shall be
impossible unto you.”
noticeable that there will be keen competition for your
services, no matter what your life-work may be.
It would be an insult to your intelligence to offer
proof of the soundness of this statement, because it is
obviously sound. Whether you are preaching sermons,
practicing law, writing books, teaching school, or
digging ditches, you will become more valuable and
you will be able to command greater pay the minute
you gain recognition as a person who does more than
that for which he is paid.
Second: By far the most important reason why
you should render more service than that for which
you are paid; a reason that is basic and fundamental in
nature; may be described in this way: Suppose that
you wished to develop a strong right arm, and suppose
that you tried to do so by tying the arm to your side
with a rope, thus taking it out of use and giving it a
long rest. Would disuse bring strength, or would it
bring atrophy and weakness, resulting, finally, in your
being compelled to have the arm removed?
You know that if you wished a strong right arm
you could develop such an arm only by giving it the
hardest sort of use. Take a look at the arm of a
blacksmith if you wish to know how an arm may be
made strong. Out of resistance comes strength. The
strongest oak tree of the forest is not the one that is
protected from the storm and hidden from the sun, but
it is the one that stands in the open, where it is
compelled to struggle for its existence against the
winds and rains and the scorching sun.
It is through the operation of one of Nature’s
unvarying laws that struggle and resistance develop
strength, and the purpose of this lesson is to show you
how to harness this law and so use it that it will aid
you in your struggle for success. By performing more
service and better service than that for which you are
paid, you not only exercise your service-rendering
qualities, and thereby develop skill and ability of an
extraordinary sort, but you build reputation that is
valuable. If you form the habit of rendering such
service you will become so adept in your work that
you can command greater remuneration than those who
do not perform such service. You will eventually
develop sufficient strength to enable you to remove
yourself from any undesirable station in life, and no
one can or will desire to stop you.
If you are an employee you can make yourself so
valuable, through this habit of performing more
service than that for which you are paid, that you can
practically set your own wages and no sensible
employer will try to stop you. If your employer should
be so unfortunate as to try to withhold from you the
compensation to which you are entitled, this will not
long remain as a handicap because other employers
will discover this unusual quality and offer you
The very fact that most people are rendering as
little service as they can possibly get by with serves
as an advantage to all who are rendering more service
than that for which they are paid, because it enables
all who do this to profit by comparison. You can “get
by” if you render as little service as possible, but that
is all you will get; and when work is slack and
retrenchment sets in, you will be one of the first to be
For more than twenty-five years I have carefully
studied men with the object of ascertaining why some
achieve noteworthy success while others with just as
much ability do not get ahead; and it seems significant
that every person whom I have observed applying this
principle of rendering more service than that for
which he was paid, was holding a better position and
receiving more pay than those who merely performed
sufficient service to “get by” with.
Personally I never received a promotion in my
life that I could not trace directly to recognition that I
had gained by rendering more service and better
service than that for which I was paid.
I am stressing the importance of making this
principle a habit as a means of enabling an employee
to promote himself to a higher position, with greater
pay, for the reason that this course will be studied by
thousands of young men and young women who work
for others. However, the principle applies to the
employer or to the professional man or woman just the
same as to the employee.
Observance of this principle brings a two-fold
reward. First, it brings the reward of greater material
gain than that enjoyed by those who do not observe it;
and, second, it brings that reward of happiness and
satisfaction which come only to those who render such
service. If you receive no pay except that which comes
in your pay envelope, you are underpaid, no matter
how much money that envelope contains.
My wife has just returned from the Public Library
with a book for me to read. The book is entitled
“Observation; Every Man His Own University,” by
Russell H. Conwell.
By chance I opened this book at the beginning of
the chapter entitled Every Man’s University, and, as I
read it through, my first impulse was to recommend
that you go to the Public Library and read the entire
book; but, upon second thought, I will not do this;
instead, I will recommend that you purchase the book
and read it, not once but a hundred times, because it
covers the subject of this lesson as though it had been
written for that purpose; covers it in a far more
impressive manner than I could do it.
The following quotation from the chapter entitled
Every Man’s University will give you an idea of the
golden nugget of truth to be found throughout the
“The intellect can be made to look far beyond the
range of what men and women ordinarily see, but not
all the colleges in the world can alone confer this
power – this is the reward of self-culture; each must
acquire it for himself; and perhaps this is why the
power of observing deeply and widely is so much
oftener found in those men and those women who have
never crossed the threshold of any college but the
University of Hard Knocks. ”
Read that book as a part of this lesson, because it
will prepare you to profit by the philosophy and
psychology upon which the lesson is built.
We will now analyze the law upon which this
entire lesson is founded, namely –
THE LAW OF INCREASING RETURNS!
Let us begin our analysis by showing how Nature
employs this law in behalf of the tillers of the soil.
The farmer carefully prepares the ground, then sows
his wheat and waits while the Law of Increasing
Returns brings back the seed he has sown, plus a
But for this Law of Increasing Returns, man
would perish, because he could not make the soil
produce sufficient food for his existence. There would
be no advantage to be gained by sowing a field of
wheat if the harvest yield did not return more than
With this vital “tip” from Nature, which we may
gather from the wheat fields, let us proceed to
appropriate this Law of Increasing Returns and learn
how to apply it to the service we render, to the end
that it may yield returns in excess of and out of
proportion to the effort put forth.
First of all, let us emphasize the fact that there is
no trickery or chicanery connected with this Law,
although quite a few seem not to have learned this
great truth, judging by the number who spend all of
their efforts either trying to get something for
nothing, or something for less than its true value.
It is to no such end that we recommend the use of
the Law of Increasing Returns, for no such end is
possible, within the broad meaning of the word
Another remarkable and noteworthy feature of the
Law of Increasing Returns is the fact that it may be
used by those who purchase service with as great
returns as it can be by those who render service, for
Proof of which we have but to study the effects of
matters very much. The
defeat that seems to break
your heart today will be
but a ripple among the
waves of other experiences
in the ocean of
your life further ahead.
Henry Ford’s famous Five-Dollar-a-day minimum
wage scale which he inaugurated some years ago.
Those who are familiar with the facts say that Mr.
Ford was not playing the part of a philanthropist when
he inaugurated this minimum wage scale; but, to the
contrary, he was merely taking advantage of a sound
business principle which has probably yielded him
greater returns, in both dollars and good-will, than
any other single policy ever inaugurated at the Ford
By paying more wages than the average, he
received more service and better service than the
At a single stroke, through the inauguration of
that minimum wage policy, Ford attracted the best
labor on the market and placed a premium upon the
privilege of working in his plant.
I have no authentic figures at hand bearing on the
subject, but I have sound reason to conjecture that for
every five dollars Ford spent, under this policy, he
received at least seven dollars and fifty cents’ worth
of service. I have, also, sound reason to believe that
this policy enabled Ford to reduce the cost of
supervision, because employment in his plant became
so desirable that no worker would care to run the risk
of losing his position by “soldiering” on the job or
rendering poor service.
Where other employers were forced to depend
upon costly supervision in order to get the service to
which they were entitled, and for which they were
paying, Ford got the same or better service by the less
expensive method of placing a premium upon
employment in his plant.
Marshall Field was probably the leading merchant
of his time, and the great Field store, in Chicago,
stands today as a monument to his ability to apply the
Law of Increasing Returns.
A customer purchased an expensive lace waist at
the Field store, but did not wear it. Two years later
she gave it to her niece as a wedding present. The
niece quietly returned the waist to the Field store and
exchanged it for other merchandise, despite the fact
that it had been out for more than two years and was
then out of style.
Not only did the Field store take back the waist,
but, what is of more importance it did so without
Of course there was no obligation, moral or legal,
on the part of the store to accept the return of the
waist at that late date, which makes the transaction all
the more significant.
The waist was originally priced at fifty dollars,
and of course it had to be thrown on the bargain
counter and sold for whatever it would bring, but the
keen student of human nature will understand that the
Field store not only did not lose anything on the
waist, but it actually profited by the transaction to an
extent that cannot be measured in mere dollars.
The woman who returned the waist knew that she
was not entitled to a rebate; therefore, when the store
gave her that to which she was not entitled the
transaction won her as a permanent customer. But the
effect of the transaction did not end here; it only
began; for this woman spread the news of the “fair
treatment” she had received at the Field store, far and
near. It was the talk of the women of her set for many
days, and the Field store received more advertising
from the transaction than it could have purchased in
any other way with ten times the value of the waist.
The success of the Field store was built largely
upon Marshall Field’s understanding of the Law of
Increasing Returns, which prompted him to adopt, as a
part of his business policy, the slogan, “The customer
is always right.”
When you do only that for which you are paid,
there is nothing out of the ordinary to attract
favorable comment about the transaction; but, when
you willingly do more than that for which you are
paid, your action attracts the favorable attention of all
who are affected by the transaction, and goes another
step toward establishing a reputation that will
eventually set the Law of Increasing Returns to work
in your behalf, for this reputation will create a
demand for your services, far and wide.
Carol Downes went to work for W. C. Durant, the
automobile manufacturer, in a minor position. He is
now Mr. Durant’s right-hand man, and the president of
one of his automobile distributing companies. He
promoted himself into this profitable position solely
through the aid of the Law of Increasing Returns,
which he put into operation by rendering more service
and better service than that for which he was paid.
In a recent visit with Mr. Downes I asked him to
tell me how he managed to gain promotion so rapidly.
In a few brief sentences he told the whole story.
“When I first went to work with Mr. Durant,” said
he, “I noticed that he always remained at the office
long after all the others had gone home for the day,
and I made it my business to stay there, also. No one
TO love praise, but not
worship it, and fear
condemnation, but no
go down under it, is
evidence of a well
asked me to stay, but I thought someone should be
there to give Mr. Durant any assistance he might need.
Often he would look around for someone to bring him
a letter file, or render some other trivial service, and
always he found me there ready to serve him. He got
into the habit of calling on me; that is about all there
is to the story.”
“He got into the habit of calling on me!”
Read that sentence again, for it is full of meaning
of the richest sort.
Why did Mr. Durant get into the habit of calling
on Mr. Downes? Because Mr. Downes made it his
business to be on hand where he would be seen. He
deliberately placed himself in Mr. Durant’s way in
order that he might render service that would place the
Law of Increasing Returns back of him.
Was he told to do this? No!
Was he paid to do it? Yes! He was paid by the
opportunity it offered for him to bring himself to the
attention of the man who had it within his power to
We are now approaching the most important part
of this lesson, because this is an appropriate place at
which to suggest that you have the same opportunity
to make use of the Law of Increasing Returns that Mr.
Downes had, and you can go about the application of
the Law in exactly the same way that he did, by being
on hand and ready to volunteer your services in the
performance of work which others may shirk because
they are not paid to do it.
Stop! Don’t say it-don’t even think it if you have
the slightest intention of springing that old timeworn
phrase entitled, “But my employer is different. ”
Of course he is different. All men are different in
most respects, but they are very much alike in this –
they are somewhat selfish; in fact they are selfish
enough not to want a man such as Carol Downes to
cast his lot with their competitor, and this very
selfishness may be made to serve you as an asset and
not as a liability if –
You have the good judgment to make yourself so
useful that the person to whom you sell your services
cannot get along without you.
One of the most advantageous promotions I ever
received came about through an incident which
seemed so insignificant that it appeared to be
unimportant. One Saturday afternoon, a lawyer, whose
office was on the same floor as that of my employer,
came in and asked if I knew where he could get a
stenographer to do some work which he was compelled
to finish that day.
I told him that all of our stenographers had gone
to the ball game, and that I would have been gone had
he called five minutes later, but that I would be very
glad to stay and do his work as I could go to a ball
game any day and his work had to be done then.
I did the work for him, and when he asked how
much he owed me I replied, “Oh, about a thousand
dollars, as long as it is you; if it were for anyone else,
I wouldn’t charge anything.” He smiled, and thanked
Little did I think, when I made that remark, that
he would ever pay me a thousand dollars for that
afternoon’s work, but he did) Six months later, after I
had entirely forgotten the incident, he called on me
again, and asked how much salary I was receiving.
When I told him he informed me that he was ready to
pay me that thousand dollars which I had laughingly
said I would charge him for the work I had performed
for him and he did pay it by giving me a position at a
thousand dollars a year increase in salary.
Unconsciously, I had put the Law of Increasing
Returns to work in my behalf that afternoon, by giving
up the ball game and rendering a service which was
obviously rendered out of a desire to be helpful and
not for the sake of a monetary consideration.
It was not my duty to give up my Saturday
afternoon, but –
It was my privilege!
Furthermore, it was a profitable privilege,
because it yielded me a thousand dollars in cash and a
much more responsible position than the one I had
It was Carol Downes’ duty to be on hand until the
usual quitting time, but it was his privilege to remain
at his post after the other workers had gone, and that
privilege properly exercised brought him greater
responsibilities and a salary that yields him more in a
year than he would have made in a life-time in the
position he occupied before he exercised the privilege.
I have been thinking for more than twenty-five
years of this privilege of performing more service and
better service than that for which we are paid, and my
thoughts have led me to the conclusion that a single
hour devoted each day to rendering service for which
we are not paid, can be made to yield bigger returns
than we received from the entire remainder of the day
THE educated man is the
man who has learned how
to get everything he
needs without violating
the rights of his fellow
men. Education comes
from within; you get it by
struggle and effort and
the day during which we are merely performing our
(We are still in the neighborhood of the most
important part of this lesson, therefore, think and
assimilate as you pass over these pages.)
The Law of Increasing Returns is no invention of
mine, nor do I lay claim to the discovery of the
principle of rendering more service and better service
than paid for, as a means of utilizing this Law. I
merely appropriated them, after many years of careful
observation of those forces which enter into the
attainment of success, just as you will appropriate
them after you understand their significance.
You might begin this appropriation process now
by trying an experiment which may easily open your
eyes and place back of your efforts powers that you
did not know you possessed.
Let me caution you, however, not to attempt this
experiment in the same spirit in which a certain
woman experimented with that Biblical passage which
says something to the effect that if you have faith the
size of a grain of mustard, and say to yonder mountain
be removed to some other place, it will be removed.
This woman lived near a high mountain that she could
see from her front door; therefore, as she retired that
night she commanded the mountain to remove itself to
some other place.
Next morning she jumped out of bed, rushed to
the door and looked out, but lo! the mountain was still
there. Then she said:
“Just as I had expected! I knew it would be
I am going to ask you to approach this experiment
with full faith that it will mark one of the most
important turning-points of your entire life. I am
going to ask you to make the object of this experiment
the removal of a mountain that is standing where your
temple of success should stand, but where it never can
stand until you have removed the mountain.
You may never have noticed the mountain to
which I refer, but it is standing there in your way just
the same, unless you have already discovered and
“And what is this mountain?” you ask!
It is the feeling that you have been cheated unless
you receive material pay for all the service you
That feeling may be unconsciously expressing
itself and destroying the very foundation of your
temple of success in scores of ways that you have not
In the very lowly bred type of humanity, this
feeling usually seeks outward expression in terms
something like this:
“I am not paid to do this and I’ll be blankety-
blankety -blank if I’ll do it!”
You know the type to which reference is made;
you have met with it many times, but you have never
found a single person of this type who was successful,
and you never will.
Success must be attracted through understanding
and application of laws which are as immutable as is
the law of gravitation. It cannot be driven into the
corner and captured as one would capture a wild steer.
For this reason you are requested to enter into the
following experiment with the object of familiarizing
yourself with one of the most important of these laws;
namely, the Law of Increasing Returns.
During the next six months make it your business
to render useful service to at least one person every
day, for which you neither expect nor accept monetary
Go at this experiment with faith that it will
uncover for your use one of the most powerful laws
that enter into the achievement of enduring success,
and you will not be disappointed.
The rendering of this service may take on any one
of more than a score of forms. For example, it may be
rendered personally to one or more specific persons;
or it may be rendered to your employer, in the nature
of work that you perform after hours.
Again, it may be rendered to entire strangers
whom you never expect to see again. It matters not to
whom you render this service so long as you render it
with willingness, and solely for the purpose of
If you carry out this experiment in the proper
attitude of mind, you will discover that which all
others who have become familiar with the law upon
which it is based have discovered; namely, that –
You can no more render service without receiving
compensation than you can withhold the rendering of
it without suffering the loss of reward.
“Cause and effect, means and ends, seed and
fruit, cannot be severed,” says Emerson; “for the
effect already blooms in the cause, the end pre-exists
in the means, the fruit in the seed.”
“If you serve an ungrateful master, serve him the
more. Put God in your debt. Every stroke shall be
THE person who sows a
single beautiful thought
in the mind of another,
renders the world a
greater service than that
rendered by all the
repaid. The longer the payment is withholden, the
better for you; for compound interest on compound
interest is the rate and usage of this exchequer.”
“The law of Nature is, Do the thing and you shall
have the power; but they who do not the thing have
not the power.”
“Men suffer all their life long, under the foolish
superstition that they can be cheated. But it is as
impossible for a man to be cheated by anyone but
himself, as for a thing to be, and not to be, at the same
time. There is a third silent party to all our bargains.
The nature and soul of things takes on itself the
guaranty of fulfillment of every contract, so that
honest service cannot come to loss.”
Before you begin the experiment that you have
been requested to undertake, read Emerson’s essay on
Compensation, for it will go a very long way toward
helping you to understand why you are making the
Perhaps you have read Compensation before.
Read it again! One of the strange phenomena that you
will observe about this essay may be found in the fact
that every time you read it you will discover new
truths that you did not notice during previous
A few years ago I was invited to deliver the
graduation address before the students of an eastern
college. During my address I dwelt at length, and with
all the emphasis at my command, on the importance of
rendering more service and better service than that for
which one is paid.
After the address was delivered, the president and
the secretary of the college invited me to luncheon.
While we were eating, the secretary turned to the
president and said:
“I have just found out what this man is doing. He
is putting himself ahead in the world by first helping
others to get ahead. ”
In that brief statement he had epitomized the most
important part of my philosophy on the subject of
It is literally true that you can succeed best and
quickest by helping others to succeed.
Some ten years ago, when I was engaged in the
advertising business, I built my entire clientele by the
application of the fundamentals upon which this
lesson is founded. By having my name placed on the
follow-up lists of various mail order houses I received
their sales literature. When I received a sales letter or
a booklet or a folder which I believed I could improve
I went right to work on it and made the improvement,
then sent it back to the firm that had sent it to me,
with a letter stating that this was but a trifling sample
of what I could do – that there were plenty of other
good ideas where that one came from – and, that I
would be glad to render regular service for a monthly
Invariably this brought an order for my services.
On one occasion I remember that the firm was
dishonest enough to appropriate my idea and use it
without paying me for it, but this turned out to be an
advantage to me, in this way: A member of the firm
who was familiar with the transaction started another
business and as a result of the work I had done for his
former associates, for which I was not paid, he
engaged me to serve him, on a basis that paid me more
than double the amount I would have realized from his
Thus the Law of Compensation gave back to me,
and with compound interest added, that which I had
lost by rendering service to those who were dishonest.
If I were looking for a profitable field of
employment today, I could find it by again putting
into action this plan of re-writing sales literature as a
means of creating a market for my services. Perhaps I
would find others who would appropriate my ideas
without paying for them, but by and large people
would not do this for the simple reason that it would
be more profitable to them to deal fairly with me and
thereby avail themselves of my continued services.
Several years ago I was invited to deliver a
lecture before the students of the Palmer School, at
Davenport, Iowa. My manager completed
arrangements for me to accept the invitation under the
regular terms in effect at that time, which were
$100.00 for the lecture and my traveling expenses.
When I arrived at Davenport, I found a reception
committee awaiting me at the depot and that evening I
was given one of the warmest welcomes I had ever
received during my public career, up to that time. I
met many delightful people from whom I gathered
many valuable facts that were of benefit to me;
therefore, when I was asked to make out my expense
account so the school could give me a check, I told
them that I had received my pay, many times over, by
that which I had learned while I was there. I refused
my fee and returned to my office, in Chicago, feeling
well repaid for the trip.
The following morning Dr. Palmer went before
the two thousand students of his school and announced
what I had said about feeling repaid by what I had
learned, and added:
“In the twenty years that I have been conducting
this school I have had scores of speakers address the
student body, but this is the first time I ever knew a
man to refuse his fee because he felt that he had been
repaid for his services in other ways. This man is the
editor of a national magazine and I advise every one
of you to subscribe for that magazine, because such a
man as this must have much that each of you will need
when you go into the field and offer your services.”
By the middle of that week I had received more
than $6,000.00 for subscriptions to the magazine of
which I was editor, and during the following two years
these same two thousand students and their friends
sent in more than $50,000.00 for subscriptions.
Tell me, if you can, how or where I could have
invested $100.00 as profitably as this, by refusing to
accept my $100.00 fee and thereby setting the Law of
Increasing Returns to work in my behalf?
We go through two important periods in this life;
one is that period during which we are gathering,
classifying and organizing knowledge, and the other is
that period during which we are struggling for
recognition. We must first learn something, which
requires more effort than most of us are willing to put
into the job; but, after we have learned much that can
be of useful service to others, we are still confronted
with the problem of convincing them that we can serve
One of the most important reasons why we should
always be not only ready but willing to render service,
is the fact that every time we do so, we gain thereby
another opportunity to prove to someone that we have
ability; we go just one more step toward gaining the
necessary recognition that we must all have.
Instead of saying to the world, “Show me the
color of your money and I will show you what I can
do,” reverse the rule and say, “Let me show you the
color of my service so that I may take a look at the
color of your money if you like my service.”
In 1917 a certain woman who was then nearing
the fifty-year milepost of life, was working as a
stenographer, at fifteen dollars a week. Judging by the
salary she must have been none too competent in that
Now note this change:
Last year, this same woman cleared a little over
$100,000.00 on the lecture platform.
What bridged that mighty chasm between these
two earning capacities? you ask, and I answer:
The habit of performing more service and better
service than that for which she was paid, thereby
taking advantage of the Law of Increasing Returns.
This woman is well known throughout the
country, as she is now a prominent lecturer on the
subject of Applied Psychology.
Let me show you how she harnessed the Law of
Increasing Returns. First, she goes into a city and
delivers a series of fifteen free lectures. All may
attend who will, without money and without price.
NO man can rise to
fame and fortune
others along with him.
It simply cannot be done.
During the delivery of these fifteen lectures she has
the opportunity of “selling herself” to her audience,
and at the end of the series she announces the
formation of a class for which she charges twenty-five
dollars per student.
That’s all there is to her plan!
Where she is commanding a small fortune for a
year’s work there are scores of much more proficient
lecturers who are barely getting enough from their
work to pay their expenses, simply because they have
not yet familiarized themselves with the fundamentals
upon which this lesson is based, as she has done.
Now, I would like to have you stop right here and
answer this question:
If a fifty-year-old woman, who has no
extraordinary qualifications, can harness the Law of
Increasing Returns and make it raise her from the
position as stenographer at fifteen dollars a week to
that of lecturer at over $100,000.00 a year – why
cannot you apply this same law so that it will give you
advantages that you do not now possess?
Never mind what is to come in the remainder of
this lesson until you have answered this question and –
answered it AS IT SHOULD BE ANSWERED!
You are struggling, either meekly or earnestly, to
make a place for yourself in the world. Perhaps you
are exerting enough effort to bring you success of the
highest order, if that effort were coupled with and
supported by the Law of Increasing Returns.
For this reason, you owe it to yourself to find out
just how you can apply this law to best advantage.
Now go back to that question, again; for I am
determined that you shall not pass it by lightly,
without giving yourself the benefit of at least trying
to answer it.
In other words, there is no mistaking the fact that
you are being brought face to face with a question that
vitally affects your future, and, if you evade it, the
fault will be with you.
You may lay this lesson aside after you have read
it, and it is your privilege to do so, without making
any attempt to profit by it; but, if you do so, you will
never again be able to look at yourself in a mirror
without being haunted by the feeling that –
YOU HAVE DELIBERATELY CHEATED
Perhaps this is telling the truth in an
undiplomatic way; but, when you purchased this
course on the Law of Success, you did so because you
wanted facts, and you are getting them, without the
embellishment of apology.
After you have finished this lesson, if you will go
back and review the lessons on Initiative and
Leadership and Enthusiasm, you will better
understand those lessons.
Those lessons and this one clearly establish the
necessity of taking the initiative, following it with
aggressive action and doing more than you are paid to
do. If you will burn the fundamentals of these three
lessons into your consciousness you will be a changed
person, and I make this statement regardless of who
you are or what your calling may be.
If this plain language has made you angry, I am
glad; for it indicates that you can be moved! Now, if
you would profit by the counsel of one who has made
many more mistakes than you ever made, and for that
reason learned a few of the fundamental truths of life,
harness this anger and focus it on yourself until it
drives you forth to render the service of which you are
If you will do this you can collect a king’s ransom
as your reward.
Now let us turn our attention to still another
important feature of this habit of performing more
service and better service than that for which we are
paid; namely, the fact that we can develop this habit
without asking for permission to do so.
Such service may be rendered through your own
initiative, without the consent of any person. You do
not have to consult those to whom you render the
service, for it is a privilege over which you have
There are many things you could do that would
tend to promote your interests, but most of them
require the co-operation or the consent of others. If
you render less service than that for which you are
paid you must do so by leave of the purchaser of the
service, or the market for your service will soon
I want you to get the full significance of this
right of prerogative, which you have, to render more
service and better service than that for which you are
paid, for this places squarely upon your shoulders the
responsibility of rendering such service, and if you
fail to do so, you haven’t a plausible excuse to offer or
an “alibi upon which to fall back, if you fail in the
achievement of your definite chief aim in life.
One of the most essential yet the hardest truths
that I have had to learn, is that every person should be
his own hardest task-master.
We are all fine builders of “alibis” and creators of
“excuses” in support of our short-comings.
We are not seeking facts and truths as they are,
but, as we wish them to be. We prefer honeyed words
of flattery to those of cold, unbiased truth, wherein
lies the weakest spot of the man-animal.
Furthermore, we are up in arms against those who
dare to uncover the truth for our benefit.
One of the most severe shocks I received in the
early part of my public career was the knowledge that
men are still being crucified for the high crime of
telling the truth. I recall an experience I had some ten
years ago, with a man who had written a book
advertising his business school. He submitted this
book to me and paid me to review it and give him my
candid opinion of it. I reviewed the book with
painstaking care, then did my duty by showing him
wherein I believed the book was weak.
Here I learned a great lesson, for that man
became so angry that he has never forgiven me for
allowing him to look at his book through my eyes.
When he asked me to tell him frankly what “criticism”
I had to offer of the book, what he really meant was
that I should tell him what I saw in the book that I
That’s human nature for you!
We court flattery more than we do the truth. I
know, because I am human.
All of which is in preparation for the “unkindest
cut of all” that I am duty-bound to inflict upon you;
namely, to suggest that you have not done as well as
you might have done for the reason that you have not
applied a sufficient amount of truth set out in Lesson
Eight, on Self-control, to charge yourself with your
own mistakes and short-comings.
To do this takes self-control and plenty of it.
If you paid some person who had the ability and
the courage to do it, a hundred dollars to strip you of
your vanity and conceit and love for flattery, so that
you might see the weakest part of your make-up, the
price would be reasonable enough.
We go through life stumbling and falling and
struggling to our knees, and struggling and falling
some more, making asses of ourselves, and going
down, finally, in defeat, largely because we either
neglect or flatly refuse to learn the truth about
Since I have come to discover some of my own
weaknesses through my work of helping others
discover theirs, I blush with shame when I take a
retrospective view of life and think how ridiculous I
must have seemed in the eyes of those who could see
me as I wouldn’t see myself.
We parade before the enlarged shadows of our
own vanity and imagine that those shadows are our
real selves, while the few knowing souls with whom
we meet stand in the background and look at us with
pity or with scorn.
Hold on a minute 1 I am not through with you yet.
You have paid me to delve into the depths of your
real self and give you an introspective inventory of
what is there, and I am going to do the job right, as
nearly as I can.
Not only have you been fooling yourself as to the
real cause of your failures of the past, but you have
ALL salesmen will profit
by remembering that none
of us want anything that
someone else wishes to
get rid of.
tried to hang these causes on the door of someone
When things did not go to suit you, instead of
accepting full responsibility for the cause, you have
said, “Oh, hang this job! – I don’t like the way ‘they’
are treating me, so I’m going to quit!”
Don’t deny it!
Now let me whisper a little secret in your ear – a
secret which I have had to gather from grief and
heartaches and unnecessary punishment of the hardest
Instead of “quitting” the job because there were
obstacles to master and difficulties to be overcome,
you should have faced the facts and then you would
have known that life, itself, is just one long series of
mastery of difficulties and obstacles.
The measure of a man may be taken very
accurately by the extent to which he adapts himself to
his environment and makes it his business to accept
responsibility for every adversity with which he
meets, whether the adversity grows out of a cause
within his control or not.
Now, if you feel that I have “panned” you rather
severely, have pity on me, O Fellow-Wayfarer, for you
surely must know that I have had to punish myself
more sorely than I have punished you before I learned
the truth that I am here passing on to you for your use
I have a few enemies – thank God for them! – for
they have been vulgar and merciless enough to say
some things about me that forced me to rid myself of
some of my most serious short-comings; mainly those
which I did not know I possessed. I have profited by
the criticism of these enemies without having to pay
them for their services in dollars, although I have paid
in other ways.
However, it was not until some years ago that I
caught sight of some of my most glaring faults which
were brought to my attention as I studied Emerson’s
essay on Compensation, particularly the following
part of it:
“Our strength grows out of our weakness.
“Not until we are pricked, and stung, and sorely
shot at, awakens the indignation which arms itself
with secret forces. A great man is always willing to be
little. While he sits on the cushion of advantage he
goes to sleep. When he is pushed, tormented, defeated,
he has a chance to learn something; he has been put on
his wits, on his manhood; he has gained facts; learned
his ignorance; is cured of the insanity of conceit; has
got moderation and real skill. The wise man always
throws himself on the side of his assailants. It is more
his interest than it is theirs to find his weak point.
Blame is safer than praise. I hate to be defended in a
newspaper. As long as all that is said is said against
me, I feel a certain assurance of success. But as soon
as honeyed words of praise are spoken of me, I feel as
one that lies unprotected before his enemies.”
Study this, the philosophy of the immortal
Emerson, for it may serve as a modifying force that
will temper your metal and prepare you for the battles
of life, as carbon tempers the steel.
If you are a very young person, you need to study
it all the more, for it often requires the stern realities
of many years of experience to prepare one to
assimilate and apply this philosophy.
Better that you should understand these great
truths as a result of my undiplomatic presentation of
them than to be forced to gather them from the less
sympathetic sources of cold experience. Experience is
a teacher that knows no favorites. When I permit you
to profit by the truths I have gathered from the
teachings of this cold and unsympathetic teacher
called “experience,” I am doing my best to show you
favoritism, which reminds me, somewhat, of the times
when my father used to “do his duty” by me, in the
woodshed, always starting with this bit of encouraging
“Son, this hurts me worse than it does you.”
Thus we approach the close of this lesson without
having exhausted the possibilities of the subject; nay,
without having more than scratched the surface of it.
There comes to my mind the story of a romance
of long ago through which I can leave in your mind
the main import of this lesson. This story had its
setting in the city of Antioch, in ancient Rome, two
thousand Years ago, when the great city of Jerusalem
and all the land of Judea were under the oppressive
heel of Rome.
The star figure of the story was a young Jew by
the name of Ben Hur, who was falsely accused of
crime and sentenced to hard labor, at the galley’s oar.
Chained to a bench in the galley, and being forced to
tug wearily at the oars, Ben Hur developed a powerful
body. Little did his tormentors know that out of his
punishment would grow the strength with which he
would one day gain his freedom. Perhaps Ben Hur,
himself, had no such hopes.
Then came the day of the chariot races: the day
that was destined to break the chains that bound Ben
Hur to the oars of the galley and give him his
One span of horses was without a driver. In
desperation the owner sought the aid of the young
slave because of his mighty arms, and begged him to
take the place of the missing driver.
As Ben Hur picked up the reins, a mighty cry
went up from the onlookers.
“Look! Look! Those arms! – where did you get
them?” they howled, and Ben Hur answered:
“At the galley’s oar!”
The race was on. With those mighty arms Ben Hur
calmly drove that charging span of horses on to
victory; victory that won for him his freedom.
Life, itself, is a great chariot race, and the
victory goes only to those who have developed the
strength of character and determination and will-
power to win.
What matters it that we develop this strength
through cruel confinement at the galley’s oar, as long
as we use it so that it brings us, finally, to victory and
It is an unvarying law that strength grows out of
resistance. If we pity the poor blacksmith who swings
a five pound hammer all day long, we must also
admire the wonderful arm that he develops in doing it.
“Because of the dual constitution of all things, in
labor as in life, there can be no cheating,” says
Emerson. “The thief steals from himself. The swindler
swindles himself. For the real price of labor is
knowledge and virtue, whereof wealth and credit
are signs. The signs, like paper money, may be
counterfeited or stolen, but that which they represent;
namely, knowledge and virtue, cannot be counterfeited
Henry Ford receives fifteen thousand letters a
week from people who are begging for a part of his
wealth; yet how few of these poor ignorant souls
understand that Ford’s real wealth is not measured by
the dollars he has in the bank, nor the factories he
owns, but by the reputation he has gained through the
rendering of useful service at a reasonable price.
And how did he gain that reputation?
Certainly not by rendering as little service as
possible and collecting for it all he could filch from
The very warp and woof of Ford’s business
philosophy is this:
“Give the people the best product at the lowest
price possible. ”
When other automobile manufacturers raise their
prices, Ford lowers his. When other employers lower
wages, Ford increases them. What has happened? This
policy has placed the Law of Increasing Returns back
of Ford so effectively that he has become the richest
and most powerful man in the world.
Oh, you foolish and short-sighted seekers after
wealth, who are returning from the daily chase empty-
handed, – why do you not take a lesson from men like
Ford? Why do you not reverse your philosophy and
give in order that you may get?
I am finishing this lesson on Christmas Eve!
In the room next to my study our children are
decorating their Christmas tree, and the rhythm of
THERE are no lazy men.
What may appear to be
a lazy man is only an
unfortunate person who
has not found the work
for which he is best suited.
their voices falls as music upon my ears. They are
happy, not alone because they expect to receive, but
for the deeper reason that they have presents hidden
away which they expect to give.
From the window of my study, I can see the
neighbor’s children as they, too, are gleefully engaged
in preparing for this wonderful event.
Throughout the civilized world, millions of
people are preparing to celebrate the birth of this
Prince of Peace who, more than any other man, set
forth the reasons why it is more blessed to give than
to receive, and why enduring happiness comes not
from possessing material wealth, but from rendering
service to humanity.
It seems a queer co-incidence that the completion
of this particular lesson should have happened on
Christmas Eve, yet I am glad that it has, for this has
provided me with sufficient justification for
reminding you that nowhere in the entire history of
civilization could I have found stronger support of the
fundamentals of this lesson than may be found in the
Sermon on the Mount, in the book of Matthew.
Christianity is one of the greatest and most
farreaching influences in the world today, and I hardly
need apologize for reminding you that the tenets of
Christ’s philosophy are in absolute harmony with the
fundamentals upon which this lesson, in the main, is
As I see the happy faces of the children and
watch the hurrying crowds of belated Christmas
shoppers, all radiant with the splendor of the spirit of
giving, I cannot help wishing that every eve was
Christmas Eve, for then this would be a better world
in which the struggle for existence would be reduced
to a minimum, and hatred and strife outlawed.
Life is but a short span of years at best. Like a
candle we are lighted, flicker for a moment, and then
go out! If we were placed here for the purpose of
laying up treasures for use in a life that lies beyond
the dark shadow of Death, may it not be possible that
we can best collect these treasures by rendering all the
service we can, to all the people we can, in a loving
spirit of kindness and sympathy?
I hope you agree with this philosophy.
Here this lesson must end, but it is by no means
completed. Where I lay down the chain of thought it is
now your duty to take it up and develop it, in your
own way, and to your own benefit.
By the very nature of the subject of this lesson it
can never be finished, for it leads into the heart of all
human activities. Its purpose is to cause you to take
the fundamentals upon which it is based and use them
as a stimulus that will cause your mind to unfold,
thereby releasing the latent forces that are yours.
This lesson was not written for the purpose of
teaching you, but it was intended as a means of
causing you to teach yourself one of the great truths
of life. It was intended as a source of education, in the
true sense of educing, drawing out, developing from
within, those forces of mind which are available for
When you deliver the best service of which you
are capable, striving each time to excel all your
previous efforts, you are making use of the highest
form of education. Therefore, when you render more
service and better service than that for which you are
paid, you, more than anyone else, are profiting by the
It is only through the delivery of such service
that mastery in your chosen field of endeavor can be
attained. For this reason you should make it a part of
your definite chief aim to endeavor to surpass all
previous records in all that you do. Let this become a
part of your daily habits, and follow it with the same
regularity with which you eat your meals.
Make it your business to render more service and
better service than that for which you are paid, and lo!
before you realize what has happened, you will
find that the world is willingly paying you for
MORE THAN YOU DO!
Compound interest upon compound interest is the
rate that you will be paid for such service. Just how
this pyramiding of gains takes place is left entirely to
you to determine.
Now, what are you going to do with that which
you have learned from this lesson? and when? and
how? and why? This lesson can be of no value to you
unless it moves you to adopt and use the knowledge it
has brought you.
Knowledge becomes POWER only through
organization and USE! Do not forget this.
You can never become a Leader without doing
more than you are paid for, and you cannot become
successful without developing leadership in your
THERE is always room for the man who can be relied
upon to deliver the goods when he said he would.
THE MASTER MIND
An After-the-Lesson Visit With the Author
A Power That Can Bring You Whatever You
Want On This Earth
SUCCESS is achieved through the application of
In the picture at the top of this page you see two
forms of POWER!
At the left you see physical power, produced by
Nature, with the aid of organized raindrops pouring
over Niagara Falls. Man has harnessed this form of
At the right you see another, and a much more
intensive form of power, produced through the
harmonious co-ordination of THOUGHT in the minds
of men. Observe that the word “harmonious” has been
emphasized. In this picture you see a group of men
seated at the Directors’ Table in a modem business
office. The powerful figure rising above the group
represents the “Master Mind” which may be created
wherever men blend their minds in a spirit of perfect
harmony, with some DEFINITE objective in view.
Study this picture! It interprets the greatest
POWER known to man.
With the aid of the MIND man has discovered
many interesting facts about the earth on which he
lives, the air and the ether that fill the endless space
about him, and the millions of other planets and
heavenly bodies that float through space.
With the aid of a little mechanical contrivance
(which his MIND conceived) called a “spectroscope,”
man has discovered, at a distance of 93,000,000 miles,
the nature of the substances of which the sun is made.
We have lived through the stone age, the iron age,
the copper age, the religious fanatic age, the scientific
research age, the industrial age and we enter, now, the
age of THOUGHT.
Out of the spoils of the dark ages through which
man has passed he has saved much material that is
sound food for THOUGHT. While for more than ten
thousand years the battle between IGNORANCE,
SUPERSTITION and FEAR on the one side, and
INTELLIGENCE on the other, has raged, man has
picked up some useful knowledge.
Among other fragments of useful knowledge
gathered by man, he has discovered and classified the
83 elements of which all physical matter consists. By
study and analysis and comparison man has discovered
the “bigness” of the material things in the universe as
they are represented by the suns and stars, some of
them over ten million times as large as the earth on
which he lives. On the other hand, man has discovered
the “littleness” of things by reducing matter to
molecules, atoms, and finally, to the smallest known
particle, the electron. An atom is so inconceivably
small that a grain of sand contains millions of them.
The molecule is made up of atoms, which are said
to be little particles of matter that revolve around
each other in one continuous circuit, at lightning
speed, very much as the earth and other planets whirl
around the sun in an endless circuit.
The atom, in turn, is made up of electrons which
are constantly in rapid motion; thus it is said that in
every drop of water and every grain of sand the entire
principle upon which the whole universe operates, is
How marvelous! How stupendous! How do we
know these things to be true? Through the aid of the
You may gather some slight idea of the magnitude
of it all the next time you eat a beef-steak, by
remembering that the steak on your plate, the plate
itself, and the table on which you are eating and the
silverware with which you are eating are all, in final
analysis, made of exactly the same material, electrons.
In the physical or material world, whether one is
looking at the largest star that floats through the
heavens or the smallest grain of sand to be found on
earth, the object under observation is but an organized
collection of molecules, atoms and electrons. (An
electron is an inseparable form of power, made up of a
positive and a negative pole.)
Man knows much about the physical facts of the
The next great scientific discovery will be the
fact, which already exists, that every human brain is
both a broadcasting and a receiving station; that every
thought vibration released by the brain may be picked
up and interpreted by all other brains that are in
harmony, or in “tune” with the rate of vibration of the
How did man acquire the knowledge that he
possesses concerning the physical laws of this earth?
How did he learn what has taken place before his
time, and during his uncivilized period? He gathered
this knowledge by turning back the pages of Nature’s
Bible and there viewing the unimpeachable evidence
of millions of years of struggle among animals of a
lower intelligence. By turning back the great stone
pages man has uncovered the bones, skeletons,
footprints and other unmistakable evidence which
Mother Nature has held for his inspection throughout
unbelievable periods of time.
Now man is about to turn his attention to another
section of Nature’s Bible – the one wherein has been
written a history of the great mental struggle that has
taken place in the realm of THOUGHT. This page is
represented by the boundless ether which has picked
up and still carries every thought vibration that was
ever released from the mind of man.
This great page in Nature’s Bible is one that no
human being has been able to tamper with. Its records
are positive, and soon they may be clearly interpreted.
No interpolations by man have been permitted. Of the
authenticity of the story written on this page there can
be no doubt.
Thanks to EDUCATION (meaning the unfolding, educing,
drawing out, developing from within of the
human mind) Nature’s Bible is now being interpreted.
The story of man’s long, perilous struggle upward
has been written on the pages of this, the greatest of
All who have partly conquered the Six Basic
Fears described in another “author’s visit” in this
series, and who have succesfully conquered
SUPERSTITION and IGNORANCE, may read the
records that have been written in Nature’s Bible. To
all others this privilege is denied. For this reason
there are probably fewer than one thousand people in
the entire world at this time who are in, even the
primary grade as far as the reading of this Bible is
In the entire world there are probably fewer than
one hundred people, today, who know anything about
or have ever heard of the chemistry of the mind,
through which two or more minds –
– MAY BE BLENDED, IN A SPIRIT OF
PERFECT HARMONY, IN SUCH A MANNER THAT
THERE IS BORN A THIRD MIND POSSESSING THE
SUPERHUMAN POWER TO READ THE STORY OF
THE VIBRATION OF THOUGHT AS IT HAS BEEN
WRITTEN AND NOW EXISTS IN THE
IMPERISHABLE RECORDS OF THE ETHER.
The newly-discovered radio principle has shut the
mouths of the Doubting Thomases and sent the
scientist scurrying into new fields of experimentation.
When they emerge from this field of research they
will show us that the mind as we understand it today,
as compared to the mind of tomorrow, is about the
same as comparing the intelligence of a polliwog to
that of a professor of biology who has read the entire
life-line of animal life, from the amoeba on up to man.
Come for a short visit with a few of the
POWERFUL men now living who are making use of
power created through the blending, in a spirit of
harmony, of two or more minds.
We will begin with three well known men, who
are known to be men of great achievement in their
respective fields of endeavor. Their names are Henry
Ford, Thomas A. Edison and Harvey Firestone.
Of the three Henry Ford is the most POWERFUL,
having reference to economic power. Mr. Ford is the
most powerful man now living on earth, and is
believed to be the most powerful who ever lived. So
great is his power that he may have anything of a
physical nature that he desires, or its equivalent.
Millions of dollars, to him, are but playthings, no
harder to acquire than the grains of sand with which
the child builds sand-tunnels.
Mr. Edison has such a keen insight into Mother
Nature’s Bible that he has harnessed and combined for
the good of man, more of Nature’s laws than any other
man who ever lived. It was he who brought together
the point of a needle and a piece of wax in such a way
that they record and preserve the human voice. It was
he who first made the lightning serve to light our
houses and streets, through the aid of the incandescent
light. It was he who made the camera record and
produce all sorts of motion, through the modem
moving picture apparatus.
Mr. Firestone’s industrial achievement is so well
known that it needs no comment. He has made dollars
multiply themselves so rapidly that his name has
become a by-word wherever automobiles are operated.
All three men began their business and
professional careers with no capital and but little
schooling of the nature usually referred to as
Perhaps Mr. Ford’s beginning was, by far, the
most humble of the three. Cursed with poverty,
retarded by lack of even the most elementary form of
schooling, and handicapped by ignorance in many
forms, he has mastered all of these in the
inconceivably short period of twenty-five years.
Thus might we briefly describe the achievements
of three well known, successful men of POWER!
But, we have been dealing with EFFECT only!
The true philosopher wishes to know something
of the cause which produced these desirable
It is a matter of public knowledge that Mr. Ford,
Mr. Edison and Mr. Firestone are close personal
friends; that they go away to the woods once a year
for a period of recuperation and rest.
But, it is not generally known – it is doubtful if
these three men, themselves, even know it –
– THAT THERE EXISTS BETWEEN THE THREE
MEN A BOND OF HARMONY OUT OF WHICH HAS
GROWN A MASTER MIND THAT IS BEING USED
BY EACH OF THE THREE. A MIND OF ABILITY,
THAT HAS IRE ‘TUNE IN” ON FORCES WITH
MEN ARE TO NO EXTENT SUPERHUMAN CAPACITY
TO WHICH MOST FAMILIAR.
Let us repeat the statement that out of the
blending and harmonizing of two or more minds
(twelve or thirteen minds appear to be the most
favorable number) may be produced a mind which has
the capacity to “tune in” on the vibrations of the ether
and pick up, from that source, kindred thoughts, on
Through the principle of harmony of minds, Ford,
Edison and Firestone have created a Master Mind that
now supplements the efforts of each of the three, and
WHETHER CONSCIOUSLY OR UNCONSCIOUSLY,
THIS “MASTER MIND” IS THE CAUSE OF THE
SUCCESS OF EACH OF THE THREE.
There is no other answer to their attainment of
great power, and their far-reaching success in their
respective fields of endeavor, and this is true despite
the fact that neither of them may be conscious of the
power they have created, or the manner in which they
have done so.
In the city of Chicago live six powerful men
known as the Big Six. These six men are said to be the
most powerful group of men in the middle west. It is
said that their combined income totals more than
twenty-five million dollars a year.
Every man in the group began in the most humble
Their names are:
Wm. Wrigley, Jr., who owns the Wrigley Chewing
Gum business, and whose income is said to be over
fifteen million dollars a year. John R. Thompson, who
owns the chain of Thompson self-help lunch rooms
throughout the country. Mr. Lasker, who owns the
Lord & Thomas Advertising Agency. Mr. McCullough,
who owns the largest express business in the world.
And, Mr. Ritchie and Mr. Hertz, who own the Yellow
Taxicab business of the country.
There is nothing startling about a man who does
nothing more than become a millionaire, as a rule.
However, there is something connected with the
financial success of these particular millionaires that
is more than startling, for it is well known that there
exists between them a bond of friendship out of which
has grown the condition of harmony that produces a
These six men, whether by accident or design,
have blended their minds in such a way that the mind
of each has been supplemented by a superhuman
power known as a “Master Mind,” and ‘ that mind has
brought each of them more worldly gain than any
person could possibly use to advantage..
The law upon which the principle of a Master
Mind operates was discovered by Christ, when he
surrounded himself with twelve disciples and created
the first Thirteen Club of the world.
Despite the fact that one of the thirteen (Judas)
broke the chain of harmony, sufficient seed was sown
during the period of harmony that originally existed
between these thirteen people, to insure the
continuation of THE GREATEST AND MOST
FARREACHING PHILOSOPHY KNOWN TO THE
INHABITANTS OF THIS EARTH.
Many millions of people believe themselves to
possess WISDOM. Many of these do possess wisdom,
in certain elementary stages, but no man may possess
real wisdom without the aid of the power known as a
Master Mind, and such a mind cannot be created except
through the principle of blending, in harmony, of
two or more minds.
Through many years of practical experimentation
it has been found that thirteen minds, when blended in
a spirit of perfect harmony, produce the most practical
Upon this principle, whether consciously or
unconsciously, is founded all of the great industrial
and commercial successes that are so abundant in this
The word “merger” is becoming one of the most
popular words in newspaper parlance, because hardly
a day goes by that one may not read of some big
industrial, commercial, financial or railroad merger.
Slowly the world is beginning to learn (in a very few
minds only) that through friendly alliance and
cooperation great POWER may be developed.
The successful business and industrial and
financial enterprises are those managed by leaders
who either consciously or unconsciously apply the
principle of co-ordinated effort described in this
article. If you would be a great leader in any
undertaking, surround yourself with other minds that
can be blended in a spirit of co-operation so that they
act and function as one.
If you can grasp this principle and apply it you
may have, for your efforts, whatever you want on this
I LIKE to see a man proud of his country, and I
like to see him so live that his country is proud of him.