AMIDST all the mys-
teries by which we are
surrounded, nothing is
more certain than that
we are in the presence
of an Infinite and
Eternal Energy from
which all things
– Herbert Spencer

“You Can Do It if You Believe You Can!”

BEFORE approaching the fundamental principles
upon which this lesson is founded it will be of benefit
to you to keep in mind the fact that it is practical –
that it brings you the discoveries of more than twenty-
five years of research-that it has the approval of the
leading scientific men and women of the world who
have tested every principle involved.

Skepticism is the deadly enemy of progress and
self-development. You might as well lay this book
aside and stop right here as to approach this lesson
with the feeling that it was written by some long-
haired theorist who had never tested the principles
upon which the lesson is based.

Surely this is no age for the skeptic, because it is
an age in which we have seen more of Nature’s laws
uncovered and harnessed than had been discovered in
all past history of the human race. Within three
decades we have witnessed the mastery of the air; we
have explored the ocean; we have all but annihilated
distances on the earth; we have harnessed the
lightning and made it turn the wheels of industry; we
have made seven blades of grass grow where but one
grew before; we have instantaneous communication
between the nations of the world. Truly, this is an age
of illumination and unfoldment, but we have as yet
barely scratched the surface of knowledge. However,
when we shall have unlocked the gate that leads to the
secret power which is stored up within us it will bring
us knowledge that will make all past discoveries pale
into oblivion by comparison.

Thought is the most highly organized form of
energy known to man, and this is an age of
experimentation and research that is sure to bring us
into greater understanding of that mysterious force
called thought, which reposes within us. We have
already found out enough about the human mind to
know that a man may throw off the accumulated
effects of a thousand generations of fear, through the
aid of the principle of Auto-suggestion. We have
already discovered the fact that fear is the chief
reason for poverty and failure and misery that takes on
a thousand different forms. We have already
discovered the fact that the man who masters fear may
march on to successful achievement in practically any
undertaking, despite all efforts to defeat him.

The development of self-confidence starts with
the elimination of this demon called fear, which sits
upon a man’s shoulder and whispers into his ear, “You
can’t do it – you are afraid to try – you are afraid of
public opinion – you are afraid that you will fail – you
are afraid you have not the ability.”

This fear demon is getting into close quarters.

Science has found a deadly weapon with which to put
it to flight, and this lesson on self-confidence has
brought you this weapon for use in your battle with
the world-old enemy of progress, fear.

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

The six basic fears are:

a The fear of Poverty
b The fear of Old Age
c The fear of Criticism
d The fear of Loss of Love of Someone.
e The fear of 111 Health
f The fear of Death.

Study the list, then take inventory of your own
fears and ascertain under which of the six headings
you can classify them.

Every human being who has reached the age of
understanding is bound down, to some extent, by one
or more of these six basic fears. As the first step in
the elimination of these six evils let us examine the
sources from whence we inherited them.


All that man is, both physically and mentally, he
came by through two forms of heredity. One is known
as physical heredity and the other is called social

Through the law of physical heredity man has
slowly evolved from the amoeba (a single-cell animal
form), through stages of development corresponding
to all the known animal forms now on this earth,
including those which are known to have existed but
which are now extinct.

Every generation through which man has passed
has added to his nature something of the traits, habits
and physical appearance of that generation. Man’s
physical inheritance, therefore, is a heterogeneous
collection of many habits and physical forms.

There seems little, if any, doubt that while the six
basic fears of man could not have been inherited
through physical heredity (these six basic fears being
mental states of mind and therefore not capable of
transmission through physical heredity), it is obvious
that through physical heredity a most favorable
lodging place for these six fears has been provided.

For example, it is a well known fact that the
whole process of physical evolution is based upon
death, destruction, pain and cruelty; that the elements
of the soil of the earth find transportation, in their
upward climb through evolution, based upon the death
of one form of life in order that another and higher
form may subsist. All vegetation lives by “eating” the
elements of the soil and the elements of the air. All
forms of animal life live by “eating” some other and
weaker form, or some form of vegetation.

The cells of all vegetation have a very high order
of intelligence. The cells of all animal life likewise
have a very high order of intelligence.

Undoubtedly the animal cells of a fish have
learned, out of bitter experience, that the group of
animal cells known as a fish hawk are to be greatly

By reason of the fact that many animal forms
(including that of most men) live by eating the smaller
and weaker animals, the “cell intelligence” of these
animals which enter into and become a part of man
brings with it the FEAR growing out of their
experience in having been eaten alive.

This theory may seem to be far-fetched, and in
fact it may not be true, but it is at least a logical
theory if it is nothing more. The author makes no
particular point of this theory, nor does he insist that
it accounts for any of the six basic fears. There is
another, and a much better explanation of the source
of these fears, which we will proceed to examine,
beginning with a description of social heredity.

By far the most important part of man’s make-up
comes to him through the law of social heredity, this
term having reference to the methods by which one
generation imposes upon the minds of the generation
under its immediate control the superstitions, beliefs,
legends and ideas which it, in turn, inherited from the
generation preceding.

The term “social heredity” should be understood
to mean any and all sources through which a person
acquires knowledge, such as schooling of religious
and all other natures; reading, word of mouth
conversation, story telling and all manner of thought
inspiration coming from what is generally accepted as
one’s “personal experiences.”

Through the operation of the law of social
heredity anyone having control of the mind of a child
may, through intense teaching, plant in that child’s
mind any idea, whether false or true, in such a manner
that the child accepts it as true and it becomes as

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

much a part of the child’s personality as any cell or
organ of its physical body (and just as hard to change
in its nature) .

It is through the law of social heredity that the
religionist plants in the child mind dogmas and creeds
and religious ceremonies too numerous to describe,
holding those ideas before that mind until the mind
accepts them and forever seals them as a part of its
irrevocable belief.

The mind of a child which has not come into the
age of general understanding, during an average
period covering, let us say, the first two years of its
life, is plastic, open, clean and free. Any idea planted
in such a mind by one in whom the child has
confidence takes root and grows, so to speak, in such
a manner that it never can be eradicated or wiped out,
no matter how opposed to logic or reason that idea
may be.

Many religionists claim that they can so deeply
implant the tenets of their religion in the mind of a
child that there never can be room in that mind for any
other religion, either in whole or in part. The claims
are not greatly overdrawn.

With this explanation of the manner in which the
law of social heredity operates the student will be
ready to examine the sources from which man inherits
the six basic fears. Moreover, any student (except
those who have not yet grown big enough to examine
truth that steps upon the “pet corns” of their own
superstitions) may check the soundness of the
principle of social heredity as it is here applied to the
six basic fears, without going outside of his or her
own personal experiences.

Fortunately, practically the entire mass of
evidence submitted in this lesson is of such a nature
that all who sincerely seek the truth may ascertain, for
themselves, whether the evidence is sound or not.

For the moment at least, lay aside your prejudices
and preconceived ideas (you may always go back and
pick them up again, you know) while we study the
origin and nature of man’s Six Worst Enemies, the six
basic fears, beginning with:

THE FEAR OF POVERTY: It requires courage to
tell the truth about the origin of this fear, and still
greater courage, perhaps, to accept the truth after it
has been told. The fear of poverty grew out of man’s
inherited tendency to prey upon his fellow man
economically. Nearly all forms of lower animals have
instinct but appear not to have the power to reason
and think; therefore, they prey upon one another
physically. Man, with his superior sense of intuition,
thought and reason, does not eat his fellow men
bodily; he gets more satisfaction out of eating them

Of all the ages of the world of which we know
anything, the age in which we live seems to be the age
of money worship. A man is considered less than the
dust of the earth unless he can display a fat bank
account. Nothing brings man so much suffering and
humiliation as does POVERTY. No wonder man
FEARS poverty. Through a long line of inherited
experiences with the man-animal man has learned, for
certain, that this animal cannot always be trusted
where matters of money and other evidences of earthly
possessions are concerned.

Many marriages have their beginning (and
oftentimes their ending) solely on the basis of the
wealth possessed by one or both of the contracting

It is no wonder that the divorce courts are busy!

“Society” could quite properly be spelled
“Society,” because it is inseparably associated with
the dollar mark. So eager is man to possess wealth
that he will acquire it in whatever manner he can;
through legal methods, if possible, through other
methods if necessary.

The fear of poverty is a terrible thing!

A man may commit murder, engage in robbery,
rape and all other manner of violation of the rights of
others and still regain a high station in the minds of
his fellow men, PROVIDING always that he does not
lose his wealth. Poverty, therefore, is a crime-an
unforgivable sin, as it were.

No wonder man fears it!

Every statute book in the world bears evidence
that the fear of poverty is one of the six basic fears of
mankind, for in every such book of laws may be found
various and sundry laws intended to protect the weak
from the strong. To spend time trying to prove either
that the fear of poverty is one of man’s inherited fears,
or that this fear has its origin in man’s nature to cheat
his fellow man, would be similar to trying to prove
that three times two are six. Obviously no man would
ever fear poverty if he had any grounds for trusting
his fellow men, for there is food and shelter and
raiment and luxury of every nature sufficient for the
needs of every person on earth, and all these blessings
would be enjoyed by every person except for the
swinish habit that man has of trying to push all the
other “swine” out of the trough, even after he has all
and more than he needs.

The second of the six basic fears with which man
is bound is:

THE FEAR OF OLD AGE: In the main this fear
grows out of two sources. First, the thought that Old
Age may bring with it POVERTY. Secondly, and by
far the most common source of origin, from false and
cruel sectarian teachings which have been so well
mixed with “fire and brimstone” and with
“purgatories” and other bogies that human beings have
learned to fear Old Age because it meant the approach
of another, and possibly a much more HORRIBLE,
world than this one which is known to be bad enough.

In the basic fear of Old Age man has two very
sound reasons for his apprehension: the one growing
out of distrust of his fellow men who may seize
whatever worldly goods he may possess, and the other
arising from the terrible pictures of the world to come
which were deeply planted in his mind, through the
law of social heredity, long before he came into
possession of that mind.

Is it any wonder that man fears the approach of
Old Age?

The third of the six basic fears is:

acquired this basic fear it would be hard, if not
impossible, definitely to determine, but one thing is
certain, he has it in well developed form.

Some believe that this fear made its appearance in
the mind of man about the time that politics came into
existence. Others believe its source can be traced no
further than the first meeting of an organization of
females known as a “Woman’s Club.” Still another
school of humorists charges the origin to the contents
of the Holy Bible, whose pages abound with some
very vitriolic and violent forms of criticism. If the
latter claim is correct, and those who believe literally
all they find in the Bible are not mistaken, then God is
responsible for man’s inherent fear of Criticism,
because God caused the Bible to be written.

This author, being neither a humorist nor a
“prophet,” but just an ordinary workaday type of
person, is inclined to attribute the basic fear of
Criticism to that part of man’s inherited nature which
prompts him not only to take away his fellow man’s
goods and wares, but to justify his action by
CRITICISM of his fellow man’s character.

The fear of Criticism takes on many different
forms, the majority of which are petty and trivial in
nature, even to the extent of being childish in the

Bald-headed men, for example, are bald for no
other reason than their fear of Criticism. Heads
become bald because of the protection of hats with
tight fitting bands which cut off the circulation at the
roots of the hair. Men wear hats, not because they
actually need them for the sake of comfort, but mainly
because “everybody’s doing it,” and the individual
falls in line and does it also, lest some other
individual CRITICIZE him.

Women seldom have bald heads, or even thin
hair, because they wear hats that are loose, the only
purpose of which is to make an appearance.

But it must not be imagined that women are free
from the fear of Criticism associated with hats. If any
woman claims to be superior to man with reference to
this fear, ask her to walk down the street wearing a
hat that is one or two seasons out of style!

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

The makers of all manner of clothing have not
been slow to capitalize this basic fear of Criticism
with which all mankind is cursed. Every season, it
will be observed, the “styles” in many articles of
wearing apparel change. Who establishes the “styles”?
Certainly not the purchaser of clothes, but the
manufacturer of clothes. Why does he change the
styles so often? Obviously this change is made so that
the manufacturer can sell more clothes.

For the same reason the manufacturers of
automobiles (with a few rare and very sensible
exceptions) change styles every season.

The manufacturer of clothing knows how the man-
animal fears to wear a garment which is one season
out of step with “that which they are all wearing

Is this not true? Does not your own experience
back it up?

We have been describing the manner in which
people behave under the influence of the fear of
Criticism as applied to the small and petty things of
life. Let us now examine human behavior under this
fear when it affects people in connection with the
more important matters connected with human
intercourse. Take, for example, practically any person
who has reached the age of “mental maturity” (from
thirty-five to forty-five years of age, as a general
average), and if you could read his or her mind you
would find in that mind a very decided disbelief of
and rebellion against most of the fables taught by the
majority of the religionists.

Powerful and mighty is the fear of CRITICISM!

The time was, and not so very long ago at that,
when the word “infidel” meant ruin to whomsoever it
was applied. It is seen, therefore, that man’s fear of
CRITICISM is not without ample cause for its

The fourth basic fear is that of:

The source from which this fear originated needs but
little description, for it is obvious that it grew out of
man’s nature to steal his fellow man’s mate; or at least
to take liberties with her, unknown to her rightful
“lord” and master. By nature all men are polygamous,
the statement of a truth which will, of course, bring
denials from those who are either too old to function
in a normal way sexually, or have, from some other
cause, lost the contents of certain glands which are
responsible for man’s tendency toward the plurality of
the opposite sex.

There can be but little doubt that jealousy and all
other similar forms of more or less mild dementia
praecox (insanity) grew out of man’s inherited fear of
the Loss of Love of Someone.

Of all the “sane fools” studied by this author, that
represented by a man who has become jealous of some
woman, or that of a woman who has become jealous of
some man, is the oddest and strangest. The author,
fortunately, never had but one case of personal
experience with this form of insanity, but from that
experience he learned enough to justify him in stating
that the fear of the Loss of Love of Someone is one of
the most painful, if not in fact the most painful, of all
the six basic fears. And it seems reasonable to add
that this fear plays more havoc with the human mind
than do any of the other six basic fears, often leading
to the more violent forms of permanent insanity.

The fifth basic fear is that of:

THE FEAR OF ILL HEALTH: This fear has its
origin, to considerable extent also, in the same
sources from which the fears of Poverty and Old Age
are derived.

The fear of 111 Health must needs be closely
associated with both Poverty and Old Age, because it
also leads toward the border line of “terrible worlds”
of which man knows not, but of which he has heard
some discomforting stories.

The author strongly suspects that those engaged
in the business of selling good health methods have
had considerable to do with keeping the fear of 111
Health alive in the human mind.

For longer than the record of the human race can
be relied upon, the world has known of various and
sundry forms of therapy and health purveyors. If a
man gains his living from keeping people in good
health it seems but natural that he would use every
means at his command for persuading people that they
needed his services. Thus, in time, it might be that
people would inherit a fear of 111 Health.

The sixth and last of the six basic fears is that of:

THE FEAR OF DEATH: To many this is the worst
of all the six basic fears, and the reason why it is so
regarded becomes obvious to even the casual student
of psychology.

The terrible pangs of fear associated with DEATH
may be charged directly to religious fanaticism, the
source which is more responsible for it than are all
other sources combined.

So-called “heathen” are not as much afraid of
DEATH as are the “civilized,” especially that portion
of the civilized population which has come under the
influence of theology.

For hundreds of millions of years man has been
asking the still unanswered (and, it may be, the
unanswerable) questions, “WHENCE?” and

“WHITHER?” “Where did I come from and where am I
going after death?”

The more cunning and crafty, as well as the
honest but credulous, of the race have not been slow
to offer the answer to these questions. In fact the
answering of these questions has become one of the
so-called “learned” professions, despite the fact that
but little learning is required to enter this profession.

Witness, now, the major source of origin of the
fear of DEATH!

“Come into my tent, embrace my faith, accept my
dogmas (and pay my salary) and I will give you a
ticket that will admit you straightway into heaven
when you die,” says the leader of one form of
sectarianism. “Remain out of my tent,” says this same
leader, “and you will go direct to hell, where you will
burn throughout eternity.”

While, in fad, the self-appointed leader may not
be able to provide safe-conduct into heaven nor, by
lack of such provision, allow the unfortunate seeker
after truth to descend into hell, the possibility of the
latter seems so terrible that it lays hold of the mind
and creates that fear of fears, the fear of DEATH!

In truth no man knows, and no man has ever
known, what heaven or hell is like, or if such places
exist, and this very lack of definite knowledge opens
the door of the human mind to the charlatan to enter
and control that mind with his stock of legerdemain
and various brands of trickery, deceit and fraud.

The truth is this – nothing less and nothing more –
WHERE WE GO AT DEATH. Any person claiming
otherwise is either deceiving himself or he is a
conscious impostor who makes it a business to live
without rendering service of value, through play upon
the credulity of humanity.

Be it said, in their behalf, however, the majority
of those engaged in “selling tickets into heaven”
actually believe not only that they know where heaven
exists, but that their creeds and formulas will give
safe passage to all who embrace them.

This belief may be summed up in one word –

Religious leaders, generally, make the broad,
sweeping claim that the present civilization owes its
existence to the work done by the churches. This
author, as far as he is personally concerned, is willing
to grant their claims to be correct, if, at the same time
he be permitted to add that even if this claim be true
the theologians haven’t a great deal of which to brag.

But, it is not – cannot be – true that civilization
has grown out of the efforts of the organized churches
and creeds, if by the term “civilization” is meant the
uncovering of the natural laws and the many
inventions to which the world is the present heir.

If the theologians wish to claim that part of
civilization which has to do with man’s conduct
toward his fellow man they are perfectly welcome to

YOU are fortunate if you
have learned the
difference between temporary
defeat and failure;
more fortunate still, if
you have learned the
truth that the very seed
of success is dormant in
every defeat that you

it, as far as this author is concerned; but, on the other
hand, if they presume to gobble up the credit for all
the scientific discovery of mankind the author begs
leave to offer vigorous protest.

It is hardly sufficient to state that social heredity
is the method through which man gathers all
knowledge that reaches him through the five senses. It
is more to the point to state HOW social heredity
works, in as many different applications as will give
the student a comprehensive understanding of that

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

Shortly after this author began to examine the
major sources from which men gather the knowledge
which makes them what they are, some thirty-odd
years ago, he discovered the nest of a ruffed grouse.
The nest was so located that the mother bird could be
seen from a considerable distance when she was on the
nest. With the aid of a pair of field glasses the bird
was closely watched until the young birds were
hatched out. It happened that the regular daily
observation was made but a few hours after the young
birds came out of the shell. Desiring to know what
would happen, the author approached the nest. The
mother bird remained near by until the intruder was
within ten or twelve feet of her, then she disarranged
her feathers, stretched one wing over her leg and went
hobbling away, making a pretense of being crippled.
Being somewhat familiar with the tricks of mother
birds, the author did not follow, but, instead, went to

the nest to take a look at the little ones. Without the
slightest signs of fear they turned their eyes toward
him, moving their heads first one way and then
another. He reached down and picked one of them up.
With no signs of fear it stood in the palm of his hand.
He laid the bird back in the nest and went away to a
safe distance to give the mother bird a chance to

The wait was short. Very soon she began
cautiously to edge her way back toward the nest until
she was within a few feet of it, when she spread her
wings and ran as fast as she could, uttering,
meanwhile, a series of sounds similar to those of a hen
when she has found some morsel of food and wishes to
call her brood to partake of it.

She gathered the little birds around and continued
to quiver in a highly excited manner, shaking her
wings and ruffling her feathers. One could almost hear
her words as she gave the little birds their first lesson
in self-defense, through the law of SOCIAL

“You silly little creatures! Do you not know that
men are your enemies? Shame on you for allowing that
man to pick you up in his hands. It’s a wonder he
didn’t carry you off and eat you alive! The next time
you see a man approaching make yourselves scarce.
Lie down on the ground, run under leaves, go
anywhere to get out of sight, and remain out of sight
until the enemy is well on his way.”

The little birds stood around and listened to the
lecture with intense interest. After the mother bird had
quieted down the author again started to approach the
nest. When within twenty feet or so of the guarded

household the mother bird again started to lead him in
the other direction by crumpling up her wing and
hobbling along as if she were crippled. He looked at
the nest, but the glance was in vain. The little birds
were nowhere to be found! They had learned rapidly
to avoid their natural enemy, thanks to their natural

Again the author retreated, awaited until the
mother bird had reassembled her household, then came
out to visit them, but with similar results. When he
approached the spot where he last saw the mother bird
not the slightest signs of the little fellows were to be

When a small boy the author captured a young
crow and made a pet of it. The bird became quite well
satisfied with its domestic surroundings and learned to
perform many tricks requiring considerable
intelligence. After the bird was big enough to fly it
was permitted to go wherever it pleased. Sometimes it
would be gone for many hours, but it always returned
home before dark.

One day some wild crows became involved in a
fight with an owl in a field near the house where the
pet crow lived. As soon as the pet heard the “caw,
caw, caw” of its wild relatives it flew up on top of the
house, and with signs of great agitation, walked from
one end of the house to the other. Finally it took wing
and flew in the direction of the “battle.” The author
followed to see what would happen. In a few minutes
he came up with the pet. It was sitting on the lower
branches of a tree and two wild crows were sitting on
a limb just above, chattering and walking back and
forth, acting very much in the same fashion that angry
parents behave toward their offspring when chastising

As the author approached, the two wild crows
flew away, one of them circling around the tree a few
times, meanwhile letting out a terrible flow of most
abusive language, which, no doubt, was directed at its
foolish relative who hadn’t enough sense to fly while
the flying was good.

The pet was called, but it paid no attention. That
evening it returned home, but would not come near the
house. It sat on a high limb of an apple tree and talked
in crow language for about ten minutes, saying, no
doubt, that it had decided to go back to the wild life
of its fellows, then flew away and did not return until
two days later, when it came back and did some more
talking in crow language, keeping at a safe distance
meanwhile. It then went away and never returned.

Social heredity had robbed the author of a fine

The only consolation he got from the loss of his
crow was the thought that it had shown fine
sportsmanship by coming back and giving notice of its
intention to depart. Many farm hands had left the farm
without going to the trouble of this formality.

It is a well known fact that a fox will prey upon
all manner of fowl and small animals with the
exception of the skunk. No reason need be stated as to
why Mr. Skunk enjoys immunity. A fox may tackle a
skunk once, but never twice! For this reason a skunk
hide, when nailed to a chicken roost, will keep all but
the very young and inexperienced foxes at a safe

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

But one lesson is sufficient to teach the fox all it
cares to know about skunks. Through the law of social
heredity, operating via the sense of smell, one lesson
serves for an entire life-time.

A bullfrog can be caught on a fish-hook by
attaching a small piece of red cloth or any other small
red object to the hook and dangling it in front of the
frog’s nose. That is, Mr. Frog may be caught in this
manner, provided he is hooked the first time he snaps
at the bait, but if he is poorly hooked and makes a get-
away, or if he feels the point of the hook when he
bites at the bait but is not caught, he will never make
the same mistake again. The author spent many hours
in stealthy attempt to hook a particularly desirable
specimen which had snapped and missed, before
learning that but one lesson in social heredity is
enough to teach even a humble “croaker” that bits of
red flannel are things to be let alone.

The author once owned a very fine male Airedale
dog which caused no end of annoyance by his habit of
coming home with a young chicken in his mouth.

IS it not strange that we
fear most that which
never happens? That we
destroy our initiative by
the fear of defeat, when
in reality, defeat is a
most useful tonic and
should be accepted as

Each time the chicken was taken away from the dog
and he was soundly switched, but to no avail; he
continued in his liking for fowl.

For the purpose of saving the dog, if possible,
and as an experiment with social heredity, this dog
was taken to the farm of a neighbor who had a hen and
some newly hatched chickens. The hen was placed in
the barn and the dog was turned in with her. As soon
as everyone was out of sight the dog slowly edged up
toward the hen, sniffed the air in her direction a time
or two (to make sure she was the kind of meat for
which he was looking), then made a dive toward her.
Meanwhile Mrs. Hen had been doing some “surveying”
on her own account, for she met Mr. Dog more than
halfway; moreover, she met him with such a surprise
of wings and claws as he had never before
experienced. The first round was clearly the hen’s. But
a nice fat bird, reckoned the dog, was not to slip
between his paws so easily; therefore he backed away
a short distance, then charged again. This time Mrs.
Hen lit upon his back, drove her claws into his skin
and made effective use of her sharp bill! Mr. Dog
retreated to his comer, looking for all the world as if
he were listening for someone to ring the bell and call
the fight off until he got his bearings. But Mrs. Hen
craved no time for deliberation; she had her adversary
on the run and showed that she knew the value of the
offensive by keeping him on the run.

One could almost understand her words as she
flogged the poor Airedale from one corner to another,
keeping up a series of rapid-fire sounds which for all
the world resembled the remonstrations of an angry
mother who had been called upon to defend her
offspring from an attack by older boys.

The Airedale was a poor soldier! After running
around the barn from corner to corner for about two
minutes he spread himself on the ground as flat as he
could and did his best to protect his eyes with his
paws. Mrs. Hen seemed to be making a special attempt
to peck out his eyes.

The owner of the hen then stepped in and
retrieved her – or, more accurately stating it, he
retrieved the dog – which in no way appeared to meet
with the dog’s disapproval.

The next day a chicken was placed in the cellar
where the dog slept. As soon as he saw the bird he
tucked his tail between his legs and ran for a corner!
He never again attempted to catch a chicken. One
lesson in social heredity, via the sense of “touch,” was
sufficient to teach him that while chicken-chasing may
offer some enjoyment, it is also fraught with much

All these illustrations, with the exception of the
first, describe the process of gathering knowledge
through direct experience. Observe the marked
difference between knowledge gathered by direct
experience and that which is gathered through the
training of the young by the old, as in the case of the
ruffed grouse and her young.

The most impressive lessons are those learned by
the young from the old, through highly colored or
emotionalized methods of teaching. When the mother
grouse spread her wings, stood her feathers on end,
shook herself like a man suffering with the palsy and
chattered to her young in a highly excited manner, she
planted the fear of man in their hearts in a manner
which they were never to forget.

The term “social heredity,” as used in connection
with this lesson, has particular reference to all
methods through which a child is taught any idea,
dogma, creed, religion or system of ethical conduct,
by its parents or those who may have authority over it,
before reaching the age at which it may reason and
reflect upon such teaching in its own way; estimating
the age of such reasoning power at, let us say, seven
to twelve years.

There are myriads of forms of fear, but none are
more deadly than the fear of poverty and old age. We
drive our bodies as if they were slaves because we are
so afraid of poverty that we wish to hoard money for –
what – old age! This common form of fear drives us so
hard that we overwork our bodies and bring on the
very thing we are struggling to avoid.

What a tragedy to watch a man drive himself
when he begins to arrive along about the forty-year
mile post of life-the age at which he is just beginning
to mature mentally. At forty a man is just entering the
age in which he is able to see and understand and
assimilate the handwriting of Nature, as it appears in
the forests and flowing brooks and faces of men and
little children, yet this devil fear drives him so hard
that he becomes blinded and lost in the entanglement
of a maze of conflicting desires. The principle of
organized effort is lost sight of, and instead of laying
hold of Nature’s forces which are in evidence all
around him, and permitting those forces to carry him
to the heights of great achievement, he defies them
and they become forces of destruction.

Perhaps none of these great forces of Nature are
more available for man’s unfoldment than is the
principle of Auto-suggestion, but ignorance of this
force is leading the majority of the human race to
apply it so that it acts as a hindrance and not as a

Let us here enumerate the facts which show just
how this misapplication of a great force of Nature
takes place:

Here is a man who meets with some
disappointment; a friend proves false, or a neighbor
seems indifferent. Forthwith he decides (through self-
suggestion) all men are untrustworthy and all
neighbors unappreciative. These thoughts so deeply
imbed themselves in his subconscious mind that they
color his whole attitude toward others. Go back, now,
to what was said in Lesson Two, about the dominating
thoughts of a man’s mind attracting people whose
thoughts are similar.

Apply the Law of Attraction and you will soon
see and understand why the unbeliever attracts other

Reverse the Principle:

Here is a man who sees nothing but the best there
is in all whom he meets. If his neighbors seem
indifferent he takes no notice of that fact, for he
makes it his business to fill his mind with dominating
thoughts of optimism and good cheer and faith in
others. If people speak to him harshly he speaks back
in tones of softness. Through the operation of this
same eternal Law of Attraction he draws to himself
the attention of people whose attitude toward life and
whose dominating thoughts harmonize with his own.

Tracing the principle a step further:

Here is a man who has been well schooled and
has the ability to render the world some needed
service. Somewhere, sometime, he has heard it said
that modesty is a great virtue and that to push himself
to the front of the stage in the game of life savors of
egotism. He quietly slips in at the back door and takes
a seat at the rear while other players in the game of
life boldly step to the front. He remains in the back
row because he fears “what they will say.”

Public opinion, or that which he believes to be
public opinion, has him pushed to the rear and the
world hears but little of him. His schooling counts for
naught because he is afraid to let the world know that
he has had it. He is constantly suggesting to himself
(thus using the great force of Auto-suggestion to his
own detriment) that he should remain in the
background lest he be criticized, as if criticism would
do him any damage or defeat his purpose.

Here is another man who was born of poor
parents. Since the first day that he can remember he
has seen evidence of poverty. He has heard talk of
poverty. He has felt the icy hand of poverty on his
shoulders and it has so impressed him that he fixes it
in his mind as a curse to which he must submit. Quite
unconsciously he permits himself to fall victim of the
belief “once poor always poor” until that belief
becomes the dominating thought of his mind. He
resembles a horse that has been harnessed and broken
until it forgets that it has the potential power with
which to throw off that harness. Auto-suggestion is
rapidly relegating him to the back of the stage of life.

YOUR work and mine are
peculiarly akin; I am
helping the laws of Nature
create more perfect
specimens of vegetation,
while you are using those
same laws, through the Law
of Success philosophy, to
create more perfect
specimens of thinkers.
-Luther Burbank.

Finally he becomes a quitter. Ambition is gone.
Opportunity comes his way no longer, or if it does he
has not the vision to see it. He has accepted his
FATE! It is a well established fact that the faculties of
the mind, like the limbs of the body, atrophy and
wither away if not used. Self-confidence is no
exception. It develops when used but disappears if not

One of the chief disadvantages of inherited
wealth is the fact that it too often leads to inaction
and loss of Self-confidence. Some years ago a baby
boy was born to Mrs. E. B. McLean, in the city of
Washington. His inheritance was said to be around a
hundred million dollars. When this baby was taken for
an airing in its carriage it was surrounded by nurses
and assistant nurses and detectives and other servants
whose duty was to see that no harm befell it. As the
years passed by this same vigilance was kept up. This
child did not have to dress himself; he had servants
who did that. Servants watched over him while he
slept and while he was at play. He was not permitted
to do anything that a servant could do for him. He had
grown to the age often years. One day he was playing
in the yard and noticed that the back gate had been
left open. In all of his life he had never been outside
of that gate alone, and naturally that was just the
thing that he wished to do. During a moment when the
servants were not looking he dashed out at the gate,
and was run down and killed by an automobile before
he reached the middle of the street.

He had used his servants’ eyes until his own no
longer served him as they might have done had he
learned to rely upon them.

Twenty years ago the man whom I served as
secretary sent his two sons away to school. One of
them went to the University of Virginia and the other
to a college in New York. Each month it was a part of
my task to make out a check for $100.00 for each of
these boys. This was their “pin money,” to be spent as
they wished. How profitably I remember the way I
envied those boys as I made out those checks each
month. I often wondered why the hand of fate bore me
into the world in poverty. I could look ahead and see
how these boys would rise to the high stations in life
while I remained a humble clerk.

In due time the boys returned home with their
“sheep-skins.” Their father was a wealthy man who
owned banks and railroads and coal mines and other
property of great value. Good positions were waiting
for the boys in their father’s employ.

But, twenty years of time can play cruel tricks on
those who have never had to struggle. Perhaps a better
way to state this truth would be that time gives those
who have never had to struggle a chance to play cruel
tricks on themselves! At any rate, these two boys
brought home from school other things besides their
sheep-skins. They came back with well developed
capacities for strong drink – capacities which ‘they
developed because the hundred dollars which each of
them received each month made it unnecessary for
them to struggle.

Theirs is a long and sad story, the details of
which will not interest you, but you will be interested
in their “finis” As this lesson is being written I have
on my desk a copy of the newspaper published in the
town where these boys lived. Their father has been
bankrupted and his costly mansion, where the boys
were born, has been placed on the block for sale. One
of the boys died of delirium tremens and the other one
is in an insane asylum.

Not all rich men’s sons turn out so unfortunately,
but the fact remains, nevertheless, that inaction leads
to atrophy and this, in turn, leads to loss of ambition
and self-confidence, and without these essential
qualities a man will be carried through life on the
wings of uncertainty, just as a dry leaf may be carried
here and there on the bosom of the stray winds.

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

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

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

Let us apply this line of reasoning to
salesmanship and see what part Self-confidence plays
in this great field of endeavor. One of the greatest
salesmen this country has ever seen was once a clerk
in a newspaper office.

It will be worth your while to analyze the method
through which he gained his title as “the world’s
leading salesman.”

He was a timid young man with a more or less
retiring sort of nature. He was one of those who
believe it best to slip in by the back door and take a
seat at the rear of the stage of life. One evening he
heard a lecture on the subject of this lesson, Self-
confidence, and that lecture so impressed him that he
left the lecture hall with a firm determination to pull
himself out of the rut into which he had drifted.

He went to the Business Manager of the paper and
asked for a position as solicitor of advertising and was
put to work on a commission basis. Everyone in the
office expected to see him fail, as this sort of
salesmanship calls for the most positive type of sales
ability. He went to his room and made out a list of a
certain type of merchants on whom he intended to
call. One would think that he would naturally have
made up his list of the names of those whom he
believed he could sell with the least effort, but he did
nothing of the sort. He placed on his list only the
names of the merchants on whom other advertising
solicitors had called without making a sale. His list
consisted of only twelve names. Before he made a
single call he went out to the city park, took out his
list of twelve names, read it over a hundred times,
saying to himself as he did so, “You will purchase
advertising space from me before the end of the
month. ”

Then he began to make his calls. The first day he
closed sales with three of the twelve “impossibilities.”
During the remainder of the week he made sales to
two others. By the end of the month he had opened
advertising accounts with all but one of the merchants
that he had on the list. For the ensuing month he made
no sales, for the reason that he made no calls except
on this one obstinate merchant. Every morning when
the store opened he was on hand to interview this
merchant and every morning the merchant said “No. ”
The merchant knew he was not going to buy
advertising space, but this young man didn’t know it.
When the merchant said No the young man did not
hear it, but kept right on coming. On the last day of
the month, after having told this persistent young man
No for thirty consecutive times, the merchant said:

“Look here, young man, you have wasted a whole
month trying to sell me; now, what I would like to
know is this – why have you wasted your time?”

“Wasted my time nothing,” he retorted; “I have

NO man can become a
great leader of men
unless he has the milk
of human kindness in
his own heart, and leads
by suggestion and kind-
ness, rather than by

been going to school and you have been my teacher.
Now I know all the arguments that a merchant can
bring up for not buying, and besides that I have been
drilling myself in Self-confidence.”

Then the merchant said: “I will make a little
confession of my own. I, too, have been going to
school, and you have been my teacher. You have
taught me a lesson in persistence that is worth money
to me, and to show you my appreciation I am going to
pay my tuition fee by giving you an order for
advertising space.”

And that was the way in which the Philadelphia
North American’s best advertising account was
brought in. Likewise, it marked the beginning of a
reputation that has made that same young man a

He succeeded because he deliberately charged his
own mind with sufficient Self-confidence to make that
mind an irresistible force. When he sat down to make
up that list of twelve names he did something that
ninety-nine people out of a hundred would not have
done-he selected the names of those whom he believed
it would be hard to sell, because he understood that
out of the resistance he would meet with in trying to
sell them would come strength and Self-confidence.
He was one of the very few people who understand
that all rivers and some men are crooked because of
following the line of least resistance.

I am going to digress and here break the line of
thought for a moment while recording a word of
advice to the wives of men. Remember, these lines are
intended only for wives, and husbands are not
expected to read that which is here set down.

From having analyzed more than 16,000 people,
the majority of whom were married men, I have
learned something that may be of value to wives. Let
me state my thought in these words:

You have it within your power to send your
husband away to his work or his business or his
profession each day with a feeling of Self-confidence
that will carry him successfully over the rough spots
of the day and bring him home again, at night, smiling
and happy. One of my acquaintances of former years
married a woman who had a set of false teeth. One day
his wife dropped her teeth and broke the plate. The
husband picked up the pieces and began examining
them. He showed such interest in them that his wife

“You could make a set of teeth like those if you
made up your mind to do it.”

This man was a farmer whose ambitions had never
carried him beyond the bounds of his little farm until
his wife made that remark. She walked over and laid
her hand on his shoulder and encouraged him to try
his hand at dentistry. She finally coaxed him to make
the start, and today he is one of the most prominent
and successful dentists in the state of Virginia. I know
him well, for he is my father!

No one can foretell the possibilities of
achievement available to the man whose wife stands at
his back and urges him on to bigger and better
endeavor, for it is a well known fact that a woman can
arouse a man so that he will perform almost
superhuman feats. It is your right and your duty to
encourage your husband and urge him on in worthy
undertakings until he shall have found his place in the
world. You can induce him to put forth greater effort
than can any other person in the world. Make him
believe that nothing within reason is beyond his power
of achievement and you will have rendered him a
service that will go a long way toward helping him
win in the battle of life.

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

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


The woman who wrote this creed was a practical
psychologist of the first order. With the influence and
guidance of such a woman as a helpmate any man
could achieve noteworthy success.

Analyze this creed and you will notice how freely
the personal pronoun is used. It starts off with the
affirmation of Self-confidence, which is perfectly
proper. No man could make this creed his own without
developing the positive attitude that would attract to
him people who would aid him in his struggle for

This would be a splendid creed for every
salesman to adopt. It might not hurt your chances for
success if you adopted it. Mere adoption, however, is
not enough. You must practice it! Read it over and
over until you know it by heart. Then repeat it at least
once a day until you have literally transformed it into
your mental make-up. Keep a copy of it before you as
a daily reminder of your pledge to practice it. By
doing so you will be making efficient use of the
principle of Auto-suggestion as a means of developing
Self-confidence. Never mind what anyone may say
about your procedure. Just remember that it is your
business to succeed, and this creed, if mastered and
applied, will go a long way toward helping you.

You learned in Lesson Two that any idea you
firmly fix in your subconscious mind, by repeated
affirmation, automatically becomes a plan or blueprint
which an unseen power uses in directing your efforts
toward the attainment of the objective named – in the

You have also learned that the principle through
which you may fix any idea you choose in your mind
is called Auto-suggestion, which simply means a
suggestion that you give to your own mind. It was this
principle of Auto-suggestion that Emerson had in
mind when he wrote:

“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself!”

You might well remember that Nothing can bring
you success but yourself. Of course you will need the
co-operation of others if you aim to attain success of a
far-reaching nature, but you will never get that
cooperation unless you vitalize your mind with the
positive attitude of Self-confidence.

Perhaps you have wondered why a few men
advance to highly paid positions while others all
around them, who have as much training and who
seemingly perform as much work, do not get ahead.
Select any two people of these two types that you
choose, and study them, and the reason why one
advances and the other stands still will be quite
obvious to you. You will find that the one who
advances believes in himself. You will find that he
backs this belief with such dynamic, aggressive action
that he lets others know that he believes in himself.
You will also notice that this Self-confidence is
contagious; it is impelling; it is persuasive; it attracts

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

You will also find that the one who does not
advance shows clearly, by the look on his face, by the
posture of his body, by the lack of briskness in his
step, by the uncertainty with which he speaks, that he
lacks Self-confidence. No one is going to pay much
attention to the person who has no confidence in

He does not attract others because his mind is a
negative force that repels rather than attracts.

In no other field of endeavor does Self-
confidence or the lack of it play such an important
part as in the field of salesmanship, and you do not
need to be a character analyst to determine, the
moment you meet him, whether a salesman possesses
this quality of Self-confidence. If he has it the signs
of its influence are written all over him. He inspires
you with confidence in him and in the goods he is
selling the moment he speaks.

We come, now, to the point at, which you are
ready to take hold of the principle of Auto-suggestion
and make direct use of it in developing yourself into a
positive and dynamic and self-reliant person. You are
instructed to copy the following formula, sign it and
commit it to memory:


First: I know that I have the ability to achieve the
object of my definite purpose, therefore I demand
of myself persistent, aggressive and continuous
action toward its attainment.

Second: I realize that the dominating thoughts of my
mind eventually reproduce themselves in outward,
bodily action, and gradually transform themselves
into physical reality, therefore I will concentrate

My mind for thirty minutes daily upon the task of
thinking of the person I intend to be, by creating
a mental picture of this person and then
transforming that picture into reality through
practical service.

Third: I know that through the principle of Auto-
suggestion, any desire that I persistently hold in
my mind will eventually seek expression through
some practical means of realizing it, therefore I
shall devote ten minutes daily to demanding of
myself the development of the factors named in
the sixteen lessons of this Reading Course on the
Law of Success.

Fourth: I have clearly mapped out and written down a
description of my definite purpose in life, for the
coming five years. I have set a price on my
services for each of these five years; a price that
I intend to earn and receive, through strict
application of the principle of efficient,
satisfactory service which I will render in

Fifth: I fully realize that no wealth or position can
long endure unless built upon truth and justice,
therefore / will engage in no transaction which
does not benefit all whom it affects. 1 will
succeed by attracting to me the forces I wish to
use, and the co-operation of other people. I will
induce others to serve me because I will first
serve them. I will eliminate hatred, envy,
jealousy, selfishness and cynicism by developing
love for all humanity, because I know that a
negative attitude toward others can never bring
me success. I will cause others to believe in me
because I will believe in them and in myself.

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


Before you sign your name to this formula make
sure that you intend to carry out its instructions. Back
of this formula lies a law that no man can explain. The
psychologists refer to this law as Auto-suggestion and
let it go at that, but you should bear in mind one point
about which there is no uncertainty, and that is the
fact that whatever this law is it actually works!

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


Having, myself, experienced all the difficulties
that stand in the road of those who lack the
understanding to make practical application of this
great principle of Auto-suggestion, let me take you a
short way into the principle of habit, through the aid
of which you may easily apply the principle of Auto-
suggestion in any direction and for any purpose

Habit grows out of environment; out of doing the
same thing or thinking the same thoughts or repeating
the same words over and over again. Habit may be
likened to the groove on a phonograph record, while
the human mind may be likened to the needle that fits
into that groove. When any habit has been well
formed, through repetition of thought or action, the
mind has a tendency to attach itself to and follow the
course of that habit as closely as the phonograph
needle follows the groove in the wax record.

Habit is created by repeatedly directing one or
more of the five senses of seeing, hearing, smelling,
tasting and feeling, in a given direction. It is through
this repetition principle that the injurious drug habit
is formed. It is through this same principle that the
desire for intoxicating drink is formed into a habit.

After habit has been well established it will
automatically control and direct our bodily activity,
wherein may be found a thought that can be
transformed into a powerful factor in the development
of Self-confidence. The thought is this: Voluntarily,
and by force if necessary, direct your efforts and your
thoughts along a desired line until you have formed
the habit that will lay hold of you and continue,
voluntarily, to direct your efforts along the same line.

The object in writing out and repeating the Self-
confidence formula is to form the habit of making
belief in yourself the dominating thought of your mind
until that thought has been thoroughly imbedded in
your subconscious mind, through the principle of

You learned to write by repeatedly directing the
muscles of your arm and hand over certain outlines
known as letters, until finally you formed the habit of
tracing these outlines. Now you write with ease and
rapidity, without tracing each letter slowly. Writing
has become a habit with you.

The principle of habit will lay hold of the
faculties of your mind just the same as it will
influence the physical muscles of your body, as you
can easily prove by mastering and applying this lesson
on Self-confidence. Any statement that you repeatedly
make to yourself, or any desire that you deeply plant
in your mind through repeated statement, will
eventually seek expression through your physical,
outward bodily efforts. The principle of habit is the
very foundation upon which this lesson on Self-
confidence is built, and if you will understand and
follow the directions laid down in this lesson you will
soon know more about the law of habit, from first-
hand knowledge, than could be taught you by a
thousand such lessons as this.

You have but little conception of the possibilities
which lie sleeping within you, awaiting but the
awakening hand of vision to arouse you, and you will
never have a better conception of those possibilities
unless you develop sufficient Self-confidence to lift

A HOME is something
that cannot be bought.
You can buy house but
only a woman can make
of it a home.

you above the commonplace influences of your present

The human mind is a marvelous, mysterious piece
of machinery, a fact of which I was reminded a few
months ago when I picked up Emerson’s Essays and
re-read his essay on Spiritual Laws. A strange thing
happened. I saw in that essay, which I had read scores
of times previously, much that I had never noticed
before. I saw more in this essay than I had seen during
previous readings because the unfoldment of my mind
since the last reading had prepared me to interpret

The human mind is constantly unfolding, like the
petals of a flower, until it reaches the maximum of
development. What this maximum is, where it ends, or
whether it ends at all or not, are unanswerable
questions, but the degree of unfoldment seems to vary
according to the nature of the individual and the
degree to which he keeps his mind at work. A mind
that is forced or coaxed into analytical thought every
day seems to keep on unfolding and developing
greater powers of interpretation.

Down in Louisville, Kentucky, lives Mr. Lee
Cook, a man who has practically no legs and has to
wheel himself around on a cart. In spite of the fact
that Mr. Cook has been without legs since birth, he is
the owner of a great industry and a millionaire
through his own efforts. He has proved that a man can
get along very well without legs if he has a well
developed Self-confidence.

In the city of New York one may see a strong
able-bodied and able-headed young man, without legs,
rolling himself down Fifth Avenue every afternoon,
with cap in hand, begging for a living. His head is
perhaps as sound and as able to think as the average.

This young man could duplicate anything that Mr.
Cook, of Louisville, has done, if he thought of himself
as Mr. Cook thinks of himself.

Henry Ford owns more millions of dollars than he
will ever need or use. Not so many years ago, he was
working as a laborer in a machine shop, with but little
schooling and without capital. Scores of other men,
some of them with better organized brains than his,
worked near him. Ford threw off the poverty
consciousness, developed confidence in himself,
thought of success and attained it. Those who worked
around him could have done as well had they thought
as he did.

Milo C. Jones, of Wisconsin, was stricken down
with paralysis a few years ago. So bad was the stroke
that he could not turn himself in bed or move a muscle
of his body. His physical body was useless, but there
was nothing wrong with his brain, so it began to
function in earnest, probably for the first time in its
existence. Lying flat on his back in bed, Mr. Jones
made that brain create a definite purpose. That
purpose was prosaic and humble enough in nature, but
it was definite and it was a purpose, something that he
had never known before.

His definite purpose was to make pork sausage.
Calling his family around him he told of his plans and
began directing them in carrying the plans into action.
With nothing to aid him except a sound mind and
plenty of Self-confidence, Milo C. Jones spread the
name and reputation of “Little Pig Sausage” all over
the United States, and accumulated a fortune besides.

All this was accomplished after paralysis had
made it impossible for him to work with his hands.

Where thought prevails power may be found!

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

There comes to mind a well known poem whose
author expressed a great psychological truth:

If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don’t;

If you like to win, but you think you can’t.
It is almost certain you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose you’ve lost,
For out of the world we find

Success begins with a fellow’s will
It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are
You’ve got to think high to rise.

You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go

To the stronger or faster man;
But soon or late the man who wins

Is the man who thinks he can.

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

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

It is not unreasonable to expect that some
statement, some idea or some stimulating word of this
Reading Course on the Law of Success will serve as
the needed stimulus that will re-shape your destiny
and re-direct your thoughts and energies along a
pathway that will lead you, finally, to your coveted
goal of life. It is strange, but true, that the most
important turning-points of life often come at the most
unexpected times and in the most unexpected ways. I
have in mind a typical example of how some of the
seemingly unimportant experiences of life often turn
out to be the most important of all, and I am relating
this ease because it shows, also, what a man can
accomplish when he awakens to a full understanding
of the value of Self-confidence. The incident to which
I refer happened in the city of Chicago, while I was
engaged in the work of character analysis. One day a
tramp presented himself at my office and asked for an
interview. As I looked up from my work and greeted
him he said, “I have come to see the man who wrote
this little book,” as he removed from his pocket a
copy of a book entitled Self-confidence, which I had
written many years previously. “It must have been the
hand of fate,” he continued, “that slipped this book
into my pocket yesterday afternoon, because I was
about ready to go out there and punch a hole in Lake
Michigan. I had about come to the conclusion that
everything and everybody, including God, had it in for
me until I read this book, and it gave me a new
viewpoint and brought me the courage and the hope
that sustained me through the night. I made up my
mind that if I could see the man who wrote this book
he could help me get on my feet again. Now, I am here
and I would like to know what you can do for a man
like me.”

While he was speaking I had been studying him
from head to foot, and I am frank to admit that down
deep in my heart I did not believe there was anything I
could do for him, but I did not wish to tell him so.
The glassy stare in his eyes, the lines of
discouragement in his face, the posture of his body,

THE only man who
makes no mistakes is
the man who never does
anything. Do not be
afraid of mistakes providing
you do not make the same one twice.

the ten days’ growth of beard on his face, the nervous
manner about this man all conveyed to me the
impression that he was hopeless, but I did not have the
heart to tell him so, therefore I asked him to sit down
and tell me his whole story. I asked him to be
perfectly frank and tell me, as nearly as possible, just
what had brought him down to the ragged edge of life.
I promised him that after I had heard his entire story I
would then tell him whether or not I could be of
service to him. He related his story, in lengthy detail,
the sum and substance of which was this: He had
invested his entire fortune in a small manufacturing
business. When the world war began in 1914, it was
impossible for him to get the raw materials necessary
in the operation of his factory, and he therefore failed.
The loss of his money broke his heart and so disturbed
his mind that he left his wife and children and became
a tramp. He had actually brooded over his loss until he
had reached the point at which he was contemplating

After he had finished his story, I said to him: “I
have listened to you with a great deal of interest, and
I wish that there was something which I could do to
help you, but there is absolutely nothing.”

He became as pale as he will be when he is laid
away in a coffin, and settled back in his chair and
dropped his chin on his chest as much as to say, “That
settles it.” I waited for a few seconds, then said:

“While there is nothing that I can do for you,
there is a man in this building to whom I will
introduce you, if you wish, who can help you regain
your lost fortune and put you back on your feet

again.” These words had barely fallen from my lips
when he jumped up, grabbed me by the hands and
said, “For God’s sake lead me to this man.”

It was encouraging to note that he had asked this
“for God’s sake.” This indicated that there was still a
spark of hope within his breast, so I took him by the
arm and led him out into the laboratory where my
psychological tests in character analysis were
conducted, and stood with him in front of what looked
to be a curtain over a door. I pulled the curtain aside
and uncovered a tall looking-glass in which he saw
himself from head to foot. Pointing my finger at the
glass I said:

“There stands the man to whom I promised to
introduce you. There is the only man in this world
who can put you back on your feet again, and unless
you sit down and become acquainted with that man, as
you never became acquainted with him before, you
might just as well go on over and punch a hole’ in
Lake Michigan, because you will be of no value to
yourself or to the world until you know this man

He stepped over to the glass, rubbed his hands
over his bearded face, studied himself from head to
foot for a few moments, then stepped back, dropped
his head and began to weep. I knew that the lesson had
been driven home, so I led him back to the elevator
and sent him away. I never expected to see him again,
and I doubted that the lesson would be sufficient to
help him regain his place in the world, because he
seemed to be too far gone for redemption. He seemed
to be not only down, but almost out.

A few days later I met this man on the street. His
transformation had been so complete that I hardly
recognized him. He was walking briskly, with his head
tilted back. That old, shifting, nervous posture of his
body was gone. He was dressed in new clothes from
head to foot. He looked prosperous and he felt
prosperous. He stopped me and related what had
happened to bring about his rapid transformation from
a state of abject failure to one of hope and promise.

“I was just on my way to your office,” he
explained, “to bring you the good news. I went out the
very day that I was in your office, a down-and-out
tramp, and despite my appearance I sold myself at a
salary of $3,000.00 a year. Think of it, man, three
thousand dollars a year! And my employer advanced
me money enough with which to buy some new
clothes, as you can see for yourself. He also advanced
me some money to send home to my family, and I am
once more on the road to success. It seems like a
dream when I think that only a few days ago I had lost
hope and faith and courage, and was actually
contemplating suicide.

“I was coming to tell you that one of these days,
when you are least expecting me, I will pay you
another visit, and when I do. I will be a successful
man. I will bring with me a check, signed in blank and
made payable to you, and you may fill in the amount
because you have saved me from myself by
introducing me to myself – that self which I never
knew until you stood me in front of that looking-glass
and pointed out the real me.”

As that man turned and departed in the crowded
streets of Chicago I saw, for the first time in my life,
what strength and power and possibility lie hidden in
the mind of the man who has never discovered the
value of Self-reliance. Then and there I made up my
mind that I, too, would stand in front of that same
looking-glass and point an accusing finger at myself
for not having discovered the lesson which I had
helped another to learn. I did stand before that same
looking-glass, and as I did so I then and there fixed in
my mind, as my definite purpose in life, the
determination to help men and women discover the
forces that lie sleeping within them. The book you
hold in your hands is evidence that my definite
purpose is being carried out.

The man whose story I have related is now the
president of one of the largest and most successful
concerns of its kind in America, with a business that
extends from coast to coast and from Canada to

A short while after the incident just related, a
woman came to my office for personal analysis. She
was then a teacher in the Chicago public schools. I
gave her an analysis chart and asked her to fill it out.
She had been at work on the chart but a few minutes
when she came back to my desk, handed back the chart
and said, “I do not believe I will fill this out.” I asked
her why she had decided not to fill out the chart and
she replied: “To be perfectly frank with you, one of
the questions in this chart put me to thinking and I
now know what is wrong with me, therefore I feel it
unnecessary to pay you a fee to analyze me.” With
that the woman went away and I did not hear from her
for two years. She went to New York City, became a
writer of advertising copy for one of the largest
agencies in the country and her income at the time she
wrote me was $10,000.00 a year.

This woman sent me a check to cover the cost of
my analysis fee, because she felt that the fee had been
earned, even though I did not render her the service
that I usually render my clients. It is impossible for
anyone to foretell what seemingly insignificant
incident may lead to an important turning-point in
one’s career, but there is no denying the fact that these
“turning-points” may be more readily recognized by
those who have well-rounded-out confidence in

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

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

Where fear controls, noteworthy achievement
becomes an impossibility, a fact which brings to mind
the definition of fear, as stated by a great philosopher:

“Fear is the dungeon of the mind into which it
runs and hides and seeks seclusion. Fear brings on
superstition and superstition is the dagger with which
hypocrisy assassinates the soul.”

In front of the typewriter on which I am writing

LOVE, beauty, joy and
worship are forever
building, tearing down
and rebuilding the
foundation of each
man’s soul.

the manuscripts for this Reading Course hangs a sign
with the following wording, in big letters:

“Day by day in every way I am becoming more

A skeptic who read that sign asked if I really
believed “that stuff” and I replied, “Of course not. All
it ever did for me was to help me get out of the coal
mines, where I started as a laborer, and find a place in
the world in which I am serving upwards of 100,000
people, in whose minds I am planting the same
positive thought that this sign brings out; therefore,
why should I believe in it?”

As this man started to leave he said: “Well,
perhaps there is something to this sort of philosophy,
after all, for I have always been afraid that I would be
a failure, and so far my fears have been thoroughly

You are condemning yourself to poverty, misery
and failure, or you are driving yourself on toward the
heights of great achievement, solely by the thoughts
you think. If you demand success of yourself and back
up this demand with intelligent action you are sure to
win. Bear in mind, though, that there is a difference
between demanding success and just merely wishing
for it. You should find out what this difference is, and
take advantage of it.

Do you remember what the Bible says (look it up,
somewhere in the book of Matthew) about those who
have faith as a grain of mustard seed? Go at the task
of developing Self-confidence with at least that much
faith if not more. Never mind “what they will say”
because you might as well know that “they” will be of
little aid to you in your climb up the mountain-side of
life toward the object of your definite purpose. You
have within you all the power you need with which to
get whatever you want or need in this world, and
about the best way to avail yourself of this power is to
believe in yourself.

“Know thyself, man; know thyself.”

This has been the advice of the philosophers all
down the ages. When you really know yourself you
will know that there is nothing foolish about hanging
a sign in front of you that reads like this: “Day by day
in every way I am becoming more successful,” with
due apologies to the Frenchman who made this motto
popular. I am not afraid to place this sort of
suggestion in front of my desk, and, what is more to
the point, I am not afraid to believe that it will
influence me so that I will become a more positive and
aggressive human being.

More than twenty-five years ago I learned my
first lesson in Self-confidence building. One night I
was sitting before an open fire-place, listening to a
conversation between some older men, on the subject
of Capital and Labor. Without invitation I joined in
the conversation and said something about employers
and employees settling their differences on the Golden
Rule basis. My remarks attracted the attention of one
of the men, who turned to me, with a look of surprise
on his face and said:

“Why, you are a bright boy, and if you would go
out and get a schooling you would make your mark in
the world.”

Those remarks fell on “fertile” ears, even though
that was the first time anyone had ever told me that I
was bright, or that I might accomplish anything worth
while in life. The remark put me to thinking, and the
more I allowed my mind to dwell upon that thought
the more certain I became that the remark had back of
it a possibility.

It might be truthfully stated that whatever service
I am rendering the world and whatever good I
accomplish, should be credited to that off-hand

Suggestions such as this are often powerful, and
none the less so when they are deliberate and self-
expressed. Go back, now, to the Self-confidence
formula and master it, for it will lead you into the
“power-house” of your own mind, where you will tap a
force that can be made to carry you to the very top of
the Ladder of Success.

Others will believe in you only when you believe
in yourself. They will “tune in” on your thoughts and
feel toward you just as you feel toward yourself. The
law of mental telepathy takes care of this. You are
continuously broadcasting *hat you think of yourself,
and if you have no faith in yourself others will pick
up the vibrations of your thoughts and mistake them
for their own. Once understand the law of mental
telepathy and you will know why Self-confidence is
the second of the Fifteen Laws of Success.

You should be cautioned, however, to learn the
difference between Self-confidence, which is based
upon sound knowledge of what you know and what
you can do, and egotism, which is only based upon
what you wish you knew or could do. Learn the
difference between these two terms or you will make
yourself boresome, ridiculous and annoying to people
of culture and understanding. Self-confidence is
something which should never be proclaimed or
announced except through intelligent performance of
constructive deeds.

If you have Self-confidence those around you will
discover this fact. Let them make the discovery. They
will feel proud of their alertness in having made the
discovery, and you will be free from the suspicion of
egotism. Opportunity never stalks the person with a
highly developed state of egotism, but brick-bats and
ugly remarks do. Opportunity forms affinities much
more easily and quickly with Self-confidence than it
does with egotism. Self-praise is never a proper
measure of self-reliance. Bear this in mind and let
your Self-confidence speak only through the tongue of
constructive service rendered without fuss or flurry.

Self-confidence is the product of knowledge.
Know yourself, know how much you know (and how
little), why you know it, and how you are going to use
it. “Four-flushers” come to grief, therefore, do not
pretend to know more than you actually do know.
There’s no use of pretense, because any educated
person will measure you quite accurately after hearing
you speak for three minutes. What you really are will
speak so loudly that what you “claim” you are will not
be heard.

If you heed this warning the last four pages of
this one lesson may mark one of the most important
turning-points of your life.

Believe in yourself, but do not tell the world what
you can do-SHOW IT!

You are now ready for Lesson Four, which will
take you the next step up the Ladder of Success.


An After-the-Lesson Visit With the Author

The marker stands at the Entrance Gate of Life
and writes “Poor Fool” on the brow of the wise
man and “Poor Sinner” on the brow of the

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

We are eternally trying to solve this great riddle
of “LIFE,” and, for what purpose and to what

That we are placed on this earth for a definite
reason there can be no doubt by any thinker. May
it not be possible that the power which placed us
here will know what to do with us when we pass
on beyond the Great Divide?

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

THE artist has told a powerful story in the picture
at the top of this page.

From birth until death the mind is always
reaching out for that which it does not possess.

The little child, playing with its toys on the floor,
sees another child with a different sort of toy and
immediately tries to lay hands on that toy.

The female child (grown tall) believes the other
woman’s clothes more becoming than her own and sets
out to duplicate them.

The male child (grown tall) sees another man with
a bigger collection of railroads or banks or
merchandise and says to himself: “How fortunate!
How fortunate! How can I separate him from his

F. W. Woolworth, the Five and Ten Cent Store
king, stood on Fifth Avenue in New York City and
gazed upward at the tall Metropolitan Building and
said: “How wonderful! I will build one much taller.”
The crowning achievement of his life was measured by
the Woolworth Building. That building stands as a
temporary symbol of man’s nature to excel the
handiwork of other men. A MONUMENT TO THE

The little ragged newsboy on the street stands,
with wide-open mouth, and envies the business man as
he alights from his automobile at the curb and starts
into his office. “How happy I would be,” the newsboy
says to himself, “if I owned a Lizzie.” And, the
business man seated at his desk inside, thinks how
happy he would be if he could add another million
dollars to his already overswollen bank roll.

The grass is always sweeter on the other side of
the fence, says the jackass, as he stretches his neck in
the attempt to get to it.

Turn a crowd of boys into an apple orchard and
they will pass by the nice mellow apples on the
ground. The red, juicy ones hanging dangerously high
in the top of the tree look much more tempting, and up
the tree they will go.

The married man takes a sheepish glance at the
daintily dressed ladies on the street and thinks how
fortunate he would be if his wife were as pretty as
they. Perhaps she is much prettier, but he misses that
beauty because-well, because “the grass is always
greener on the other side of the fence.” Most divorce
cases grow out of man’s tendency to climb the fence
into the other fellow’s pastures.

Happiness is always just around the bend; always
in sight but just out of reach. Life is never complete,
no matter what we have or how much of it we possess.
One thing calls for something else to go with it.

Milady buys a pretty hat. She must have a gown
to match it. That calls for new shoes and hose and
gloves, and other accessories that run into a big bill
far beyond her husband’s means.

Man longs for a home-just a plain little house
setting off in the edge of the woods. He builds it, but
it is not complete; he must have shrubbery and flowers
and landscaping to go with it. Still it is not complete;
he must have a beautiful fence around it, with a
graveled driveway.

That calls for a motor car and a garage in which
to house it.

All these little touches have been added, but to no
avail! The place is now too small. He must have a
house with more rooms. The Ford Coupe must be
replaced by a Cadillac sedan, so there will be room for
company in the cross country tours.

On and on the story goes, ad infinitum!

The young man receives a salary sufficient to
keep him and his family fairly comfortable. Then
comes a promotion and an advance in salary of a
thousand dollars a year. Does he lay the extra
thousand dollars away in the savings account and
continue living as before? He does nothing of the sort.
Immediately he must trade the old car in for a new
one. A porch must be added to the house. The wife
needs a new wardrobe. The table must be set with
better food and more of it. (Pity his poor, groaning
stomach.) At the end of the year is he better off with
the increase? He is nothing of the sort! The more he
gets the more he wants, and the rule applies to the
man with millions the same as to the man with but a
few thousands.

The young man selects the girl of his choice,
believing he cannot live without her. After he gets her
he is not sure that he can live with her. If a man
remains a bachelor he wonders why he is so stupid as
to deprive himself of the joys of married life. If he
marries he wonders how she happened to catch him off
guard long enough to “harpoon” him.

And the god of Destiny cries out “O fool, fool!
You are damned if you DO and you are damned if you

At every crossroad of Life the imps of
Discontentment stand in the shadows of the back-
ground, with a grin of mockery on their faces, crying
out “Take the road of your own choice! We will get
you in the end! ”

At last man becomes disillusioned and begins to
learn that Happiness and Contentment are not of this
world. Then begins the search for the pass-word that
will open the door to him in some world of which he
knows not. Surely there must be Happiness on the
other side of the Great Divide. In desperation his
tired, care-worn heart turns to religion for hope and

But, his troubles are not over; they are just

“Come into our tent and accept our creed,” says
one sect, “and you may go straight to heaven after
death.” Poor man hesitates, looks and listens. Then he
hears the call of another brand of religion whose
leader says:

“Stay out of the other camp or you’ll go straight
to hell! They only sprinkle water on your head, but we
push you all the way under, thereby insuring you safe
passage into the Land of Promise.”

In the midst of sectarian claims and counter-
claims Poor man becomes undecided. Not knowing
whether to turn this way or that, he wonders which
brand of religion offers the safest passage-way, until
Hope vanishes.

“Myself when young
did eagerly frequent
Doctor and Saint and heard
great argument
About it and about; but
Came out by the same door
where in I went.”

Always seeking but never finding – thus might be
described man’s struggle for Happiness and
Contentment. He tries one religion after another,
finally joining the “Big Church” which the world has
named the “Damned.” His mind becomes an eternal
question mark, searching hither and yon for an answer
to the questions – “Whence and Whither?”

“The worldly hope men set
their Hearts upon
Turns Ashes-or it prospers;
and anon,
Like Snow upon the Desert’s
Dusty Face
Lighting a little Hour or two
is gone.”

Life is an everlasting question-mark!

That which we want most is always in the
embryonic distance of the future. Our power to
acquire is always a decade or so behind our power to

And, if we catch up with the thing we want we no
longer want it!

Fortunate is the young woman who learns this
great truth and keeps her lover always guessing,
always on the defensive lest he may lose her.

Our favorite author is a hero and a genius until
we meet him in person and learn the sad truth that,
after all, he is only a man. “How often must we learn
this lesson? Men cease to interest us when we find
their limitations. The only sin is limitation. As soon
as you once come up with a man’s limitations, it is all
over with him. “-EMERSON.

How beautiful the mountain yonder in the
distance; but, the moment we draw near it we find it
to be nothing but a wretched collection of rocks and
dirt and trees.

Out of this truth grew the oft-repeated adage
“Familiarity breeds contempt.”

Beauty and Happiness and Contentment are states
of mind. They can never be enjoyed except through
vision of the afar. The most beautiful painting of
Rembrandt becomes a mere smudge of daubed paint if
we come too near it.

Destroy the Hope of unfinished dreams in man’s
heart and he is finished.

The moment a man ceases to cherish the vision of
future achievement he is through. Nature has built
man so that his greatest and only lasting Happiness is
that which he feels in the pursuit of some yet
unattained object. Anticipation is sweeter than
realization. That which is at hand does not satisfy.
The only enduring satisfaction is that which comes to
the Person who keeps alive in his heart the HOPE of
future achievement. When that hope dies write FINIS
across the human heart.

Life’s greatest inconsistency is the fact that most
of that which we believe is not true. Russel Conwell
wrote the most popular lecture ever delivered in the
English language. He called it “Acres of Diamonds.”
The central idea of the lecture was the statement that
one need not seek opportunity in the distance; that
opportunity may be found in the vicinity of one’s
birth. Perhaps! but, how many believe it?

Opportunity may be found wherever one really
looks for it, and nowhere else! To most men the
picking looks better on the other side of the fence.
How futile to urge one to try out one’s luck in the
little home-town when it is man’s nature to look for
opportunity in some other locality.

Do not worry because the grass looks sweeter on
the other side of the fence. Nature intended it so. Thus
does she allure us and groom us for the life-long task

THE highest compact we can make with our fellow is: Let there be truth between us two forevermore.