The best rose bush, after
all, is not that which has
the fewest thorns, but
that which bears the finest roses.
-Henry van Dyke
“You Can Do It if You Believe You Can!”
YOU are at the beginning of a course of
philosophy which, for the first time in the history of
the world, has been organized from the known factors
which have been used and must always be used by
Literary style has been completely subordinated
for the sake of stating the principles and laws
included in this course in such a manner that they may
be quickly and easily assimilated by people in every
walk of life.
Some of the principles described in the course are
familiar to all who will read the course. Others are
here stated for the first time. It should be kept in
mind, from the first lesson to the last, that the value
of the philosophy lies entirely in the thought stimuli it
will produce in the mind of the student, and not
merely in the lessons themselves.
Stated in another way, this course is intended as a
mind stimulant that will cause the student to organize
and direct to a DEFINITE end the forces of his or her
mind, thus harnessing the stupendous power which
most people waste in spasmodic, purposeless thought.
Singleness of purpose is essential for success, no
matter what may be one’s idea of the definition of
success. Yet singleness of purpose is a quality which
may, and generally does, call for thought on many
This author traveled a long distance to watch Jack
Dempsey train for an oncoming battle. It was observed
that he did not rely entirely upon one form of
exercise, but resorted to many forms. The punching
bag helped him develop one set of muscles, and also
trained his eye to be quick. The dumb-bells trained
still another set of muscles. Running developed the
muscles of his legs and hips. A well balanced food
ration supplied the materials needed for building
muscle without fat. Proper sleep, relaxation and rest
habits provided still other qualities which he must
have in order to win.
The student of this course is, or should be,
engaged in the business of training for success in the
battle of life. To win there are many factors which
must have attention. A well organized, alert and
energetic mind is produced by various and sundry
stimuli, all of which are plainly described in these
It should be remembered, however, that the mind
requires, for its development, a variety of exercise,
just as the physical body, to be properly developed,
calls for many forms of systematic exercise.
Horses are trained to certain gaits by trainers who
hurdle-jump them over handicaps which cause them to
develop the desired steps, through habit and
repetition. The human mind must be trained in a
similar manner, by a variety of thought-inspiring
You will observe, before you have gone very far
into this philosophy, that the reading of these lessons
will superinduce a flow of thoughts covering a wide
range of subjects. For this reason the student should
read the course with a note-book and pencil at hand,
and follow the practice of recording these thoughts or
“ideas” as they come into the mind.
By following this suggestion the student will
have a collection of ideas, by the time the course has
been read two or three times, sufficient to transform
his or her entire life-plan.
By following this practice it will be noticed, very
soon, that the mind has become like a magnet in that it
will attract useful ideas right out of the “thin air,” to
use the words of a noted scientist who has
experimented with this principle for a great number of
You will do yourself a great injustice if you
undertake this course with even a remote feeling that
you do not stand in need of more knowledge than you
now possess. In truth, no man knows enough about any
worth-while subject to entitle him to feel that he has
the last word on that subject.
In the long, hard task of trying to wipe out some
of my own ignorance and make way for some of the
useful truths of life, I have often seen, in my
imagination, the Great Marker who stands at the
gateway entrance of life and writes “Poor Fool” on the
brow of those who believe they are wise, and “Poor
Sinner” on the brow of those who believe they are
Which, translated into workaday language, means
that none of us know very much, and by the very
nature of our being can never know as much as we
need to know in order to live sanely and enjoy life
while we live.
Humility is a forerunner of success!
Until we become humble in our own hearts we are
not apt to profit greatly by the experiences and
thoughts of others.
Sounds like a preachment on morality? Well,
what if it does?
Even “preachments,” as dry and lacking in
interest as they generally are, may be beneficial if
they serve to reflect the shadow of our real selves so
we may get an approximate idea of our smallness and
Success in life is largely predicated upon our
The best place to study the man-animal is in your
own mind, by taking as accurate an inventory as
possible of YOURSELF. When you know yourself
thoroughly (if you ever do) you will also know much
To know others, not as they seem to be, but as
they really are, study them through:
1-The posture of the body, and the way they walk.
2-The tone of the voice, its quality, pitch, volume.
3-The eyes, whether shifty or direct.
4-The use of words, their trend, nature and quality.
Through these open windows you may literally “walk
right into a man’s soul” and take a look at the REAL
Going a step further, if you would know men
When in love
When money is involved
When eating (alone, and unobserved, as they believe)
When in trouble
When joyful and triumphant
When downcast and defeated
When facing catastrophe of a hazardous nature
When trying to make a “good impression” on others
When informed of another’s misfortune
When informed of another’s good fortune
When losing in any sort of a game of sport
When winning at sport
When alone, in a meditative mood.
Before you can know any man, as he really is,
you must observe him in all the foregoing moods, and
perhaps more, which is practically the equivalent of
saying that you have no right to judge others at sight.
Appearances count, there can be no doubt of that, but
appearances are often deceiving.
This course has been so designed that the student
who masters it may take inventory of himself and of
others by other than “snap-judgment” methods. The
student who masters this philosophy will be able to
look through the outer crust of personal adornment,
clothes, so-called culture and the like, and down deep
into the heart of all about him.
This is a very broad promise!
It would not have been made if the author of this
philosophy had not known, from years of
experimentation and analysis, that the promise can be
met. Some who have examined the manuscripts of this
NO person is “Educated
who has not at least a
with the Law of
Compensation, as it is
described by Emerson.
course have asked why it was not called a course in
Master Salesmanship. The answer is that the word
“salesmanship” is commonly, associated with the
marketing of goods or services, and it would,
therefore, narrow down and circumscribe the real
nature of the course. It is true that this is a course in
Master Salesmanship, providing one takes a deeper-
than-the-average view of the meaning of
This philosophy is intended to enable those who
master it to “sell” their way through life successfully,
with the minimum amount of resistance and friction.
Such a course, therefore, must help the student
organize and make use of much truth which is
overlooked by the majority of people who go through
life as mediocres.
Not all people are so constituted that they wish to
know the truth about all matters vitally affecting life.
One of the great surprises the author of this course
has met with, in connection with his research
activities, is that so few people are willing to hear the
truth when it shows up their own weaknesses.
We prefer illusions to realities!
New truths, if accepted at all, are taken with the
proverbial grain of salt. Some of us demand more than
a mere pinch of salt; we demand enough to pickle new
ideas so they become useless.
For these reasons the Introductory Lesson of this
course, and this lesson as well, cover subjects
intended to pave the way for new ideas so those ideas
will not be too severe a shock to the mind of the
The thought the author wishes to “get across” has
been quite plainly stated by the editor of the American
Magazine, in an editorial which appeared in a recent
issue, in the following words:
“On a recent rainy night, Carl Lomen, the
reindeer king of Alaska, told me a true story. It has
stuck in my crop ever since. And now I am going to
pass it along.
‘”A certain Greenland Eskimo,’ said Lomen, ‘was
taken on one of the American North Polar expeditions
a number of years ago. Later, as a reward for faithful
service, he was brought to New York City for a short
visit. At all the miracles of sight and sound he was
filled with a most amazed wonder. When he returned
to his native village he told stories of buildings that
rose into the very face of the sky; of street cars, which
he described as houses that moved along the trail,
with people living in them as they moved; of
mammoth bridges, artificial lights, and all the other
dazzling concomitants of the metropolis.
‘”His people looked at him coldly and walked
away. And forthwith throughout the whole village he
was dubbed “Sagdluk,” meaning “the Liar,” and this
name he carried in shame to his grave. Long before
his death his original name was entirely forgotten.
‘”When Knud Rasmussen made his trip from
Greenland to Alaska he was accompanied by a
Greenland Eskimo named Mitek (Eider Duck). Mitek
visited Copenhagen and New York, where he saw
many things for the first time and was greatly
impressed. Later, upon his return to Greenland, he
recalled the tragedy of Sagdluk, and decided that it
would not be wise to tell the truth. Instead, he would
narrate stories that his people could grasp, and thus
save his reputation.
‘”So he told them how he and Doctor Rasmussen
maintained a kayak on the banks of a great river, the
Hudson, and how, each morning, they paddled out for
their hunting. Ducks, geese and seals were to be had
a-plenty, and they enjoyed the visit immensely.
‘”Mitek, in the eyes of his countrymen, is a very
honest man. His neighbors treat him with rare respect.’
“The road of the truth-teller has always been
rocky. Socrates sipping the hemlock, Christ crucified,
Stephen stoned, Bruno burned at the stake, Galileo
terrified into retraction of his starry truths – forever
could one follow that bloodly trail through the pages
“Something in human nature makes us resent the
impact of new ideas.”
We hate to be disturbed in the beliefs and
prejudices that have been handed down with the
family furniture. At maturity too many of us go into
hibernation, and live off the fat of ancient fetishes. If
a new idea invades our, den we rise up snarling from
our winter sleep.
The Eskimos, at least, had some excuse. They
were unable to visualize the startling pictures drawn
by Sagdluk. Their simple lives had been too long
circumscribed by the brooding arctic night.
But there is no adequate reason why the average
man should ever close his mind to fresh “slants” on
life. He does, just the same. Nothing is more tragic –
or more common – than mental inertia. For every ten
men who are physically lazy there are ten thousand
with stagnant minds. And stagnant minds are the
breeding places of fear.
An old farmer up in Vermont always used to wind
up his prayers with this plea: “Oh, God, give me an
open mind!” If more people followed his example they
might escape being hamstrung by prejudices. And
what a pleasant place to live in the world would be.
Every person should make it his business to
gather new ideas from sources other than the
environment in which he daily lives and works.
The mind becomes withered, stagnant, narrow and
closed unless it searches for new ideas. The farmer
should come to the city quite often, and walk among
the strange faces and the tall buildings. He will go
back to his farm, his mind refreshed, with more
courage and greater enthusiasm.
– The city man should take a trip to the country
every so often and freshen his mind with sights new
and different from those associated with his daily
Everyone needs a change of mental environment
at regular periods, the same as a change and variety of
food are essential. The mind becomes more alert, more
elastic and more ready to work with speed and
accuracy after it has been bathed in new ideas, outside
of one’s own field of daily labor.
As a student of this course you will temporarily
lay aside the set of ideas with which you perform your
daily labors, and enter a field of entirely new (and in
some instances, heretofore unheard-of) ideas.
Splendid! You will come out, at the other end of
this course, with a new stock of ideas which will make
you more efficient, more enthusiastic and more
courageous, no matter in what sort of work you may be
Do not be afraid of new ideas! They may mean to
you the difference between success and failure.
Some of the ideas introduced in this course will
require no further explanation or proof of their
soundness because they are familiar to practically
everyone. Other ideas here introduced are new, and
for that very reason many students of this philosophy
may hesitate to accept them as sound.
Every principle described in this course has been
thoroughly tested by the author, and the majority of
the principles covered have been tested by scores of
scientists and others who were quite capable of
distinguishing between the merely theoretic and the
For these reasons all principles here covered are
known to be workable in the exact manner claimed for
them. However, no student of this course is asked to
accept any statement made in these lessons without
having first satisfied himself or herself, by tests,
experiments and analysis, that the statement is sound.
The major evil the student is requested to avoid is
that of forming opinions without definite FACTS as
the basis, which brings to mind Herbert Spencer’s
famous admonition, in these words
“There is a principle which is a bar against all
information; which is proof against all argument; and
which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting
ignorance. This principle is contempt prior to
It may be well to bear this principle in mind when
you come to study the Law of the Master Mind de
scribed in these lessons. This law embodies an
BY and Large, there is no
such thing as “Something
for Nothing.” In the long
run you get exactly that for
which you pay, whether
you are buying an
automobile or a loaf of
entirely new principle of mind operation, and, for this
reason alone, it will be difficult for many students to
accept it as sound until after they have experimented
When the fact is considered, however, that the
Law of the Master Mind is believed to be the real
basis of most of the achievements of those who are
considered geniuses, this Law takes on an aspect
which calls for more than “snap-judgment” opinions.
It is believed by many scientific men whose
opinions on the subject have been given the author of
this philosophy, that the Law of the Master Mind is
the basis of practically all of the more important
achievements resulting from group or co-operative
The late Dr. Alexander Graham Bell said he
believed the Law of the Master Mind, as it has been
described in this philosophy, was not only sound, but
that all the higher institutions of learning would soon
be teaching that Law as a part of their courses in
Charles P. Steinmetz said he had experimented
with the Law and had arrived at the same conclusion
as that stated in these lessons, long before he talked to
the author of the Law of Success philosophy about the
Luther Burbank and John Burroughs made similar
Edison was never interrogated on the subject, but
other statements of his indicate that he would endorse
the Law as being a possibility, if not in fact a reality.
Dr. Elmer Gates endorsed the Law, in a
conversation with this author more than fifteen years
ago. Dr. Gates is a scientist of the highest order,
ranking along with Steinmetz, Edison and Bell.
The author of this philosophy has talked to scores
of intelligent business men who, while they were not
scientists, admitted they believed in the soundness of
the Law of the Master Mind. It is hardly excusable,
therefore, for men of less ability to judge such
matters, to form opinions as to this Law, without
serious, systematic investigation.
Let me lay before you a brief outline of what this
lesson is and what it is intended to do for you!
Having prepared myself for the practice of law I
will offer this introduction as a “statement of my
case.” The evidence with which to back up my case
will be presented in the sixteen lessons of which the
course is composed.
The facts out of which this course has been
prepared have been gathered through more than
twenty-five years of business and professional
experience, and my only explanation of the rather free
use of the personal pronoun throughout the course is
that I am writing from first-hand experience.
Before this Reading Course on the Law of
Success was published the manuscripts were submitted
to two prominent universities with the request that
they be read by competent professors with the object
of eliminating or correcting any statements that
appeared to be unsound, from an economic viewpoint.
This request was complied with and the
manuscripts were carefully examined, with the result
that not a single change was made with the exception
of one or two slight changes in wording.
One of the professors who examined the manuscripts
expressed himself, in part, as follows: “It is a
tragedy that every boy and girl who enters high school
is not efficiently drilled on the fifteen major parts of
your Reading Course on the Law of Success. It is
regrettable that the great university with which I am
connected, and every other university, does not
include your course as a part of its curriculum.”
Inasmuch as this Reading Course is intended as a
map or blueprint that will guide you in the attainment
of that coveted goal called “Success,” may it not be
well here to define success?
Success is the development of the power with
which to get whatever one wants in life without
interfering with the rights of others.
I would lay particular stress upon the word
“power” because it is inseparably related to success.
We are living in a world and during an age of intense
competition, and the law of the survival of the fittest
is everywhere in evidence. Because of these facts all
who would enjoy enduring success must go about its
attainment through the use of power.
And what is power?
Power is organized energy or effort. This course
is properly called the Law of Success for the reason
that it teaches how one may organize facts and
knowledge and the faculties, of one’s mind into a unit
This course brings you a definite promise,
That through its mastery and application you can
get whatever you want, with but two qualifying words
– “within reason. ”
This qualification takes into consideration your
education, your wisdom or your lack of it, your
physical endurance, your temperament, and all of the
other qualities mentioned in the sixteen lessons of this
course as being the factors most essential in the
attainment of success.
Without a single exception those who have
attained unusual success have done so, either
consciously or unconsciously, through the aid of all or
a portion of the fifteen major factors of which this
course is compiled. If you doubt this statement, then
master these sixteen lessons so you can go about the
analysis with reasonable accuracy and analyze such
men as Carnegie, Rockefeller, Hill, Harriman, Ford
and others of this type who have accumulated great
fortunes of material wealth, and you will see that they
understood and applied the principle of organized
effort which runs, like a golden cord of indisputable
evidence, throughout this course.
Nearly twenty years ago I interviewed Mr.
Carnegie for the purpose of writing a story about him.
During the interview I asked him to what he attributed
his success. With a merry little twinkle in his eyes he
“Young man, before I answer your question will
you please define your term ‘success’?”
After waiting until he saw that I was somewhat
embarrassed by his request he continued: “By success
you have reference to my money, have you not?” I
assured him that money was the term by which most
people measured success, and he then said: “Oh, well –
if you wish to know how I got my money – // that is
what you call success – I will answer your question by
saying that we have a master mind here in our
business, and that mind is made up of more than a
score of men who constitute my personal staff of
superintendents and managers and accountants and
chemists and other necessary types. No one person in
this group is the master mind of which I speak, but the
sum total of the minds in the group, co-ordinated,
organized and directed to a definite end in a spirit of
harmonious co-operation is the power that got my
money for me. No two minds in the group are exactly
alike, but each man in the group does the thing that he
is supposed to do and he does it better than any other
person in the world could do it.”
Then and there the seed out of which this course
has been developed was sown in my mind, but that
seed did not take root or germinate until later. This
interview marked the beginning of years of research
which led, finally, to the discovery of the principle of
psychology described in the Introductory Lesson as
the “Master Mind.”
I heard all that Mr. Carnegie said, but it took the
knowledge gained from many years of subsequent
contact with the business world to enable me to
assimilate that which he said and clearly grasp and
understand the principle back of it, which was nothing
more nor less than the principle of organized effort
upon which this course on the Law of Success is
Carnegie’s group of men constituted a “Master
Mind” and that mind was so well organized, so well
co-ordinated, so powerful, that it could have
accumulated millions of dollars for Mr. Carnegie in
practically any sort of endeavor of a commercial or
industrial nature. The steel business in which that
mind was engaged was but an incident in connection
with the accumulation of the Carnegie wealth. The
same wealth could have been accumulated had the
IF you can run a losing race without blaming your loss on someone else, you have bright prospects of success further down the road in life.
“Master Mind” been directed in the coal business or
the banking business or the grocery business, for the
reason that back of the mind was power – that sort of
power which you may have when you shall have
organized the faculties of your own mind and allied
yourself with other well organized minds for the
attainment of a definite chief aim in life.
A careful check-up with several of Mr. Carnegie’s
former business associates, which was made after this
course was begun, proves conclusively not only that
there is such a law as that which has been called the
“Master Mind,” but that this law was the chief source
of Mr. Carnegie’s success.
Perhaps no man was ever associated with Mr.
Carnegie who knew him better than did Mr. C. M.
Schwab. In the following words Mr. Schwab has very
accurately described that “subtle something” in Mr.
Carnegie’s personality which enabled him to rise to
such stupendous heights.
“I never knew a man with so much imagination,
lively intelligence and instinctive comprehension. You
sensed that he probed your thoughts and took stock of
everything that you had ever done or might do. He
seemed to catch at your next word before it was
spoken. The play of his mind was dazzling and his
habit of close observation gave him a store of
knowledge about innumerable matters.
“But his outstanding quality, from so rich an
endowment, was the power of inspiring other men.
Confidence radiated from him. You might be doubtful
about something and discuss the matter with Mr.
Carnegie. In a flash he would make you see that it was
right and then absolutely believe it; or he might settle
your doubts by pointing out its weakness. This quality
of attracting others, then spurring them on, arose from
his own strength.
“The results of his leadership were remarkable.
Never before inn history of industry, I imagine, was
there a man who, without understanding his business
in its working details, making no pretense of technical
knowledge concerning steel or engineering, was yet
able to build up such an enterprise.
“Mr. Carnegie’s ability to inspire men rested on
something deeper than any faculty of judgment.”
In the last sentence Mr. Schwab has conveyed a
thought which corroborates the theory of the “Master
Mind” to which the author of this course has
attributed the chief source of Mr. Carnegie’s power.
Mr. Schwab has also confirmed the statement that
Mr. Carnegie could have succeeded as well in any
other business as he did in the steel business. It is
obvious that his success was due to his understanding
of his own mind and the minds of other men, and not
to mere knowledge of the steel business itself.
This thought is most consoling to those who have
not yet attained outstanding success, for it shows that
success is solely a matter of correctly applying laws
and principles which are available to all; and these
laws, let us not forget, are fully described in the
Sixteen Lessons of this course.
Mr. Carnegie learned how to apply the law of the
“Master Mind.” This enabled him to organize the
faculties of his own mind and the faculties of other
men’s minds, and co-ordinate the whole behind a
DEFINITE CHIEF AIM.
Every strategist, whether in business or war or
industry or other callings, understands the value of
organized, co-ordinated effort. Every military
strategist understands the value of sowing seeds of
dissension in the ranks of the opposing forces,
because this breaks up the power of co-ordination
back of the opposition. During the late world war
much was heard about the effects of propaganda, and
it seems not an exaggeration to say that the
disorganizing forces of propaganda were much more
destructive than were all the guns and explosives used
in the war.
One of the most important turning-points of the
world war came when the allied armies were placed
under the direction of the French General, Foch. There
are well informed military men who claim that this
was the move which spelled doom for the opposing
Any modern railroad bridge is an excellent
example of the value of organized effort, because it
demonstrates quite simply and clearly how thousands
of tons of weight may be borne by a comparatively
small group of steel bars and beams so arranged that
the weight is spread over the entire group.
There was a man who had seven sons who were
always quarreling among themselves. One day he
called them together and informed them that he wished
to demonstrate just what their lack of co-operative
effort meant. He had prepared a bundle of seven sticks
which he had carefully tied together. One by one he
asked his sons to take the bundle and break it. Each
son tried, but in vain. Then he cut the strings and
handed one of the sticks to each of his sons and asked
him to break it over his knee. After the sticks had all
been broken, with ease, he said:
“When you boys work together in a spirit of
harmony you resemble the bundle of sticks, and no
one can defeat you; but when you quarrel among
yourselves anyone can defeat you one at a time.”
There is a worth-while lesson in this story of the
man and his seven quarrelsome sons, and it may be
applied to the people of a community, the employees
and employers in a given place of employment, or to
the state and nation in which we live.
Organized effort may be made a power, but it may
also be a dangerous power unless guided with
intelligence, which is the chief reason why the
sixteenth lesson of this course is devoted largely to
describing how to direct the power of organized effort
so that it will lead to success; that sort of success
which is founded upon truth and justice and fairness
that lead to ultimate happiness.
One of the outstanding tragedies of this age of
struggle and money-madness is the fact that so few
people are engaged in the effort which they like best.
One of the objects of this course is to help each
student find his or her particular niche in the world’s
work, where both material prosperity and happiness in
abundance may be found. For this purpose a Character
Analysis Chart accompanies the sixteenth lesson. This
chart is designed to help the student take inventory of
himself and find out what latent ability and hidden
forces lie sleeping within him.
This entire course is intended as a stimulus with
which to enable you to see yourself and your hidden
forces as they are, and to awaken in you the ambition
and the vision and the determination to cause you to
go forth and claim that which is rightfully yours.
Less than thirty years ago a man was working in
the same shop with Henry Ford, doing practically the
same sort of work that he was doing. It has been said
that this man was really a more competent workman,
in that particular sort of work, than Ford. Today this
man is still engaged in the same sort of work, at
wages of less than a hundred dollars a week, while
Mr. Ford is the world’s richest man.
What outstanding difference is there between
these two men which has so widely separated them in
terms of material wealth? Just this – Ford understood
and applied the principle of organized effort while the
other man did not.
In the little city of Shelby, Ohio, as these lines
are being written, for the first time in the history of
the world this principle of organized effort is being
applied for the purpose of bringing about a closer
alliance between the churches and the business houses
of a community.
The clergymen and business men have formed an
alliance, with the result that practically every church
in the city is squarely back of every business man, and
every business man is squarely back of every church.
The effect has been the strengthening of the churches
and the business houses to such an extent that it has
been said that it would be practically impossible for
any individual member of either class to fail in his
calling. The others who belong to the alliance will
permit no such failures.
Here is an example of what may happen when
groups of men form an alliance for the purpose of
placing the combined power of the group back of each
individual unit. The alliance has brought both material
A GOOD Encyclopaedia contains most of the known facts of the world, but they are as useless as Sand Dunes until organized and expressed in terras of action.
and moral advantages to the city of Shelby such as are
enjoyed by but few other cities of its size in America.
The plan has worked so effectively and so
satisfactorily that a movement is now under way to
extend it into other cities throughout America.
That you may gain a still more concrete vision of
just how this principle of organized effort can be
made powerful, stop for a moment and allow your
imagination to draw a picture of what would likely be
the result if every church and every newspaper and
every Rotary Club and every Kiwanis Club and every
Advertising Club and every Woman’s Club and every
other civic organization of a similar nature, in your
city, or in any other city in the United States, should
form an alliance for the purpose of pooling their
power and using it for the benefit of all members of
The results which might easily be attained by
such an alliance stagger the imagination I
There are three outstanding powers in the world
of organized effort. They are: The churches, the
schools and the newspapers. Think what might easily
happen if these three great powers and molders of
public opinion should ally themselves together for the
purpose of bringing about any needed change in
human conduct. They could, in a single generation, so
modify the present standard of business ethics, for
example, that it would practically be business suicide
for anyone to try to transact business under any
standard except that of the Golden Rule. Such an
alliance could be made to produce sufficient influence
to change, in a single generation, the business, social
and moral tendencies of the entire civilized world.
Such an alliance would have sufficient power to force
upon the minds of the oncoming generations any
Power is organized effort, as has already been
stated! Success is based upon power!
That you may have a clear conception of what is
meant by the term “organized effort” I have made use
of the foregoing illustrations, and for the sake of
further emphasis I am going to repeat the statement
that the accumulation of great wealth and the
attainment of any high station in life such as
constitute what we ordinarily call success, are based
upon the vision to comprehend and the ability to
assimilate and apply the major principles of the
sixteen lessons of this course.
This course is in complete harmony with the
principles of economics and the principles of Applied
Psychology. You will observe that those lessons,
which depend, for their practical application, upon
knowledge of psychology, have been supplemented
with sufficient explanation of the psychological
principles involved to render the lessons easily
Before the manuscripts for this course went to the
publisher they were submitted to some of the foremost
bankers and business men of America, that they might
be examined, analyzed and criticized by the most
practical type of mind. One of the best known bankers
in New York City returned the manuscripts with the
“I hold a master’s degree from Yale, but I would
willingly exchange all that this degree has brought me
in return for what your course on the Law of Success
would have brought me had I been afforded the privilege
of making it a part of my training while I was
studying at Yale.
“My wife and daughter have also read the
manuscripts, and my wife has named your course the
master key-board of life’ because she believes that all
who understand how to apply it may play a perfect
symphony in their respective callings, just as a pianist
may play any tune when once the key-board of the
piano and the fundamentals of music have been
No two people on earth are exactly alike, and for
this reason no two people would be expected to attain
from this course the same viewpoint. Each student
should read the course, understand it and then
appropriate from its contents whatever he or she needs
to develop a well rounded personality.
Before this appropriation can be properly made it
will be necessary for the student to analyze himself,
through the use of the questionnaire that comes with
the sixteenth lesson of the course, for the purpose of
finding out what his deficiencies may be. This
questionnaire should not be filled out until the student
thoroughly masters the contents of the entire course,
for he will then be in position to answer the questions
with more accuracy and understanding of himself.
Through the aid of this questionnaire an experienced
character analyst can take inventory of one’s faculties
as easily and as accurately as a merchant can
inventory the goods on his shelves.
This course has been compiled for the purpose of
helping the student find out what are his or her natural
talents, and for the purpose of helping organize,
coordinate and put into use the knowledge gained from
experience. For more than twenty years I have been
gathering, classifying and organizing the material that
has gone into the course. During the past fourteen
years I have analyzed more than 16,000 men and
women, and all of the vital facts gathered from these
analyses have been carefully organized and woven
into this course. These analyses brought out many
interesting facts which have helped to make this
course practical and usable. For example, it was
discovered that ninety-five per cent of all who were
analyzed were failures, and but five per cent were
successes. (By the term “failure” is meant that they
had failed to find happiness and the ordinary
necessities of life without struggle that was almost
unbearable.) Perhaps this is about the proportion of
successes and failures that might be found if all the
people of the world were accurately analyzed. The
struggle for a mere existence is terrific among people
who have not learned how to organize and direct their
natural talents, while the attainment of those
necessities, as well as the acquiring of many of the
luxuries, is comparatively simple among those who
have mastered the principle of organized effort.
One of the most startling facts brought to light by
those 16,000 analyses was the discovery that the
ninety-five per cent who were classed as failures were
in that class because they had no definite chief aim in
life, while the five per cent constituting the successful
ones not only had purposes that were definite, but they
had, also, definite plans for the attainment of their
Another important fact disclosed by these
analyses was that the ninety-five per cent constituting
the failures were engaged in work which they did not
like, while the five per cent constituting the
successful ones were doing that which they liked best.
It is doubtful whether a person could be a failure
while engaged in work which he liked best. Another
vital fact learned from the analyses was that all of the
five per cent who were succeeding had formed the
habit of systematic saving of money, while the ninety-
five per cent who were failures saved nothing. This is
worthy of serious thought.
One of the chief objects of this course is to aid
the student in performing his or her chosen work in
such a manner that it will yield the greatest returns in
both money and happiness.
NO POSITION IN LIFE CAN BE SECURE, AND NO ACHIEVEMENT CAN BE PERMANENT UNLESS BUILT UPON TRUTH AND JUSTICE.
A Definite Chief Aim
The key-note of this entire lesson may be found
in the word “definite.”
It is most appalling to know that ninety-five per
cent of the people of the world are drifting aimlessly
through life, without the slightest conception of the
work for which they are best fitted, and with no
conception whatsoever of even the need of such a
thing as a definite objective toward which to strive.
There is a psychological as well as an economic
reason for the selection of a definite chief aim in life.
Let us devote our attention to the psychological side
of the question first. It is a well established principle
of psychology that a person’s acts are always in
harmony with the dominating thoughts of his or her
Any definite chief aim that is deliberately fixed in
the mind and held there, with the determination to
realize it, finally saturates the entire subconscious
mind until it automatically influences the physical
action of the body toward the attainment of that
Your definite chief aim in life should be selected
with deliberate care, and after it has been selected it
should be written out and placed where you will see it
at least once a day, the psychological effect of which
is to impress this purpose upon your subconscious
mind so strongly that it accepts that purpose as a
pattern or blueprint that will eventually dominate your
activities in life and lead you, step by step, toward the
attainment of the object back of that purpose.
The principle of psychology through which you
can impress your definite chief aim upon your
subconscious mind is called Auto-suggestion, or
suggestion which you repeatedly make to yourself. It
is a degree of self-hypnotism, but do not be afraid of
it on that account, for it was this same principle
through the aid of which Napoleon lifted himself from
the lowly station of poverty-stricken Corsican to the
dictatorship of France. It was through the aid of this
same principle that Thomas A. Edison has risen from
the lowly beginning of a news butcher to where he is
accepted as the leading inventor of the world. It was
through the aid of this same principle that Lincoln
bridged the mighty chasm between his lowly birth, in
a log cabin in the mountains of Kentucky, and the
presidency of the greatest nation on earth. It was
through the aid of this same principle that Theodore
Roosevelt became one of the most aggressive leaders
that ever reached the presidency of the United States.
You need have no fear of the principle of
Autosuggestion as long as you are sure that the
objective for which you are striving is one that will
bring you happiness of an enduring nature. Be sure
that your definite purpose is constructive; that its
attainment will bring hardship and misery to no one;
that it will bring you peace and prosperity, then apply,
to the limit of your understanding, the principle of
self-suggestion for the speedy attainment of this
On the street corner, just opposite the room in
which I am writing, I see a man who stands there all
day long and sells peanuts. He is busy every minute.
When not actually engaged in making a sale he is
roasting and packing the peanuts in little bags. He is
one of that great army constituting the ninety-five per
cent who have no definite purpose in life. He is
selling peanuts, not because he likes that work better
than anything else he might do, but because he never
sat down and thought out a definite purpose that
would bring him greater returns for his labor. He is
selling peanuts because he is a drifter on the sea of
life, and one of the tragedies of his work is the fact
that the same amount of effort that he puts into it, if
directed along other lines, would bring him much
Another one of the tragedies of this man’s work is
the fact that he is unconsciously making use of the
principle of self-suggestion, but he is doing it to his
own disadvantage. No doubt, if a picture could be
made of his thoughts, there would be nothing in that
picture except a peanut roaster, some little paper bags
and a crowd of people buying peanuts. This man could
get out of the peanut business if he had the vision and
the ambition first to imagine himself in a more
profitable calling, and the perseverance to hold that
picture before his mind until it influenced him to take
the necessary steps to enter a more profitable calling.
He puts sufficient labor into his work to bring him a
substantial return if that labor were directed toward
the attainment of a definite purpose that offered
One of my closest personal friends is one of the
best known writers and public speakers of this
country. About ten years ago he caught sight of the
possibilities of this principle of self-suggestion and
began, immediately, to harness it and put it to work.
He worked out a plan for its application that proved to
be very effective. At that time he was neither a writer
nor a speaker.
Each night, just before going to sleep, he would
shut his eyes and see, in his imagination, a long
council table at which he placed (in his imagination)
certain well known men whose characteristics he
wished to absorb into his own personality. At the end
of the table he placed Lincoln, and on either side of
the table he placed Napoleon, Washington, Emerson
and Elbert Hubbard. He then proceeded to talk to
these imaginary figures that he had seated at his
imaginary council table, something after this manner:
Mr. Lincoln: I desire to build in my own
character those qualities of patience and fairness
toward all mankind and the keen sense of humor which
were your outstanding characteristics. I need these
qualities and I shall not be contented until I have
Mr. Washington: I desire to build in my own
character those qualities of patriotism and self-
sacrifice and leadership which were your outstanding
Mr. Emerson: I desire to build in my own
character those qualities of vision and the ability to
interpret the laws of Nature as written in the rocks of
prison walls and growing trees and flowing brooks and
growing flowers and the faces of little children, which
were your outstanding characteristics.
Napoleon: I desire to build in my own character
those qualities of self-reliance and the strategic
ability to master obstacles and profit by mistakes and
develop strength out of defeat, which were your
Mr. Hubbard: I desire to develop the ability to
equal and even to excel the ability that you possessed
with which to express yourself in clear, concise and
Night after night, for many months, this man saw
these men seated around that imaginary council table
until finally he had imprinted their outstanding
characteristics upon his own subconscious mind so
clearly that he began to develop a personality which
was a composite of their personalities.
The subconscious mind may be likened to a
magnet, and when it has been vitalized and thoroughly
saturated with any definite purpose it has a decided
tendency to attract all that is necessary for the
fulfillment of that purpose. Like attracts like, and you
may see evidence of this law in every blade of grass
and every growing tree. The acorn attracts from the
soil and the air the necessary materials out of which
to grow an oak tree. It never grows a tree that is part
oak and part poplar. Every grain of wheat that is
planted in the soil attracts the materials out of which
to grow a stalk of wheat.
It never makes a mistake and grows both oats and
wheat on the same stalk.
And men are subject, also, to this same Law of
Attraction. Go into any cheap boarding house district
in any city and there you will find people of the same
general trend of mind associated together. On the
other hand, go into any prosperous community and
there you will find people of the same general
tendencies associated together. Men who are
successful always seek the company of others who are
successful, while men who are on the ragged side of
DO NOT “TELL” THE WORLD WHAT YOU CAN DO “SHOW” IT!
life always seek the company of those who are in
similar circumstances. “Misery loves company.”
Water seeks its level with no finer certainty than
man seeks the company of those who occupy his own
general status financially and mentally. A professor of
Yale University and an illiterate hobo have nothing in
common. They would be miserable if thrown together
for any great length of time. Oil and water will mix as
readily as will men who have nothing in common.
All of which leads up to this statement:
That you will attract to you people who
harmonize with your own philosophy of life, whether
you wish it or not. This being true, can you not see
the importance of vitalizing your mind with a definite
chief aim that will attract to you people who will be of
help to you and not a hindrance? Suppose your
definite chief aim is far above your present station in
life. What of it? It is your privilege – nay, your
DUTY, to aim high in life. You owe it to yourself and
to the community in which you live to set a high
standard for yourself.
There is much evidence to justify the belief that
nothing within reason is beyond the possibility of
attainment by the man whose definite chief aim has
been well developed. Some years ago Louis Victor
Eytinge was given a life sentence in the Arizona
penitentiary. At the time of his imprisonment he was
an all-around “bad man,” according to his own
admissions. In addition to this it was believed that he
would die of tuberculosis within a year.
Eytinge had reason to feel discouraged, if anyone
ever had. Public feeling against him was intense and
he did not have a single friend in the world who came
forth and offered him encouragement or help. Then
something happened in his own mind that gave him
back his health, put the dreaded “white plague” to rout
and finally unlocked the prison gates and gave him his
What was that “something”?
Just this: He made up his mind to whip the white
plague and regain his health. That was a very definite
chief aim. In less than a year from the time the
decision was made he had won. Then he extended that
definite chief aim by making up his mind to gain his
freedom. Soon the prison walls melted from around
No undesirable environment is strong enough to
hold the man or woman who understands how to apply
the principle of Auto-suggestion in the creation of a
definite chief aim. Such a person can throw off the
shackles of poverty; destroy the most deadly disease
germs; rise from a lowly station in life to power and
All great leaders base their leadership upon a
definite chief aim. Followers are willing followers
when they know that their leader is a person with a
definite chief aim who has the courage to back up that
purpose with action. Even a balky horse knows when a
driver with a definite chief aim takes hold of the reins;
and yields to that driver. When a man with a definite
chief aim starts through a crowd everybody stands
aside and makes a way for him, but let a man hesitate
and show by his actions that he is not sure which way
he wants to go and the crowd will step all over his
toes and refuse to budge an inch out of his way.
Nowhere is the lack of a definite chief aim more
noticeable or more detrimental than it is in the
relationship between parent and child. Children sense
very quickly the wavering attitude of their parents and
take advantage of that attitude quite freely. It is the
same all through life – men with a definite chief aim
command respect and attention at all times.
So much for the psychological viewpoint of a
definite purpose. Let us now turn to the economic side
of the question.
If a steamship lost its rudder, in mid-ocean, and
began circling around, it would soon exhaust its fuel
supply without reaching shore, despite the fact that it
would use up enough energy to carry it to shore and
back several times.
The man who labors without a definite purpose
that is backed up by a definite plan for its attainment,
resembles the ship that has lost its rudder. Hard labor
and good intentions are not sufficient to carry a man
through to success, for how may a man be sure that he
has attained success unless he has established in his
mind some definite object that he wishes?
Every well built house started in the form of a
definite purpose plus a definite plan in the nature of a
set of blueprints. Imagine what would happen if one
tried to build a house by the haphazard method,
without plans. Workmen would be in each other’s way,
building material would be piled all over the lot
before the foundation was completed, and everybody
on the job would have a different notion as to how the
house ought to be built. Result, chaos and
misunderstandings and cost that would be prohibitive.
Yet had you ever stopped to think that most
people finish school, take up employment or enter a
trade or profession without the slightest conception of
anything that even remotely resembles a definite
purpose or a definite plan? In view of the fact that
science has provided reasonably accurate ways and
means of analyzing character and determining the life-
work for which people are best fitted, does it not seem
a modern tragedy that ninety-five per cent of the adult
population of the world is made up of men and women
who are failures because they have not found their
proper niches in the world’s work?
If success depends upon power, and if power is
organized effort, and if the first step in the direction
of organization is a definite purpose, then one may
easily see why such a purpose is essential.
Until a man selects a definite purpose in life he
dissipates his energies and spreads his thoughts over
so many subjects and in so many different directions
that they lead not to power, but to indecision and
With the aid of a small reading glass you can
teach yourself a great lesson on the value of organized
effort. Through the use of such a glass you can focus
the sun-rays on a definite spot so strongly that they
will bum a hole through a plank. Remove the glass
(which represents the definite purpose) and the same
rays of sun may shine on that same plank for a million
years without burning it.
A thousand electric dry batteries, when properly
organized and connected together with wires, will
produce enough power to run a good sized piece of
machinery for several hours, but take those same cells
singly, disconnected, and not one of them would exert
enough energy to turn the machinery over once. The
faculties of your mind might properly be likened to
those dry cells. When you organize your faculties,
according to the plan laid down in the sixteen lessons
of this Reading Course on the Law of Success, and
direct them toward the attainment of a definite
purpose in life, you then take advantage of the co-
operative or accumulative principle out of which
power is developed, which is called Organized Effort.
Andrew Carnegie’s advice was this: “Place all
your eggs in one basket and then watch the basket to
see that no one kicks it over.” By that advice he
meant, of course, that we should not dissipate any of
our energies by engaging in side lines. Carnegie was a
sound economist and he knew that most men would do
well if they so harnessed and directed their energies
that some one thing would be done well.
When the plan back of this Reading Course was
first born I remember taking the first manuscript to a
professor of the University of Texas, and in a spirit of
enthusiasm I suggested to him that I had discovered a
principle that would be of aid to me in every public
speech I delivered thereafter, because I would be
better prepared to organize and marshal my thoughts.
He looked at the outline of the fifteen points for a
few minutes, then turned to me and said:
“Yes, your discovery is going to help you make
better speeches, but that is not all it will do. It will
help you become a more effective writer, for I have
noticed in your previous writings a tendency to scatter
your thoughts. For instance, if you started to describe
a beautiful mountain yonder in the distance you would
be apt to sidetrack your description by calling
THE BEST COMPENSATION FOR DOING THINGS IS THE ABILITY TO DO MORE.
attention to a beautiful bed of wild flowers, or a
running brook, or a singing bird, detouring here and
there, zigzag fashion, before finally arriving at the
proper point from which to view the mountain. In the
future you are going to find it much less difficult to
describe an object, whether you are speaking or
writing, because your fifteen points represent the very
foundation of organization.”
A man who had no legs once met a man who was
blind. To prove conclusively that the lame man was a
man of vision he proposed to the blind man that they
form an alliance that would be of great benefit to
both. “You let me climb upon your back,” said he to
the blind man, “then I will use your legs and you may
use my eyes. Between the two of us we will get along
Out of allied effort comes greater power. This is
a point that is worthy of much repetition, because it
forms one of the most important parts of the
foundation of this Reading Course. The great fortunes
of the world have been accumulated through the use of
this principle of allied effort. That which one man can
accomplish single handed, during an entire life-time,
is but meagre at best, no matter how well organized
that man may be, but that which one man may
accomplish through the principle of alliance with
other men is practically without limitation.
That “master mind” to which Carnegie referred
during MY interview with him was made up of more
than a score of minds. In that group were men of
practically every temperament and inclination. Each
man was there to play a certain part and he did
nothing else. There was perfect understanding and
teamwork between these men. It was Carnegie’s
business to keep harmony among them.
And he did it wonderfully well.
If you are familiar with the game of football you
know, of course, that the winning team is the one that
best co-ordinates the efforts of its players. Team-work
is the thing that wins. It is the same in the great game
In your struggle for success you should keep
constantly in mind the necessity of knowing what it is
that you want-of knowing precisely what is your
definite purpose – and the value of the principle of
organized effort in the attainment of that which
constitutes your definite purpose.
In a vague sort of way nearly everyone has a
definite purpose – namely, the desire for money! But
this is not a definite purpose within the meaning of
the term as it is used in this lesson. Before your
purpose could be considered definite, even though that
purpose were the accumulation of money, you would
have to reach a decision as to the precise method
through which you intend to accumulate that money. It
would be insufficient for you to say that you would
make money by going into some sort of business. You
would have to decide just what line of business. You
would also have to decide just where you would
locate. You would also have to decide the business
policies under which you would conduct your
In answering the question, “What Is Your
Definite Purpose In Life,” that appears in the
questionnaire; which I have used for the analysis of
more than 16,000 people, many answered about as
“My definite purpose in life is to be of as much
service to the world as possible and earn a good
That answer is about as definite as a frog’s
conception of the size of the universe is accurate!
The object of this lesson is not to inform you as
to what your life-work should be, for indeed this
could be done with accuracy only after you had been
completely analyzed, but it is intended as a means of
impressing upon your mind a clear conception of the
value of a definite purpose of some nature, and of the
value of understanding the principle of organized
effort as a means of attaining the necessary power
with which to materialize your definite purpose.
Careful observation of the business philosophy of
more than one hundred men and women who have
attained outstanding success in their respective
callings, disclosed the fact that each was a person of
prompt and definite decision.
The habit of working with a definite chief aim
will breed in you the habit of prompt decision, and
this habit will come to your aid in all that you do.
Moreover, the habit of working with a definite
chief aim will help you to concentrate all your
attention on any given task until you have mastered it.
Concentration of effort and the habit of working
with a definite chief aim are two of the essential
factors in success which are always found together.
One leads to the other.
The best known successful business men were all
men of prompt decision who worked always with one
main, outstanding purpose as their chief aim.
Some notable examples are as follows:
Woolworth chose, as his definite chief aim, the
belting of America with a chain of Five and Ten Cent
Stores, and concentrated his mind upon this one task
until he “made it and it made him.”
Wrigley concentrated his mind on the production
and sale of a five-cent package of chewing gum and
turned this one idea into millions of dollars.
Edison concentrated upon the work of
harmonizing natural laws and made his efforts uncover
more useful inventions than any other man who ever
Henry L. Doherty concentrated upon the building
and operation of public utility plants and made
himself a multimillionaire.
Ingersoll concentrated on a dollar watch and
girdled the earth with “tickers” and made this one idea
yield him a fortune.
Statler concentrated on “homelike hotel-service”
and made himself wealthy as well as useful to millions
of people who use his service.
Edwin C. Barnes concentrated on the sale of
Edison Dictating Machines, and retired, while still a
young man, with more money than he needs.
Woodrow Wilson concentrated his mind on the
White House for twenty-five years, and became its
chief tenant, thanks to his knowledge of the value of
sticking to a definite chief aim.
Lincoln concentrated his mind on freeing the
slaves and became our greatest American President
while doing it.
Martin W. Littleton heard a speech which filled
him with the desire to become a great lawyer,
concentrated his mind on that one aim, and is now
said to be the most successful lawyer in America,
whose fees for a single case seldom fall below
Rockefeller concentrated on oil and became the
richest man of his generation.
Ford concentrated on “flivvers” and made himself
the richest and most powerful man who ever lived.
Carnegie concentrated on steel and made his
efforts build a great fortune and plastered his name on
public libraries throughout America.
Gillette concentrated on a safety razor, gave the
entire world a “close shave” and made himself a
George Eastman concentrated on the kodak and
made the idea yield him a fortune while bringing much
pleasure to millions of people.
Russell Conwell concentrated on one simple
lecture, “Acres of Diamonds,” and made the idea yield
more than $6,000,000.
Hearst concentrated on sensational newspapers
and made the idea worth millions of dollars.
Helen Keller concentrated on learning to speak,
and, despite the fact that she was deaf, dumb and
blind, realized her definite chief aim.
John H. Patterson concentrated on cash registers
and made himself rich and others “careful.”
The late Kaiser of Germany concentrated on war
and got a big dose of it, let us not forget the fact!
Fleischmann concentrated on the humble little
cake of yeast and made things hump themselves all
over .the world.
Marshall Field concentrated on the world’s
greatest retail store and lo! it rose before him, a
Philip Armour concentrated on the butchering
business and established a great industry, as well as a
ANYONE CAN “START,” BUT ONLY THE THOROUGHBRED WILL “FINISH!”
Millions of people are concentrating, daily, on
POVERTY and FAILURE and getting both in
Wright Brothers concentrated on the airplane and
mastered the air.
Pullman concentrated on the sleeping car and the
idea made him rich and millions of people comfortable
The Anti-Saloon League concentrated on the
Prohibition Amendment and (whether for better or
worse) made it a reality.
Thus it will be seen that all who succeed work
with some definite, outstanding aim as the object of
There is some one thing that you can do better
than anyone else in the world could do it. Search until
you find out what this particular line of endeavor is,
make it the object of your definite chief aim and then
organize all of your forces and attack it with the
belief that you are going to win. In your search for the
work for which you are best fitted, it will be well if
you bear in mind the fact that you will most likely
attain the greatest success by finding out what work
you like best, for it is a well known fact that a man
generally best succeeds in the particular line of
endeavor into which he can throw his whole heart and
Let us go back, for the sake of clarity and
emphasis, to the psychological principles upon which
this lesson is founded, because it will mean a loss that
you can ill afford if you fail to grasp the real reason
for establishing a definite chief aim in your mind.
These principles are as follows:
First: Every voluntary movement of the human
body is caused, controlled and directed by thought,
through the operation of the mind.
Second: The presence of any thought or idea in
your consciousness tends to produce an associated
feeling and to urge you to transform that feeling into
appropriate muscular action that is in perfect harmony
with the nature of the thought.
For example, if you think of winking your eyelid
and there are no counter influences or thoughts in
your mind at the time to arrest action, the motor nerve
will carry your thought from the seat of government,
in your brain, and appropriate or corresponding
muscular action takes place immediately.
Stating this principle from another angle: You
choose, for example, a definite purpose as your
lifework and make up your mind that you will carry
out that purpose. From the very moment that you make
this choice, this purpose becomes the dominating
thought in your consciousness, and you are constantly
on the alert for facts, information and knowledge with
which to achieve that purpose. From the time that you
plant a definite purpose in your mind, your mind
begins, both consciously and unconsciously, to gather
and store away the material with which you are to
accomplish that purpose.
Desire is the factor which determines what your
definite purpose in life shall be. No one can select
your dominating desire for you, but once you select it
yourself it becomes your definite chief aim and
occupies the spotlight of your mind until it is satisfied
by transformation into reality, unless you permit it to
be pushed aside by conflicting desires.
To emphasize the principle that I am here trying
to make clear, I believe it not unreasonable to suggest
that to be sure of successful achievement, one’s
definite chief aim in life should be backed up with a
burning desire for its achievement. I have noticed that
boys and girls who enter college and pay their way
through by working seem to get more out of their
schooling than do those whose expenses are paid for
them. The secret of this may be found in the fact that
those who are willing to work their way through are
blessed with a burning desire for education, and such
a desire, if the object of the desire is within reason, is
practically sure of realization.
Science has established, beyond the slightest
room for doubt, that through the principle of Auto-
suggestion any deeply rooted desire saturates the
entire body and mind with the nature of the desire and
literally transforms the mind into a powerful magnet
that will attract the object of the desire, if it be within
reason. For the enlightenment of those who might not
properly interpret the meaning of this statement I will
endeavor to state this principle in another way. For
example, merely desiring an automobile will not cause
that automobile to come rolling in, but, if there is a
burning desire for an automobile, that desire will lead
to the appropriate action through which an automobile
may be paid for.
Merely desiring freedom would never release a
man who was confined in prison if it were not
sufficiently strong to cause him to do something to
entitle himself to freedom.
These are the steps leading from desire to
fulfillment: First the burning desire, then the crystal-
lization of that desire into a definite purpose, then
sufficient appropriate action to achieve that purpose.
Remember that these three steps are always necessary
to insure success.
I once knew a very poor girl who had a burning
desire for a wealthy husband, and she finally got him,
but not without having transformed that desire into the
development of a very attractive personality which, in
turn, attracted the desired husband.
I once had a burning desire to be able to analyze
character accurately and that desire was so persistent
and so deeply seated that it practically drove me into
ten years of research and study of men and women.
George S. Parker makes one of the best fountain
pens in the world, and despite the fact that his
business is conducted from the little city of
Janesville, Wisconsin, he has spread his product all
the way around the globe and he has his pen on sale in
every civilized country in the world. More than twenty
years ago, Mr. Parker’s definite purpose was
established in his mind, and that purpose was to
produce the best fountain pen that money could buy.
He backed that purpose with a burning desire for its
realization and if you carry a fountain pen the chances
are that you have evidence in your own possession
that it has brought him abundant success.
You are a contractor and builder, and, like men
who build houses out of mere wood and brick and
steel, you must draw up a set of plans after which to
shape your success building. You are living in a
wonderful age, when the materials that go into success
are plentiful and cheap. You have at your disposal, in
the archives of the public libraries, the carefully
compiled results of two thousand years of research
covering practically every possible line of endeavor in
which one would wish to engage. If you would become
a preacher you have at hand the entire history of what
has been learned by men who have preceded you in
this field. I f you would become a mechanic you have
at hand the entire history of the inventions of
machines and the discovery and usages of metals and
things metallic in nature. If you would become a
lawyer you have at your disposal the entire history of
law procedure. Through the Department of
Agriculture, at Washington, you have at your disposal
all that has been learned about farming and
agriculture, where you may use it should you wish to
find your life-work in this field.
The world was never so resplendent with
opportunity as it is today. On every hand there is an
ever-increasing demand for the services of the man or
the woman who makes a better mouse-trap or performs
better stenographic service or preaches a better
sermon or digs a better ditch or runs a more
This lesson will not be completed until you shall
have made your choice as to what your definite chief
aim in life is to be and then recorded a description of
that purpose in writing and placed it where you may
see it every morning when you arise and every night
when you retire.
Procrastination is-but why preach about it? You
know that you are the hewer of your own wood and the
drawer of your own water and the shaper of your own
definite chief aim in life; therefore, why dwell upon
that which you already know?
A definite purpose is something that you must
Every line a man writes, and every act in which he indulges, and every word he utters serves as unescapable evidence of the nature of that which is deeply imbedded in his own heart, a confession that he cannot disavow.
create for yourself. No one else will create it for you
and it will not create itself. What are you going to do
about it? and when? and how?
Start now to analyze your desires and find out
what it is that you wish, then make up your mind to
get it. Lesson Three will point out to you the next step
and show you how to proceed. Nothing is left to
chance, in this Reading Course. Every step is marked
plainly. Your part is to follow the directions until you
arrive at your destination, which is represented by
your definite chief aim. Make that aim clear and back
it up with persistence which does not recognize the
When you come to select your definite chief aim
just keep in mind the fact that you cannot aim too
Also keep in mind the never-varying truth that
you’ll get nowhere if you start nowhere. If your aim in
life is vague your achievements will also be vague,
and it might well be added, very meager. Know what
you want, when you want it, why you want it and HOW
you intend to get it. This is known to teachers and
students of psychology as the WWWH formula –
“what, when, why and how.”
Read this lesson four times, at intervals of one
You will see much in the lesson the fourth time
you read it that you did not see the first time.
Your success in mastering this course and in
making it bring you success will depend very largely,
if not entirely, upon how well you follow ALL the
instructions it contains.
Do not set up your own rules of study. Follow
those laid down in the Course, as they are the result of
years of thought and experimentation. If you wish to
experiment wait until you master this course in the
manner suggested by its author. You will then be in
position to experiment more safely. For the present
content yourself by being the student. You will, let us
hope, become the teacher as well as the student after
you have followed the Course until you have mastered
If you follow the instructions laid down in this
Course for the guidance of its students, you can no
more fail than water can run uphill above the level of
INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLYING THE PRINCIPLES OF THIS LESSON
Through the Introductory Lesson of this course
you became familiar with the principle of psychology
known as the “Master Mind.”
You are now ready to begin use of this principle
as a means of transforming your definite chief aim
into reality. It must have occurred to you that one
might as well have no definite chief aim unless one
has, also, a very definite and practical plan for making
that aim become a reality.
Your first step is to decide what your major aim
in life shall be. Your next step is to write out a clear,
concise statement of this aim. This should be followed
by a statement, in writing, of the plan or plans
through which you intend to attain the object of your
Your next and final step will be the forming of an
alliance with some person or persons who will
cooperate with you in carrying out these plans and
transforming your definite chief aim into reality.
The purpose of this friendly alliance is to employ
the law of the “Master Mind” in support of your plans.
The alliance should be made between yourself and
those who have your highest and best interests at
heart. If you are a married man your wife should be
one of the members of this alliance, providing there
exists between you a normal state of confidence and
sympathy. Other members of this alliance may be your
mother, father, brothers or sisters, or some close
friend or friends.
If you are a single person your sweetheart, if you
have one, should become a member of your alliance.
This is no joke – you are now studying one of the most
powerful laws of the human mind, and you will serve
your own best interests by seriously and earnestly
following the rules laid down in this lesson, even
though you may not be sure where they will lead you.
Those who join with you in the formation of a
friendly alliance for the purpose of aiding you in the
creation of a “Master Mind” should sign, with you,
your statement of the object of your definite chief
aim. Every member of your alliance must be fully
acquainted with the nature of your object in forming
the alliance. Moreover, every member must be in
hearty accord with this object, and in full sympathy
with you. Each member of your alliance must be
supplied with a written copy of your statement of your
definite chief aim. With this exception, however, you
are explicitly instructed to keep the object of your
chief aim to yourself. The world is full of “Doubting
Thomases” and it will do your cause no good to have
these rattle-brained people scoffing at you and your
ambitions. Remember, what you need is friendly
encouragement and help, not derision and doubt.
If you believe in prayer you are instructed to
make your definite chief aim the object of your prayer
at, least once every twenty-four hours, and more often
if convenient. If you believe there is a God who can
and will aid those who are earnestly striving to be of
constructive service in the world, surely you feel that’
you have a right to petition Him for aid in the
attainment of what should be the most important thing
in life to you.
If those who have been invited to join your
friendly alliance believe in prayer, ask them, also, to
include the object of this alliance as a part of their
Comes, now, one of the most essential rules
which you must follow . Arrange with one or all of the
members of your friendly alliance to state to you, in
the most positive and definite terms at their command,
that THEY KNOW YOU CAN AND WILL REALIZE
THE OBJECT OF YOUR DEFINITE CHIEF AIM. This
affirmation or statement should be made to you at
least once a day; more often if possible.
These steps must be followed persistently, with
full faith that they will lead you where you wish to
go! It will not suffice to carry out these plans for a
few days or a few weeks and then discontinue them.
YOU MUST FOLLOW THE DESCRIBED
PROCEDURE. UNTIL YOU ATTAIN THE OBJECT
OF YOUR DEFINITE CHIEF AIM, REGARDLESS OF
THE TIME REQUIRED.
From time to time it may become necessary to
change the plans you have adopted for the
achievement of the object of your definite chief aim.
Make these changes without hesitation. No human
being has sufficient foresight to build plans which
need no alteration or change.
If any member of your friendly alliance loses
faith in the law known as the “Master Mind,”
immediately remove that member and replace him or
her with some other person.
Andrew Carnegie stated to the author of this
course that he had found it necessary to replace some
of the members of his “Master Mind.” In fact he stated
“Yes, he succeeded – but –
he almost failed!” So did
Robert Fulton and Abra-
ham Lincoln and nearly all
the others whom we call
successful. No man ever
achieved worth-while suc-
cess who did not, at one
time or other, find himself
with at least one foot hang-
ing well over the brink of
that practically every member of whom his alliance
was originally composed had, in time, been removed
and replaced with some other person who could adapt
himself more loyally and enthusiastically to the spirit
and object of the alliance.
You cannot succeed when surrounded by disloyal
and unfriendly associates, no matter what may be the
object of your definite chief aim. Success is built upon
loyalty, faith, sincerity, co-operation and the other
positive forces with which one must surcharge his
Many of the students of this course will want to
form friendly alliances with those with whom they are
associated professionally or in business, with the
object of achieving success in their business or
profession. In such cases the same rules of procedure
which have been here described should be followed.
The object of your definite chief aim may be one that
will benefit you individually, or it may be one that
will benefit the business or profession with which you
are connected. The law of the “Master Mind” will
work the same in either case. If you fail, either
temporarily or permanently, in the application of this
law it will be for the reason that some member of your
alliance did not enter into the spirit of the alliance
with faith, loyalty and sincerity of purpose.
The last sentence is worthy of a second reading!
The object of your definite chief aim should
become your “hobby.” You should ride this “hobby”
continuously; you should sleep with it, eat with it,
play with it, work with it, live with it and THINK with
Whatever you want you may get if you want it
with sufficient intensity, and keep on wanting it,
providing the object wanted is one within reason, and
you ACTUALLY BELIEVE YOU WILL GET IT 1
There is a difference, however, between merely
“wishing” for something and ACTUALLY
BELIEVING you will get it. Lack of understanding of
this difference has meant failure to millions of people.
The “doers” are the “believers” in all walks of life.
Those who BELIEVE they can achieve the object of
their definite chief aim do not recognize the word
impossible. Neither do they acknowledge temporary
defeat. They KNOW they are going to succeed, and if
one plan fails they quickly replace it with another
Every noteworthy achievement met with some
sort of temporary setback before success came. Edison
made more than ten thousand experiments before he
succeeded in making the first talking machine record
the words, “Mary had a little lamb.”
If there is one word which should stand out in
your mind in connection with this lesson, it is the
You now have within your possession the pass-
key to achievement. You have but to unlock the door
to the Temple of Knowledge and walk in. But you
must go to the Temple; it will not come to you. If
these laws are new to you the “going” will not be easy
at first. You will stumble many times, but keep
moving 1 Very soon you will come to the brow of the
mountain you have been climbing, and you will
behold, in the valleys below, the rich estate of
KNOWLEDGE which shall be your reward for your
faith and efforts.
Everything has a price. There is no such
possibility as “something for nothing.” In your
experiments with the Law of the Master Mind you are
jockeying with Nature, in her highest and noblest
form. Nature cannot be tricked or cheated. She will
give up to you the object of your struggles only after
you have paid her price, which is CONTINUOUS,
UNYIELDING, PERSISTENT EFFORT!
What more could be said on this subject?
You have been shown what to do, when to do it,
how to do it and why you should do it. If you will
master the next lesson, on Self-confidence, you will
then have the faith in yourself to enable you to carry
out the instructions laid down for your guidance in
Master of human destinies am I!
Fame, love, and fortune on my footsteps wait.
Cities and fields I walk; I penetrate
Deserts and seas remote, and passing by
Hovel and mart and palace – soon or late
I knock, unbidden, once at every gate!
If sleeping, wake – if feasting, rise before
I turn away. It is the hour of fate,
And they who follow me reach every state
Mortals desire, and conquer every foe
Save death; but those who doubt or hesitate,
Condemned to failure, penury, and woe,
Seek me in vain and uselessly implore.
I answer not, and I return no more!
NEGLECTING TO BROADEN THEIR VIEW HAS KEPT SOME MEN DOING ONE THING ALL THEIR LIVES.