Do you believe that you have the power to attract success by changing your mindset? Are you creating every day and reaching your fullest potential?
Published in 1910, some of the tenets of The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles are still relevant today. While the descriptions of wealth and opportunity are controversial, the writer explains the act of creating in a thought provoking and inspiring manner. The chapters detail an overarching philosophical examination of the universe, but the book may be boiled down to a set of specific steps to achieve your deepest desires. Outlined are five key takeaways.
“Thought is the only power which can produce tangible riches from the Formless Substance.”
The “Formless Substance” is our untapped potential. If you direct your thoughts towards your goals, you will manifest your wishes. The clearer your vision, the greater your future will be. Have you heard of a vision board? In the visualization tool, you place pictures that symbolize the experiences that you want to attract into your life through the use of your subconscious mind.
“Gratitude will lead your mind out along the ways by which things come; and it will keep you in close harmony with creative thought and prevent you from falling into competitive thought.”
If you are grateful every day, you will be in a more positive mood. The positivity allows you to be more productive and align with your spiritual being. I agree with Wattles. When we dwell with dissatisfaction, our clear visions become clouded with doubt. When you begin and end each day, write down a list of things you are grateful for.
“Do not boast or brag of your success, or talk about it unnecessarily; true faith is never boastful.”
Have you noticed how confident people appear to have more opportunities in life?
One of the most interesting insights from the book is Wattles’ perception of competitiveness. He asserts that a boastful person is one who is secretly doubtful and afraid. While the pursuit to acquire wealth is noble, the need to seek authority and control your peers undermines your creative output.
“It is really not the number of things you do, but the EFFICIENCY of each separate action that counts.”
We live in a workaholic culture that honors long hours over physical and mental well-being. In contrast, Wattles explains how we should perform only our necessary tasks every day while holding our vision in our mind. Do not perform more or less than the required amount. In doing so, our successful actions will slowly accumulate and result in the achievement of larger life goals. Similar to the gratitude list, outline your action steps every day. Did you finish all of your assignments? Additionally, did you give yourself a break during your leisure time?
“You will get rich most easily in point of effort, if you do that for which you are best fitted; but you will get rich most satisfactorily if you do that which you WANT to do.”
Wattles constructs a distinction between a line of work that we are naturally adept at and a job that we are actually passionate about. Choose a job that you love and you will never work a day in your life, right? Although the book is largely a proponent for being as wealthy as possible, Wattles argues that the involvement in an unpleasant business will result in an unsatisfactory way of life. He even describes how if you are in the incorrect vocation, do not quit too hastily. Stay in the environment, grow your skills on your own, and then create a radical change when the opportunity presents itself.
Consisting of only one hundred pages, the thin book may be read quickly. Influenced by the Sikh philosophies that emphasizes equality among all and how every path leads to God, the book also stems from a mental healing movement that began in the mid-19th century. “The Science of Getting Rich” gave birth to The Secret by Rhonda Bryne in 2006, a similar widespread self-help book that has been advertised by Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, and Larry King.
Despite the fascinating set of steps, the book is riddled with controversy. I rolled my eyes on a few occasions. For example, the writer begins with the bold assertion that “whatever may be said in praise of poverty, the fact remains that it is not possible to live a really complete or successful life unless one is rich.” The elitist tone seeks to eliminate the notion that desiring wealth is an unworthy pursuit. Immediately, on the first page, you must confront your reasons for striving to be rich.
According to Wattles, money allows you to experience all of God and humanity’s creations. Therefore, no greater purpose in life exists than being affluent. Of course, our value is not dependent on the figures in our bank account.
In the second chapter, Wattles crudely proclaims that “no man is kept poor because opportunity has been taken away from him; because other people have monopolized the wealth, and have put a fence around it.” Yikes. The book glosses over our system that perpetuates inequality.
The gap between the rich and the poor is widening dramatically. Poverty is a life-threatening issue for millions of Americans, not simply a choice that stems from our thinking. A plethora of objective structural barriers exist, such as unequal access to education, healthcare, and residency.
Nevertheless, we must remember that the book was written during the undeveloped economy that appeared full of potential. As one of the first American self-help books to gain riches, Wattles perceived social mobility idealistically during a time in which agriculture served as the most common industry. If you are able to move past these digressions, however, you may acquire new insight into achieving your goals. The book teaches you how to be more mindful through the use of positive affirmation, which is a framework that we may all benefit from.
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