This section is from the book "Applications of Psychology to the Problems of Personal and Business Efficiency", by Warren Hilton. Also available from Amazon: Psychology and Achievement - Applied Psychology 12 Volume Set.
TO BEGIN with, you must get it out of your head that for you to have more wealth implies that someone else must have less.
The wealth you want and the wealth you must have is wealth you are going to create. It is not necessary to despoil your neighbor. It is not necessary to lie or cheat or steal.
The money that you want does not represent existing wealth. There is no satisfaction in the gain that is another's loss. Besides, it is the most difficult to acquire.
The supply of wealth is unlimited. It is as boundless as matter. For wealth is inert matter molded into useful forms.
Lay aside all thought of craft, chicanery and double-dealing. Put your thoughts to work upon the boundless universe of wealth yet unappropriated.
Untold millions of treasure are yet buried in every square mile of the earth's surface. Part of this is yours. And it will come to you if you do as we say.
Civilization's most profitable work is that of the pioneer. Seven thousand dollars was spent on the voyage of Columbus - and the returns are growing with the years.
Ten thousand ships would have accompanied Columbus westward, and their crews would have braved every hardship and peril - if only they had known beforehand what the fruits of the venture were to be. The difference lay in this, that Columbus was willing to stake all on the strength of his convictions.
Every decade sees the discovery of some kind of new world. Printing, steam, electricity, telegraphy, wireless telegraphy, the phonograph, the aeroplane - each has revealed a new world; each is but a prophecy of greater discoveries yet to come.
Who will make these new discoveries? What is to be your part in unlocking the wonders of tomorrow?
Every new world of achievement lies beyond the sea. The biggest things in business are undertaken on faith. Oceans unknown are crossed in following the lead of convictions.
Even now forces may be at work in distant lands upon the building of your fortune.
But you must lay aside all thought of the riches that you see about you. You must cease to covet the riches of other men.
Your fortune may yet be uncreated. It is yours to create.
This does not mean that you are to have no business dealings with other men.
It does mean that your business dealings are to be to the advantage of others as well as of yourself. It means that you cannot afford to sell to another that which will be valueless to him.
It means that your fortune is to come out of the creation and distribution of new forms of tangible riches for which all the world will be your debtor.
The oil and canvas and colors that went into the composition of a Rembrandt were in themselves of no value, yet the masterpiece is priceless. The pen and ink and paper employed in outlining a more efficient system for a factory are worthless, yet the outline itself may turn a loss into a handsome profit
If you are a merchant or manufacturer, your first concern should be to discover just what the people want, instead of pursuing the unfortunate policy of many business men who lay all the emphasis on the making and selling end. It matters not how well made or how artfully offered your wares may be, if they do not meet a real demand you must change your methods or you will fail.
Do you know why the United States buys from the people of South America twice as much as it sells them? It is because the manufacturers of the United States do not study the special requirements of the people of South America, but simply try to sell them the same kinds of merchandise that "take" in the home market. Meanwhile European manufacturers get the bulk of South American business by exporting articles specially adapted to South American requirements.
Success attends the merchant or manufacturer who begins at the beginning with a sympathetic and appreciative mental realization of the needs of others.
The field of commercial exploit is unlimited. Every department of art, commerce and manufacture holds within itself at this moment the germs of countless opportunities for the discovery and exploitation of improvements. Humanity has not reached its zenith with our generation. Human progress will not halt. Each step will be taken as soon as men clearly see it, and the man who is to win is the man whose perceptions are alert and unclouded.
The tallest business block in New York City was built by the man who developed the "5- and 10-cent counters" into "5- and 10-cent stores." He was merely doing an old thing in a new way. He was capitalizing an idea.
The mail-order house that goes past the country merchant into the home of the consumer is a great oak that has grown from the tiny acorn of one man's big idea.
All the creative ideas have not been thought. Many a big idea is waiting to be claimed. And the world will award its richest prizes to the claimants.
This is a creative age. It calls for work that is born of creative thought. It calls for work like that of the artist who, when asked what he mixed his colors with, replied, "With brains, sir."
Matter is powerless, passive, inert. Mind is Force, Energy and Power. Mind is King. Mind shapes and controls matter. Matter in useful forms is but the manifestation of consciousness.
The secrets of creation are locked upt in the thinking consciousness.
There is no thing but is the embodiment of pre-existing thought. The house you live in was first erected in the consciousness of him who planned it. The aeroplane, the steam-engine, the diamond, the dollar - all are but materializations of human thought out of formless matter.
And back of formless matter was God's Creative Thought.
Every conceivable force and fact arose from MIND in action. And the action of mind is orderly and dependable.
So thus creation presupposes thought. And thought, held in consciousness, tends to create its material embodiment.
How? If you think of an automobile, will it take shape before your eyes? If you think of a cut-glass vase, will it rise up shimmering before you?
By no means. Not outside fairyland does the mind work its way with the magic suddenness of Aladdin's lamp.
The Creative Thought that planned the universe wrought its evolution out of chaos during countless ages.
The Creative Thought that imaged man in his world is yet working its fulfilment.
The Creative Thought that brings the grain to its day of ripening follows established lines of growth.
The Creative Thought that visioned the Panama Canal found fulfilment through long years and the employment of vast forces.
Creative Thought works no magic transformations. It obeys natural laws. It releases natural energies. It sets in motion natural forces. It attains fulfilment through its conscious and unconscious influences upon you, upon your outward conduct, upon your friends and acquaintances, and upon the whole of your environment.
You can originate thoughts. You are a thinking unit.
And since thoughts are creative of the things they dwell upon, you can create for yourself the things you think about.
1. Consciousness tends to product the realization of its images.
2. You can control the content of your consciousness by controlling your attention.
3. By controlling your attention you can produce in consciousness the image of the thing you want.
4. By concentrated thinking you can bring all your bodily activities to bear upon the creation of the thing you think about,
5. You can thus cause the creation for yourself of the thing you want Every man can do this. Few make the effort
And no puny effort will suffice. A multitude of influences are arrayed against you. To steadfastly keep your consciousness filled with thoughts of riches, health and life in the midst of evidences of poverty, disease and death takes constant effort. It requires ceaseless vigilance, mastery and power.
But the man who can do this thing can smile in the face of Death, can commune with the Mighty. The world lies at his feet.