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Building a Consciousness of Success

We first think in terms of success before we manifest success,” is the first motto I wrote after learning the influence of mind over matter.

Practically every chapter in this book is written to impress upon you the fact that all achievement begins with thought. But, knowing this is not enough, we should learn how to build a success consciousness.

As a very simple illustration, let us think of a delicious cake. The layers, the frosting on top, the filling all taste so delicious that much culinary skill must be required to produce it. But if you study the recipe and see that you take so many cupfuls of this, a tablespoon of that, etc., you find that, by carefully following instructions, there is no mystery about it at all.

A genuine success consciousness does not mean that you might succeed; it is a definite promise of success.

A success consciousness is that state of mind in which you cannot see yourself as anything but a success.

Remember this! Know it to be true, because it is true, as the following story will show:

A friend of mine frequently spent time with me in my hobby shop. He constantly reminded me that he was not a bit handy with tools and that he would find it impossible to build the things he had seen me build.

One day I took the time to prove to him how wrong he was. I took the plans of a cabinet and literally dissected them. “This plan calls for six pieces of lumber 30 inches long, 12 inches wide and 1 inch thick. Could you take a board and cut it according to those dimensions?” I asked. Without hesitancy he admitted that he could. Then I mentioned the size of other members of the cabinet and asked him if he could cut those according to size. He said he could. On and on I went through each step, and he agreed that each would not be difficult.

The outcome of this experiment was that he went home and built a really good cabinet. Now his hobby shop is replete with power tools and his home shows evidence of his handiwork in every room. As soon as he gained a success consciousness regarding woodworking, he became proficient.

A success consciousness will lead you to success in any direction. If your desires include the building of an estate and financial security, a success consciousness will lead you right there.


Were you to pause right now and reread this book before continuing further, you would be able to write the formula for building a success consciousness. But, for your convenience I will give it to you here, step by step:

1. Know that anything accomplished by another can be accomplished by you.

Read the story of the world’s greatest industrialist, Henry J. Kaiser, and you’ll find that he started life under very humble circumstances. He inherited nothing, but built his fortunes himself.

Did Henry Kaiser ever say: “I wonder if I can do this,” or “I wish I could do that”? No! First he developed an I CAN consciousness; than an I WILL determination. The result, as you know, was an empire admired throughout the civilized world.

Kaiser’s greatest accomplishments came in his later years in life. Today, as this is being written, he is in his late seventies and is still continuing with his constructive work. He proves that age is no barrier to the man with the I CAN-I WILL spirit.

So, in creating an I CAN awareness, burn those four letters I C A N into your mind. Avoid the use of the words hope, wish and try and emphasize the word CAN.

Every time you view the achievement of another, instead of quickly thinking: I CAN’T, know that, if you wish, you can achieve the same thing. Even though, at the time, this may not seem exactly true to you, make the statement just the same.

Soon you will find that your mind, instead of closing with the negative feeling that the task is beyond you, will begin to understand how simple it will be for you to accomplish the deed.

2. Create an I WILL attitude. As soon as you get an objective which you know will help you to reach a higher objective, get started on it at once instead of putting it off ’till the tomorrow that never comes.

Many people have an I CAN awareness, but they cannot get started. They have countless reasons why it will be best to get off to a start at some later date. Perhaps if we understand some of the underlying reasons for procrastination, we will have less reason to procrastinate.

Starting a task requires more effort than to continue, once the task is underway. In starting you must first think of what you’re going to do, and how to do it. You must consider the implements you’ll need for the job; where they are and how to get them.

After these steps are taken, it takes a period of time to get into full swing. This causes one to spend much time in thinking about the job before getting started. This thinking stage may last for minutes, hours—or even days; and sometimes the days extend into months—and longer.

On one occasion, I was about to do a small job, then, for no good reason at all, I postponed it until the next day. The next day, when my conscience began bothering me for the postponement, it dawned upon me that if I had done the job the day before, it would have been completed—and my mind would be free from it.

“Since time marches on,” I thought, “why wouldn’t it be better to dwell, mentally, on the time of completion instead of the time of beginning?” This way, your mind will think of the happy ending, instead of the laborious beginning.

I even use this principle in connection with the dentist. When I make an appointment, instead of holding my thoughts on the pain which will be experienced, I think of the time when I will leave the chair, much relieved.

3. Have a definite objective. It is all very well to know that you CAN do things—and that you WILL do things; but, what do you intend to do? Know exactly what it is you desire to accomplish to make your life more successful, happier, and healthier. Then you will be ready for the next step.

4. Develop a do-it-now attitude. After your objective has been analyzed, and you find that you CAN do it, and WILL do it, the next thing is to apply your do-it-now attitude—and DO it!


After accepting the foregoing as fact, you have a success consciousness. You will revel in the fact that you are master of circumstances; that they will not master you.

If you are not happy with your life as it is, you will know that it is within your power to change it to your liking.

Ed Roberts had been a school janitor for a long time. His take-home pay was just barely enough to buy the necessities for his wife and child. Ed expected to stay in this groove the rest of his life because he felt he did not have the training necessary for a better job.

One day a salesman tried to sell Ed an electric floor-polisher. “Oh, I could never afford that on my salary,” he faltered dismally.

“Why don’t you earn more money?” queried the salesman, deliberately.

A thousand thoughts raced through Ed’s mind, concurrently. “Yes, why don’t I earn more money?” he asked himself. He thought of many Toms, Dicks and Harrys who had no better background that he had, but who were doing far better than he was.

A light began to shine brightly in Ed’s mind as he thought of many things he could be doing which were not only more remunerative than what he was doing, but far more elevating.

For several days the remark made by the salesman: “Why don’t you earn more money?” haunted him. He was aroused within. Ed began to develop a success consciousness as he decided upon an objective—one that he knew he could and would put over. Instead of being always a tenant, Ed decided to be a landlord.

He started out by putting down the few dollars he had saved on a small four-family apartment house. He and his family lived in one apartment and rented the other three. The rent he collected not only met all payments on the house, but left a bit toward a new nest egg.

The last I heard of Ed Roberts, he had given up his janitor’s job and had just completed the purchase of a much larger apartment house. This man’s income has materially increased and it is safe to predict that it will not be long before he can be catalogued among the well to do. This remarkable change came about after Ed Roberts gained a success consciousness—and knew that he could do things. Now, if a salesman visits Roberts, he does not have to ask himself: “Can I afford it?” Instead, he asks, “Do I want it?”

One of the large financial rating institutions claims that only one out of every four new companies survives its first year in business.

There are many reasons for the great number of failures, but my guess is that many of the company heads who failed did so because they did not start with a success consciousness. Most of them started in business with the hope they would make lots of money. The successful ones started by knowing they would make the grade.

Referring back to some of the principles we have already covered, we recall that when one starts anything with a success consciousness, he is guided to think the thoughts and do the things which will bring success.

When he is prompted by mere wishing, his Creative Mind guides him in thought and action to do the things which bring failure. Wishing is negative! We do not wish for the things we know we can get.

A saleslady selling hearing aids said she worked mighty hard to sell three aids per week; the number one must sell in order to make a fair living. After attending a lecture devoted to success consciousness she declared that from then onward she was going to sell at least five hearing aids weekly. The next week she sold six sets and from then on she averaged five and six sets per week. And, she said with enthusiasm, she is not working nearly as hard as she did before the revelation.

An advertising copywriter wrote quite good copy, but it represented hard work. He would grind away for hours in producing anything he would consider as passable. Many times he would rewrite an ad over and over before he could be satisfied with it.

Being a former advertising man myself, I was asked by this chap if there was anything he could do to lighten his work.

“Make your Creative Mind work for you!” I suggested promptly.

At first he didn’t understand what I was driving at, until I explained further. This chap admitted to me that he liked to write advertising copy, but that he was actually afraid of it. He approached each assignment with the feeling that it would be difficult; and it always proved to be.

“Build a success consciousness regarding your work,” I explained. “If you will begin building on the thought, ‘I like to write advertising copy, and it is a cinch for me to do so,’ you will notice a marked difference in your work.”

It was no time at all before this copywriter was turning out twice as much copy as he had before and it was far better material. “The thoughts flow as fast as I can put them down on paper,” he declared fervently.

To those who know anything at all about the workings of the mind, this is no miracle. If you hold a thought to the effect that a certain task will be difficult, your Creative Mind accepts the thought as an instruction and actually makes the task difficult. If, on the other hand, you enjoy a certain job and know that it will prove to be easy for you, your Creative Mind will accept that thought as an instruction, and will guide you in doing your work quickly and well.

Referring to another branch of advertising, I once was the author of a home-study course on sales-letter writing. One lesson was devoted to building a success consciousness in connection with the letters to be written. Students were told that in writing sales letters they should know that they would be guided in writing the type of letters which would produce the best results.

A business magazine ran a contest offering prizes for the best sales letters submitted. One of my students won first prize and another won third prize. But, winning prizes was only a small part of the story. Many of the students obtained exceptionally good jobs due to their ability to write result-producing letters. Here again is the application of the same principle. Hold to the thought that you can write good letters and you will write good letters.

While I was writing this chapter, a young man called me on the telephone and said he had enrolled as a student at the University of California in Berkeley. He was worried, however, because he lacked the powers of concentration. He feared he would not make good grades.

With what you have read so far, couldn’t you advise this boy? Certainly! You would tell him to gain a success consciousness regarding his ability to concentrate by holding to the thought that he possessed great powers of concentration and that he could hold to a thought until he had no further use for it. I think this lad was helped because, after I finished my explanation, he replied: “I see what you mean, and from now on I will see myself as being one who can concentrate.”

Hasn’t this chapter been exciting? Don’t you now see yourself as master of all circumstances? Isn’t it now quite clear to you that you are what you think you are; and that if you have not been getting as much out of life as you might have wished for, there is no one to blame except yourself?

What would you think of a family starving to death and, at the same time, possessing an abundance of food? This question will naturally appear ridiculous, unless you realize that many people are doing virtually just that. They possess everything they need for health, wealth and happiness, yet—without making use of their powers within—they are just existing without enjoying the many blessings which could be theirs.


In making use of the principles given and to be given, do not overlook the fact that your Creative Mind works best while the conscious mind is either pleasantly occupied or in abeyance—asleep.

It is highly beneficial to keep your thoughts positive during the day; but the best results come from implanting them in your mind just prior to retiring.

As you retire, dwell upon the kind of success consciousness you wish to develop. If you wish to become a writer, hold to the thought that you are a good writer and that, in your work, you will be guided in developing the theme for the articles you intend to write.

Should more money be your objective, don’t just wish for more of it. Know that you will be guided in thought and action toward the attainment of your objective. If you implant the success thoughts without doubt in your mind, you will be astounded to learn how faithful your Creative Mind will be.


Knowledge is of no value until you make use of it. Instead of agreeing with me regarding the ideas so far covered, give them a chance to work for you. Do not approach your practice with an “I wonder if they will work” attitude. They work for others— and they will work for you.

“Can I practice on only one objective at a time?” you may ask.

Fortunately, no! This is one situation where you can have many “irons in the fire.”

You can begin developing a success consciousness so far as money is concerned. You can begin building an awareness that you have great talent in any field you may choose.

If your personality is not what you might like, begin developing a success consciousness which will guide you to think the things and do the things which will make your personality most magnetic.

Before beginning the next chapter, pause a moment for contemplation.

Review mentally what you have read in this one. If the contents do not clearly come back to you, read it again. It would be impossible to place a cash value on what you have just learned. Do not allow yourself to lose a bit of it.

Visit Grow Rich While You Sleep for more articles from this book by Ben Sweetland.