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Discovering the Law of Abundance

It was after a long cold winter when the tiny buds were just beginning to cast a green tint on the barren trees that an important truth dawned upon me.

Human beings are inclined to be selfish, fearing to part with any of their possessions, fearing they may not be able to replace them. Nature, on the other hand, is constantly on the giving side. The trees do not fear giving up their leaves in the fall, because they might not return in the spring.

Have you ever heard of a living creature of any kind—when dwelling in its natural habitat—starving to death?

In Chapter 8, it was pointed out that money buys nothing but labor: money for the labor in removing raw materials from the earth; and money for the labor to convert the raw materials into finished products.

There is no dearth of raw materials. The earth is ever ready to give generously from its stores of minerals and vegetables. There is no scarcity of labor to remove the raw materials and to convert them into manufactured products.

“If this is true, why do people have difficulty in buying the products? Why do they lack the money?” many will ask. Hoarding money instead of buying products is the answer. The English essayist, James Howell, said: “Wealth is not his who has it, but his who enjoys it.”

If all money should be kept in circulation, there would be work for everyone, and everyone would have sufficient money with which to buy not only the necessities of life, but a good number of luxuries. Such a condition sounds like a Utopia, but as good as it seems on the surface, I am not sure that I favor it.

Incentive would be gone! One would be inclined to do just enough to enable him to earn his share—and nothing further. It is the men of vision who build estates, industries, cities, who keep the wheels of progress turning, and inspire others to do likewise.

There is a law of abundance and the amount of worldly goods one will acquire is in direct proportion to the heights to which he raises his sights.

Statistics show that only 5 per cent of the population is successful from a financial point of view. This figure will appear dismal to the negatively minded individual, but to others it will be heartening. To you, who are developing a positive attitude, this statistic shows you how much room there is at the top—and with your I WILL determination, you’ll reach it.

Just think of the odds in your favor! If you were to go prospecting for gold or some other precious metal, you would seek an area where surface indications showed that the mineral you were looking for might be there. You would spend much time and considerable money in determining whether or not your guess was right.

In attempting to take advantage of the law of abundance, you begin with the knowledge that the key to the quest lies within your own mind. As to how much you will draw from the source of abundance depends entirely upon the success consciousness you have developed. If what you want seems to be beyond the realm of possibility and you cannot possibly imagine yourself possessing it, it will do you little good to strive for it. The doubt in your mind will win.

After one of my lectures on the law of abundance in a large midwestern city, a young man approached me, and with great enthusiasm admitted: “I have always wished that I could be rich, but beneath the wish was the feeling that riches were never intended for me. After that talk of yours I know I can be rich and I’ll not stop until my bank account records a million at least.”

This boy had no money at all, and no prospects for much, but somehow I believed him. His sincerity and confident manner made me feel he was not indulging in wishful thinking. In less than two years from the time I met this enthusiastic fellow, he phoned me and invited me to his club for lunch. It was then that he revealed that his personal fortune had passed the million dollar mark—and was still climbing.

I’m not so fortunate with most of the people I lecture to. They all agree with me that they would like to have riches, yet few of them can grasp the truth that riches can and will be theirs as soon as they believe they can be rich.

I recall the case of another man who came to me with the enthusiastic remark that he could now see the light and that he was going to be rich. Quite some time later he came to me and bragged about the fact that through his new mental attitude he had nearly doubled his income.

“Are you now rich?” I queried cautiously.

“Not exactly,” he returned with a voice of fixed firmness.

“Riches are a little bit too much to expect in such a short time.” This man’s belief did not extend beyond an increase in his income. Perhaps he tried to believe he could be rich but he lacked sufficient faith.

“All right, if a changed mental attitude could double your income, haven’t you now grown mentally to the point where you can see yourself as being really rich?” I asked.

He gave a quick affirmative answer, and although I have not seen him since, I feel certain that when I do I will be greeting a rich man.

A man in Florida, when still quite young, amassed a fortune of over a million dollars, but, through unsound investments, quickly lost it all. Although this man was unhappy over his loss, he was not discouraged. His reasoning told him that he still possessed the ability he had when he accumulated his riches, plus much added experience. He started all over again and is now back in the class of the millionaires.

The dominant idea in this, chapter is to cause you to believe. You might go through the lip service of saying you believe, but do you?

You’ve heard the story, I am sure, about the parson who spent a few days with a family who were members of his congregation. During dinner the subject of conversation was faith.

“Do you believe with the Bible that faith can move mountains?” asked the husband.

“Yes, I do,” the parson reflected calmly.

“All right, tonight I’m going to bed with the belief that the mountain facing our home will be gone in the morning,” proclaimed the head of the household.

The next morning he eagerly looked out of the window, and seeing the mountain still there, bragged: “I knew it wouldn’t go away.”

Many times what we think is faith is nothing but wishful thinking. We sincerely try to believe but the long established pattern of doubt in our minds breaks through and neutralizes the thoughts which we hope will become beliefs.

It may sound strange to you, but in many cases a person will subconsciously resist the positive thoughts he works on consciously. This is usually due to a guilt complex of some sort. He may have sinned at some time and he feels he is not entitled to the best things in life. Under such conditions, any attempt to tap the ever-present source of abundance will be futile.


Should one who has sinned be held back from Success and Happiness? If the answer were yes, there would not be many successful and happy people, because who can honestly say he has never sinned in any way?

Here is a question I should like to ask: When one is held back through a sin, is he helping anyone? The answer, of course, is no.

If he goes through life a failure, he cannot be considered a good provider for his family. He is not helping his community economically because, being a failure, he cannot be a good customer in the stores he patronizes.

If, through introspection, you find you have been nursing a feeling of guilt, determine you will make an asset of it. You will profit by it as far as your future conduct is concerned, and you will even do all you can to help others from making the same mistakes you made. Doing this will actually mean that your mistakes are proving to be a blessing to humanity.

Clearing your conscience from the elements which have been disturbing it will enable you to take an entirely different attitude toward yourself. You will then consider success and happiness to be your rightful heritage.

There is the case of a man who had twice attempted suicide and who was always wishing he was dead. He was induced to visit a psychiatrist who, after probing into his early life, made an interesting discovery.

In his early twenties, this man got rather heavily in debt, and instead of trying to pay off his bills, he moved to another city. When the psychiatrist told him that it was not too late to make amends and pay off those old creditors, the patient said that it had been so many years, he had forgotten who most of them were, and those he could remember, he could not find.

“Lean backward in being honest in all of your present dealings with mankind, and every chance you have to help a needy person, do so in the name of those creditors who lost money through you. This will relieve your conscience and enable you really to begin to live,” the psychiatrist advised him.

The suggestion proved to be a magic formula. He started a fund for the sole purpose of helping others. He bought inspirational books by the dozen to give to those who could be helped. He started a business, and, so far as he could, employed physically handicapped men and women.

Before this awakening, the man with a guilty conscience was not happy; he made just enough of a success to enable him to live. But what a revelation! With a mind freed from guilt he did big things because he felt he was entitled to do so. But best of all, he is now ideally happy.

Perhaps this case, to some degree, applies to you. Many people have a guilt complex and do not know it. If you have an inner feeling that you are not entitled to success, know that each new day can be the beginning of a new life, because you cannot relive the past and your future depends upon what you do about it now—not what you did 10, 20 or 30 years ago.

Do you know why so many prison parolees commit crimes right after gaining their freedom? They have guilty consciences. They look at themselves as criminals and do what criminals are expected to do.

Those capable of cleansing their hearts and souls of all the ill will they have felt for themselves will be successful in making a new start in life. Ex-convicts who are big enough to realize that guilt is part of the price they must pay for their crimes will live it down in time, and gain the respect of those who know them.


“Aw, I don’t believe in that mind over matter stuff,” a young man said impertinently. “They claim if you think just so and then do certain things, you’re all to the good. Success will grab you by the hand and stay with you the rest of your life.” Most people think this way. That is why 95 per cent fail to grasp success in life.

“Do you consider yourself a success?” I asked this sceptical one.

“No, I don’t,” he quickly replied.

“Why not?” I continued.

He gave many excuses. He had had too little education; he knew no one of importance who could help him to better himself; he had no money and could not leave his job long enough to make a start in another field. And on and on he went—not at any time giving a valid reason for his failure.

The way this man talked about success you would not think there was enough of it to go around and that a large percentage of people were doomed to failure. I talked at length about the law of abundance, and pointed out that there was enough success for everyone, and that the more people who acquired success consciousness, the more there was for others.

Through a series of carefully thought out questions I led this fellow on until he had given a full list of his alibis—most of which he believed himself. Then I went through these alibis one by one and proved they were not reasons—but mere excuses. Finally a gleam came into his eyes and he began to see that there was a solid foundation under the premise of mind over matter. He not only thought of things he could do; but things he would do.

Real estate had been of interest to this man throughout his life, but he never felt he could be a success in it. Since in most states one must pass an examination before obtaining a license, this man decided to take the steps necessary to become a realtor. He took a night school course in real estate; took the examination—and passed. It did not take long to get a job in a real estate office and with his changed attitude he did quite well. In fact the first month he made a sale which netted him $765 in commissions.

The next month he went over a thousand dollars—and kept climbing. He left his job and opened an office of his own. Accumulating a good sum of money, this fellow purchased a tract of land and started a home-building development. He is now the guiding hand in a multimillion-dollar enterprise.

Does he still question the validity of mind over matter? Does he doubt the law of abundance?

“How blind can one be?” he asked while giving the story of his rise to fortune. “Open your eyes and let the light of opportunity enter your consciousness,” he counsels the doubters. “Out there,” pointing to the great outdoors, “are fortunes for everyone willing to accept that truth. The riches are so close to you that you can literally reach out and take them,” he added.

“Times are bad and it is hard to make a start,” was the alibi given by one man who had made a poor showing in life. To which I replied: “Stuff and rubbish!”

During bad times, the greatest leaders are born. At such periods there are opportunities galore—everywhere you look. During bad times, if you tell an executive that you know how he can increase his business, he will open his ears and listen intently. When business is good, he is not apt to pay any attention at all to you.

Shortly after the crash of 1929, when businesses were closing in every direction you looked, I talked to a man who was preparing to open a new business.

“Friends tell me I am crazy to open a business at this time, but I’m not afraid. I’ll put it over in a big way.” This man did put it over and by the time the depression had ended, he was so far ahead of those just trying to get started, they never caught up with him.

Depressions are not products of nature; they are man made. Likewise, good times are created by man—not nature.

During the 1929 depression I was operating an advertising agency in New York. Daily I had men and women coming into the office actually begging for jobs. They needed them because they were without funds to meet household expenses.

A man in Seattle, Washington, picked my firm as one he would like to associate with. Every few days I would receive a letter from him regarding the job he wanted. In every letter he would outline ideas for increasing my business, but in none of them did he intimate his need of a job. Although there were thousands of unemployed people within walking distance of my office, I sent across the continent for this man. Instead of seeing a world which was standing still, this man believed in the law of abundance and, by his actions, proved its existence.


In this life we first creep before we walk, and walk before we run. This may be a good pattern to follow in testing the law of abundance. Test it first in a modest way. Perhaps you are driving an old car. Millions of new ones are being made every year and will be sold to millions of people. One of them might just as well be you.

Decide first of all that you intend to get a brand new car. Determine the make and model you wish. Establish in your mind that you have the necessary faith to enable you to get it—then put that faith into action. Before retiring at night, implant in your Creative Mind the idea that you will be guided to think the thoughts and do the things that will make the new car a reality.

This test should mean much to you. It should make you begin to understand that you can get what you want in life. If you will operate with faith and not wishes, you will be amazed to find how quickly you will be driving your new car.

Go a step further in your next test. Is it a business of your own? Use the same principles and it will not be long until your name appears over your building.


Remember! There will never be any shortage of the blessings nature is willing and anxious to bestow upon you. The law of abundance is unfailing. Work according to the law and it will work for you.

In bringing this chapter to a close, there is one thought I wish to emphasize: Be happy! Be happy that you now are really qualified, through the use of the law of abundance, to enjoy life. To quote James Howell again: “Wealth is not his who has it, but his who enjoys it.”

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