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Man Is Mind

WHEN A MAN says to a young lady: “You are a very sweet girl,” what does he mean? Does he mean that her physical being is like the childhood rhyme: “Sugar and spice, and everything nice”? Does he mean that her features portray sweetness? Is it her smile and expression which prompt the statement that she is sweet? The answer to all of these questions is—No.

Not many people realize it, but it is the mind which reflects sweetness, or its opposite.

A sweet individual is one whose mind causes him to be generous, understanding, sympathetic, friendly, and helpful.

When we think of someone as having a magnetic personality, it is natural to associate that personality with his visible, physical being; but this, of course, is not correct.

There are beautiful girls with personalities so bad they are actually repulsive. There are girls with plain features, but whose personalities are so magnetic they appear as sweet and charming.

What is the difference between these girls? It is a matter of mind. The latter think in terms of giving, but the former think only in terms of receiving.

There are two men very much alike from a physical standpoint. One man is a good businessman. He makes money and saves money. The other one just gets by. He earns a small income and spends every cent of it.

What is the difference between the two men? It is a matter of mind. One man thinks in terms of good business and sound investments. The other man thinks in terms of earning merely for the pleasure of spending.

These illustrations could be carried on for many, many pages. The only difference between a writer and the one who does not write is a matter of mind. One man knows he can write; the other one is sure he cannot.

There is no important physical difference between the success and the failure. Again it is a matter of mind. One man sees himself as a failure; the other man knows he is a success.

As we make these comparisons we must conclude that the all important part of a human being is his mind. His mind makes him what he is—whether that be good or bad.

Whenever one uses the personal pronoun “I” he is not referring to his physical being at all. He means his mental self. If he says: “I’m happy,” there is nothing about his being, as such, which can be happy. Of course, there is a physical response to the emotional fact of his happiness. His lips will indicate a smile; the body may even ripple with laughter, but without happiness and joy being in the mind, none of this will happen.

If I should say: “You are a fine person,” I am not referring to that which I see. There is nothing about your skin, flesh, and bones which can be fine or otherwise. It is your mind I refer to.

Doesn’t all of this discussion give emphatic evidence to the statement heading this chapter: “Man is Mind”?

“You are what you think you are” is a statement you will find in practically every book I have written, and you’ll see it again in books I will write in the future.

Do you fully comprehend the significance of this simple expression?

It does not mean that you are you because you are tall or short, dark or light, fat or lean. It means that the you which people like or dislike is a reflection of your mind.

You don’t have to be unhappy, you need not always be ailing and complaining, you can be successful. In other words, within the realm of that great mind of yours is the power and intelligence to guide your life in any direction you may choose.

For a moment, think of some of the monumental achievements of man. A streamlined train of many cars will travel at sixty or more miles per hour, yet it is controlled by a single man—the engineer—and we may go on to say that all of this is controlled by the mind of this single man.

The largest ships afloat are guided by a single man. Of course, he has his helpers, but there must be a master mind.

The giant airliners, carrying over a hundred passengers plus baggage and mail, are flown by a single man.

In the beginning, these trains, ships and planes were first conceived in the mind of man. They had to be created before they could be navigated.

Now then, suppose I should tell you that you have—within your mental self—a gigantic reservoir of power, most of which is unused. And suppose I tell you also that just as the pilot drives his plane, the captain steers his ship, the engineer speeds his train, you—your conscious mind—can steer your Creative Mind so that it will guide you in any direction you select to Health, Wealth and Happiness.


One of my countless blessings is a curious mind. I must have been born under the sign of a question mark. The adverbs How? Why? When? and Where? are the most overworked words in my vocabulary.

When I first learned to drive an automobile (before the days of the automatic gearshift), I was not content to be told how I should move the shift lever to change gears. I insisted upon having the lid of the gearbox removed so that I could see what happened when the lever was moved.

I have always been like that. Why does it work? How does it work? are just a couple of the questions always on the tip of my tongue.

Several years ago, while having dinner with a friend of mine, we began discussing a provocative subject: the mysteries of man. We talked about the power of mind and how it directed every cell in the body; that to take away mind would leave a decaying mass of flesh and bones. It was then that a great truth dawned upon me. Up to that time I had looked at man as a body with a mind. But he isn’t. Man is a mind with a body.

It is important to understand this truth, and as simple as it sounds, one must think about it quite awhile before he does understand it.

In reality, that body of yours is merely a utility for your mind —which is you.

Your legs provide you with locomotion. Your arms do the many jobs directed by your mind. The food you eat furnishes fuel for your “engine.” Your mouth performs a dual function. It acts as a “hopper” for your food intake, and as a mouthpiece for your vocal communication system. Your eyes are for guidance and your ears are receivers for your communication system.

Your physical being functions in a dual manner: 1, to keep itself alive and functioning and 2, to carry out and execute the dictates of the mind.


This is a guess on my part, but I would say that at least 95 per cent of everything we do is guided by habit rather than intellect.

When you awaken in the morning, do you dress consciously or subconsciously? The latter, of course. As you shave your face, you do not think about the manner in which you hold the razor; you do not think about it at all. Your mind may be on your business. As you eat your breakfast, you do not think about the way you use your knife and fork. You eat without thought of the mechanics of eating.

If you are a typist, you do not consciously pick out the keys. You keep your mind on the material you are putting on paper; your Creative Mind guides your fingers.

A good automobile driver does not drive consciously. The use of the steering wheel, brakes, accelerator and horn is all prompted by the Creative Mind.

When learning something new, we are slow because we must think as we act. When the Creative Mind takes over, we become faster and far more accurate in that which we are doing. In other words, we become good after the act becomes a habit.

Now then, is it too premature to say that if you are not happy with your life as it is, all you have to do is to begin forming habit patterns which conform to the life to which you aspire? No, it is not, but only if you understand what you have already read.

We have been talking about habit. Let’s continue on this subject for a while, then you’ll be given a routine to follow in developing habits to promote Health, Wealth and Happiness.

Habits are not formed instantaneously. Do you recall the old adage: Habit is a cable, we weave a thread each day, and at last we cannot break it? This is true, only if we permit it to be true. Habits can be broken, if we set out, intentionally, to do so.

If your body is below par physically, a physical culturist can show you, in a very short time, how you should exercise in order to build it up. But merely showing you how is not enough. You must follow his instructions for a period of time before a noticeable change takes place.

If you are not successful, if you are not happy, if you are always ailing and complaining, it is because you are being guided by the type of habit which makes these conditions a reality. You think of yourself as a failure, perhaps one not entitled to success. You believe it is your lot to be unhappy. The natural consequences of a mind of failure and gloom is a body reeking with aches and pains, which gives you more reason for your self-pity.

A friend of mine—a very successful man—told me a story which has a direct bearing on what I have been telling you.

“A casual remark about me, which I should not have heard, changed my entire life,” this friend remarked.

“I had always been a ne’er-do-well, just getting by,” he continued, “but I always bragged about the big things I was going to do.

“One day I chanced to overhear a remark made by a man I thought to be a friend. He said to another, ‘Joe is a nice enough fellow, but he is an idle dreamer, always going to do something, but never doing anything.”

“It was that thought of being an idle dreamer which stiffened my spine. I decided then and there I’d prove I was not an idle dreamer.”

This man changed his thought pattern. The “idle dreamer” thought kept egging him on until he created a new picture of himself. He began to see himself as a doer instead of a mere “going to” talker. In time—not much—his new mental picture was complete and he became an outstanding success.


The negative person seldom thinks of himself as being negative. He most likely will put up an argument if you even subtly suggest he is negative.

I will give you a very simple test which will tell you, in no uncertain terms, whether your mind leans toward the negative or positive side.

Below are 25 ordinary words. Read these words slowly, noting carefully what mental association goes with each. The association will be either negative or positive. If you find you are negative on most of them—be happy. I say: Be Happy, because a great change is about to take place in your life which will give you Health, Wealth and Happiness.

1. Love
2. Crag
3. Money
4. Automobile
5. Food
6. Sex
7. Dark
8. Book
9. Rest
10. Law
11. Water
12. Letter
13. Garden
14. Maid
15. Boss
16. Home
17. Guests
18. Health
19. Animal
20. Father
21. Clothing
22. Music
23. Children
24. Write
25. Tests

Many of these words seem negative and others positive; but below you will find that each can be either negative or positive.

Love. The association flashing in the mind of a negative person might be: No one loves me. On the other hand, a mental picture of a loved one might appear in the mind of the positive one.

Crag. The negative one could easily picture dangerous crags on which his clothing could become torn, or he could be hurt in falling against one of them. Crags add beauty to the hillside in the mind of the positive thinker.

Money. Negative: debts, lack of it, etc. Positive: Comfort, security, generosity.

Automobile. Negative: Lack of one, or condition of present car. Positive: Enjoyable trips; fun for the family.

Food. Negative: Poor meals, indigestion. Positive: Pleasant repast with relatives and friends.

Sex. Negative: Resentment if not happy with mate, or if unpopular with opposite sex. Positive: Reverse of negative.

Dark. Negative: Loneliness. Positive: Rest, relaxation.

Book. Negative: Study, boredom. Positive: Enlightenment, pleasant pastime.

Rest. Negative: Works too hard; no time for rest. Positive: Recuperation, recreation.

Law. Negative: Traffic tickets. Positive: Order, protection.

Water. Negative: Drowning, rain. Positive: Swimming, boating, cleanliness.

Letter. Negative: Bad news. Positive: Good news.

Garden. Negative: Work, expense. Positive: Beauty.

Maid. Negative: Cannot afford one. Positive: Makes the wife’s home work more enjoyable.

Boss. Negative: Slave driver. Positive: Promotion, income.

Home. Negative: Fighting, nagging. Positive: Companionship with family.

Guests. Negative: Extra work and expense. Positive: Good fellowship.

Health. Negative: Awareness of aches and pains. Positive: A condition worth striving for.

Animal. A nuisance, expense. Positive: Loyalty, devotion, companionship.

Father. Negative: Strict, never gave one any breaks. Positive: Devotion.

Clothing. Scanty wardrobe, cheap clothing. Positive: Reverse.

Music. Negative: Noise, annoyance. Positive: Peace, inspiration.

Children. Negative: Pests, expense. Positive: Fulfilment.

Write. Negative: Inability to write which causes one to dread writing. Positive: Helps one to develop ideas.

Tests. Negative: Lack of faith in one’s ability to pass tests. Positive: Gives one an opportunity to try his skill.

Your reaction to these words may be entirely different from the illustrations given; but from these illustrations you will be able to determine whether or not your first impressions were negative or positive.

Psychological studies have shown that 95 per cent of all people lean toward the negative side. This figure coincides with the study which revealed that not more than 5 per cent of all people are successful. If you are among the 95 per cent of negative people, undoubtedly your flash reactions to the words were heavily on the negative side. If you find this to be true, as I said earlier: Be Happy.

“A fault discovered is half overcome” is a truism often heard. If you are largely negative in your thinking, it is reasonably certain that you are not enjoying as much success as you might like; that you are not as happy as you should be.

Think then, with rejoicing, that your day of emancipation is at hand. No longer will you be held in the bondage of lack, uncertainty and gloom. You can literally tilt your head heavenward, throw out your arms, and with unbounded enthusiasm proclaim: I am free!


Copy the list of words on a piece of paper. When you have guests you can suggest that they test themselves to see how  negative they may be. Discuss the mind and how it can lead us to success or failure. Remember! The more conscious you become of the power of thought, the more cautious you will be as to the type of thoughts you allow to linger in your mind.

Here is another helpful game. Take each letter of the alphabet and see how many positive words you can think of for each letter.

Among the positive words you could select for A, are Adorable, Admire, Agreeable, Alacrity, Alert, Ambitious, Amiable, etc.

For B you might think of such words as Beautiful, Becoming, Beloved, Benediction, Benefit, Bounty, etc. Proceed through the alphabet, thinking of as many positive words as you can.

A good way to use this positive alphabet is to obtain a small card file, about the size of the usual cooking recipe file. Get a set of index cards and a quantity of blank 3″ x 5″ cards, obtainable from most stationery stores. Take a card for each positive word and file it after the correct letter. Soon you’ll have well over 100 name cards in your file.

Every time you learn something, or read something, about any one of the positive words, take that card from your file and add the information you obtained.

It is not likely that you will refer to this file often, but the very act of keeping it, makes you more positive-thought conscious.


In one of my earlier books I gave a formula which has been used with great success by, perhaps, hundreds of thousands of success-seeking men and women.

This formula is an extremely simple—and effective—way of re-educating your Creative Mind, making it natural for you to think positively, constructively.

For a full week, say to yourself as often as you think of it: I CAN be a Success! Say it before retiring at night; when you first awaken in the morning; several times during the day.

This fixes in your mind the fact that you CAN be a success. You will agree that unless you know you can succeed, there is little use in trying. So burn this truth into your mind, even if, at first, you do not believe it. After a short period of time you will begin rejoicing in the thought that success can be yours.

But, knowing you CAN be a success is not enough. We all know lots of things we can do, but unless we do something about them, the positive knowledge is of little benefit to us.

This brings us to the second phase of this formula: For another full week (you can take longer if you wish), every time you think of it, repeat to yourself: I WILL be a Success. Do this many times from early morning until the time you retire at night.

A great change will begin taking place within that mental reservoir of power of yours. You will experience a pleasant uneasiness. You’ll want to test your new powers. If, for example, you have yearned for a business of your own, you’ll begin preparing yourself for one. If you have no money at all, it doesn’t matter. Your Creative Mind will guide you to ways and means of obtaining it.

But you’re not yet through with your mental exercises. For at least another week, begin telling yourself: I AM a Success. Do this many times from early morning until you retire at night.

This statement may seem to be a bit premature, but it isn’t. If you have money in the bank, but none in your pocket, you know that, without effort, you can write a check and obtain money.

If you have a success consciousness and know that you CAN be a success, and that you WILL be a success, you have a fulfilment of your desire.

All statements given in this chapter are facts which have been proved, which are being proved, and which will be proved again and again.

They may seem too good to be true, but do not rest upon that thought. These principles are lifting others out of mediocrity to leadership. If they do not do so for you- it is because you are not giving them an opportunity to do so.

Before proceeding to the next chapter, pause a while and reflect over this one. If it has not excited you, if it has not caused you to overflow with enthusiasm, you have missed a point or two and should reread part, or all of it.

Although I have been using these principles for several years, just telling about them gets me excited all over again. I want all of you to get out of life what these truths are doing for me.

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