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Modern time has brought for us many blessings and almost equal amount of perils. Unemployment, sickness and hopelessness threaten to overpower us every moment of our existence. Increasingly, it feels to make a little money we need to start with a lot of money. But there are ways to lead a fulfilling life. A men and women have proven this and shared their recipes for success more than half a century or so ago. Let us revisit those modern messiah with their prescriptions for success.

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La victoire by Rene Magritte

What All the World’s A-Seeking by Ralph Waldo Trine
Ralph Waldo Trine was one of the earliest of authors to recommend the usage of ‘thought power’ and introduce positive changes in our lives. The book, What All the World’s A-Seeking was published in 1896 and sold two million copies. About 200 pages of this inspirational book are segregated neatly into six parts, each dealing with one specific point. It starts with asking such pointed questions as, ‘how can I attain to a true and lasting greatness?’ and ends with a thorough analysis of ‘Character-Building Thought Power.’
The author, Ralph Waldo Trine (1866 – 1958) started his career as a special correspondent for The Boston Daily Evening Transcript. His wife Grace Hyde Trine, a talented writer herself, shared his passion for writing. For many years they lived at Mt Airy, New York. Trine went on to write many such books and lectured extensively on the subject. Another one of his well–known books that stands the test of time is, In Tune with the Infinite (1910).

Your Forces and How to Use Them by Christian D Larson
Your Forces and How to Use Them was published in 1912. The 350 pages of this book speak extensively on Training the Subconscious for Special Results and The Art of Changing for the Better among other topics. From the very beginning, the author makes his intentions clear declaring, ‘we are here to become great men and women, and with that purpose in view, we must eliminate everything in our religion and philosophy that tends to make the human mind a dependent weakling.’
Christian D Larson (1874 – 1954) is considered to be the father of the American New Thought movement. He even set up a New Thought Temple at his residence in Cincinnati, Ohio! Like Trine, Larson too authored a number of books many of which remain in print to this date. Another one of his famous essays is, Nothing Succeeds Like Success.

The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Delois Wattles
Published in 1910, The Science of Getting Rich is a book that instructs readers on how to overcome the mental barriers and attract a life of prosperity for themselves. Rhonda Byrne, the author of The Secret (2007), credits this book as one of the major sources of her inspiration. The book talks on the subject of creating ‘wealth’ in one’s life in a straight–forward manner. The book continues to be in print owing to its huge popularity.
Wallace Delois Wattles’s (1860 – 1911) had a rather humble beginning to his life. A self–made man, he climbed the ladder of success through his hard work and power of positive thinking. He had written other books covering various topics apart from The Science of Getting Rich.

Creative Mind and Success by Ernest Holmes
Teacher and spiritual writer Ernest Holmes published Creative Mind and Success in 1919. The two–part book deals with a number of important topics which are essential for all–round well being of a human being. It guides the readers on how to control thought, make the right choices, create conducive atmosphere, attract friends and demonstrate success in business. He asserts that ‘money’ is ‘a spiritual idea’ and insists on abolishing negativity that tends to cloud our judgment. By going through this book, aspirants will also learn how to enlarge thought and develop intuition.
Ernest Holmes (1887 – 1960) started a spiritual movement known as Religious Science. He greatly appreciated the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson and William Walker Atkinson.

The Master Key System by Charles F Haanel
The Master Key System (1919) is a book based on Charles F Haanel’s 24-week correspondent course on self-empowerment (1912). It starts with a mini psychological test intended to make students understand how much of ‘mental power’ they are actually using in their daily lives. The final chapter is dedicated to a set of questions and answers on a wide range of topics.
Charles F Haanel (1866 – 1949) was a prosperous businessman, business advisor and author. Post publication of his book, Napoleon Hill wrote a letter to Haanel. Hill stated, ‘My present success and the success which has followed my work as President of the Napoleon Hill Institute is due largely to the principles laid down in The Master-Key System.’

Dynamic Thought by Henry Thomas Hamblin
Dynamic Thought (1923) urges the readers to start walking on the path leading to success, happiness and satisfaction merely by altering the attitude. Twelve chapters of this book center around the fact that, ‘to man, life and the world are reflexes of inward mental states.’
Henry Thomas Hamblin (1873 – 1958) was an author and mystic from England. His own life is somewhat shrouded in obscurity though his books and thought are still preserved, courtesy, the initiative of Hamblin Trust established in 1921.

The Secret of the Ages by Robert Collier
In The Secret of the Ages, Robert Collier asks if it is possible to acquire perfect health, wealth and happiness. He then sets about providing the prescription himself. He frees the bottled up ‘genie’ which is nothing but methods of creating our own world, as desired, by using the latent power of subconscious mind. The book was published in 1926.
Robert Collier (1885 – 1950) was a prolific writer on the subject. Robert Collier Publications, Inc still exists preserving his valuable legacy. More than 300,000 copies of The Secret of the Ages were sold during his lifetime and many more afterwards.

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Robert Collier

The Twelve Powers of Man by Charles Fillmore
Published in 1930, this book is Charles Fillmore’s attempt of making the readers aware of their God-given qualities. Every chapter quotes extensively from the scriptures. It attempts to reveal our divine selves to us. The book also begs to have faith in the power of the ‘spoken word’. It ends with a detailed questionnaire for serious students and followers of the New Thought movement.
Charles Fillmore (1854 – 1948) established Unity, a church dedicated to the ‘higher thought’ and spiritual interpretations of biblical scriptures.

The Game of Life and How to Play It by Florence Scovel Shinn
The Game of Life and How to Play It was published in 1925. The book’s earthly recipes of learning to play the ‘game of life’ well attracted everyone. The examples were all taken from everyday life and Florence Scovel Shinn’s friendly way of approaching the subject made added impression on the minds of the readers. Her book continues inspiring people from every walk of life to this date.
Florence Scovel Shinn (1871 – 1940) was an artist, author and teacher. She wrote other books equally forceful in nature, such as, Your Word Is Your Wand and The Secret Door to Success.

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Illustration by Florence Scovel Shinn

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Napoleon Hill published Think and Grow Rich in 1937. Since then it became one of the most widely read and recommended books on using the power of mind to extract benefits from the universe. Napoleon Hill’s inspiring words, ‘What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve’ went on to become a perfect mantra for everyone and is closely followed even today.
The author was deeply influenced by the life of industrialist Andrew Carnegie. The most striking example of the so called law of attraction was present in front of his eyes. Persuaded by Carnegie himself, Napoleon Hill (1883 – 1970) set about decoding the ‘golden rule’ of having a fulfilling life. In the process he wrote many memorable books including this one.

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Napoleon Hill

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