Here, then, is the place to give yourself a challenge which will
definitely determine how much of this philosophy you have
absorbed. Here is the point at which you can turn prophet and
foretell, accurately, what the future holds in store for you. If, after
reading this chapter, you are willing to accept poverty, you may as
well make up your mind to receive poverty. This is one decision you
If you demand riches, determine what form, and how much will
be required to satisfy you. You know the road that leads to riches.
You have been given a road map which, if followed, will keep you on
that road. If you neglect to make the start, or stop before you arrive,
no one will be to blame, but YOU. This responsibility is yours. No
alibi will save you from accepting the responsibility if you now fail
or refuse to demand riches of Life, because the acceptance calls for
but one thing—incidentally, the only thing you can control—and
that is a STATE OF MIND. A state of mind is something that one
assumes. It cannot be purchased, it must be created.
Fear of poverty is a state of mind, nothing else! But it is
sufficient to destroy one’s chances of achievement in any
undertaking, a truth which became painfully evident during the
This fear paralyzes the faculty of reason, destroys the faculty of
imagination, kills off self-reliance, undermines enthusiasm,
discourages initiative, leads to uncertainty of purpose, encourages
procrastination, wipes out enthusiasm and makes self-control an
impossibility. It takes the charm from one’s personality, destroys
the possibility of accurate thinking, diverts concentration of effort, it
masters persistence, turns the will-power into nothingness,
destroys ambition, beclouds the memory and invites failure in every
conceivable form; it kills love and assassinates the finer emotions of
the heart, discourages friendship and invites disaster in a hundred
forms, leads to sleeplessness, misery and unhappiness—and all this
despite the obvious truth that we live in a world of over-abundance
of everything the heart could desire, with nothing standing between
us and our desires, excepting lack of a definite purpose.
The Fear of Poverty is, without doubt, the most destructive of
the six basic fears. It has been placed at the head of the list,
because it is the most difficult to master. Considerable courage is
required to state the truth about the origin of this fear, and still
greater courage to accept the truth after it has been stated. The fear
of poverty grew out of man’s inherited tendency to PREY UPON HIS
FELLOW MAN ECONOMICALLY. Nearly all animals lower than man
are motivated by instinct, but their capacity to “think” is limited,
therefore, they prey upon one another physically. Man, with his
superior sense of intuition, with the capacity to think and to
reason, does not eat his fellowman bodily, he gets more satisfaction
out of “eating” him FINANCIALLY. Man is so avaricious that every
conceivable law has been passed to safeguard him from his
Of all the ages of the world, of which we know anything, the age
in which we live seems to be one that is outstanding because of
man’s money-madness. A man is considered less than the dust of
the earth, unless he can display a fat bank account; but if he has
money—NEVER MIND HOW HE ACQUIRED IT—he is a “king” or a
“big shot”; he is above the law, he rules in politics, he dominates in
business, and the whole world about him bows in respect when he
Nothing brings man so much suffering and humility as
POVERTY! Only those who have experienced poverty understand
the full meaning of this.
It is no wonder that man fears poverty. Through a long line of
inherited experiences man has learned, for sure, that some men
cannot be trusted, where matters of money and earthly possessions
are concerned. This is a rather stinging indictment, the worst part
of it being that it is TRUE.
The majority of marriages are motivated by the wealth
possessed by one, or both of the contracting parties. It is no
wonder, therefore, that the divorce courts are busy.
So eager is man to possess wealth that he will acquire it in
whatever manner he can—through legal methods if possible-
through other methods if necessary or expedient.
Self-analysis may disclose weaknesses which one does not like
to acknowledge. This form of examination is essential to all who
demand of Life more than mediocrity and poverty. Remember, as
you check yourself point by point, that you are both the court and
the jury, the prosecuting attorney and the attorney for the defense,
and that you are the plaintiff and the defendant, also, that you are
on trial. Face the facts squarely. Ask yourself definite questions and
demand direct replies. When the examination is over, you will know
more about yourself. If you do not feel that you can be an impartial
judge in this self-examination, call upon someone who knows you
well to serve as judge while you cross-examine yourself. You are
after the truth. Get it, no matter at what cost even though it may
temporarily embarrass you!
The majority of people, if asked what they fear most, would
reply, “I fear nothing.” The reply would be inaccurate, because few
people realize that they are bound, handicapped, whipped spiritu-
ally and physically through some form of fear. So subtle and deeply
seated is the emotion of fear that one may go through life burdened
with it, never recognizing its presence. Only a courageous analysis
will disclose the presence of this universal enemy. When you begin
such an analysis, search deeply into your character. Here is a list of
the symptoms for which you should look:
SYMPTOMS OF THE FEAR OF POVERTY
INDIFFERENCE. Commonly expressed through lack of ambition;
willingness to tolerate poverty; acceptance of whatever
compensation life may offer without protest; mental and physical
laziness; lack of initiative, imagination, enthusiasm and self-control
INDECISION. The habit of permitting others to do one’s thinking.
Staying “on the fence.”
DOUBT. Generally expressed through alibis and excuses designed
to cover up, explain away, or apologize for one’s failures, sometimes
expressed in the form of envy of those who are successful, or by
WORRY. Usually expressed by finding fault with others, a tendency
to spend beyond one’s income, neglect of personal appearance,
scowling and frowning; intemperance in the use of alcoholic drink,
sometimes through the use of narcotics; nervousness, lack of poise,
self-consciousness and lack of self-reliance.
OVER-CAUTION. The habit of looking for the negative side of every
circumstance, thinking and talking of possible failure instead of
concentrating upon the means of succeeding. Knowing all the roads
to disaster, but never searching for the plans to avoid failure. Wait-
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ing for “the right time” to begin putting ideas and plans into action,
until the waiting becomes a permanent habit. Remembering those
who have failed, and forgetting those who have succeeded. Seeing
the hole in the doughnut, but overlooking the doughnut.
Pessimism, leading to indigestion, poor elimination, auto-
intoxication, bad breath and bad disposition.
PROCRASTINATION. The habit of putting off until tomorrow that
which should have been done last year. Spending enough time in
creating alibis and excuses to have done the job. This symptom is
closely related to over-caution, doubt and worry. Refusal to accept
responsibility when it can be avoided. Willingness to compromise
rather than put up a stiff fight. Compromising with difficulties
instead of harnessing and using them as stepping stones to
advancement. Bargaining with Life for a penny, instead of
demanding prosperity, opulence, riches, contentment and
happiness. Planning what to do IF AND WHEN OVERTAKEN BY
FAILURE, INSTEAD OF BURNING ALL BRIDGES AND MAKING
RETREAT IMPOSSIBLE. Weakness of, and often total lack of self-
confidence, definiteness of purpose, self-control, initiative,
enthusiasm, ambition, thrift and sound reasoning ability.
EXPECTING POVERTY INSTEAD OF DEMANDING RICHES.
Association with those who accept poverty instead of seeking the
company of those who demand and receive riches.
Some will ask, “why did you write a book about money? Why
measure riches in dollars, alone?” Some will believe, and rightly so,
that there are other forms of riches more desirable than money.
Yes, there are riches which cannot be measured in terms of dollars,
but there are millions of people who will say, “Give me all the money
I need, and I will find everything else I want.”
The major reason why I wrote this book on how to get money is
the fact that the world has but lately passed through an experience
that left millions of men and women paralyzed with the FEAR OF
POVERTY. What this sort of fear does to one was well described by
Westbrook Pegler, in the New York World-Telegram, viz:
“Money is only clam shells or metal discs or scraps of paper,
and there are treasures of the heart and soul which money cannot
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buy, but most people, being broke, are unable to keep this in mind
and sustain their spirits. When a man is down and out and on the
street, unable to get any job at all, something happens to his spirit
which can be observed in the droop of his shoulders, the set of his
hat, his walk and his gaze. He cannot escape a feeling of inferiority
among people with regular employment, even though he knows they
are definitely not his equals in character, intelligence or ability.
“These people—even his friends—feel, on the other hand, a
sense of superiority and regard him, perhaps unconsciously, as a
casualty. He may borrow for a time, but not enough to carry on in
his accustomed way, and he cannot continue to borrow very long.
But borrowing in itself, when a man is borrowing merely to live, is a
depressing experience, and the money lacks the power of earned
money to revive his spirits. Of course, none of this applies to bums
or habitual ne’er-do-wells, but only to men of normal ambitions and
“WOMEN CONCEAL DESPAIR.
“Women in the same predicament must be different. We
somehow do not think of women at all in considering the down-and-
outers. They are scarce in the breadlines, they rarely are seen
begging on the streets, and they are not recognizable in crowds by
the same plain signs which identify busted men. Of course, I do not
mean the shuffling hags of the city streets who are the opposite
number of the confirmed male bums. I mean reasonably young,
decent and intelligent women. There must be many of them, but
their despair is not apparent. Maybe they kill themselves.
“When a man is down and out he has time on his hands for
brooding. He may travel miles to see a man about a job and
discover that the job is filled or that it is one of those jobs with no
base pay but only a commission on the sale of some useless knick-
knack which nobody would buy, except out of pity. Turning that
down, he finds himself back on the street with nowhere to go but
just anywhere. So he walks and walks. He gazes into store windows
at luxuries which are not for him, and feels inferior and gives way to
people who stop to look with an active interest. He wanders into the
railroad station or puts himself down in the library to ease his legs
and soak up a little heat, but that isn’t looking for a job, so he gets
going again. He may not know it, but his aimlessness would give
him away even if the very lines of his figure did not. He may be well
dressed in the clothes left over from the days when he had a steady
job, but the clothes cannot disguise the droop.
“MONEY MAKES DIFFERENCE.
“He sees thousands of other people, bookkeepers or clerks or
chemists or wagon hands, busy at their work and envies them from
the bottom of his soul. They have their independence, their self-
respect and manhood, and he simply cannot convince himself that
he is a good man, too, though he argue it out and arrive at a
favorable verdict hour after hour.
“It is just money which makes this difference in him. With a
little money he would be himself again.
“Some employers take the most shocking advantage of people
who are down and out. The agencies hang out little colored cards
offering miserable wages to busted men—$12 a week, $15 a week.
An $18 a week job is a plum, and anyone with $25 a week to offer
does not hang the job in front of an agency on a colored card. I have
a want ad clipped from a local paper demanding a clerk, a good,
clean penman, to take telephone orders for a sandwich shop from
11 A.M. to 2 P.M. for $8 a month—not $8 a week but $8 a month.
The ad says also, ‘State religion.’ Can you imagine the brutal
effrontery of anyone who demands a good, clean penman for 11
cents an hour inquiring into the victim’s religion? But that is what
busted people are offered.”
THE FEAR OF CRITICISM
Just how man originally came by this fear, no one can state
definitely, but one thing is certain— he has it in a highly developed
form. Some believe that this fear made its appearance about the
time that politics became a “profession.” Others believe it can be
traced to the age when women first began to concern themselves
with “styles” in wearing apparel.
This author, being neither a humorist nor a prophet, is inclined
to attribute the basic fear of criticism to that part of man’s inherited
nature which prompts him not only to take away his fellowman’s
goods and wares, but to justify his action by CRITICISM of his
fellowman’s character. It is a well known fact that a thief will
criticise the man from whom he steals-that politicians seek office,
not by displaying their own virtues and qualifications, but by
attempting to besmirch their opponents.
The fear of criticism takes on many forms, the majority of
which are petty and trivial. Bald-headed men, for example, are bald
for no other reason than their fear of criticism. Heads become bald
because of the tight fitting bands of hats which cut off the
circulation from the roots of the hair. Men wear hats, not because
they actually need them, but mainly because “everyone is doing it.”
The individual falls into line and does likewise, lest some other
individual CRITICISE him. Women seldom have bald heads, or even
thin hair, because they wear hats which fit their heads loosely, the
only purpose of the hats being adornment.
But, it must not be supposed that women are free from the fear
of criticism. If any woman claims to be superior to man with
reference to this fear, ask her to walk down the street wearing a hat
of the vintage of 1890.
The astute manufacturers of clothing have not been slow to
capitalize this basic fear of criticism, with which all mankind has
been cursed. Every season the styles in many articles of wearing
apparel change. Who establishes the styles? Certainly not the
purchaser of clothing, but the manufacturer. Why does he change
the styles so often? The answer is obvious. He changes the styles so
he can sell more clothes.
For the same reason the manufacturers of automobiles (with a
few rare and very sensible exceptions) change styles of models every
season. No man wants to drive an automobile which is not of the
latest style, although the older model may actually be the better
We have been describing the manner in which people behave
under the influence of fear of criticism as applied to the small and
petty things of life. Let us now examine human behavior when this
fear affects people in connection with the more important events of
human relationship. Take for example practically any person who
has reached the age of “mental maturity” (from 35 to 40 years of
age, as a general average), and if you could read the secret thoughts
of his mind, you would find a very decided disbelief in most of the
fables taught by the majority of the dogmatists and theologians a
few decades back.
Not often, however, will you find a person who has the courage
to openly state his belief on this subject. Most people will, if pressed
far enough, tell a lie rather than admit that they do not believe the
stories associated with that form of religion which held people in
bondage prior to the age of scientific discovery and education.
Why does the average person, even in this day of
enlightenment, shy away from denying his belief in the fables which
were the basis of most of the religions a few decades ago? The
answer is, “because of the fear of criticism.” Men and women have
been burned at the stake for daring to express disbelief in ghosts. It
is no wonder we have inherited a consciousness which makes us
fear criticism. The time was, and not so far in the past, when
criticism carried severe punishments-it still does in some countries.
The fear of criticism robs man of his initiative, destroys his
power of imagination, limits his individuality, takes away his self-
reliance, and does him damage in a hundred other ways. Parents
often do their children irreparable injury by criticising them. The
mother of one of my boyhood chums used to punish him with a
switch almost daily, always completing the job with the statement,
“You’ll land in the penitentiary before you are twenty.” He was sent
to a Reformatory at the age of seventeen.
Criticism is the one form of service, of which everyone has too
much. Everyone has a stock of it which is handed out, gratis,
whether called for or not. One’s nearest relatives often are the worst
offenders. It should be recognized as a crime (in reality it is a crime
of the worst nature), for any parent to build inferiority complexes in
the mind of a child, through unnecessary criticism. Employers who
understand human nature, get the best there is in men, not by
criticism, but by constructive suggestion. Parents may accomplish
the same results with their children. Criticism will plant FEAR in
the human heart, or resentment, but it will not build love or
SYMPTOMS OF THE FEAR OF CRITICISM
This fear is almost as universal as the fear of poverty, and its
effects are just as fatal to personal achievement, mainly because
this fear destroys initiative, and discourages the use of imagination.
The major symptoms of the fear are:
SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS. Generally expressed through
nervousness, timidity in conversation and in meeting strangers,
awkward movement of the hands and limbs, shifting of the eyes.
LACK OF POISE. Expressed through lack of voice control,
nervousness in the presence of others, poor posture of body,
PERSONALITY. Lacking in firmness of decision, personal
charm, and ability to express opinions definitely. The habit of
side-stepping issues instead of meeting them squarely. Agreeing
with others without careful examination of their opinions.
INFERIORITY COMPLEX. The habit of expressing self-
approval by word of mouth and by actions, as a means of
covering up a feeling of inferiority. Using “big words” to impress
others, (often without knowing the real meaning of the words).
Imitating others in dress, speech and manners. Boasting of
imaginary achievements. This sometimes gives a surface
appearance of a feeling of superiority.
EXTRAVAGANCE. The habit of trying to “keep up with the
Joneses,” spending beyond one’s income.
LACK OF INITIATIVE. Failure to embrace opportunities for
self-advancement, fear to express opinions, lack of confidence in
one’s own ideas, giving evasive answers to questions asked by
superiors, hesitancy of manner and speech, deceit in both words
LACK OF AMBITION. Mental and physical laziness, lack of
self-assertion, slowness in reaching decisions, easily influenced
by others, the habit of criticising others behind their backs and
flattering them to their faces, the habit of accepting defeat
without protest, quitting an undertaking when opposed by
others, suspicious of other people without cause, lacking in tact-
fulness of manner and speech, unwillingness to accept the
blame for mistakes.
THE FEAR OF ILL HEALTH
This fear may be traced to both physical and social heredity. It
is closely associated, as to its origin, with the causes of fear of Old
Age and the fear of Death, because it leads one closely to the border
of “terrible worlds” of which man knows not, but concerning which
he has been taught some discomforting stories. The opinion is
somewhat general, also, that certain unethical people engaged in
the business of “selling health” have had not a little to do with
keeping alive the fear of ill health.
In the main, man fears ill health because of the terrible
pictures which have been planted in his mind of what may happen
if death should overtake him. He also fears it because of the
economic toll which it may claim.
A reputable physician estimated that 75% of all people who
visit physicians for professional service are suffering with
hypochondria (imaginary illness). It has been shown most
convincingly that the fear of disease, even where there is not the
slightest cause for fear, often produces the physical symptoms of
the disease feared.
Powerful and mighty is the human mind! It builds or it
Playing upon this common weakness of fear of ill health,
dispensers of patent medicines have reaped fortunes. This form of
imposition upon credulous humanity became so prevalent some
twenty years ago that Colliers’ Weekly Magazine conducted a bitter
campaign against some of the worst offenders in the patent
During the “flu” epidemic which broke out during the world
war, the mayor of New York City took drastic steps to check the
damage which people were doing themselves through their inherent
fear of ill health. He called in the newspaper men and said to them,
“Gentlemen, I feel it necessary to ask you not to publish any scare
headlines concerning the ‘flu’ epidemic. Unless you cooperate with
me, we will have a situation which we cannot control.” The
newspapers quit publishing stories about the “flu,” and within one
month the epidemic had been successfully checked.
Through a series of experiments conducted some years ago, it
was proved that people may be made ill by suggestion. We
conducted this experiment by causing three acquaintances to visit
the “victims,” each of whom asked the question, “What ails you?
You look terribly ill.” The first questioner usually provoked a grin,
and a nonchalant “Oh, nothing, I’m alright,” from the victim. The
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