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Excerpts from

  How Great Men & Women Succeed
by Christian D. Larson

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Book Contents
1907. The man who succeeds is convinced of the fact that he has the necessary power. He knows his power because he is in mental touch with his power. He not only knows that he has it, but he is in actual possession of it. He knows that he can and he has his hands on the power that can. This is the outer rim of his secret, but within this outer rim we find the real secret. Where did he gain his exceptional power and how did he place himself in mental touch with that power?


Chapter 1 - He Can Who Thinks He Can

Chapter 2 - The Secret of Being Great

Chapter 3 - The Power of Faith

Chapter 4 - How to Exercise the Real Power of Faith

Chapter 5 - How to Turn Obstacles Into Opportunities

Chapter 6 - The Power of Desire

Chapter 7 - How to Use the Power of Desire

Chapter 8 - Using Thought and Action to Achieve Success

Chapter 9 - The Right Use of the Will

Chapter 10 - The Superior Man or Woman Within You

Chapter One

He Can Who Thinks He Can

There are many essentials to a real permanent success, but there is one essential without which all the others become practically valueless. The man who succeeds is invariably impelled to press on and on by something within him that tells him he can. He may have no name for this something, nor may he give to its presence special attention. Nevertheless, he knows it is there, and it gives him an inner determination that nothing in the world can conquer or destroy. He is inwardly convinced that he will succeed; and this conviction is so powerful and so deeply rooted in the very foundation of his being that it refuses absolutely to be disturbed by any circumstance whatever. In the spirit of this conviction he proceeds with his eye single upon the goal in view, gaining ground steadily and demonstrating every day, through actual results, that his conviction is based upon fact.

But where does this conviction come from? Where do great minds receive this inner determination, the power of which is greater than any obstacle or adversity that can possibly be met in human life? And can anyone get possession of this interior something that simply must press on to victory, no matter what the circumstances maybe?

These are questions of vital importance to every mind that longs for greater things, and it is the aim of the following pages to answer them in a manner that will be fully intelligible to all, and thoroughly satisfactory to the most exact.

To attain great success, we must inwardly feel that we can, and we must be inspired by a determination that is not only irresistible, but that is as deep as the fathomless depths of life itself. He can who thinks he can. He who thinks he can will use effectively all his present power and will steadily increase the capacity of that power. He who doubts his power, however, will fail to use it. And herein we discover one of the first causes of failure, as well as one of the greatest laws in achievement.

The less confidence you have in yourself, the less of yourself you will apply in action; while the more confidence you have in yourself, the more of yourself, and all of the powers and faculties you possess, you will use in whatever work you may be engaged.

Some minds naturally feel that they can, and there is a reason why. When we learn why they have this confidence, we may gain the same confidence; and success will come to us as surely as the rays of the rising sun. But other minds of equal, or even greater, ability are confused and depressed with so much doubt that not a single faculty gives expression to more than a fraction of its inherent power. In consequence, they fail where lesser minds reap rich rewards, thus proving conclusively that ability is not the only essential.

There must be something back of ability that causes the full power of ability to be pushed to the front. All great men have this something and that is why they succeed; and we must also add that it is the possession of this something that makes them great, though this something is not beyond the many. It can be acquired by all normal minds; and to this rule there is no exception whatever.

Men who accomplish great things do not always have exceptional ability, but there is a power within them that turns all of their ability to the very best account. All that is in them is pushed up, so to speak, to the highest point of action and efficiency. Nothing in their nature is lost. Everything is put to work, and everything works effectively towards the great goal in view.

To possess exceptional ability, however, means great gain, providing the power to apply all of that ability is also present, and such ability not only can be developed, but should be developed. The fact, therefore, that a man does not possess exceptional ability at the present time need not prevent him from attaining exceptional success. By pushing to the front what ability he does possess, he can realize marked success at once, and that something that causes all ability to be pushed to the front can be gained by any mind without delay. Anyone can get that something now and begin a successful life now.

When a man thinks he can he awakens in his mind the power that can; and he thinks that he can because he is conscious of the power that can; that is, he inwardly feels the existence of that power.

When you feel that you have the power to do what you wish to do, you cannot possibly doubt anymore, nor can you fail when you proceed to use that power.

But how do successful men get this power, and by what means do they come to feel it so distinctly that they positively know they possess it?

To think that you can when you do not feel that you can is hardly possible, and it is only he who thinks he can succeed that does succeed. The man who does not feel within himself the power that can will doubt, and he who doubts that he can will suppress the power that can. Doubt must be removed before success can be gained, but doubt will not disappear until we inwardly feel that we can; that is, until we can actually feel the possession of all the power that is necessary to do what we have undertaken to do. When we know that we have the power, we know it. We know that we can. We are aware of the necessary power within us and this power is so positively determined to succeed that we find neither rest, peace, nor happiness until we proceed to apply it on the largest possible scale.

That something within that causes the full power of ability to be pushed to the front can be awakened and made active in everybody, because we all have it. This something is not a special gift for the few. It is inherent in every mind and is just as natural as life itself. In fact, it is inseparable from life, but thus far there are only a few who have learned to use it. Some of these were born with a natural aptitude in this direction, while others acquired the essential mental attitude later on, and this we all can do now. All minds are built upon the same principle. All minds possess the same possibilities. What one mind has accomplished, all minds can accomplish, and infinitely more.

We are only at the mere beginning of human attainment. Innumerable worlds in the vast mental domains are yet to be explored and conquered. A few know of their existence, but it remains for the future to discover all the wonderful and marvelous possibilities that these worlds may contain. No person, therefore, need doubt the existence of the extraordinary powers within him. We all have those powers, and to be just to ourselves and to the race, we must proceed to use now as many of those powers as we can understand now.

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