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Excerpts from

  "How To Attract Success"
by F.W. Sears

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Book Description
1914. Sears Philosophy as taught in "The Books Without an If." In this book, the true law of success is taught, which is the law of harmonious attraction. Under this law, things come to us because they want to come and not because we make them come; they remain with us because they want to do so. Instead of working to control the other fellow, we learn to control ourselves and become so strong, powerful and harmonious in our attractive power that the things we want will want us so much that they cannot stay away.



What is Success? - The Laws that Make for Success - “Declaring War on Poverty” - Must “Build Castles in the Air” Before Castles Can Be Built on the Ground - Effect of Environment - Fixed Habits - What “Good Luck” and “Bad Luck” Is - Man is an Unconscious Creator But Can Become a Conscious One - What Makes the Difference Between Persons - How to Create and Attract Success Permanently

How Man May Be Classified - Different Degrees of Unfoldment - The Five General States of Consciousness - What the “Sub-conscious Mind” Really Is - The Mind of the Physical Body - The Mind of the Ego or Astral Body - The True Function of “Logic” - Mind of Physical Body Makes the Conditions By Which Mind of Astral Body May Manifest In and Through the Physical Body - What the Imagination Is and its Proper Function - “Impressions” and “Intuitions:” Their Source and How to Tell “Which is Which”

Man Has the Power to Develop Every State of Consciousness - How to Correct Too Emotional Natures; also Those that are Afraid - The Faculties Used by the Successful Man - What the Law of Force is and its Effects - What the Law of Harmonious Attraction is and its effects

How Most Persons Have Gained Success - Why It Has Not Been Permanent in Most Cases - How Man in His Scramble for Money Resembles Chickens When They are Fed - People and Things are Instruments in the Hands of God - The Great Universal Law - Why Methods Do Not Affect One’s Ability to Obtain Wealth But Do Affect the Ability to Retain It - “Vacant Space” Filled With the One Universal Substance - “A Million Dollars from Out of a Blue Sky” - We Retain Things Under Same Law We Obtain Them - Wall Street Man’s Experience

Most Rich Persons are Young Souls; Have Had But Few Incarnations - Ignorant Use of Intellect Separates us from Abundance of Supply - How Wealthy Persons Set Causes in Motion in One Incarnation which Relates Them with Poverty in the Next - “Like Produces Like” on Every Plane of Consciousness - Intellect: the Governing Power in Material World - Mental Imbeciles - Soul and Spiritual Imbeciles - The Two Brain Centers: Physical and Psychological

Intelligent Use of Intellect - Physical and Intellectual Giants; Soul and Spiritual Pigmies - God Gave Us All Power and the Faculties Through Which To Use It - Man is Free to Use This Power in Any Way He Wishes - No One Has Ever Enslaved Us But Ourselves - Universal Energy is Neither “Good” nor “Bad”  - Man Can Use It to Create Success or Failure, Abundance or Lack - How Man Relates With the Law of Force - How to Displace the Law of Force - How to “Turn on the Light” - Down Broadway to the Battery

How to Obtain What We Want, When and Where We Want It - What Having “The Faith of a Grain of Mustard Seed” Really Means - What Makes a Thing “Natural” to Us - Fixed Habits

Why Those Who Have “Faith” Do Not Succeed - Why Only the Things We Do Not Want Materialize For Us - How to Materialize the Things We Do Want - Experience of Stenographer - Experience of Business Man Who Attracted Nearly Ten Times as Much in Sixty Days Under The Law of Harmony as He Had in Six Months Previous Under Law of Force

The Relationship Between the Thing Created and the Energy Which Created It - The Law of Cause and Effect - How Each Life May Make the Affirmation “I Am Success NOW” Become Scientific
and Material Truth  - Why Continuously Thinking that “I Am a Failure” Makes Success Impossible - Story of the “Lunkhead”

Every Material Thing is the Objective Symbol of the Vibratory Rate of the Atoms Which Compose It - How to Demonstrate the Difference in the Vibration of Words - How We Relate With Failure - How to Turn Failure into Success - Story of the Artist - How Negative, Destructive Energy is Generated Unconsciously - How to Displace It - The Law of Life

How to Build a Success Consciousness - A Personal Experience - Each Life Has an Inexhaustible Supply of Constructive Energy Upon Which it May Draw - How We May Relate With It - Our Attitude Towards Things Governs Their Effect on Us - What Our Attitude Should Be Toward a Thief or Other Destructive Instrument - “Children in Consciousness” - Defense is Neither Offense Nor Attack

People are All in Difference States of Unfoldment - Recognition Determines What is Possible or Impossible for Each Life - Story of the Street-Car Driver - Man Becomes a Conscious Creator - How People of the United States More Evenly Developed - Unite the Imagination and Intellect More Harmoniously - First “Build Castles in the Air” Before They Can Be Built on the Ground

The First Thing Necessary in Building a Consciousness of Money - There is an Abundance of Money in the World - “Chance,” “Accident,” or “Luck” Does Not Enter Into Our Supply - Why the “Other Fellow” Has Money and We Have None - How We Can Relate With and Attract Money to Us - Our Part of the Work - God’s Part - The True Law of Success - Experience of Physician

“Vacant Space” Around Us is Not Vacant - Man is Like a Central Telephone Station - What Connection Do We Wish to Make? - “Am I to Buy Something I Want But For Which I Cannot Pay?” - Greatest Secret in Life - Experience of a New York City Minister - Who Is the Successful Man?

Summary of the Universal Laws Which Make for Success - Why We Refuse to Attack Any One - This Attitude Does Not Take Away Our Initiative - Personal Experience of the Author - Why All Persons Living Will Not Be Successful at the Same Time - Who Will Be Successful - WILL YOU BE ONE OF THEM?


It is a self-evident fact that you wanted to get something out of this book or you would not have purchased it.

Therefore the first thing to do before you begin to read is to relax and become receptive to the lessons it teaches.

The second thing is to read slowly and try to absorb its lessons rather than learn them mentally.

The third thing is to remember that this book only teaches how to grow a constructive and harmonious consciousness; you will have to do the work of applying its lessons.

New habits are not formed in a day and the lessons which this book teaches will not be absorbed in one reading. The student who will devote not less than half an hour each day to their study and then apply them in living their daily life will receive untold benefit. It is dependent on you alone as to how valuable this book becomes to you.

The author has proven for himself everything he teaches. He knows that everything he says is true, and you can know it too but you will have to apply the lessons and prove them for yourself.

You will note that the author does not quote any “authorities” for any of his statements. The highest authority any soul can possibly have is its own God-self and it is this God-self in you which the proper and persistent study and application of these lessons will bring out into greater expression, and thus enable you to set the new causes in motion which will bring you success along any line you may desire.

--The Publishers


F.W. Sears held a Master of Psychology and was the author of “The Books Without an If” series in the early 20th century.

Sears philosophy was taught in “The Books Without an If.” In this book, Sears introduced the concept of the Law of Harmonious Attraction, under which things come to us because they want to come and not because we make them come; they remain with us because they want to do so.

This law has become the foundation for much of the booming self-help industry in the world. F.W. Sears was a pioneer in the field of self-help writing and teaching and his theories remain as relevant decades after his death as they were at the time of his writings in the 1910s and 1920s.


Many books and treatises have been written on the subject of “Success” and the methods to be used in obtaining it. These works have been the honest statements of their authors who have used and found them successful. The student, in attempting to apply them, has usually been successful for a while but the day invariably came when he or she found that something was lacking, and the same methods which formerly brought success failed them in their need.

In the business world it has always been considered that the salesmen who could sell a customer “something he did not want” was the best salesman. Men are taught “Business Psychology,” which consists in controlling the “other fellow’s” mind through the power of “Mental suggestion” and making him do what the salesman wants.

The world has not realized that the Law of Force was the controlling factor in these methods and that we can only retain a thing under the same Law by which it is obtained.

To be successful in anything one must be able to retain as well as obtain it; they must also be able to obtain it when they want it, where they want it, and be able to retain it as long as they want it.

It is obvious then that when we obtain anything under the Law of Force we must be prepared to exert our Force all the time to a greater degree than can anyone else in order to be able to obtain what we want, when and where we want it, and to retain it as long as we want it.

Few men or women, that is few in comparison with the entire population of the world, are able to maintain this Law of Force against all-comers for any great length of time, and so we have failure after failure. Some are able to maintain it for only a few months, others for several years, while those who are able to maintain it for a lifetime against all-comers usually do so through making a sort of “truce” or combination – Trust – with others of their kind.

In this book is taught the true Law of Success, which is the “Law of Harmonious Attraction.” Under this Law things come to us “because they want to come” and not because “we make them come;” they remain with us because they ”want to do so.”

Instead of working to control the “other fellow” we learn to control ourselves and become so strong, powerful and harmonious in our attractive power that the things we want will “want us” so much that they cannot remain away.

The salesman who uses this Law finds that he is led to those who want to buy his goods, instead of to those whom he has to force into buying. The result is that he has a satisfied clientele instead of a dissatisfied one; that instead of having to dodge around the corner when he sees a former customer approaching, he goes up to meet him knowing that he will receive a hearty welcome and probably be given information which will help him make other sales.

The business man or woman who uses this Law can go to bed at night with their mind free from the fear that they may wake up in the morning and find themselves a pauper because their investments have proven to be bad or that some confidential clerk has absconded with their wealth.
The person who uses this Law to obtain Happiness or any other ideal will find that they have not been chasing an “ignus fatus” which disappears just as they think they have obtained it.

It is impossible for one working under any other Law to take away from us what we have gained under the Law of Harmonious Attraction, for this is the strongest and most powerful Law in the Universe; while those working under this Law will never want to take it away from us.

The Law of Harmonious Attraction and other Laws referred to in this book, are not new Laws, and the Author claims nothing for their discovery; they have existed throughout all time and have been used unconsciously to a greater or less extent throughout all the ages. The only claim the Author makes is for their revival and their conscious application by mankind along all lines, and the new application of them which he teaches.

The Author would teach the same common sense application of these Laws to the energy which creates things that the world uses in the handling of these things after they are created. Thus when one leaves his home he locks the doors and fastens the windows in order to prevent intruders from gaining entrance and stealing his valuables, but in his thought world he leaves the doors and windows open to all the thieves, tramps and vagabonds of the destructive thought currents. Man should learn to lock the “doors and windows” of his thought world against the “thieves and vagabonds” – vicious thoughts of all kinds – of that plane by forming the fixed habit of displacing them by constructive and harmonious thinking.

To the thousands of hungry souls that have battled long enough with the world under the Law of Force and who are ready to learn the larger Truth of the Law of Harmonious Attraction, is this book dedicated. All such will read and re-read it hundreds of times, get into the vibrations from which it was written and receive their own message of Harmony direct from the one great Source. Those who have not been beaten to earth again and again by the reaction of the Law of Force on their own lives and who are not ready for the great Truths contained herein will go on under their old Law, setting more and more destructive causes in motion until they too cry out for mercy and say, “Oh, God! Why hast thou forsaken me.” Sometime they too will learn the lesson that “no one can save us from our own Laws but ourselves.”
--The Author


What is success? To be successful in anything is to have the ability and power to do the thing we want to do when and where we want to do it, or to have what we want, when we want it and as long as we want it.

Success is a thing which we can build for just as surely and scientifically as the architect plans and builds the skyscraper or the engineer the wonderful tunnels and bridges of modern times.

The Laws which make for success are just as natural – although less generally understood – as are the laws which the architect and engineer use in their work.

A New York paper, in a recent editorial on “Declaring War on Poverty,” among other things said, “Why then, does not the war begin? There is no reason – save the lack of organization for such a crusade. Then men who want to abolish poverty, who know that it can be abolished and are able to abolish it, have not yet found a common standard around which to recruit their forces.”

No, and they never will find a “common standard” until they learn the great truth that everything begins and ends in consciousness – in the thought world, the imagination, for that is where man does all his imaging – and that until the individual gets rid of a poverty consciousness, a poverty image, he will never be free permanently from a poverty environment.

Within each life lies the causes of whatever enters into it. Man is building his own world every moment of his life. He creates from within the energy which attracts from without. The thoughts he thinks are his own private property and they generate the power with which he builds from within and attracts from without. Like builds like and like attracts like. Man must first have “castles in the air” before he can have castles on the ground.

It is true that the man or woman who is kept busy at good wages and given a pleasant and comfortable environment has the external things and conditions which will help them create a consciousness or image of abundance, but until they have established the fixed habit of thinking constructively, they will not continue to stay out of a poverty-stricken environment indefinitely.

Was the giving of a pleasant and comfortable environment to man and providing him with continuous employment an insurance against poverty the solution would be simple, easy and sure of quick accomplishment.

But we know that such a remedy has never effected a permanent cure; that something more than employment and environment is necessary. We know many men and women who have started out in life with everything their hearts could wish in both of these things, but the day came when their employment was gone and their environment poverty stricken.

What was it they lacked? What is that “something more” which is so necessary to the peace, happiness and success of man?

We have called it “bad luck,” or rather the want of “good luck” heretofore, but it is neither. In the past we have been of the belief that success along any line was largely a matter of chance, or luck, but we know better today. We know that there is no such thing as either chance or luck, good or bad, in the universe.

“Good luck” is simply the effect of constructive and harmonious causes we have unconsciously set in motion sometime previous to its occurrence, while “bad luck” is the effect of destructive and inharmonious causes we have just as unconsciously set in motion and which we have not yet learned how to antidote or displace.

Today we know that success is the consciousness of the abundance of supply and the recognition of our oneness with it. We may believe in the truth of this but until we know it beyond any question of a doubt it is impossible to materialize the belief at all times and under all circumstances.

We know that the things we have called luck, accident, chance, etc., simply seem so on the surface – on the external side of life – because we have only looked for their causes on the objective side; but when we look back of the external and go deeply into the energy which produced them we learn that all these so-called accidents, chance, luck, are the natural effects of natural Laws; that these Laws are as simple and easily understood as is the law that one and one makes two.

Before a spade is stuck into the ground in excavating for one of our immense skyscrapers the building has been entirely finished, even to the last coat of paint on the walls, in the consciousness – the thought world, the imagination – of the architect.

Before even one screw, nut or bolt was made for the engines which generate the power on our ocean greyhounds the entire engine was completed in the consciousness – the thought world, the imagination – of the engineer who drafted the plans.

Both architect and engineer built “castles in the air” first, before their “air castles” could be materialized in objective form.

The engine which generates the steam does not know for what purpose the energy is to be used, and the masses have no greater knowledge of the use to which they will put the energy they create than does the engine; they work as unconsciously and as ignorantly of the effects of the energy they generate as does the engine.

Man, however, can become a conscious creator while the engine cannot, and in the consciousness or knowledge of this power does man have the advantage. When he neglects to develop or does not use his power, the effect is as disastrous to him as to the engine, for when the engine lies idle any length of time it rusts, becomes useless and fit only for the scrap pile. So with man, for when he fails to use his faculties and power they become atrophied from disuse and he too soon rusts out and becomes only fit for the scrap pile. On the other hand when man does develop and use his power the effect becomes more beneficial to him than to the engine.

Man is an individual creator; he not only creates his body but he also creates his environment.


This is a most stupendous statement, one which the masses cannot understand nor comprehend fully in their present state of consciousness, but each life may develop itself to where it not only understands but knows this truth. The only difference between persons is in the amount of this creative power each life expresses harmoniously.

There is absolutely nothing we have ever had in the past, have now, or ever will have, but what we have created for ourselves. Most of us have done the larger part of our work of creating unconsciously and ignorantly, and we have not stopped to see, study, and understand the relationship between the use we made of this energy and the things it has created for us. It has been so much easier to blame the disastrous effects to chance, accident, or luck.

On the objective plane we have learned that a sharp knife, drawn across the hand, cuts it; but what we have not yet learned is that when we think vicious thoughts of any kind – fear, worry, anger, hatred, resentment, resistance, impatience, intolerance, condemnation, criticism, envy, jealousy, etc. – such thoughts generate an energy which causes us to relate with the things on the objective plane, both in the physical body and its environment, that we do not want. It is this relationship of effect to cause which we must learn before we can begin to permanently abolish poverty or anything else we do not want.

Now do not understand that it is impossible to abolish poverty temporarily, or even for a lifetime in some lives, without either a knowledge or application of this truth, for such is not the case.

Some few lives – few as compared with the multitude of persons living at any time – may concentrate their entire creative power on the subject of money and amass great wealth and hold it too during their life in any incarnation and still think all these vicious thoughts and manifest them objectively, but “Be not deceived, for God – the great Universal Law – is not mocked, and whatsoever a man soweth that also shall he reap,” and in the incarnations yet to come for such a life will it reap the effects of the energy it has created, either in poverty, sickness, or misery of some kind.

The object of these lessons is to teach how to create and attract success to us permanently – not temporarily; how to get what we want, get it when we want it, and keep it as long as we want it. When we know this Law, and it becomes such a fixed habit in our lives that we live it as unconsciously as we are now living, live it because we have developed such a consciousness that we do not know how to live any other way, there will be no need for “declaring war on poverty,” disease, or misery, for we will then cease to generate the energy which relates us with these things.

Every moment of our lives, with every breath we draw, we are creating something. There has never been a second of time, all along down the ages past and gone, in which we have not created something for ourselves.

We are today, in body and environment, the effects of these creations of our past. We want to know this now. We also want to know that we will continue to create ourselves and our environment all down the future ages yet to come, not only here in this world but also in all the worlds through which we have yet to evolve in our return to our Source.

With this understanding thoroughly fixed in our consciousness let us learn how we may create consciously for success, and attract it to us under such Laws as will make it permanent in our lives.

"How To Attract Success" by F.W. Sears

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