The Doors of Wisdom are Never Shut
Because I’ve been interested in improving the quality of my life for almost 30 years, I have read a multitude of books. Many of those didn’t interest me, didn’t ring true or even seem to provide anything I could believe in… I thought they were baloney! Those books have gone to the second hand shops for someone else to try. The list of books below are sitting on my bookshelf today and within each one I either found something of interest, or resonated with it wholly.
1883-1970. American author famous for “Think and Grow Rich”, one of the best-selling books of all time. He examined the power of personal beliefs, and the role they play in success. “What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve” is one of Hill’s hallmark expressions. After he interviewed steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie he outlined a formula for success. He went on to interview and analyse over 500 successful men and women, many of them millionaires, to discover and publish his formula for success.
1817-1862. An American author, philosopher, and leading transcendentalist. Thoreau is best known for his book “Walden”, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings which inspired spiritual discovery. His books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry total over 20 volumes. He was a lifelong abolitionist, delivering lectures that attacked the Fugitive Slave Law. Thoreau’s philosophy of civil disobedience influenced the political thoughts and actions of Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
1834-1891. Born in New York and in 1856, sailed to California where he would spend the next 16 years in mining towns trying to find his fortune in gold. Unsuccessful he began writing for a weekly newspaper, The Golden Era. In 1872, Mulford returned to NYC, where he became known as a comic lecturer, author of poems and essays, and a columnist from 1875-1881. His book “Thoughts are Things” was instrumental in the founding of the New Thought Movement, along with other notable writers including
Ralph Waldo Emerson.
1847-1916. An English author whose works influenced the New Thought Movement and mystic Christianity. He was a Judge in British-administered India and his avocation was the study of comparative religion. Influences on his thinking and writing, included the teachings of Christ, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. After his retirement in 1896, he set out to apply logic of evidence in the study of matters of cause and effect. His teaching of “Science of Mind” had a profound effect on the development of spiritual metaphysics.
1898-1981. Born in Ireland and raised a Roman Catholic, he studied for the priesthood and joined the Jesuits. In his 20’s, an experience with healing prayer led him to leave the Jesuits and move to New York. Murphy wrote, taught and lectured thousands all over the world for nearly fifty years. Research and studying the world’s major religions convinced him that some great Power lay behind them all. He wrote over 30 books, including “The Miracle of Mind Dynamics” and “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind”.
1898-1993. Best known for his book “The Power of Positive Thinking”, Peale became a pioneer in the self-improvement industry, helping millions to achieve success and happiness. In addition to being a Senior Minister in New York City, he was also a prominent author, lecturer, radio commentator, and co-publisher of “Guideposts” magazine. His sermons were delivered weekly to over 4,000 people and mailed to 500,000 people worldwide. He is considered to be one of the most widely read authors of all time.
1871-1940. Shinn has many times passed the test that philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson posed for whether someone has lived well – which is “to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.” Shinn, through her message of mental causation, left many thousands of people breathing easier, and living better. Best known for her 1925 classic “The Game of Life and How to Play it@, she provided a role model for many seekers not only by how she lived out her principles of self-creation, but also by her DIY ethic.
1874-1954. Born in Iowa to Norwegian immigrants, Larson abandoned plans to pursue the ministry in favour of a more independent spiritual path. In 1901, he launched one of the first journals devoted to positive-thinking, “Eternal Progress”. He moved to California and grew into a popular New Thought and inspirational writer and speaker, producing more than 40 books. Larson’s most enduring work is the meditation called “The Optimist Creed,” which he originally published in 1912 as “Promise Yourself.”
Success is not a destination but a journey. Anyone who is on course toward a worthy goal is successful. Success does not lie in the achievement of a goal but in its pursuit. Success is a journey.
1864-1912. A British philosophical writer, known for his inspirational books as a pioneer of the self-help movement. His best known work, “As a Man Thinketh”, has been produced since its publication in 1903. It has been a major source of inspiration to personal development authors. He never wrote theories, or for the sake of writing. He wrote when he had a message to share, and it only became a message when he had lived it out in his own life, and he knew that it was good. He wrote facts, which he had proven by practicing them.
1866-1949. Best known for “The Master Key System” of 1912. By 1933 it had sold over 200,000 copies worldwide. The original “system” contained 24 exercises that accompany each chapter and systematically build upon each other. In 1919, Napoleon Hill wrote Haanel a letter thanking him for the book and stated “My present success… is due largely to the principles laid down in “The Master Key System”. Rhonda Byrne’s book,
“The Secret” quotes Charles Haanel’s work on several occasions.
1860-1911. An American New Thought writer, somewhat obscure, but his writing is widely quoted and remains in print in the self-help movements. His best known work is a 1910 book called “The Science of Getting Rich” in which he explained how to become wealthy. Wattles encouraged his readers to test his theories on themselves rather than take his word as an authority, and he claimed to have tested his methods on himself and others before publishing them. He practiced the technique of creative visualisation.
1885-1950. Author of New Thought metaphysical books. Born in Missouri, he was involved in writing, editing, and research for most of his life. His book, “The Secret of the Ages” sold over 300,000 copies during his life. Collier wrote about the practical psychology of abundance, desire, faith, visualisation, confident action, and becoming your best. “The Secret” brought his work back to prominence. After overcoming an illness he became fascinated with the power of the mind and how to use it to create success in every area.
1902-2002. Insurance magnate, philanthropist, author and publisher. He’s known to high achievers everywhere as the father of Positive Mental Attitude. His family was poor, and, at the age of 6, to earn extra money, he began selling newspapers. By 13, he ran a news stand of his own. When he was 16, his mother opened an insurance agency and he began selling for her. At age 20, he established his own insurance agency and went on to build the $400 million-dollar Combined Insurance Company of America.
1921-1989. Joined the US Marines at 17 and was on the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbour. Only 12 marines survived. After the war he began work in radio which led to his career as a motivational speaker. In 1956 he produced a spoken word record, “The Strangest Secret” which sold over a million copies. In 1960, he co-founded his corporation with Lloyd Conant. His radio program, Our Changing World, became the most highly syndicated radio program ever, and was heard across in 23 countries overseas.
1915-1973. A prolific author and speaker, Watts was one of the first to interpret Eastern wisdom for a Western audience. Born outside London, he discovered the nearby Buddhist Lodge at a young age. He moved to the U.S. in 1938 and relocated to Millbrook, New York, where he wrote his pivotal book “The Wisdom of Insecurity”. In 1951 he moved to San Francisco where he began teaching Buddhist studies and started radio talks which aired nationally. He wrote and traveled regularly until his passing in 1973.
4BC-AD65. A philosopher, stateman and orator. He was Rome’s leading intellectual figure in the mid-1st century CE and was virtual ruler with his friends of the Roman world between 54 and 62, during the first phase of Emperor Nero’s reign. He’s one of the first stoics for which there are considerable literary remains for us to study. He could be considered a practical philosopher. His thoughts influenced historical figures such as Pascal, Francis Bacon, and Montaigne, and continue to resonate with people today.
More to Follow
Marcus Aurelius, Dale Carnegie, Neville Goddard, Charles Fillmore Ralph Waldo Emerson, Genevieve Behrend, David J. Schwartz, Andrew Carnegie, William Walker Atkinson, Elizabeth Towne, Paul J. Meyer, Arnold Patent, Glenn Clark, Joel S. Goldsmith, F. L. Rawson, Ervin Seale, Alfred North Whitehead, Walter C. Lanyon, Uell S. Andersen, John Randolph Price, Alan Cohen, Agnes Sanford, Vernon Howard, Gary Zukav, C. Alan Anderson, Stuart Grayson, William Samuel, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Phineas Quimby. If you know of an author who’s work I may enjoy, please reach out with an email.
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