27 Apr 2021

[89] Eight Pillars of Prosperity

James Allen

I become what I think about. How I determine reality to work is going to determine the thoughts and emotions that I have, the action or lack of action that I take, and inevitably the results that I get. While there are things outside of my control, I have a far greater influence of that which is within my control and all I have to do is increase my awareness and recognize that there’s a lot of things that I’m just not looking at. First, I must have faith in the possibility that I can make it happen


  • Prosperity rests upon a moral foundation. It is popularly supposed to rest upon an immoral foundation, that is, upon trickery, sharp practice, deception, and greed. One commonly hears even an otherwise intelligent man declare that “No man can be successful in business unless he is dishonest,” thus regarding business prosperity, a good thing, as the effect of dishonesty, a bad thing

First pillar – Energy

  • Energy is a moral virtue, its opposing vice being laziness. As a virtue, it can be cultivated, and the lazy man can become energetic by forcibly arousing himself to exertion
    • Focus and will is cultivated by taking action and applying what I am learning
  • But energy is a composite power. It does not stand alone. Involved in it are qualities which go to the making of vigorous character and the production of prosperity. Mainly, these qualities are contained in the four following characteristics:
    • Promptitude
    • Promptitude is valuable possession. It begets reliability. People who are alert, prompt, and punctual are relied upon. They can be trusted to do their duty, and to do it vigorously and well
    • Vigilance
    • Vigilance is the guard of all the faculties and powers of the mind. It is the detective that prevents the entrance of any violent and destructive element. It is the close companion and protector of all success, liberty, and wisdom. Without this watchful attitude of mind, a man is a fool, and there is no prosperity for a fool
    • Industry
    • Industry brings cheerfulness and plenty. Vigorously industrious people are the happiest members of the community. They are not always the richest, if by riches is meant a superfluity of money; but they are always the most lighthearted and joyful, and the most satisfied with what they do and have, and are therefore the richer, if by richer we mean more abundantly blessed
    • People who make themselves useful to the community, receive back form the community their full share of health, happiness, and prosperity. They brighten the daily task, and keep the world moving. They are the gold of the nation and the salt of the earth
    • Earnestness
    • “Earnestness,” said a Great Teacher, “is the path of immortality. They who are in earnest do not die; they who are not in earnest are as if dead already.” Earnestness is the dedication of the entire mind to its task. I live only in what I do. Earnest people are dissatisfied with anything short of the highest excellence in whatever they do, and they always reach that excellence
    • What ever I am, whether shopkeeper or saintly teacher, I can safely give the very best to the world without any doubt or misgiving. If the indelible impress of my earnestness be on my goods in the one case, or on my words in the other, my business will flourish, or my percepts will live

Second pillar – Economy

  • Nature destroys every foulness, not by annihilation, but by transmutation, by sweetening and purifying it, and making it serve the ends of things beautiful, useful and good
  • The Pillar of Economy, when soundly built, will be found to be composed largely of these four qualities:
    • Moderation
    • Moderation is the strong core of economy. It avoids extremes, finding the middle way in all things. It also consists in abstaining from the unnecessary and the harmful. There can be no such things as moderation in that which is evil, for that would be excess
    • Efficiency
    • Efficiency proceeds from the right conservation of one’s forces and powers. All skill is the use of concentrated energy. Superior skill, as talent and genius, is a higher degree of concentrated force. Men are always skillful in that which they love, because the mind is almost ceaselessly centered upon it. Skill is the result of that mental economy which transmutes thought into invention and action
    • Resourcefulness
    • Resourcefulness is the outcome of efficiency. It is an important element in prosperity, for the resourceful man is never confounded. He may have many falls, but he will always be equal to the occasion, and will be on his feet again immediately. Resourcefulness has its fundamental cause in the conservation of energy. It is energy transmuted. When a man cuts off certain mental or bodily vices which have been depleting him of his energy, what becomes of the energy so conserved? It is not destroyed or lost, for energy can never be destroyed or lost. It becomes productive energy. It reappears in the form of fruitful thought. The virtuous man is always more successful than the vicious man because he is teeming with resources
    • Originality
    • Originality is resourcefulness ripened and perfected. Where there is originality there is genius, and men of genius are the lights of the world. Whatever work a man does, he should fall back upon his own resources in the doing it. While learning from others, I should not slavishly imitate them, but should put myself into my work, and so make it new and original

Third pillar – Integrity

  • The man that courts prosperity must, in all his transactions, whether material or mental, study how to give a just return for which he receives
  • The Pillar of Integrity is held together by these four virile elements
    • Honesty
    • Honesty is the surest way to success. The day at last comes when the dishonest man repents in sorrow and suffering: but no man ever needs to repent of having been honest. Even when the honest man fails, as he does sometimes, though lacking other of these pillars, such as energy, economy, or system his failure is not the grievous thing it is to the dishonest man, for he can always rejoice in the fac that he has never defrauded a fellow being. Even in his darkest hour he finds repose in a clear conscience
    • Fearlessness
    • Fearlessness accompanies honesty. The honest man has a clear eye and an unflinching gaze. He looks his fellowmen in the face, and his speech is direct and convincing. The liar and cheat hangs his head; his eye is muddy and his gaze oblique. He cannot look another man in the eye, and his speech arouses mistrust, for it is ambiguous and unconvincing
    • Purposefulness
    • Purposefulness is the direct outcome of that strength of character which integrity fosters. The man of integrity is the man of direct aims and strong and intelligent purposes
    • Invincibility
    • Invincibility is a glorious protector, but it only envelopes the man whose integrity is perfectly pure and unassailable. Never to violate, even in the most insignificant particular, the principle of integrity, is to be invincible against all the assaults of innuendo, slander, and misrepresentation

Fourth pillar – System

  • System is that principle of order by which confusion is rendered impossible in the natural and universal order everything is in its place, so that the vast universal runs more perfectly than the most perfect machine. Disorder in space would mean the destruction of the universe; and disorder in a man’s affairs destroys his work and prosperity
  • In system is contained these four ingredients:
    • Readiness
    • Readiness is aliveness. It is that spirit of alertness by which a situation is immediately grasped and dealt with. The observance of system fosters and develops this spirit. The successful General must have the power of readily meeting an y new and unlooked for move on the part of the enemy; so every business man must have the readiness to deal with any unexpected development affecting his line of trade; sand so also must the man of thought be able to deal with the details of any new problems which may arise
    • Accuracy
    • Accuracy is of supreme importance in all commercial concerns and enterprises, but there can be no accuracy apart from system, and a system which is more or less imperfect will involve its originator in mistakes more or less disastrous until he improves it
    • Utility
    • Utility or usefulness, is the direct result of method in one’s work. Labor arrives at fruitful and profitable ends when it is systematically pursued,. If the gardener is to gather in the best produce, he must not only sow and plant, but he must sow and plant at the right time; and if any work is to be fruitful in results, it must be done seasonably, and the time for doing a thing must not be allowed to pass by
    • Comprehensiveness
    • Comprehensiveness is that quality of mind which enables a man to deal with a large number of related entails, to grasp them in their entirety, along with the simple principle which governs them and binds them together. It is a masterly quality, giving organizing and governing power, and is developed by systematic attention to detail

Fifth pillar – Sympathy

  • Sympathy is a deep, silent, inexpressible tenderness which I shown in a consistently self forgetful gentle character. Sympathetic people are not gushing an spasmodic, but are permanently self restrained, firm, quiet, unassuming and gracious. Lack of sympathy arises in egotism; sympathy arises in love. Egotism is involve in ignorance; love I allied to knowledge
  • Fourfold are the qualities which make up the great virtue of sympathy, namely:
    • Kindness
    • Kindness, when fully developed, is not a passing impulse but a permanent quality
    • A true kindness is unchangeable, and needs no external stimulus to force it into action
    • Generosity
    • Generosity goes with a larger hearted kindness. If kindness be the gentle sister, generosity is the strong bother. A free, open handed, and magnanimous character is always attractive and influential
    • Gentleness
    • Gentleness is akin to divinity. Perhaps no quality is so far removed from all that is coarse, brutal and selfish as gentleness, so that when one is becoming gentle, he is becoming divine. It can only be acquired after much experience and though great self-discipline
    • Insight
    • Insight is the gift of sympathy. The sympathetic mind is the profoundly perceiving mind. I understand by experience, and not by argument
  • Prejudice is the great barrier to sympathy and knowledge. It is impossible to understand those against whom one harbors a prejudice. I only see men and things as they are when I divest my minds of partial judgements. I become seers as I become sympathizers. Sympathy has knowledge for her companion

Sixth pillar – Sincerity

  • Human society is held together by its sincerity. A universal falseness would beget a universal mistrust which would bring about a universal separation, if not destruction. Life is made sane, wholesome, and happy by our deep rooted belief in one another. If I did not trust men, I could not transact business with them, could not even associate with them
  • Four beautiful traits adorn the mind of the sincere man; they are:
    • Simplicity
    • Simplicity is naturalness. It is simple being, without fake or foreign adornment
    • Attractiveness
    • Attractiveness is the direct outcome of simplicity. This is seen in the attractiveness of all natural objects; to which I have referred, but in human nature it is manifested as personal influence
    • Penetration
    • Penetration belongs to the sincere. All shams are unveiled in their presence. All simulators are transparent to the searching eye of the sincere man. With one clear glance he sees though all their flimsy pretenses. Tricksters. With under his strong gaze, and want to get away from it. He who has rid his heart of all falseness, and entertains only that which is true, has gained the power to distinguish the false from the true in others. He is not deceived who is not self deceived
    • Power
    • Power goes with penetration. An understanding of the nature of actions is accompanied with the power to meet and deal with all actions in the right and best way

Seventh pillar – Impartiality

  • To get rid of prejudice is a great achievement. Prejudice piles obstacles in a man’s way, obstacles of health, success, happiness, and prosperity, so that he is continually running up against imaginary enemies, who, when prejudice is removed, are seen to be friend
  • The four great elements of impartiality are:
    • Justice
    • The just man does not try to gain an advantage; he considers the true value of things, and molds his transactions in accordance therewith
    • The upright man purges his business of all bargaining, and builds it one and more dignified basis of justice. He supplied “a good article” at its right price, and does not alter. He does not soil his hands with any business which is tainted with fraud. His goods are genuine and they are properly priced
    • Patience
    • Patience e is the brightest jewel in the character of the impartial man
    • A man must begin to wisely control himself, and to learn the beautiful lessons of patience, if he is to be highly prosperous, if he is to be a man of use and power. He must learn to think of others, to act for their good, and not be alone for himself; to be considerate, for bearing, and long suffering
    • Calmness
    • Calmness accompanies patience. It is a great and glorious quality. It is the peaceful haven of emancipated souls after their long wanderings on the tempest riven ocean of passion. It makes the man who has suffered much, endured much, experienced much, and has finally conquered
    • Wisdom
    • Wisdom abides with the impartial man. Her counsels guide him; her wings shield him; she lead shim along pleasant ways to happy destinations
    • The understand mind needs no external support. It stands of itself on the firm ground of knowledge; not book-knowledge, but ripened experience. It has passed through all minds, and therefore knows them. It has traveled with all hearts, and knows their journeying in joy and sorrow

Eighth pillar – Self-reliance

  • If we rely upon the light of another, darkness will overtake us, but if we rely upon our own light we have but to keep it burning
  • The four grand qualities of self reliance are:
    • Decision
    • Decision makes a man strong. The wearer is the weakling. A man how is to play a speaking part, however small, in the drama of life must be decisive and know what he is about
    • Steadfastness
    • Steadfastness arises in the mind that is quick to decide. It is indeed a final decision upon the best course of conduct and the best path in life
    • The man without fixed principles will not accomplish much
    • Dignity
    • The man of dignity cannot be down-trodden and enslaved, because he has ceased to tread upon and enslave himself. He at once disarms, and a look, a word, a wise and suggestive silence, any attempt to demean him
    • Independence
    • Independence is the birthright of the strong and well controlled man. All men love and strive for liberty. All men aspire to some sort of freedom

James Allen • Joseph Rodrigues Comments Off on [89] Eight Pillars of Prosperity