Remember when our teachers made us write things on the board 100 times in order to modify our behavior? Well, maybe they had something in common with people like James Allen and Wayne Dyer. And maybe they were really on to something.
I got an Amazon gift card from my son for Christmas. So, I spent some time perusing the seemingly limitless choices, and then a light bulb when off. Why not get one of Tom Butler-Bowdon‘s books? Years ago I got his 50 Success Classics on MP3 and listened while I was driving. I loved it. It was just enough to get the gist of the classic works, already abstracted and synthesized. And the bonus is his “In a Nutshell” where he gives you the key takeaway of the whole book.
So, getting his one book is like getting 50 books–and 50 great, time-tested books at that.
This time around, I chose 50 Prosperity Classics. That choice may seem weird for someone like me, who writes about people like Peace Pilgrim and Charles Eisenstein and who basically feels that unlimited economic prosperity is going to ruin the environment. But I looked at the list of authors in this book and they called out to me: people like James Allen, Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Friedman, Paul Hawken, Ayn Rand, Dave Ramsey and Muhammad Yunus. If that’s not a diverse group of people to put under the prosperity umbrella, I don’t know what is.
What struck me immediately as I started to move through some of the authors was a common thread–the idea that manifesting prosperity is a matter of affirming your prosperity today. And to me, prosperity doesn’t mean dollars and cents necessarily. I’m not looking to be a millionaire, or own a better car than the one I currently have (a 2007 Prius), and I certainly don’t want more rooms to clean. To me, prosperity is about thriving in a holistic sense. Having physical needs fulfilled is part of it, but really, to me, it’s about creating conditions for your mental, physical, and spiritual being to thrive so that God can work through you. Prosperity can be the happy result of unclogged spiritual plumbing. Spiritual clogs can be fear, doubt, lack of imagination, lack of belief, and resignation.
A while back, I touched on Wayne Dyer and his book Wishes Fulfilled. As a result of reading his book, I spun off with an interest in Anita Moorjani and Neville Goddard. Reading the 50 Prosperity Classics I was reminded of these inspiring writers who join with James Allen, and Catherine Ponder, and Napoleon Hill in advising us to BE what we want to be NOW. Don’t say, “I’m going to be healthier.” Say, “I AM healthy.” Don’t say, “I’m going to be able to pay my bills.” Say “I AM able to pay my bills.”
Once of the basic tools most of these folks teach in order to manifest prosperity in life is the use of affirmations, like Catherine Ponder’s “I am the radiant child of God, my mind, body and affairs now express his radiant perfection.”
Some people may think that affirmations are New Age-y and cheesy, but the most pragmatic, successful people believe in the power of the imagination–people like Richard Branson and Steve Jobs, who simply affirmed and asserted their unique visions. They didn’t let “reality” stop them from manifesting who they were and what they were here on earth to do. Reality is what we make of it. It’s not a wall–it’s the window of our minds, thoughts, and hearts.
All these prosperity books are replete with stories of people who were able to manifest their realities. I might think those stories were fiction, if I didn’t have a story of my own, but I do. Someday I’ll tell it.