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"Let me call attention to a great power, which is under your control. A power, which is greater than poverty, greater than the lack of education, greater than all of your fears and superstitions combined. It is the power to take possession of your own mind and direct it to whatever ends you may desire. This profound power is the gift of the creator, and it must have been considered the greatest of all his gifts to man because it is the only thing over which man has the complete and unchallengeable right of control and direction. When you speak of your poverty and lack of education, you are simply directing your mind power to attract these undesirable circumstances because it is true that whatever your mind feeds upon, your mind attracts to you. Now you see why it is important that you recognize that all success begins with definiteness of purpose, with a clear picture in your mind of precisely what you want from life.

Everyone comes to the earth plane blessed with the privilege of controlling his mind power and directing it to whatever ends he may choose, but everyone brings over with him at birth the equivalent of two sealed envelopes, one of which is clearly labeled, 'The riches you may enjoy if you take possession of your own mind and direct it to ends of your own choice.' And the other is labeled 'the penalties you must pay if you neglect to take possession of your mind and direct it'."

And now, let me reveal to you, said Mr. Carnegie, the contents of those two sealed envelopes:

In the one labeled ‘RICHES’ is this list of blessings:

  1. Sound Health

  2. Peace of Mind

  3. a labor of love of your own choice

  4. Freedom from fear and worry

  5. a positive mental attitude

  6. Material Riches of your own choice and quantity

In the sealed envelope labeled penalties, Mr. Carnegie continued, is this list of the prices one must pay for neglecting to take possession of his own mind:

  1. Ill Health

  2. Fear and Worry

  3. Indecision and Doubt

  4. Frustration and Discouragement throughout life

  5. Poverty and Want

  6. and a whole flock of evils consisting of envy, greed, jealousy, anger, hatred, and superstition.

- a lecture by Andrew Carnegie as spoken by Napoleon Hill

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