How to Be Rich and Successful: Think, Will, Act

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The Science of Getting Rich" by Wallace D. Wattles. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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How do you master how to be rich and successful? What can prevent you from getting on the path to riches?

You master how to be rich and successful by thinking and acting the right way. You must have the conviction that you will achieve success in life, and act in a way that sets you up to be successful. Ignorance, mental laziness, and negative thoughts about poverty can stop you from working towards riches.

Read on to master how to be rich and successful.

Mastering How to Be Rich and Successful

In Chapter 1, we learned how the universe works. In Chapter 2, we’ll learn how to be rich and successful.

If the Original Substance favors everyone, and resources are infinite, why isn’t everyone already rich? Why aren’t you rich?

You might think it has something to do with your environment, industry, talent, thriftiness, or innovativeness. In fact, these aren’t critical factors, merely considerations. You can tell that these factors aren’t critical because the world isn’t full of cities composed entirely of rich people, or industries in which everyone is poor. All sorts of people get rich—smart people, stupid people, strong people, weak people. 

There is one reason why you aren’t rich—you’re doing things wrong. To master how to be rich and successful, you need to do things in the “Certain Way.” Acting in the Certain Way guarantees that you will become rich, and anyone who follows the Certain Way, regardless of circumstance, will get rich. The Certain Way is the only natural, fundamental way to get rich. God will help you if you act in the Certain Way because it’s in his own nature.

Why don’t people act in the Certain Way?

  • Ignorance. People don’t know about the existence of Original Substance or how it works.
  • Mental laziness. People feel it’s too much work to follow the Certain Way.
  • Confusion. People are distracted from the Certain Way by other theories about how the world works.

Learning how to be rich and succesful has three main facets—think, will, and act:


In Chapter 1, we covered the fact the Original Substance is sentient and responds to thought. If you think about being rich or acquiring a particular possession, the Original Substance will impel a physical manifestation of your thoughts in your direction.

However, you must think in a particular way for this to work:

You must have a precise, coherent idea of what you want in order to transmit it to the Original Substance. If your want is vague, the Original Substance won’t know what to do with it—transmitting a vague thought would be like sending someone an email containing the letters of the alphabet and then expecting them to create the message.

  • Vague: You want to be rich so you can help people.
  • Precise: You want a car. You imagine the color, the paint, the make and model, the interior, and every last detail.

You must have conviction that you will achieve what you want. You should have so much purpose and faith in your convictions that you act like you already have your vision.

  • For example, imagine you’re driving your new car and believe that you already own it. Talk about your car as if you have it. Don’t dream about having it, be convinced that you do have it. This also helps you practice gratitude in advance.

You must constantly be thinking about what you want. The specific mental picture should always be present in your mind, the same way a pilot is always keeping an eye on her instruments. If you really want something, it shouldn’t be difficult to concentrate on it. 

  • You don’t need to pray or meditate. All you have to do to send your vision to the Original Substance is think about it. However, once your vision is fully formed, it can help to orally address the Original Substance. This helps you imagine you’ve already received your vision, which further strengthens your vision.
  • Concentrate on precision and details of your vision in your free time and hold the big picture in the back of your mind while you’re working. 

You must think truthfully. Anytime you see something, you’ll unconsciously observe it at the surface level. You must look deeper than what’s visible.

  • For example, if you see someone who’s ill, you’ll think about disease unless you hold in your mind the truth that disease doesn’t exist—people only experience it because their negative thoughts have manifested it. 

To master how to be rich and successful, you must come up with a vision that encompasses these principles.


Your thoughts most likely won’t cause the Original Substance to form your want out of its own substance. Instead, the Original Substance works through existing methods of creation, spurred into action by your thoughts. 

For example, if you want gold, gold won’t spontaneously come into being in your living room, or pull itself out of a mine and zoom into your hands. Instead, it’ll come your way via the usual channels: someone will mine it, transport it, and you’ll have the opportunity to access it.


Original Substance will send whatever you’re thinking about in your direction. Ideally, you’re thinking about getting rich, but if you get distracted and think about negative things, those are what the Original Substance will manifest. 

For example, if you see someone poor, you’ll think about poverty, and the Original Substance will send poverty your way. Poverty is a particularly dangerous thing to think about because it’s the exact opposite of what you want.

There are a few ways to avoid negative thoughts about poverty:

  • Look beyond the visible surface level to the deeper truths.
    • For example, if you start thinking about poverty, remember that resources are infinite and poverty doesn’t really exist.
  • Avoid negativity.
    • For example, avoid anything to do with poverty. Don’t try to eradicate it, don’t raise your awareness of it, and don’t do charity work. 
  • Recall that life, by nature, is advancing. Something negative may exist now, but it won’t in the future (unless you keep dwelling on it, which causes it to continue to manifest.)
    • For example, anyone can rise out of poverty by following the Certain Way.
  • Change your frame of reference.
    • For example, think of the poor as people on their way to becoming rich.

In addition to avoiding poverty, specifically avoid thinking about:

  • Alternative ways the world might work. By following the instructions in this book, you’ve committed to one way, so why spend brainpower considering other theories?
  • Negative news. Only look at optimistic coverage.
  • The occult. Don’t think about the dead or how you might reach them.


The second facet of the process of mastering how to be rich and successful is to harness your will. You will use your will to maintain the vision you came up with in “Think.” It will take some effort to maintain the force of thought necessary to connect with the Original Substance.

However, make sure you only ever direct your will at yourself. It’s wrong to use your will on others, as wrong as physically forcing someone to do something would be. Don’t apply your will to things, either—this is the equivalent to applying your will to the Original Substance, which is also wrong.

If you apply your will only to yourself, forcing yourself to concentrate on your vision, the Original Substance will push things and people towards you.


The final facet of the Certain Way is to act in a way that sets you up to receive your vision. You can never know how exactly the Original Substance is working its ways. Therefore, do your best at everything you do every day to remain open to every opportunity Original Substance may use to manifest your vision. 

Doing your best involves doing all your individual actions efficiently—efficient actions are successful actions. The Original Substance is always working in your favor, so if you make use of your purpose and faith while doing tasks, you can’t help but be efficient and successful.

How to Be Rich and Successful: Think, Will, Act

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  • The three-step method that's guaranteed to make you rich
  • Why God wants you to be rich
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Joseph Adebisi

Joseph has had a lifelong obsession with reading and acquiring new knowledge. He reads and writes for a living, and reads some more when he is supposedly taking a break from work. The first literature he read as a kid were Shakespeare's plays. Not surprisingly, he barely understood any of it. His favorite fiction authors are Tom Clancy, Ted Bell, and John Grisham. His preferred non-fiction genres are history, philosophy, business & economics, and instructional guides.

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