Archives For November 2012

Better to be rich or poor?

Brad Stanton —  November 29, 2012 — 16 Comments

English: President Reagan presents Mother Tere...

English: President Reagan presents Mother Teresa with the Medal of Freedom at a White House Ceremony, 1985. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Russell Conwell was a writer, lawyer, orator, university founder, philanthropist, and Baptist preacher about 100 years ago. He delivered one speech over 6000 times, called “Acres of Diamonds.” This speech was about a man who traveled to the Middle East and heard his guide tell a story about a man who left home looking for wealth. The man didn’t find it and became so discouraged he killed himself. Later, someone else found acres of diamonds on his land, right under his feet. The dead man would have found them if he had bothered to look for wealth right where he was.

Many say this story means that true wealth and happiness are right where you are if you know how to find them. Tens of thousands of people heard this speech and many were so moved by it that they found motivation to seek wealth right where they were. One man, for example sat listening to the speech and saw a lady with a hairpin that looked rather difficult to insert in the hair. The man sat thinking of a way to improve the design.  He did and made a fortune selling the new hairpin.

Another man used the few pennies he had to buy needles and thread to sell on the street. He didn’t sell the products and realized he should find out what people want to buy before investing in the product. He observed that many were buying certain kinds of clothes and he invested in them. He began to sell his wares very quickly and after some years became the richest man in New York City at that time.

Conwell believed strongly that anyone could become rich if they had strong desire and worked toward that goal. He said

 “I say that you ought to get rich, and it is your duty to get rich…. The men who get rich may be the most honest men you find in the community. Let me say here clearly .. . ninety-eight out of one hundred of the rich men of America are honest. That is why they are rich. That is why they are trusted with money. That is why they carry on great enterprises and find plenty of people to work with them. It is because they are honest men. … … I sympathize with the poor, but the number of poor who are to be sympathized with is very small. To sympathize with a man whom God has punished for his sins … is to do wrong…. let us remember there is not a poor person in the United States who was not made poor by his own shortcomings. …”

I don’t fully agree with Conwell’s statement, because people are poor for many different reasons including poor health, living in an area of the world where everyone is poor, mental retardation, and some choose to be poor to spend time helping people, such as Mother Teresa.

Some feel it is a sin to be wealthy and some people even believe Jesus taught that. I believed that for awhile, but while reading the Old Testament I saw over and over again that God promised prosperity to everyone who followed his commands and did certain things. Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1; Deuteronomy 30:15; 1 Kings 2:3; Psalm 37:11; Psalm 25:12-14 Proverbs 8:17-19; Proverbs 19:8 Jeremiah 29:11 are a few examples of many promises in the Bible. But unfortunately, they have to be accepted by faith, which is extremely difficult. Also, it can take years, and lots of hard work for promises to come about.

I find that in general, rich people can do more good for the world by donating money and time than people who are not rich. It doesn’t have to be that way, but it usually is. Poor people who have lots of free time could become very powerful prayer warriors, but most do not. They could spend time helping people, some do, but I find most don’t. It is usually the wealthier people who do this. Strange, but that is just what I have observed.

I know many will disagree, feel free to leave a comment expressing another viewpoint.

Parachute humor (humour, for non USA folks).

Money humor

Brad Stanton —  November 25, 2012 — 15 Comments

A man knew that his grandmother was rich and about to die. He went to visit her and help her in any way that he could. She told him that she had half a million dollars hidden underneath the floorboards in the kitchen. She wanted him to have it because he was the only one that cared enough about her to come and take care of her.

After the grandmother’s funeral the man retrieved the money and dug a hole in his backyard to bury it. The next day he went out to check on the buried treasure. All he found was an empty hole. As he inspected the area, he saw footprints from the hole leading to the house next door, which was owned by a deaf-mute.

Down the street lived a woman who had a deaf son, so she understood sign language, so the man hurried to her house and brought her to the deaf-mute to interrogate him. He brought his hand gun hidden under his coat.

He screamed at the woman, “Tell this deaf-mute that I know he stole my money and that if he doesn’t give it back I will kill him!”

The lady signed the message to the deaf mute, who replied in sign language “I hid it in the cupboards in the basement.”

The interpreter then turned to the man with the gun and said “He says he will never tell you where the money is, even if you kill him.”

“He who is happiest is he who is content…” ~Benjamin Franklin


Happiness (Photo credit: baejaar)

A wise man said to his friend “Every time I see you, you are running around in a hurry. What are you running after?”

The man answered quickly “Success, money and the rewards of my hard work.”

The wise man said “That would make sense if you assumed all those things are ahead of you, but what if all those things were behind you, and the faster you run, the more difficult it is for those things to catch up to you?”

We all run after something. What are you running after?  Are you running after money, a beautiful house, a person, a position in your company, a degree, a relationship, a better relationship with loved ones? There is nothing wrong with these things, but they won’t fully satisfy you unless you learn to be content.

A writer found an old list of goals he had set for himself. He had written many books and spoke regularly to large groups of people. He was surprised that he had accomplished every one of his goals so quickly. But as he continued to think about it, he was also surprised that he was not more content with what he had. Many people expect outward circumstances to fulfill their inner happiness. Instead of constantly running, take some time to rest and enjoy what you have.

Many very successful people who train others for success say that one of the best things you can do to achieve more success is to enjoy what you already have and be thankful. You reap what you sow, if you think about happy things you will sow more happy things. Being grateful is one way of keeping happy thoughts in your mind. Happy thoughts can’t be in your mind at the same time as sad thoughts. The best way to push sad, angry or any other undesirable thoughts out of your mind is to think about happy thoughts.

Sometimes I count my blessings in my mind, sometimes I write out a list of things I am grateful for, but either way, I always feel happier after I do it.

Here in the USA, we have a holiday for being grateful. We call it “Thanksgiving.” People get together with family, eat turkey and other delicious food, and have fun.

Enjoy where you are instead of where you want to be.

Don’t give up now!

Brad Stanton —  November 17, 2012 — 11 Comments

A man who studied 500 of the most successful people in the world wrote a number of books about his findings. One idea that he stresses in his writing is:

“One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat. Every person is guilty of this mistake at one time or another.” 1

A man named Darby lived during the gold-rush days of the west in the USA and moved to an area where many were finding gold. He searched for weeks and finally found  gold. He covered up the mine and went back east to raise money from friends and relatives so that he could buy the equipment he needed to mine the gold. Because he was so enthusiastic, many agreed to invest money in his gold mine.

He mined a sizable amount of gold with his uncle, but not enough to pay off the debt. In doing so he found that this was one of the richest mines in Colorado! He kept working, bringing up more gold and bringing it to the smelter.

Darby and his uncle drew up more gold and were very happy. But then the unimaginable happened. The vein of gold was mined and they found no more veins. They searched day after day but could not find any more gold.

They grew weary and decided to quit.

They took the machinery that mined the gold and sold it to a junk man for very little money. They did not realize the junk man was very clever. He called in a mining engineer to investigate the mine and apply his knowledge of mines to search for more gold. According to the engineer, the original project failed because the owners were not familiar with “fault lines.” The amazing thing he found was that the owners had quit digging just three feet from a mother lode, a huge vein of gold.

The junk man made millions of dollars from the mine because he knew enough to seek expert advice.

So it seems that it might be a sad ending for Darby. But the truth is that he learned a very important lesson. He realized he had stopped just short of millions of dollars’ worth of gold. He realized that he quit too easily and that even though the chances looked bleak, he should have kept going and sought expert advice.

So Darby began to sell insurance. Many try and fail at this endeavor. But Darby had learned his lesson, he learned to keep going no matter how bleak things look and to seek advice. He learned not to give up when a potential buyer said no. Because of the lesson he learned he was able to sell more than a million dollars of insurance every year, and that was in the days when a million dollars was worth much more than it is today.

“More than five hundred of the most successful men this country has ever known told the author their greatest success came just one step beyond the point at which defeat had overtaken them. Failure is a trickster with a keen sense of irony and cunning. It takes great delight in tripping one when success is almost within reach.” 2


1 Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill page 22

2 Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill page 23