Pushing to the Front


Flying Kites at Cesar Chavez Park.

Flying Kites at Cesar Chavez Park. (Photo credit: adhocbot)

Most persistent among the book’s themes is that character is built by adversity, or as Winston Churchill put it, “Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.”

If there were no difficulties there would be no success.” Burdens make us try harder to lift them and we get stronger as a result, while the person who has none need do little.

Genius, when you look more closely at it, usually turns out to be the result of uncommon dedication to a task.

When Alexander the Great was asked how he had conquered the world, he is said to have replied, “By not wavering.” We cleave to the person who has the firmest resolve, who knows who they are and what they stand for.

Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great.

Tom Butler-Bowdon 

The Most Productive Thing


Golden Gate Bridge sunset moment

Golden Gate Bridge sunset moment (Photo credit: davidyuweb)

“Winners almost do what they think is the most productive thing possible at every moment; losers never do. When you look at what winners and losers actually do moment by moment, the difference between these two divisions of human race really is that small.

But the result of those small differences keep adding to each other at every given moment until they reach a critical size.”

Create a noble aim for your life, then make use of every moment to achieve it.

Just as, to use a financial analogy, a sum of money that has its interest reinvested over time seems to grow amazingly (the magic of compound interest), so in life the cumulative effect of daily work – if tied to a clear goal – seems to produce wonderful results.

Tom Butler-Bowdon

Thomas Edison


Achievers have an ingrained philosophy of “It can be done“, while the rest of the population tend to believe the opposite, focusing on fear rather than faith.

Thomas Edison, for example, conducted 10000 separate experiments before he invented the incandescent light bulb. It is often when you try one more time that success comes, whereas a negative mental attitude leads you to give up just before the darkness turn to light.

The way we explain things to ourselves is perhaps the most important factor in weather or not we will be a success in something, because while everyone has setbacks, a much smaller set of people are able to accept them quickly and move on, knowing that things must soon change for the better, as they inevitably do.


The Subconscious


Just as you can receive important messages if you are tuned in, thoughts you hold about yourself are effectively beamed out to the worlds throught the subconscious, boomeranging back as your “circumstances”. By understanding that your experiences matter only because of how you perceive them, and becoming the master of your own thoughts, you can control what filters into your subconscious. It becomes a better reflection of what you actually desire, and “broadcast” to the infinite realm clear messages of those desires.

Wealth comes from increasing your power to think and developing your ability to access the universe’s intelligence.

Tom Butler-Bowdon

Be a “medium” for good


Genuine service is simple, but it may occur to you what this is when your mind has ben quieted. Without finding some quiet time to yourself you will not be able to see the wood for the threes. Leave time for meditation and contemplation, and answers will come.

What all great people have in common is that they make themselves a “medium” for good: they make the best products and provide them to the largest number. This, not taking money at a till, is service.

Tom Butler-Bowdon

Great souls have wills; feeble one have only wishes


It is not that unsuccessful people never see opportunities; they do. But they differ from people who are called winners in that they rarely have the will or the courage to act on a good idea. They give themselves only the reasons why something could not be done, while the winner only thinks of how it could.

Always imagine the best possible outcome, and the forming of reality will follow the design.

If you have a single powerful purpose, you will have the courage to act on your ideas.

Tom Butler-Bowdon

Every great thing starts with a though


Strangely, he found that most people go through life without realizing the effect that strong belief can have on reaching their goals: they leave their desire vague and so they get vague outcomes.

Your belief about yourself and your place in the world is the main determinant of success.

The force of belief cannot really work in our favor until the belief become literally part of us, settled in the subconscious mind as a fact.

Tom Butler-Bowdon