An Iron Will

by Orison Swett Marden | 44 pages

This is a tiny little book PACKED with wisdom. Written in a classic, hard-hitting, early 20th century old- school-cool style, it reminds me of a cross between Samuel Smiles’ Self-Help and James Allen’s As a Man Thinketh. In fact, the title “As a Man Willeth” would fit quite nicely. We'll unpack some goodness in the Note.


“The achievements of history have been the choices, the determinations, the creations, of the human will. It was the will, quiet or pugnacious, gentle or grim, of men like Wilberforce and Garrison, Goodyear and Cyrus Field, Bismarck and Grant, that made them indomitable. They simply would do what they planned. Such men can no more be stopped than the sun can be, or the tide. Most men fail, not through lack of education or agreeable personal qualities, but from lack of dogged determination, from lack of dauntless will.

“It’s impossible,” says Sharman, “to look into the conditions under which the battle of life is being fought, without perceiving how much really depends upon the extent to which the will-power is cultivated, strengthened, and made operative in right directions.” Young people need to go into training for it.”

~ Orison Swett Marden from An Iron Will

Ryan Holiday recommended this book in The Obstacle Is the Way (see Notes). I picked it up. I’m glad I did.

As you know if you’ve read many Notes, I’m a *huge* fan of willpower. (Check out Notes on Willpower, The Willpower Instinct, The Power of Habit, and Superhuman by Habit for more goodness and practical ways to build your willpower.)

All the leading scientists (and their research) tell us that willpower is THE (!!!) greatest predictor of anything good we may want to achieve in our lives. So, when I got this little classic, I was excited to crack it open.

It’s a tiny little book. And, it’s PACKED with quotes from gritty historical figures telling us why “An Iron Will” is the engine of success. Written in a classic, hard-hitting, early 20th century old-school-cool style, it reminds me of a cross between Samuel Smiles’ Self-Help and James Allen’s As a Man Thinketh. In fact, the title “As a Man Willeth” would fit quite nicely. :)

Orison Swett Marden created Success magazine and was one of the early leaders of the self-development movement. (Darren Hardy is the current publisher of his magazine. Check out the Note we did on his great book, The Compound Effect.)

You can get the book here. For now, let’s jump in and have fun cultivating our IRON WILL!

Unlock the full Optimize Experience

Get instant access to a ton of wisdom. Optimize every facet of your life. Actualize your potential.

Start free trial

About the author

Authors

Orison Swett Marden

Founder of Success Magazine