“It is popularly supposed that a greater prosperity for individuals or nations can only come through a political and social reconstruction. This cannot be true apart from the practice of the moral virtues in the individuals that comprise a nation. Better laws and social conditions will always follow a higher realization of morality among the individuals of a community, but no legal enactment can give prosperity to, nay, it cannot prevent the ruin of, a man or nation that has become lax and decadent in the pursuit and practice of virtue.
The moral virtues are the foundation and support of prosperity as they are the soul of greatness. They endure forever, and all the works of man which endure are built upon them. Without them there is neither strength, stability, not substantial reality, but only ephemeral dreams. To find moral principles is to have found prosperity, greatness, truth, and is therefore to be strong, valiant, joyful, and free.”
~ James Allen from Eight Pillars of Prosperity
James Allen wrote As a Man Thinketh—one of the all-time classics of old-school inspirational self-help. As it turns out, he wrote a *ton* of other stuff as well. He was an incredibly (!) prolific and lucid writer.
Eight Pillars of Prosperity is one of the books included in his 850-page epic collection of books called Mind Is the Master. (Get a copy here.) I stared at it on my shelf wondering when I would have the time to read it all and write a tiny 6-page Note on it and then I realized it would be much wiser to just create a Note for some of the books within it. And… Here we are.
The book was written in 1911 and reminds me of Spiritual Economics by Eric Butterworth. They’re both about creating prosperity via virtue. It also reminds me of the old-school classic written around the same time by Wallace D. Wattles: The Science of Getting Rich. Check out Notes on both of those as well. (And, check out our collection of 15+ Notes on Wealth here.)
The book is eloquently, persuasively written and packed with Big Ideas. I’m excited to share a few of my favorites so let’s jump straight in!
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