Chapter One: Meet the Most Important Living Person
Meet the most important living person!
Somewhere in this book you will meet him -- suddenly, surprisingly and with a shock of recognition that will change your whole life. When you do meet him, you will discover his secret. You will discover that he carries with him an invisible talisman with the initials PMA emblazoned on one side, and NMA on the other.
This invisible talisman has two amazing powers: it has the power to attract wealth, success, happiness and health; and it has the power to repel these things -- to rob you of all that makes life worth living. It is the first of these powers, PMA, that enables some men to climb to the top and stay there. It is the second that keeps other men at the bottom all their lives. It is NMA that pulls other men down from the top when they have reached it.
Perhaps the story of S. B. Fuller will illustrate how it works.
"We are poor -- not because of God." S. B. Fuller was one of seven children of a Negro tenant farmer in Louisiana. He started to work at the age of five. By the time he was nine, he was driving mules. There was nothing unusual in this: the children of most of the tenant farmers went to work early. These families accepted poverty as their lot and asked for no better.
Young Fuller was different from his friends in one way: he had a remarkable mother. His mother refused to accept this hand-to-mouth existence for her children, though it was all she had ever known. She knew there was something wrong with the fact that her family was barely getting along in a world of joy and plenty. She used to talk to her son about her dreams.
"We shouldn't be poor, S.B.," she used to say. "And don't ever let me hear you say that it is God's Will that we are poor. We are poor -- not because of God. We are poor because Father has never developed a desire to become rich. No one in our family has ever developed a desire to be anything else."
No one had developed a desire to be wealthy. This idea became so deeply ingrained in Fuller's mind that it changed his whole life. He began to want to be rich. He kept his mind on the things he did want and off the things he didn't want. Thus he developed a burning desire to become rich. The quickest way to make money, he decided, was to sell something. He chose soap. For twelve years he sold it, door to door. Then he learned that the company which supplied him was going to be sold at auction. The firm price was $150,000. In twelve years of selling and setting aside every penny, he had saved $25,000. It was agreed that he would deposit his $25,000 and obtain the balance of $125,000 within a ten-day period. Written into the contract was the condition that if he did not raise the money, he would lose his deposit.
During his twelve years as a soap salesman, S. B. Fuller had gained the respect and admiration of many businessmen. He went to them now. He obtained money from personal friends, too, and from loan companies and investment groups. On the eve of the tenth day, he had raised $115,000. He was $10,000 short.
Search for the light. "I had exhausted every source of credit I knew," he recalls. "It was late at night. In the darkness of my room I knelt down and prayed. I asked God to lead me to a person who would let me have the $10,000 in time. I said to myself that I would drive down 61st Street until I saw the first light in a business establishment. I asked God to make the light a sign indicating His answer."
It was eleven o'clock at night when S. B. Fuller drove down Chicago's 61st Street. At last, after several blocks he saw a light in a contractor's office.
He walked in. There, seated at his desk, tired from working late at night, sat a man whom Fuller knew slightly. Fuller realized that he would have to be bold.
"Do you want to make $1,000?" asked Fuller straight out.
The contractor was taken aback at the question. "Yes," he said. "Of course."
"Then make out a check for $10,000 and when I bring back the money, I'll bring back another $1,000 profit," Fuller recalls telling this man. He gave the contractor the names of the other people who had lent him money, and explained in detail exactly what the business venture was.
Let's explore his secret of success. Before he left that night, S. B. Fuller had a check for $10,000 in his pocket. Subsequently he obtained controlling interest not only in that company, but in seven others, including four cosmetic companies, a hosiery company, a label company, and a newspaper. When we asked him recently to explore with us the secret of his success, he answered in terms of his mother's statement so many years before:
"We are poor -- not because of God. We are poor because Father has never developed a desire to become rich. No one in our family has ever developed a desire to be anything else."
"You see," he told us, "I knew what I wanted, but I didn't know how to get it. So I read the Bible and inspirational books for a purpose. I prayed for the knowledge to achieve my objectives. Three books played an important part in transmuting my burning desire into reality. They were: (1) the Bible, (2) Think and Grow Rich, and (3) The Secret of the Ages. My greatest inspiration comes from reading the Bible.
"If you know what you want, you are more apt to recognize it when you see it. When you read a book, for example, you will recognize opportunities to help you get what you want."
S. B. Fuller carried with him the invisible talisman with the initials PMA imprinted on one side and NMA on the other. He turned the PMA side up and amazing things happened. He was able to bring into reality ideas that were formerly mere daydreams.
Now the important thing to notice here is that S. B. Fuller started life with fewer advantages than most of us have. But he chose a big goal and headed for it. Of course, the choice of goal was individual. In these times and in this country you still have your personal right to say: "This is what I choose. This is what I want most to accomplish." And unless your goal is against the laws of God or society, you can achieve it. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose by trying. Success is achieved and maintained by those who keep trying with PMA.
What you try for is up to you. Not everyone would care to be an S. B. Fuller, responsible for large manufacturing concerns. Not everyone would choose to pay the costly price of being a great artist. To many, the riches of life are quite different. A skill in day-to-day living which adds up to a happy, love-filled life is success. You can have this and other riches, too. The choice is yours.
But whether success to you means becoming rich as it did to S. B. Fuller, or the discovery of a new element in chemistry, or the creation of a piece of music, or the growing of a rose, or the nurturing of a child -- no matter what success means to you -- the invisible talisman with the initials PMA emblazoned on one side and NMA on the other can help you achieve it. You attract the good and desirable with PMA. You repel them with NMA.
Every adversity has the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit. "But what if I have a physical handicap? How can a change of attitude help me?" you may ask. Perhaps the story of Tom Dempsey, a boy who was disabled at birth, will give you your answer.
Tom was born without half a right foot and only a stub of a right arm. As a boy, he wanted to engage in sports as the other boys did. He had a burning desire to play football. Because of this desire, his parents had an artificial foot made for him. It was made of wood. The wooden foot was encased in a special stubby football shoe. Hour after hour, day after day, Tom would practice kicking the football with his wooden foot. He would try and keep on trying to make field goals at greater and greater distances. He became so proficient that he was hired by the New Orleans Saints.
The screams of 66,910 football fans could be heard throughout the entire United States when, within the last two seconds of the game, Tom Dempsey -- with his crippled leg -- kicked a record-breaking 63-yard field goal. It was the longest field goal ever kicked in a professional football game. It gave the Saints a winning score of 19-17 over the Detroit Lions.
"We were beaten by a miracle," said Detroit coach Joseph Schmidt. And to many, it was a miracle -- an answer to a prayer.
"Tom Dempsey didn't kick that field goal, God kicked it," said Lion linebacker Wayne Walker.
"Interesting. But what does the Tom Dempsey story mean to me?" you may ask.
Our response would be: "Very little -- unless you develop the habit of recognizing, relating, assimilating and using universal principles and adopt them as your very own. Then follow through with desirable action."
And what are the principles you could apply from the Tom Dempsey story, whether or not you are physically disabled? They can be learned and applied by children and adults:
- Greatness comes to those who develop a burning desire to achieve high goals.
- Success is achieved and maintained by those who try and keep on trying with PMA.
- To become an expert achiever in any human activity, it takes practice...practice...practice.
- Effort and work can become fun when you establish specific desirable goals.
- With every adversity there is a seed of an equivalent or greater benefit for those who are motivated with PMA to become achievers.
- Man's greatest power lies in the power of prayer.
To learn and apply these principles, turn up your invisible talisman to the PMA side.
When Henley wrote the poetic lines, "I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul," he could have informed us that we are the masters of our fate because we are masters, first, of our attitudes. Our attitudes shape our future. This is a universal law. The poet could have told us with great emphasis that this law works whether the atti...
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