Formula for Success

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Russell H. Conwell was a famous author and speaker, and the founder of Temple University. You may have read or heard of his inspirational book Acres of Diamonds about the right way to set and achieve a goal that uses your individual talents and abilities, and capitalizes on being right where you are. You can prosper in any business in any city by learning how to use your mind in the right way. He explains that it’s not true that you must leave home and travel far away to some “other place” to find your opportunities for success. Plenty of opportunities abound wherever you are, if you look for them.


In another of his classic books called What You Can Do with Your Will Power, Conwell wrote, “Every one has within himself the tools necessary to carve out success. Consecrate yourself to some definite mission in life, and let it be a mission that will benefit the world as well as yourself. Remember that nothing can withstand the sweep of a determined will–unless it happens to be another will equally as determined. Keep clean, fight hard, pick your openings judiciously, and have your eyes forever fixed on the heights toward which you are headed. If there be any other formula for success, I do not know it.”


His method can be explained in more modern terms, I believe, in this way:

  • Keep clean: Keep your habits of thought and action orderly.
  • Fight hard: Be persistent; don’t give up just because you’ve hit a stumbling block or two.
  • Pick your openings judiciously: Weigh your choices; avoid the tendency to dash off in the direction of every shiny new idea that pops up.
  • Fix your eyes on the heights toward which you are headed: Keep your goal in mind, not in a slavish way that is fear-based, but by allowing that vision of success to draw you onward, day after day.


Enjoy the journey.