The Science of Getting Rich

The Science of Getting Rich
Publisher: Tarcherperigee
Published: 5/1/2007
As featured in the bestselling book The Secret, here is the landmark guide to wealth creation republished with the classic essay “How to Get What You Want.” Wallace D. Wattles spent a lifetime considering the laws of success as he found them in the work of the world’s great philosophers. He then turned his life effort into this simple, slender book – a volume that he vowed could replace libraries of philosophy, spirituality, and self-help…

Book Summary - The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles

Key Insights

When we think of wealth, we often regard it in a literal sense. While Wallace Wattles does not shy away from discussions about the material value of money, he also encourages readers to consider the idea of ‘becoming rich’ through a philosophical lens with an emphasis on the importance of gratitude and the power of one’s own mind. It is only through nurturing our body, our mind, and our soul that we can truly achieve sustained wealth.

We are all indebted to the Original Substance, the foundation on which all things are built.

By tapping into our innermost thoughts, we have the ability to turn our desires into action items. Without effort and faith, our dreams are only dreams. With effort and faith, we have the ability to fully realize them.

Key Points

Material Wealth

Human life, in its most basic form, is composed of three key elements: mind, body, and soul. Experts believe that in order to achieve optimal success, an individual must nurture each area equally.

But how?

By seeking material wealth.

Let’s break it down.

If you want to grow your mind, you need access to resources that allow you to acquire and maximize knowledge. Typically, this includes a computer, a phone, and books not to mention the education and technical competence necessary to use these tools to the fullest extent possible.

If you want to nourish your body, you need to have healthy food, comfortable clothing, and a safe place to sleep. Things like fast food, which is often the cheapest option for sustenance, will not provide your body with what it needs, but if you lack financial means, you may not have an alternative. The same can be said for shelter and clothes.

If you want to feed your soul, you need the capacity to give and receive love. This cannot be done in isolation--an inherent requirement in maintaining fulfilling relationships is the interaction between multiple parties. As such, in many social scenarios, material gifts are not only accepted, but they are a key aspect of various traditions. Think about Christmas!

Wealth is not finite. We are not splitting money from one financial pot. There is always more to be uncovered and having rich parents or a unique talent are not the only ways to strike it rich.

The bottom line? Nobody is poor because there is a lack of resources on the planet. People are poor because they do not understand the power of the resources that are all around them.

Gratitude Keeps it Going

Before you can be rich, you need to think rich.

Our thoughts have tremendous power and it is up to us as humans to leverage them to the best of our ability.

And, we must keep two key beliefs in mind:

  • Original Substance

The original substance refers to the substance from which all things are made. Essentially, every form and process you observe in nature is a visible manifestation of the substance.

  • Law of Gratitude

According to the Law of Gratitude, the more grateful that we are for the Substance, the more that we will naturally attract positivity.

Consider the following example. Let’s say you are an artist who would love a new easel but cannot afford one. Rather than complaining about what you do not have, be grateful for the art supplies that you do have that have led you to be as successful as you are today. With the Law of Gratitude, you will then be provided with greater opportunities in your field as time goes on.

Focus on What You Want

Once you have shifted your thought process to an attainment-oriented one, you must start thinking the right way.


  • First, you must use your imagination to bring forth the Substance. Along with this, you must develop a specific picture in your mind of what you want and why you want it. Look at this picture from every angle, considering each detail. What does it look like? What does it sound like? What does it feel like? How does it smell? Taste?
  • In addition to forming a clear picture of what it is that you desire, you must further cement your goal by having faith in your ability to obtain what it is that you want.


Use the sheer force of your will to bring your goals to fruition. In doing this, though, ensure that you are only using the power of your will to influence yourself, not others. It is not an individual’s place to take from others or to change another’s frame of mind. You have to make your desires work for you and you alone.

Act in the Present

While our thoughts have the ability to attract the things we want, it is only through intentional action that the objects of our desire will truly become ours.

No amount of remorse will change the past. No amount of fear will change the future.

All we have is the present, so we must act now, rather than waiting for a perfect moment that may never come. Even if your current circumstances are not ideal, it is time to act and do your part in preparing for the future that you want.

If you invest your energy in your idea but do nothing to truly push it forward, you will not get anywhere. You must put the work in and the effort or the intention is nothing more than a pipedream.

So often we see people stall and refuse to act because they do not feel that the environment they are in is conducive to taking a major leap.

So, you do what you can with what you have.

Change your environment. And then take the leap. In this life, you only have so much time.

If you know you want to earn more money, for instance, start working towards that goal today and believe in your ability to succeed. You have the tools. And once you begin seeing success, you will attract further success. Make sure that you are putting both your physical and mental energy in the same place.

Use Your Talents

Throughout life, you will undoubtedly find yourself at many intersections, some proving more difficult to navigate than others. A particularly salient one is the cross-roads between talent and enjoyment.

When you enjoy something immensely and have talent in that area, you will naturally improve your performance over time.

For instance, if you are an artist, you must start with a strong interest in art and a desire to develop your skills.

But skill and interest alone are not enough.

You will also need faith to attain increase--the form of advancement that is sought after universally. By having faith in what it is that you do, you will give off an ‘increase’ vibe which will then continue to attract more increase, which goes hand in hand with success.

The Main Take-away

The universe wants the best for you and has your greatest desires in mind. As long as you embrace your true intentions and put in the effort to make them a reality, you will fulfill your natural wish to be rich. Your body, your mind, and your soul will be grateful for the nourishment you provide. If you follow these principles, you will live a life of abundance of joy.

About the Author

William Wattles was born in 1860 and lived for 51 years before he passed away in 1911. Wattles grew up on his parents’ farm in Nuna Township, Illinois where he spent much of his youth as a farm laborer. Born to parents who were a gardener and a housekeeper, Wattles had no siblings.

In addition to writing The Science of Getting Rich, Wattle also published The Science of Being Well. Both books were released in 1910.

Wattles, a Christian socialist, also ran for public office.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *