The Science of Being Great | Wallace D. Wattles

Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. If you’re the kind of person who watches TV or surfs the internet right before bed, I might suggest adjusting your nightly habits. Studies have shown that television and computers should be avoided up to 30 minutes before going to bed, as they can interfere with a good night’s sleep. It’s much better to relax with an inspirational book before falling asleep, a book that will put you in a positive frame of mind — one that is beneficial to your subconscious.

That’s where our new hardcover book comes in. Evergreen: 50 Inspirational Life Lessons is the perfect bedside reading to guide you into a night of relaxing, refreshing, and inspirational sleep. To learn more, please go to

Now, onto today’s reading, which has been edited and adapted from The Science of Being Great by Wallace D. Wattles, published in 1911.

THERE is a Principle of Power in every person. By the intelligent use and direction of this principle, you can develop your own mental faculties. Each one of us has an inherent power by which we may grow in whatsoever direction we please, and there does not appear to be any limit to the possibilities of our growth. No person has yet become so great in any faculty but that it is possible for someone else to become greater. The possibility is in the Original Substance from which we are made. Genius is Omniscience flowing into humanity.

Genius is more than just talent. Talent may merely be one faculty developed out of proportion to other faculties, but genius is the union of humanity with the Divine in the acts of the soul. Great men and women are always greater than their deeds. They are in connection with a reserve of power that is without limit. We do not know where the boundary of the mental powers of humanity is; we do not even know that there is a boundary.

The power of conscious growth is not given to us alone and may be developed and increased by any individual. We alone can train and develop ourselves. We alone among the animals have this power, and we have it to an apparently unlimited extent.

The purpose of human life is growth, just as the purpose of life for trees and plants is growth. Trees and plants grow automatically and along fixed lines. We can grow, as we will. Trees and plants can only develop certain possibilities and characteristics; we can develop any power, which is or has been shown by any person, anywhere. Nothing that is possible in spirit is impossible in flesh and blood. Nothing that humanity can think of is impossible in action. Nothing that we can imagine is impossible of realization.

Humankind is formed for growth, and we are under the necessity of growing. It is essential to our happiness that we should continuously advance.

Life without progress becomes unendurable, and the person who ceases from growth must either become an imbecile or insane. The greater and more harmonious and well-rounded our growth, the happier we will be.

There is no possibility in any person that is not in every individual; but if they proceed naturally, no two people will grow into the same thing, or be alike. Every person comes into the world with a predisposition to grow along certain lines, and growth is easier along those lines than in any other way. This is a wise provision, for it gives endless variety. It is as if a gardener should throw all their bulbs into one basket; to the superficial observer they would look alike, but growth reveals a tremendous difference.

So of men and women, they are like a basket of bulbs. One may be a rose and add brightness and color to some dark corner of the world; one may be a lily and teach a lesson of love and purity to every eye that sees; one may be a climbing vine and hide the rugged outlines of some dark rock; one may be a great oak among whose boughs the birds shall nest and sing, and beneath whose shade the flocks shall rest at noon, but everyone will be something worthwhile, something rare, something perfect.



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