The Science of Getting Rich


The Science of Getting Rich is the most popular part of a trilogy that covers achieving health, wealth and happiness in life, written by a New Thought American writer Wallace Wattles in 1910.

This book ranks as one of the earliest texts dedicated to the law of attraction concept (although it doesn’t expressly mention the term) in the modern history. This is a practical guide to, as the title says, becoming rich.


The first key to becoming rich, as Wattles describes it, is to think in a certain way: people’s thoughts impress upon formless substance, so they’re able to form things. But, in order to be in harmony with the Formless Intelligence, which allows us to create things, we have to pass from the competitive to creative mind, and to practice sincere gratitude for the blessings that you receive.

To do that, you have to form a clear mental image of the things you want to do, to have, or to become – spend your free time in contemplating your vision, and feeling grateful because your desires are being granted. That is the process by which the creative forces are being set in motion.

The second key is to act in a certain wayWhat you want will come to you through the established channels of natural growth and trade, respecting the social order; you must be active to receive it when it comes. You can’t just fill your present place – you have to do all that can be done, to take care to do every act successfully.


This is a small book, about 100 pages, so don’t let the number of chapters frighten you 🙂

  • Preface: 

“This book is pragmatical, not philosophical; a practical manual, not a treatise upon theories. It is intended for the men and women whose most pressing need is for money; who wish to get rich first, and philosophize afterward.”

  • Chapter 1: The Right To Be Rich – the author explains how there is nothing wrong in wanting to get rich: “The man who has nothing to give cannot fill his place as a husband or father, as a citizen, or as a man.”
  • Chapter 2: There is A Science of Getting Rich – the author claims that the science of getting rich “is an exact science, like algebra or arithmetic”, that the laws that govern the process of acquiring riches can be learnt by any man, and that it consists of “doing things in a Certain Way”.
  • Chapter 3: Is Opportunity Monopolized? – talks about how there is abundance of opportunity, and that no one is poor because others have taken all the wealth. Everything is formed by the Original Substance, to which there is no limit; since the Nature an inexhaustible storehouse of riches, there is enough of wealth to go around.
  • Chapter 4: The First Principle in The Science of Getting Rich – “THOUGHT is the only power which can produce tangible riches from the Formless Substance.” He explains how the Substance moves according to a man’s thoughts, and that every thought causes the creation of the form, but always along the lines of growth that are already established in the society.
  • Chapter 5: Increasing Life – this chapter deals with how the purpose of “the science of getting rich” is to create wealth, not to compete for the wealth that someone else has.
  • Chapter 6: How Riches Come to You – the process he suggests is to form a clear mental image of what you want, and then to act as if it’s on its way to you: “It will be brought to you by the power of the Supreme Intelligence, acting upon the minds of men.”
  • Chapter 7: Gratitude – deep and profound gratitude is how you relate to the Substance that gives you what you desire.
  • Chapter 8: Thinking in the Certain Way – the author explains why it’s important to have a clear and definite image of what you want: “If you were going to send a wireless message to a friend, you would not send the letters of the alphabet in their order, and let him construct the message for himself; nor would you take words at random from the dictionary. You would send a coherent sentence; one which meant something. When you try to impress your wants upon Substance, remember that it must be done by a coherent statement; you must know what you want, and be definite. You can never get rich, or start the creative power into action, by sending out unformed longings and vague desires.”
  • Chapter 9: How to Use the Will – the will power should be used only on yourself, not on others.
  • Chapter 10: Further Use of the Will – talks about the importance of staying focused on your goal, putting powerty and all thoughts related to it behind, closing your ming to negative thoughts that can hold you back.
  • Chapter 11: Acting in the Certain Way – action allows you to receive what you have brought by your thoughts: “Your thought makes all things, animate and inanimate, work to bring you what you want; but your personal activity must be such that you can rightly receive what you want when it reaches you.”
  • Chapter 12: Efficient Action – further about the importance of being proactive; now that you understand how the law works, you have to apply it to your own affairs and make every day a successful day.
  • Chapter 13: Getting into the Right Business – it’s best to choose a business that you are talented for, that you “have the right tools” for – although he cleims that any man can succeed in any business, it’s just that he’d have to develop the “tools” as he goes.
  • Chapter 14: The Impression of Increase – as you move further on your path to success, you are getting continuous increase in wealth for yourself and for everyone around you.
  • Chapter 15: The Advancing Man – the Advancing Man is what you’ll ultimately become, no matter in which profession you are. Following the rules described in the previous chapters will make you extremely successful, attracting other people and wealth to you every step of the way, as you hold your vision of a great and successful professional.
  • Chapter 16: Some Cautions, and Concluding Observations – he stresses out the importance of being creative, against being competitive, and reminds the reader that no government or social system can keep him from being rich.
  • Chapter 17: Summary of the Science of Getting Rich – the author claims that, if you follow his instructions, you will certainly get rich, and the riches that you’ll receive will be exactly proportional to:
    • the definiteness of your vision,
    • the fixity of your purpose,
    • the steadiness of your faith,
    • and the depth of your gratitude.

Readers reviews

Barry J:

I have only been shown this book today and am already half way through it. It has astounded me. This book has eloquently summed up many of the ideas that I have been coming closer towards for years. 

The first two main points I’d like to note are that 1) acquiring wealth is not bad or sinful, on the contrary, it enables one to fulfill their potential in all areas of life and adds to the greater good for everyone; and 2) acquiring wealth does not mean stealing wealth from others — there is not a finite amount of resource or money — it is possible to create wealth without taking it from others.

Michael Mendenhall:

If someday somebody creates a “Hall of Fame” for self-help success books, this one will definitely be in there. I’ve read this book at least a half dozen times since I bought it a year ago. (…) It is focused on the acquisition of money, period. It’s not about raising your self esteem, setting goals and leading a happy life. It’s just plain money making. I like a bold author who cuts to the chase. I particularly like his assertion that we have “a right to be rich.” (…)

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