Wallace D. Wattles


Wallace Delois Wattles (1860–1911) was an American New Thought writer, one whose work has influenced many modern LoA and self-help authors, including Bob Proctor and Rhonda Byrne. He is often referred to as one of the “motivational giants” along with Napoleon Hill and Earl Nightingale. Wattles is best known for his book “The Science of Getting Rich”.


Wallace Wattles was born and raised on a farm in Nunda Township of McHenry County, Illinois shortly after the civil war. Little is known about his life: he was an only child, and lived on his parents’ farm where he worked as a laborer. He and his wife Abbie had three children: Florence, Russell and Agnes, and his daughter Florence is the one who revealed the most about his life in the “Letter” published in the New Thought magazine Nautilus shortly after his death.

He had little formal education, but in his later years he studied various religious beliefs and philosophies. Then he discovered the New Thought movement and traveled to Chicago where the leading New Thought authors of his time were located.

Teaching and Philosophy

He practiced his teachings in his life daily. His daughter Florence wrote:

He wrote almost constantly. It was then that he formed his mental picture. He saw himself as a successful writer, a personality of power, an advancing man, and he began to work toward the realization of this vision.

Wattles declared that he discovered the truth and key behind the New Thought principles, which he adopted and tested through personal practice. He was a pragmatist who claimed that any reader who applies the instructions that he had laid out – will be rich.

What he discovered was that you have to think and act in a certain way in order to get rich; your mind holds the keys to your prosperity, but your actions are also needed to get you what you want. The technique that he himself practiced was creative visualization – he would create a mental image of what he wanted to achieve, see himself already having it, and then he’d work towards the completion of that goal.

He died shortly after the publication of “The Science of Getting Rich”, but his books have had a remarkable effect on people, and are a welcome read for many even today.


He wrote several books in which he exposed his teachings.

Apart from his prosperity classic, The Science of Getting Rich (1910), he wrote:

  • Health Through New Thought and Fasting
  • How to Be a Genius: Or the Science of Being Great
  • The Science of Being Well
  • The Science of Winning Love
  • Jesus: The Man and His Work
  • a novel, Hellfire Harrison. 

Dr. Judith Powel has updated his work to include The Science of Well Being and The Science of Becoming Excellent. Along with The Science of Getting Rich, these books make the trilogy that covers health, happiness and wealth.

Almost all of his books can be found either as free .PDFs, or bought on Amazon.

Quotes from his books

Whatever may be said in praise of poverty, the fact remains that it is not possible to live a really complete or successful life unless one is rich.

There is a genius in every man and woman, waiting to be brought forth.

Nothing that is possible in spirit is impossible in flesh and blood. Nothing that man can think is impossible. Nothing that man can imagine is impossible of realization.

Every one will be something worth while, something rare, something perfect.

The brain does not make the man; the man makes the brain. 

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