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Book Review: The Science of Getting Rich

Is there truly a unified method that, applied by any individual, leads to riches? Using his experience in the domain of richness, Wallace Wattles has put together a comprehensive outline of what it takes to achieve wealth; the chief factor being the mindset of the individual.


  • Author: Wallace D. Wattles
  • Pages: 100
  • Reading Level: Beginner
  • Rating: A+
  • First Published: 1910
  • Similar Read: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

The Certain Way

The first step on the road to wealth is to begin to act in the “Certain Way”. This entails believing categorically that there is a formless substance that truly exists and upon which our thoughts become impressed. Positive thoughts lead to a positive life while negative thoughts lead to a negative life because the formless substance of the universe simply receives whatever is sent to it. Since each person has the ability to control the types of thoughts they allow in their minds, each person has the ability to shape the formless substance to positively impact their future.

Upon adopting a positive worldview which will shape the formless substance in this way, it is necessary also to then take action. The person on the road to wealth must also put themselves in the right line of business to receive the bountiful future that they are preparing themselves for. Since the world has unlimited riches in it, such a person is compelled to also give more in use value than they receive in cash value. This tenet underlines the entire philosophy as it makes sense once one truly accepts the principle of unlimited wealth in the universe.

The connection between thought and action is thus, “By thought, the thing you want is brought to you. By action, you receive it” (Page 61). The thing you desire becomes yours in the moment you clearly envision it. By going out in the world and doing, you ready yourself to actually take possession.

Abundance of Riches

Wattles asserts that there is a never ceasing bounty of treasure in the universe just waiting to be tapped into by any person driven and acting in the Certain Way. He argues that given this boundless oasis of a universe that we live in, an individual should never rein in their desires but in fact ask as much as possible from the universe and from their life in order to achieve it.

With a clear vision guided by faith, no goal is too lofty.

Creation vs. Competition

Wattles’ suggested method of wealth creation is to act creatively. Competition is a falsehood and only used by those who cannot recognize the boundless nature of the universe. The individual on the road to wealth who follows the Certain Way does not need to rush their work in order to not have their idea stolen or taken before them. Acting creatively and with faith in their abilities, such a person should do all necessary work each day without hurrying or burning themselves out. Given the strength of their resolve and by following this scientific method of wealth building, the creative person cannot be prevented from achieving their ends.

No Short Cuts

A central belief in Wattles’ system is that anyone seeking riches must be a superlative performer. They must rise and be greater than their current job, role, or station in life. To do this, they must leave no work undone. As he points out, no one is greater than a role in which they have left work unfinished. They should always provide a greater use value than the cash value they are paid.

Think of your own life and the ways you might improve it. Ask yourself a few questions:

  • What opportunities do you have to exceed expectations?
  • What can you do to stand out (not simply to curry favour but because you are seeking to lead a life of fulfillment and authenticity)?
  • In what ways can you provide more in use value than you receive in cash value?
  • How often do you sit in quiet contemplation and imagine life as you would like it to be?
  • Do you have a clear vision of the thing you want? To hit a target, you have to know where it is.

Here are some ideas you can take immediately to give more:

  • Show up early wherever you’re going.
  • Work consistently.
  • Support those around you; friends, family, co-workers, strangers.
  • Remain positive and never express a single negative sentiment.
  • Offer to help out even when it’s not required.
  • If you notice a problem, don’t simply point it out; come up with a sensible solution.

Confidence in His Method

Wattles maintains an unshakable belief throughout the text that his method is irrefutable. His confidence is demonstrated by the title of the book itself, which was very deliberate. Given the common traits of those who have become rich, Wattles is able to reduce wealth building to a science – as real as the force of gravity in the universe. If someone “fails” by following this method, it is because they have given up too soon. After all, it isn’t called “The Science of Getting Rich Fast”.

Actionable Wisdom

The great thing about this book is that it offers truly actionable advice. The poorest person with little means could even begin to reshape their life by beginning to use Wattles’ Certain Way.

Another advantage of this book is its brevity. You could certainly read this in one sitting if you were in the mood for it. Just a hundred short pages which contain all you really need to know about setting off on the path to Get Rich. It’s worth the effort.

Thanks for reading.


Have you read The Science of Getting Rich? Is it true that anyone person in the world can get rich by adjusting their mindset?

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