Mindset Mastery 155 – Investigating Failure

Napoleon Hill not only extracted his principles for success by learning what traits and characteristics made the wealthy people he studied, but also by learning about how failures come to be—the mistakes that are made that prevent success. What follows here is just one example of this.

Conditions For Destruction

During the Depression, Hill spent several months in the anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania, studying conditions which all but destroyed the coal industry. Among several very significant discoveries was the fact that greed on the part of operators and their employees was the chief cause of the loss of business for the operators, and loss of jobs for the miners.

Through the pressure of a group of overzealous labor leaders, representing the employees, and the greed for profits on the part of the operators, the anthracite business suddenly dwindled. The coal operators and their employees drove sharp bargains with one another, adding the cost of the “bargaining” to the price of the coal, until, finally, they discovered they had built up a wonderful business for the manufacturers of oil burning heating units and the producers of crude oil.

The Price Of Greed

“The wages of sin is death!” Many have read this in the Bible, but few have discovered its meaning. During the Depression years all men were forced to listen to a sermon which might as well have been called “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” And today, that history is there for all of us to learn from as we go about building our business and fortunes.

Nothing as widespread and effective as the Depression could possibly be “just a coincidence.” Behind the Depression was a cause. Nothing ever happens without a cause. For the main part of it, the cause of the Depression can be traced directly to the worldwide habit of trying to reap without sowing.

Sowing The Right Seeds

This is not to say that the Depression represents a crop which the world is being forced to reap that the world did not sow. The trouble was that the world sowed the wrong sort of seed. Any farmer knows he cannot sow thistle seed and reap a harvest of grain. Beginning at the outbreak of the First World War, the people of the world began to sow the seed of inadequate service in both quality and quantity. Nearly everyone was busy with the pastime of trying to get without giving.

The point of taking such pains to illustration these facts is to learn from the past and bring it to the attention of those who people have personal services to market, to show that we are where we are, and what we are, because of our own conduct! If there is a principle of cause and effect that controls business, finance, and transportation, this same principle controls individuals and determines their economic status.

Stop History From Repeating

In your life and endeavors toward wealth, you can control the outcome and the crop by controlling the seeds you sow. Sow seeds of prosperity, positivity, truth, ethics, and integrity, and you will reap these things and much more.

Sean Rasmussen
Success Communicator
Aussie Internet Marketer © 2004 – 2009

About Sean Rasmussen

Sean Rasmussen is a passionate blogger and has been a full time internet marketer since 2005. When he's not with his family, or dog Buddy, Sean is usually blogging or doing something related to the internet.


  1. Sean,it was some great reading.Indeed, man should watch the seeds of his sowing.Nothing happens by chance.Every outcome of a situation is directly or indirectly planned by the partaker. We must always calculate our steps but not over cautiously.

  2. Catherine Walker says:

    Sean, Hi

    Just wanted to say thanks for the download – I allready have this on MP3 in a male voice – Iv added female voice version you very generously have offered here, to my mp3 player too, so now I can listen to one chaper read by a male and one by a vemale voice and alternate the two – I intend reaching understanding of all that Wallace wrote and putting it into practice. All the best to you and yours,


  3. It’s amazing that Hill wrote about greed being the cause of the collapse of the coal industry during the Depression… Then in 2009, the global financial crisis – which they say is the worst financial collapse since the Depression – occurred, caused by greed. Did someone say that history repeats itself?
    .-= Lina Nguyen´s last blog ..How to make comments online and build your online persona =-.

    • Its scary how little we seem to learn from this big lessons in life. Unfortunately we will get the same lessons presented again and again until we get it 🙂
      .-= Renee´s last blog ..Motivational Music =-.

    • Hi Lina,

      I think history continues to repeat itself because we as people are slow to change. Generally speaking, people are more interested in their own agendas and what they want.

      Political leaders are forever invading other countries for a variety of reasons. Political leaders are slaughtering their own people in some countries. In other countries, there is so much self indulgence that we live from week to week because we think we’re entitled to things. The list can go on and on.

      I think we need to spend more time becoming better people. I think developing a successful mindset is an excellent place to start.
      .-= Jazz Salinger´s last blog ..Finding Your Passion =-.

  4. Interesting about how the depression was a cause and affect of those not looking after each other, the economy and giving back to the community. Are we in a era where we also too busy to care, too busy to give back, too busy to sow the right seeds? If we all gave a helping hand to those close to us (as long as thery were ready to receive) with ideas, in the form of a mastermind group – then we would see the seeds growing in the right environment.
    Interesting to see that those in the great depression that made wealth knew how to apply the formula. And again last year those that knew how to go about making the money did so….there was millionaires made in the Depression, and millionaires made last year, and their will be more millionaires made this year…..Its all down to the right attitude, the right place/time/conditions to plant those seeds.
    .-= Lisa Wood´s last blog ..Its Meant To Be =-.

  5. Jazz Salinger says:

    Hi Sean,

    Greed and selfishness will be the downfall of anyone who tries to make a living with these traits as the cornerstone of success. Unfortunately, I think there will always be some people who look for shortcuts, try to take the easy way out or are just generally lazy.

    I believe in karma. You do reap what you sow. It’s good to know that if I sow the seeds of honesty, integrity, positivity, and ethics, I will get these these things back.:)

  6. They say history repeats itself. I’d say it’s because some people never learn. Even though humans are capable of learning, adapting and adjusting to their current situations, there are really several people who are probably too lazy, or too tired to do it. I completely agree with the saying “You reap what you sow.”

  7. Hi Sean

    There is always a lesson to be learned, especially with mistakes.

    If you want to have a good look at how the human mind is driven, jump into the stock market for a while & you will see that the forces that animate the market are fear, greed and indecision.

    I am part of the whole collective, I carry with me those energies and I have acted on them too.

    When these ‘conditions for destruction’ rise up for attention, without provocation (you can’t stop thoughts rising up) the key is to be aware of them. There is a split second when we have a chance to think before we act, not always easy to grab. Sometimes it is like trying to stop a tidal wave with your breath.

    Every time those decisions are laid out in front, and we say yes to the positive and no to the negative, we have laid another paver on the road to success.

    We can’t stop the world process of greed, fear etc, but we can make an almighty effort to stop our own.

  8. Too often history does repeat itself. We need to learn the lessons of (our) history or we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over.

    So a good question to ask oursleves are we just repeating a cycle of past mistakes or bad choices? Or have we learned something and can now move on?

    What actions (cause) can I take that will meet the needs of others and bring me success at the same time (effect).

    Or is the cumulative affect of what I am doing just history repeating itself and serving no end other than letting opportunity go to others.

  9. History always repeats but it`s not until we live through two corrections that we see it..
    Seeing the repeat rams the facts home..

    There`s a saying you cant put an old head on young shoulder`s.. Pity that..

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