My grandfather, Robert Collier, died in 1950, two years before I was born. He was a tremendous businessman, a pioneer in the mail order sales business, and wrote “The Robert Collier Letter Book” on business correspondence.Robert Collier also had a strong spiritual side and in the late 1920s wrote some of the first self-help books, including one called “Secret of the Ages.” The family still keeps the books in print and occasionally our website gets questions that my cousin Collie forwards to the family for a response. Here is one such question and my response:

For years I have been on a quest to find the “True Meaning of Life” or why am I here and why do I have to constantly struggle. I started reading books on the Higher Self and Spiritual Awareness.

Your Grandfather’s books had me go deeper in search of my Higher Self. I really don’t know what I saw but I never felt so much peace in my life. If I could center myself back on those incidents my life would forever change. Unfortunately, I always let lack and limitation re-enter my thoughts. I feel great for a few days then all of a sudden bills appear, money is not there and I am back feeling sorry for myself again. Your Grandfather always said to “Believe that you Receive”. I find that so difficult to do. To pretend that you have abundance when you know you don’t.

Is there something that I am missing? I have to admit I have read and re-read The Secret of the Ages about 3 times and I seem to get more confused.

“Believe that you receive” is an admonishment, a reminder to remain aware of the blessings of life.

In whatever situation you find yourself, an “attitude of gratitude” and the “habit of happiness” will serve you in good stead. You would be worse off without them! Your energy levels would be lower, fewer opportunities would open up, and those around you would wish they weren’t.

We are NOT talking about walking around with your head in the clouds, totally divorced from reality. We are NOT talking about forgetting to do the hard work of preparation. We ARE talking about being open, flexible, and adaptable (“when one door closes, another door opens …”).

Your subconscious hears every word you say, attempts to conform to every belief you have. When you attempt “to pretend that you have abundance when you know you don’t,” your mind knows you are pretending and so…I’ve found it helps to start with whatever belief or visualization you are comfortable with, that you CAN believe (stretch it as far as you can but keep it reasonably real to you), and then move on from there.
I know that if I work out HARD for the next 6 months I will be able to lift at least 50% more than I can now. I also know that no amount of positive thinking will enable me to me to lift 50% more tomorrow. And I know that 6 months of hard workouts will probably go much better with a lot of positive visualization of successfully doing the last rep of each set, of focusing my thoughts on the benefits I’m working toward (and believing I will receive them). Putting a lot of emotional energy into “believing I will receive” the benefits I’m working toward helps me stay on track, disciplined, and focused.