The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Monday, December 19, 2011

Once a year, I do this...

I am excited and honored to spend the next few weeks with you, exploring the world's greatest self-help book, THINK AND GROW RICH. I want to tell you WHY I offered this book free of charge ( and why it is so important to me...and I believe, to you.

My mother raised my wonderful sister Joyce and me by herself: she had divorced my father when I was about seven years old, and he simply wasn't around. Life was a struggle. I very clearly remember her cutting dandelions off the front yard so that we would have vegetables to eat. She struggled endlessly to provide basic needs, and had nightmares almost every night of monsters chasing and devouring her...the monsters of debt and fear.

We were poor in many ways, but she was careful to provide cultural opportunities, that we had a new World Book encyclopedia every year (by selling them herself!), that we had upper-class friends, and that we never thought of ourselves as poor.

And one of the things she did, that drove me crazy at the time, was play recorded versions of self-help books. Psycho-Cybernetics. "As A Man Thinketh." "The Strangest Secret." And..."Think and Grow Rich." Over and over again she played them, until I thought I'd go crazy. But you know what? They went deep. I heard those principles over and over again. Mom used them to survive.

But I was able to use them to thrive and succeed. I stood on her shoulders, not in her shadow. Bless her. Bless her from the bottom of my heart. She gave me the foundation of my life. I was a small, shy, pot-bellied four-eyed little fatherless nerd, bullied by everyone, even the girls. Few friends, nothing but a dream that one day I would have love, learn to fight back, and be able to share the crazy stories I had in my head with the world.

And now? I'm married to my soul-mate, have a fourth degree black belt and my doctor says my body is twenty years younger than my chronological age. My books have been published in at least eight languages, I've won multiple awards, been on the New York Times bestseller list, and I get fan letters every day, from all over the world, from people telling me my fiction and non-fiction has entertained, inspired them, and changed or even saved their lives.

I am blessed. And more than any other single work, teacher, or mentor, the book Think and Grow Rich is responsible.

I'm going to go over each of the thirteen major steps discussed therein. That will not be enough. You need to READ it. Again and again. I'd suggest once every year. Do what it says. Form a partnership with at least one other person with whom you share your dreams and hopes. If you don't have such a person (or even if you do!) join the 101 Board (

to support and be supported.

I will discuss everything in terms of what I myself have accomplished, my own struggles. No theory. I am excited because this is MY chance to go back through this book, remind myself of the principles that created my life. They are foundational. This is for myself, as much as any of you. Everything will be related to writing; physical power and health; and loving Self, finding the Soulmate, and building a family.

Won't you join me?



Anonymous said...

I can't wait! Happy Holidays to you and your family Steve!

Steven Barnes said...

And to you and yours!