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– By Robert H Schuller

Condensed by : Smt. T.K. Saarada, Faculty, SBLC, Hyderabad

The Book is divided into ten chapters. Each chapter is unique
by itself in infusing confidence in the reader to take failure as
an opportunity to improve upon and see success.

In Chapter 1, it is mentioned that Success or Failure – the

choice is yours. The author relates Success system to
Possibility Thinking. Possibility Thinking worked for people
who have succeeded in all walks of life in society, in business,
in education, in industry, in Government and in the military.
About success he says,

Let’s not knock it,

Let’s not block it
Let’s UNLOCK it

Real success is accepting your God given opportunities and

giving your divinely inspired goals 110% of your best effort.
Success is discovering and developing your potential as well as
seeing new opportunities born all around you every new day.
Success is a process that must never stop. Real success will be
measured by how charming, graceful, polite and positive you
have become through this evolving process

Fame and fortune are shallow goals unless they are a means to
an end, a way to help others.

SUCCESS can mean coping with unusual problems. The

writer has beautifully narrated how his daughter who lost a leg
in a motor cycle accident success means carrying her precious
little baby girl while walking on an artificial leg.

Success is being able to look at yourself in the mirror and be

proud of the person you have become. Success is building your
own self respect by affirming the dignity of your fellow human
beings. Most successful people – most beloved and respected

on earth even though their material acquisitions were modest
are great hearts, super souls, precious persons. Good deeds,
honestly offered, immediately are transformed into fertile

Think of this:

You and I owe our lives to successful people we’ll never be able
to thank personally. Consider the freedom we enjoy. Some
soldier died for that His success goes on and on.

Failures become significant contributions to the process of

future success. You can reverse your future and fortune
by changing your thinking. The vast majority of high
achievers made it because they wanted to. A passionate desire
to achieve was a consuming drive in their life.

In Chapter 2, the evolution of success if lucidly presented

wherein it is stated that success is an evolution, not an
overnight achievement, a journey, not a destination, an
unending project, never a single, simple accomplishment that
stands alone unrelated to the past and disconnected from the
future. From conception to accomplishment of a task, Ten
levels have been mentioned in the book which are:

Level One – Dream actually begins in the Mind of God

Level Two - God matches His Dream to the Dreamer
Level Three – Dream takes on a life of its own
Level Four – God times the evolutionary process
Level Five – Surprising support comes from unexpected
Level Six - Temporary set backs and difficulties create
Level Seven – Dream comes true
Level eight – Dreamer has been shaped by the Dream
Level Nine – Dream keeps growing
Level Ten - Dream Again

In Chapter 3, the secret of making dreams come true have
been connected to 4 C’s – Curiosity, Confidence, Courage and
Consistency. The great people grabbed a great idea before it
disappeared into oblivion. Start asking questions that reflect
creative curiosity. If others can go from nothing to something,
why can’t I?

“I CAN DO IT TOO” Verbalize these enthusiasm producing

words. Dreamers who become doers operate emotionally and
rationally with
(a) confidence in their intelligence
(b) confidence in their hidden instincts
(c) confidence in their silent and secret intuition

Fear not that you might fail. Fear rather that you might never
succeed if you never dare to try.

Failure means you had courage to explore and experiment to

see what would work and what would not. Failure doesn’t
mean you do not know how to make decisions; it means you
have to make another decision. Failure doesn’t mean you are a
failure….It does mean you haven’t succeeded yet. Failure
doesn’t mean you are inferior…It does mean you are not
perfect. Failure doesn’t mean you should give up. It does
mean you must try harder. Failure doesn’t mean you’ll never
make it….It does mean it will take a little longer.

Maintain constancy – “Stick with your dream even if you get

knocked down”. When things get rough, don’t move. People
and pressure shift, but the soil remains the same no matter
where you go.


Constancy – “Bounce back ability” is to be developed. Your

enthusiasm may dip for a moment, your excitement level may

rise and fall, but, you will never become so depressed and
discouraged that you quit.

“Down with the word Impossible”. Stirring words – “It might

be possible, I don’t know how or when, but it might be
possible” Real issue is attitude. Impossible – that word is a
road block to progress! Impossible prejudices, challenges,
problems to be solved. Impossibilities vanish when a man and
His God confront a mountain. What appeared impossible
yesterday might be possible today. Look at your impossibility
as a problem that needs to be solved. If the problem appears
too big, you may need to break it up into several small
problems. It is always an idea problem. We all need to think

We find that the harder we work, the luckier we get. The

author narrates how David who was short in stature but hit
Goliath. It is mentioned that the magic word is WORK - A
positive attitude towards work works wonders. Work will
make dream come true. It gives a sense of accomplishment.

If you want to make your ideas work, you have to be in love

with the dream. You have to desire it passionately with all
your heart. Passion becomes compassion of God and you will
succeed. God says “I WILL NOT LET YOU FAIL”

In the same chapter, the author refers to Marva Collins – an

Educationist who strives to instill self esteem, self
determination and pride in each child and kindles in each
“Candle of excellence”. She teaches her students to believe
that they CAN. “Goodbye to failure and hello to success”.
Nothing is impossible if you can program yourself to believe
you can. Clearing from the mind old negative thought patterns
and laying the underground foundations to support and
sustain mental structures

In Chapter 5, it has been mentioned as “TURNING FAILURE
suggests 8 positive mental attitudes of Possibility Thinkers
which are as follows:
1. Are you ready to chose a Positive Mental Attitude
towards CHANGE? It requires humility. For humility
demands that we be willing to admit that we do not know
all the answers and that some of our answers are wrong.
2. Are you ready to choose a Positive Mental Attitude
towards Yourself? Within our sub conscious – a super
computer – a vast collection of negative programming
stunts our budding self confidence – massive
reprogramming may need to take place
3. Are you Ready to chose a Positive Mental Attitude
towards LEADERSHIP?. I will be responsible for my
own destiny. Where will I be five years, ten years, 20
years from now. That depends on the decisions I make
today and the goals I chose as a leader of my own destiny.
4. Are you ready to chose a Positive Mental Attitude
towards PROBLEMS? Problems are okay. They are
natural – in fact, inevitable if we are growing. No
problem is ever “a” problem. One Japanese Corporate
Executive has exclaimed that problems are like pain in
the body. They are nature’s way of blessing us with a
wonderful warning that we need to make changes.
Problems are not eternal; they are temporal . Problems
are to be viewed as decisions waiting to be made.

5. Are you Ready to chose a Positive Mental Attitude

towards PEOPLE? Successful leaders say – Good people
that work for me. They believe the best about people and
extract the best from people. “People who need people”
are the luckiest people in the world. People who believe
in people are more often than not abundantly rewarded.
We will attract people who will lead us to success if we
treat them, believe in them and listen to them.

6. Are you ready to chose a Positive Mental Attitude
towards EMOTIONAL WELL BEING?. Negative
emotions can be constructive. When the feelings are at
nose dive, DO NOTHING. One constructive thought is
worth an hour of flapping around in futility. By
maintaining a positive mental attitude towards any
emotional well being, I clear my mind for a creative
mental state which is receptive to creative ideas.
7. Are you ready to chose a Positive Mental Attitude
towards CREATIVE IDEAS?. In positive mental
attitude, the person normally asks like “Does anybody
need it? They know that the secret of success is to find a
need and fill it.
8. Are you ready to chose a Positive mental Attitude
towards “DECISION MAKING”? Decision to made
among various alternatives and options. A Possibility
thinker who

a) Is not afraid of taking risks

b) Analyzes all possible risks carefully and bravely
without self deception

In Chapter No. 6, it has been given that Packing the Power of

Possibility Thinking into your Life will lead to success. For
this, it has been suggested to use a Mental Detector and take
out all negative thinking. Don’t let inexperience become an
excuse for not trying. Challenge every single impossibility idea
or negative attitude in the back of your mind


Recognise your POSITION
Scrutinize your VALUES
Itemise your Assets & Review them carefully – Hidden assets
Knowledge, experience, freedom, friends and faith. We all
have dead assets that can be turned into live assets.


Prioritize your GOALS - a) obligations b) hobbies c) outside
commitments d) attractive ideas. Weigh carefully the value of
the demands made upon you. Get your priorities straight, and
you’ll be geared up for success.

In the same chapter, it is mentioned to Re-organise your

CALENDAR. Mark some dates on the calendar to give
yourself affectionately and wholeheartedly to those whom you
have perhaps neglected. Mark your calendar for “think time”
– Goals – Maximise my personal and professional success but
at the same time maintain health of mind and body harmony in
my marriage and family. Control your calendar for your
calendar will control you.

Visualise your OBJECTIVES . Inner vision. It uses the power

of imagination. While you are focusing on your inner vision
and your heart’s desire, use a filter. There may be many
confusing images in your mind. Start small – Achieve a little
success – Establish a solid base – Branch out. Make your goal
firm and seal it with an inner intention. Determine that you
are going to make it happen

Mobilise your RESOURCES

This is the time to cut down on sleep and work longer hours.
Reserve no energy. Gain a firm foothold. Pour your most
passionate prayers into this project. You will need spiritual,
financial, intellectual, professional resources available.
Energize your THINKING. It is hidden spring of endless
energy. It is the force that carries us from mediocrity to
excellence. “I can. It’s possible. We’ll do it.” Negative
emotions such as doubt, fear, worry, anger, hostility, self pity
and jealousy will drain you of your energy. Commitment
releases incredible powers.

Organise your NETWORK . Harmonize your CONFLICTS

Say ‘yes’ to what is right and say ‘no’ to what is wrong. Every
time you do anything noteworthy somebody will find fault.
People who belittle people will be little people and accomplish

The demanding person runs into resistence.

The defeated person runs into indifference
The dedicated person runs into help

Sow a prayer – reap an idea

Sow an idea – reap an action
Sow an action – reap a habit
Sow a habit – reap a reputation
Sow a reputation – reap a destiny

Verbalize your EXPECTATIONS

“I am
I can
I will”
God picks often the unknown, the unheralded, to do the
impossible. A peasant girl in Nazareth to bear Jesus in her
womb. A peasant girl from Yugoslavia to become Mother
Success carries with it a wonderfully heavy responsibility to
use the new power as a lever to shift the world a little closer to
God – a new vision, a new dream. Use your success on a small
scale to branch out carefully – not too vast, not too slow. The
author cites the success story of Wal Mart started by Sam
Walton lives modestly. He encourages many ideas from the
bottom up.
About Imagination – it is IMAGE OF GOD IN US.
The various people who use imagination have been given as a
salesman who gives customer satisfaction, surgeon who does a
smooth operation. Imagination is rekindled and renewed when
I relate to people who really respect me and build me up.


Those who fail – They haven’t tried – don’t want to run the
risk of being disappointed. I’d rather attempt to do something
great and fail, than attempt to do nothing and succeed. “Make
your opening terrific. Make your ending glorious”

How will I make my exit? When you go out from Success to

Failure, Failure to Success, from health to sickness, from job to
retirement – some people go out with joy. These people turn
their exits into entrances. Healing may and must be found in
two stages – Stage One - Damage Control. Stage Two –
Renewal and Recovery

Damage Control – Learn lessons from the veterans who have

had a lot of experience enduring, tolerating, absorbing pain.
1. Keep a sense of humour
2. Accept and receive the comfort offered – Strokes offered
3. Draw close from your closest circle of family and friends.
4. Work hard
Loving, caring, positive strokes can do wonders to give you the
strength to make your exit graciously and the courage to make
a new grand entrance.
Make your Entrance Glorious. When you are suddenly OUT,
you will need some FOLKS to stand by you. Every end is a
new beginning. Failure is only a transition phase in the
process of success.

Renewal and recovery: To recover you must plan a comeback

- find a new place to give yourself away. Exclaim for yourself
“Outstanding, Exceptional, Incredible, Fantastic, Beautifully
possible, Wow & Passion”. Creative people have the ability to
keep generating “wow” ideas.

Think better. How can we improve on our best performance?

Someone will break our records. Let that someone be us.
Whatever we did right yesterday, tomorrow we’ll do it better.

Think Brighter. “Look at it this way” Think “Build” Think
“Beauty”. Does the idea have “Sparkle”. Wow thinkers are
NOW thinkers. Begin today to get back in. Your greatest
enemy is Procrastination. Your biggest obstacle is inertia.
Dangerous temptation in delaying, postponing can wipe out an

Wanted: Persons with high tolerance for pressure and pain

Reward: Excitement, pride of achievement, fulfillment at life’s
Starting is half the battle won.

EVERY END IS A NEW BEGINNING. What we may feel like

an end, may be just the darkness before the dawning of a new
dream, a new challenge, a new opportunity, a new tomorrow.
It may not be easy to start over again. It may be single most
difficult time in your life. But NEVER think that your efforts
have been in vain. The surest cure for loneliness is to seek out
others who are lonelier than you.

Look at what you have left – Freedom to move in many

directions – Freedom to chose – to be better/bitter – Freedom
to make a break through for yourself.

You can break away from self imposed limits when you think
BIGGER. Very beautifully, it was depicted that a sick person
before death wished a calendar for a new year – a big one with
room to write lots of things in – That’s HOPE.

There is no such thing as an end in the road, there are always

bends in the road. Don’t worry about tomorrow, concentrate
on today, for tomorrow is today.



It is possible by FAITH. Never surrender the leadership of
your life to fear. Fear thinking to be replaced by faith thinking.
Faith is the force that sets you free to succeed.

“Never Give up till God calls you”. Salvation of God is


™ S – Start small
™ T – Think Possibilities
™ R – Reach a little further
™ I – Invest wisely
™ V – Visualise success
™ E – Expand carefully