As you may recall, Stone was a committed “inverse paranoid.”
An inverse paranoid?
As Canfield put it: “Instead of believing the world was plotting to do him harm, he chose to believe the world was plotting to do him good. Instead of seeing every difficult or challenging event as a negative, he saw it for what it could be—something that was meant to enrich him, empower him, or advance his causes.”
Was that a naïve perspective?
Not at all.
Today we’re going to talk about how W. Clement Stone operationalized that wisdom.
Let’s step back and properly introduce you to W. Clement Stone.
Stone was an old school, early twentieth-century businessman, philanthropist, and self-help author. He built a huge insurance company and gave away over $275 million to charities over the course of his lifetime.
He was inspired by and then wrote a book with Napoleon Hill. He’s also the guy who helped Og Mandino overcome his alcoholism and become one of the best-selling authors of his generation.
Stone lived through the Great Depression and published his classic, The Success System That Never Fails, in 1962.
His style is reminiscent of others of his era—like Hill and Mandino, Earl Nightingale and some other, earlier old-school guys like Orison Swett Marden and Samuel Smiles. I love the classic, super-fired up, “LET’S GO!!” energy.
(Check out our Notes on Nightingale’s The Essence of Success, Lead the Field, and The Strangest Secret. Plus Marden’s An Iron Will, The Miracle of Right Thought, Making Life a Masterpiece, and He Can Who Thinks He Can. And, while you’re at it, don’t forget Smiles’ classic: Self-help. I got that one based on Tal Ben-Shahar’s strong recommendation!)
W. Clement Stone was a eudaimon and true success in every sense of the word.
How did he practice his philosophy as an incredibly high-performing inverse paranoid?
This passage from his great book gives us a clue…
Stone tells us: “Every great man, every successful man, no matter what the field of endeavor, has known the magic that lies in these words: Every Adversity Has the Seed of an Equivalent or Greater Benefit.”
That’s Today’s +1.
What’s your #1 current challenge?
Take a moment.
Reflect on your #1 current challenge—the adversity you may be interpreting as a sign the world is out to get you.
Flip that around.
EVERY ADVERSITY HAS THE SEED OF AN EQUIVALENT OR GREATER BENEFIT.
How is your challenge helping you become who you are destined to be?
Refuse to complain.
Remember that successful Heroes take 100% responsibility and choose the best responses that lead to the best outcomes.
Eat those obstacles like the energy bars they are.
Give us all you’ve got.