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Dear all,

Over the years, I have kept a file full of notes and inspiring quotes on success and achievement. Recently I revisited this file. Many of the writings no longer apply to my belief system--for instance, a lot of the quotes were quite action-oriented. However, I did come across a few gems which I only now realize (after my education on Inward Quest), prove beyond a doubt the power of belief and positive expectation.

I've pasted the best ones below. I think the inspiring thing about these incidents is that they already happened to people who are now known across the entire world, and the proof of their positive expectation is available in the open-source historical literature.

Please add to these anecdotes to any you may have heard of or come across yourself. My hope is that this can become a page of inspiration, which we can revisit anytime we began to experience doubt in our manifesting processes. The proof is right here!

Thanks, and all the best.


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Among those whom Lincoln served in Indiana as " hired boy" was Josiah Crawford, a well-to-do farmer living near Gentryville. Mr. Crawford owned a copy of Weems's "Life of Washington," a precious book in those days, and Lincoln borrowed it to read. "Late in the night, before going to rest, he placed the borrowed book in his only bookcase, the opening between two logs of the walls of the cabin, and retired to dream of its contents. During the night it rained; the water dripping over the ' mud-daubing' onto the book stained the leaves and warped the binding. Abe valued the book in proportion to the interest he had in the hero, and felt that the owner must value it beyond his ability to pay. It was with the greatest trepidation he took the book home and told the story, and asked how he might hope to make restitution. Mr. Crawford answered: 'Being as it is you, Abe, I won't be hard on you, Come over and shuck corn three days, and the book is yours.' Shuck corn three days and receive a hero's life! He felt that the owner was giving him a magnificent present. After reading the book, he used to tell the Crawfords: 'I do not always intend to delve, grub, shuck corn, split rails, and the like.' His whole mind was devoted to books, and he declared he 'was going to fit himself for a profession.' These declarations were often made to Mrs. Crawford, who took almost a mother's interest in him, and she would ask: 'What do you want to be now?' His answer was invariably: 'I'll be President.' As he was generally playing a joke on some one. she would answer: 'You'd make a purty President with all your tricks and jokes. Now, wouldn't you?' He would then declare: 'Oh, I'll study and get ready, and then the chance will come.'

-- Quoted in Ida Tarbell's The Early Life of Abraham Lincoln: Containing Many Unpublished Documents and Unpublished Reminiscences of Lincoln's Early Friends

Arnold Schwarzenegger

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My father was baffled by my eagerness. "Don't do it, Arnold," he said. "You'll overtrain, you'll overwork yourself." "I'm all right," I said. "I'm doing it gradually." "Yes," he said. "But what will you do with all these muscles once you've got them?" "I want to be the best-built man in the world," I said frankly. That made him sigh and shake his head. "Then I want to go to America and be in movies. I want to be an actor." "America?" "Yes--America." "My god!" he cried. He went into the kitchen and told my mother, "I think we better go to the doctor with this one, he's sick in the head."... I'm so determined to make millions of dollars that I cannot fail. In my mind I've already made the millions; now it's just a matter of going through the motions. - p. 109

-- The Education Of A Bodybuilder By Arnold Schwarzenegger, 1977

"I knew I was a winner back in the late sixties. I knew I was destined for great things. People will say that kind of thinking is totally immodest. I agree. Modesty is not a word that applies to me in any way - I hope it never will." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

From an author's account of a meeting that happened in 1978:

In the book he was promoting, written long before he became a millionaire, he had said, "I'm so determined to make millions of dollars that I cannot fail. In my mind I've already made the millions; now it's just a matter of going through the motions." And it was this subject that intrigued me most. I kept asking how he knew he would succeed, and he replied, "Because I see it with my Third Eye." He pointed to his forehead as he said this, adding that he creates a movie in his mind, seeing himself reaching his goals over and over.

"I learned that technique in bodybuilding," he said, "and I'm applying it to becoming a movie star - and I have no doubt that I will become the No. 1 movie star in the world."

"You mean bigger than Robert Redford or Paul Newman?" I asked. "Oh, much bigger than those guys. I'm talking about becoming bigger than Charles Bronson!" he said, smiling that infectious smile.

"You have to have a vision. And then you have to have total faith in that vision."

-- from a video interview as Governor, several years ago.

Oprah Winfrey

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"As a young child, I had a vision, not of what I wanted to accomplish, but I knew that my current circumstances would change. I was raised on a farm with my grandmother for the first six years of my life -- I knew somehow that my life would be different and it would be better. I never had a clear cut vision of what it was that I would be doing. I remember absolutely physically feeling it at around four years old. I remember standing on the back porch -- it was a screened-in porch -- and my grandmother was boiling clothes because, you know, at that time, we didn't have washing machines, and so people would, you know, physically boil clothes in a great big iron pot. She was boiling clothes and poking them down. And I was watching her from the back porch, and I was four years old and I remember thinking, "My life won't be like this. My life won't be like this, it will be better." And it wasn't from a place of arrogance, it was just a place of knowing that things could be different for me somehow. I don't know what made me think that."

-- Oprah Winfrey, Interview, 2/21/1991, Academy of Achievement

"I always knew I'd be a millionaire by age thirty-two. In fact, I am going to be the richest black woman in America."

-- Oprah Winfrey, 1987

ADDED 11-11-2012

And here is a great video of Oprah explaining how she used "the secret" to attain success:

Paul McCartney

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"We knew we were good. People used to say to us, 'Do you think John and you are good songwriters?' and I'd say-- "Yeah it may sound conceited but it would be stupid of me to say 'No, I don't,' or 'Well, we're not bad' because we are good." Let's face it. If you were in my position, which was working with John Lennon, who was a great, great man -- It's like that film 'Little Big Man.' He says, 'We wasn't just playing Indians, we was LIVIN' Indians.' And that's what it was. I wasn't just talking about it, I was living it. I was actually working with the great John Lennon, and he with me. It was very exciting."

-- Paul McCartney on his early years, from a CNN interview in 1988

Jim Henson

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A driver was talking to me today asking, "Did you ever, in your wildest dreams, think you would have success like this?" The honest answer to this, which I do occasionally admit, is that yes, I've always known I would be very successful in anything I decided to do--and it turned out to be puppetry.

-- Jim Henson, It's Not Easy Being Green, p. 68

Martin Sheen

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"I knew I was going to be a professional actor and I had no doubt about success, not even once in my life. I never doubted it...We lived in a rat-infested tenement on the Lower East Side for several years...and ate spaghetti, and I loved every minute of it. I loved it when it was happening [because] I knew success would be coming. I remember getting evicted from a place in the Bronx, thrown out into the street with my wife and child--baby, seventeen months old. And I bummed a ride to Ohio to see my father, who had never met my wife or seen my baby, and visit my brother, who was in jail, and to try to help him out of jail. It was one of the worst times and one of the best times. And I remember one of my brothers saying, 'You're a burden to our family.' And I got angry and I said, 'There is going to come a day, as surely as the sun rises tomorrow, when I will make more money in an hour than you'll make in a year. And I knew it was true. Despair, yes, but I always believed in myself. Absolutely."

-- Martin Sheen, quoted by Mark Litwak in Reel Power, 1986

Warren Buffet

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"I always knew I was going to be rich. I don't think I ever doubted it for a minute. "

Jim Carrey

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"I wrote myself a check for ten million dollars for acting services rendered and dated it Thanksgiving 1995. I put it in my wallet and it deteriorated. And then, just before Thanksgiving 1995, I found out I was going to make ten million dollars for Dumb & Dumber. I put that check in the casket with my father because it was our dream together."

-- Jim Carrey, Oprah Winfrey Show, 1997


"I just wanted to make a million dollars. But I couldn't sing and I couldn't play ball, so I said to my mother, 'How am I going to make a million dollars?' And she said to me, 'Son, if you believe you can do it, you will.'"

-- Chris Gardner

"When I was eight years old, I dreamed that I would one day own the best restaurant in the world. My restaurant would serve great tasting hamburgers made just the way you like them, and all of the customers would love the food and come back again and again."

-- From a school essay he wrote at age 15 entitled "The Pursuit of happiness" - Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's

"All my life I knew I would have a big business. That's what I wanted from the time I was in second grade; there was never a doubt in my mind."

-- Paul Orfalea, founder of Kinko's

[Condoleeza Rice] described a photo of her at 8, on a trip to Washington. She's in pigtails, with two missing front teeth, outside the White House gates. Her father used to tell her that back then, she said, "I may be outside these gates now, but someday I will be inside, working."

-- From her biography.

"Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity. Why would you be realistic? I'm going to do it. It's already done. The second I decide it's done, it's already done. Now I just have to wait for all of you to see...Make a choice. Just decide what it's going to be, who you're going to be, how you're going to do it. Just DECIDE! And then from that point the universe is going to get out of your way."

-- Will Smith

"Somehow I can't believe there are any heights that can't be scaled by a man who knows the secret of making dreams come true...When you believe a thing, believe it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably...If you can dream it, you can do it."

-- Walt Disney

EDIT 9/10/2012 - added a few clips:

Great clip of Steve Jobs, early in his career, speaking on the "secrets of life":

Captain Sullenberger on safely landing a passenger plane in the Hudson River: "I was sure I could do it."

ADDED 2/14/2014:

Tyler Perry explains the secret of his success:

asked 31 Aug '12, 10:12

lozenge123's gravatar image


edited 14 Feb '14, 12:30

So I see we're creating a sort of Chicken Soup for the Soul style callaboration. I support this, and +1 for Jim Carrey, just do add in he was broke as anything and was a janitor before he went onto Hollywood hills and wrote himself that seemingly 'imaginary' cheque.

(31 Aug '12, 10:41) Nikulas

I was once in another city, with my street dancing group. We were in club were there were hiphop and house battles that night and afterwards there was a lottery. Every entry ticket had a number. And as the lottery begun, I felt I'm gonna win something... I told my friends at around 10th place being drawn... and the feeling got stronger and stronger. When 2nd place was drawn I was like..OMG! Now it's my turn,..It was. I won the 1st place.

(31 Aug '12, 11:04) CalonLan

@lozenge123, I think its wonderful that you have collected these stories for years. Good for you! :) What a terrific attitude you have.

(31 Aug '12, 12:46) Grace

That's the absolute believe without tiny doubt that sure creates:

"... I'm so determined to make millions of dollars that I cannot fail. In my mind I've already made the millions; now it's just a matter of going through the motions.

"My life won't be like this. My life won't be like this, it will be better."

Love the determination in these quotes and the total faith in the thoughts.

(31 Aug '12, 15:15) r0la

@Calonlan, @Grace, @r0la, thanks for the comments and kind words. @Nikulas, I haven't read the "Chicken Soup" books, but that's interesting to know about...I will have to read up some more on Carrey's story and add it in!

(31 Aug '12, 21:50) lozenge123

I love the Muppets. Kermit and Grover are my favorites, but I have always believed that Animal is vastly underated, and his talents not yet developed or showcased to their fullest potential.

(02 Sep '12, 14:18) Grace

@Grace, yes, the Muppets rock! Jim Henson and his films have long been an inspiration for me. The Muppet Show was one of the first shows I watched as a kid, and I guess it really stuck with me. Nice to hear you like them too.

(03 Sep '12, 01:04) lozenge123

lozenge123 Thank You!...a million times.

(03 Sep '12, 10:50) The Traveller

@The Traveller - You're very welcome!

(03 Sep '12, 13:39) lozenge123

@lozenge123 - Very inspiring. Thanks for putting this together

(03 Sep '12, 16:49) Stingray

Ahhnold shares his secrets to ze puump Whilst yes, this does use the subject of bodybuilding, any IQ student will really resonate with his application to achieving his goals, and, making your goals inevitable rather than just an airy fairy imagination.

(04 Sep '12, 06:47) Nikulas

@Stingray - Thank you for the kind comment and the link! @Nikulas - Thanks for the Arnold video, I'm excited to check it out.

(04 Sep '12, 15:38) lozenge123

@Nikulas - Just watched the Arnold video and loved it. He seems to believe that massive action is a necessary part of success, but nevertheless states that mind and mental attitude is the most important aspect. It was pretty inspiring to watch. I got the "Pumping Iron" DVD and plan on checking it out for more such insights.

(06 Sep '12, 15:49) lozenge123

thanks lozenge for the cue

(15 Feb '14, 03:48) jaz
showing 0 of 15 show 15 more comments

My grandfather had lost everything in the Great Depression. He got overextended like many people on credit and buying stock on the margin. My father went from very rich to dirt poor almost overnight.

When he was mustered out of the Navy, he bought a ramshackle house and land with the small amount of cash he had. A small farm in a depressed neighborhood. 1946. A tiny town south of Atlanta. I was three. Our heat was a coal stove. Our bathroom was an outhouse. (Watch out for spiders and hornets!)

My sister and I took baths in a washtub. There were cracks in the floors where the boards did not meet and the winter wind whistled through them.

I began education in a poor school, many of the kids did not even have shoes.

One day the teacher gave us an assignment. Write about what you will be when you grow up. I wrote that one day I would be very wealthy and described the things I would do. Don't remember what all I put down, but it angered the teacher. She told me what I haad written was "foolishness" and put down what I really thought I could accomplish.

I quietly told her that was what I had done. She grew angrier and told me that I was going to get an "F" on the paper unless I rewrote it. I gently and respectfully, but firmly told her that I was going to do all the things on that paper. She gave me an "F".

Though I was an otherwise good student, I felt no emotion. Just certainty. I was going to have the life I had described. That other people did not believe it was possible meant nothing to me.

I took my paper home and told my mother what had happened. She cried, but told me to hold onto that dream. Though I can't find that paper, I think that I have done everything on it and more with one exception, that one day I will celebrate my birthday on Mars.

But there is still time left!


answered 01 Sep '12, 10:31

Dollar%20Bill's gravatar image

Dollar Bill


@Dollar Bill - thanks for the great personal story. As to your comment "But there is still time left!"...yes, I believe that you will achieve it. Especially with the recent news of the Mars rover and plans for space mining & tourism. Looking forward to that day!

(03 Sep '12, 01:06) lozenge123

Sounds like some of the houses we lived in.

(03 Sep '12, 15:57) Fairy Princess

My Foundation was "Think and Grow Rich.", Napoleon Hill.

I read it over and over and over. It sunk in. It works.

(04 Sep '12, 05:59) Dollar Bill
showing 2 of 3 show 1 more comments

Ok I have not won the lottery(yet) but I always get parking spaces that are perfect. I don't even bother to look at the back of the lot I always drive to the front as close as I can get. If i don't get up close there is always a good reason.(cool car parked close by that I might have missed otherwise).
to be continued


answered 03 Sep '12, 18:10

ursixx's gravatar image



This happens to me too a lot. Especially when I have to teach karate and haven't time to go around the lot looking. I need to pull in and get inside to get ready to teach.

(03 Sep '12, 20:25) Wade Casaldi

yes @ursixx ... rule number 14 on my reprogramming mindset check list "Stop with the hero worship, who cares about millionaire sports heroes or who the flavor of the month movie star is dating. Spend your time creating your dream life not worshiping others. peace

(15 Feb '14, 03:36) jaz

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Dr. Joe Vitale - What was your turning point in going from homeless to becoming the successful author (and more) you are today? The one thing I did to get me out of poverty and homeless was everything. I read all the books and listened to all the cassettes back then. I attended every free seminar I could get into about self-improvement. I took all the action I could think of. I wanted to be an author so I wrote things and sent them out. When they were returned to me I took some time to recover and sent them back out. I did everything that came to mind.

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Brain Tracy Early life

After dropping out of high school before graduation, Tracy got a job on a tramp steamer and traveled around the world for eight years, eventually visiting more than eighty countries on five continents.

When he could no longer find a job as a laborer, he went into sales. Struggling at first, he decided to ask other successful salesmen for advice, and then to emulate them. By the end of his first year, he attained the status of top salesman. After his second year, he was made a Vice President in charge of 95 people. At the time he was only 25 years old.

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Bob Proctor

Bob Proctor knows how to help you because he too came from a life of want and limitation. In 1960, he was a high-school dropout with a resume of dead-end jobs and a future clouded in debt. One book was placed in his hands - Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich - which planted the seed of hope in Bob's mind. In just months, and with further support from the works of Earl Nightingale, Bob's life literally spun on a dime. In a year, he was making more than $100,000, and soon topped the $1 million mark.

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Earl Nightingale

As a Depression-era child, Earl Nightingale was hungry for knowledge. From the time he was a young boy, he would frequent the Long Beach Public Library in California, searching for the answer to the question, “How can a person, starting from scratch, who has no particular advantage in the world, reach the goals that he feels are important to him, and by so doing, make a major contribution to others?” His desire to find an answer, coupled with his natural curiosity about the world and its workings spurred him to become one of the world’s foremost experts on success and what makes people successful.

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Sir Richard Branson

Born July 18, 1950, in Surrey, England, Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson struggled in school and dropped out at age 16, a decision that ultimately lead to the creation of Virgin Records. His entrepreneurial projects started in the music industry and expanded into other sectors making Branson a billionaire. His Virgin Group holds more than 200 companies, including the recent Virgin Galactic,


answered 03 Sep '12, 21:17

Wade%20Casaldi's gravatar image

Wade Casaldi

edited 07 Sep '12, 08:23

Note: Although this was originally mentioned at the end of my question, I'm moving and expanding it here, since I think it's worthy of examination. Also quoting the articles rather than just providing case these cease to work at some point. :)


There are an extraordinary number of cases wherein people "just knew" they were going to win the lottery...and did!

The woman who wrote and visualized that she would win precisely $112 million...and did:

Cynthia Stafford is an avid reader who believes in the power of the mind. In 2007, she decided that she wanted to win $112 million. Following the advise of author Joseph Murphy, Stafford wrote the figure “$112 million” over and over again. She meditated on the figure and visualized what her life would be like after winning. She also wrote down everything in detail, from the house and car she would buy to the charities she would donate to. Stafford frequently reviewed and focused on her list. After four months of visualizing a lottery win and what she would do with the winnings, Stafford won the California Mega Millions jackpot in May 2007. The amount she won was $112 million – exactly what she had envisioned.

From the UK:

Nearly 40 per cent of jackpot scoopers claim to have received a 'sign' that they were going to win. In January, Susan Herdman, a hairdresser from Herefordshire, won £1 million weeks after a fortune teller predicted she would 'come into wealth'. Susan, 41, was so convinced by the tarot card reading that she boasted on her Facebook page: 'I'm going to win the lottery.' And when 75-year- old George Sturt recently won £26.1 million on the EuroMillions jackpot, he, too, put it down to other-worldly forces. His wife Maureen, whom he described as being psychic, had died six months earlier. He claimed to communicate with her through a crystal ball - and when he said thank you to it after his win, he saw it 'dance with light'. Just over half of the millionaires surveyed (53 per cent) considered themselves to be 'lucky' people, while 92 per cent described themselves as 'fairly or very optimistic' in life. A National Lottery spokesman said: 'Nearly every winner says that they always knew they were going to win.' One such person is Tom Naylor, 54, from Wheaton Aston, near Stafford, who scooped £15 million in November 2001. He said: 'I always knew I would win the lottery, from the first time I played it. 'Now I want to be the first person to win the jackpot twice - and I firmly believe I am going to do it.'

Another one from Caerleon, south Wales:

Les, who described the aftermath as 'a crazy few days', said he 'always knew' he would win the lottery - but admitted: 'When it actually happens, you just don't know what to do with it.' The delighted husband and wife took half of a £91million jackpot in last weekend's draw after investing just £4. The other half went to a Liverpool based syndicate of seven IT workers.

Idaho’s biggest lottery winner knew he would win:

Seven years before, the ticket with which Brad posed, Wednesay, won him $220.3 million. No Idahoan — and only 17 Americans — has ever won more.

But if you ask Brad, those lucky numbers didn’t do the work. He did. And luck had nothing to do with it.

“Yes,” Brad said. “I absolutely thought I was going to win. In fact, I wrote a check out to myself for a million dollars and in the note section I put: earn/won.”

Brad told us, Wednesday, he liked number games, considered Powerball a hobby and always knew that someday, he’d win.

“I had written about it in my journal,” he said. “It was my favorite campfire topic: What would you do if you won the lottery?”

Daughter of California jackpot winner "had a strong intuitive feeling that they would win":

According to Suzanne, her parents had lost interest in Lotto after playing my system a couple of times and not winning a prize. Undaunted, Suzanne insisted, "No no. We have to play."

"I had to twist their arm to get them to play with me," she said.

Suzanne had a strong intuitive feeling that they would win. "I knew when I bought the tickets. I knew then that we were going to win. I was excited about it."

After her mom and dad told her on the phone that they had won, "We were screaming and hollering on the phone for 15 minutes - saying, 'I can't believe it! Are you sure, are you sure? Check it again!!'"

In spite of her strong inner-awareness that her ticket would win that night, Suzanne didn't watch the drawing on television. She was busily digging tumbleweed on her sister's property. She commented to her sister, "After I win the lottery tonight, I am going to buy a house out here. And that she did. She also bought a car and indulged herself in an expensive watch she loved - and wisely invested the rest.

What I really find interesting about this last incident, is how illustrative it is of the manifesting principles here on Inwardquest. You basically had strong desire, positive expectation, and positive belief on behalf of the daughter. The parents had "given up" on the desire completely, releasing all resistance. And even though the daughter "knew they would win," she had evidently released all resistance as well, as she wasn't event watching the results--but was unconcernedly digging tumbleweed.

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answered 02 Sep '12, 12:45

lozenge123's gravatar image


edited 31 Oct '12, 16:17

Will Smith & the Law of Attraction.

"You can live in a universe where two plus two equals four. Two plus two only equals four if you accept it equals four. Two plus two is gonna be what I want it to be!" Love it :)

Bill Hicks, It's just a ride.

"And we can change it anytime we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. A choice, right now, between fear and love." :)

Oprah Winfrey & Law of Attraction

"I surrender all, I surrender all"

Double Slit Experiment

Electrons behaving differently when they are watched. Haven't looked much into this but it's interesting.


answered 12 Sep '12, 00:25

LapisLazuli's gravatar image


My life is a testimony to making, keeping ,changing beliefs. To trusting my own instincts and finding the teachers that will help me the most. My life is better than I could have imagined, and I imagine it will always be that way.


answered 11 Nov '12, 12:51

clearheart's gravatar image


Eckhart Tolle is a perfect example for manifesting without setting goals or doing anything. he just lives in the moment without expectations for the future. he teaches just to let go of the past and the future (resistance) and to live in the now all the time. just follow some inspirations here and there.

with this attitude now he is a famous spiritual teacher and millionaire.


answered 13 Nov '12, 11:20

releaser99's gravatar image


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