Open your mind
In this tiny book, which is actually a transcript of a hugely popular lecture that he gave, Conwell relates similar true-life stories about the folly of going off to find your fortune when it is in your own backyard or staring you in the face. He suggests that most people are “pygmies of their possible selves,” because they are not willing to accept, or it did not occur to them, that they have great untouched powers: “Families do not credit their own folks with abilities they attribute to other persons. Towns and cities are cursed because their own people talk them down.”
The problem with most people, Conwell says, is that their wealth is “too near.” You need to develop an open mind to spot the obvious. This will never happen if you are continually speeding off to the next opportunity, looking for a greener pasture. Genuine service is simple, but it may only occur to you what this is when your mind has been quieted. Without finding some quiet time to yourself you will not be able to see the wood for the trees. Leave time for meditation and contemplation, and answers will come.
Another way to start is by thinking about what you need. Chances are that if you need something, others will too.
You can’t succeed if you have no interest in people and their needs. In Conwell’s words, you must make yourself necessary to the world. What all great people have in common is that they make themselves a “medium” for good: they make the best products and provide them to the largest number. This, not taking money at a till, is service.
In a nutshell
Whatever you desire is probably close at hand, if you are willing to open your eyes and your mind.