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Florence Scovel Shinn and Wallace D. Wattles: Spiritual Affirmations Meet The Science of Getting Rich

Wallace D. Wattles, The Science of Getting Rich

In the expansive field of manifestation and personal growth, few names stand out as prominently as Florence Scovel Shinn and Wallace D. Wattles. While both luminaries hail from the early 20th century and the New Thought Movement, their teachings provide distinct methodologies and insights into the world of prosperity and personal achievement. This article ventures into a comparison of these two iconic figures, highlighting their similarities and contrasts.

Who Is Wallace D. Wattles?

Wallace D. Wattles: Visionary Behind “The Science of Getting Rich”

Wallace D. Wattles, though not as ubiquitously known as some of his contemporaries, has nonetheless etched a lasting legacy in the realm of personal development and prosperity thinking. With his groundbreaking book, “The Science of Getting Rich,” Wattles introduced readers to a unique blend of metaphysics, prosperity consciousness, and actionable principles, aimed at achieving wealth and success.

Humble Beginnings

Born in the United States in 1860, Wallace Delois Wattles faced numerous adversities in his early years. Growing up in a household marked by poverty and struggles, Wattles’ initial experiences with financial hardship and want would later fuel his search for principles of true prosperity.

Philosophical Approach

Wattles’ philosophy is centered around the concept of a “thinking substance” from which all things emanate. He proposed that through forming clear and definite pictures in our minds and cultivating unwavering faith in the realization of our desires, we can impress our thoughts upon this formless substance to manifest reality. Unlike many other prosperity teachings that focus solely on practical methods, Wattles emphasized the importance of cultivating the right mindset, merging spiritual insight with actionable strategies.

Key Works

While “The Science of Getting Rich” remains his most recognized work, Wattles authored several other books, each focusing on holistic personal development. Titles like “The Science of Being Well” and “The Science of Being Great” reflect his belief that true prosperity encompasses health, wealth, and personal greatness.

Legacy and Resonance

The impact of Wattles’ work can be seen in the teachings of many modern personal development gurus. Perhaps the most notable nod to his legacy came in 2006, when Rhonda Byrne credited “The Science of Getting Rich” as her inspiration for the global phenomenon “The Secret.” 

Though he passed away relatively young in 1911, the principles Wattles discussed have shown themselves to be timeless, continuing to inspire and guide individuals over a century later.

Personal Reflection

Wallace D. Wattles’ life story is, in many ways, the embodiment of his teachings. From a life punctuated with hardships, he rose to articulate principles that have since changed countless lives. His journey serves as a testament to the transformative power of the very principles he penned.

In charting the course of personal development literature, Wallace D. Wattles stands as a beacon for all those who seek to transform their lives through thought. His message, simple yet profound, continues to remind us that by harnessing the power of our thoughts, we can indeed shape our destiny.

Florence Scovel Shinn: The Spiritual Art of Affirming

Florence Scovel Shinn’s teachings are rich with spiritual undertones and a deep belief in the power of the spoken word:

  • Word Power: Central to Shinn’s philosophy is the notion that words, when spoken with intention and belief, wield the power to shape one’s reality.
  • Universal Spiritual Laws: Shinn postulated that life operates based on certain spiritual laws. To manifest desires, one needs to align with these laws, ensuring harmony and abundance.
  • Faith and Guidance: Shinn emphasized the need for unwavering faith in the Divine and trusted that one is always divinely guided towards their best path.

Wallace D. Wattles: The Scientific Approach to Richness

Wattles, best known for his seminal work “The Science of Getting Rich,” approached manifestation with a systematic and pragmatic lens:

  • Clear Mental Pictures: Wattles believed in the importance of having a clear and definite mental image of what one wants to achieve. This clarity, he posited, was crucial for manifestation.
  • Gratitude and Increase: An attitude of gratitude is a recurring theme in Wattles’ teachings. He held that by being genuinely thankful for what one has, they set in motion forces that bring more into their life.
  • Taking Right Action: Unlike passive waiting, Wattles emphasized the necessity of taking action in the physical world, ensuring that one’s actions align with their mental images and intentions.

Comparative Insights: Shinn vs. Wattles

1. Spiritual vs. Systematic: While both teachings are rooted in spiritual concepts, Shinn’s approach leans more towards faith, intuition, and divine alignment. Wattles, on the other hand, provides a more systematic approach, emphasizing specific steps and principles to achieve riches.

2. Words vs. Thoughts: Shinn believed in the transformative power of spoken affirmations. In contrast, Wattles focused more on the potency of clear and definitive mental pictures.

3. Divine Guidance vs. Definite Plans: Shinn often encouraged her followers to trust in divine guidance and allow the universe to show the way. Wattles, however, leaned towards creating clear plans and taking decisive actions aligned with one’s desires.


Both Florence Scovel Shinn and Wallace D. Wattles offer invaluable wisdom in the realm of manifestation and personal growth. Shinn’s emphasis on spiritual alignment, faith, and the power of affirmations provides a foundation of trust and surrender. Wattles’ structured approach, with its emphasis on clarity, gratitude, and action, offers a roadmap to tangible riches and success.

For the modern seeker aiming for a holistic approach to manifestation, integrating the spiritual wisdom of Shinn with the actionable principles outlined by Wattles can pave the way for a life of both spiritual and material abundance.

Related Spiritual and Manifestation Teachers: Comparing to Florence Scovel Shinn

The landscape of spiritual growth and manifestation is richly adorned with thinkers and visionaries, each carving out pathways of understanding for seekers worldwide. Jose Silva, pioneer of the Silva Method, championed the boundless capacities of the human mind, advocating for the harnessing of one’s mental faculties to achieve desired outcomes. Helene Hadsell, with her enchanting story of perennial contest victories, demonstrated the precision and potency of positive expectation, coining it as SPEC (Select it, Project it, Expect it, Collect it).

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale illuminated countless lives with his teachings on the power of positive thinking, asserting that optimism and faith can overcome the hurdles of life. Similarly, Dr. Joseph Murphy emphasized the subconscious mind’s role, noting how our deeply held beliefs can shape our destiny. The transcendentalist wisdom of Ralph Waldo Emerson celebrated the divine spark within each individual and the interconnectedness of all life, touching upon the broader strokes of manifesting one’s destiny in harmony with nature.

Dolores Cannon, with her deep dives into past life regression and quantum healing, shed light on the soul’s journey, intertwining spirituality with the vastness of the cosmos. Robert A. Russell, in his spiritually insightful writings, elucidated the metaphysical principles that govern our lives, making abstract concepts palpable. The foundational work of Wallace D. Wattles, particularly “The Science of Getting Rich,” elucidated a systematic approach to wealth and abundance, emphasizing the importance of visualization and gratitude.Lastly, Earl Nightingale, often termed the “Dean of Personal Development,” imparted age-old wisdom in his iconic message that we become what we think about, underscoring the profound impact of our persistent thoughts on shaping reality. Together, these luminaries, with their distinct yet interconnected teachings, have painted a mosaic of spiritual and manifestational wisdom, guiding countless souls on their journeys of self-discovery and actualization.