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On Becoming Rich
A Conversation with Foster Hibbard

"Recognize that you are unique in all eternity...You are one of a kind!...there is nobody like you anywhere on Earth today, and there never will be anybody like you in all eternity, because the Universe never duplicates itself. It all boils down to the fact that if any one of us does not fulfill that purpose for which he or she was placed on Earth, growth is slowed down because nobody can do what you do, exactly the way you do it. Very simply, that means that there is no competition."
--Foster Hibbard

(Foster Hibbard was an associate of the late Dr. Napoleon Hill who wrote the world-famous, "Think and Grow Rich." Foster was also the Director of the Napoleon Hill Academy in California. Please see author's note* at end of article.)

JH: We would like to discuss prosperity, Foster. Most people believe that money is extremely important. To some extent they also believe that they create the circumstances surrounding them. Yet, how do you explain the many people around us who appear to be doing everything possible to make ends meet, who seem to have the proper attitudes and motivation and still they are having an extremely difficult time?

Foster: You said one word, John, that I think has a lot to do with it. The word is "appear." You also mentioned that most people consider money very important. Perhaps they consider it important but I want to draw a fine line and say that perhaps they feel it's important but they don't place an importance upon it. You see, anything in life upon which you place an importance causes an energy to go out of you to magnetize and draw to you the very thing you place the importance on. Concerning money, individuals who place adequate enthusiasm and importance on it, who are motivated -- start thinking the things, doing the things and attracting the things and people that result in money. Others have the feeling that although money is important, they do not deserve it and if they do not deserve it, they do not get it.

JH: Are you speaking about self-esteem?

Foster: Yes. I am definitely talking about self-esteem. That's what it boils down to. The individual with low self-esteem isn't going to attract anything more than a mere sustenance, nothing more than mediocrity.

JH: So, you are saying that one of the blocks to prosperity is a poor or non-existent self-esteem?

Foster: Just call it low self-esteem.

JH: How do you think that happened? Some of these people are extremely successful in certain areas of their lives.

Foster: Some are brilliant and some of them have degrees that go on forever after their names and yet they have no money.

JH: Please explain.

Foster: In many instances low self-esteem came from their upbringing. For most males it is extremely difficult to exceed the father, even though the father is long dead. It does not seem to matter if their fathers may have done fairly well , or perhaps, just average. There is the feeling as if the father is in some way with them and if they exceed their father, their father may not love them any longer, which is of course absurd, but extremely valid. So they will do everything imaginable to short circuit themselves. They will study, listen to motivational tapes and go to inspirational seminars. They will buy every book available on success, motivation, inspiration, prosperity and they'll start moving in the right direction. And then, when it starts falling into place, they will do something to short- circuit the whole thing so that they won't have the responsibility that comes with greater affluence and they won't offend or displease a living or a dead father. Of course, there are many exceptions to this.

JH: Since most people are not aware of these things, they (these things) must be deep in the subconscious.

Foster: Oh, very deep in the subconscious but the effect, nevertheless, is devastating.

JH: Are there other obstacles that are very apparent to you?

Foster: The number one block , as I see it, is guilt. Guilt has one message deep, deep within, so deep that you don't hear it consciously, but it is constantly saying throughout a lifetime, "You don't deserve, you don't deserve." This is guilt's only message. There are no others. Just as the drip, drip, drip of water could wear away a rock, the repetition of an idea imbeds it into the subconscious mind and it gradually takes over. Can you imagine, John, that one brief sentence, "You don't deserve, you don't deserve," all day, every day, week in, week out, month in, month out, year in, year out and on and on, how it builds in the individual? That person, therefore, won't make the effort. Or, if the effort is made, the feeling of, "I don't deserve" prevents the accomplishments possible.

JH: Don't you think that there are many other reasons just as important for a lack of money besides guilt? Also, how do we deal with guilt?

Foster: No. I think that the number one reason is guilt, I really do. And I am totally convinced by all the studying and research I have done since the age of eight on mind attitudes, motivation, inspiration, etc., that the greatest personal proof and technique ever to come down through 6000 years of recorded history is "forgiveness."

JH: Forgiveness? Did I hear you say, "forgiveness?"

Foster: Yes. Forgiveness is like a roto-rooter. It will rid the subconscious mind of a lifetime of accumulated negativities. This will permit a flow from within of love, praise, motivation, joy, gratitude, inspiration, and enthusiasm and the gates of guilt cannot stand up to this mighty flow. Yes, John. Forgiveness of self, forgiveness of all others. Forgiveness done in a silent manner will work itself through fear, anger, resentment, irritability, guilt or any negative you can think of. At the moment, we happen to be speaking about guilt. Forgiveness is the answer.

JH: How strange, Foster. We started talking about money and we end up discussing some very spiritual things like love, joy, inspiration and forgiveness.

Foster: We are still talking about money even though it doesn't sound like it. Money, you see, is God in action. God, as you know better than most people, John, is all there is in the universe. There is nothing that is not God. Therefore, money couldn't possibly be the one exception in the universe that is not God. And I like the expression, "Money is God in action," because money is energy, money creates, money motivates, money builds everything that has ever been built. Furthermore, and I like this, money is freedom, freedom to do, freedom to be and freedom to have what you want when you want it.

JH: So, we find that true spirituality is more than just happiness, love etc. It even ties in to money. What is it, Foster, that transforms money from the invisible to the visible?

Foster: Loving service to other human beings. When we give loving service, it is spirit that flows through us into the world, then returns to the place from whence it came in the form of physicality or money. So, when money comes to me I know that it is my own energy that went out in the form of loving service coming back to me. It's my money, my children returning home. Or, in other words, my own energy transformed into matter.

JH: How do you relate giving loving service to giving to charity or helping others by giving money?

Foster: I was talking about giving service in your own business or profession and I see giving as another form of the same thing. In putting out loving service, there is an expectancy of money coming back. That expectation is extremely necessary because expectancy is a magnet that draws to you whatever you are expecting. Giving is like planting a seed. The farmer stands in his field and gives the seed to the soil and he expects a manifold return in the form of a harvest. Similarly, giving money is like planting "money seeds." It doesn't matter whether you are giving to a church, a charity, a brother, a human being standing on the street corner or a panhandler, because, all is universal, all is one great soil waiting for the seeds.

JH: There is a Catch-22 here, Foster. I have met many people who say that when they get more they will give. Isn't it the other way around?

Foster: Precisely so. When you are worst off financially is when you most need to be giving, even if it's only the widow's mite. Whatever amount you have, give some of it.

JH: This seems to be simplicity itself. Is it really that simple, Foster?

Foster: Yes, very definitely. I've never seen it fail. NEVER. As the individual increases his giving and loving service, he gets a larger return of money. It's like the farmer. The more seeds he puts in the soil, the larger his crop.

JH: Why then do more people not follow this process? Do they need more inspiration or motivation? The process seems simple enough.

Foster: Because most people think, "This is all the money I have, and if I give some, I will have less. Seeds? I can always go to the seed store and buy more seeds, that's no big deal. But money? Take anything but don't take my money."

JH: Simple, but not easy. Foster, I understand that you are one of the very few people who spent time with the famous Dr. Napoleon Hill. Is this correct?

Foster: Yes. I believe I am the last person on earth still on the lecture platform who was associated with Napoleon Hill.

JH: Many of us have read his world-wide best-seller, Think and Grow Rich. I personally know a number of people who became millionaires by following the principles that Dr. Napoleon Hill set down in his book. What were some of the wealth-creating secrets he told you? Or did you just pick them up from his book?

Foster: No. They were identical because he lived and taught exactly what was in the book. He spoke of the truly simple ways to become rich. In my lectures and tape series I have explained his teachings and have tried to make them more practical for today's generation.

JH: Would you say that Napoleon Hill has had a profound effect on your life?

Foster: An enormous effect. The teachings that have influenced me most in life are, first, those of Jesus and then secondly, Napoleon Hill. Hill was a twenty year prodigy of the world's first billionaire, Andrew Carnegie. Napoleon Hill worked for Andrew Carnegie for those twenty years. Then I became associated with Napoleon Hill, so I have to bill myself as the Andrew Carnegie-Napoleon Hill connection! And it is my great responsibility, as I see it, to continue to proliferate these ideas. And to do it in a motivational and inspirational way.

JH: Foster, there are certain unique things about you that I and others who know you truly admire. Here you are, thousands of miles from home sharing your time and wisdom with me. I think I am pretty close to the truth when I say that it doesn't appear that you need to work for a living. Why then, do you keep traveling and teaching?

Foster: Well, it's true that I do not need to work for a living but I strongly feel that when someone has a talent, either one he was born with or one he developed over the years, he has an enormous responsibility to share that talent. I am a collector of ideas. Since the age of eight, I have been collecting ideas and I feel it is a sacred trust to get those ideas out where they can be heard and used by tens of thousands of people. Then, it's their responsibility to use them or not to use them, but I've done my part.

JH: When you were a very young man, did you use the "Law of Expectation"?

Foster: Yes. In twelve years of public school, I was expecting to get high grades and I got all A's. Then I was expecting to go to a fine preparatory school and I did. I graduated a year after our former president, George Bush. He was in the same prep school as I. Of course, I was expecting to go to a fine university and so I went to Yale. I expected to do well in everything but I also worked extremely hard. I gave tremendous energy to whatever I wanted. Work for whatever you want and expect to get it.

JH: Foster, you certainly have had an impressive body of friends and acquaintances. For example, former president George Bush. Are there others whom we may recognize?

Foster: Oh, in my dormitory alone in prep school, in addition to George Bush were Jack Lemmon, the movie actor, Do Pabst of Pabst Beer, John Ford, the grandson of Henry Ford. Then there was Tom Sarnoff whose father was General David Sarnoff, Chairman of the board of RCA. There was a Rockefeller, a Harris and so it went, on and on. And there I was, a hick from the sticks, having two dollars a week in spending money, while they had unlimited wealth.

JH: Would you say that your association with such successful people might have been one of the keys to your success? After all, if you fly with eagles, you will become like an eagle.

Foster: Yes. And I determined that someday I was going to have that kind of money. Yes, you bet! I had an enormous determination about that.

JH: Foster, do you think that everyone is capable of becoming wealthy?

Foster: There are really three basic requirements combined with the attitudes we mentioned earlier. First, you must be of average intelligence. Second, your body must be warm and third, you must be breathing. If an individual has those things, there is no limit to what can be accomplished.

JH: This has been a very enlightening experience, Foster, and I hope that we can do more in the future. I know that you have an excellent set of tapes that speak in depth about what we discussed. I myself have been helped to a great extent by them. To say that they are also inspirational and motivational would be an understatement. I understand that they can only be obtained at your seminars, but could they be made available to our readers?

Foster: I have a variety of sets of tapes. I would like to think that they are all inspirational and they all provide motivation. There is one set in particular that specializes in money and that is the one called the "Millionaire's Seminar." People who are interested in money really love that set. "Dare to Prosper" is another popular set followed by "The Art of Total Living". And yes, I will provide the tapes through your office for those who are interested in them. You have my permission to distribute them if you so desire.

JH: Thank you, Foster, for your time and wisdom. This has been delightful and "learningful," all at the same time.

Foster: I've loved every minute of it.


*Author's Note: Foster Hibbard departed this life a few years ago. He was one of my closest friends and I will always treasure his teachings and the countless hours I listened to his words of wisdom. Much of my success today is due to Foster. He is sorely missed. I still listen to his famous motivational, inspirational and rare audiotapes, and feel, as I do so, that Foster is speaking to me again.
--John Harricharan


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