W. Clement Stone

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It first appeared like a crazy idea. It turned out he had a great idea.
J. Richard Munro
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William Clement Stone (4 May 19023 September 2002) was an American businessman, author, and philanthropist; an advocate of what he called "PMA": Positive Mental Attitude. Beginning with meager material resources he became a multi-millionaire, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and lived to be 100.

See also: Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude (1960) (co-authored with Napoleon Hill)


  • Be careful the environment you choose for it will shape you; be careful the friends you choose for you will become like them.
    • As quoted in How to Be the Employee Your Company Can't Live Without : 18 Ways to Become Indispensable (2006) by Glenn Shepard
  • Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.
    • As quoted in The Power of Choice (2007) by Joyce Guccione, p. 199
  • All I want to do is change the world!
    • As quoted in Open Question Selling: Unlock Your Customer's Needs to Close the Sale (2007) by Val Gee and Jeff Gee, p. 66

Be Generous!

Full text online
  • Be generous! Give to those whom you love; give to those who love you; give to the fortunate; give to the unfortunate; yes — give especially to those to whom you don’t want to give.
  • Your most precious, valued possessions and your greatest powers are invisible and intangible. No one can take them. You, and you alone, can give them. You will receive abundance for your giving. The more you give — the more you will have!
  • Give a smile to everyone you meet (smile with your eyes) — and you’ll smile and receive smiles...
  • Give a kind word (with a kindly thought behind the word) — you will be kind and receive kind words.
  • Give time for a worthy cause (with eagerness) — you will be worthy and richly rewarded.
  • Give hope (the magic ingredient for success) — you will have hope and be made hopeful.
  • Give encouragement (the incentive to action) — you will have courage and be encouraged.
  • Give a pleasant response (the neutralizer of irritants) — you will be pleasant and receive pleasant responses.
  • Give good thoughts (nature’s character builder) — you will be good and the world will have good thoughts for you.
  • Be generous! Give!


  • Bondage is...subjection to external influences and internal negative thoughts and attitudes.
  • Everyone who achieves success in a great venture, solves each problem as they came to it. They helped themselves. And they were helped through powers known and unknown to them at the time they set out on their voyage. They keep going regardless of the obstacles they met.
  • Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.
  • I think there is something, more important than believing: Action! The world is full of dreamers, there aren't enough who will move ahead and begin to take concrete steps to actualize their vision.
  • If there is something to gain and nothing to lose by asking, by all means ask!
  • If you employed study, thinking, and planning time daily, you could develop and use the power that can change the course of your destiny.
  • No matter how carefully you plan your goals they will never be more than pipe dreams unless you pursue them with gusto.
  • Regardless of who you are or what you have been, you can be what you want to be.
  • Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman - not the attitude of the prospect.
  • Self-suggestion makes you master of yourself.
  • Success is achieved and maintained by those who try and keep trying with a Positive Mental Attitude.
  • To get more, you have to give more!
  • Tell everyone what you want to do and someone will want to help you do it.
  • That's why many fail— because they don't get started— they don't go. They don't overcome inertia. They don't begin.
    • Variant: So many fail because they don't get started— they don't go. They don't overcome inertia. They don't begin.
  • The natural law of inertia: Matter will remain at rest or continue in uniform motion in the same straight line unless acted upon by some external force.
  • Thinking will not overcome fear but action will.
  • Truth will always be truth, regardless of lack of understanding, disbelief or ignorance.
  • Try, try, try, and keep on trying is the rule that must be followed to become an expert in anything.
  • We have a problem. "Congratulations." But it's a tough problem. "Then double congratulations."
  • When we direct our thoughts properly, we can control our emotions...
  • When you discover your mission, you will feel its demand. It will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it.
  • When you do the wrong thing, knowing it is wrong, you do so because you haven't developed the habit of effectively controlling or neutralizing strong inner urges that tempt you, or because you have established the wrong habit and don't know how to eliminate them effectively.
  • You affect your subconscious mind by verbal repetition.
  • You are a product of your environment. So choose the environment that will best develop you toward your objective. Analyze your life in terms of its environment. Are the things around you helping you toward success— or are they holding you back?
  • Do It Now !


  • Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.
    • Actually said by Napoleon Hill, Stone later added the line "...with P.M.A." (Positive Mental Attitude) to the end of this quote.

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