Sacred Texts  New Thought  Shinn  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

The Secret Door to Success, by Florence Scovel Shinn, [1941], at


"So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city."—Joshua 6:20.


A successful man is always asked—"What is the secret of your success?"

People never ask a man who is a failure, "What is the secret of your failure?" It is quite easy to see and they are not interested.

People all want to know how to open the secret door of success.

For each man there is success, but it seems to be behind a door or wall. In the Bible reading, we have heard the wonderful story of the falling of the walls of Jericho.

Of course all biblical stories have a metaphysical interpretation.

We will talk now about your wall of Jericho: the wall separating you from success. Nearly everyone has built a wall around his own Jericho.

This city you are not able to enter, contains great treasures; your divinely designed success, your heart's desire!

What kind of wall have you built around your Jericho? Often, it is a wall of resentment—resenting someone, or resenting a situation, shuts off your good.

If you are a failure and resent the success of someone else, you are keeping away your own success.

I have given the following statement to neutralize envy and resentment.

What God has done for others, He now does for me and more.

A woman was filled with envy because a friend had received a gift, she made this statement, and an exact duplicate of the gift was given her—plus another present.

It was when the children of Israel shouted, that the walls of Jericho fell down. When you make an affirmation of Truth, your wall of Jericho totters.

I gave the following statement to a woman: The walls of lack and delay now crumble away, and I enter my Promised Land, under grace. She had a vivid picture of stepping over a fallen wall, and received the demonstration of her good, almost immediately.

It is the word of realization which brings about a change in your affairs; for words and thoughts are a form of radio-activity.

Taking an interest in your work, enjoying what you are doing opens the secret door to success.

A number of years ago I went to California to speak at the different centers, by way of the Panama Canal, and on the boat I met a man named Jim Tully.

For years he had been a tramp. He called himself The King of the Hoboes.

He was ambitious and picked up an education.

He had a vivid imagination and commenced writing stories about his experiences.

He dramatized tramp life, he enjoyed what he was doing, and became a very successful author. I remember one book called "Outside Looking In." It was made into a motion picture.

He is now famous and prosperous and lives in Hollywood. What opened the secret door to success for Jim Tully?

Dramatizing his life—being interested in what he was doing, he made the most of being a tramp. On the boat, we all sat at the captain's table, which gave us a chance to talk.

Mrs. Grace Stone was also a passenger on the boat; she had written the "Bitter Tea of General Yen," and was going to Hollywood to have it made into a moving-picture: she had lived in China and was inspired to write the book.

That is the Secret of Success, to make what you are doing interesting to other people. Be interested yourself, and others will find you interesting.

A good disposition, a smile, often opens the secret door; the Chinese say, "A man without a smiling face, must not open a shop."

The success of a smile was brought out in a French moving-picture in which Chevalier took the lead, the picture was called, "With a Smile." One of the characters had become poor, dreary and almost a derelict; He said to Chevalier "What good has my honesty done me?" Chevalier replied, "Even honesty won't help you, without a smile:" so the man changes on the spot, cheers up, and becomes very successful.

Living in the past, complaining of your misfortunes, builds a thick wall around your Jericho.

Talking too much about your affairs, scattering your forces, brings you up against a high wall. I knew a man of brains and ability, who was a complete failure.

He lived with his mother and aunt, and I found that every night when he went home to dinner, he told them all that had taken place during the day at the office; he discussed his hopes, his fears, and his failures.

I said to him, "You scatter your forces by talking about your affairs. Don't discuss your business with your family. Silence is Golden!"

He took my lead. During dinner he refused to talk about business, His mother and aunt were in despair: They loved to hear all about everything; but his silence proved golden!

Not long after, he was given a position at one hundred dollars a week, and in a few years, he had a salary of three hundred dollars a week.

Success is not a secret, it is a System.

Many people are up against the wall of discouragement. Courage and endurance are part of the system. We read this in lives of all successful men and women.

I had an amusing experience which brought this to my notice. I went to a moving picture theatre to meet a friend.

While waiting, I stood near a young boy, selling programs.

He called to people passing, "Buy a complete program of the picture, containing photographs of the actors and a sketch of their lives."

Most people passed by without buying. To my great surprise, he suddenly turned to me, and said—"Say, this ain’t no racket for a guy with ambition!"

Then he gave a discourse on success. He said, "Most people give up just before something big is coming to them. A successful man never gives up.

Of course I was interested and said, "I'll bring you a book the next time I come. It is called The Game of Life and How to Play It. You will agree with a lot of the ideas."

A week or two later I went back with the book.

The girl at the ticket office said to him—"Let me read it, Eddie, while you are selling programs." The man who took tickets leaned over to see what it was about.

"The Game of Life" always gets people's interest.

I returned to the theatre in about three weeks, Eddie had gone. He had expanded into a new job that he liked. His wall of Jericho had crumbled, he had refused to be discouraged.

Only twice, is the word success mentioned in the Bible—both times in the Book of Joshua.

"Only be strong and very courageous to observe to do according to all the law which Moses, my servant, commanded thee: turn not from it to the right nor to the left, that thou mayest have good success whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart from thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do all that is written therein, for then shalt thou make thy way prosperous and thou shalt have good success. Turn not to the right nor to the left."

The road to success is a straight and narrow path; it is a road of loving absorption, of undivided attention.

"You attract the things you give a great deal of thought to."

So if you give a great deal of thought to lack, you attract lack, if you give a great deal of thought to injustice, you attract more injustice.

Joshua said, "And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout: and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up, every man straight before him."

The inner meaning of this story, is the power of the word, your word which dissolves obstacles, and removes barriers.

When the people shouted the walls fell down.

We find in folk-lore and fairy stories, which come down from legends founded on Truth, the same idea—a word opens a door or cleaves a rock.

We have it again in the Arabian Night's Story, "Ali Baba and The Forty Thieves." I saw it made into a moving picture.

Ali Baba has a secret hiding place, hidden somewhere behind rocks and mountains, the entrance may only be gained by speaking a secret word.—It is "Open Sesame!"

Ali Baba faces the mountain and cries—"Open Sesame!" and the rocks slide apart.

It is very inspiring, for it gives you the realization of how YOUR own rocks and barriers, will part at the right word.


So let us now take the statement—The walls of lack and delay now crumble away, and I enter my Promised Land, under grace.

Next: Bricks Without Straw