Ella Wheeler Wilcox wrote a poem titled Thoughts Are Things that inspired Napoleon Hill so much that he included those same words as the first words in his classic book Think and Grow Rich.
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Ella Wheeler Wilcox (November 5, 1850 – October 30, 1919) was an American author and poet. Her best-known work was Poems of Passion.
Her most enduring work was "Solitude", which contains the lines, "Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone".
Her autobiography, The Worlds and I, was published in 1918, a year before her death.
You can never tell what your thoughts will do
In bringing you hate or love,
For thoughts are things, and their airy wings
Are swift as a carrier dove.
They follow the law of the universe -
Each thing must create its kind -
And they speed o'er the track to bring you back
Whatever went out from your mind.
This poem was first published in the February 25, 1883 issue of The New York Sun
Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth, But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer; Sigh, it is lost on the air;
The echoes bound to a joyful sound, But shrink from voicing care.
Rejoice, and men will seek you; Grieve, and they turn and go;
They want full measure of all your pleasure, But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many; Be sad, and you lose them all,—
There are none to decline your nectared wine, But alone you must drink life’s gall.
Feast, and your halls are crowded; Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live, But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure For a large and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on Through the narrow aisles of pain.