The Boron Letters - Chapter 3


Thursday, 3:26 p.m.
June 14, 1984


Dear Bond,

Guess what?

Today I jogged "The Hill" two times without stopping!

Big deal, huh? Well, it is to me. Your old man is getting lean and mean.

Anyway, let's get started. First of all, I want to briefly review what I have suggested to you so far.

  1. I have suggested that you do one hour's worth of road work every morning right after you get up for six days a week.

  2. I have suggested you eat three pieces of fruit every day.

  3. I have suggested you eat a large bowl of some bran type cereal every day.

Now, let's go from there. What else should your daily diet consist of? Well, for one thing, you should eat a lot of vegetables. What I suggest is that you get yourself some kind of baggie or plastic container and every night before you go to sleep I suggest you cut up a bunch of new veggies and put them in the container and then put the container in the refrigerator. Then, in the morning, when you are ready to leave the house, you can grab your raw veggies and take them with you to munch on them all day.

By the way, don't listen to all that garbage that says you should not eat between meals. You should eat between meals. In fact, six small meals is a lot better than three big ones. Actually, what is best is to have a little nibble whenever you get hungry. And this is a good way to eat your vegetables. Just carry your container with you wherever you go and eat some whenever you get hungry.

Incidentally, this is a habit that will go a long way in keeping you from feeling tired because it will tend to keep your blood sugar level at a more or less constant level.

WARNING! Don't depend on your mother or anybody else to buy or cut up your vegetables for you. You should, instead, develop a tough independent attitude.

You see, when you depend on others you give yourself an excuse for failure. "It's not my fault if she forgot to buy my vegetables." And so on. Don't set yourself up like this. Depend on yourself.

O.K. So far, we've got you eating fruit, vegetables and a bran type cereal. What else? Well, one thing else I think you should do is drink one large glass of non-fat milk every day. This will give you your calcium, some protein and some other good stuff.

And, what else? More protein, of course. As I said, you'll get some protein from your milk but it won't be nearly enough. You should also have at least one serving of some kind of lean meat or fowl.

Hamburgers are fine too.

Go easy on eggs. Two or three a week is plenty. They contain a lot of cholesterol and that's the stuff (along with fats) that can clog up your arteries.

Here's a couple more good ideas. (1) Buy yourself a box of bran flakes and mix two or three heaping tablespoons full into your cereal or whatever. (2) Get some protein powder. You can get this at most any health food store and I now believe it is a good idea (especially for a growing boy) to add some protein powder to his diet every day as "protein insurance."

What else should you eat? Actually, just about anything you want. I think it is a bad idea to ever forbid yourself to ever have ice cream or a soft drink or whatever. Just go easy and use a little common sense.

But don't worry. You see, if you keep up your road work and eat all the foods you should eat every day you won't have much room (or much inclination) to load yourself up with junk.

Let's take a break. I'm going to stop writing in a minute or two anyway because it is time for mail call. You know, Bondo, I've been thinking. I figure it will take me about one hundred letters to teach you the basics of what I want you to know. This should come out to between 500 to 1,000 legal pages of writing and these pages will form the core or nucleus of the book I want to write.

After I get this first part done I intend to take notes from various good books on exercise, diet, selling by mail, etc. and then, at this point, I should be able to sit down with all these letters and notes and then outline the book I want to write. After that, I'll write the first draft of the book. Then, after that, I'll review everything all over again and then write the final draft. I figure my timetable for the book to work out roughly like this:

1. Letters to Bond .................. 3-months

2. Notes from other books ........... 2-months

3. Outline .......................... 1-month (maximum)

4. First draft ...................... 2-months

5. Final draft ...................... 1-1/2 months

6. Polish ........................... 1-1/2 months

Total ... 11-MONTHS

Remember - these are very rough estimates. Actually, it is my goal to have the book finished after about ten-months of solid work which means I should (hopefully) be done by middle of next April.

We'll see. But one thing is true. This is the best place to write and get healthy I've ever been. I seem to get more productive every day.

Maybe, I'll have to commit some new federal crime every couple of years in order to get my books done!

Just kidding. Just kidding.

Strange. We usually have the mail by now but today it is late.

Oh well, I'll just keep waiting.

I was interrupted by mail call and now they are having "count." Count is simply when they count us to make sure we are all here.

They do this often.

Whatever. I was about to say let's get back to business. Now that I have (hopefully) got you doing your morning road work and eating more or less properly, I want to talk about other exercise in addition to road work.

Actually, I don't think I have to say a lot right now because you are probably doing just fine at Questar.

As I keep saying, I'm just warming up right now and I'll cover exercise in more detail later. But anyway, right now, I just want to say that I want you to concentrate on developing your arms.

All you really have to do are presses and curls. You know, I don't think it is desirable to have a body builder's body. Women, in general, are not attracted to to the exaggerated development of body builders and I personally don't like this type of physique either.

I think a man looks best (and I think most women would agree with me) when he is lean an hard - not bulging and overdeveloped.

However, I do think it is a good idea to spend enough time to develop strong muscular arms.

There are two reasons for this. First, of all, it is useful to be strong. Secondly, I think women are attracted to lean, hard men with strong muscular arms. And, thirdly, from a prison point of view, just having big arms can keep you out of a lot of trouble and I'll discuss this in more detail tomorrow.

Bye for now,

                                       I LOVE YOU AND GOOD LUCK!          

                                       4:37 p.m.

   Gary C. Halbert

            This third letter seems to cover only health suggestions, but there are also two non-health related lessons to be learned and one is in no way evident.

            The advice on health and working out is again very good and I agree with it so there is very little to add to it.

            The part where he tells me not to rely on anyone is a whole lesson all by itself. By this point you can see he had a healthy disdain for the mindset of regular people and that is indeed a positive attribute especially when it comes to making money.

            When most people tell others of any plan to make money, they are met with instant negativity. They will tell you it can’t be done, it isn’t worth it or remind you of all the pitfalls they can think of. I don’t care what you think of your friends or family, it is in their nature to stop you. Don’t get the idea that this is in everything you attempt, just when you attempt to do things on a scale so grand that if successful, you will be a whole lot richer than them.

            People don’t do this consciously. They simply need to do it to make themselves feel better. Yes that is right, to most people the very idea of you getting rich makes them sick.

            Let’s suppose you come up with the idea to open the first biodeisel fuel station in Barstow, the small town almost exactly half way between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. As you begin to explain how you can obtain financing and get equipment, they will immediately tell you how regulation and property prices are obstacles. They will say these problems are insurmountable and are too hard to overcome.

            One logical assumption is that people do this because they obviously are people with a CAN’T do attitude, but that doesn’t explain people who own their own businesses putting the ideas down and they often do. I think it is because when you tell people your plans to get rich, they will translate your success into their failure for not becoming rich.

            Let’s face it, most people judge how well they have done in life by comparing themselves to their peers and if one of their peers has become a multi millionaire and could retire young and rich, then they will have to question their own choices. It is ironic that so many people say they want to be rich yet put down almost everyone who tries and often they put down those that do succeed.

            There is an irrational hatred of the rich and it is born out of spite. Terms like “filthy rich” and “born with a silver spoon in the mouth” are not compliments. You can worry about that when you are rich, but for now you need to worry about all those people who want to stop you from becoming rich.

            Just remember where they are coming from and try to surround yourself with people who have similar goals or who have already become great successes. These people are almost always hungry for people to appreciate what they have accomplished and more than the size of their bank account.

            For anyone who thinks their friends and family will support them no matter what their goal is, tell them you plan to open a restaurant. They will tell you more than 90% of new restaurants fail within one minute. They will never say, “a lot dumber people than you have opened great restaurants so go for it.”

            Ever notice that almost everyone knows that stat yet can’t quote current money market returns? Our schools teach people how to work within businesses, but never how to start a business. Is it better to teach your kids how to change oil in the car or how to write an ad to bring in business? It is almost as if we have all been trained to accept capitalism, but only as part of the workforce.

            Anyway, it is vital that you never let the bastards get you down and in this case the bastards are almost everyone you meet.

            The other point which I feel can be made now is that he repeats himself often. This is not absent mindedness and is 100% intentional.

            This lesson is much like the one in the previous letter.

            It is widely accepted and both my dad and I agreed that one of the best business books in the world is “The Godfather.” My dad often remarked on how he loved the book and film. One of his favorite lessons in the book was when the Godfather explains to his youngest son Michael that he must continue to think about and go over their plans for the future. In the scene Brando say to Pacino, “I hope you don’t mind me going over this Barzini business” and then explains he does it to avoid being careless. Going over and over plans is a good way to make sure everyone is on the same page and to remember small things.

            Some people write down their goals and go over them everyday. This amounts to the same thing and is great.

To sum it up the two lessons are:

  1. The advantage over others is great when one can shut out the negative attitude of the masses.


  1. Winners revise their plans over and over and constantly reassess.

Number two is often taught in the military.

Copyright Gary C. Halbert.  All Rights Reserved.