A Message to Garcia Summary By Elbert Hubbard

*This post contains affiliate links, and we may earn an affiliate commission without it ever affecting the price you pay.

A Message to Garcia, first published in 1899, is a classic book which takes a look at the commitment and hard work displayed by a lieutenant during the Spanish-American War.

This book serves as an exemplary guide for current generations on how to make the best out of their lives, follow values and virtues and find lasting happiness.

At its core, this book describes how working hard is the key ingredient for living life to its fullest and improving not just one’s own life but also those around them.

The writer gives us an insight into how sheer diligence can lead one to success, both professionally and personally.

A Message to Garcia

Book Name: A Message to Garcia (And Other Essential Writings on Success)

Author(s): Elbert Hubbard

Rating: 3.9/5

Reading Time: 9 Minutes

Categories: Motivation & Inspiration

Author Bio

Elbert Hubbard was an influential American figure in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Not only was he a noted writer, artist, and philosopher; he truly embodied the spirit of resilience.

His essay A Message to Garcia, which was based on his own personal experiences during the Spanish-American War, resonated with millions of readers with its emphasis on determination and hard work.

The essay sold over 40 million copies globally and was translated into 37 languages - a monumental achievement for its time period!

He aimed to inspire others by sharing his realizing stories of courage, purpose, and dedication.

And it's clear his words had far reaching effects; Elbert Hubbard is still well remembered for his inspiring lifetime works today.

Exploring Elbert Hubbard’s Inspirational Essay “A Message to Garcia”: Who Was Garcia and What Did Bringing Him a Message Mean?

Elbert Hubbard

A Message to Garcia by Elbert Hubbard was one of the most popular books in America and helped shape many aspects of the country from the late nineteenth century onward.

It is an essay about making a good life and inspiring others to strive for excellence.

In it, Hubbard talks about how important it is to not just accept any task given but instead step up and complete it to the best of your abilities.

He even goes as far as to provide examples of how some people go out of their way to accomplish tasks while others refuse, either due to laziness or fear – all this as part of his argument that hard work is essential if you want to live a successful life and be looked up too.

The essay was read by many famous figures including John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, and Teddy Roosevelt!

Digging into these ideas helps us understand how they influence American ideals today – from working hard regardless of our situations, taking charge when needed, pushing ourselves further than we thought possible and ultimately overcoming obstacles that are put in our way.

Take a Page from Andrew Rowan and Learn the Value of Initiative and Devotion in the Workplace

The phrase “a message to Garcia” refers to a story of the ultimate ideal worker: Lieutenant Andrew Rowan.

This incident happened during the Spanish-American War in 1898, when President William McKinley asked military leaders to deliver a message to Calixto Garcia, a Cuban rebel leader.

It was up to Colonel Arthur L. Wagner to find someone reliable and devoted enough for this delicate mission, and he chose Lieutenant Andrew Rowan who successfully completed his task and delivered the oil-skin pouch containing the message for Garcia.

Without ever once stopping or questioning, Rowan penetrated enemy territory and demonstrated initiative and selfless dedication far beyond what was required from him.

This is why Lieutenant Andrew Rowan has become an example of an ideal worker whose dedication should be admired and followed today.

We can all learn something from how he handled President McKinley’s mission so diligently and courageously in delivering “A Message To Garcia”.

No Desperate Workers Need Apply: Competence and Grit Are Necessary Traits To Survive in the Business World


Employers are constantly on the lookout for workers who show signs of not giving their all to the job.

Poor performance and complacency are two sure fire ways to get you on the chopping block, no matter how well your company is doing.

Incompetence doesn’t just mean wasted resources; it hurts morale and productivity too.

Your subordinates can give a unique insight into the level of incompetence in a business – just assign them with a simple task, like research on a famous historical figure and then observe how they handle it.

Do they put off the work, ask too many pointless questions or even come up with made-up facts? This kind of behaviour won’t go unnoticed and it certainly won’t earn you any points with employers either!

If there’s one thing employers want (or frankly need) from their workers, it’s for them to be able to “Get the message to Garcia”.

Your boss needs someone who can take initiative and display grit – qualities that carry much more weight than complaints or negativity ever could.

The truth is, few employees have what it takes to make it in this world without having that “get a message to Garcia” mentality.

That’s why only those who are willing to persevere with an assignment until completion will survive in this business world.

The Power of a Positive Attitude: Get Out or Get in Line

If you’re constantly processing negative thoughts and complaining about your job or boss, it’s a waste of time.

This behavior not only reflects poorly on you, but it prevents you from taking advantage of the opportunities you have.

For example, if there is an opportunity to get a message to Garcia and someone is too wrapped up in their negativity to take it, that person loses out on not only the potential reward for doing so, but the experience gained as well.

The solution is simple: if your current situation isn’t one that motivates you or allows for success, then leave and find something else.

There’s no perfect company or boss out there, so don’t try to make them all into ones that are.

Just be prepared to invest 100 percent of your energy into being the best work you can be if you decide to stay; put your negative thoughts away and get in line!

The Key to a Happy and Fulfilling Life Is Working Towards It With Discipline and Focus

Fulfilling Life

The message of A Message to Garcia is clear: your thoughts and actions determine your happiness and the way you live your life.

Hard work is integral to finding joy in life, and it’s not enough to simply be wealthy or successful; you must put that effort into something worthwhile.

When you put effort into your job, you not only gain skills but also impart a sense of inner satisfaction.

We must look at our success as an opportunity to help others, especially during times of need.

Your good works should inspire those around you by radiating health, cheerfulness, courage and goodwill.

Showing humility and admitting when you don’t know something are also important pillars of self-awareness that can foster righteousness in others.

Ultimately, once we recognize the interconnectedness between our thoughts and actions — that they manifest in how we find joy –we can begin living lives free of hate or fear.

By treating all people fairly, prioritizing modesty and understanding the power of self-reliance, we become powerful examples for a fruitful future.

Wrap Up

A Message to Garcia is an inspiring book that encourages readers to take the initiative in their job and life.

It emphasizes the importance of dedication, focus, honesty and integrity – qualities that define an ideal worker, leader and person.

As such, it reminds us not to be lazy, but instead lead by example by working hard and striving to exceed expectations.

And if you don’t feel like doing your work or tasks – at least don’t waste your own time or your employer’s time.

Finally, this book also gives us actionable advice on how to best support our employers: consider their needs before making any decisions or taking actions.

Instead of having a negative attitude towards them right away, think about what they may be going through first – it could give you an entirely different perspective.

If we can all strive to be the kind of workers who can get a message to Garcia, then hopefully we can create an environment with more positive results for everyone.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.