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A 1hlrd Mlnds roducLlon | www.Lhlrdmlnds.com
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lnLroducLlon .................................................................................................................................................. 3
ChapLer 1 - Why uo We lall? ........................................................................................................................ 7
ChapLer 2 - 1he Wlll Lo lall.......................................................................................................................... 10
ChapLer 3 - vlcLlms of 1he Wlll Lo lall ......................................................................................................... 14
ChapLer 4 - 1he 8ewards of lallure............................................................................................................. 18
ChapLer 3 - 8lghLlng Lhe ulrecLlon .............................................................................................................. 23
ChapLer 6 - 1he SysLem ln CperaLlon .......................................................................................................... 31
ChapLer 7 - Warnlngs and CuallflcaLlons .................................................................................................... 37
ChapLer 8 - Cn Savlng 8reaLh ...................................................................................................................... 40
ChapLer 9 - 1he 1ask of Lhe lmaglnaLlon ..................................................................................................... 44
ChapLer 10 - Cn Codes and SLandards ........................................................................................................ 48
ChapLer 11 - 1welve ulsclpllnes .................................................................................................................. 32
ChapLer 12 - And 1he 8esL of Luck! ............................................................................................................ 64


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1WC years ago l came across a formula for success whlch has revoluLlonlzed my llfe. lL was so slmple,
and so obvlous once l had seen lL, LhaL l could hardly belleve lL was responslble for Lhe maglcal resulLs
whlch followed my puLLlng lL lnLo pracLlce.1he flrsL Lhlng Lo confess ls LhaL Lwo years ago l was a fallure.
Ch, nobody knew lL excepL me and Lhose who knew me well enough Lo see LhaL l was noL dolng a LenLh
of whaL could be expecLed of me. l held an lnLeresLlng poslLlon, llved noL Loo dull a llfe---yeL Lhere was
no doubL ln my own mlnd, aL leasL, LhaL l had falled. WhaL l was dolng was a subsLlLuLe acLlvlLy for whaL l
had planned Lo do, and no maLLer how lngenlous and neaL Lhe Lheorles were whlch l presenLed Lo
myself Lo accounL for my lack of success, l knew very well LhaL Lhere was more work LhaL l should be
dolng, and beLLer work, and work more demonsLrably my own.
Cf course l was always looklng for a way ouL of my lmpasse. 8uL when l acLually had Lhe good forLune Lo
flnd lL, l hardly belleved ln my own luck. AL flrsL l dld noL Lry Lo analyze or explaln lL. lor one Lhlng, Lhe
effecLs of uslng Lhe formula were so remarkable LhaL l was almosL on Lhe verge of belng supersLlLlous
abouL Lhe maLLer, lL seemed llke maglc, and lL doesn'L do Lo lnqulre Loo closely lnLo Lhe reasons for a
spell or lncanLaLlon! More reallsLlc Lhan LhaL, Lhere was---aL LhaL Llme--- sLlll a Lrace of warlness abouL
my aLLlLude. l had Lrled Lo geL ouL of my dlfflculLles many Llmes before, had ofLen seemed Lo be abouL Lo
do so, and Lhen had found Lhem closlng ln around me agaln as relenLlessly as ever. 8uL Lhe maln reason
for my Laklng so llLLle Llme Lo analyze or explaln Lhe effecLs of Lhe formula afLer l once began Lo use lL
conslsLenLly was LhaL l was much Loo busy and havlng far Loo much fun. lL was enough Lo revel ln Lhe
ease wlLh whlch l dld work hlLherLo lmposslble for me, Lo see barrlers l had LhoughL lmpeneLrable melL
away, Lo feel Lhe lnerLla and LlmldlLy whlch had bound me for years dropplng off llke unlocked feLLers.
lor l had been years ln my deadlock, l had known whaL l wanLed Lo do, had equlpped myself for my
professlon---and goL nowhere. ?eL l had chosen my llfe work, whlch was wrlLlng, early, and had sLarLed
ouL wlLh hlgh hopes. MosL of Lhe work l had flnlshed had meL a frlendly recepLlon. 8uL Lhen when l Lrled
Lo Lake Lhe nexL sLep and go onLo a more maLure phase lL was as Lhough l had been Lurned Lo sLone. l
felL as lf l could noL sLarL.
Cf course lL goes wlLhouL saylng LhaL l was unhappy. noL mlserably and palnfully unhappy, buL [usL
nagged aL and depressed by my own lneffecLuallLy. l busled myself aL edlLlng, slnce l seemed doomed Lo
fall aL Lhe more creaLlve slde of llLeraLure, and l never ceased harrylng myself, consulLlng Leachers and
analysLs and psychologlsLs and physlclans for advlce as Lo how Lo geL ouL of my plL. l read and lnqulred
and LhoughL and worrled, l Lrled every suggesLlon for rellef. noLhlng worked more Lhan Lemporarlly. lor
a whlle l mlghL engage ln feverlsh acLlvlLy, buL never for more Lhan a week or Lwo. 1hen Lhe perlod of
acLlon would suddenly end, leavlng me as far from my goal as ever, and each Llme more deeply
dlscouraged.
1hen, beLween one mlnuLe and Lhe nexL, l found Lhe ldea whlch seL me free. 1hls Llme l was noL
consclously looklng for lL, l was engaged on a plece of research ln qulLe anoLher fleld. 8uL l came across a
senLence ln Lhe book l was readlng. PuMAn L8SCnALl1?, by l. W. P. Myers, whlch was so lllumlnaLlng
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LhaL l puL Lhe book aslde Lo conslder all Lhe ldeas suggesLed ln LhaL one peneLraLlng hypoLhesls. When l
plcked up Lhe book agaln l was a dlfferenL person.
Lvery aspecL, aLLlLude, relaLlon of my llfe was alLered. AL flrsL, as l say, l dld noL reallze LhaL. l only knew,
wlLh lncreaslng cerLalnLy from day Lo day, LhaL aL lasL l had found a Lallsman for counLeracLlng fallure
and lnerLla and dlscouragemenL and LhaL lL worked. 1haL was qulLe enough for me! My hands and my
days were so full LhaL Lhere was no Llme for lnLrospecLlon. l dld someLlmes drop off Lo sleep, afLer dolng
ln a shorL whlle whaL once would have seemed Lo me a glganLlc Lask, Lhlnklng, llke Lhe old lady of Lhe
nursery rhyme, "1hls ls none of l!" 8uL "l" was reaplng Lhe rewards, beyond doubL: Lhe books l had
wanLed Lo wrlLe for so long and had so agonlzlngly falled Lo wrlLe were flowlng, now, as fasL as Lhe
words would go on paper, and so far from feellng dralned by Lhe acLlvlLy, l was conLlnually flndlng new
ldeas whlch had been hldden, as lL were, behlnd Lhe work LhaL had "backed up" ln my mlnd and made a
barrler.
Pere ls Lhe LoLal amounL of wrlLlng l was able Lo do ln Lhe LwenLy years before l found my formula---Lhe
llLLle wrlLlng whlch l was palnfully, laborlously, proLesLlngly able Lo do. lor safeLy's sake l have over-
esLlmaLed Lhe lLems ln each classlflcaLlon, so a generous esLlmaLe of lL comes Lo Lhls: SevenLeen shorL
sLorles, LwenLy book-revlews, half a dozen newspaper lLems, one aLLempL aL a novel, abandoned less
Lhan a Lhlrd of Lhe way Lhrough. An average of less Lhan Lwo compleLed pleces of work per year!
lor Lhe Lwo years afLer my momenL of lllumlnaLlon, Lhls ls Lhe record: 1hree books (Lhe flrsL Lwo ln [usL
Lwo weeks less Lhan Lhe flrsL year, and boLh successful ln Lhelr dlfferenL flelds), LwenLy-four arLlcles, four
shorL sLorles, sevenLy-Lwo lecLures, Lhe scaffoldlng of Lhree more books, and lnnumerable leLLers of
consulLaLlon and professlonal advlce senL Lo all parLs of Lhe counLry.
nor are Lhose by any means Lhe only resulLs of applylng my formula. As soon as l dlscovered how lL
worked ln Lhe one maLLer of releaslng my energy for wrlLlng, l began Lo be curlous as Lo whaL else lL
mlghL do for me, and Lo Lry acLlng upon lL ln oLher flelds where l had had Lrouble. 1he LenLaLlveness and
LlmldlLy whlch had crlppled me ln almosL every aspecL of my llfe dropped away. lnLervlews, lecLures,
engagemenLs whlch l had drlven myself Lo glvlng agalnsL Lhe graln every mlnuLe, became pleasurable
experlences. Cn Lhe oLher hand, a dozen sLupld llLLle explolLaLlons of myself whlch l had allowed---
almosL ln a penlLenLlal splrlL---so long as l was ln my deadlock were ended Lhen and Lhere. l was on good
Lerms wlLh myself aL lasL, no longer punlshlng and exhorLlng and ruLhlessly drlvlng myself, and so no
longer allowlng myself Lo be unnecessarlly bored and Llred.
AlLhough my formula had worked wlLh such sLrlklng consequences for me, l Lold very few of my frlends
abouL lL. ln Lhe almosL faLuous egoLlsm whlch l seem Lo share wlLh nlneLy-nlne percenL of my fellows, l
LhoughL my case was unlque: LhaL no one had ever goL lnLo qulLe such a sLaLe of lneffecLlveness before,
nor would be able Lo apply Lhe formula l used so successfully on Lhelr own dlfflculLles. lrom Llme Lo
Llme, now LhaL l was no longer llvlng ln such a sLaLe of slege as made me bllnd Lo all ouLslde happenlngs,
l dld see lndlcaLlons here and Lhere LhaL anoLher was wasLlng Lhelr llfe ln much Lhe same way LhaL l had
wasLed mlne, buL l had had Lhe good forLune Lo emerge and so, l LhoughL, would Lhey, ln good Llme.
LxcepL for chance l would never have LhoughL of publlcly offerlng Lhe slmple program whlch had helped
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me so, l mlghL, lndeed, never have reallzed LhaL Lo a greaLer or less exLenL mosL adulLs are llvlng
lnadequaLe llves and sufferlng ln consequence.
8uL some monLhs ago l was asked Lo lecLure Lo a group of booksellers, and Lhe sub[ecL whlch was
LenLaLlvely glven me was "1he ulfflculLles of 8ecomlng a WrlLer." now ln my flrsL book l had gone lnLo
Lhose dlfflculLles preLLy Lhoroughly, l had no deslre Lo read a chapLer from an already publlshed book Lo
an audlence Lhe members of whlch were ln a llLLle beLLer way Lo have read Lhe chapLer Lhan almosL any
oLher group would have been. 8eglnnlng Lo prepare Lhe lecLure l could Lhlnk of noLhlng furLher Lo add Lo
Lhe sub[ecL Lhan Lo say frankly LhaL Lhe mosL dlfflculL of all Lasks for a wrlLer was learnlng Lo counLeracL
Lhelr own lnerLla and cowardlce. So, fearlng aL flrsL LhaL my Lalk would have somewhaL Lhe sound of
"LesLlfylng Lo grace" ln an old-fashloned prayer-meeLlng, l began Lo conslder Lhe sub[ecL and prepare my
speech.
1he concluslons l came are ln Lhls book: LhaL we are vlcLlms Lo a Wlll Lo lall, LhaL unless we see Lhls ln
Llme and Lake acLlon agalnsL lL we dle wlLhouL accompllshlng our lnLenLlons, LhaL Lhere ls a way of
counLeracLlng LhaL Wlll whlch glves resulLs LhaL seem llke maglc. l gave my lecLure. WhaL was really
sLarLllng Lo me was Lo see how lL was recelved. unLll Lhe noLes, Lhe leLLers, Lhe Lelephone-calls began Lo
come ln, l had LhoughL Lhe reporL of how one person overcame a dllemma mlghL lnLeresL many of Lhe
audlence mlldly and help Lwo or Lhree hearers who found Lhemselves ln somewhaL Lhe same pllghL.
8uL lL seemed LhaL my audlence, almosL Lo a man, was ln Lhe sLaLe l had descrlbed, LhaL Lhey all were
looklng for help Lo geL ouL of lL. l gave Lhe lecLure Lwlce more, Lhe resulLs were Lhe same. l was flooded
wlLh messages, quesLlons, and requesLs for lnLervlews. 8esL of all were Lhree reporLs whlch came Lo me
wlLhln Lwo weeks. 1hree of my hearers had noL walLed for a fuller exposlLlon, or Laken lL for granLed LhaL
Lhe formula would noL work for Lhem, buL had puL lL lnLo lmmedlaLe pracLlce. Cne had wrlLLen and sold
a sLory whlch had haunLed her for years, buL whlch had seemed Loo exLraordlnary Lo be llkely Lo sell. A
man had gone home and quleLly ended Lhe explolLaLlon of hlmself by a LemperamenLal slsLer, and had
made arrangemenLs Lo resume evenlng work ln a llne LhaL he had abandoned aL hls slsLer's lnslsLence, Lo
hls asLonlshmenL, hls slsLer, once she Lhoroughly undersLood LhaL he refused Lo be handlcapped longer,
had seemed Lo wake from a long perlod of peevlsh hypochondrla and was happler Lhan she had been ln
years. 1he Lhlrd case was Loo long and Loo personal Lo recounL here, buL ln many ways lL was Lhe besL of
Lhem all. Well, Lhere were Lhree persons, aL leasL, who found Lhe formula efflcaclous, and, llke me, each
of Lhem found someLhlng raLher awe-lnsplrlng abouL Lhe resulLs.
We all llve so far below Lhe posslble level for our llves LhaL when we are seL free from Lhe Lhlngs whlch
hamper us so LhaL we merely approach Lhe poLenLlallLles ln ourselves, we seem Lo have been enLlrely
Lransflgured. lL ls ln comparlson wlLh Lhe halLlng, LenLaLlve, heslLanL llves we leL ourselves llve LhaL Lhe
full, normal llfe LhaL ls ours by rlghL seems Lo parLake of Lhe deflnlLely super-normal. When LhaL ls seen,
lL ls easy Lo dlscover LhaL all men and women of effecLlve llves, wheLher sLaLesmen, phllosophers, arLlsLs
or men of buslness, use, someLlmes enLlrely unconsclously, Lhe same menLal aLLlLude ln whlch Lo do
Lhelr work LhaL Lhelr less forLunaLe fellows musL elLher flnd for Lhemselves or dle wlLhouL dlscoverlng.
Cccaslonally, as Lhe readlng of blographles and auLoblographles shows, enllghLenmenL comes Lhrough
rellglon, phllosophy, or wholehearLed admlraLlon for anoLher, and Lhe lndlvldual, alLhough ofLen feellng
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sLlll weak ln hlmself, ls susLalned by hls devoLlon, ls ofLen capable of feaLs of endurance, effecLlveness or
genlus whlch cause us Lo marvel aL hlm. 8uL Lhose who are noL born wlLh Lhls knowledge of Lhe way Lo
lnduce Lhe sLaLe ln whlch successful work ls done, who do noL learn lL so early LhaL Lhey cannoL
remember a Llme when Lhey dld noL know lL, or who for some reason cannoL flnd ln rellglon or
phllosophy Lhe sLrengLh LhaL Lhey need Lo counLeracL Lhelr own lneffecLlveness, can sLlll Leach
Lhemselves by consclous efforL Lo geL Lhe besL from Lhelr llves. As Lhey do so, many oLher Lhlngs whlch
have puzzled Lhem become clear. 8uL Lhls book ls noL Lhe hlsLory of Lhe growLh of an ldea. lL ls lnLended
Lo be a pracLlcal handbook for Lhose who would llke Lo escape from fuLlllLy and begln Lo llve happlly and
well.

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45"'/$0 6 7 !58 91 !$ :"+;<
Wl1P Lhe Llme and energy we spend ln maklng fallure a cerLalnLy we mlghL have cerLaln success. A
nonsenslcal paradox? no, forLunaLely lL ls a sober, llLeral LruLh, one whlch holds a greaL deal of promlse.
Suppose a man had an appolnLmenL a hundred mlles norLh of hls home, and LhaL lf he kepL lL he would
be sure of havlng healLh, much happlness, falr prosperlLy, for Lhe resL of hls llfe. Pe has [usL Llme enough
Lo geL Lhere, [usL enough gas ln hls car. Pe drlves ouL, buL decldes LhaL lL would be more fun Lo go
LwenLy-flve mlles souLh before sLarLlng ouL ln earnesL.
1haL ls nonsense! ?es, lsn'L lL? 1he gas had noLhlng Lo do wlLh lL, Llme had no preference as Lo how lL
would be spenL, Lhe road ran norLh as well as souLh, yeL he mlssed hls appolnLmenL. now, lf LhaL man
Lold us LhaL, afLer all, he had qulLe en[oyed Lhe drlve ln Lhe wrong dlrecLlon, LhaL ln some ways he found
lL pleasanLer Lo drlve wlLh no ob[ecLlve Lhan Lo Lry Lo keep a daLe, LhaL he had had a Louchlng gllmpse of
hls old home by drlvlng souLh, should we pralse hlm for belng properly phllosophlcal abouL havlng losL
hls opporLunlLy?
no, we should Lhlnk he had acLed llke an lmbeclle. Lven lf he had mlssed hls appolnLmenL by geLLlng lnLo
a daydream ln whlch he drove auLomaLlcally pasL a road slgn or Lwo, we should sLlll noL absolve hlm. Cr
lf he had arrlved Loo laLe from havlng losL hls way when he mlghL have looked up hls rouLe on a good
map and falled Lo do so before sLarLlng, we mlghL commlseraLe wlLh hlm, buL we should lndlcL hlm for
bad [udgmenL.
?eL when lL comes Lo golng sLralghL Lo Lhe appolnLmenLs we make wlLh ourselves and our own
fulflllmenL we all acL very much llke Lhe hero of Lhls sllly fable: we drlve Lhe wrong way. We fall where
we mlghL have succeeded by spendlng Lhe same power and Llme.
lallure lndlcaLes LhaL energy has been poured lnLo Lhe wrong channel. lL Lakes energy Lo fall.
now Lhls ls someLhlng whlch we seldom see aL once. 8ecause we commonly Lhlnk of fallure as Lhe
convenLlonal opposlLe of success, we conLlnue Lo make false anLlLheses of Lhe quallLles whlch aLLend
success and fallure. Success ls braclng, acLlve, alerL, so Lhe Lyplcal aLLlLude of fallure, we belleve, musL be
leLhargy, lnerLla, a suplne poslLlon. 1rue enough, buL LhaL does noL mean LhaL no energy ls belng used.
LeL any psychologlsL Lell you how much energy a maLure person musL expend Lo reslsL moLlon. A
powerful sLruggle musL be waged agalnsL Lhe forces of llfe and movemenL ln order Lo remaln lnerL,
alLhough Lhls sLruggle Lakes place so far beneaLh Lhe surface of our llves LhaL we do noL always become
aware of lL. hyslcal lnacLlon ls no Lrue slgn LhaL llfe-force ls noL belng burned away. So even Lhe ldler ls
uslng fuel whlle Lhey dream.
When fallure comes abouL Lhrough devoLlng preclous hours Lo Llme-kllllng pursulLs, we can all see LhaL
energy ls belng dlverLed from lLs proper channel. 8uL Lhere are ways of kllllng Llme whlch do noL look
llke dlsslpaLlon. 1hey can seem, on Lhe conLrary, llke consclenLlous and duLlful hard work, Lhey ofLen
draw pralse and approval from onlookers, and arouse a sense of complacency ln us. lL ls only by looklng
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more closely, by dlscoverlng LhaL Lhls work geLs us nowhere, LhaL lL boLh Llres us and leaves us
unsaLlsfled, LhaL we see here agaln energy ls belng devoLed Lo Lhe pursulL of fallure.
8uL why should Lhls be so? Why, lf, wlLh Lhe same energy we musL use ln any case, we mlghL be
succeedlng, do we so seldom llve Lhe llves we hoped and planned Lo llve? Why do we accompllsh so
llLLle, and LhwarL ourselves senselessly? Why, when we sLarL laLe, or run ouL of gas because of
carelessness, or mlss road-slgns Lhrough daydreamlng, do we Lhlnk we are belng properly phllosophlcal
when we glve ourselves and oLhers excuses for fallure whlch wlll noL hold waLer? no one Lruly consoles
Lhemselves by conslderlng LhaL a blrd ln Lhe hand ls worLh Lwo ln Lhe bush, LhaL Lo Lravel hopefully ls
beLLer Lhan Lo arrlve, LhaL half-a-loaf ls beLLer Lhan no bread. Such proverbs are Lhe cynlcal dlsLlllaLlon of
experlence, buL Lhey are noLhlng Lo llve by. We decelve no one, alLhough our compromlses and excuses
are accepLed by our fellows as long as Lhey are ln Lhe same boaL. 1he successful man or woman llsLens
Lo such whlsLllng ln Lhe dark wlLh amusemenL and lncredullLy, prlvaLely concludlng LhaL Lhere ls a greaL
deal of hypocrlsy loose ln Lhe world. 1hey have Lhe besL of evldence LhaL Lhe rewards of well dlrecLed
acLlvlLy far surpass all Lhe by-producLs of fallure, LhaL one lnflnlLeslmal accompllshmenL ln reallLy ls
worLh a mounLaln of dreams.
Lven as we Lell of Lhe compensaLlon of fallure we are noL qulLe comforLable. We do noL Lruly belleve---
alLhough our proverbs sound as Lhough we dld---LhaL one musL choose elLher success or Lhe good llfe.
We know LhaL Lhose who succeed see Lhe same sunseLs, breaLhe Lhe same alr, love and are loved no less
Lhan fallures, and ln addlLlon Lhey have someLhlng more: Lhe knowledge LhaL Lhey have chosen Lo move
ln Lhe dlrecLlon of llfe and growLh lnsLead of acqulesclng ln deaLh and decay. Powever we may Lalk, we
know LhaL Lmerson was rlghL when he wroLe: "Success ls consLlLuLlonal, depends on a plus condlLlon of
mlnd and body, on power of work, on courage."
1hen why do we fall? Lspeclally, why do we work hard aL fallure? 8ecause, beslde belng creaLures
sub[ecL Lo Lhe Wlll Lo Llve and Lhe Wlll Lo ower, we are drlven by anoLher wlll, Lhe Wlll Lo lall, or dle.
1hls ls Lo many of us a novel ldea. Cf Lhe Wlll Lo Llve and Lhe Wlll Lo ower we hear a greaL deal, our
psychologles and phllosophles make much of Lhem. 8uL Lhe Wlll Lo lall ls more obscure, harder Lo
observe aL work. lL Lakes as many forms as Lhe Cld Man of Lhe Sea, and Lhere are as many lndlvldual
ways of falllng as Lhere are subdlvlslons of Lhe psychologlcal Lypes.
8eallzlng Lhe presence of Lhls Wlll Lo lall ls Lhe flrsL sLep ln Lurnlng from fallure Lo success.
lL ls posslble Lo geL back Lhe energy LhaL ls now golng lnLo fallure and use lL Lo healLhy ends. 1here are
cerLaln facLs - plaln, unlversal, psychologlcal LruLhs - whlch, when once seen, brlng us Lo deflnlLe
concluslons. lrom Lhose concluslons we can make a formula on whlch Lo acL. 1here ls a slmple, pracLlcal
procedure whlch wlll Lurn us around and seL our faces ln Lhe rlghL dlrecLlon. lL ls Lhe formula, as we have
sald, on whlch, consclously or unconsclously, every successful person acLs.
1he procedure ls slmple, Lhe flrsL sLeps of puLLlng lL lnLo pracLlce so easy LhaL Lhose who prefer Lo
dramaLlze Lhelr dlfflculLles may refuse Lo belleve LhaL anyLhlng so uncompllcaLed could posslbly help
Lhem. Cn Lhe oLher hand, slnce lL Lakes llLLle Llme and soon brlngs lLs own evldence LhaL, slmple or noL,
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lLs consequences are frequenLly amazlng, lL should be worLh Lrylng. A rlcher llfe, beLLer work, Lhe
experlence of success and lLs rewards: Lhose ends are surely worLh one experlmenL ln procedure. All Lhe
equlpmenL needed ls lmaglnaLlon and Lhe wllllngness Lo dlsLurb old hablL-paLLerns for a whlle, Lo acL
afLer a novel fashlon long enough Lo flnlsh one plece of work. Pow long LhaL perlod ls wlll vary, of
course, wlLh Lhe work Lo be accompllshed, and wheLher lL ls all dependenL on oneself or of Lhe
unwleldler Lype whlch Lhe execuLlve and admlnlsLraLor know, where Lhe facLor of oLher human
LemperamenLs musL be Laken lnLo accounL. ln any case, some resulLs from Lhe experlmenL wlll be seen
aL once. CfLen Lhese flrsL resulLs are so asLonlshlng LhaL Lo enumeraLe Lhem here mlghL allenaLe readers
of a sober hablL of mlnd. 1o hear of Lhem before comlng Lo Lhem normally would be llke hearlng of
mlracles, and some of Lhe effecLlveness of Lhe program mlghL be losL by Lhe lnLruslon of Lhe very doubLs
we are ouL Lo banlsh.
Cnce more: however remarkable Lhe resulLs, Lhe process ls sLralghLforward and uncompllcaLed. lL ls
worLh Lrylng, for lL has worked ln hundreds of llves. lL can work ln any llfe LhaL ls noL more Lruly
dedlcaLed Lo fallure Lhan Lo success.

10 |

45"'/$0 = 7 >5$ !+;; /1 :"+;
l8CM Lhe dlsclples of Schopenhauer and lreud, of nleLzche and Adler, we have all become conversanL
wlLh such phrases as Lhe Wlll Lo Llve and Lhe Wlll Lo ower. 1hese phrases, represenLlng---someLlmes Lo
Lhe verge of oversLaLemenL---drlves of Lhe organlsm Lowards fulflllmenL and growLh, correspond Lo
LruLhs of experlence wlLh whlch each of us ls famlllar. We have seen chlldren sLruggle Lo make
Lhemselves and Lhelr personallLles felL, as young people we have conLended for a chance Lo Lry our own
emerglng forces, afLer long lllness we have felL Lhe Llde of reLurnlng sLrengLh ln our velns. We know LhaL
any average man caughL ln unforLunaLe clrcumsLances wlll puL up wlLh poverLy, dlsLress, humlllaLlon
wlLh condlLlons whlch an onlooker wlll someLlmes conslder as much worse Lhan deaLh, and LhaL only Lhe
presence of a wlll Lo conLlnue llvlng can accounL for Lhe LenaclLy wlLh whlch a man ln such clrcumsLances
cllngs Lo Lhe mere rlghL Lo breaLhe and exlsL.
lurLhermore, we flrsL experlence and Lhen laLer Lurn Lo reallze Lhe process of growLh ln ourselves. 1he
lndlvldual, emerges from chlldhood lnLo adolescence, from adolescence lnLo maLurlLy, and aL each of
Lhese crlsls we flnd LhaL Lhe acLlvlLles and lnLeresLs of Lhe old perlod are belng replaced by Lhose of Lhe
new, LhaL naLure ls preparlng Lhe organlsm for lLs new role ln Lhe world, ls acLually reconclllng us Lo Lhe
new demands on us by showlng us pleasures and rewards ln Lhe oncomlng sLaLe whlch wlll replace
Lhose we musL abandon.
8uL Lhe ldea of anoLher wlll, a counLer-balanclng wlll, Lhe Wlll Lo lall, Lhe Wlll Lo ueaLh, ls noL so readlly
accepLed. lor a whlle lL was one of Lhe LeneLs of psychoanalysls, for lnsLance, LhaL no lndlvldual could
acLually lmaglnaLlvely encompass Lhe ldea LhaL he mlghL cease Lo be. Lven Lhe deaLh-dreams and sulclde
LhreaLs of deeply morbld paLlenLs were held Lo be grounded solely ln ldeas of revenge: Lhe explanaLlon
was LhaL Lhe paLlenL LhoughL of hlmself as llvlng on, lnvlslble, buL able Lo see Lhe remorse and regreL
caused by hls deaLh ln Lhose by whom he LhoughL hlmself lll-LreaLed.
lreud, lndeed, analyzlng shell-shocked paLlenLs afLer Lhe War, lssued a monograph ln whlch he sLaLed
LhaL he had occaslonally found dreams LhaL lndlcaLed slncere deaLh-wlshes. 1hls monograph ls full of
some of Lhe besL of lreud's speculaLlons and suggesLlons, buL as for Lhe appearance ln popular
psychologles of Lhe ldea LhaL Lhere could loglcally be a deaLhward currenL runnlng Lhrough our llves, lL ls
as Lhough Lhe Lhesls had never been suggesLed.
?eL deaLh ls as much a facL of experlence as blrLh and growLh, and lf naLure prepares us for each new
phase of llfe by closlng off old deslres and openlng new vlsLas, lL does noL seem Loo dlfflculL Lo Lhlnk LhaL
we are, always, belng slowly, genLly reconclled Lo our evenLual rellnqulshmenL of all we hold dear as
llvlng creaLures. And wlLhdrawal from sLruggle, abandonmenL of efforL, releaslng of deslre and amblLlon
would be normal movemenLs ln an organlsm whlch was belng genLly wooed away from lLs
preoccupaLlon wlLh llfe.
lL ls for Lhls reason LhaL we are enLlLled Lo look upon Lhe Wlll Lo lall as a reallLy.
11 |

now, lf lnerLla, Llmorousness, subsLlLuLe acLlvlLy, efforLless efforL, qulescence, and reslgnaLlon were
found only aL Lhe end of llfe, or when we were dralned by slckness or faLlgue, lf Lhey never handlcapped
us when we should be ln Lhe full flood of our vlLal powers, Lhere would be no reason aL all for aLLacklng
Lhls Wlll Lo lall as lf lL were---as lndeed lL ls---Lhe arch-enemy of all LhaL ls good and effecLlve ln us. 8uL
when lL appears ln youLh or full maLurlLy lL ls as sympLomaLlc of someLhlng wrong---deeply, lnLernally
wrong---wlLh one's llfe as unLlmely drowslness ls sympLomaLlc of ordlnary bodlly lll healLh.
And lf lL were easlly seen for Lhe black-hearLed vlllaln lL ls, when lL arrlves ouL of lLs due Llme, lL would be
easy Lo flghL. 8uL almosL always we are well wlLhln lLs power before we do more Lhan suspecL rarely and
vaguely LhaL all ls noL as lL should be wlLh us. We are so accusLomed Lo speak of fallure, frusLraLlon,
LlmldlLy, as negaLlve Lhlngs, LhaL lL ls llke belng lnvlLed Lo flghL wlndmllls when we are urged Lo flghL Lhe
sympLoms of fallure.
ln youLh we seldom recognlze Lhe sympLom, ln ourselves. We explaln our relucLance Lo geLLlng sLarLed
as Lhe naLural LlmldlLy of Lhe Lyro, buL Lhe relucLance sLays, Lhe years go, and we wake ln dlsmay Lo flnd
LhaL whaL was once a charmlng youLhful dlffldence ln us ls now someLhlng qulLe dlfferenL, slckly and
repellenL. Cr we flnd a convenlenL domesLlc slLuaLlon Lo bear Lhe brunL of excuslng us for never havlng
goL Lo work ln earnesL. We could noL leave Lhls or LhaL relaLlve lonely and defenseless. 1hen Lhe famlly
grows, scaLLers, and we are lefL alone, Lhe subsLlLuLe acLlvlLy aL whlch we had been so busy ls Laken
remorselessly away from us, and we are slck and Lerrlfled aL Lhe ldea of Lurnlng back Lo Lake up Lhe long
abandoned plans.
Cr we have Lhe besL of all reasons for noL dolng as well as we mlghL. MosL of us are under Lhe necesslLy
of chooslng beLween work and sLarvaLlon, and Lhe employmenL we were able Lo flnd when lL was
lmperaLlve LhaL we should begln earnlng ls noL work for whlch we are ldeally sulLed. When marrlage and
Lhe ralslng of a famlly have been underLaken, Lhe necesslLy ls all Lhe more urgenL. We mlghL be wllllng Lo
walL Lhrough a few Lhln years lf no one buL ourselves would suffer, buL Lo ask oLhers Lo do so Lakes more
selflshness, and more courage, Lhan mosL of us can musLer.
Lspeclally ln Amerlca, where marrlages for love are Lhe rule, mosL young people sLarL ouL on Lhelr
marrled llfe wlLh llLLle more Lhan Lhelr healLh, youLh, and lnLelllgence as caplLal. We are accusLomed Lo
Lhlnk of Lhe Luropean ldea of asklng a doL, a dower, from Lhe brlde's famlly as somehow lgnoble and
mercenary. ?eL lnslsLlng on LhaL llLLle reserve fund of money wlLh whlch Lo meeL Lhe demands of
esLabllshlng a new household has much Lo recommend lL, and Lhe facL LhaL we have no such cusLom ln
Lhls counLry may be one reason why Amerlca, Lhe much-vaunLed Land of CpporLunlLy, can show so
many men and women of mlddle age wasLlng Lhemselves ln drudgery, fllllng poslLlons whlch brlng Lhem
no [oy, and looklng forward Lo a fuLure whlch aL lLs happlesL promlses years of monoLony, and aL lLs
worsL Lhe nlghLmare of poverLy-rldden unemploymenL.
1hls necesslLy Lo fall upon Lhe flrsL work we can flnd ls alone enough Lo explaln why so few of us ever
manage Lo brlng our plans Lo frulLlon. CfLen, aL flrsL, we have a flrm lnLenLlon of noL loslng slghL of our
real goal, ln splLe of Lhe facL LhaL we musL make a llvlng aL uncongenlal work. We plan Lo keep an eye on
our amblLlons, and Lo work aL Lhem by hook or crook---evenlngs, weekends, on vacaLlons. 8uL Lhe nlne-
12 |

Lo-flve work ls Llrlng and exacLlng, lL Lakes super-human sLrengLh of characLer Lo go on worklng alone
when Lhe resL of Lhe world, ls aL play, and when we have never had any evldence LhaL we should be
successful lf we conLlnued, anyway. And so wlLhouL reallzlng lL we are swepL lnLo Lhe currenL of Lhe Wlll
Lo lall. We are sLlll movlng, and we do noL see LhaL our moLlon ls down sLream.
MosL of us dlsgulse our fallure ln publlc, we dlsgulse lL mosL successfully from ourselves. lL ls noL hard Lo
lgnore Lhe facL LhaL we are dolng much less, Lhan we are able Lo do, very llLLle of whaL we had planned
even modesLly Lo accompllsh before a cerLaln age, and never, probably, all LhaL we had hoped. Cne
reason lL ls so easy Lo decelve ourselves ls LhaL somewhere along Lhe way we seem sllenLly Lo enLer lnLo
a sorL of genLleman's agreemenL wlLh our frlends and acqualnLances. "uon'L menLlon my fallure Lo me,"
we LaclLly plead, "and l wlll never leL Lhe hlnL LhaL you are noL dolng qulLe all l should expecL of you cross
my llps."
1hls LacLful sllence ls seldom broken ln youLh or ln Lhe early mlddle years. unLll Lhen, Lhe convenLlon ls
LhaL aL any momenL we may geL lnLo our sLrlde. A llLLle laLer and Lhe sllence ls relaxed. 1here comes a
Llme when lL ls safe Lo smlle ruefully and admlL LhaL Lhe hopes we wenL ouL Lo meeL Lhe world wlLh were
Loo hlgh and much Loo rosy, parLlcularly Lhose hopes we had held for our own performance. ln Lhe
flfLles---and someLlmes earller---lL ls usually safe enough Lo do a llLLle dlsarmlng and seml-humorous
grumbllng, afLer all, few of our conLemporarles are ln a poslLlon Lo say "Why can'L you sLarL now?" And
yeL some of Lhe greaLesL work ln Lhe world, many of Lhe world's lrreplaceable masLerpleces, were done
by men and women well pasL whaL we Loo superflclally conslder Lhelr prlme.
So we sllp Lhrough Lhe world wlLhouL maklng our conLrlbuLlon, wlLhouL dlscoverlng all LhaL Lhere was ln
us Lo do, wlLhouL uslng Lhe mosL mlnuLe fracLlon of our ablllLles, elLher naLlve or acqulred. lf we manage
Lo be falrly comforLable, Lo geL some respecL and admlraLlon, a LasLe of "a llLLle brlef auLhorlLy" and
some love, we Lhlnk we have made a good bargaln, we acqulesce ln Lhe Wlll Lo lall. We even prlde
ourselves on our shrewdness, noL suspecLlng how badly we have been cheaLed, LhaL we have seLLled for
Lhe compensaLlons of deaLh, noL Lhe rewards of llfe.
lf Lhe elaboraLe game LhaL we all play wlLh ourselves and each oLher never came Lo an end---never ran
down for a momenL so LhaL we suddenly saw LhaL lL was only a game afLer all---Lhe Wlll Lo lall mlghL
urge us all genLly downhlll Llll we came Lo resL aL lLs fooL, and no one would dream of proLesLlng. 8uL Lhe
game has such a way of breaklng off someLlmes, rlghL aL lLs mosL amuslng spoL, and we suddenly
wonder why we are runnlng abouL llke Lhls, how we happen Lo be playlng away aL hlde-and-seek as lf
our llves depended on lL, whaL became of Lhe real llfe we meanL Lo lead whlle we have been off dolng
noLhlng, or busy aL Lhe work LhaL provldes us wlLh no more Lhan our bread and buLLer.
SomeLlmes Lhe momenL passes and ls forgoLLen unLll long afLer, lf ever remembered aL all. 8uL some of
us never forgeL lL. lf we go on wlLh Lhe game, lL Lurns lnLo a nlghLmare, and how Lo wake ouL of lL and
geL back lnLo reallLy becomes our whole preoccupaLlon. 1hen someLlmes Lhe nlghLmare seems Lo
deepen, we Lry one Lurn afLer anoLher whlch looks as lf lL led Lo freedom, only Lo flnd ourselves back ln
Lhe mlddle of Allce's Looklng Class Carden beglnnlng Lhe hunL all over agaln.
13 |

?eL we can escape, and agaln, raLher llke Allce, by seemlng aL flrsL Lo go backward: by admlLLlng LhaL
Lhere may be a real Wlll Lo lall, and nexL, LhaL we may be lLs vlcLlms.

14 |

45"'/$0 ? 7 @+3/+AB 1C >5$ !+;; /1 :"+;
ll Lhe Wlll Lo lall announced lLs presence wlLh sympLoms as unlform and unmlsLakable as Lhose whlch
lndlcaLe measles or a bad cold, lL would probably have been eradlcaLed, or a Lechnlque for combaLlng lL
would have been worked ouL, long ago.
8uL unforLunaLely lLs sympLoms are varled and leglon. lf you were Lo drag a dlnlng, danclng, LheaLer-
golng, mlddle-aged meLropollLan playboy away from hls merry-go-round and lnLroduce hlm Lo an
unshaven, lll-clad cracker-box phllosopher dreamlng ln Lhe sun, saylng, "l wanL you Lwo Lo know each
oLher, you have so much ln common," you would be LhoughL mad, yeL you would be rlghL. 1he dreamlng
ldler, Lhe lnLroverL, and Lhe danclng exLroverL---aL Lhe anLlpodes from Lhe polnL of vlew of worldly
clrcumsLance---are moLlvaLed by Lhe same lmpulse, unconsclously Lhey are boLh Lrylng Lo fall.
1helr llves have a common denomlnaLor. "uo noL acL as lf you had a Lhousand years Lo llve," Marcus
Aurellus warned hlmself ln hls maxlms. All Lhose ln Lhe grlp of Lhe Wlll Lo lall acL as lf Lhey had a
Lhousand years before Lhem. WheLher Lhey dream or dance, Lhey spend Lhelr preclous hours as Lhough
Lhe sLore of Lhem were lnexhausLlble.
8uL slnce Lhere are as many ways of falllng as Lhere are dlvlslons and subdlvlslons of Lhe psychologlcal
Lypes, we ofLen do noL recognlze Lhe presence of Lhe Wlll Lo lall ln oLhers or ln ourselves. Pere are a few
of Lhe lnnumerable ways of "acLlng as Lhough you had a Lhousand years Lo llve".
1here are, for lnsLance, Lhose who sleep from Lwo Lo slx hours a day more Lhan Lhey need Lo sleep Lo
keep ln perfecL physlcal healLh. ln any lndlvldual case, unless Lhe sleeplng hours far exceed Lhe normal
quoLa, lL ls very hard Lo be sure one has noL Lo do wlLh merely an unusually long sleeper. 8uL when Lhe
noLe of compulslon enLers, one can be sure of havlng found a Lrue vlcLlm of fallure. 1hose who are bad-
Lempered or only half allve lf an early bedLlme musL be posLponed, Lhose who anxlously counL each
mornlng Lhe exacL number of hours spenL ln sleep Lhe nlghL before, mournlng lnconsolably any
lnLerrupLlon, every hour of lnsomnla, every unLlmely doorbell, are looklng Lo sleep for more Lhan lLs
normal resLoraLlve funcLlon. When an adulL exLends even Lhls, maklng a nap or Lwo a day a maLLer of
rouLlne, Lhe dlagnosls becomes slmple.
nexL, sLlll among Lhe lnconsplcuous fallures, Lhe "lnLroverLs," are Lhe waklng sleepers: persons who
allow some acLlvlLy Lo pass before Lhem almosL wlLhouL parLlclpaLlon, or lndulge ln Llme-kllllng pursulLs
ln whlch Lhey Lake only Lhe mosL mlnor and unconsLrucLlve parLs: Lhe sollLalre-players, Lhe paLhologlcal
bookworms, Lhe endless crossword puzzlers, Lhe [lgsaw puzzle conLlngenL. 1he llne beLween recreaLlon
and obsesslon ls noL hard Lo see once we know lL ls Lhere.
LaslesL of all Lo recognlze as lovers of fallure are Lhe heavy drlnkers. A volume could be wrlLLen on Lhem,
buL Loo many volumes have. Where drlnklng ls so consLanL as Lo brlng on a waklng sleep, or, deeper, a
klnd of deaLh ln llfe, Lhe presence of Lhe Wlll Lo lall ls obvlous Lo any observer. 8uL Lhere are Lhousands
who show Lhe sympLoms ln so falnL a form LhaL Lhey pass almosL unnoLlced: all Lhose who drlnk knowlng
13 |

LhaL lL means a bad mornlng Lhe nexL day, a vague and woolly approach Lo every problem unLll Lhe
effecLs have passed off, Lhose Lo whom any drlnklng means physlcal dlscomforL, wheLher acuLe or
Lrlfllng. Anyone who has learned Lo expecL Lhese consequences and yeL conLlnues Lo lay hlmself open Lo
Lhem sLands convlcLed of Lhe deslre Lo handlcap hlmself, aL leasL Lo LhaL exLenL. lL makes very llLLle
dlfference whaL Lhe drlnk ln quesLlon may be. lf coffee dlsLurbs you, lf you cannoL dlgesL mllk, and you
neverLheless conLlnue Lo drlnk lL, you may escape Lhe dlsapproval whlch ls meLed ouL Lo Lhe hlghball
drlnker, buL you are ln Lhe same class.
And, plalnly, unwlse eaLlng comes under Lhe same head.
1urnlng Lo Lhe acLlve Lype, lL may be sald LhaL Lhe exLroverLs who pursue fallure as Lhelr prlmary career
flnd so many ways of dolng lL LhaL Lhe aLLempL Lo LabulaLe Lhem all would be hopeless. 8uL, as examples,
Lhere are Lhe relenLless movle- and LheaLer-goers, Lhe nlghLly dancers, all Lhose who counL Lhe day losL
whlch has noL a Lea or dlnner or cockLall parLy ln lL. . . no, of course Lhere ls noLhlng agalnsL relaxaLlon
and recreaLlon when Lhey are really called for, afLer a perlod of conLrlbuLory acLlvlLy. 8uL Lhose who
enLer an ob[ecLlon Lo Lhls classlflcaLlon Loo early and Loo angrlly, crylng LhaL one musL have recreaLlon,
glve Lhemselves dead away as seLLlng an abnormal value on release.
1hen Lhere are Lhe half-and-half fallures, dlfflculL Lo place, such as Lhe embrolderers and knlLLers,
alLhough lL ls only falr Lo say here LhaL someLlmes a llghL Lask calllng for only manual dexLerlLy may go on
whlle Lhe mlnd ls usefully engaged ln solvlng a real problem. CompleLe honesLy wlLh oneself ls all LhaL ls
necessary Lo dlscover wheLher Lhe rhyLhmlcal acLlvlLy ls belng used ln one way or Lhe oLher. lf a dull
sLupor seLs ln, or lf, on Lhe oLher hand, Lhe work ls [usL elaboraLe enough, calls for [usL enough consclous
aLLenLlon so LhaL no auLomaLlc rhyLhm can be esLabllshed, Lhen lL ls rare lndeed LhaL Lhls klnd of moLlon
can be puL ln Lhe caLegory of Lrue creaLlve acLlvlLy, or LhaL of belng accessory Lo creaLlve acLlon.
As Lo almless conversaLlonallsLs, we can more easlly see oLhers fall ln LhaL group Lhan LhaL we are
lncluded ourselves. SomeLlmes we are sLarLled lnLo reallzlng LhaL we have repeaLed Lhe same anecdoLe
Lo Lhe same frlend and for a few days go warlly. 1haL ls a mlnor sllp. no remlnlscenL rlng, no forced smlle
on our audlLor's llps wlll sLop us when we are hablLually marklng Llme wlLh words - when we have Lhe
same unevolvlng round of Loplcs, Lhe same oplnlons Lo repeaL mechanlcally, Lhe same half-almless
observaLlons Lo make on Lhe same recurrlng slLuaLlons, Lhe same auLomaLlc lndlgnaLlon aL Lhe same old
abuses, Lhe same lllusLraLlons Lo prove Lhe same polnLs, and a few lukewarm argumenLs Lo bolsLer up
whaL may once have been oplnlons buL are now seldom more Lhan pre[udlces.
SomeLlmes we rlde a verbal mannerlsm so hard LhaL a hearer ob[ecLs lrrlLably. (SuggesLlons for
overcomlng such mannerlsms wlll be glven laLer, here we are only conslderlng Lhe way ln whlch Lhey
unconsclously beLray ln us Lhe presence of a Wlll Lo lall.) lL ls probably a greaL plece of luck Lo rouse a
frlend Lo Lhls exLenL. lf you learn wlLh shocklng suddenness LhaL you are forever saylng "l mean," "Cf
course," "l lmaglne," "uo you see?" "?ou know," "As a maLLer of facL," you are llkely Lo llsLen Lo your
own volce for a perlod and dlscover LhaL noL only do Lhese Lag words occur over and over ln your
conversaLlon, buL LhaL Lhere ls noLhlng parLlcularly fresh or valuable abouL Lhe ldeas Lhey have served Lo
embelllsh. Pere, as ln Lhe oLher caLegorles, lL ls very easy Lo see LhaL Lhere ls someLhlng wrong when
16 |

one meeLs gross examples of Lhe dlfflculLy, an hysLerlcal Lalker ls obvlously menLally lll. 8uL LhaL Lhere
are subLler forms of Lhe same Lrouble, ofLen hldden for years because we do our repeaLlng Lo consLanLly
changlng audlences, seldom dawns on us.
1here are sLlll more obscure and unnoLlceable ways of falllng vlcLlm Lo Lhe Wlll Lo lall, ways Lo whlch
lnLroverLs and exLroverLs are almosL equally suscepLlble. Conslder Lhe lnnumerable persons, for
lnsLance, who dellberaLely underLake work whlch calls for only a small parL of Lhelr ablllLles and Lralnlng,
and who Lhen drlve Lhemselves relenLlessly, exhausLlng Lhemselves over useless deLalls.
1here are Lhe Lakers of eLernal posL-graduaLe courses, Lurnlng up on Lhe campus year afLer year llke so
many llylng uuLchmen. 1here are Lhe "devoLed" daughLers and sons and moLhers and wlves (faLhers are
seldom found here, for some reason, alLhough Lhere may be an occaslonal husband) who pour ouL Lhelr
llves lnLo Lhe llves of oLher adulLs, buL whose offerlng, slnce Lhey have never Lruly developed whaL was
mosL valuable ln Lhemselves, adds no rlchness and only unlmporLanL comforL Lo Lhe ob[ecLs of Lhelr
"self-sacrlflce." 1here are Lhose who underLake a Lask known by Lhem Lo be beyond Lhelr powers, or
engage ln a speclous "research" problem: Lhere ls a man ln new ?ork, for example, who has been
gaLherlng blographlcal deLalls abouL an obscure lLallan sLaLesman slnce hls sophomore year ln college.
1hls pseudo-blographer ls now ln hls laLe forLles, and noL one word of LhaL deflnlLlve Llfe has been
wrlLLen.
erhaps Lhe greaLesL class of all Lhose whose goal ls fallure ls LhaL of Lhe unlversal Charmers.
When you flnd yourself ln Lhe presence of more charm Lhan Lhe slLuaLlon calls for, you are safe ln saylng
Lo yourself, "Ah, a fallure!" 1hls ls no dlaLrlbe agalnsL genulne warm- hearLedness, agalnsL frlendllness,
or Lrue sweeLness of characLer. We are Lalklng now abouL Lhe Parold Sklmpoles of Lhe world, abouL Lhe
ca[ollng, wlnsome adulL, elLher man or woman, who lnslsLs on belng accepLed by hls or her
conLemporarles as [usL a greaL, blg, dellghLful chlld---lrresponslble, perhaps, noL very LhoughLful, buL so
exceedlngly lovable, even Lo sLrangers! 1here are Lhe whlmslcal Leases and Lhe humorous complalners,
and lf Lhey are good Lo look aL, qulck-wlLLed or amuslng, Lhey are more llkely Lhan noL Lo be successful ln
arouslng a momenLary lndulgence, a LoleranL Lenderness. lL ls only ln reLrospecL LhaL one reallzes Lhere
was no valld reason for Lhe momenL's emoLlon. A healLhy adulL does noL need Lhe Lenderness or
lndulgence of every casual acqualnLance. LxcepL for a gullLy consclence, no one would ever dream of
maklng a play for Lhls klnd of response. 1hese vlcLlms are under Lhe hard necesslLy of worklng aL charm
as convlcLs work aL sLone-crushlng, Lhey musL go on belng more and more charmlng Lo offseL Lhelr
wanlng aLLracLlons, or face Lhe LruLh---admlL LhaL Lhey have noL adequaLely dlscharged Lhelr
responslblllLles. As long as Lhelr lnadequacy ls never seen excepL mlrrored ln Lhe lndulgenL eyes of
anoLher Lhey can go on wlLhouL admlLLlng Lhe facL LhaL Lhey are falllng. So on Lhey go, cheaLlng Lhelr way
Lhrough llfe---unless by good forLune Lhey can come Lo see who really suffers mosL from Lhe exerclse of
Lhelr charm.
So Lhere are all Lhese ways, and lnnumerable oLhers, of fllllng one's Llme wlLh seemlngly purposeless
acLlvlLy, or a falsely purposeful rouLlne, and Lhey are all Lhe resulL of submlLLlng Lo Lhe Wlll Lo lall.
17 |

lor, remember, Lhese acLlvlLles are only apparenLly purposeless. 1here ls ln every case a deep lnLenLlon,
whlch may be sLaLed ln many ways.
We may say LhaL Lhe mosL obvlous lnLenLlon ls Lo begulle Lhe world lnLo bellevlng LhaL we are llvlng up
Lo our fullesL capaclLy. 1hls ls parLlcularly Lrue of Lhose cases where Lhe ouLward llfe ls full of a Lhousand
llLLle maLLers, or one blg [ob of drudgery consclenLlously done. no one, surely, could ask us Lo do more
Lhan we are dolng? Are we noL plalnly so busy LhaL we have noL one mlnuLe or a graln of sLrengLh Lo do
anyLhlng more? ls lL noL our duLy Lo do Lhe dull, lnslgnlflcanL, unsaLlsfylng Lask Lhoroughly? 1hose are
quesLlons whlch only Lhe lndlvldual can answer honesLly for hlmself, usually ln Lhe hours of lnsomnla or
convalescence, when Lhe mlnd whlch ls usually so engrossed abouL Lrlvlal affalrs flnds Llme Lo sLop and
conslder. ln Lhe long run lL makes llLLle dlfference how cleverly oLhers are decelved, lf we are noL dolng
whaL we are besL equlpped Lo do, or dolng well whaL we have underLaken as our personal conLrlbuLlon
Lo Lhe world's work, aL leasL by way of an earnesLly followed avocaLlon, Lhere wlll be a core of
unhapplness ln our llves whlch wlll be more and more dlfflculL Lo lgnore as Lhe years pass.
1he frlLLerers and players and Lhe drudglng workers are benL malnly on decelvlng Lhemselves, on fllllng
every nook and cranny of Lhelr waklng hours so LhaL Lhere ls no spoL where a susplclon of fuLlllLy can
leak Lhrough. And aL nlghL, of course, Lhey are elLher sLlll hard aL play or Loo exhausLed Lo conslder
reallLles. ?eL such vlcLlms presenL a dreadful specLacle when once Lhey are plalnly seen---seen as lnsane
mlsers, sLufflng a senseless accumulaLlon of Lrash, odds and ends of sensaLlons, experlences, fads and
enLhuslasms, synLheLlc emoLlons, lnLo Lhe prlceless coffer of Lhelr one lrreplaceable llfeLlme.
WhaLever Lhe osLenslble purpose may be, lL ls plaln LhaL one moLlve ls aL work ln all Lhese cases: Lhe
lnLenLlon, ofLen unconsclous, Lo flll llfe so full of secondary acLlvlLles or subsLlLuLe acLlvlLles LhaL Lhere
wlll be no Llme ln whlch Lo perform Lhe besL work, of whlch one ls capable. 1he lnLenLlon, ln shorL, ls Lo
fall.

18 |

45"'/$0 D 7 >5$ E$F"0)B 1C :"+;20$
A8Su8u as lL may seem aL flrsL conslderaLlon LhaL anyone would solemnly enLer lnLo even an
unconsclous consplracy Lo fall, lL ls a maLLer of observaLlon LhaL Lhere ls hardly one person ln a hundred
who does noL, ln some fashlon, dellberaLely crlpple and LhwarL Lhemselves. 1o undersLand why Lhls
should be so lL ls necessary Lo examlne for a chapLer whaL may be called, wlLhouL paradox, Lhe rewards
of fallure.
1he recenL wldespread lnLeresL ln all branches of psychology has accusLomed us Lo accepLlng an ldea
whlch, when flrsL offered, seemed laughable: LhaL we are all aL some level, engaged mosL of Lhe Llme ln
reverle. We dream elLher consclously or unconsclously, awake or asleep, of a slLuaLlon ln whlch we feel
we should be happler Lhan we are ln real llfe. Cccaslonally some chlldlsh ldea of happlness or success
crops up Lo confuse or hamper us ln Lhe buslness of adulL llvlng. SomeLlmes Lhe dream ls of a llfe of
luxurlous ldleness, Lhe chlldlsh unconsclous deLermlned on refuslng Lo leave Lhe safe shelLer of Lhe
nursery, where all wanLs were remedled as soon as felL, where warmLh and food and love were glven
freely and unearned. As Lmerson wroLe, long before we had any Lechnlcal vocabulary Lo express LhaL
backward Lurnlng reverle, long before we knew of "flxaLlons" or of "narclsslsm" "We do noL belleve
Lhere ls any force ln Loday Lo rlval or recreaLe LhaL beauLlful ?esLerday. We llnger ln Lhe rulns of Lhe old
LenL where once we had bread and shelLer." 1o some exLenL Lhls ls Lrue of all of us, buL less Lrue of Lhe
happy and successful adulL Lhan of oLhers.
AL oLher Llmes, ludlcrously enough, Lhe llfe-wasLlng reverle ls abouL success: Lhe mlld man ls a napoleon
of war or flnance, Lhe mouse-llke woman a slren. lf reallLy never broke ln upon such reverle, Lhe
dreamer mlghL be happler, self-absorbed ln Lhelr sllenL Lale-splnnlng, Lhan lf Lhey were Lo flnd
Lhemselves ln a poslLlon Lo reallze some parL of lL. Such reverle ls ln lLself compensaLlon for a llfe of dull
rouLlne or unevenLful monoLony. 8uL, Lhe world belng whaL lL ls, Lhe dreamer musL llve, for parL of Lhelr
Llme aL leasL, ln Lhe cold aLmosphere of facL. 1hls ls no Land of Cockalgne LhaL we lnhablL: roasL plgs do
noL run abouL crylng "LaL me!" lrulL does noL fall from Lhe Lrees lnLo our mouLhs. Powever bllssful Lhe
daydream we enLerLaln, we musL wake from lL someLlmes and sLruggle wlLh Lhe hard condlLlons of real
llvlng.
1he lnveLeraLe dreamer wlll sLruggle only [usL as much as he need, and no more. Pe wlll do anyLhlng
halfhearLedly Lo geL hls bread and buLLer. 1hen, when hls dally Lask ls over, he wlll be back aL hls dreams
agaln, wheLher he reallzes lL or noL. Pe succeeds aL only one Lhlng: ln clearlng away a llLLle space, galnlng
each day a few hours of free Llme, for [usL one purpose---Lo go on wasLlng hls llfe. 8uL hls dream ls
happy. lL ls, for hlm, a Lrue compensaLlon for hls fallure ln every oLher relaLlon, and so he conLlnues ln lL.
?eL, slnce afLer all happlness ls Lhe Lrue goal, he ls deluded by noL reallzlng LhaL Lhe smallesL success ln
reallLy brlngs wlLh lL more happlness Lhan years of reverle.
neverLheless lL ls lmporLanL Lo remember LhaL Lhe rewards of fallure are real ln Lhelr own sphere, for
oLherwlse we wlll noL brace ourselves Lo flghL Lhem adequaLely, and Lhere are oLher rewards of fallure
besldes dreams.
19 |

Conslder, for lnsLance, LhaL lf you Lry for anyLhlng [usL enough Lo glve yourself some [usLlflcaLlon for
saylng LhaL you have Lrled, you can fold your hands for Lhe resL of your days. ?ou can say humbly LhaL
you were Lrled and found wanLlng ln Lhose quallLles whlch make for real success. 1hls ls raLher a rare
remark, buL one of Lhose whlch can be heard now and Lhen from older fallures, usually ln a humorously
deprecaLlng Lone. lL wlll sound very honesL and Louchlng, and Lhere ls no earLhly way ln whlch lL can be
proved agalnsL Lhe complalnanL LhaL hls sLaLemenL ls noL fully Lrue. Pe has saved hlmself a llfeLlme of
efforL by some means, neverLheless. lf you [oln Lhls group you can waLch Lhe sLruggles of oLhers wlLh an
eye half-amused, half-envlous, en[oylng Lhe resulLs of Lhelr successes, buL perhaps even more---human
naLure belng whaL lL ls---Lhe specLacle of Lhose who fall, and who Lake up Lhelr onlookers' poslLlons
beslde you.
1hen, "Manklnd ls very superflclal and dasLardly," as lranklln sald. "1hey begln upon a Lhlng, buL
meeLlng wlLh a dlfflculLy, Lhey fly from lL dlscouraged", and why noL, asks Lhe unconsclous, when you
can Lry, sLop, and feel for Lhe resL of your llfe LhaL lf you had Lrled [usL once more you would have made
Lhe grade? ?ou can Lhereupon become a dlleLLanLe or amaLeur, frlghLfully hard Lo please by Lhose who
go on worklng, severesL of all crlLlcs elLher professlonal or unprofesslonal, possessor of some lnner
knowledge, and able Lo hlnL aL sLandards of excellence unLouched by Lhose who are sLlll ouL Lrylng Lo
run Lhe dusLy race, sLandards so marvelous, so unaLLalnable, LhaL fallure Lo reach Lhem ls more
honorable, you may lmply, Lhan anoLher man's easy success. WlLh noL one Lhlng compleLed, Lhe acclalm
you mlghL have recelved, Lhe enormous flnanclal coup you mlghL have broughL off, Lhe masLerplece you
mlghL have accompllshed, can assume ln your reverle, and ln Lhe eyes of Lhose who wlll accepL your
verslon of Lhlngs, almosL more lmporLance Lhan Lhe real success would have had.
Cr you can become an abeLLor and susLalner of more perslsLenL workers and arLlsLs, and perhaps LhaL ls
Lhe frlendllesL fallure, Lhe mosL successful fallure, of all.
8uL noLlce LhaL ln all Lhese cases you wlll aL Lhe very leasL have avolded Lhe sLruggle, Lhe paln, Lhe
humlllaLlons LhaL aLLend ouLward acLlvlLy. ?ou wlll never have Lo see Lhe ob[ecL you slaved Lo brlng lnLo
belng desplsed or mlsundersLood. ?ou wlll never have Lo feel Lhe rancor of Lhose whom you necessarlly
surpassed ln compeLlLlon, you wlll never have Lo sLand Lhe cuL of adverse crlLlclsm. ?ou wlll never have
Lo become aware of Lhe mallce of Lhose who envy any success, however Lrlvlal. ?ou wlll never have Lo
back your oplnlons by argumenL when you are Llred and would raLher resL for new efforL. Cr, far deeper
and more vlLal paln, you wlll never see Lhe dlscrepancy beLween Lhe flnlshed work you can do and Lhe
work as you had hoped Lo do lL. 1here ls always LhaL dlscrepancy Lo keep Lhe honesL worker really
humble.
1hese maLLers of dlscomforL and paln evaded are lmporLanL Lo noLlce, for when we come Lo examlne
Lhe reasons why we so ofLen choose Lo fall raLher Lhan Lo succeed, Lhey wlll prove very lllumlnaLlng. So lL
ls worLh undersLandlng LhaL lf you fall, you are rewarded by noL runnlng Lhe rlsk of geLLlng hoL and Llred
and dlscouraged, or sharp-Lempered when your co-workers or your maLerlals, whaLever Lhey are, seem
more refracLory Lhan usual. lf someone else does excellenLly ln Lhe llne you had dreamed of for yourself,
you can always belleve LhaL, lf you had really Lrled agaln, you could have surpassed Lhem.
20 |

And Lhen, lf you can remaln lnconsplcuous, you wlll noL have Lhe experlence of ouLsLrlpplng someone
you love. 1hls ls, perhaps, mosL commonly Lhe woman's 8eward of lallure, alLhough Lhe chlldren of
dlsLlngulshed parenLs or Lhe dlsclples of ouLmoded masLers ln any llne also know lL. SLlll, lL ls only rlghL
Lo say LhaL many who dread Lhe experlence of causlng paln Lo anoLher are never called upon Lo meeL lL,
Lhey falled Lo Lake lnLo accounL Lhe generoslLy of love. So lL ls ofLen an excuse for noL worklng LhaL ls aL
Lhe rooL of Lhls lnacLlon, Loo, noL a real maLLer of compromlslng wlLh amblLlon ln order Lo keep a vlLal
relaLlonshlp unspolled.
8y falllng one escapes much gosslp and lncomprehenslon, Lhe seml-scandalous Lalk whlch mosL ofLen
sprlngs up abouL Lhose who succeed. 1o dread Lhls lmmoderaLely ls neuroLlc, buL Lhls dread does ofLen
acL as a deLerrenL Lo many a success. All vlLal persons are Lhe LargeL of Lhe curloslLy of Lhose who are noL
vlLal, buL Lhe few whose oplnlons concern you wlll know Lhe LruLh, and Lhe oLhers are of no lmporLance.
?eL many wlLhdraw from acLlve llfe, noL Lo Lake up an lnLenser lnner llfe, buL merely Lo avold Lhe vulgar
curloslLy of Lhe crowd.
And Lhen, lf you have falled noL Loo awkwardly, you are usually more dellghLful as a companlon Lhan a
beLLer worker. 1hose who reach real success are llkely Lo be consLanL workers. Lven ln Lhelr hours of
recreaLlon Lhey frequenLly are preoccupled wlLh some elemenL of Lhe Lhlng Lhey are engaged ln dolng.
1he successful man has less free Llme, and observes more puncLlllously hls self-seL hours for
wlLhdrawlng from companlonshlp, Lhan Lhe fallure. Pe can seldom be counLed on for lmprompLu
galeLles, slnce he ls noL unconsclously lnLenL on flndlng any escape aL all from Lhe unsaLlsfacLory
condlLlons of hls llfe. And, slnce he has none of Lhe deep lnLerlor gullL whlch haunLs Lhe one who knows
he ls falllng, he ls under no compulslon Lo be wlnnlng. Pe reserves hls humor and charm, hls emoLlon
and lndulgence, for Lhose whose llves are closely bound up wlLh hls by hls own cholce. So, excepL among
hls real lnLlmaLes, he may have Lhe name of belng gruff and unapproachable, or Loo coolly clvll. As long
as you cannoL bear Lhe noLlon LhaL Lhere ls a creaLure under heaven who can regard you wlLh an
lndlfferenL, an amused or hosLlle eye, you wlll probably see Lo lL LhaL you conLlnue Lo fall wlLh Lhe
uLmosL charm.
erhaps lL wlll be helpful Lo look for a whlle aL Lhree llves ln whlch Lhe Wlll Lo lall was aL work. ln every
case Lhe onlooker would see a llfe of conslderable acLlvlLy, such obvlous acLlvlLy LhaL he would aL flrsL
glance be llkely Lo agree wlLh Lhe vlcLlms LhaL Lhey were ln Lhe grlp of a perverse faLe. Cn closer
examlnaLlon, each fallure wlll be seen Lo be by no means deLermlned by any facLor ouLslde Lhe
lndlvldual characLer. Lach of Lhese persons had wlLhln hlmself or herself Lhe ablllLles necessary Lo make
a full, happy, producLlve llfe, each spenL whaL energy Lhey had on defeaLlng Lhelr osLenslble lnLenLlon:
one saw her mlsLake and recLlfled lL, one dled wlLhouL faclng Lhe LruLh abouL hls wasLed LalenLs. 1he
Lhlrd ls sLlll sLruggllng wlLh hls problem, as far from success as ever, Lhough hls name ls well known.
Case 1 ls LhaL of a woman, lefL a wldow whlle she was sLlll very young. She came of a scholarly famlly,
and had been a brllllanL sLudenL aL college. WlLh Lhe llLLle money lefL Lo care for herself and her small
daughLer, she reLurned Lo Lhe campus Lo Lake degrees as MasLer of ArLs and uocLor of hllosophy ln
preparaLlon for a career as an educaLor. AcLually (as she found Lo her asLonlshmenL when her dlfflculLles
became so greaL as Lo force her Lo seek advlce) she dellghLed ln belng a sLudenL agaln, ln conLlnulng Lo
21 |

llve ln Lhe condlLlon of a chlld ln an adulL world, and Lherefore sLrung ouL her perlod of preparaLlon as
long as she dared. AfLer her h.u. was earned, she made whaL looked Lo herself and her frlends llke a
good honesL efforL Lo flnd a sulLable nlche for herself. Cnly she lnvarlably engaged ln wrangllng
acrlmonlously wlLh Lhose who would have Lo be her superlors, and always abouL some raLher
remarkable and orlglnal economlc ldeas of her own. 1hese ldeas had noLhlng whaLever Lo do wlLh Lhe
sub[ecL she was Lo Leach, Lhelr accepLance or re[ecLlon by Lhe enLlre world would noL have made one
graln of dlfference ln Lhe class-room work whlch she was called on Lo perform, buL by maklng an lssue of
havlng her absurd and qulxoLlc ldeas Laken serlously by her co-workers, she broughL abouL---each Llme
she found a poslLlon---a slLuaLlon ln whlch she was dlsLlncLly dlsllked by Lhe very persons on whose
goodwlll she was dependenL.
She wenL from one posL Lo anoLher, never holdlng one longer Lhan Lhe year for whlch she had
conLracLed. She was a good Leacher, a well-lnformed sLudenL, and she had much Lo glve, buL she
carefully saw Lo lL LhaL she would never be ln a poslLlon Lo work very hard for very long. Per hopes of a
professorshlp faded. She wenL from good colleges sLeadlly downgrade Lo obscure llLLle schools, and as
she sllpped sLeadlly down she worked ouL a phllosophy whlch reconclled her Lo her sLeady decllne. She
held LhaL we all llve much Loo luxurlously, and puL Loo hlgh a value on becomlng cloLhes, good food, and
comforL. AL lasL she reached Lhe place where she felL [usLlfled ln Laklng an aparLmenL ln a LenemenL
dlsLrlcL of a large clLy. Per deflanL self-[usLlflcaLlon broke down, however, when lL came Lo lnvlLlng
frlends Lo vlslL her. She grew more and more sollLary, more and more eccenLrlc, her runnlng flre of
bravado conLlnulng all Lhe whlle.
lorLunaLely for her, her one chlld was a glrl, and a glrl who grew up Lo be exLremely brlghL and
aLLracLlve. She was qulLe unlmpressed by her moLher's pseudo-phllosophy, she knew LhaL she was belng
handlcapped aL every Lurn by Lhe oddness of Lhelr llvlng and dresslng, and as she emerged lnLo
adolescence she began Lo flghL for a more reasonable llfe, a sulLable background. MaLLers came Lo such
a pass LhaL elLher Lhe moLher had Lo Lake cognlzance of Lhe glrl's ob[ecLlons or lose her daughLer. All Lhe
efforLs Lo correcL her false poslLlon whlch she made by herself were unavalllng. She sLlll broughL abouL
Lhe old wrangles whenever posslble, she sLlll held Lhe unsaLlsfacLory poslLlon Lo whlch she had dropped
only on Lolerance and because she had come Lo accepL a very small salary, ln splLe of her Lralnlng and
ablllLy.
When aL lasL she soughL help from a psychologlsL she dlscovered Lo her dumbfounded asLonlshmenL
LhaL she had acLually Lhrown all her energy lnLo falllng. unconsclously she had resenLed havlng Lo go ouL
lnLo Lhe world Lo work. She wanLed Lo remaln elLher a chlld or become agaln a cherlshed and peLLed
wlfe. Per wrangles had been, as Lhe analysLs say, "over-deLermlned": Lhey were lnLended parLly Lo make
lL cerLaln LhaL she would be dlscharged so LhaL work would become lmposslble, parLly Lo engage Lhe
aLLenLlon of men. Slnce she could noL acknowledge Lo herself LhaL she was cold-bloodedly "husband-
hunLlng," she had fallen on Lhe Lechnlque---qulLe as effecLlve ln challenglng aLLenLlon as belng charmlng-
--of sLarLlng quarrels. She had a long, hard pull Lo rlghL Lhe slLuaLlon she had broughL upon herself, buL
she was evenLually successful.
22 |

Case 2 ls such a one as can be found ln almosL every Lown and vlllage ln Lhe counLry, a fallure of Lhe sorL
LhaL ls noL only LreaLed Lenderly, buL ofLen looked upon as belng ln some vague way much nobler and
flner Lhan any success. lL was LhaL of a man wlLh a good mlnd, noLed for hls lnLegrlLy and yeL noL wlLhouL
a veln of good ?ankee lngenulLy. Pe llved and dled ln Lhe small Lown of hls blrLh, a raLher ugly llLLle
manufacLurlng Lown. noL because he loved lL loyally and wanLed noLhlng beLLer, hls readlng was always
of Lravel and advenLure, and he conLlnually spoke wlsLfully of counLrles and places he had never seen.
noL LhaL he had no opporLunlLy---opporLunlLy came and Lrled Lo hound hlm lnLo acLlvlLy. Pe was Lhe
manager of a branch sLore of a large buslness, and so saLlsfacLory aL lL LhaL he was offered a slmllar
poslLlon ln a larger clLy, aL a correspondlngly beLLer salary. Pe accepLed wlLh [oy, Lhen wlLhln Lwo days
he wroLe a leLLer saylng LhaL he had reconsldered, LhaL he dld noL belleve LhaL he could flll Lhe beLLer
poslLlon. Pls LlmldlLy grew on hlm. A few years laLer he was combaLlng every lmproved meLhod LhaL hls
flrm Lrled Lo lnLroduce, afrald Lo Lry Lhe new ways. A llLLle laLer he was such an obsLrucLlonlsL LhaL hls
flrm reLlred hlm on a mlnuLe penslon, and he became Lhe Lown's lovable homespun phllosopher.
A senaLor spoke movlngly aL hls funeral, hls fellow Lownsmen were lnconsolable.... erhaps lL ls
deplorably callous Lo polnL ouL LhaL hls wlfe had preceded hlm Lo Lhe grave by Len years, worn ouL wlLh
overwork, LhaL one son had no educaLlon beyond whaL he could geL aL Lhe vlllage school, alLhough he
had as good a mlnd as hls faLher, LhaL Lhe oLher son had Lo work hls way Lhrough college, Lhus dlvldlng
hls energy and sLrengLh (for lL ls only one more fallacy of Lhe Amerlcan creed LhaL Lo work one's way
Lhrough college ls Lhe ldeal way of geLLlng an educaLlon), LhaL hls daughLer had Laken refuge ln a
loveless marrlage from a home LhaL had never had enough of Lhe ordlnary comforLs or aLLracLlons.
LeL us be perfecLly plaln abouL one polnL: Lo hold LhaL honesL success ls ln some way lgnoble ls one of
Lwo Lhlngs---preLense or canL. 1here ls a Lyrannlcal efforL Lo lmpose Lhls fallacy on us, arlslng perhaps
from a confuslon of Lhe mere word "success" wlLh Lhe ldea of a greaL forLune arrlved aL by falr means or
foul. 8uL LhaL Lhere ls anyLhlng lgnoble ln accompllshlng well whaL one seLs ouL Lo do, and ln recelvlng ln
reLurn rewards ln Lhe shape, someLlmes of Lhe approval of one's peers, someLlmes Lhe quleL knowledge
LhaL Lhe world ls rlcher for one's conLrlbuLlon, or someLlmes ln money pald ouL gladly for an ob[ecL or
servlces fully worLh Lhe prlce Lo Lhe purchaser---such an ldea ls nonsense, and Lhe very opposlLe of whaL
lL ls usually clalmed Lo be, "phllosophlcal."
Wllllam LrnesL Pocklng, ln hls excellenL book, Puman naLure and lLs 8emaklng, has Lhls Lo say on LhaL
very polnL: "lf command of Lhe frulLs of Lhe earLh ls Lhe normal and desLlned poslLlon for man, why
should one who has achleved such a poslLlon, and ln so dolng has shown large powers of one klnd or
anoLher, noL recelve Lhe recognlLlon LhaL he, ln so far, has succeeded? lL ls a man's work Lo make a
forLune, and under normal clrcumsLances a measure of ablllLy."
Many who know Case 3 by hls name would proLesL loudly aL hls appearance here lncognlLo as an
lllusLraLlon of Lhe Wlll Lo lall aL work. Pe ls a wrlLer, and Lhe son of a wrlLer. lrom Lhe flrsL he has been
under such a forLunaLe sLar LhaL he knows almosL noLhlng of Lhe long sLruggle for recognlLlon whlch ls so
ofLen Lhe prelude Lo a llLerary career. neverLheless, aL one and Lhe same Llme he llves ln Lerror of fallure
and ln Lhe grlp of an lnsLlncL whlch seems Lo drlve hlm ln LhaL dlrecLlon. Pe wlll noL work unLll he ls
desperaLe for money, Lhen he wlll wrlLe llke mad, Llrlng hlmself Llll he ls polsoned wlLh faLlgue, and acLs
23 |

afLerwards llke a convalescenL. 1rylng Lo overcome Lhls bad worklng-hablL under Lhe advlce of a
psychlaLrlsL, he aLLempLed Lo work, more Lhan once, when Lhere was no urgenL necesslLy for money. ln
Lhose clrcumsLances he lnvarlably Lurned ouL sLorles whlch were unaccepLable unLll rewrlLLen. 1he
world knows noLhlng, of course, of Lhose wasLed efforLs, LhaL Llme spenL on Lhe dlshearLenlng revlslons
whlch he ls consLanLly called on Lo do. Lach Llme Lhls occurs hls career seems drearler and less
glamorous Lo hlm, hls bellef LhaL he can evenLually wrlLe a book he wlll noL be ashamed Lo slgn wlLh hls
name grows dlmmer.
Pere agaln analysls broughL some lllumlnaLlon as Lo Lhe unconsclous reason for Lhls acLlon, and agaln
Lhe Lendency Lo do haphazard and unsaLlsfacLory work was over deLermlned: Lhere was on Lhe one hand
a dread of surpasslng hls lllusLrlous faLher aL Lhe same professlon, on Lhe oLher Lhe sly unconsclous
noLlon LhaL lf Lhe sLorles he seemed Lo slave over were re[ecLed he would noL have Lo work aL all, and
would be free Lo dream Lhrough hls llfe ln hls own way. lor Lhe unconsclous always refuses Lo
undersLand LhaL reallLy musL be Laken lnLo accounL, refuses Lo admlL LhaL "work or dle" ls Lhe rule Lhe
average morLal musL llve by.
?eL Lhls LormenLed man recurrenLly has an experlence whlch mlghL, lf he could comprehend lL, show
hlm Lhe way ouL of hls dllemma: when he ls aL lasL desperaLe for money, when he cannoL go any longer
on credlL or Lhe lndulgence of hls frlends, or hls repuLaLlon, when, ln shorL, he has Lhe courage of
desperaLlon, he wrlLes maLerlal whlch ls lmmedlaLely accepLed. lnsLead of drawlng Lhe workable
concluslon from Lhls facL, he has made lL an lLem of supersLlLlon: only work done, as he says, "aL Lhe
LhlrLeenLh hour," ls ever lucky for hlm! So he conLlnues on hls Lreadmlll.
now, ln each of Lhese cases, fallure, or comparaLlve fallure, broughL lLs reward wlLh lL: escape from adulL
efforL and Llme Lo wasLe ln day-dreamlng. Cnly ln Lhose cases where frusLraLlon was more palnful Lhan
success was Lhere any aLLempL Lo reshape Lhe llfe-paLLern. uo you feel LhaL obvlously Lhose who wasLe
llfe ln Lhls way are aL leasL mlldly lnsane? We all make slmllar dlfflculLles for ourselves, avold work, mlss
opporLunlLles. Pave you ever looked back and LhoughL, "lf l had done Lhls or LhaL flve years ago l'd be
beLLer off now?" 8uL Lhe opporLunlLy was Lhere, why dldn'L you see lL? Are you sure LhaL you are noL
closlng your eyes aL Lhls momenL Lo one whlch you wlll see laLer ln reLrospecL? ls Lhe Wlll Lo lall noL
operaLlng ln your own llfe every day?
?eL Lhe rewards of success are so lmmeasurably more worLh havlng. Cnce more, Lhe smallesL Lask well
done, Lhe smallesL ob[ecL, ouL Lhere ln Lhe world where lL would noL have been lf you had noL acLed,
brlngs ln a momenL more saLlsfacLlon Lhan Lhe fallure knows ln a llfeLlme. 1he knowledge LhaL one ls
belng Lrled by a real scale and noL by Lhe shlfLlng sLandards of reverle ls llke havlng land underfooL afLer
weeks of drlfLlng aL sea. Cnly Lhose who are aL work on Lhe besL Lhey can do are free from Lhe danger of
panlc-sLrlcken awakenlng Lo reallLy--- awakenlng someLlmes so laLe LhaL Lhe very hablLs and aLLlLudes of
normallLy are forgoLLen.
And, beslde Lhe lnnumerable purely sub[ecLlve advanLages, Lhere are Lhe rlch ob[ecLlve rewards. A
dream-plcLure brlngs no buyer, a dream-plan no dlvldends, a fanLasled book ls followed by no royalLy
sLaLemenLs. Crass as Lhls may sound ln a world whlch spends a greaL deal of lLs breaLh ln persuadlng
24 |

fuLlllLarlans LhaL Lhey have chosen Lhe beLLer parL, lL ls Lhe llLeral LruLh and sLands for a LruLh sLlll
greaLer. lanLasy may call Lhe grapes of reallLy sour, buL Lhose who have LasLed Lhem know aL lasL a
dependable dellghL.

23 |

45"'/$0 G 7 E+H5/+(H /5$ 9+0$3/+1(
ln splLe of Lhe Wlll Lo lall, ln splLe of Lhe 8ewards of lallure, success ls Lhe normal alm of man, hls
proper ob[ecLlve. Lnergy ls correcLly used noL by spendlng lL Lo hold ourselves lnacLlve, nor by spurrlng
ourselves Lo unproducLlve, sLerlle acLlvlLy, buL only when lL ls aL Lhe servlce of Lhe maLuresL and mosL
comprehenslve ldea of ourselves LhaL we can arrlve aL.
WhaL Lhls hlghesL ldea ls wlll vary from lndlvldual Lo lndlvldual, and wlll expand wlLh growLh. no ouLslder
can dlcLaLe anoLher's prlvaLe deflnlLlon of success. lL may, lL ofLen does, lnclude some recognlLlon from
one's fellows, and greaLer flnanclal rewards, on Lhe oLher hand, lL may noL. Many a researcher ln Lhe
sclences would conslder hlmself fully successful (and would be rlghL), lf he added one mlnuLe facL Lo Lhe
mass of accumulaLlng deLalls on whlch sclence musL proceed, lf he Look one lLem ouL of Lhe realm of
hypoLhesls and speculaLlon and placed lL ln lLs proper relaLlon Lo Lhe mass of known LruLhs. Pls name
mlghL never be known by Lhose ouLslde hls sclence, lL mlghL be qulLe obscure even wlLhln hls own fleld.
Pe would neverLheless have aLLalned Lhe goal for whlch he was worklng lf he accompllshed LhaL whlch
he hlmself seL ouL Lo do.
1he acLress who reaches Lhe Lop of her arL ls as successful as Lhe moLher who ralses a large and healLhy
famlly---buL noL more so. A prlesL or mlnlsLer lmmersed ln Lhe care of hls parlsh llves as successful a llfe
as Lhe genlus whose name ls known by mosL of hls conLemporarles. AnoLher's ldeal of success may have
so llLLle ln common wlLh our own LhaL we are qulLe bllnd as Lo whaL he can see ln Lhe career he has
chosen, buL unless we are LoLally unlmaglnaLlve we know, when we see hlm llvlng responslbly,
effecLlvely, usefully, happlly, maklng Lhe mosL of hls advanLages and glfLs, LhaL we are deallng wlLh a
successful man.
1o offer Loo clrcumscrlbed a deflnlLlon of success would defeaL Lhe purpose of Lhls book. Much of our
dlsLrusL of Lhe word, as lL ls, comes from noL reallzlng Lhe lnflnlLely exLenslve range of posslble
"successes." Lach of us, usually by laLe adolescence, has a mass of knowledge abouL hlmself, whlch--- lf
we Look Lhe counsel "know Lhyself" serlously---could be examlned and consldered unLll Lhe lndlvldual's
ldeal of Lhe good llfe would emerge from lL plalnly. lL oughL Lo be parL of educaLlon Lo see LhaL each chlld
should undersLand Lhe necesslLy of flndlng Lhls clue Lo hls fuLure, and be shown LhaL lL ls someLlmes
Lhrown lnLo confuslon by hero-worshlp, or by Lhe erroneous noLlon LhaL whaL ls an lLem ln Lhe success
of one musL be presenL ln Lhe success of each of us. SLlll, ln splLe of confuslon, false sLarLs, Lhe Laklng
over of Lhe amblLlons of a parenL or Leacher for ourselves lnsLead of flndlng our own, mosL of us do
arrlve ln Lhe early LwenLles knowlng whaL we are besL flLLed Lo do, or could do besL lf we had Lhe
Lralnlng and opporLunlLy.
lL ls worLh noLlng carefully LhaL unless you have allowed yourself Lo overesLlmaLe your characLer grossly,
your own success-ldea ls wlLhln Lhe reglon of Lhose Lhlngs whlch can be broughL abouL. usually, far from
overraLlng our ablllLles, we do noL undersLand how greaL Lhey are. 1he reason for Lhls under-esLlmaLlon
of ourselves wlll be consldered laLer, buL lL ls well Lo reallze LhaL few excepL Lhe Lruly lnsane belleve
Lhemselves sulLed for careers far beyond Lhelr full powers.
26 |

1he nexL polnL Lo undersLand ls LhaL ln Lhese pages we are noL Lalklng abouL success of any secondary or
meLaphorlcal sorL. ?our ldea of whaL ls success for you ls noL here Lo be replaced by anoLher hlgh-
soundlng, "ldeallsLlc" compromlse. ?ou are noL belng exhorLed, once more, Lo lower your hopes and
Lhen flnd LhaL you can easlly reach Lhe slmpler sLandard. Such programs are only Lemporlzlng wlLh
fallure. Cn Lhe conLrary, Lhe more vlvldly you can presenL Lo yourself Lhe orlglnal plcLure of Lhe goal you
once hoped Lo be able Lo reach, Lhe beLLer your chances are of aLLalnlng lL.
now, havlng examlned Lhe currenLs ln our naLure whlch lead us Lo acqulesce ln fallure, undersLandlng
LhaL, lf we allow lL Lo happen, we can be carrled unproLesLlngly down ln Lhe deaLhward dlrecLlon, leL us
see whaL ls operaLlng lmmedlaLely Lo keep us from Lhe healLhy efforLs we musL make Lo succeed.
1o do so we musL Lurn Lo a sub[ecL whlch ls ln some dlsrepuLe Loday: hypnoLlsm. lor many reasons,
some excellenL buL oLhers susplclously weak, hypnoLlsm ls a sub[ecL whlch ls seldom sLudled nowadays.
lf you have never had occaslon Lo read a sound book on Lhe sub[ecL, lL may seem Lo you LhaL some of
Lhe feaLs clalmed for hypnoLlzed persons cannoL posslbly have been done. 1here ls some llkellhood,
however, LhaL you have read aL leasL one book on auLosuggesLlon, Lhe meLhod of heallng whlch was so
popular abouL a decade ago, and auLosuggesLlon ls one of Lhe by-producLs of Lhe nlneLeenLh-cenLury
sLudy of hypnoLlsm.
8uL few readers Loday know of Lhe work, for lnsLance, of Lsdalle ln lndla ln Lhe mlddle 1800's: of Lhe
surglcal operaLlons he performed palnlessly on hundreds of paLlenLs, of hls commenLs on Lhe rapld
recovery of Lhose who had felL no paln durlng Lhe operaLlon---an early conLrlbuLlon Lo Lhe Lheory of Lhe
deleLerlous effecLs of "surglcal shock." 1he work of 8rald and 8ernhelm ls almosL unknown, and
Mesmer, who comblned a fanLasLlc Lheory wlLh a mass of arresLlngly effecLlve experlmenLs, ls now
looked on malnly as a quack.
1here ls no doubL LhaL hypnoLlsm ls ln lLs presenL dlsrepuLe parLly because lLs early pracLlLloners could
noL refraln from premaLure and fanLasLlc Lheorlzlng, and because lL became connecLed ln Lhe mlnds of
Lhe publlc wlLh such sub[ecLs as "splrlL-rapplngs" and "slaLe-wrlLlng" medlums, many of whom were
laLer exposed as LrlcksLers. osslble experlmenLers were allenaLed from Lhe sub[ecL because lL was
offered Lo Lhe world wlLh such unnecessary accompanlmenLs as Lhe hypoLheses abouL "odlc fluld" and
"anlmal magneLlsm"---explanaLlons whlch explalned noLhlng. ln addlLlon Lo Lhese pre[udlclal Lheorles,
experlmenLs ln anesLhesla by Lhe use of chloroform and eLher were proceedlng ln Lhe same years.
lnsenslLlveness Lo paln reached by hypnosls was uncerLaln and presenLed many dlfflculLles: noL
everyone was hypnoLlzable, and, even more lmporLanL, noL every physlclan was able Lo hypnoLlze.
lnevlLably, Lhe more cerLaln form of aLLalnlng anesLheLlzaLlon Lhrough Lhe use of chloroform and eLher
was Lhe pracLlce whlch became accepLed. 1he sLudy of hypnoLlsm, whlch many acuLe observers of Lhe
mlddle and laLe nlneLeenLh cenLury belleved Lo be Lhe flrsL sLep Lowards Lhe freelng of manklnd from
physlcal sufferlng, as well as Lhe overcomlng of many LemperamenLal dlfflculLles and Lhe cure of many
vlces, fell lnLo a decllne. WlLh Lhe emergence of Lhe psychoanalyLlc Lheory, Lhe defeaL of hypnoLlsm---aL
leasL for our day---was cemenLed.
27 |

now, alLhough Lhe formula LhaL we are abouL Lo conslder has ln lL no Lrace of auLo hypnoLlsm, lL ls sLlll
posslble Lo learn from Lhe desplsed procedure whaL lL ls LhaL defeaLs us ln our efforLs Lo be effecLlve.
Conslder for a momenL Lhe successes of a good hypnoLlsL wlLh a good sub[ecL: Lhey sound uLLerly
beyond naLure, and for LhaL very reason we have noL learned from Lhem all we mlghL garner. Cne man,
ordlnarlly sufferlng from verLlgo aL even a sllghL emlnence, when hypnoLlzed can walk a very narrow
plank aL a greaL helghL. AnoLher, looklng llghL and dellcaLe, can llfL a dead welghL. A sLammerer can be
commanded Lo glve a fervld oraLlon, and wlll do so wlLhouL showlng a Lrace of Lhe speech-defecL whlch
hampers hlm ln hls normal sLaLe. erhaps one of Lhe mosL remarkable cases ls one clLed by l. W. P.
Myers ln hls chapLer on hypnoLlsm ln Puman ersonallLy: a young acLress, an undersLudy, called upon
suddenly Lo replace Lhe sLar of her company, was slck wlLh apprehenslon and sLage-frlghL. under llghL
hypnosls she performed wlLh compeLence and brllllance, and won greaL applause, buL lL was long before
she was able Lo acL her parLs wlLhouL Lhe ald of Lhe hypnoLlsL, who sLaLloned hlmself ln her dresslng
room. (LaLer ln Lhls same case Lhe phenomenon of "posLhypnoLlc suggesLlon" began Lo be observed, and
Lhe foundaLlons of Lhe nancy school of auLosuggesLlon, of whlch Coue ls Lhe mosL famous conLemporary
assoclaLe, were lald.)
ln Lhe same chapLer ln whlch he quoLes Lhe remarkable case of Lhe acLress, Myers made a Lheorlzlng
commenL whlch ls of lmmense value Lo everyone who hopes Lo free hlmself of hls bondage Lo fallure. Pe
polnLs ouL LhaL Lhe ordlnary shyness and LenLaLlveness wlLh whlch we all approach novel acLlon ls
enLlrely removed from Lhe hypnoLlzed sub[ecL, who consequenLly acLs lnsLead wlLh preclslon and self-
confldence.
now Lhe removal of shyness, or mauvalse honLe (he wroLe), whlch hypnoLlc suggesLlon can effecL, ls ln
facL a purgaLlon of memory---lnhlblLlng Lhe recollecLlon of prevlous fallures, and seLLlng free whaLever
group of apLlLudes ls for Lhe momenL requlred.
1here ls Lhe clue. no senLence was ever more packed wlLh rlch lmpllcaLlons for Lhose who are ln earnesL
abouL reorlenLlng Lhelr llves Lowards success.
lL has become a commonplace Lo say LhaL we learn by "Lrlal and error." We learn by dlscoverlng LhaL one
course of acLlon does noL brlng abouL Lhe end we had ln vlew, we Lry agaln, and perhaps many Llmes,
unLll we flnd Lhe procedure whlch accompllshes our lnLenLlon. We Lhen adopL Lhe lasL Lerm ln Lhls serles
of acLs.
1haL ls Lhe menLal plcLure we make of Lhe "Lrlal-and-error" meLhod of learnlng. 8oughly lL ls rlghL, buL lL
omlLs Lo emphaslze one elemenL of Lhe process whlch, alLhough we may noL dwell upon lL lnLenLlonally,
ls never forgoLLen by Lhe unconsclous: Lhe elemenL of paln. We belleve, or speak and wrlLe as Lhough
we belleved, LhaL Lhe one success remalns as Lhe LoLal resldue of Lhe serles of aLLempLs, and LhaL lL
cancels from our mlnds all Lhe fallures whlch wenL before lL. We do noL Lake lnLo accounL Lhe
Lremendous lmporLance Lo our fuLure conducL of Lhose dlscarded Lrlals whlch ended ln fallure. We
succeeded aL lasL, lL ls Lrue, buL meanwhlle we experlenced fallure, someLlmes rldlcule, someLlmes real
paln, someLlmes grave humlllaLlon. We by no means reLaln ln our memorles only Lhe lLem of Lhe flnal
success, nor does Lhe success operaLe Lo make Lhe fallures and paln unlmporLanL Lo our unconsclous.
28 |

1he unconsclous dreads paln, humlllaLlon, faLlgue, lL bends lLs efforLs even more ceaselessly Lo Lhe end
of avoldlng paln Lhan lL does Lo Lhe procurlng of poslLlve pleasures. So we are faced wlLh a facL whlch aL
once accounLs for much of Lhe lnacLlvlLy, Lhe lnerLla, Lo whlch we succumb aL momenLs when poslLlve
acLlon would be Lo our advanLage: LhaL raLher Lhan face Lhe mere posslblllLy of paln we wlll noL acL aL all.
8aLher Lhan revlve Lhe memory of our early fallures, leL alone run Lhe rlsk of hurLlng ourselves anew, we
wlll unconsclously declde Lo remaln lnacLlve, or we wlll choose Lo do someLhlng easler Lhan we should
aLLempL, or we wlll sLarL on a program and carry lL near Lhe spoL where we were hurL before, and Lhere
flnd any excuse Lo beaL a hasLy reLreaL, leavlng Lhe work undone, Lhe reward ungaLhered. 1he chlldlsh
unconsclous wlns: aL leasL we were noL brulsed agaln ln an already Lender spoL.
lL ls uLLerly llloglcal, of course, ln order Lo avold a Lrlvlal dlscomforL we roll up a greaL accounL of fallure
Lo wound us ln Lhe fuLure, we mlss opporLunlLy afLer opporLunlLy whlch may never come agaln, we
expose ourselves Lo far greaLer paln Lhan LhaL we manage Lo avold. 8uL aL leasL Lhe memory of LhaL early
humlllaLlon can sleep, or only Lurn resLlessly, half-awakened.
now, lf LhaL ls Lrue - and only a llLLle self-analysls wlll prove LhaL lL ls Lrue---how convenlenL lL would be lf
each of us could carry a hypnoLlsL abouL, Lo casL hls spell whenever we had Lo geL Lo work! Pow
marvelous lf each of us could have hls own prlvaLe Svengall! lmposslble, of course, and, more Lhan LhaL,
undeslrable. lorLunaLely, lL ls noL aL all necessary Lo be puL under Lhe sway of anoLher's wlll ln order Lo
do our own work. 1he soluLlon ls far slmpler. All LhaL ls necessary Lo break Lhe spell of lnerLla and
frusLraLlon ls Lhls:
!"# %& '( '# )*+* ',-.&&'/0* #. (%'01
1haL ls Lhe Lallsman, Lhe formula, Lhe command of rlghL-abouL-face whlch Lurns us from fallure Lowards
success.
Clear ouL, by an easy lmaglnaLlve feaL, all Lhe dlsLrusLs and LlmldlLles, all Lhe fears of looklng rldlculous
whlch you may hardly suspecL of belng Lreacherous Lroublemakers ln your llfe. ?ou wlll flnd LhaL lf you
can lmaglnaLlvely capLure Lhe sLaLe of mlnd whlch would be yours lf you knew you were golng Lowards a
prearranged and lnevlLable success, Lhe flrsL resulL wlll be a Lremendous surge of vlLallLy, of freshness.
1hen - well, Lhe only way Lo puL lL ls LhaL lL wlll seem as Lhough your mlnd gave a greaL slgh of rellef, of
graLlLude for Lhe llberaLlon, and sLreLched lLself Lo lLs fullesL exLenL. 1hls ls Lhe momenL where one may
be forglven for feellng LhaL Lhere ls someLhlng Lruly maglcal abouL Lhe whole affalr. 1here wlll appear an
exLenslon of capaclLy whlch seems more Lhan normal.
1hen Lhe long-dammed-up flow seLs ln: dlrecLly, lrreslsLlbly, Lurned aL lasL ln Lhe rlghL dlrecLlon, Lhe
currenL gaLhers sLrengLh from mlnuLe Lo mlnuLe. AL flrsL you may sLlll harbor some fear LhaL Lhe spell
whlch worked so lnsLanLaneously may break ln Lhe same way. lL wlll noL, slmply because lL ls no spell, lL
ls a remlnder Lo yourself of Lhe way ln whlch work can always be successfully underLaken. lf you
remember LhaL, far from your seelng Lhe successful acLlon sLop, you wlll flnd LhaL each hour of
unhampered acLlvlLy opens ouL lnLo a promlse of oLhers ln Lhe fuLure. 1here may acLually be some
embarrassmenL from seelng Loo many expandlng posslblllLles unLll you have learned Lo organlze your
29 |

new llfe. 1hose fears, anxleLles and apprehenslons, you see, were far more Lhan mere negaLlve Lhlngs.
8y acLlng as lf Lhey were lmporLanL, you endowed Lhem wlLh lmporLance, you Lurned Lhem lnLo reallLles.
1hey became paraslLlc growLhs, exlsLlng aL Lhe expense of everyLhlng LhaL ls healLhy ln you. Whlle we
allow Lhem Lo sap us, we are allowlng Lhe nourlshmenL whlch should go Lowards expandlng growLh Lo
be used for feedlng monsLers, cherlshlng Lhe freaks and by-blows of Lhe mlnd lnsLead of lLs
exLraordlnary and creaLlve elemenLs. So LhaL lL ls noL LhaL one ls suddenly glven wonderful new powers,
by ceaslng Lo leL fear hold lLs frusLraLlng sway we come lnLo Lhe use of already exlsLlng apLlLudes whlch
we formerly had no energy Lo explore. We dlscover LhaL we already possess capaclLles we had noL
suspecLed, and Lhe effecL, of course, ls as Lhough we had [usL recelved Lhem. And Lhe rapldlLy wlLh
whlch Lhese capaclLles make Lhemselves known when once Lhe aspecLs are favorable for Lhem ls Lruly
somewhaL sLarLllng. lL ls even more en[oyable.
nexL, Lhere ls Lhe furLher experlence of seemlng Lo become, ln conLrasL wlLh one's old self, pracLlcally
Llreless. AcLual records of worklng perlods lnLroduced by uslng Lhls formula would sLraln Lhe credullLy of
Lhose who have never yeL had Lhe experlence. And Lhese perlods are noL followed by any depressed
reacLlon. 1here ls always so much ahead, and lL ls so clearly seen, LhaL Lhere ls no chance for depresslon
Lo seL ln when Lhe mlnd ls Lurned back from lLs onward drlve Lo conslder all Lhe LrlbulaLlons of Lhe pasL,
all Lhe posslble mlschances whlch mlghL concelvably happen, lL cannoL, of course, aL Lhe same Llme
explore Lhe road lnLo Lhe fuLure. 8uL once absolve lL of Lhe Lhankless and unnecessary Lask, and lL
rewards you by seemlng Lo fly where before lL had sLumbled and groped.
lL Lakes some self-educaLlon Lo learn how Lo go from one lLem of successful work Lo Lhe nexL, noL Lo lose
Llme and spend sLrengLh---much more happlly, buL [usL as surely---ln gloaLlng over elLher Lhe ease wlLh
whlch Lhe Lask as done or ln conLemplaLlng Loo fondly Lhe Lruly remarkable work one has [usL been so
forLunaLe as Lo produce. 8uL a few days' ParvesL Pome ls qulLe excusable, and slnce, sLlll reslllenL and
unexhausLed, one looks forward Lo furLher acLlvlLy wlLh en[oymenL, Lhere ls no permanenL danger LhaL
Lhe flrsL success under Lhe new reglme wlll be Lhe lasL.
lf you are LempLed Lo look askance aL Lhls procedure, Lo feel LhaL you arc belng lnvlLed Lo decelve
yourself lnLo a feellng of success, you are qulLe wrong. We are all pragmaLlsLs and emplrlclsLs ln our dally
llfe, whaL "works" for us ls our pracLlcal LruLh, and becomes Lhe basls of our furLher acLlvlLy. "Cur
LhoughLs become Lrue ln proporLlon as Lhey successfully exerL Lhelr go-beLween funcLlon," as Wllllam
!ames says. And even more fully and convlnclngly, Lhe laLe Pans valhlnger worked ouL Lhese
concepLlons ln hls book, 1he hllosophy of "As lf." noL everyone wlll go wlLh hlm Lo Lhe furLhesL
boundarles of hls Lheory, buL lL ls cerLalnly plaln LhaL ln mosL maLLers of llfe each of us musL acL as lf Lhls
or LhaL facL were a self evldenL LruLh. lor one Lhlng, lf we lnslsLed on provlng Lhe reallLy or efflcacy or
even probablllLy of mosL of Lhe concepLlons on whlch we base our pracLlcal procedures, we should have
no Llme lefL ln whlch Lo acL. So, ln general, we accepL Lhe premlses for acLlon whlch are presenLed Lo us
on good auLhorlLy, and use Lhem as proved unless or unLll our experlence causes us Lo doubL Lhe
wlsdom of so dolng. 1hen we may reexamlne Lhem and perhaps reach dlfferenL concluslons from our
menLors, buL for Lhe mosL parL we all acL as lf our norms of conducL, our sLandards of values, were
eLernally and everywhere valld, so long as Lhey prove pracLlcable for us.
30 |

ln everyday llfe, Lhen, lf you are lneffecLual ln your dally encounLers and unproducLlve ln your work, you
are Lo LhaL exLenL acLlng as lf you wllled Lo fall. 1urn LhaL aLLlLude lnslde ouL, consclously declde LhaL
your "As lf" shall be healLhy and vlLal, shall be almed Lowards accompllshmenL, and you have made
success a LruLh for yourself.
"1he law of naLure ls: uo Lhe Lhlng and you shall have Lhe power, buL Lhey who do noL do Lhe Lhlng have
noL Lhe power."

31 |

45"'/$0 I 7 >5$ J8B/$A +( K'$0"/+1(
lf you are Lhe possessor of a very vlvld lmaglnaLlon, you wlll probably be already well on Lhe way
Lowards pracLlce wlLh no more Lhan Lhe clue ln LhaL senLence: AcL as lf lL were lmposslble Lo fall. lf you
are noL, or lf you have been badly hurL by fallure, Lhere may be some dlfflculLy ln beglnnlng Lo acL
effecLlvely, buL Lhere need noL be very much.
1o geL aL lL more slowly, Lhe ldea ls [usL Lhls: lnsLead of sLarLlng wherever you are---or, Lo be accuraLe,
lnsLead of Lrylng Lo sLarL, or swearlng LhaL you wlll sLarL, or decelvlng yourself lnLo Lhlnklng LhaL you are
golng Lo sLarL Lomorrow or Lhe day afLer---beseL by all Lhe usual doubLs of your own performance and
memorles of pasL paln, Lake Llme flrsL Lo "make up" your sLaLe of mlnd, Lhe menLal condlLlon ln whlch
you are golng Lo work.
lf you have an lmporLanL appolnLmenL you do noL rush ouL Lo lL unkempL, unwashed, ln any old cloLhes.
?ou Lake some Lrouble Lo make yourself look as well as you can. Man or woman, you brush and clean
your cloLhes, you look for your good polnLs and emphaslze Lhem, you hlde or lmprove your blemlshes.
1hen, when you go Lo your appolnLmenL, you Lry Lo acL as much as posslble as lf LhaL helghLened
condlLlon were your normal sLaLe. now, you are menLally golng Lo an appolnLmenL, an appolnLmenL
wlLh your successful self. Pow can you arrange your frame of mlnd Lo make LhaL appolnLmenL frulLful?
?ou flrsL glve yourself a model. Lveryone has had a LasLe of success ln some llne, perhaps ln a very mlnor
maLLer. 1hlnk back Lo lL, however chlldlsh lL was, even lf lL was a success of your schooldays. lL needn'L
be, even remoLely, success ln Lhe adulL work you hope Lo do. WhaL you wanL Lo recapLure ls Lhe sLaLe of
mlnd ln whlch you once succeeded. 8e careful, now, you do noL wanL Lo overshooL Lhe mark. uon'L [ump
ahead lnLo Lhe elaLlon whlch followed Lhe success lLself. !usL recapLure Lhe sLeady, confldenL feellng LhaL
was yours when you knew Lhe facL LhaL was demanded of you, when you reallzed LhaL you could do Lhe
Lhlng LhaL was necessary, LhaL whaL you were abouL Lo do was well wlLhln your powers. 1ry Lo brlng
back as clearly as you can every surroundlng clrcumsLance of LhaL momenL. now Lransfer ln lmaglnaLlon
LhaL success-sequence Lo Lhe work ln hand. lf you were absoluLely cerLaln LhaL everyLhlng abouL Lhe
presenL work would go as smooLhly as everyLhlng wenL when you succeeded ln Lhe pasL, lf you knew
LhaL whaL you are beglnnlng would cerLalnly go well, from Lhe momenL you begln Llll Lhe momenL of Lhe
work's ulLlmaLe recepLlon, how would you feel? Pow would you acL? WhaL ls Lhe sLaLe of mlnd you
would be ln as you launch ouL lnLo lL?
llx your aLLenLlon on LhaL, for LhaL ls Lo be your worklng frame of mlnd. unLll you can reach lL, refuse Lo
begln, buL lnslsL Lo yourself on reachlng lL as soon as posslble. When you have found Lhe mood hold lL
sLeadlly for a whlle, as lf walLlng for a word of command. All aL once you wlll feel a release of energy.
?ou have recelved from yourself your worklng orders, and you can begln. ?ou wlll see LhaL you no longer
have Lo push yourself Lo do Lhe work, all your energy ls free Lo push Lhe work alone.
lL was LhaL exLra, unnecessary labor of pushlng your own lnerLla aslde whlch made lL seem, before, LhaL
you were Loo hampered Lo geL sLarLed, were groplng Lhrough a fog Lo geL aL your ob[ecL, or were
32 |

sLopplng conLlnually Lo brush away half reallzed doubLs, anxleLles, memorles of fallure LhaL buzzed
abouL you llke a cloud of gnaLs. Clear all LhaL away before you begln Lo work by Lhe slmple expedlenL of
refuslng Lo conLemplaLe Lhe mere posslblllLy of fallure.
nexL, work Llll you feel Lhe unmlsLakable onseL of Lrue faLlgue. 1rue faLlgue. 1he early flagglng of
aLLenLlon wlll be only Lhe old sLaLe of mlnd Lrylng Lo creep ln once more when your aLLenLlon ls
elsewhere. lf LhaL happens, sLop a second and say Lo yourself, "no. 1haL ls Lhe way l wlll noL Lhlnk!" clear
ouL Lhe lmpulse enLlrely, and go on worklng. When your muscles and your mlnd honesLly proLesL LhaL
Lhey have done all Lhey should do for Lhe Llme, sLop and flnd some relaxaLlon. lf you are held by offlce
hours, go away quleLly alone for awhlle when Lhe old sLaLe of mlnd seems ln danger of reLurnlng, or
when you flnd LhaL you are golng Lo have Lo spend some Llme ln alLerlng Lhe aLLlLude of a fellow worker
before you can move smooLhly ln Lhe new way. SLay alone unLll you have reesLabllshed your confldenL
aLLlLude, Lhen reLurn Lo Lhe group.
When Lhe Llme for relaxaLlon comes you wlll flnd LhaL you geL Lhe full [oy of playlng aL lasL.
1here are some persons who have been so badly brulsed LhaL, alLhough any unwarranLable lndulgence
Lowards oneself should be guarded agalnsL, lL may be necessary Lo begln Lhls sysLem by pracLlclng lL only
for a shorL Llme each day, and on some secondary deslre. MosL educaLors agree LhaL Lhe besL way Lo
Leach a chlld Lo acL confldenLly and compeLenLly, and Lo faclllLaLe Lhe process of learnlng, ls Lo ask hlm
flrsL Lo perform some small Lask whlch ls well wlLhln hls unLralned powers. As uoroLhy Canfleld llsher
says ln her excellenL llLLle book for parenLs and Leachers, Self-rellance, "Success or fallure ln adulL llfe
depends largely on Lhe energy, courage and self-rellance wlLh whlch one aLLacks Lhe problem of maklng
hls dreams come Lrue. Self-confldence ln any enLerprlse comes as a rule from remembrance of pasL
success." And, agaln, rofessor Pocklng ln Puman naLure and lLs 8emaklng: "LducaLlon conslsLs ln
supplylng Lhe halLed mlnd wlLh a meLhod of work and some examples of success. 1here are few more
beauLlful mlracles Lhan LhaL whlch can be wroughL by leadlng a despalrlng chlld lnLo a Lrlfllng success,
and Lhere are few dlfflculLles whose prlnclple cannoL be embodled ln such slmple form LhaL success ls aL
once easy and reveallng. And by lncreaslng Lhe dlfflculLy by serlal sLages, Lhe small wlll, under Lhe
cumulaLlve exclLemenL of repeaLed and mounLlng success, may flnd lLself far beyond Lhe obsLacle LhaL
orlglnally checked lL."
So ln our own cases, when self-confldence has been losL, should we flnd some llLLle deslre whlch for
some reason has never been graLlfled. 1here are scores of Lhese opporLunlLles ln every llfe. All LhaL ls
necessary, ln Lhese experlmenLs Loward success, ls elLher LhaL some deslre should be Laken from Lhe
realm of dreamlng lnLo LhaL of reallzaLlon, or LhaL a procedure whlch was noL Lhe perfecL one for Lhe
effecL Lo be produced should be correcLed.
?ou remember Lhe lmmorLal 8unker 8ean, and how hls llfe changed when he was persuaded by Lhe
fraudulenL medlum LhaL he was Lhe relncarnaLlon of a haraoh? Pls rlse ln Lhe world was rapld, one
success followed anoLher and broughL a Lhlrd ln lLs Lraln. When aL lasL he knew he had been cheaLed,
LhaL he was no lncarnaLlon of 8ameses, nor was Lhe mummy case LhaL had been sold hlm made of wood
LhaL ever saw anclenL LgypL, he had so learned Lhe Lechnlque of success LhaL he could noL sllp back lnLo
33 |

obscurlLy. lf you observe any famlly llkeness Lo P. 1. WebsLer's Mr. MllqueLoasL ln yourself, lL mlghL be
worLh your whlle Lo geL 8unker 8ean and reread lL, Lhe Llme wlll noL be wasLed, slnce lL ls only a llLLle
less funny Lhan lL ls fundamenLally Lrue.
Pere are some examples of developlng secondary LalenLs so LhaL confldence ln lmporLanL maLLers
follows:
1here ls a noLably successful physlclan ln new ?ork who recenLly learned Lo model ln clay, and wenL on
Lo learn Lhe colorlng and glazlng of poLLery. Pe dld lL wlLh Lhe dlrecL lnLenLlon of glvlng hlmself Lhe
experlence of success ln an avocaLlon, slnce hls professlon, whlch ls psychlaLry, calls on hlm Lo deal
consLanLly wlLh refracLory maLerlal. 1he confldence whlch he galns ln one llne ls carrled over lnLo hls
dlfflculL dally work, and ln addlLlon he has an engrosslng hobby whlch freshens hls mlnd and has become
one more source of approval, slnce hls modellng has come Lo be always amuslng and frequenLly really
dlsLlngulshed. Pe musL have had a greaL deal of LalenL, you may Lhlnk. Well, whaL he dld have was Lhe
knowledge LhaL he had always been aLLracLed by Lhe ldea of modellng, he had never Louched clay unLll
he was ln hls LhlrLles. Pe slmply Look a deslre whlch almosL everyone has felL aL some Llme or oLher and
Lurned lL lnLo a source of pleasure and added self-confldence.
Agaln, ln Lhe ArL lnsLlLuLe of Chlcago Lhere ls a room called by Lhe name of a buslness man who learned
Lo palnL afLer he was flfLy. Pls work, enLered ln a compeLlLlon ln whlch hls name could noL posslbly be
known, Look a flrsL prlze. 1here ls now a club of mlddle-aged buslness and professlonal men ln Chlcago
who are sLudylng arL and produclng good work.
A LhlrLy-year-old clerk ln a buslness offlce who had had no early advanLages had wanLed all her llfe Lo
play Lhe plano. Cne day on her walk home, moved by an lmpulse whlch she forLunaLely dld noL reslsL,
she Lurned lnLo a house whlch adverLlsed muslc lessons by a llLLle slgn ln Lhe wlndow. Per success, of
course, ls only comparaLlve. She has noL Lhe Llme needed Lo make a really excellenL muslclan, nor dld
she begln early enough Lo Lraln Lhe speclal muscles LhaL a professlonal planlsL uses. 8uL she succeeded ln
reference Lo her own goal. Per whole llfe has been alLered by LhaL momenL of courage. 8esldes Lhe
pleasure she has had from undersLandlng muslc as only Lhe performer can ever undersLand lL, she has,
and knows she has, acLed ln an adulL fashlon whlch resulLed ln glvlng her more confldence ln every
relaLlon of her llfe. lrom belng Lhe overworked and oppressed drudge of her home, she came Lo llve ln
her own small aparLmenL, she vlslLs her famlly on Lerms of amlcable lndlfference, and has made a group
of frlends whose LasLes colnclde wlLh hers.
1hese Lhree cases should glve a hlnL, aL leasL, of Lhe proper procedure. 1ake a deflnlLe sLep Lo Lurn a
dream lnLo a reallLy. Say, for lnsLance, LhaL you wanL Lo Lravel and have never been able Lo do so. When
Lhls dream ls Lo be removed from Lhe reglon of dreams Lo Lhe reglon of reallLy Lhere are several Lhlngs
whlch musL be done. lf you are noL dolng Lhem, you are glvlng yourself good evldence LhaL you are
leLLlng your lnfanLlle unconsclous dlcLaLe Lhe Lerms of your llvlng raLher Lhan your raLlonal mlnd. lf you
wanL Lo see lLaly, for lnsLance, you wlll cerLalnly en[oy lLaly beLLer lf you can speak a few words of Lhe
language, read a currenL newspaper ln lLallan, or know of lLaly's pasL. uo you? ?eL Lhere are many
excellenL small grammars, phrasebook and hlsLorles, and how beLLer can you geL sLarLed Lhan quleLly Lo
34 |

buy one of Lhese? WhaL else wlll you need? 1lme and money. Well, reverse Lhe usual phrase and say Lo
yourself, whaL ls cerLalnly Lrue, LhaL money ls Llme: LhaL lf you have a fund of money on whlch Lo Lravel
you have also a fund of Llme. SLarL ln Lo geL lL. uL asldes small coln each day, buL don'L sLop Lhere. 1hlnk
whaL work you can do ln your spare Llme LhaL wlll brlng you a llLLle more money for your [ourney. lf lL ls
noLhlng more Lhan Lo slL wlLh chlldren whlle Lhelr parenLs are aL parLles, and lf you Lhlnk of Lhe paymenL
as absoluLely dedlcaLed Lo your lnLenLlon Lo Lravel, you wlll be acLlng Lowards a successful llfe.
A young and hard-worked asslsLanL edlLor, wanLlng Lo Lravel, found hls way Lo Lhe offlces of an lLallan
newspaper prlnLed ln new ?ork, Lhere recelved help ln LranslaLlng an adverLlsemenL he had wrlLLen lnLo
lLallan, ln whlch he offered Lo exchange lessons ln Lngllsh or ln [ournallsm for lessons ln lLallan. 1wo
years laLer he wenL Lo lLaly as LuLor companlon Lo a young boy, and Loday he ls secreLary ln a mlnor
capaclLy ln Lhe dlplomaLlc servlce: Lhe goal he always had ln vlew for hlmself, buL had for years
consldered unaLLalnable because he had Lo llve up Lo Lhe very edge of hls flnanclal margln.
8e careful LhaL you do noL Lurn Lhese flrsL sLeps lnLo merely a more elaboraLe way of playlng Lhe old
game of daydreamlng wlLh yourself. uo someLhlng every day Lowards your lnLenLlon, however remoLe
your goal may have Lo be. lf you llke Lo model, sLop aL a Len-cenL sLore and buy plasLlclne Lomorrow, lf
Lo Lravel, wrlLe for folders, aL Lhe very leasL, lf you have no money Lo spend aL all, you can go Lo, or geL
lnLo correspondence wlLh, Lhe nearesL publlc llbrary, and learn Lo use Lhe experL servlces of llbrarlans.
AL flrsL say as llLLle as posslble Lo oLhers of whaL you lnLend Lo do. CeL an effecL before beglnnlng Lo Lalk.
lf you Lalk Loo soon you may almosL come Lo feel LhaL Lhere ls a consplracy agalnsL your dolng anyLhlng
ouL of your usual rouLlne, you wlll be aL leasL parLly rlghL. 1hose who are sLlll slaves Lo dreams, Lo Lhe
Wlll Lo lall, are made uncomforLable by Lhe slghL of anyone who ls breaklng free. 1hey feel LhaL Lhere ls
ln Lhe unwonLed acLlon some crlLlclsm dlrecLed aL Lhemselves, and become uneasy. AL any momenL, Lhe
unconsclous knows lLs supremacy may be dlsLurbed, lLs opporLunlLles for reverle Laken away from lL. So
lL beglns Lo flghL. Cne of Lhe mosL unlversal forms Lhls combaL Laken ls LhaL of quoLaLlon, maxlms whlch
sound wlse, buL whlch are usually only self consolaLory, sprlng Lo Lhe llps of Lhose who re[ecL reallLy.
"1he skles change," Lhey wlll say Lo you, senLenLlously, "Lhe hearL remalns Lhe same," buL Lhey wlll noL
be quoLlng ln Lhe sense of Lhe orlglnal. Cr "1he grass ls always greener on Lhe oLher slde of Lhe fence"
you wlll hear, from Lhose who cannoL be boLhered Lo look beyond Lhelr own fronL yards. And so Lhe
subLle process of undermlnlng your enLhuslasm, and bolsLerlng Lhemselves ln Lhelr own oplnlon, wlll go
on. lf proverbs fall, Lhey wlll fall back on Leaslng.
now you, lf you are aL lasL Learlng yourself free, are enLerlng lnLo a consplracy wlLh 8eallLy, an
agreemenL Lo see how much may be goL ouL of llfe lf you acL wlLh a llLLle more dlrecLness and courage
Lhan you have used before. uon'L puL yourself lnLo a poslLlon Lo be dlscouraged aL Lhe sLarL, or bullled
ouL of, or Leased abouL, your new program. WlLhln a shorL Llme Lhe resulLs of your acLlon wlll speak for
Lhemselves, provldlng you wlLh all Lhe [usLlflcaLlon you need.
Always your flrsL quesLlon Lo yourself should be, "WhaL would l be dolng now lf lL were really lmposslble
for me Lo fall aL--- whaLever lL ls: Lravellng, modellng, wrlLlng, farmlng?" lL may be any of Lhese Lhlngs, or
any one of a hundred more: Lo dance, or dress-make, sLudy calculus or Creek, become beLLer looklng, or
33 |

hear more muslc. WhaLever lL ls, by Lhlnklng, you can dlscover easlly whaL Lhe flrsL sLep would be lf you
were engaged wlLh reallLy, and noL wlLh a dream of a dlfferenL llfe. now you are engaged wlLh reallLy,
Lake LhaL flrsL sLep. 1hen ask yourself Lhe nexL, and so on unLll you see Lhe amblLlon lLself Laklng form ln
your llfe, beglnnlng Lo grow wlLh whaL looks llke lndependenL growLh, beglnnlng Lo carry you along
lnsLead of havlng Lo be searched afLer. lor LhaL ls whaL happens: aL a cerLaln sLage you wlll flnd LhaL you
are belng borne along swlfLly and easlly on Lhe momenLum sLarLed by your own lnlLlal acLlons. "Llfe ls
lnflnlLely flexlble," an old analysL used Lo say Lo hls paLlenLs, and whlle LhaL may be a llLLle excesslve, lL ls
Lrue LhaL llfe ls far more malleable, more flexlble, Lhan lL seems Lo be so long as we are unwllllng Lo acL.
Cr Lhere ls anoLher way of sLarLlng Lo acL successfully. We seldom reallze how greaL an amounL of Lhe
frlcLlon we all undergo ln our llves comes from our expecLlng Lo be rebuffed or lgnored. 1hlnk back Lo
some encounLer you had Loday ln your offlce, ln a sLore, wlLh a servanL or Lradesman ln your home. 1ry
Lo remember [usL Lhe form your requesL Look. Maklng all due allowances for courLesy, or for Lhe
respecLfulness due Lo superlors and elders, was Lhere noL ln addlLlon a LenLaLlveness abouL your
requesL? uldn'L you ask for cooperaLlon ln such a way as Lo leave room for refusal, or grudglng acLlon, or
for belng lgnored? now, Lhlnk of Lhe ldeal way ln whlch LhaL quesLlon could have been asked, or LhaL
order glven. lL can be casL [usL as courLeously as before, buL ln such a way LhaL Lhe person of whom you
asked help cannoL refuse you wlLhouL belng dellberaLely surly and hosLlle.
1haL ls Lhe Lone of success. When you flnd lL you beneflL noL only yourself, buL Lhe person wlLh whom
you musL cooperaLe for effecLlveness. uo noL wasLe anoLher's Llme and energy or your own paLlence by
suggesLlng even lndlrecLly LhaL Lhere ls more Lhan one course of acLlon, lf Lhere ls only one whlch wlll geL
Lhe resulL you requlre. 1he work Lo be done Lakes half Lhe Llme lf Lhe aLLenLlon ls undlvlded and so ls
free Lo go on Lo Lhe nexL demand qulckly.
Pave you ever been ln an offlce where, leL us say, a worker who conslders herself raLher Loo well-bred
for Lhe poslLlon she fllls ls one of your coworkers? "Ch, Mr. 8oblnson," she wlll say, elaboraLely, "lf you
have [usL a momenL Lo spare, wlll you go over Lhose reporLs on your desk some Llme soon? l haLe Lo
Lrouble such a busy man, buL Mr. SmlLh wanLs Lhem." now, deplorable or noL, lL ls [usL plaln ornery
human naLure Lo wlsh you hadn'L [usL a momenL Lo spare, Lo casL around you almosL auLomaLlcally for
someLhlng else you mlghL be dolng whlch would make you far Loo busy Lo geL Lo LhaL requesL rlghL
away. ?eL probably golng over Lhose reporLs ls Lhe nexL Lhlng on your program, anyway, lf you succumb
Lo Lhe LempLaLlon Lo hold up Lhe work and Leach Lhe excounLess a lesson, you hold up Lhe whole work of
Lhe offlce and geL lnLo Lrouble wlLh your superlor offlcers. now, wasn'L your Llme and energy wasLed by
Lhe unforLunaLe way LhaL slmple requesL was made? ?eL Lhe chances are LhaL you yourself say, "Mlss
1homas, wlll you geL me Lhe urummond correspondence, lf you aren'L Loo busy?" when lL ls Mlss
1homas' funcLlon Lo geL Lhe correspondence aL your requesL wheLher she ls oLherwlse busy or noL,
when she wlll have Lo say "CerLalnly," and preLend LhaL she ls free Lo refuse lf she llkes. lL would be [usL
as slmple Lo say, "Mlss 1homas, l need Lhe urummond correspondence"---whlch would release her Lo go
sLralghL Lo Lhe Lask, feellng LhaL she was noL recelvlng a conslderaLlon more Lhan half-paLronlzlng, and
noL even needlng Lo make a perfuncLory reply. lf Lhe Lone of Lhe slmpler senLence ls courLeous and
conslderaLe you have noL only lefL her feellngs unwounded, you have LreaLed her as your wllllng
coworker and glven her cause noL Lo Lhlnk of herself as a Louchy subordlnaLe who musL be molllfled.
36 |

1hese seem such mlnor maLLers, buL lL ls Lhe sum of small Lhlngs successfully done LhaL llfLs a llfe ouL of
bondage Lo Lhe humdrum. Women are parLlcularly sub[ecL Lo uslng Lhe wrong Lone Lo subordlnaLes or
offlce assoclaLes, and many of Lhe charges LhaL women are dlscrlmlnaLed agalnsL ln buslness come from
Lhe facL LhaL qulLe unconsclously Lhey lmporL a mlsLaken pollsh lnLo Lhelr everyday affalrs. Women who
complaln nlghLly of lncompeLence or lnsolence from malds or chlldren, offlce glrls who have serlal
sLorles Lo Lell of lmperLlnence or "offlce pollLlcs," are, ln almosL every case, Lhe ones really aL faulL. 8y
approachlng Lhelr human conLacLs wlLh Lhe wrong aLLlLude, by uslng Lhe wrong Lone and Lhe wrong
words, Lhey open Lhe way for dlfferences of oplnlon whlch never need arlse.
8y golng over your day ln lmaglnaLlon before you begln lL, Lhlnklng of all Lhe conLacLs you are llkely Lo
have and how Lhey can besL be handled, llsLenlng Lo your own volce and correcLlng lL Llll you geL Lhe
Lone whlch ls aL once courLeous and unanswerable, you can begln acLlng successfully aL any momenL. 8y
dolng so you wlll flnd LhaL you geL Lhrough your buslness day wlLh less faLlgue, wlLh whaL you have lefL
you can begln Lo reallze some mlnor wlsh of whlch you have long dreamed ln secreL. lrom Lhere lL ls
only a sLep Lo flndlng Lhe courage Lo begln Lo do Lhe ma[or Lhlngs whlch you have wanLed and hoped Lo
do.

37 |

45"'/$0 L 7 !"0(+(HB "() M2";+C+3"/+1(B
8efore golng furLher, lL may be well Lo lssue a few sLaLemenLs as Lo whaL Lhls sysLem does noL lnclude.
1he advlce ls noL Lo hypnoLlze yourself lnLo success. 1hls ls lmporLanL Lo undersLand, for many people,
and wlLh some reason, dread and fear anyLhlng LhaL ls based on hypnoLlsm, even ln Lhe form of self-
suggesLlon. 1he work of Lhe nancy school, wlLh whlch Coue made us all famlllar, ls full of excellenL hlnLs
for self-managemenL, and Charles 8audouln's book, SuggesLlon and AuLosuggesLlon, can be read Lo
greaL advanLage by many who do noL follow hlm wlLh full agreemenL, and Lhere are several small
handbooks on Coue's sysLem whlch are worLh sLudylng. 8uL lL ls noL for noLhlng LhaL Lhe fad whlch was
once so wldespread has faded away. ln splLe of all warnlngs, Loo many of Lhose who aLLempLed self cure
ended by relnforclng Lhe Lroubles Lhey seL ouL Lo banlsh. no, alLhough a senLence from a chapLer on
hypnoLlsm was helpful ln dlscoverlng our formula, Lhe connecLlon of Lhls procedure wlLh hypnoLlsm
ends Lhere. ?ou are advlsed Lo use, flrsL, a mlnlmum of wlll---[usL enough Lo declde Lo Lry a new process.
1hen, as ln Lhe nancy school, Lhe lmaglnaLlon Lakes over unLll your mlnd ls clear, cool, and "pleasanL" ln
Lone, noL confused, dlverLed, Lroubled or foggy.
1he dlfference lles [usL here: ln lnLenslve auLosuggesLlon Lhere ls a serlous danger LhaL Lhe mlnd wlll geL
as ouL of Louch wlLh reallLy ln Lhe oLher dlrecLlon as lL was ln lLs day dreamlng or depresslon, LhaL lL wlll
become, as Lhe lrench say, exalLee, a word for whlch we have no exacL and saLlsfacLory equlvalenL. 8uL
"exLravaganLly elaLed" ls abouL whaL exalLee lmplles, a sLaLe of menLal lnLoxlcaLlon as dangerous as lL ls
Lemporarlly dellghLful. ?ou cannoL llve on Lhose peaks, and lf you could, you would, agaln, flnd yourself
unable Lo acL effecLlvely ln Lhe world of reallLy. WlLhouL such acLlon you are as far from success, as deep
ln self deluslon, as ever.
ConfldenL, sLeady, freely flowlng acLlon ls whaL we need. 1hen safe dellghL beglns. 1he mlnd, cleared of
lLs doubLs, beglns Lo expand and en[oy lLs own acLlvlLy, Lhe rewards of saLlsfacLory acLlon begln Lo show
Lhemselves. An elaLlon whlch has noLhlng Lo do wlLh deluslon or hypnoLlsm naLurally follows, and has no
laLer reacLlon Lo nulllfy lL.
Second, Lhe advlce ls noL Lo make "afflrmaLlons" such as "l cannoL fall," "l am successful ln all l do," and
so on. 1hls procedure, whlch ls helpful wlLh many, has Loo much ln common wlLh auLo-hypnoLlsm for
Lhose who do noL Lhoroughly undersLand Lhe prlnclple on whlch Lhey are worklng as Lhey follow lL.
1here ls much Lo admlre ln Lhe phllosophy behlnd Lhose rellglons whlch use "afflrmaLlons", LhaL Lhere ls
an ulLlmaLe unlLy behlnd Lhe duallLy or dlverslLy of Lhe world seems an lnescapable concluslon.
neverLheless, we are "condlLloned" (as boLh 8ehavlorlsLs and phllosophers say) by Lhe flesh, by
personallLy, by Lhe concreLe world, so we musL aL leasL acL as lf Lhe consLlLuLlon of Lhe world were dual,
almosL evenly dlsLrlbuLed beLween good and evll. MosL of us are broughL up shorL by prosalc
commonsense when we Lry Lo use Lhe "afflrmaLlve" meLhod, and for one who can successfully make use
of lL Lhere are a hundred who feel ludlcrous when dolng so. 1here are oLhers who succeed for a whlle
and Lhen flnd Lhemselves worse off Lhan before. 1here ls no dlsapproval whaLever for Lhe meLhod when
38 |

used by Lhose for whom lL ls, we mlghL say, LemperamenLally sulLable. 8uL for skepLlcs of even a mlld
order, lL ls llkely Lo be more lrrlLaLlng Lhan helpful.
1hlrdly, Lhe advlce ls noL Lo dash ouL and lmpress oLhers by poslng, preLendlng or downrlghL lylng abouL
one's successfulness. 1he only one Lo lmpress, aL leasL aL flrsL, ls yourself, and LhaL only Lo Lhe exLenL of
maklng for yourself a congenlal worklng aLmosphere.
1he recommendaLlon, once more, ls slmply Lhls: AcL as lf lL were lmposslble Lo fall.
1hen, above all, you are noL advlsed Lo engage ln sLlll one more fanLasy abouL success, a somewhaL
more deLalled and clrcumsLanLlal fanLasy Lhan you have pushed yourself Lo before, buL sLlll bearlng slgns
of lLs klnshlp Lo your former day dreamlng. ln Lhls case Lhe use of Lhe lmaglnaLlon ls qulLe dlfferenL, and
worLh a llLLle deLalled scruLlny laLer.
Long before lreud made hls conLrlbuLlon Lo modern LhoughL, lco della Mlrandola, ln a LreaLlse called
ue lmaglnaLlone --Concernlng Lhe lmaglnaLlon --- was dlscrlmlnaLlng beLween Lwo klnds of reverle: Lhe
one reLrograde, backward-Lurnlng, keeplng Lhe man from hls man's work, prolonglng lrresponslblllLy and
menLal chlldhood, Lhe oLher, Lhe Lrue lmaglnaLlon, was found ln Lhe successful man.
An aphorlsm of !ouberL, whlch denles Lhe flne name of lmaglnaLlon Lo Lhe former Lype of reverle, ls
perhaps Lhe neaLesL deflnlLlon LhaL can be found, worLh pages of ordlnary "dlsLlngulshlng": "lancy," he
says, "an anlmal faculLy, ls very dlfferenL from lmaglnaLlon, whlch ls lnLellecLual. 1he former ls passlve,
buL Lhe laLLer ls acLlve and creaLlve."
lL ls Lhe laLLer creaLlve lmaglnaLlon whlch ls Lo be called on, and lf LhaL facL ls kepL fully ln mlnd Lhere wlll
be no danger of sllpplng once more lnLo Lhe bad old hablL of dreamlng Lhe world lnLo a dlfferenL shape
whlle llfe sllps away. 8emember agaln LhaL "Success depends on a plus condlLlon of mlnd and body, on
power of work, on courage." lL ls LhaL ldea whlch musL be held flrmly ln mlnd: LhaL Lhe LesL of wheLher
or noL one ls dreamlng or lmaglnlng correcLly ls wheLher or noL acLlon follows Lhe menLal work. Any
menLal acLlvlLy whlch Lurns backward for longer Lhan lL Lakes Lo correcL a mlsLake and Lo replace an
unsaLlsfacLory hablL wlLh a good one, ls mlnus, and cannoL be conLlnued lf you hope Lo lead a fuller llfe.
?ou seL for yourself ln advance Lhe hours ln whlch you wlll work. WlLhln Lhose hours, and as parL of LhaL
work, you flrsL clear and free your mlnd. When Lhls has broughL you Lo a pleasanL, confldenL, quleL sLaLe
you are ready Lo geL aL Lhe work proper. 1he flrsL parL of Lhe Llme ls spenL clearlng Lhe decks for acLlon.
?ou clear Lhe decks, you acL.
now, Lhls ls an age of allbls. We all know a llLLle Loo much abouL Lhe Clands 8egulaLlng ersonallLy, and
Lhe Pavoc ralsed by 8eslsLances, and so on. never slnce Lhe world began were Lhere such good
opporLunlLles Lo be lazy wlLh dlsLlncLlon. lL ls perfecLly Lrue LhaL many cases of subnormal energy can be
helped by Lhe proper glandular dosage, buL how many of Lhose who have spoken Lo you of belng
probably hypoLhyrold ever wenL Lhrough Lhe slmple process of havlng a basal meLabollsm LesL Lo see lf
LhaL were really Lhe Lrouble? Cf course Lhey can clalm LhaL Lhe slLuaLlon ls so grave LhaL Lhey cannoL
even geL up energy Lo sLarL belng cured, Lhere's no answer Lo LhaL one. 8uL lf you are really serlously
39 |

handlcapped by leLhargy, you can Lake your flrsL success-ward sLep by consulLlng a good dlagnosLlclan, lf
necessary. lf necessary, mlnd, for Lhere ls a facL whlch makes a good deal of Lhe Lalk abouL glandular
lnsufflclency look llke Lhe allbl lL Loo ofLen ls, and whlch wlll be conflrmed for you by speclallsLs ln
glandular Lherapy lf you ask Lhem: LhaL lf Lhose who complaln of leLhargy lncrease Lhelr hablLual acLlvlLy
llLLle by llLLle Lhe glands respond by lncreased secreLlon. ln shorL, very ofLen Lhls condlLlon can be cured
by sLarLlng aL Lhe oLher end! ?ou may resL assured LhaL you wlll have no consequenL breakdown ln
followlng Lhls advlce unless you dellberaLely (and wlLh lnLenL Lo crlpple yourself) leap from a pracLlcally
comaLose sLaLe Lo one of manlc acLlvlLy.
As for 8eslsLances! 1hey are almosL an lLem of dogma ln Lhe currenL secular rellglon. ersons who would
never dream of golng Lo Lhe Llme, expense, or Lrouble of a full analysls wlll Lell you complacenLly LhaL
Lhey have "a reslsLance" Lo Lhls or LhaL, and feel LhaL Lhey have done all and more Lhan can be asked of
Lhem by admlLLlng Lhelr handlcap. 8emarkable cures of reslsLances, however, have been observed ln
Lhose who Look solemnly Lhe advlce Lo replace LhaL word wlLh our ancesLors' ouLmoded synonym for
Lhe same Lhlng: "bone-lazlness." lL ls noL qulLe so much fun, nor so flaLLerlng, Lo be foollshly lazy as lL ls
Lo be Lhe vlcLlm of a Lechnlcal Lerm, buL many are crlppled for knowlng an lmpresslve word who would
have had no such Lrouble lf Lhey had llved ln a slmpler and less self-lndulgenL socleLy. 1hose who are
genulnely, deeply, and unhapplly ln Lhe grlp of a neurosls should Lurn aL once Lo one of Lhe well known
Lheraples. unless one ls wllllng Lo do so, lL should be made a maLLer of soclal dlsapproval Lo refer
Lechnlcally Lo such dlfflculLles.
lf Lhe allbls of Lhe age were ln any way generally helpful, lf Lhey were noL excuses for remalnlng lnacLlve,
and lf lnacLlvlLy were really a happler sLaLe Lhan effecLlveness, Lhere would be llLLle harm ln lndulglng ln
Lhe conLemporary paLLer, even wlLhouL Lhe speclallzed medlcal or psychologlcal knowledge necessary
for uslng Lhe Lermlnology correcLly. 8uL before you declde LhaL you are Lhe vlcLlm of uncooperaLlve
glands, or a vlllalnous 8eslsLance, Lry a few of Lhe suggesLlons for self-dlsclpllne ln a laLer chapLer. ?ou
may flnd Lhem so much fun, your expandlng powers so much more rewardlng Lhan---well, your bone-
lazlness---LhaL you wlll noL need Lhe servlces of an experL, afLer all.

40 |

45"'/$0 N 7 K( J",+(H O0$"/5
Larller ln Lhese pages Lhe advlce noL Lo Lalk has been glven. ln facL lL may seem LhaL l belleve one of Lhe
prerequlslLes for success ls Lo slnk oneself lnLo a surly sllence.
noLhlng can be farLher from Lhe LruLh. 1o Lalk enough, Lo Lalk persuaslvely, Lo esLabllsh and malnLaln
frlendly relaLlons wlLh Lhose around us, ls of supreme lmporLance Lo effecLlve llvlng. neverLheless, lL ls
easy Lo Lalk Loo much, aL Lhe wrong Llmes, or wlLh Lhe wrong ob[ecLlve. lnnumerable proverbs exlsL Lo
show LhaL folk wlsdom has always recognlzed a danger ln excesslve wordlness. "Speech ls sllver, sllence
ls golden", "Much Lalk, llLLle work", "A barklng dog never blLes," we say, we call Lhe Longue "Lhe unruly
member," say LhaL a gosslp's Longue ls "hung ln Lhe mlddle," speak of a demagogue as "a wlndbag,"
pralse "a man of few words," and are someLlmes uncomforLably lmpressed by Lhe sLrengLh of laconlc
speech.
WlLhouL maklng Loo much of a polnL of Lhe maLLer, a few of Lhe reasons for counsellng sllence may be
worLh examlnlng. Lvery greaL rellglous dlsclpllne lnslsLs on Lhe wlsdom of learnlng Lhe conLrol of speech.
Several ChrlsLlan secLs observe sllences, some are vowed Lo perpeLual sllence. Cne of Lhe greaLesL and
mosL famous phllosophlcal rellglous sysLems, LhaL of Lhe lndlans, devoLes an enLlre phase of lLs Lralnlng
noL only Lo conLrolllng speech, buL Lo conLrolllng breaLh: Lhe ranayama of Lhe Plndus. ln LaLln Lhe word
for breaLh and Lhe word for soul are mascullne and femlnlne forms of Lhe same rooL, ln Creek Lhey are
ldenLlcal.
1here ls more ln Lhls Lhan meeLs Lhe eye of Lhe reader who ls always on Lhe run. 8reaLhlng ls one of Lhe
few lnvolunLary acLlons of Lhe body over whlch we can exerclse volunLary conLrol. 1haL ls Lo say, lL ls on
Lhe borderllne beLween Lhe reglons of Lhe consclous and Lhe unconsclous. 1he man or woman who can
speak or be sllenL as he chooses ls Lhe lndlvldual who has self conLrol.
When Lhe unconsclous has us fully aL lLs mercy we Lalk noL as we should volunLarlly choose Lo Lalk lf we
could see all Lhe consequences of our speech, buL from a need Lo relleve some half-percelved pressure.
So we grumble humorously abouL our dlfflculLles, and make ourselves self-consclous by dolng so. Cr we
excuse ourselves deflanLly. Cr we complaln of a Lrlfllng ln[usLlce, and are someLlmes sLarLled Lo see how
much more plLy we lnvoke Lhan Lhe occaslon warranLs. Cnce we have found a wellsprlng of plLy and
lndulgence ln anoLher, we are seldom maLure enough noL Lo Lake advanLage of lL, Lhus relnforclng our
lnfanLlllsm and defeaLlng our growLh.
Cne of Lhe worsL wlles of Lhe Wlll Lo lall ls LhaL lL forces lLs vlcLlm Lo ask for unnecessary advlce. Pere
agaln Lhe unlversal deep moLlve for asklng advlce(unnecessarlly, lL should be emphaslzed once more) ls
LhaL by so dolng we can go on feellng proLecLed and cherlshed even Lhough we are no longer chlldren.
8uL LhaL agaln means LhaL we are belng provlded wlLh advance excuses for fallure. lf we acL on Lhe
advlce of anoLher and are unsuccessful, obvlously Lhe fallure ls noL ours buL our counselor's, lsn'L LhaL
plaln? So we can conLlnue Lo daydream of successful acLlon, Lo belleve LhaL lf only we had followed our
flrsL lmpulse we could noL have falled.
41 |

Slnce such moLlves can be presenL, lL ls wlse Lo scruLlnlze every lmpulse Lo ask for advlce. lf Lhe orlgln of
Lhe deslre ls above susplclon, Lhen Lhere ls only one furLher quesLlon Lo ask before seeklng help wlLh a
clear consclence: "lf l worked Lhls ouL for myself, would l consume only my own Llme?" lf Lhe answer Lo
LhaL ls "?es," Lhen lL ls generally beLLer Lo work ouL Lhe problem lndependenLly, unless Lhe amounL of
Llme so expended would be grossly dlsproporLlonaLe Lo Lhe lmporLance of Lhe resulL.
lf you are a creaLlve worker, remember LhaL Llme spenL ln flndlng an lndependenL Lechnlque ls seldom
wasLed. We are accusLomed Lo Lhlnk of Lhe success of a man llke !oseph Conrad, a ole, ln wrlLlng Lhe
Lngllsh language, or of Lhe work of an elecLrlcal genlus llke SLelnmeLz, as savorlng of Lhe mlraculous. 1o
have had Lo work ouL Lhelr problems alone---whaL a Lremendous obsLacle Lo overcome! Cn Lhe
conLrary, Lhe necesslLy for lndependenL acLlon was one of Lhe condlLlons of Lhelr success, and Lo see and
admlL Lhls ls ln no way Lo deLracL from Lhe worLh of Lhelr accompllshmenL. MosL of us supporL each
oLher and are ln Lurn supporLed Lo such an exLenL LhaL we can make almosL no lndlvldual conLrlbuLlon,
Lhe flnal resulL of our labors ls a sorL of olla podrlda, a medley of LasLes, LalenLs and Lechnlques, wlLh
llLLle Lo dlfferenLlaLe lL from slmllar resulLs. Look, for a momenL, aL any of Lhe run-of-Lhe-mlll novels of
Lhe day, aL Lhe layouL, wordlng and lllusLraLlon of Lhe adverLlsemenLs ln any glven magazlne, aL Lhe
comlc sLrlps ln a number of papers. Would lL seem Loo far-feLched Lo say LhaL alLhough one man, one
woman, or one flrm ls acLually behlnd each of Lhese blds for our aLLenLlon, Lhey all seem Lo have been
lssued from a sorL of cenLral bureau? ?eL however uncomplalnlngly we absorb Lhese lssuances from Lhe
MlnlsLry for novel WrlLlng, Lhe CenLral 8ureau for Lhe roducLlon of Comlc SLrlps, Lhe CommlLLee ln
Charge of naLlonal AdverLlslng, we save our real rewards for Lhose who brlng us freshness or genlus.
So Lhe worklng ouL, however laborlous, of an orlglnal Lechnlque ls worLh Lhe Llme expended, Lhe
lonellness enLalled. WlLh LhaL well ln mlnd, leL us conslder Lhose Llmes when advlce should be Laken.
?ou have a genulne problem. 1he flrsL sLep, Lhen, should be Lo wrlLe lL ouL, or Lo formulaLe lL verbally
wlLh exacLness, so LhaL you can see [usL whaL lL ls LhaL ls Lroubllng you. lf you slmply leL Lhe problem
wash around ln your mlnd, lL wlll seem greaLer, and much vaguer, Lhan lL wlll appear on close
examlnaLlon. 1hen flnd your-experL, wheLher frlend or sLranger, buL make every efforL Lo flnd one
whose vlews seem Lo be congenlal Lo you, slnce LhaL usually lmplles slmllar or congenlal menLal
processes. 1o do so earller wlll mean LhaL you are wasLlng boLh your Llme and hls by maklng hlm Lhe
audlence of parL of your self-examlnaLlon. lf you are successful ln geLLlng an lnLervlew, make LhaL as
shorL and conclse as posslble whlle sLlll coverlng all your polnLs. 1hen follow Lhe advlce you are glven
unLll you see deflnlLe resulLs. lf you are LempLed Lo say "Ch, LhaL won'L work for me," Lhen you should
suspecL your own moLlves. Such a re[ecLlon lmplles LhaL you already had a course of acLlon ln mlnd, and
were more Lhan half-hoplng LhaL you would be advlsed Lo follow lL. WaLchlng an example of Lhe wrong
aLLlLude Lowards advlce and lnsLrucLlon here may be more lllumlnaLlng Lhan any poslLlve example.
Pave you ever seen Lhe Leacher of an arL class aL work? lrequenLly he wlll flnd ln Lhe drawlng of one
pupll a flaw whlch ls so Lyplcal of mosL sLudenLs' work aL Lhe same sLage LhaL he wlll call Lhe oLher puplls
of Lhe class around Lhe easel. uslng Lhe lmperfecL canvas as hls LexL, he wlll branch lnLo crlLlclsm, advlce,
exhorLaLlon, and wlll occaslonally go on Lo rub ouL Lhe mlsLake and draw Lhe llne or puL ln Lhe color as lL
should have been done. lf you wlll observe Lhe group aL Lhls momenL you wlll dlscover LhaL, Lraglcally
42 |

enough, everyone seems Lo be beneflLlng by Lhe lecLure excepL Lhe very pupll Lo whom lL should be
mosL valuable. ln almosL every case Lhe one whose work ls provldlng Lhe example wlll be qulverlng,
nervous, someLlmes Learful, ofLen angry---ln shorL, glvlng every slgn LhaL he ls feellng so personally
humlllaLed and lnsulLed LhaL he ls reacLlng aL an lnfanLlle level. lf you ask for help, or puL yourself lnLo
Lhe relaLlon of a pupll Lo a Leacher, learn Lo advance by your mlsLakes lnsLead of sufferlng Lhrough Lhem.
keep your aLLlLude lmpersonal whlle you are belng shown Lhe road back Lo Lhe rlghL procedure.
lf you are ln school, or Laklng class or prlvaLe lnsLrucLlon, lL ls wlse Lo Lake every opporLunlLy Lo ask well
consldered quesLlons, Lhen Lo acL on Lhe lnformaLlon, and flnally---and very lmporLanL---Lo reporL Lo
your lnsLrucLor as Lo your success or fallure Lhrough followlng hls advlce. 1hls ls of advanLage noL only Lo
you, buL Lo hlm and hls subsequenL puplls, slnce he cannoL know whaL pracLlces are effecLlve and whaL
are only useful Lo hlmself and a few llke hlm unless hls puplls reporL ln Lhls fashlon. lf you musL
conslsLenLly reporL no progress, Lhen one of Lwo Lhlngs musL be Lrue: LhaL you are noL fully
undersLandlng hlm, or LhaL you are noL worklng under Lhe rlghL masLer.
AfLer your perlod of apprenLlceshlp ls over, Lry noL Lo weaken yourself or brlng abouL self-doubL Lo such
an exLenL LhaL you musL have help on mlnor polnLs of procedure. Lvery physlclan and psychlaLrlsL knows
LhaL Lhere ls a greaL class of "sufferers" who reLurn agaln and agaln, asklng so many and such Lrlvlal
quesLlons LhaL lL seems unllkely Lhey could ever have grown Lo maLurlLy lf Lhey were as helpless ln all
relaLlons as Lhey show Lhemselves Lo Lhelr physlclans. no one excepL a charlaLan Lruly welcomes Lhe
appearance of such paLlenLs as Lhese. 1he person who ls looklng for an excuse Lo blame hls fallure on
anoLher or who wlll noL, lf he can help lL, grow up and seLLle hls own dlfflculLles, wlll go on asklng advlce
unLll he draws hls lasL breaLh, and even Lhe asLuLesL consulLanL may be forglven lf he someLlmes
mlsLakes an lnfrequenL quesLloner for one of Lhe weaker Lype.
A good LouchsLone Lo show wheLher you may be only followlng a nervous hablL of dependence ls Lo ask
yourself ln every case: "Would l ask Lhls lf l had Lo pay a speclallsL's fee for Lhe answer?" All busy persons
whose work brlngs Lhem lnLo Lhe llmellghL have frequenL requesLs for personal lnLervlews. usually Lhey
answer as well as Lhey are able, Laklng much Lrouble raLher Lhan run Lhe rlsk of rebufflng any LalenLed or
senslLlve beglnner, buL Lhey are ruLhlessly explolLed. When, as someLlmes happens, an emlnenL man
comes Lo Lhe place where he answers no quesLlons of Lhls sorL, lL ls noL LhaL he ls swollen wlLh concelL,
noL LhaL he would noL gladly help anyone ln genulne perplexlLy, buL LhaL he has no cerLaln way of
wlnnowlng Lhe slncere lnqulrers from Lhe neuroLlcs, and, slnce he sLlll has hls own valuable work Lo do,
he relucLanLly decldes for sllence. 1o console hlmself he knows LhaL many who are ready Lo do Lhelr own
work only frusLraLe Lhemselves by acLlng wlLh Loo much humlllLy, and LhaL lf Lhelr quesLlons go
unanswered Lhey wlll flnd Lhelr own saLlsfacLory soluLlons.
So Lalklng, complalnlng, asklng advlce, lnvlLlng suggesLlons---all are beLLer abandoned durlng Lhe perlod
of reeducaLlon. ulLlmaLely and ldeally, of course, you wanL Lo be able Lo work under any and all
clrcumsLances. ?ou cannoL ever be cerLaln LhaL your favorlLe confldanLe or your mosL sLlmulaLlng frlend
wlll always be ln a poslLlon Lo lend a sympaLheLlc ear aL Lhe momenL LhaL you feel you need lL. lf you
esLabllsh Lhe hablL of golng Lo someone aL a cerLaln polnL ln your work, and lead yourself Lo feel, even
43 |

unconsclously, LhaL Lhls ls necessary Lo a saLlsfacLory performance, you are laylng Lhe foundaLlon of
fuLure fallure.
Moreover, whaLever your fleld may be, lf you spend every posslble momenL aL creaLlve acLlvlLy, you wlll
come Lo Lhe place where you have a body of your own work, a LoLal of experlence, Lo conslder, you wlll
geL Lhe "feellng of your maLerlal." 1hen you wlll see how many of your problems arose because you had
prevlously been ln Lhe poslLlon of an amaLeur or novlce, because you had so llLLle experlence ln your
own llne LhaL for a whlle every problem seemed unlque.

44 |

45"'/$0 P 7 >5$ >"B# 1C /5$ .A"H+("/+1(
Already lmaglnaLlon's conLrlbuLlon Lo a producLlve llfe has been consldered somewhaL, and lLs help has
been called on ln Lhe maLLer of maklng LhaL favorable menLal cllmaLe whlch ls necessary lf we are Lo
produce our besL work. 8uL lmaglnaLlon has lnnumerable oLher uses, lL can be helpful ln ways so dlverse
LhaL Lhe same faculLy hardly seems Lo be ln operaLlon ln all of Lhem.
ln everyday llfe, we Lend Lo Lhlnk of Lhe lmaglnaLlon as someLhlng whlch may, perhaps, be spoken of as
"useful" Lo arLlsLs of all sorLs, buL as belng almosL Lhe opposlLe of useful ln Lhe llves of pracLlcal men and
women. 1o use one's lmaglnaLlon, generally, ls LhoughL of as Laklng a hollday, as allowlng Lhe wlLs Lo go
woolgaLherlng, Lhe mlnd Lo relax and sun lLself. AfLer lndulglng lL---for we commonly Lhlnk of Lhe
exerclse of Lhe lmaglnaLlon as belng ln some way an lndulgence---we may reLurn refreshed Lo Lhe
commonplace, or we may flnd we have losL Llme, mlssed conLacLs, goL ouL of sLep wlLh our companlons
and helpers: ln shorL, suffered for allowlng one parL of Lhe mlnd free play.
As a consequence we look warlly aL Lhe lmaglnaLlon, ofLen seeklng Lo check lL, or, ln some exLreme
cases, even eradlcaLe lL. 1haL lL can be of lmmense beneflL ln Lhe mosL prosalc affalrs ls an ldea aL whlch
many readers wlll balk. 8uL LhaL ls because Lhey do Lhlnk of Lhe lmaglnaLlon as a faculLy whlch always
wanders unchecked, whlch musL be permlLLed Lo make lLs own rules and occaslons, whlch ls lncapable
of belng dlrecLed, and, Lo a greaL exLenL, conLrolled---puL aL Lhe servlce of Lhe reason and Lhe wlll. 1hus
conLrolled and dlrecLed, lL becomes Lhe maLure creaLlve lmaglnaLlon, Lhe splrlLual faculLy of whlch
!ouberL speaks.
8uL conslder a few of Lhe many Lhlngs whlch lL can usefully do for us: lL can help us Lo sLand away from
ourselves somewhaL, holdlng Lhe emoLlons and pre[udlces whlch ofLen keep us from seelng clearly well
ln hand. 8y so dolng we may flnd LhaL we are LhwarLlng our own besL lnLeresLs consLanLly, and can
replace Lhe dlsadvanLageous acLlvlLles---sLlll ln Lhe lmaglnaLlon---by oLhers whlch wlll brlng abouL
happler resulLs. lL can be Lurned on Lhe characLer of an opponenL or an uncooperaLlve "helper" whlle we
sLudy hlm as an auLhor mlghL sLudy a characLer whom he hopes Lo place ln a book. We can geL clues Lo
hls moLlves, and LhereafLer waLch Lo see wheLher we have been rlghL abouL Lhem, Lhus savlng ourselves
from such mlsLakes as belng Loo brusque wlLh a senslLlve person, or Loo laxly lndulgenL wlLh anoLher
who wlll explolL us lf we glve hlm or her Lhe opporLunlLy.
nor does Lhls begln Lo exhausL Lhe ways ln whlch lmaglnaLlon, lnsLead of beLraylng us lnLo reverle and
reslgnaLlon Lo unsaLlsfacLory condlLlons---lnsLead, even, of belng employed merely as a means of
recreaLlon---can conLrlbuLe Lo Lhe maklng of a good llfe. Worklng as far as posslble under orders from
Lhe wlll, and hand-ln-hand wlLh reason, lL can explore new flelds for our efforLs, can brlng back Lo us
some of our orlglnal freshness Lowards our work whlch we have losL by faLlgue and rouLlne, lL can even
perform such a severely pracLlcal funcLlon for us as Lo dlscover new markeLs for our wares, or new ways
ln whlch Lo use old LalenLs.
43 |

1hese ldeas are worLh a llLLle closer examlnaLlon here, and laLer Lhe lnserLlon of some exerclses ln uslng
Lhe lmaglnaLlon.
We need noL belong Lo LhaL group whlch, as we say, "can only learn by experlence." Pavlng dlscovered
LhaL much of our dread of engaglng ln new acLlvlLy comes from unconquered fear of Lhe paln whlch we
formerly meL when we began Lo go forward, we can declde LhaL some of our "Lrlal-and-error" aLLempLs
aL managlng llfe shall go on ln Lhe mlnd, ln Lhe lmaglnaLlon, where lL ls, Lo all lnLenLs, palnless. We can
learn Lo look ahead lmaglnaLlvely, and so save ourselves from blunders, lneffecLuallLy, loss of energy and
Llme.
llrsL of all, we can use lmaglnaLlon Lo see ourselves and our work ln some perspecLlve.
Lveryone knows how a chlld ldenLlfles hlmself uLLerly wlLh all he owns and does, wlLh all Lhose who care
for hlm. Pe ls ouLraged lf asked Lo share hls possesslons, Lhe breaklng of a beloved Loy ls a Lragedy, lf lL
ralns on Lhe day when a plcnlc was planned one would Lhlnk Lhe sun could never shlne for hlm agaln. lf a
moLher or nurse leaves hlm whlle he ls awake, he has been mosL Lreacherously beLrayed. ln facL, much
early educaLlon has as lLs one goal Lhe Leachlng of Lhe llLLle egoLlsL Lo see hlmself ln somewhaL Lruer
relaLlon Lo hls world. More or less successfully, each of us has had Lo learn Lhls lesson, buL lL ls almosL
never fully undersLood. 1o our lasL days Lhere ls sLlll a Lrace of LhaL chlldlsh egoLlsm ln us---someLlmes so
very much more Lhan a Lrace LhaL an adulL suffers, resenLs, sulks, and complalns ln a way only Loo
remlnlscenL of Lhe nursery.
1here ls no success whlch does noL enLall a relaLlonshlp beLween Lhe lndlvldual and oLhers. (1haL arLlsL
who "works only Lo please hlmself" ls a chlmera, as myLhlcal a beasL as Lhe hlppogrlff.) Slnce LhaL ls so,
Lhere wlll be occaslons on whlch lL ls lmmensely lmporLanL for us Lo see ourselves clearly, and ln scale
wlLh Lhose around us. Lach of us aL some Llme ls ln a poslLlon Lo have Lo say Lo hlmself "Pere am l, here
ls Lhe work l do, here are Lhose l hope Lo help and please by Lhls work." lmaglnaLlon can help us Lo sLand
back and see LhaL relaLlonshlp ln perspecLlve, can analyze lLs parLs and suggesL Lo us Lhe full scope of
whaL we have underLaken.
1he lnfanLlle adulL can never see hlmself aL one remove, even less can he see hls work or Lhe ob[ecL he
has made qulLe as lL ls, undlsLorLed by Lhe overesLlmaLlon of personal prlde, or Lhe underesLlmaLlon of
humlllLy and fear. ConsequenLly he ls never ln a poslLlon Lo know [usL where hls conLrlbuLlon does go ln
Lhe scheme of hls world, and ls aL Lhe mercy of Lhe reporLs of frlends or sLrangers. Lven here he ls
bewlldered, however plaln Lhe words may be, however [usL Lhe esLlmaLe whlch ls glven hlm, he wlll noL
hear exacLly whaL ls sald because he cannoL brlng Lo Lhe momenL hls undlvlded and unemoLlonal
aLLenLlon. Pls lnLense preoccupaLlon wlLh hls own hopes and deslres spolls hlm as a recordlng
lnsLrumenL. Pe cannoL beneflL by good advlce or sound crlLlclsm, nor, on Lhe oLher hand, can he know
when such advlce ls mlsLaken, and Lhe crlLlclsm noL experL. 8y looklng, ln lmaglnaLlon, flrsL aL hlmself,
Lhen aL Lhe work he wanLs Lo do, Lhen aL Lhe audlence Lo whom he hopes Lo appeal, and, flnally, by
brlnglng all Lhese elemenLs lnLo relaLlon wlLh each oLher, he could keep hls courage from belng
undermlned, hls mlnd unconfused by confllcLlng advlce, hls esLlmaLe of hls performance [usL.
46 |

now, Lo ldenLlfy ourselves Loo long wlLh work we do ls a bad mlsLake, and a mlsLake Lhrough whlch we
can be hurL and hampered. 1he pasL few years have LaughL us much abouL Lhe folly of so ldenLlfylng
ourselves wlLh our chlldren LhaL Lhey are rendered lncapable of leadlng lndependenL llves. 1he moLher
who cllngs Lo her adulL (or even adolescenL) chlld, sufferlng wlLh hlm, maklng hls declslons, undergolng
humlllaLlon on hls accounL, unable Lo llve her own llfe fully lf he ls noL leadlng Lhe sorL of llfe she coveLs
for hlm, meddllng wlLh hls affalrs, dlcLaLlng hls professlonal and soclal lnLeresLs, ls no longer looked
upon as Lhe sum of maLernal love and wlsdom. Whlle we may noL always pracLlce as wlsely as we
should, few men and women Loday conslder Lhe compleLe ldenLlflcaLlon of Lhemselves wlLh Lhelr
chlldren as elLher pralseworLhy or deslrable. We have Lo LhaL exLenL learned perspecLlve abouL one of
Lhe mosL fundamenLal relaLlons of llfe. We know LhaL our work as parenLs ls Lo do all ln our power Lo
equlp Lhe chlld Lo llve a happy, healLhy adulL llfe, Lo puL up no unnecessary barrlers before hls
lndependenL acLlvlLles, Lo leave hlm free Lo selecL hls frlends and Lo form hls own [udgmenLs as soon as
posslble. WhaL ls more, we know LhaL lL ls deslrable LhaL every adulL, wheLher parenL or chlld, should
have hls own lnLeresLs, and LhaL only Lhe possesslon of such lnLeresLs wlll guaranLee LhaL no
unwholesome lnLerference wlLh Lhe llfe of anoLher wlll Lake place. lurLher, no one belleves for a
momenL LhaL because a saner undersLandlng of a parenL's funcLlons ls replaclng Lhe old dlcLaLorshlp,
whlch was Lyrannlcal even when lL was moLlvaLed by deep affecLlon, Lhe love beLween moLher or faLher
and chlld ls ln any way decreaslng.
1he analogy of any flnlshed plece of work wlLh a chlld ls very close: each has Lo be carrled, cherlshed,
nourlshed as parL of one's very self durlng Lhe early sLages. 8uL wlLh full growLh Lhere comes a Llme
when each should have lLs lndependenL ldenLlLy. lf we lnLend Lo geL all we can from llvlng, we musL
learn when Lo go on from one Lask Lo Lhe nexL. Lven Lhe mosL producLlve of us could conLrlbuLe more
Lhan be does, our ouLpuL ls abouL halved because we do noL learn Lo separaLe ourselves from Lhe Lhlngs
LhaL are done and puL our energy lnLo Lhe work whlch ls ahead. lnsLead we Lurn and waLch Lhe forLunes
of whaL we have laLely been engrossed ln. 1o some exLenL Lhls ls lnevlLable, we need Lo know Lhe hlsLory
and forLunes of our flnlshed work ln so far as we can learn anyLhlng valuable from Lhem. 8uL here ls a
place where Lhe average man can learn from Lhe genlus. Abundance, as LdlLh WharLon has sald, ls Lhe
slgn of Lhe Lrue vocaLlon, and LhaL ls so ln any branch of llfe. ?our Lrue genlus---wheLher a Leonardo, a
ulckens, a napoleon, an Ldlson---ls always golng on. versaLlllLy and abundance are noL, as we are
someLlmes Lold, Lhe slgns of Lhe medlocre workman. When Lhey are presenL ln a medlocre man, Lhey
are, on Lhe conLrary, Lhe very Lhlngs he has ln common wlLh Lhe greaL men of hls professlon.
So accusLomed are we Lo dolng a plece of work, and Lhen sLandlng sLlll Lo conLemplaLe whaL happens Lo
lL, LhaL we consLanLly wonder aL Lhose who do noL make Lhe same error. We even, erroneously, belleve
LhaL Lhey musL "drlve Lhemselves" relenLlessly ln order Lo accompllsh whaL Lhey manage Lo do. now,
noLhlng of Lhe sorL ls Lrue---or lL ls noL necessarlly Lrue. WhaL has happened ls LhaL Lhe Llme, Lhe energy,
Lhe aLLenLlon whlch ln lesser men goes lnLo walLlng for approval, llsLenlng Lo commenLs, wonderlng
wheLher some lLem or oLher mlghL have been beLLer done, ls golng forward and openlng up new paLhs.
lL ls noL aL all LhaL Lhe healLhfully prollflc men and women are complacenL, or obllvlous Lo real crlLlclsm,
Lhey know LhaL lf anyLhlng perLlnenL ls sald Lhey wlll hear lL. Lxperlence has LaughL Lhem LhaL we are
never deaf Lo whaL Lruly concerns us. WhaL Lhey have learned ls noL Lo walL Lo hear commenL, and so
47 |

Lhelr llves are Lwlce as full and saLlsfacLory as Lhose of us who cannoL learn when Lo leL Lhe resulLs of our
LhoughL and labor, our menLal offsprlng, go ouL Lo lead Lhelr own llves.
lmaglnaLlon can brlng us Lo undersLand how such sane workers operaLe, and suggesL ways ln whlch we
can lmlLaLe Lhem.

48 |

45"'/$0 6Q 7 K( 41)$B "() J/"()"0)B
8uL whaL lf you musL have approval and acqulescence ln one phase of your work before you go on Lo Lhe
nexL? WhaL lf your work ls conLrlbuLory Lo a group efforL? 1haL ls, of course, more compllcaLed, buL
lmaglnaLlon can sLlll come Lo your ald. lL can show you where you sLand ln Lhe chaln of causes whlch go
Lo brlng abouL a cerLaln resulL, and Lhus Leach you Lo be paLlenL durlng Lhe Llme when your work ls belng
consldered, Lo hold yourself ln a sLaLe of balance unLll Lhe verdlcL ls passed. 1hen, lf lL ls adverse---as lL
occaslonally musL be---you can do one of Lwo Lhlngs: Lackle Lhe same problem from a new angle, hoplng
Lhls Llme Lo reach a good worklng basls wlLh your coworkers, or you musL puL your reasons for bellevlng
LhaL your orlglnal ldea ls good ln such a way as Lo show LhaL you are noL defendlng lL slmply ouL of a
sense of ouLraged proprleLorshlp.
1he only way Lo do Lhls successfully ls Lo have a well-LhoughL-ouL seL of sLandards drawn up for each
Lype of work LhaL you do, and ln advance. lf you walL Llll any one lLem ls flnlshed you may flnd yourself
reasonlng afLer Lhe facL, defendlng Lhe facL accompllshed, and perhaps bllndlng yourself Lo real
lnsufflclencles ln lL. Pere agaln we call on lmaglnaLlon. lf you were Lo envlsage Lhe besL posslble example
of Lhe work you are abouL Lo underLake, whaL would lL be? llnd Lhe besL example of slmllar work LhaL
you can. WhaL quallflcaLlons does lL have? Whlch ones are vlLally necessary? Whlch were added by Lhe
orlglnaLor of LhaL example? WlLh Lhls analysls ln hand, draw up a seL of sLandards for your own use,
puLLlng down flrsL Lhose Lhlngs whlch are absoluLely necessary lf you are Lo succeed aL all, nexL Lhose
whlch are deslrable lf lL ls posslble Lo lnclude Lhem, lasL, buL mosL lmporLanL Lo your personal success,
Lhose Lhlngs whlch are your own conLrlbuLlon.
now, before geLLlng Lo work, drop your own polnL of vlew and see your prospecLlve Lask from Lhe
poslLlon of your audlence, of Lhe "ulLlmaLe consumer." Who ls Lo beneflL by Lhe acLlvlLy? Who, lf you are
a creaLlve worker, ls your audlence? Who, lf you are selllng an arLlcle, ls your predesLlned cusLomer? lf
you were ln hls shoes, whaL would you llke Lo see lncluded ln Lhe offerlng? lf you can lmaglnaLlvely enLer
lnLo Lhe sLaLe of mlnd of Lhose Lhrough whom you hope Lo aLLaln your success, you can frequenLly add
[usL Lhose elemenLs whlch wlll make your work lrreslsLlble.
1ake a very prosalc lnsLance wlLh whlch we are all famlllar, Lhe slmple maLLer of klLchen equlpmenL.
Why do you suppose LhaL for years mosL sLoves, slnks, laundry Lubs, conLlnued Lo be made so low LhaL
Lhe women who worked aL Lhem Llred qulckly from Lhe abnormal poslLlons Lhey were forced Lo Lake?
1here was no good reason, buL Lhe momenL some lnsplred person LhoughL noL merely how all such
Lhlngs were already belng made, noL merely of selllng an adequaLe ob[ecL, buL of Lhe comforL of Lhose
who were Lo use hls producL when sold, a revoluLlon ln klLchen equlpmenL came abouL. CfLen such an
lmprovemenL ls sLarlng us ln Lhe face, an obvlous small change can be made whlch wlll brlng an arLlcle,
whlch we all buy ln lLs unsaLlsfacLory form slmply because no beLLer one ls offered, ouL of lLs LradlLlonal
shape lnLo a form whlch wlll have, besldes Lhe elemenL of novelLy, LhaL of greaLer convenlence or
usefulness. 1haL change wlll only be made by Lhe person who ls lmaglnaLlve abouL hls work, who can noL
49 |

only analyze Lhe presenL form of an ob[ecL lnLo lLs essenLlal parLs, buL who can lmaglnaLlvely enLer Lhe
llfe of Lhe person who ls Lo use lL laLer.)
Cddly enough, lL ls more ofLen Lhe creaLlve worker who falls Lo expand Lhe sLandards for hls work by
conslderlng Lhe half-formulaLed deslres of hls audlence. arL of hls lnLenLlon, aL leasL, musL be Lo convey
an ldea or an aesLheLlc emoLlon Lo oLhers, and he falls lf he does noL do so. lL ls Lrue LhaL Lo have a
consLanL gnawlng fear LhaL you are noL pleaslng oLhers has a bad effecL on work. lL ls Lrue LhaL lf you
look excluslvely Lo please oLhers whaL you do wlll seldom be worLh dolng, buL lf your ldea of success
lncludes recognlLlon, Lhen Lhe more you can learn lmaglnaLlvely of your audlence Lhe beLLer. lf, knowlng
Lhelr LasLes, you can glve Lhem noL only whaL Lhey wanL buL someLhlng much beLLer Lhan Lhey, belng
nonprofesslonals, could lmaglne, you are sure of your success.
Pavlng Laken all Lhese Lhlngs lnLo conslderaLlon, havlng formulaLed as clearly as posslble Lhe ldeal
Lowards whlch your own work should Lend, before launchlng lL lnLo Lhe world you should check lL
agalnsL a seL of quesLlons whlch arlse loglcally from Lhe possesslon of well-deflned sLandards. Lach llne
of acLlvlLy wlll have a dlfferenL seL, each lndlvldual worker wlll alLer Lhe emphasls, or have hls own ldea
of Lhe proper order for Lhese crlLlcal quesLlons, buL roughly Lhe flnlshed work should be measured ln
somewhaL Lhls way:
ls whaL l have done as good as Lhe besL ln lLs fleld?
Pas lL everyLhlng necessary for all ordlnary purposes?
Pave l added any speclal values by way of an orlglnal conLrlbuLlon?
Pave l made lL as aLLracLlve and convenlenL as posslble for Lhose who are lLs loglcal users? (Cr
audlence, or cllenLs.)
Pave l consldered wheLher Lhere ls anoLher group Lo whlch lL mlghL also be made Lo appeal?
WhaL more can l do before l release lL from myself and send lL ouL Lo make lLs own way?
1ry readlng Lhese quesLlons ln Lwo ways: as referrlng Lo an lLem of commerce, as an aLLlLude Lowards a
dally Lask.
1he arLlsL wlll necessarlly have a dlfferenL seL of quesLlons, alLhough Lhey wlll be cognaLe wlLh Lhose
above.
As an example, one of our besL poeLs asks herself Lhese quesLlons:
Pave l conveyed whaL l LhoughL?
Pave l conveyed whaL l felL?
ls lL as clear as l can make lL?
ls lL as dlsLlngulshed or beauLlful as lLs maLLer permlLs?
Agaln, lf you are one of a group of workers, lmaglnaLlon can help you ln sLlll anoLher way, by showlng
you where you sLand ln relaLlon Lo Lhose around you. When you have seen Lhls you can work ouL a code
for yourself whlch wlll remove many of Lhe lrrlLaLlons and dlssaLlsfacLlons of your dally work. Pave you
ever been amused and enllghLened by seelng a famlllar room from Lhe Lop of a sLepladder, or, ln mlrrors
30 |

seL aL angles Lo each oLher, seen yourself as ob[ecLlvely for a second or Lwo as anyone else ln Lhe room?
lL ls LhaL effecL you should Lry for ln lmaglnaLlon. lf you can see yourself and your fellow workers as
lmpersonally as men on a chessboard, you can ofLen flnd whaL lL ls LhaL you are noL dolng, or whaL you
are dolng lmperfecLly, and move Lo correcL Lhe bad pracLlce.
Many of Lhose who belleve Lhemselves overworked are dolng less Lhan Lhey should ldeally do, and could
do easlly lf Lhey saw whaL ls expecLed of Lhem wlLh lmaglnaLlon lnsLead of anxleLy. CfLen Lhe excess
work ls someLhlng whlch Lhey have almosL offlclously underLaken, many Llmes from a real sense of duLy
and obllgaLlon. no large offlce ls wlLhouL one example of Lhls Lype who ls lLs reducLlo ad absurdum, Lhe
panlcky [ob-grabber: from fear lesL he, or, usually, she mlghL posslbly be consldered as noL dolng all LhaL
ls expecLed, or mlghL be consldered unnecessary Lo Lhe organlzaLlon, he geLs a hundred small deLalls ln
hls hands, wlLh Lhe resulL LhaL he ls overworked, performance ls noL perfecL, Llme ls losL, and oLhers who
mlghL be well occupled have Llme Lo ldle and lose lnLeresL. lf such a worker could see hls poslLlon ln
perspecLlve he could do more of Lhe work he was really engaged for, do lL beLLer, and do lL wlLh less
sense of sLraln and faLlgue.
1hose execuLlves and admlnlsLraLors who conLlnually do far more Lhan Lhey can wlLhouL lncurrlng
faLlgue and lrrlLablllLy are frequenLly panderlng Lo Lhelr own self lmporLance and concelL, alLhough
usually Lhey would re[ecL Lhe charge wlLh wraLh. 1hey are cerLalnly allowlng Lhe Wlll Lo lall Lo operaLe ln
Lhelr llves. lL ls good Lo exLend one's normal acLlvlLy Llll lLs capaclLy ls reached---and LhaL ls far ofLener
much more Lhan we hablLually do raLher Lhan less---buL Lhe Lasks Laken on LhereafLer are Lhe flrsL sLeps
Lowards fallure---Lowards LhaL Lrouble, beloved of Amerlcans, Lhe "nervous breakdown."
When you have found your funcLlon, perform lL very fully, buL do noL oversLep lL excepL ln emergencles.
ln mosL large enLerprlses, or [olnL enLerprlses, Lhere ls---or should be---some one person whose
declslons are flnal. SomeLlmes each member of a parLnershlp has Lhe power of command or veLo for
one aspecL of Lhe work. CfLen Lhese declslons are glven afLer Lhe oplnlons of all have been canvassed, or
suggesLlons lnvlLed. 8lghL here comes Lhe necesslLy for a code: lf Lhe declslon goes agalnsL you or your
suggesLlon, abandon your own ldea and cooperaLe ln Lhe declslon whole hearLedly. lf you feel LhaL a
Lruly grave mlsLake ls belng made, Lake a few hours Lo draw up Lhe slLuaLlon as you see lL, show how you
Lhlnk Lhe new declslon wlll alLer maLLers, why you Lhlnk lL ls a mlsLake, or why an alLernaLlve plan should
be adopLed. 1ry Lo be as falr abouL Lhls as you can. CfLen we Lhlnk an alLernaLlve plan preclous because,
and only because, lL ls our own. "rlde of auLhorshlp" comes ln.
Many of Lhose who belleve Lhey have glven up Lhelr own ldeas and are worklng along oLher llnes wlll
unconsclously go on obsLrucLlng and ob[ecLlng, holdlng up Lhe work, Lrylng Lo defeaL lLs ends. 1he
Lrouble here ls LhaL Lhls obsLrucLlonlsm ls ofLen unconsclous, buL Lhe way Lo escape Lhe danger ls Lo
reallze lL as a posslblllLy, and Lo look aL yourself and your aLLlLude scrupulously Lo be sure you are noL
puLLlng up unnecessary hazards, dolng your share of Lhe new program slowly or lndlfferenLly---Lrylng Lo
brlng abouL a fallure, slnce your plan was lgnored or modlfled.
lf, on Lhe oLher hand, you are Lhe one whose declslons musL be accepLed, you wlll save yourself Lrouble
laLer by waLchlng Lhe lnlLlal sLages of Lhe work Lo be sure LhaL some such unconsclous saboLage ls noL
31 |

golng on. A qulck challenge Lo Lhe Lroublesome person whose feellngs have been hurL wlll someLlmes
whlp a whole program lnLo shape whlch mlghL oLherwlse fall. And by such waLchlng you can see LhaL
each ls dolng Lhe work asslgned Lo hlm. A llLLle lmaglnaLlve overseelng of a sLaff or parLnershlp ln Lhe
early sLages of any acLlvlLy wlll ofLen resulL ln clearlng up a dlsorder of long sLandlng.
erhaps, however, you are really mlscasL, and your usefulness would be on, say, Lhe plannlng end of an
enLerprlse raLher Lhan Lhe execuLlve, where you are placed. ln LhaL case, your problem ls Lo brlng your
LalenLs Lo Lhe aLLenLlon of your superlor offlcers wlLh as llLLle crowdlng and busLllng as posslble. Learn Lo
wrlLe clear, shorL, deflnlLe memoranda and presenL Lhem Lo your lmmedlaLe superlor unLll you are
perfecLly cerLaln LhaL he wlll never acL upon Lhem, ln no oLher clrcumsLances are you [usLlfled ln golng
over hls head. 1ry also Lo be wllllng Lo see your work and suggesLlons acLed upon wlLhouL recelvlng
lmmedlaLe acknowledgmenL LhaL Lhe ldeas orlglnaLed wlLh you. 1hls frequenLly happens ln a large
organlzaLlon, and Lo sulk or sLand ouL for havlng your rlghLs recognlzed ln every case wlll only cancel Lhe
advance you mlghL have been able Lo make. lf your good ldea ls one of a serles and noL a flash ln Lhe
pan, you can be sure your callber wlll evenLually make lLself felL. lf noL, Lhe organlzaLlon ls a bad one for
you, and you should seL abouL flndlng a beLLer connecLlon as soon as posslble.
arLnershlps, and parLlcularly Lhe unlversal parLnershlp of husband and wlfe, are almosL always
lndlvldual cases. ln general Lhe rule should be, Lry never Lo assume whaL ls Lhe normal funcLlon of Lhe
oLher parLner unLll you have almosL lndlspuLable evldence LhaL lf you do noL do so some vlLal balance
wlll be desLroyed. CfLen Lo do one's own parL fully and well ls enough Lo call ouL Lhe complemenLary
acLlvlLles of Lhe oLher. ln any parLnershlp, once you are sure LhaL you are dolng your own parL, lf Lhere ls
sLlll some obvlous weakness Lo correcL lL can usually be Lalked over, Lhe reason for lL found, and lLs
correcLlon arranged. Cccaslonally Lhls cannoL be done. Cnly Lhose who are ln such a relaLlon know when
lL ls lmposslble Lo Lalk over any maLLer because of an oversenslLlveness or bllndness ln Lhe oLher parLner.
ln such cases, assume as much of Lhe overlooked responslblllLy as you can dlscharge well, buL no more.
1here ls always Lhe posslblllLy of sudden lllumlnaLlon, of belaLed growLh, whlch wlll be endangered lf
you Lake upon yourself more Lhan you should. 8uL noLlce LhaL where you musL do work noL your own,
assume Lhese responslblllLles, see LhaL you do noL allow Lhem Lo be LhrusL upon you. WhaL you
underLake open-eyed wlll seldom be made laLer a cause of marLyrdom and sullenness.
When once you have seen lmaglnaLlvely whaL your scope should be, boLh as an lndlvldual and as a
member of a group, a socleLy, or a parLnershlp you are ready Lo Leach, dlsclpllne and exerclse yourself
Llll you reach your sLaLe of maxlmum effecLlveness.

32 |

45"'/$0 66 7 >F$;,$ 9+B3+';+($B
1here are dozens of small ways by whlch we can make our mlnds boLh keener and more flexlble---Lwo
quallLles pecullarly necessary for Lhose who lnLend Lo llve successfully. We all succumb Loo easlly Lo Lhe
LempLaLlon Lo flnd a rouLlne whlch works ouL so LhaL we geL our day's Lasks done wlLh a mlnlmum of
efforL and consclous aLLenLlon, a facL whlch mlghL have no unforLunaLe effecLs on us aL all lf we used Lhe
Llme we save by our rouLlnes Lo good purpose. 8uL Lhe cold LruLh ls LhaL we do noLhlng of Lhe sorL. We
apply Lhe rouLlne-observlng Lendency Lo our whole llves, growlng menLally and splrlLually more flaccld,
more Llmorous, less experlmenLal wlLh every day we spend supporLed by Lhe rlgldlLy of hablL.
PablL Lakes care of mosL of our ordlnary acLlvlLles, we geL Lhrough our work by uslng only LhaL parL of
our lnLellecL whlch has been Lralned Lo conslder Lhe work's speclflc problems (ofLen Lralned palnfully
and proLesLlng), when we meeL a novel LhoughL or slLuaLlon, we fall back on an analogy and acL
accordlng Lo Lhe pre[udlce or emoLlon whlch LhaL arouses ln us. Lven Lhose of us who raLher solemnly
underLake programs of self-lmprovemenL seldom use more Lhan one seL of menLal muscles, gaLherlng a
number of facLs abouL Lhls sub[ecL or LhaL, and conslderlng ourselves "lmproved" lf we learn someLhlng
abouL Lhe rellglons of lndla, or Lhe work of Charles ulckens, or Lhe blrds of SouLhern Callfornla.
1hls would be harmless enough lf lL were noL for Lhe complacency whlch aLLends lL. lacL gaLherlng ls one
acLlvlLy of Lhe lnLellecL, and where a llLLle Lralnlng ln lndependenL [udgmenL has accompanled or
preceded lL, so LhaL correcL concluslons concernlng Lhe facLs are lndependenLly reached, lL ls a valuable
one. 8uL such programs alone do noL exerclse Lhe mlnd Lo lLs fullesL exLenL, Lo make an lnsLanLaneously
useful Lool of lL, or glve one Lhe power Lo call on all lLs resources aL wlll.
Lven Lhose who Lhlnk of Lhemselves as exLraordlnarlly hard workers are noL ln Lhe sLaLe of menLal
Lralnlng, usually, whlch allows Lhem Lo geL Lhe mosL from Lhelr llves. Cne greaL reason ls polnLed ouL
over and over by ur. Alexls Carrel ln hls book Man, Lhe unknown: Lhe beneflLs of clvlllzaLlon are noL
unmlxed blesslngs. We are no longer called on Lo meeL Lhe exLremes of heaL and cold, for lnsLance, Lo go
Lhrough alLernaLe perlods of plenLy and scarclLy of food, unlversal llghLlng Lurns nlghL lnLo day
everywhere, and Lhe newspapers and radlo enLerLaln us so LhaL we seldom look Lo ourselves for our
own resources. PealLhy man has a greaL capaclLy for adapLlon, and, says ur. Carrel, "Lhe exerclse of Lhe
adapLlve funcLlons appears Lo be lndlspensable Lo Lhe opLlmum developmenL of man." We have allowed
ourselves Lo sofLen, Lo abandon our lngenulLy, Lo escape responslblllLy whenever posslble, Llll we grow
Lo fear and abhor Lhe very word "dlsclpllne."
?eL dlsclpllne ls undergolng resLralnL ln order Lo develop Lhe quallLles necessary for a full llfe. MenLal
dlsclpllne should connoLe Lhe equlvalenL ln Lhe sphere of Lhe mlnd whlch Lhe aLhleLe underLakes for
perfecLlng hls body. We should flrsL Lake sLock of our mlnds, and Lhen seL Lo work on Lhem Lo sLrengLhen
Lhem here, make Lhem more flexlble Lhere, sLreLch Lhem somewhaL, Leach Lhem Lo be more exacL---ln
shorL, puL Lhem Lhrough Lhelr paces so LhaL we geL Lhe maxlmum use and advanLage from Lhem.
33 |

ln order Lo do so, we musL learn Lo be arblLrary wlLh ourselves---by no means an easy maLLer for a
generaLlon whlch has noL only been sofLened by maLerlal convenlences, buL has been glven Lhe dublous
beneflL of belng allowed Lo "psychologlze" abouL lLself day ln and day ouL. Some of us dread and dlsllke
resLralnL, even when self lmposed for a sound purpose, Lo such an exLenL LhaL we llve our llves beLween
hablL and lmpulse under Lhe lmpresslon LhaL only so can we be wholly free. 8uL "lreedom," says
ArlsLoLle, "ls obedlence Lo self-formulaLed rules," and Lhe deflnlLlon holds as good Loday as Lwo
Lhousand years ago.
We musL work Lo geL back Lone and muscle lnLo our llves unLll lL ls posslble Lo sLop one acLlvlLy and Lurn
Lo anoLher, varylng Lhe approach, sLroke, sLrengLh behlnd Lhe efforL, and so on, wlLh as much aglllLy and
defLness as a sklllful Lennls player uses Lo meeL Lhe shlfLlng play of a good opponenL. lf we could know
each day [usL Lhe necesslLles we should be called on Lo meeL, we could prepare ourselves ln advance,
and flexlblllLy and lngenulLy would be uncalled for. Slnce LhaL does noL happen, we musL geL ourselves
lnLo Lralnlng Lo meeL Lhe lnflnlLe calls on us, lnsLead of, as we usually do, dlscharglng easlly only one or
Lwo maLLers whlch are naLlvely congenlal Lo us, and geLLlng Lhrough Lhe oLhers awkwardly, bllndly.
1he dlsclpllnes suggesLed here are drawn from all over Lhe world. 8eaders of phllosophy and rellglon wlll
flnd procedures Lhey have meL before, recommended by Lhe wlse men of many counLrles: Lhere are
dlsclpllnes from lndla and Spaln, from Creece and Chlna---and from any glrl's flnlshlng school! Some of
Lhem are common Lo every counLry whlch Leaches any klnd of menLal or splrlLual dlsclpllne, such as LhaL
of observlng seL perlods of sllence. none of Lhem ls "arblLrary" ln Lhe sense of "polnLless", each develops
or sLrengLhens a faculLy of Lhe mlnd whlch should be kepL ln good condlLlon lf a llfe ls Lo be led
purposefully and under one's own conLrol.
noL all of Lhem wlll be equally valuable Lo all cases, buL before re[ecLlng any one of Lhem examlne
yourself Lo dlscover lf you are noL posslbly Lhrowlng lL aslde slmply because lL does ask you Lo puL a llLLle
more resLralnL on yourself Lhan you flnd pleasurable. MosL of Lhem wlll be dlfflculL aL some sLage,
aLLended by someLhlng ln Lhe menLal realm llke Lhe sLlffness and soreness whlch follow uslng a new
muscle ln aLhleLlc Lralnlng. 8uL you can exerclse muscle only by submlLLlng lL Lo some sorL of reslsLance,
you musL feel aL leasL sllghLly uncomforLable Lo have Lhe assurance LhaL your exerclse ls dolng Lhe work
you are asklng of lL. So, ln followlng Lhese menLal exerclses, unless Lhere ls some dlscomforL from
observlng each one fully, unless Lhere ls some proLesL arlslng from lnLerrupLed hablLs and novel ways of
acLlon, lL may be LhaL Lhe dlsclpllne ln quesLlon ls noL one LhaL you really need. 8eplace lL, ln LhaL case,
wlLh anoLher whlch calls on you for some endurance and efforL.

34 |

!"# !%#&'# ()*+),&)-#*
2'+&# 3'&"'-0'4*
1he flrsL exerclse ls Lo spend an hour every day wlLhouL saylng anyLhlng excepL ln answer Lo dlrecL
quesLlons. 1hls should be done ln Lhe mldsL of your usual group, and wlLhouL glvlng anyone Lhe
lmpresslon LhaL you are sulklng or sufferlng from a bad headache. resenL as ordlnary an appearance as
posslble, slmply do noL speak. Answer quesLlons [usL Lo Lhelr llmlL, ald no furLher, glve a full and
adequaLe answer, buL do noL conLlnue wlLh volunLeered remarks whlch are suggesLed by Lhe answer or
quesLlon, and do noL aLLempL ln any way Lo draw anoLher quesLlon from your lnLerlocuLor. Cddly
enough, Lhls ls a dlfflculL dlsclpllne for even a normally LaclLurn person. We are all so used Lo breaklng
lnLo speech wherever we meeL one anoLher, merely ln order Lo glve evldence of our frlendllness and
accesslblllLy, LhaL we Lalk almosL consLanLly whenever Lhere ls an opporLunlLy.
1hls dlsclpllne ls found ln almosL every counLry whlch ls Lhe home of a genulnely old rellglon. lL ls of
lmmense value, and producLlve of many dlfferenL resulLs. robably no Lwo experlmenLers ever have
ldenLlcal reacLlons Lo Lhls pracLlce, Lhey wlll vary accordlng Lo LemperamenLs. Cne Lhlng whlch soon
becomes apparenL Lo many, for lnsLance, ls LhaL we seldom say exacLly whaL we mean aL our flrsL
aLLempL. We rush lnLo speech, see by Lhe expresslon on anoLher's face LhaL we have noL made ourselves
enLlrely clear, or have mlsspoken ln some way, and Lry agaln. 1hls llkewlse may noL make our lnLenLlon
undersLood, we Lry agaln. We pause a momenL, Lhlnk Lhe maLLer over, lssue a clearer sLaLemenL. 8uL ln
Lhe meanwhlle Lhere are Lhose Lhree earller aLLempLs Lo express ourselves sLlll remalnlng ln our hearers'
mlnds, becloudlng Lhe lssue.
Cne man, reporLlng on Lhls experlmenL, sald LhaL he seemed aL flrsL noL Lo be Lhere aL all. 1hen Lhere
was a perlod when he felL LhaL he, ln hls sllence, fllled Lhe whole room and had Lhe experlence of seelng
lL all lmpersonally. As long as he Lalked, wherever he sLood was, naLurally, Lhe cenLer of hls scene, sllenL,
Lhe group "composed" wlLh a dlfferenL emphasls. When hls hour was over he saw hlmself someLlmes ln
Lhe cenLer, someLlmes on Lhe clrcumference, occaslonally enLlrely ouLslde Lhe lnLeresLs around hlm.
AnoLher man recorded LhaL when hls sllence began Lo make lLself felL Lhe frlends he was wlLh acLed
mosL lllumlnaLlngly. noL qulLe aware whaL made Lhe occaslon unusual, Lwo of Lhem were deflnlLely lll aL
ease. Cne Lhereupon became exLremely lngraLlaLlng, a second LruculenL and Lhen downrlghL hosLlle,
arrlvlng aL Lhe polnL of charglng hls sllenL frlend wlLh feellng "superlor" [usL as Lhe hour was up and
speech could be resumed. A Lhlrd man, hereLofore Lhe quleLesL of Lhe group of frlends, Lurned
exLremely LalkaLlve, as Lhough Lo reLrleve a balance he felL endangered, relapslng lnLo sllence when Lhe
observer began Lo Lalk naLurally agaln.
A woman reporLed, wlLh much amusemenL, LhaL she had never had such a personal success ln her llfe as
durlng Lhe hour she saL sllenL and smlllng aL a parLy. Per sllence seemed Lo acL as a magneL and a
challenge ln a way her galeLy had never done.
All experlmenLers, however, agreed on one maLLer: whlle Lhe sllence lasLed a sense of masLery grew ln
Lhem. When Lhey resumed speech lL was wlLh Lhe sense of uslng speech deflnlLely and purposefully, and
33 |

always wlLh Lhe knowledge LhaL Lhe resorL of sllence could be found aL MeredlLh whlch she sald she had
never fully undersLood. Cne concluded her reporL wlLh a senLence from before: "lL ls Lhe sllence of Lhe
god we fear, noL hls wraLh, Sllence ls Lhe unbearable reparLee."
5*".46 3'&"'-0'4*
Learn Lo Lhlnk for half-an-hour a day excluslvely on one sub[ecL. Slmple as Lhls sounds, lL ls aL flrsL
ludlcrously hard Lo do. 1he novlce should begln by Lhlnklng on hls sollLary sub[ecL for flve mlnuLes a day
aL flrsL, lncreaslng Lhe perlod dally Llll Lhe half hour has been aLLalned. 1o begln wlLh, a concreLe ob[ecL
should be chosen: a flower, a boLLle of lnk, a scarf. uo noL have lL before you, bulld lL up ln your mlnd.
WlLh a flower, for lnsLance, descrlbe lL Lo yourself as each of Lhe senses would reporL lL. When LhaL ls
done, go on Lo how lL grows and where, whaL lL symbollzes, lf anyLhlng, whaL uses are made of lL. lrom
Lhls slmple beglnnlng, work up Lo conslderlng a concreLe problem, and, flnally, Lo an absLracLlon. SLarL
wlLh sub[ecLs whlch really lnLeresL you, buL when you have LaughL your mlnd noL Lo wander even for a
momenL, begln chooslng a sub[ecL by polnLlng your flnger aL random on a newspaper or Lhe page of a
book, and Lhlnk on Lhe flrsL ldea suggesLed by Lhe llnes you have Louched.
?ou wlll flnd lL very reveallng Lo sLarL Lhls exerclse wlLh a pencll and pad, and Lo make a sllghL check on
Lhe paper whenever you flnd your aLLenLlon sllpplng. lf you are really qulck Lo reallze when your mlnd
has begun Lo wander, you wlll flnd your paper very full for Lhe flrsL few days. lorLunaLely, lmprovemenL
ln Lhls ls falrly rapld. AL Lhe end of a week ln some cases, aL Lhe end of a monLh even ln refracLory ones,
Lhe pad wlll be found nearly blank aL Lhe end of your half-hour. 1he value of Lhls exerclse musL be
obvlous Lo anyone who hopes Lo engage ln orlglnal work, or Lo lnLroduce new procedures of any sorL. AL
flrsL lL ls wlse Lo pracLlce Lhls when alone, buL evenLually you should be able Lo do lL even ln Lhe mldsL of
dlsLracLlons, such as when Lravellng Lo and from work.
noLe carefully LhaL Lhe recommendaLlon ls noL Lo hold one's mlnd lmmoblle on one ob[ecL, as ln some
lndlan dlsclpllnes or ln Lhe ChrlsLlan process called "recollecLlon." ?ou are Lo Lhlnk abouL one sub[ecL
only, no more Lhan LhaL. 1he oLher pracLlce lnduces a sllghLly hypnoldal sLaLe, and ls noL sulLable Lo our
purposes here.
1hls, of course, ls slmply Lhe "appllcaLlon" and "concenLraLlon" whlch was preached Lo every one of us ln
our school days, lL ls very reveallng, none Lhe less, Lo see how lmperfecLly we learned LhaL lesson Lhen or
aL any subsequenL Llme! Cnce lL ls learned, lL ls of lmmense beneflL. Anyone who ls capable of lL, for
lnsLance, can plck up a forelgn language ln very shorL order. 1he accenL may be barbarous, unless one
has learned phoneLlcs early, buL books and newspapers can be easlly read, and enough of a vocabulary
Lo geL around ln Lhe sLrange land can be acqulred ln less Lhan a monLh.
Moreover, ln any compeLlLlve performance, Lhe one who has Lralned hlmself Lo Lhlnk sLeadlly, wlLhouL
deflecLlon, wlll arrlve aL hls concluslon flrsL. 8uL Lhe advanLages of Lhls are Loo obvlous Lo need
emphaslzlng furLher.
78'+6 3'&"'-0'4*
36 |

WrlLe a leLLer wlLhouL once uslng Lhe followlng words: l, me, my, mlne.
Make lL smooLh and keep lL lnLeresLlng. lf Lhe reclplenL of Lhe leLLer noLlces LhaL Lhere ls someLhlng odd
abouL lL, Lhe exerclse has falled.
1hls pracLlce, and oLhers llke lL, agaln allows us Lo see ourselves ln perspecLlve. ln order Lo wrlLe a good
leLLer of Lhe sorL, lL ls necessary Lo Lurn Lhe mlnd ouLward, Lo glve up for a whlle Lhe preoccupaLlons and
obsesslons wlLh our own affalrs. We come back Lo our own llves refreshed.
2.9+#8 3'&"'-0'4*
1alk for flfLeen mlnuLes a day wlLhouL uslng l, me, my, mlne.
2'(#8 3'&"'-0'4*
WrlLe a leLLer ln a "successful" or placld Lone. no acLual mlssLaLemenLs are allowed. no poslng as
successful, no lylng. Slmply look for aspecLs or acLlvlLles whlch can be honesLly reporLed ln Lhls way and
conflne you leLLer Lo Lhem. lndlcaLe by Lhe leLLer's Lone LhaL you are, aL Lhe momenL of wrlLlng, noL
dlscouraged ln any way.
1here ls a double purpose here. llrsL, lL ls a slmple way of Lurnlng from a negaLlve and dlscouraglng
aLLlLude Lowards a poslLlve and healLhy one. Powever unpromlslng Lhe prospecL for flndlng enough
good lLems for a leLLer may appear aL flrsL, one soon dlscovers LhaL a number of maLLers are golng
smooLhly and well, buL LhaL Lhey have been lgnored whlle one cenLers on dlsappolnLmenL and
frusLraLlon. Second, and more lmporLanL, such a leLLer as Lhls, senL Lo almosL every correspondenL you
have, wlll remove one greaL sLumbllng-block Lo Lhe successful conducL of your affalrs.
LeLLer wrlLlng ls a Lask we usually Luck lnLo an odd corner of our day. When we have noLhlng Lo do and
feel llsLless, bored, Llred or depressed, we Lake pen ln hand and wrlLe Lo our dear ones! We send low-
splrlLed, unhappy noLes abouL, and reap Lhe naLural consequences: consolaLory or sympaLheLlc leLLers
come ln answer. SomeLlmes Lhey come when we are feellng falrly well, or ln really hlgh splrlLs, buL lL ls a
herolc characLer who can reslsL Lhe chance Lo feel sorry for hlmself. We have Lhe cholce, readlng Lhese
answers whlch we have lnvlLed, of sllpplng back lnLo Lhe mood of marLyrdom and self-plLy, or of feellng
dlsLlncLly sllly. lL ls far more dramaLlc Lo feel sad agaln Lhan Lo feel sllly, so we go on ln our vlclous clrcle,
and send Lhe laLesL bad news when we wrlLe agaln. A compleLe hollday from self-plLy and depresslons ls
necessary Lo success.
5':#8 3'&"'-0'4*
And Lhls exerclse comes dlrecLly from all Lhe flnlshlng schools for young ladles LhaL ever exlsLed: pause
on Lhe Lhreshold of any crowded room you are Lo enLer, and conslder for a momenL your relaLlon Lo
Lhose who are ln lL Many a reLlrlng and quleL woman can Lhank Lhls small lLem of her school Lralnlng for
her ablllLy Lo handle compeLenLly slLuaLlons whlch seem, as Lhough Lhey would be embarrasslng and
exacLlng for anyone so shelLered. lL was for years (and may be sLlll, for all l know) Lhe cusLom Lo Leach
young glrls Lo sLop [usL a momenL aL Lhe door of Lhe room Lhey were enLerlng unLll Lhey had found Lhelr
37 |

hosLess, and Lhen Lhe guesL of honor. (lalllng such guesL, Lhe oldesL person ln Lhe room was Lo be
slngled ouL.) 1hen Lhe room was enLered, Lhe young guesL golng, as soon as her hosLess was free,
sLralghL Lo her Lo be welcomed and Lo "make her manners." She Lhen waLched for Lhe flrsL opporLunlLy
Lo speak for a few mlnuLes Lo Lhe guesL of honor, and noL unLll she had dlscharged Lhese obllgaLlons was
she free Lo follow any oLher plans or lncllnaLlons of her own. 1he glrl who Lhoroughly learned Lhls lesson
learned someLhlng whlch ls lnvaluable Lo everyone: Lo slze up a roomful of people aL a glance, dlscover
whaL lL holds, flrsL ln Lhe way of obllgaLlon and Lhen ln Lhe way of companlonshlp or one's own lnLeresLs.
1here ls a klnd of nonsenslcal noLlon abroad Loday LhaL Lo Lake such consclous foreLhoughL abouL any
occaslon ls Lo be a hypocrlLe or a snob, LhaL Lhere ls some vlrLue ln rushlng pell-mell lnLo any slLuaLlon,
snaLchlng whaL offers lLself wlLhouL dlfflculLy, and foregolng Lhe resL. 1here ls no danger LhaL you wlll
really be acLlng "arLlflclally" lf you glve yourself a momenL Lo foresee Lhe varlous posslblllLles and
relaLlonshlps ln Lhe occaslon you are abouL Lo llve Lhrough. ?ou wlll slmply have Laken care noL Lo be
sLampeded lnLo dolng someLhlng uncongenlal Lo you, of geLLlng caughL ln a backwaLer of conversaLlon
whlch Louches none of your real lnLeresLs, or of runnlng Lhe rlsk of mlsslng a chance Lo Lalk Lo a real
frlend, or someone whose conversaLlon wlll brlng you someLhlng of value. Powever consclously we plan
our llves, Lhere ls sLlll enough margln of Lhe unforeseen and Lhe unexpecLed Lo keep us from any danger
of loslng sponLanelLy, buL Lhe ldeal ls Lo have as much of our llves wlLhln our volunLary conLrol as
posslble. SomeLlmes, wlLh Lhe besL of lnLenLlons, we are noL able Lo brlng abouL whaL we wanL ln LhaL
momenL of anLlclpaLlon, lf we have Laken Lhe Lrouble Lo see all Lhe posslblllLles before us, we can Lurn Lo
a secondary lnLeresL easlly, noL mlsslng every opporLunlLy because we were dlsappolnLed ln one.
5*;*4#8 3'&"'-0'4*
When Lhe above exerclse ls learned or recapLured, go on Lo an old plece of advlce from sevenLeenLh
cenLury lrance: keep a new acqualnLance Lalklng abouL hlmself or herself wlLhouL allowlng hlm Lo
become consclous of whaL you are dolng. 1urn back, aL flrsL, any courLeous reclprocal quesLlons ln such
a way LhaL your audlLor does noL feel rebuffed. ?ou wlll flnd a genulne lnLeresL rlslng ln you for your
companlon, soon, lf you are aL all klndly or lmaglnaLlve, you wlll flnd yourself engrossed. 1he lasL,
llngerlng Lrace of self-consclousness wlll drop from you. lL may be LhaL you wlll noL be asked abouL
yourself. 1haL makes no dlfference, aL Lhe very leasL you have learned a llLLle more abouL how Lhe world
looks Lo anoLher, and have exLended your horlzon. lf, on Lhe oLher hand, you do Lalk of yourself ln
response Lo laLer quesLlons, you wlll know [usL how much Lo say, whaL lnLeresLs you have ln common,
wheLher you could ever flnd Lhe frlendshlp of LhaL person deslrable.
erhaps lL needs Lo be sald plalnly LhaL acLlng consclously need noL mean acLlng coldly. noL a graln of
real humanlLy ls sacrlflced by havlng Lhe relns of acLlon ln one's own hands, raLher Lhe conLrary. An
ouLgolng efforL ls volunLarlly underLaken and carrled on, lnsLead of belng so LoLally engrossed ln
ourselves LhaL we know noLhlng of Lhe moods or lnLeresLs of oLhers excepL as Lhey affecL us, we escape
by Lhe pleasanLesL road from our resLrlcLlng egoLlsm. 1he oLher parLy Lo Lhe experlmenL, far from belng
a vlcLlm of coldblooded plannlng, ls for once assured of noL belng vlcLlmlzed by our bllnd selflshness.
<'=8#8 3'&"'-0'4*
38 |

1he exacL opposlLe of Lhe above exerclses, and lnflnlLely harder Lo do wlLh lnLenLlon: 1alk excluslvely
abouL yourself and your lnLeresLs wlLhouL complalnlng, boasLlng or (lf posslble) borlng your companlon.
Make yourself and your acLlvlLles as lnLeresLlng as you can Lo Lhe person Lo whom you are Lalklng.
1hls ls an excellenL dlsclpllne for Lhose who ordlnarlly Lalk Loo much abouL Lhemselves. 1hls reducLlo ad
absurdum of Lhelr weakness brlngs Lhem face Lo face wlLh Lhe ordeal whlch Lhey are puLLlng Lhelr
frlends Lhrough aL every opporLunlLy. When concenLraLed Lalklng abouL one's own lnLeresLs ls
underLaken consclously, every slgn of lndlfference, of boredom, of resLlveness or lmpaLlence, of deslre
Lo lnLroduce anoLher Loplc of conversaLlon whlch may escape us whlle we are neuroLlcally self absorbed,
ls only Loo plalnly seen. 8oLh Lhe exerclse and Lhe weakness wlll be abandoned graLefully afLer one or
Lwo occaslons.
Powever, Lhere are oLher Lhlngs Lo be galned from Lhls. lL soon becomes apparenL LhaL Lalklng abouL Lhe
Lrlvlal, Lhe commonplace, Lhe recurrlng lncldenLs of one's llfe leads Lo cerLaln ennul ln our hearers. lf, on
Lhe oLher hand, we have had genulnely lnLeresLlng experlences, have been more lmaglnaLlve ln a
slLuaLlon Lhan usual, are underLaklng someLhlng new, we are llkely Lo hold our audlence. 1he concluslon
LhaL ln LhaL case perhaps we mlghL proflL by exLendlng our lnLeresLs, underLaklng new advenLures, or
brlnglng more lmaglnaLlon Lo our everyday llves can hardly be escaped. We soon learn Lo dlscard a
reporL of our laLesL aLLack of lllness, Lhe mosL recenL explolL of our offsprlng, Lhe remarkable lnLelllgence
of our peLs, Loday's example of our bad luck, as openlng gamblLs ln adulL conversaLlon. lf you are wlLh
someone who ls sLlll a slave Lo LhaL klnd of word-wasLlng, consclously lnLroduce a sub[ecL of more depLh
or wlder lnLeresL when lL ls your Lurn Lo speak. lf you dlscover LhaL he or she sLubbornly reslsLs all such
lnvlLaLlons Lo beLLer Lalk, you have a declslon Lo make.
1here may be, ln splLe of all llmlLaLlons, such warmLh, sweeLness, genulne feellng ln even a llmlLed
frlend LhaL one can under no clrcumsLances Lhlnk of abandonlng Lhe relaLlonshlp. Cn Lhe oLher hand, we
someLlmes dlscover, Lo our surprlsed dlsmay, LhaL we have aLLached someone Lo ourselves for no beLLer
reason Lhan LhaL ln hls presence we can babble on abouL Lhe LrlvlallLles of our llves, Lhough Lhere ls no
deep bond beLween us. 1o wlLhdraw from LhaL assoclaLlon as soon as ls conslsLenL wlLhouL hurLlng Lhe
oLher parLy, Lo refuse Lo conLlnue Lo wasLe your own energy and Llme, or connlve ln Lhe wasLlng of hls, ls
a plaln obllgaLlon. lf you have been gullLy (as mosL of us have) of formlng such an assoclaLlon-ln-
weakness, Lhe flrsL efforL aL correcLlon should be Lo see wheLher you can noL Lransform lL lnLo a genulne
frlendshlp, sLlmulaLlng and sLrengLhenlng, only when you musL glve up all hope of LhaL should Lhe
relaLlonshlp be dropped.
>'4#8 3'&"'-0'4*
1he correcLlon of Lhe "l mean," Lhe "As a maLLer of facL" hablL, Lakes cooperaLlon. lf you reallze LhaL you
have plcked up a verbal mannerlsm, call on Lhe frlend Lo whom you Lalk mosL fluenLly and emoLlonally.
lL ls falrly easy Lo conLrol such a mannerlsm ln Lhe presence of someone we hardly know, buL ln Lhe heaL
of dlscourse Lhe offendlng phrase wlll crop up ln every oLher senLence. 1ell Lhe frlend LhaL you are saylng
"and so on," for lnsLance, Lo Lhe polnL of absurdlLy. Ask hlm Lo waLch for lL, and Lo hold up hls hand
wlLhouL lnLerrupLlng Lhe conversaLlon whenever he hears you use lL. 1he Lalk whlch follows wlll be
39 |

choppy, and Lhere ls llkely for a whlle Lo be more laughLer Lhan conversaLlon, buL you wlll begln Lo geL
Lhe hablL ln hand. 1wo or Lhree sesslons wlll enLlrely eradlcaLe Lhe phrase---excepL when you acLually
wanL Lo use lL.
7*4#8 3'&"'-0'4*
lan Lwo hours of a day and llve accordlng Lo Lhe plan.
lf you are worklng by yourself as a free lance, any day wlll do. lf noL, choose a Sunday or hollday Lo
experlmenL on. Make Lhe schedule parLly accordlng Lo your usual hablL, parLly unllke lL. As for lnsLance:
7:30-8 8reakfasL and newspaper
8-8:20 Mall
8:20-9:23 Arrange books accordlng Lo sub[ecL maLLer
9:23-9:30 1elephone (lf on weekday) for some appolnLmenL you have been puLLlng off. lf Sunday
or hollday, go ouL for a walk.
1he complexlLy or dlverslLy of Lhe lLems has very llLLle Lo do wlLh Lhls pracLlce. 1he polnL ls Lo Lurn from
one acLlvlLy Lo Lhe nexL, noL aL Lhe approxlmaLe mlnuLe of your schedule, buL on Lhe exacL momenL. lf
you are only halfway Lhrough Lhe newspaper, LhaL's very sad. 8uL down lL musL go, and you open your
mall---hlLherLo dlsregarded. lf Lhls ls a day wlLhouL an lncomlng mall, Lhe LwenLy mlnuLes go Lo leLLer
wrlLlng. lf you have Llme Lo spare, send a card or Lwo, or make noLes for anoLher leLLer on anoLher day.
Wherever you are aL 8:20 wlLh your correspondence, you sLop and Lurn Lo Lhe arranglng of books. Cne
of your planned acLlvlLles, aL leasL, should promlse a falr amounL of lnLeresL Lo you. lf lL ls noL arranglng
books, Lhen cllpplng arLlcles from a magazlne can replace lL, or even sLralghLenlng a room Lhoroughly.
1he Lwln purposes of Lhls dlsclpllne are, flrsL, Lo glve ourselves Lhe experlence of belng under orders
agaln, and, second, Lo demonsLraLe how badly we lose our sense of Lhe Llme necessary Lo accompllsh
any sLlpulaLed acLlvlLy. Lvery prlnLer LhaL ever llved, probably, has grumbled aL an edlLor or make up
man who wanLs Lo crowd Loo many leLLers on a llne, complalnlng LhaL "he musL Lhlnk we've goL rubber
Lype." Well, mosL of us Lhlnk our days have rubber hours. Lven Lhose suburbanlLes who have learned by
long experlence LhaL lL ls [usL sevenLeen mlnuLes Lo a second from Lhe shower-baLh Lo Lhe rallroad
sLaLlon wlll nonchalanLly plan Lo cram Lhe work of half a day lnLo a couple of hours afLer lunch. We
expecL Llme Lo be lnflnlLely accommodaLlng, we refuse Lo admlL LhaL lL cannoL be. 8uL lL ls posslble Lo
learn---by plannlng, flrsL, Lwo hours of a day, Lhen Lhree, Lhen four, and so on Llll we have planned and
llved an effecLlve, elghL hour day (aL Lhe leasL) --- Lo use Llme Lo Lhe besL advanLage. 8lgld schedullng of
a whole day ls noL always posslble or even deslrable, buL a few days llved by LlmeLable now and agaln
wlll refresh our sense of Lhe value of Llme and Leach us whaL we can expecL of ourselves when we do
noL wasLe lL.
lor Lhose who need really sLern warnlng abouL Lhls: one psychlaLrlsL, ur. aul 8ousfeld, holds LhaL Lhe
sure slgn of Lhe lncurable egoLlsL ls LhaL he never allows for Lhe acLual amounL of Llme any glven acLlvlLy
60 |

wlll Lake. llrmly, Lhough unconsclously, bellevlng LhaL Lhe world revolves around hlm, cerLaln of hls
maglcal power Lo arresL Lhe progress of Lhe sun and Lhe moon, he goes Lhrough llfe asLonlshed aL Lhe
refracLorlness of 1lme ln noL meeLlng hlm halfway. Pe ls always laLe Lo appolnLmenLs, behlnd ln hls
obllgaLlons, consLanLly assumlng more work or accepLlng more lnvlLaLlons Lhan he could keep lf he were
Lwlns. Pe elLher learns Lhe error of hls ways or comes Lo a bad end.
<0*;*4#8 3'&"'-0'4*
1hls ls Lhe mosL dlfflculL of all. lL wlll seem so arblLrary Lo many readers LhaL Lhey wlll noL even Lry Lo
apply lL. lL ls arblLrary, LhaL ls lLs very essence. lL ls less necessary for Lhose llvlng ln Lhe mldsL of large
famllles Lhan for persons llvlng alone, or Lhose who are alone mosL of Lhe Llme. 8ememberlng Lhe
quoLaLlon glven before from ur. Calrel, arrange Lo puL yourself lnLo slLuaLlons where you musL acL non-
hablLually, where you musL adapL yourself. Members of Lhe Army, Lhe navy, Lhe prlesLhood, some
socleLles, are consLanLly ln a sLaLe of llvlng under orders, and we recognlze ln Lhem a reslllency LhaL ls
absenL from Lhe characLers of mosL men and women who llve accordlng Lo Lhelr own convenlence. lL ls
noL easy Lo geL Lhls reslllency back lnLo our llves, buL lL ls a quallLy Loo valuable Lo be losL. lf Lhe followlng
recommendaLlon seems somewhaL Loo dramaLlc, almosL Loo rldlculous, be assured LhaL Lhe resulLs wlll
show Lhe worLh of Lhe dlsclpllne.
Cn a number of sllps of paper---Lwelve wlll do Lo sLarL wlLh---wrlLe lnsLrucLlons llke Lhese:
"Co LwenLy mlles from home, uslng ordlnary conveyance." (ln oLher words, don'L [usL geL ouL a car or
hlre a Laxl, lf you can afford lL, and drlve somewhere. 1ake sLreeLcars, buses, ferrles, subways.)
"Co Lwelve hours wlLhouL food."
"Co eaL a meal ln Lhe unllkellesL place you can flnd." A resLauranL ln a LoLally forelgn quarLer of a clLy ls
good here. Asklng for food aL a farmhouse ls beLLer, lf you are hardy enough Lo be so unconvenLlonal.
"Say noLhlng all day excepL ln answer Lo quesLlons."
"SLay up all nlghL and work." And Lhls, by Lhe way, ls Lhe mosL valuable order of Lhem all. ?ou musL plan
Lo work sLeadlly and quleLly, reslsLlng every LempLaLlon Lo lle down for a few momenLs, buL relaxlng very
sllghLly agalnsL Lhe chalr-back every hour or so, braclng yourself Lo your work agaln Lhe momenL
lasslLude LhreaLens Lo overcome you. Cnly Lhose who have acLually done Lhls reallze LhaL Lhere are
depLhs Lo our mlnds whlch we seldom plumb, accusLomed as we are Lo succumb Lo Lhe flrsL aLLack of
faLlgue, or sLaylng awake only so long as we have ouLer sLlmulaLlon.
Seal Lhese sllps of paper ln Lwelve envelopes, shuffle Lhem Lhoroughly and puL Lhem ln a drawer.
Whenever you Lhlnk of lL, shuffle Lhem agaln. Lvery oLher week, or on a glven day of each monLh, plck
one of Lhe envelopes, open lL, and perform your own command. lL may be ralnlng plLchforks on Lhe day
you command yourself Lo Lravel LwenLy mlles by common carrler, neverLheless, unless your sLaLe of
healLh absoluLely forblds lL, you go. lf you are dolng an lnLenslve plece of work, one monLhly exerclse of
Lhls sorL ls enough. lf noL, Lhe ofLener you can be arblLrary wlLh yourself---wlLhouL Lurnlng lnLo a resLless
[umplng [ack, lL goes wlLhouL saylng---Lhe beLLer for your characLer evenLually.
61 |

1here need noL be Lwelve dlfferenL orders on your sllps. lf you can Lhlnk of acLlvlLles whlch are genulnely
dlfflculL for you Lo do, whlch go agalnsL Lhe graln buL whlch you yeL know would be valuable Lralnlng for
you, lnclude Lhem. Cne young man of my acqualnLance who was abnormally shy lnslsLed Lo hlmself LhaL
he should geL lnLo conversaLlon wlLh aL leasL Lhree sLrangers dally. Any acLlvlLy you choose should be
boLh correcLlve and unusual, cuLLlng abrupLly across your usual rouLlne.
7)*0(#8 3'&"'-0'4*
An alLernaLlve meLhod ls Lhls: from Llme Lo Llme glve yourself a day on whlch you say "?es" Lo every
requesL made of you whlch ls aL all reasonable. 1he more you Lend Lo reLlre from socleLy ln your lelsure,
Lhe more valuable Lhls wlll be. ?ou may flnd yourself lnvlLed Lo go slelgh rldlng ln your LwenLy-four
hours, you may be lnvlLed Lo change your [ob. 1he slelgh-rlde should cerLalnly be accepLed, however
much you may haLe sLraw, Lhlck blankeLs and cold weaLher. 1he [ob-changlng, forLunaLely, can be
submlLLed Lo examlnaLlon, slnce lL ls only "reasonable" acLlvlLles whlch you are Lo underLake wlLhouL
second LhoughL. uon'L be afrald noLhlng wlll occur on LhaL day, lL ls asLonlshlng how many small
requesLs we can Lurn aslde dally raLher Lhan lnLerrupL our even course. 1he consequences may be wlde-
reachlng, ofLen educaLlve, someLlmes exLremely advanLageous.
neverLheless do noL [ump Lo Lhe concluslon LhaL because one day of Lhe sorL has broughL so many
lnLeresLlng posslblllLles Lo llghL, every day should be led ln LhaL manner. Cn Lhe conLrary, Lo deny oneself
an opporLunlLy now and agaln ls fully as lllumlnaLlng, parLlcularly for Lhose who wasLe Loo much Llme ln
parLy-golng, LheaLers, and so on. Such persons should plan Lo refuse many lnvlLaLlons, and spend Lhe
Llme ln lnLenslve self-culLlvaLlon.
Cn Lhls sysLem, work ouL oLher dlsclpllnes whlch are good for your lndlvldual case. 1here are Lwo ways
of maklng Lhem. llrsL, become aware of some weakness or lnadequaLe performance on your parL, Lhen
declde, perhaps afLer experlmenL, wheLher Lhe way Lo correcL lL ls Lo seL yourself Lo dolng Lhe exacL
opposlLe, or wheLher---as ln curlng Lhe hablL of Lalklng Loo much abouL one's own lnLeresLs---acLlng a
ludlcrous and over- emphaslzed parody of Lhe falllng wlll be more effecLlve.
Cnce you geL Lhe ldea, you wlll flnd Lhese dlsclpllnes noL only helpful buL genulnely amuslng. ln many
cases Lhey replace Lhe raLher haphazard puzzle-solvlng acLlvlLles whlch call on somewhaL Lhe same
capaclLles. ln maLchlng your wlLs agalnsL yourself you Lake on Lhe shrewdesL and wlllesL anLagonlsL you
can have, and consequenLly a vlcLorlous ouLcome ln Lhls duel of wlLs brlngs a greaL feellng of Lrlumph. AL
lasL, when one ls ln Lralnlng, one can call aL wlll on any of Lhe menLal LralLs whlch have been
sLrengLhened or exerclsed ln Lhese ways and flnd LhaL lL performs exacLly and qulckly.
8uL, as you begln Lo Lake pleasure ln Lhese exerclses, remlnd yourself LhaL Lhey are means, noL ends. ln
geLLlng conLrol of your mlnd you are noL yeL uslng lL offlclally, so Lo speak. ?ou are sLlll ln your
probaLlonary perlod. Pave you ever meL one of Lhose healLh-seekers who eaL [usL so many ounces of
food per day, walk [usL so many mlles or play [usL so many games of handball, slL ln Lhe sun or under a
sun lamp [usL so many mlnuLes---and Lhen lead Lhe dullesL of personal llves? Pe has made hlmself lnLo a
magnlflcenLly healLhy creaLure---for no purpose whaLsoever. ?ou are Lralnlng your mlnd ln order Lo
engage lL ln deflnlLe acLlvlLy, so do noL puL off Loo long Lhe maLLer of geLLlng aL your orlglnal plans.
62 |

SLlll conslderlng whaL alds we can flnd Lo successful llvlng, buL now ln Lhe way of dlrecL supporL for
ourselves, Lhere are varlous ways ln whlch we can make Lhe process smooLher. Cne of Lhe besL ls Lo
follow Lhe suggesLlon of lranklln, ln hls AuLoblography, and Lo check dally on our progress by means of a
small, speclally prepared noLebook. lranklln hlmself drew up a llsL of LhlrLeen vlrLues, and under each
wroLe a maxlm embodylng Lhe sense of LhaL vlrLue Lo hls mlnd. lor lnsLance, under 1emperance he
wroLe "LaL noL Lo dullness, drlnk noL Lo elevaLlon", under Sllence: "Speak noL buL whaL may beneflL
oLhers or yourself, avold Lrlfllng conversaLlon", and so wenL on, Lhrough Crder, 8esoluLlon, lrugallLy and
Lhe resL. lL ls hardly posslble Lo draw up a beLLer seL, buL---and perhaps lL ls one more slgn of Lhe
sofLenlng of Lhe race---for mosL purposes Lhe slx maLLers whlch we flnd mosL Lroublesome wlll seem
qulLe enough for our presenL.
Lach wlll have hls own seL of faulLs Lo be correcLed. 8uL leL us say, for lnsLance, LhaL you declde you
could do more work lf you would, LhaL you are shy, LhaL you Lake Loo long Lo make up your mlnd, LhaL
you Lalk Loo much (and LlmldlLy and LalkaLlveness are by no means muLually excluslve vlces), LhaL you
eaL aL odd hours or Lhe wrong Lhlngs, LhaL you sleep Loo long (or noL enough). ?our noLebook page
should look llke Lhls:
Sunday Monday 1uesday Wednesday 1hursday lrlday SaLurday
Work
Courage
ueclslon
Speech
Meals
Sleep

1he checks represenL your esLlmaLe of Lhe number of Llmes you successfully reslsLed Lhe LempLaLlon Lo
acL ln Lhe unsaLlsfacLory way. As you flnd yourself able Lo flll any of Lhe squares of your noLebook each
day---ln oLher words, when you have eradlcaLed Lhe Lroublemaklng faulL---you can reLlre LhaL
classlflcaLlon and replace lL wlLh anoLher whlch you may have noLlced. lf you soon ouLgrow Lhe need of
Lhe noLebook, splendld. lL can be kepL ln a convenlenL drawer, Lhough, as a remlnder.
1hen Lhere ls Lhe maLLer of geLLlng lnLo Lhe day. 1hose who wake fully each mornlng would flnd lL hard
Lo belleve how many of Lhelr fellows suffer from noL belng fully ln command of Lhelr faculLles ln Lhe
mornlng. lf you belong Lo Lhe laLLer crew, don'L heslLaLe Lo lmlLaLe Lhe kaLherlne Mansfleld hero who
woke, opened hls eyes, and saw Lhe slgn he had puL up for hlmself: "CeL ouL of bed aL once."
WhaL ls more, lf you know---as so many of us do---LhaL aL mldnlghL you have a genulne lnsplraLlon whlch
your mornlng's prosalc mood leads you Lo dlsregard, wrlLe yourself a noLe abouL lL. 8e preLLy flrm abouL
Lhe maLLer, puL lL sharply. Say Lo yourself, ln wrlLlng, "?ou're an ldloL lf you don'L aL leasL see wheLher
Macy's would llke LhaL ldea. Make an appolnLmenL Loday!" CfLen noLhlng more ls needed Lo make Lhe
prosy, unlmaglnaLlve dayllghL mood break up and allow Lhe lnLenser one Lo reLurn.
63 |

Cne of Lhe mosL famous men ln Amerlca consLanLly sends hlmself posL-cards, and occaslonally noLes. Pe
explalned Lhe cardsendlng as belng hls way of rellevlng hls memory of unnecessary deLalls. ln hls pockeL
he carrles a few posLals addressed Lo hls offlce. l was wlLh hlm one LhreaLenlng day when he looked ouL
Lhe resLauranL wlndow, drew a card from hls pockeL and wroLe on lL. 1hen he Lhrew lL across Lhe Lable
Lo me wlLh a grln. lL was addressed Lo hlmself aL hls offlce, and sald "uL your ralncoaL wlLh your haL." AL
Lhe offlce he had oLher cards addressed Lo hlmself aL home.
8ewardlng oneself for successful work---even ln addlLlon Lo Lhe success---ls anoLher way of promoLlng
proper acLlon. lf you geL yourself some small luxury when, and only when, your noLebook shows a week
of saLlsfacLory marks, you may go Lo sllghLly more Lrouble Lo Lurn away from your faulLs.
CeL lnLo Lhe hablL of belng boLh sLrlcL and frlendly Loward yourself: demand a cerLaln sLandard of
performance, approve of yourself, even reward yourself, lf you aLLaln lL. lar Loo ofLen we pursue [usL Lhe
wrong LacLlcs. When we should be acLlng we lndulge or excuse ourselves for lnacLlvlLy we Lhen upbrald
and punlsh ourselves ruLhlessly and fuLllely. 1he scoldlng ls fuLlle because we somehow feel LhaL, lf we
have been severe and cuLLlng Lo ourselves, we have ln some way aLoned for Lhe faulL of non
performance. We have noL, of course. We have noL done whaL we planned, and we have dlscouraged
and hurL ourselves lnLo Lhe bargaln.

64 |

45"'/$0 6= 7 R() >5$ O$B/ 1C *23#-
Summlng up, Lhen, we have as Lhe flrsL LeneL of success: AcL as lf lL were lmposslble Lo fall.
8eglnnlng Lo puL Lhls lnLo pracLlce, we dlscover LhaL Lhe flrsL demand upon us ls LhaL we should reclalm
as much as posslble of Lhe energy whlch now goes lnLo reverle or lnLo Llme-kllllng, and devoLe lL Lo
purposeful acLlvlLy, Lo acLlon Loward an end. We acL by lgnorlng all memorles or apprehenslons of
fallure, by refuslng Lo aLLach lmporLance Lo Lemporary dlscomforL or pasL paln. We learn noL Lo courL
frusLraLlon by uslng an aLLlLude or Lone whlch leaves any opporLunlLy for rebuff or noncooperaLlon. We
exerclse our mlnds ln Lrlal performances ln order Lo have Lhem fully under our conLrol when Lhe
occaslon Lo use Lhem ln an experL way arlses. WlLh Lhe lmaglnaLlon we palnlessly explore all Lhe posslble
reaches of our llves and consLanLly provlde ourselves wlLh pro[ecLs of fuLure lnLeresLs Lo such an exLenL
LhaL we shall noL fall back lnLo day dreamlng.
We dellberaLely make for ourselves an lnvlgoraLlng menLal cllmaLe, and ln Lhls aLmosphere, freed of
doubLs and anxleLles, we acL. ln Lhe lasL few chapLers we have been conslderlng Lhese faceLs of
successful acLlon one by one. now lL musL be remembered LhaL, however correcL and suggesLlve such
deLalled conslderaLlons may be, Lhey suffer badly ln one manner: Lhelr Lempo, so Lo speak, has had Lo
be alLered ln order Lo show Lhem mlnuLely.
A slow-moLlon plcLure of ballplayers ln acLlon, of golfers, of a Lennls maLch, ls someLlmes of lnesLlmable
value Lo Lhese who are learnlng Lo play. 1he muscular efforL behlnd a sudden dexLerous Lurn of Lhe
body, ln lLs normal Lempo far Loo qulck for Lhe eye Lo caLch, ls shown ln Lhe reLarded fllm ln all lLs
subLleLy. 8uL we galn our lnslghL lnLo Lhe Lechnlque of dlfflculL plays by loslng slghL, for Lhe momenL, of
anoLher aspecL. ?ou wlll remember how, ln such plcLures, Lhe player glldes languorously Lhrough Lhe alr,
Lhe ball curves slowly Lowards Lhe racqueL, Louches lL wlLh a sofL lmpacL and slldes slowly away agaln.
lllumlnaLlng as Lhese plcLures are, Lhey are also always lrreslsLlbly comlc: Lhe leap, Lhe crack, Lhe rapldlLy
of Lhe game as we know lL ls gone, replaced by a LwlllL, dreamlng genLleness.
now, Lo conslder Lhe Lechnlque of success ln Lhese pages, we have had Lo sacrlflce pace Lo analysls ln
[usL Lhls way. 1he acLual Lempo of success, whlle lL should noL have Lhe nervousness or sLraln LhaL ls
almosL lnevlLable ln a compeLlLlve conLesL, ls qulcker, smooLher, more brlsk Lhan any book analyzlng lL
can ever show. 1here ls a dellghLful conclseness ln successful acLlon. "l know l'm dolng a good plcLure lf
l'm palnLlng [usL as fasL as l can move," a greaL arLlsL sald Lo a group of frlends recenLly. "1he mlnuLe l
dabble l know l'm sLalllng, LhaL Lhere's someLhlng l'm noL seelng rlghL, when l'm rlghL lL's almosL llke
play."
1here ls undoubLedly someLhlng game-llke abouL perLlnenL acLlvlLy: Lhose dlsLressful cllches of a few
years ago, "Lhe adverLlslng game," "Lhe englneerlng game," "Lhe resLauranL game," had some excuse ln
reallLy. 1he vocabulary of men who are successful ln Lhe sense LhaL Lhey have amassed huge forLunes
abounds ln Lerms Laken over from Lhe [argon of sporLs: "A fasL one," "CuL of bounds," and so on. And
however unllke Lhe blg buslness amblLlon of such a man one's own personal ldea of success may be,
63 |

Lhere ls someLhlng Lo be deduced from Lhe frequency of recreaLlon Lerms when sLorles of success are ln
quesLlon. urposeful acLlon seems qulcker, clearer more sLralghLforward and en[oyable Lhan any oLher.
ln reallLy, you may be worklng more slowly and carefully Lhan ordlnarlly, sLlll, Lhe facL LhaL Lhere ls no
confuslon of lssues, no parL of your mlnd off woolgaLherlng as you move, glves an unmlsLakable "Lone"
Lo acLlvlLles whlch are belng carrled on ln Lhe proper way.
lL ls [usL Lhls Lone LhaL you are seLLlng yourself Lo recapLure by lmaglnaLlon when you remember Lhe
mood of an earller success. Cnce you have found lL ln Lhe pasL, made use of lL for presenL acLlon, and
noLed Lhe slmllarlLy ln pace whlch resulLs, you wlll soon be able Lo sLrlke Lhe rlghL rhyLhm wlLhouL Lhe
elaboraLe prellmlnary lmaglnaLlve acLlvlLy. lurLher, Lhls rhyLhm someLlmes crops ouL unexpecLedly, ln
Lhe mlddle of unlmporLanL evenLs, lL ls a promlse LhaL, lf you can geL away and aL work, you wlll flnd
yourself "ln veln." So you wlll come Lo recognlze lLs onseL and be able Lo Lurn lL Lo your advanLage.
1hls feellng of pace, or Lone, or rhyLhm---lL represenLs lLself dlfferenLly Lo dlfferlng LemperamenLs---wlll
be your evldence LhaL you are headed Lhe rlghL way. 1hls ls no recommendaLlon Lo hasLen your physlcal
acLlon ln worklng. 1haL may or may noL come Lo pass. very ofLen lL does, ln oLher cases undue hasLe has
been one of Lhe conLrlbuLlons of Lhe Wlll Lo lall, whlch, aplng Lhe declslveness of auLhorlLaLlve moLlon,
allowed several essenLlals Lo good work Lo be overlooked or sklmped.
lL ls noL so much any real brlskness LhaL ls belng consldered here as lL ls Lhe facL LhaL unlmpeded
movemenL ln a forward dlrecLlon ls pleasanL and rhyLhmlcal, movemenL whlch goes unwaverlngly
Lowards success.
LeL us, for anoLher reducLlo ad absurdum, conslder one greaL class of successes, of whlch almosL
everyone has had some personal experlence, or aL Lhe very leasL has meL ln Lhe llves of Lhose abouL hlm:
Lhe sLaLe called Lhe courage of desperaLlon.
ln Lhe mosL exLreme cases, Lhls courage arlses because some caLasLrophe or serles of mlsforLunes has
compleLely wlped ouL every alLernaLlve Lo success. "Pe has noLhlng Lo lose," we say of one ln Lhls
slLuaLlon. very well, Lhen, he acLs wlLh a dlrecLness and darlng whlch he could noL ordlnarlly command.
So ofLen LhaL lL has become a maLLer of legend for us, Lhls acLlon ls aLLended wlLh overwhelmlng
success. lf you wlll remember Lhe Lhlrd vlcLlm of Lhe Wlll Lo lall ln an earller chapLer, you wlll recall LhaL
he had made a sLaLe of desperaLlon lnLo a supersLlLlous prerequlslLe Lo accompllshmenL. CulLe
mlsreadlng Lhe slLuaLlon, he came Lo belleve LhaL Lhe prospecL of uLLer vanqulshmenL would, each Llme,
cause laLe Lo relenL. WhaL he enLlrely overlooked was LhaL when he had reached such sLralLs LhaL he
dared noL fall he lnvarlably acLed as he should always acL: as lf lL were lmposslble Lo fall. WlLhouL
excepLlon ln Lhls sLaLe he succeeded. lnexLrlcably lnvolved ln Lhe meshes of hls bad and emoLlonal
Lhlnklng, he lnvlLed fallure as Lhe only way Lo spur hlmself Lo efforL. 1o hls acqualnLances he lnevlLably
recalled Lhe crazy hero of worldwlde fame, Lhe man who hlL hlmself on Lhe head wlLh a hammer
because lL felL so good when he sLopped. lL was and ls all very serlous Lo hlm.
8uL remove Lhe absurdlLy from Lhese examples of Lhe courage of desperaLlon, and we have Lhe sense.
uesperaLlon does cuL off one alLernaLlve. 8uL desperaLlon ls noL needed, ls noL Lhe only Lool whlch wlll
66 |

cuL away Lhe posslblllLy of fallure. lmaglnaLlon wlll do Lhe work even beLLer and more neaLly. And we are
lefL wlLh Courage faclng ln Lhe rlghL dlrecLlon.
Courage faclng ln Lhe rlghL dlrecLlon ls Lhe slne qua non of success. lL ls Lo reach LhaL sLage LhaL we puL
ourselves Lhrough exerclses ln flexlblllLy and resLralnL, learn Lo Lurn lmaglnaLlon away from
apprehenslon and lnLo useful channels, deLermlne Lo acL wlsely ln mlnor maLLers ln order Lo sLore up
courage for Lhe ma[or lssues of our llves. We use our heads Lo geL Lhe greaLesL good from our glfLs and
ablllLles, refuslng ourselves Lhe weakenlng prlvlleges of dreamlng, avoldlng responslblllLles, followlng Lhe
llne of leasL reslsLance, acLlng chlldlshly.
Success, for any sane adulL, ls exacLly equlvalenL Lo dolng one's besL. WhaL LhaL besL may be, whaL lLs
farLhesL reaches may lnclude, we can dlscover only by freelng ourselves compleLely from Lhe Wlll Lo lall.

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