Monday, November 12, 2007

I will grapple with fate; it shall never drag me down!

I have known a little sawed-off dwarf of a salesman to wade into a prospect and, through sheer grit, get an order where the ordinary salesman, with good physical appearance, would have failed.

This fellow said that grit had been his only capital in life; that when he found he was so handicapped by his size and his ugly features that he would probably be a failure and a nobody in the world, he just made up his mind he would not only overcome every one of his handicaps, but that he would be a big success in his line.

He did everything he had resolved to do, and through sheer force of grit “made good.” He had paid the price of success, and won out, as will every one who is willing to pay the price.

Only the weakling prates about “luck,” a “pull,” or “favoritism,” or any other backstairs to success. Your success and your luck are determined by yourself and by no other. We are the masters of our destiny. We get just what we want.

To be sure, all of us wish for a lot of things; we would like very much to have them, but we don’t really want them, or we would straightway set to work and try very hard by every means in our power to get them.

Many of us wish for a job worth tens of thousands of dollars a year, but we want to get it without much effort, and to hold it with still less effort. What we really want is success without effort, an easy job at the highest market price, like the cook pictured in a recent cartoon, applying for a place.

Her first question is: “And what’s the wages, mum?” “Oh, I always pay whatever a person’s worth,” answers the employer. “No, thank, ye, mum. I never works for as little as that,” replies the disgusted would-be employee.

Let us remember that there is no easiest way to success in any business or profession. We are here to develop ourselves to the highest point of our ability; to be the broadest, ablest, most helpful men and women we can be, and this is only possible through the assiduous cultivation of our highest faculties.

We can only grow and progress through self-development. No patent method has yet been discovered by which a man or woman can be developed from the outside.

Abraham Lincoln tells us, “The way for a young man to rise, is to improve himself every way he can, never suspecting that any one wishes to hinder him.”

Hudson Maxim, the famous inventor, has formulated ten success rules, the essence of which are, study and work.

He makes two vital assertions:

1. “Never look for something for nothing; make up your mind to earn everything, and remember that opportunity is the only thing that any one can donate you without demoralizing you and doing you an injury.”

2. “Man must eliminate from his mind any belief that the world owes him a living.”

Now, some people differ with Mr. Maxim on this last point. They believe the world does owe each one of us a living. If they are right, it is pleasant to think that the world is very ready to pay this debt, when we come around to collect it in the right way.

If we can do any one thing superbly, no matter how humble it may be, we shall find ourselves in demand. The world will most willingly pay its indebtedness to us.

Men and women who have won distinction in every business and profession are unanimous in their agreement as to two cardinal points in the achievement of success—Work and Grit.

The Honorable Thomas Pryor Gore, the blind Senator of Oklahoma, who raised himself from a poor, blind boy to be an influential member of the United States Senate, has this to say on the secret of pushing to the front: “A fixed and unalterable purpose, pursued under all circumstances, in season and out of season, with no shadow of turning, is the best motive power a man can have.

I have sat in physical darkness for twenty-seven years, and if I have learned anything it is that the dynamics of the human will can overcome any difficulty.”

Here, indeed, is encouragement for every youth in this land of opportunity. Think of a poor, blind boy, unaided, achieving such distinction as Mr. Gore has won! Think of a blind Milton writing the greatest epic in the world’s literature!

Think of a Beethoven, stone deaf, overcoming the greatest handicap a composer could have, and raising himself to the distinction of being one of the greatest composers the world has known!

One of this wonderful man’s sayings is well worth keeping in mind by every young man struggling with difficulties: “I will grapple with fate; it shall never drag me down.”


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