The Secret of Genuine Success
I wonder whether you have made some of the same observations I have made? From childhood, I always wondered why so many people in the community were not as prosperous as, apparently, they deserved. At the same time, a few people seemed to have everything. They seemed to have learned the secret of enjoying life. They also enjoyed a large measure of health, and I also noticed particularly, at that time, and at my level of appreciation, that they were enjoying a large measure of prosperity.
I asked myself the question why so many were not getting the best out of life and why so few had found the apparent secret. I decided to try to find the answer quite early in my life, and in a small way, I began my research. After graduating from high school, I began a planned and organized research. Over a period of 25 years, and I did special research on what I choose to call the practical aspects of psychology. It was my privilege to discover the answer to this problem and I would like to share it with you.
Before I give you the answer, however, I would like to make this observation. From the beginning I knew about this secret of success. I found also that the majority of the people actually have known about this secret all of their lives, but I found that even though I knew about it, and even though I found that everyone knew about it, very few of them knew it in such a way that they could take it into their lives and use it in a practical way. In other words, people knew about it, but, were not able to express it.
They were not enjoying a measure of happiness, health and prosperity, and as they deserved, and would be enjoying, if they knew how to use this secret. And thus I want to define this secret so you will not just know about it, but you will know it so well that you can use this principle and make it a habit in your everyday experience of living.
I would like first to illustrate the difference between knowing about something, and actually knowing it and living it. So you automatically use it in every expression of your daily living. A certain man is a lifeguard at a large swimming pool, approximately 100 feet long. He has developed such proficiency as a swimmer that he can swim the length of the pool over 50 times without stopping. That would be a mile. He has also the ability to rescue those who are in trouble. He has the strength, power and technique as a swimmer, and can truly stand up and say, “I am a swimmer.”
However, another man is a very proficient lecturer on swimming. He has large classes where he lectures on the techniques of swimming. He knows all of the strokes. In the classroom, he has grace and charm in his ability to describe all of the intimate techniques of swimming.
One day, one of the students asked this professor where he learned to swim.
He replied that he had learned to swim in the library.
Now I ask you, which one of these gentlemen would you like to be with when your boat turned over in deep water? You would choose the one who is the lifeguard at the swimming pool, who can swim 50 laps without any trouble at all and who can rescue you. I am sure you would choose him because he is a swimmer. Every cell in his body has been saturated with an awareness of all of the techniques of swimming, and he has proved, by experience, that he can swim. He has strength and power and knowledge of swimming. He can do the things he teaches as a matter of habit. But the professor only knows about it, can tell you all about it, but he cannot do it.
Now, in this thing called success, it has been my privilege to observe that most people are just like the professor who learned about swimming in the library. Yes, the majority of people, relative to success, are in the same position as the professor. They know all about success, but they are not successful.
They are frustrated and emotionally disturbed. They are filled with fears and worries and concerns and anxieties, and life does not mean a great deal to them because it expresses itself in terms of disharmony and frustration. But if they knew not only how to be successful and if they practice the rules of success, which are available to all people today, they would soon learn to be happy in a tangible fashion just as the swimmer learned to swim. But many of us are still trying to be successful, like the swimmer who wants to be a swimmer, but never gets in the water.
So, in my own case, this quest started many, many years ago. I wanted to know why so many people knew about success, but so few people were successful. I would like to pass the answer I discovered on to you. The answer is that any individual, on the face of this earth, can be genuinely happy, genuinely healthy and a genuinely prosperous if he will do just one thing.
Switch his focal point of attention from “How much can I get out of life?” and developed a habitual concern about, “How much can I give?”
In other words, any individual on the face of the earth can be happy, healthy and prosperous if he will seek an opportunity to serve where there is an unlimited opportunity to serve humanity.
He must find that particular channel, which he seems to have been designed to serve through, and then get into that channel of service, where there is a genuine need, where there is a genuine opportunity to serve. Then, he must become proficient and learn to render, first of all, a quality of service, which means integrity and know-how.
After he has learned to render a quality of service, he must learn to render a quantity of service. Of course, he will be compensated according to the quality and quantity of service rendered. He will be compensated in two ways.
The first compensation that I would like to share with you is a compensation that has meant more to me than any other I have ever experienced. That is the feeling of satisfaction I experience from having gone out with one idea in mind, in my daily activities, and finding an opportunity to render a real, genuine service without any thought of financial remuneration as the number one motive. That feeling of satisfaction I choose to call “livingness.”
This “livingness” – this feeling of real satisfaction, once experienced, through switching your focal point of attention from being interested in making money to rendering a genuine service to humanity, will be a revelation to you. Your “livingness” with this genuinely felt adjustment and focal point will not be worthy to be compared with the so-called thrill of making money, but, a switch of focal point from making money as a prime motive to one of genuine service reaps a more satisfying return to you.
The first compensation, to one who has dedicated himself to this secret of success of rendering a great service to humanity, is “livingness.”
Of course, the great universal law of compensation proves to us that we are compensated, in the coin of the realm, according to the quality and the quantity of service rendered, and I would like to say that this law of success is not a theory.
I will never teach anything which is based upon a theory. Everything that I want to share with you is based upon scientific research and experience.
Now, this idea of switching our focal point of attention from seeking money, power and fame – seeking first to render a quality and a quantity of service to humanity – is based upon a system of laws and rules as tangible as mathematics, as tangible as electricity, as tangible as chemistry itself.
We all know that mathematics, electricity, and the chemistry are sciences which are tangible and exact. An electrician can come into your home and wire your building and he can tell you that a certain light will burn, and that your television set will work, and that every electrical appliance will work according to an exact science.
Men and women study for months and years learning this exact science known as electricity. We all know that mathematics is also an exact science. We all know that chemistry is an exact science. I have found that most people are like I have been most of my life.
They do not realize that success and thinking are also based upon an exact science, a set of rules, a set of laws which any individual who is sincerely seeking the answer to the problems of frustration and ill health and poverty can study. They can study these rules, as electricians study electricity, and as a mathematician studies mathematics. They can learn these rules and practice them until they become automatic through the law habit. Doing this will guarantee them a large measure of happiness, health and prosperity, according to their individuality.
I would like to challenge each and every one of you to realize that it is possible for you to be anything that you want to be and to have anything that you want to have. I know that for many of you that will seem like a truly bold statement. It may seem a bit revolutionary to some of you.
But I would like you to know that I come from the Hill section of the great state of Tennessee. I was born into a family of 14 children and had a background of relative poverty. I look back and I am grateful for that humble beginning. I feel very thankful because it provided the drive for me to discover the secret of success.
I can truthfully say that I know from experience, as well as many years of scientific research in this realm known as the thought processes, that you can be anything that you want to be and that you can have anything that you want to have. This is based upon a scientific set of rules which you can learn just as easily as you’re A, B, C’s and your multiplication tables.
I would like to urge each and every one of you to accept this challenge and to begin to think definitely in terms of what you want to be. I could tell you story after story of students of mine who have made lists of things that they want to be.
In fact, just recently, I was having my shoes shined at the shoe shine parlor, outside the television studio, and there was a very fine young man who shined my shoes. In discussing this idea of success with him briefly, I told him that he could be anything that he wants to be or that he could have anything that he wants to have. He was rather amazed.
He said, “You mean to tell me that I can have anything that I want to have and that I can be anything I want to be?” I said, “Absolutely, and what do you want to be?” He said, “I want to be a great comedian. A combination of master of ceremonies and a great comedian.” I said, “You really mean that, young fellow?” He said, “I certainly do. I want to be that more than anything else in the world.” I said, “You can be it.” He asked, “How in the world can I be it? I’m nobody.”
I explained to him briefly, how to go about it, that the first thing he should do is to realize that there is a system of rules and scientific principles upon which success is based. Then I briefly explained to him that he has the capacity to imagine himself a great success in his chosen field, and that it is his privilege to design his own success. As he exercises his tremendous faculty that is within him, and each of us, with the capacity to imagine what we want to be developed, and we are able to design our own success through this wonderful faculty of imagination.
I went ahead and, in much detail, to describe to him the “one, two, three, four formula.” He was rather amazed and I was very pleased, indeed, when I felt that he had accepted it and he intended to begin immediately to do something about it. He believed, after a few suggestions, that he could be this great comedian and master of ceremonies.
I predict that, in the years to come, you will hear of this young man in the various entertainment circles of the world because he is now visualizing himself as being what he wants to be and having what he wants to have. Having visualized it, he will be driven to do something about becoming more proficient in his work. That will assure his success.
As I have said, the answer to this problem of health and happiness and prosperity is not a theory, but it is tangible. It is based upon sound laws and the challenge to everyone is to accept this and to make a study of it. It is my desire and privilege to share these wonderful true facts based upon this exact science with you, which will help you to become what you want to become and to have everything that you want to have.
The secret of genuine success is very simple. All you have to do is to find a great channel of service to humanity.
Choose that particular channel, of course, for which you seem to be especially designed because there are many, many channels of service to humanity. There are many, many genuine needs. People need thousands of things.
I would like to point out a rather tangible observation that I have made. If you stop and think, you too, would have made the same observation. Every man and woman, in history, who has ever had his or her name recorded in the history books, is there because he or she either consciously or unconsciously discovered this one principle of success. He or she found a channel of service to humanity, which was genuine and that channel of service which he or she seemed to have been especially adapted. After they chose that channel, they learn to render a quality and quantity of service to humanity.
I mention men like Thomas A. Edison and Henry Ford, and some contemporary people right now on the American scene – Henry Kaiser, R. G. La Tourneau and quite a number of outstanding men and women in every realm of life, in industry, in statesmanship and in religion. All of these great men and women have become historically important, And currently important, because they have learned the secret of rendering a quality and a quantity of service to humanity.
I would like to say that it is your privilege, not only to be what you want to be, but it is your privilege to have anything that you want to have. I would like to stress that it is most important, in the early stages of your research into this field, to make a list of all the things that you want to be, first, then make a list of all the things that you want to have. I would like to suggest that you start on the road to genuine success by doing this immediately. Take a note book and on one half of a page, list all of the things that you would like to be.
Would you like to be a person of greater poise? Would you like to be a person known in the community as a person who always expresses kindness in every situation?
Would you like to be known as a person of charm and a person who was always aware of the good, the true and the beautiful? These are qualities which can be studied and practiced until the law of habit takes over and you automatically are kind and cultured and aware of the good and the true and the beautiful in every situation.
We certainly know lots of people nowadays, who seem to be seeing that which is other than good and true and beautiful because they are discouraged and sad and frustrated and are expressing themselves inadequately compared to the complete life, which is theirs and they could discover this great secret.
Make a list of all the things that you want to be. This great principle of which I speak is unlimited in its scope. You can be anything that you want to be. If you want to be a great singer, began to imagine that you are already a great singer. Put that on your list.
Now, over on the other side of the page, may I suggest that you begin to list all of the things that you want to have. Would you like to have a better home? Would you like to have a larger and more spacious and livable home?
There is enough material in this universe to build a mansion for every living soul upon the face of the earth. We have an absolutely inexhaustible supply.
There is a system of rules for utilizing the supply, which I will share with you. I would like to suggest, most strongly, that when each of you realize that when you see limitations in your own individual lives and limitations in the lives of others, it is not because there is no adequate supply to fill your needs. It is because you are unable to understand the method of appropriating this infinite supply.
List all of the things that you want to have, a beautiful home, a beautiful automobile, clothes and all of the things that you want to be, then read it over constantly. Change it as your desires change, and you will see marvelous changes happen almost immediately in your life.
I challenge you to learn the secret of success, to find a great channel of service to humanity, and then render it in a quality and quantity, and you can be anything you want to be, you can have anything you want to have.
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