You sprang from a cell, a cell invisible to the naked eye. This cell had the power within to think and to build and to do it in harmony with law and order. It used mathematics to determine the number of things necessary to make up your body. It used chemistry to determine the chemical properties necessary to nourish your body. It used physics to determine the energy necessary for your body. In logical sequence, this cell drew on the forces of life, and through the division and the multiplication of other cells, built into orderly arrangement a human body. When completed it demanded a birth certificate from your mother.
At birth, five sense avenues were available to sponsor thinking. Eyes to see, ears to hear, nose to smell, tongue to taste, and touch to feel. To use these sense avenues, it was necessary to think. The accumulation of these sensations developed impressions. These impressions turned into knowledge. Perception was formed. You were aware of things. You could distinguish objects and recognize sound. You had the ability to know and the capacity to gain knowledge.
One day along the line memory dawned. You discovered the ability to recall events, remember names and faces, and to retain information and knowledge. You had the capacity to observe, to concentrate, to remember, and to reason. You were a rational creature, able to censor and discipline your own acts. You were aware of yourself and conscious of your own identity. Who am I? Where did I come from? Why am I here? You were seeking the cause of tilings. What was their origin? What was back of them? You were able to comprehend the invisible idea back of the visible thing. You could see the man in the vase, the artist in the picture, and the thought in the product. You were acquiring the ability to form ideas, to establish the relationship between cause and effect, and to have a conception of your own ability. You were beginning to understand. You were conscious of your power to think. Today that cell has developed into a human personality, and with the power to think is reviewing its own inception, its own development, its own ability and its own advancement.
This plan of development is the one which normal human beings follow. It proves that man is a thinking creature. It is a normal and natural attribute to think. From the moment of conception, a man is a thinking creature. In his early development, he followed certain definite laws of thinking in a natural way. The ability to be conscious of these laws should be an added incentive and an added inspiration to believe in them, to demonstrate and apply them in all activity. By adhering to the principle that he is a thinking creature, man can come to a complete fruition of his power to think and to build.
I believe it was Plato who said: "There is nothing great in the world except man, and there is nothing great in man except Mind." The capacity of the mind to think is based on certain laws. There are five of these laws, and an understanding of them will give you the power to think and to build. The application of these laws will help to turn your ability into cash.
1. THE LAW OF OBSERVATION
Man's first teacher was his eyes. He opened his eyes and marveled at the things he saw. By constant vigilance he discovered he not only had an eye to see, but also a brain to interpret. He began to observe the things about him. He marveled at their existence. He noted the many changes in nature and the repetition of the four seasons. He observed the sun and the moon and noted their various changes. He recorded these observations. They were passed along from generation to generation as basic knowledge. Thus civilization was developed with its vast store of information, facts, science and knowledge. Most of our books are a recorded experience based on observation and interpreted in relation to other basic knowledge.
What is observation? Observation is the act or faculty of observing or taking notice. It is the act of seeing or fixing the mind upon anything. It comes from the Latin word "observare," which means "to save," "preserve" or "keep."
The world is a panorama of passing events. It is crowded with people, things, words and manifestations of nature. Each one affords an ample opportunity for observation and study. Take advantage of your surroundings, observe your environment, and make what you observe a part of your knowledge.
Observation is the best teacher to develop the social graces. It teaches courtesy, which is the act of being thoughtful and considerate of others. It teaches you not to walk in front of someone without saying "pardon me." It teaches you not to forget to say "thank you" when someone holds the door open for you. It makes courtesy count much in your life.
Observation teaches you to observe things in nature. A good part of my understanding has been gained by observing the sun, the moon, stars, clouds and the infinite variety of natural things. They all teach and enrich our capacity to think.
The other evening going out to Chestnut Hill on the train, I glanced through the car window. A beautiful sunset was beginning. I dropped the paper instantly. I began to observe the sunset. Before me was nature in all of her glory. Hue melting into hue, translucent blue and rose, and the palest green lighted with golden gleams and flecks of regal purple all adorned the sky. Its majesty, its beauty, its magnitude, filled me with awe and respect. It aroused in me a love and admiration akin to reverence that only such beauty can bring. It was a mental feast. It inspired my consciousness with greater appreciation and a more profound understanding. It made me think.
Observation broadens the outlook, enlarges the perspective, gives depth to understanding, sharpens the wit and makes you more allergic to opportunities.
Ruskin said: "The commonest things in the world are the most worth while." Observation trains you to see the little things, and to realize that all big things are made up of a lot of little things. Anyone can see the boulders, but it is the little pebbles that throw you. Try to see a thing in all of its component parts. Observe its form, size and color. It will instruct you to compare. To compare is to analyze, and to analyze is to think.
The inspiration and enthusiasm to invent, the inclination to make new discoveries, and the desire to improve any existing plan or thing are the result of observation.
Thomas A. Edison said: "I usually begin where others leave off. Through observation and my own knowledge I am inspired to keep on." Edison learned from observation that electricity would produce light if properly resisted in a highly sensitized coil. He found the answer in the tungsten coil to produce the famous Mazda bulb. In all, Edison patented over twelve hundred items, and most of them started with observation.
Robert Fulton sat in his mother's kitchen and observed the steam rising from the tea pot. "It has power. I will harness it," he said. The steam engine was the result.
Charles Goodyear observed the mixture boiling on the cook stove. It overflowed and congealed into an elastic mass. From this observation he discovered rubber.
Charles F. Kettering, president of the General Motors Research Corporation, was down on the farm visiting his mother. She was still using the old-fashioned oil lamps. By observing the lamp, an idea to invent the Deko system came to him. Today, as the result of that observation, thousands of farmers enjoy better lighted homes.
The first bed was a hole in a cave. The next man put leaves in the hole. The next man put some twigs under the leaves. The next man made a cot. The next man put legs on the cot. Finally man put springs and mattress on the cot. Today, as a result of observation, you enjoy a bed.
The same principle applies to the development of transportation. First it was the wheel. The wheel turned into a cart, the cart turned into a wagon, the wagon turned into an automobile and the automobile turned into an airplane. The whole process was based on observation.
Thus you see the value of observation to increase your power to think. Try to get fun and pleasure from the things you see. You will pick up many valuable ideas. This breeds interests and starts you on the road to creative thinking. Creative thinking will make you rich in both material and spiritual things. Train your eyes to see, and train your mind to interpret. They will teach you to think and to build.
2. THE LAW OF CONCENTRATION
Did you ever stand on the bank of a river and watch the water as it whirled around a center or vortex in the stream? Did you observe how that vortex or center drew to itself everything that came floating down on the current? That was an active, positive center, distinct from any other center or vortex in that stream, and because of its individualized strength it had the power of attraction, and everything was drawn into it.
When you concentrate your mental forces you be-come the vortex or center of intelligence, and you can draw to yourself anything whatsoever you desire.
What is concentration? Concentration comes from the Latin word "concentrum," which means "to center." It is directing the mind to a common center. It is paying strict attention to the job at hand. It is holding the mind on any subject to the exclusion of all others. It is the directing force which hastens to the materialization of your desires.
Like observation, you must have a specific subject on which to concentrate. This must be people, things, words or ideas. Concentration is always a positive and creative condition of the mind.
One aid that will help you to concentrate is to train yourself to listen. Man could understand sounds and could communicate with his fellow man long before he developed the art to read and write. He depended on sound signals. Ears are the means to record sound signals, and to develop the ability to listen.
Nature gave man two ears and one mouth. He is supposed to listen twice as much as he talks, otherwise he would have two mouths and one ear. Do not be too eager to impress others with what you say, but be eager to hear what they say. Keep your ears open and your mouth closed. It will help you to concentrate and let you in on many valuable situations.
A Serbian shepherd boy, minding his flock, stuck the blade of his knife into the ground of a pasture. He struck the blade and some other shepherd boys resting on the ground many feet away heard the sound signals. This gave the Serbian shepherd boy an idea. Twenty-five years later, this boy, Michael Pupin, by using the principle of ground signals, made it possible to talk across the continent by the telephone. He kept his ear tuned to the ground.
A wise old owl sat on an oak. The more he saw, the less he spoke; The less he spoke, the more he heard . . . Wasn't the owl a wise old bird!
Another aid to help you to develop the power to concentrate is reading.
Napoleon once said: "Show me a family of readers, and I will show you a family that rules the world."
Good books are the brick and mortar that hold civilization together. They keep alive the past and they also enliven the present.
What is a book? It is what someone has seen, felt, imagined, experienced, or discovered, expressed in words to convey to you this knowledge and information. Therefore, by reading you contact the great minds of the past and of the present. You learn to compare with Shakespeare, reason with Plato, meditate with Emerson, visualize with Jefferson, observe with Burroughs, weigh with Bacon, think with Socrates, judge with Lincoln, dramatize with Churchill and love with Jesus.
Reading makes a full man. It is a yardstick for comparison, a leveler for understanding, a square for sizing up, and a plumb rule for concentration. It provokes thought, inspires meditation, engenders reflection, causes deliberation, and gives you greater power to concentrate on the job. It increases your understanding, gives you an insight into the thinking of others. It helps you to form a pattern of thought and will help you to influence and motivate others to think and act. It helps you to analyze and visualize. You learn to think around, and through, things. It opens up new vistas, ripens judgment, stabilizes thought, and teaches you to be tolerant and considerate of others. It helps you to grow and expand.
Some years ago a group of well-known business men from New York were fishing off the coast of Florida. They were favorably impressed with the unusual display of knowledge and information by the old captain. The fact that he was so well read, so well versed and so well informed led these men to believe that he must have a very valuable and extensive library. Their curiosity amused the old captain. He invited them to his home to see his library. They went. They found the old captain in his cabin reading by the light of a candle. They were astounded as well as amused. They asked to see his library. The old captain put his arm under his coat and pulled out an old, well-worn book, torn from use and brown with age. It was an Old Blue Book Speller (the kind that had everything in it but the kitchen sink). The old captain was proud of this book. With a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye, he proudly displayed it and said: "Gentlemen, this is my library." The old captain knew accurately and thoroughly everything in that book. That knowledge distinguished him. He acquired it by applying the Law of Concentration.
The late William Lyon Phelps, one of America's foremost educators, urged everyone to read and to concentrate on the Bible as a means to a liberal education. He said: "I thoroughly believe in a university education, for both men and women, but I believe a knowledge of the Bible, with a college course, is more valuable than a college course without the Bible. For in the Bible we have profound thought beautifully expressed; we have the nature of boys and girls, of men and women, more accurately charted than in the work of any modern novelist or playwright. You can learn more about human nature by reading the Bible than by living in New York." This is a splendid tip on how to develop the Power of Concentration.
As you read, pick out key words. Get the full meaning of these words well established in your mind. Use them as pegs on which to hang other thoughts. In this way a full pattern of thought is formed in your consciousness and you can remember what you read, and make it a part of your knowledge.
I never concentrate for a long period of time on one subject. Thirty or forty minutes is sufficient. When it gets boring, it is time to relax. The best way to concentrate is to read three or four books in one evening. Read forty minutes at one time in each one. The change of subject matter stimulates new brain cells, and instills zest and enthusiasm. In following this suggestion you can read for two hours without great exertion. You can concentrate and retain what you read.
Another good aid to concentration is to form the habit of concentrating your thoughts upon everything you do in your daily life. I am an insurance broker. I do most of my selling by telephone. I always carry a pocketful of nickels for telephone use. When the hunch strikes, I immediately call my man. I give him the plan. I focus my ability. I arrest his attention. I incite his interest. I concentrate. I do not wait to call him next week, next day or next hour. I call him instantly. The way to do the job is now. Hit the iron while you are hot. I have made many substantial sales following out this suggestion.
Whatever you do, concentrate. When you tie your shoe, tie your shoe, do not try to read the paper. When you shave, shave, do not mow the lawn. By concentrating, I shave in less than two minutes.
Another aid to help you concentrate is found in the newspapers. Word puzzles, anagrams, letter-out schemes, vocabularies, test your facts, bridge hands, twistagrams, and many other items of interest can be used successfully to help you concentrate.
Put down the word Procrastination. By using only letters that make up this word, see how many everyday English words of four or more letters you can make from it in twenty minutes. It is an excellent game to help you concentrate. Try it.
A good clue to develop concentration is to select something you like. Centering your interest and attention on one subject, trains you to undertake other things. This feeling of accomplishment invigorates and encourages you.
Concentration may be compared to swimming. You usually learn to swim in shallow water, without knowing it. When you get in deep water you can exercise that ability. Concentrate on the little things, and the big ones will take care of themselves.
Exercise your power to concentrate and you improve your power to think and to build.
3. THE LAW OF MEMORY
You never forget what you remember. You forget because you forget to remember. Any fact, knowledge, thing, event, experience, word or plan once imbedded into your consciousness becomes a part of you. You never forget it. There is no trick to memory. It is using your power to observe and concentrate.
Memory comes from "memor" which means "mindful." It is to be mindful of the thing you want to remember. It is the power or function of reproducing, and identifying what has been learned or experienced.
The function of remembering. The function of memory includes learning, retention, recall, recognition, and sometimes it includes certain habits and skill.
To memorize a thing by rote is one of the quickest ways to forget it. Memory is more than memorizing. It is the strength and trustworthiness of your power to represent or recall the past with authority.
You can train your memory. Age, education or environment do not enter into it. You have all the qualities and attributes now, otherwise you would not be reading this book. Here are five suggestions that you will find practical and helpful.
AIDS TO HELP YOU REMEMBER
Analyze what you want to remember. Take it apart, and put it together. You think in terms of words, and you remember in terms of words. A word names a thing. It may name a person, a subject, a plan, a number, a thing, or an idea. The word and the thing form a partnership in your mind. This association makes it easy for you to remember. Therefore, concentrate on what you want to remember, analyze it and tie it together with words. In doing so, you never forget it.
There are five key words in this chapter. They are observation, concentration, memory, reason and action. Analyze these words and think of them in terms to improve your power to think and to build, and you will remember the contents of this chapter.
Therefore, analyze words, get their full meaning, incorporate them into a sentence and use them in your conversation. In this way words become your property and you can turn them into cash.
Be accurate. The late Joseph Pulitzer, one of the greatest publishers of all time, had over his desk in bold letters one word--Accuracy.
Ask three people for the same information and in all probability you will get three different answers. Information or knowledge is either accurate or inaccurate. The effort expended to get inaccurate information is greater than the effort expended to get accurate information. Accurate information speaks for itself, inaccurate information must be explained. Accurate information is permanent. Inaccurate information must be checked.
Facts, events, dates, numbers, names and knowledge do not change. They are fixed, and to fix them accurately in your mind is to remember them.
Why do you remember the multiplication table? Because the knowledge is accurate and you only had to remember it once.
Why do you remember July 4, 1776? It is accurate knowledge and this date occurred only once.
The same principle applies to names and faces. My name is Earl Prevette. I have had that name for fifty-three years and if I live another fifty-three years it will still be my name. It is only necessary to remember my name once, and you have it always. By considering people's names in this way, you take interest in the name, you get it accurately and you remember it
In dealing with people's names be accurate. Get the name correctly. A person's name is a symbol—a trade-mark, a badge that distinguishes and identifies that person from one hundred and forty million other persons in the United States. A person likes his name. It individualizes and sets him apart. He likes to see it in print and he likes to hear it spoken, but he wants it accurate.
A name is a perfect symbol. My name is Earl Prevette. That name is a perfect symbol. One letter in the wrong place makes it imperfect. Therefore, when someone addresses me as Carl Private, he tells me something. He tells me that he is not interested enough in me to get my name accurately. Naturally, I feel if he is careless about a little thing like getting my name accurately, he might be careless about other things. Certainly he might fail to get the consideration due him. The reaction of others may be the same.
By all means get names, facts, numbers, knowledge and all information accurately. It will not only help you remember, but it will add to your power to think.
Visualize. Create a mental picture of what you want to remember. Put into this picture all parts of the things you desire to retain, and tie these parts together with words. Concentrate on these words, study their relation, use them as pegs on which to hang other correlative information, and register them on the film of the imagination.
Sometime ago I saw a hunting picture. I visualized what I saw. Even now I can see the wide-open fields, the alert dogs, the well-groomed horse, and the smartly tailored hunter in his red jacket with cap to match. To tell you about this I use words. It is necessary to name things and only words can do it.
Idealize. To idealize a thing you take it into your consciousness, associate it with other ideas, expressed in words, and actually feel it in action. When you visualize, you see all the parts of a thing. When you idealize, you not only see all the parts of a thing, but you actually feel them in action.
When you idealize the hunting scene, you can feel the ground under your feet, you can see the dogs leaping, hear them barking, you can see the horse galloping and hear the hunter's horn.
To idealize information you feel yourself not only recalling it, but re-presenting it in detail. Idealize your activities. It is a marvelous method of rehearsing and perfecting your act. It eliminates mistakes, prevents blunders, increases efficiency and takes the sting and worry out of your job. Idealize your errands and a string around your finger to remind you is unnecessary.
Review. By all means review the tilings you want to remember. Do not just repeat them. Analyze them, be sure they are accurate, visualize them, idealize them, and dramatize them into action. It will surprise you how many things you can review and recall in a few moments. You can review your favorite poem, quotation, Bible verse, bridge hand, day's activity, sales plan, interview, appointment or any other special knowledge while taking a bath, riding in a train, waiting for an appointment, or just sitting around. Try it, it is a stimulant and a tonic to the mind and body. It keeps the information fresh, and keeps you prepared.
4. THE LAW OF REASON
Solomon, one of the wisest men that ever lived, said: "He that is slow to anger, is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city." God gave man the power to reason and by exercising it man has complete dominion over his thoughts.
What is reason? Reason comes from the Latin word "ratus," which means "to reckon," "believe" or "think." Reason is the power to think straight. It is plumbing the bottom, and getting at the root of things. It is the ability to comprehend all the factors and arrive at a sound conclusion. It is the capacity to arrange facts and knowledge in logical sequence. Mortar holds the bricks together and reason holds the thoughts together. Reason based on common sense is a practical and an efficient method to do things effectively.
To demonstrate the Law of Reason, I approached a group of railroad presidents by letter on the subject of "How to Sell by Telephone." The first impression is, how can railroad companies use a book on selling by telephone?
Reason has a different story. Reason says that railroad presidents are interested in good ideas, otherwise they would not be railroad presidents. Reason says that these men are busy and to make the letter brief, concise and to the point. Therefore, I cut a three-page letter down to six sentences. This is the letter:
Mr. Donald Fairman, President
Dear Mr. Fairman:
Thousands of telephone calls come in and go out from your company each year.
Thousands of opportunities to sow seeds of good will, build prestige, and improve business.
Make each telephone call count.
By using: "How to Sell by Telephone." It is an efficient means to make every telephone call count, and get results quickly.
Get a copy of this book for each key man and watch the business roll in. I am,
This letter gives Mr. Fairman an idea, tells him how to make use of it, and supplies the means to do it.
This plain letter got eighty per cent favorable response.
Following out the Law of Reason, the following sales plan was developed on life insurance. It has sold millions of dollars' worth of life insurance.
First: This Plan creates for you and your family an Estate immediately. This Estate, Mr. Doe, is unlike most Estates. It never depreciates in value, and is always worth one hundred cents on the dollar. This Estate is free of all liens, mortgages and liabilities. This Estate can be administered for your family so as to be exempt from certain types of taxation.
Second: This Plan establishes a savings account for you after the second year. A very valuable feature about this savings account to you, Mr. Doe, is that it is always available. It stands at your elbow ready at a moment's notice to furnish you with ready cash to cover any unforeseen contingencies, or meet any emergencies that might arise.
Third: This Plan pays all future deposits for you in the event you should become totally disabled through any kind of disease or accident. This guarantees your Estate, and keeps your savings intact.
Fourth: This Plan makes it possible for you, Mr. Doe, to retire with an income for life at any age between fifty and sixty-five. This income will be guaranteed to you as long as you live with absolute assurance that every dollar invested in the Plan will be returned to you or to your beneficiaries.
This Sales Plan has approximately two hundred words and gives a compound idea of the benefits of life insurance. It is a true and concise statement of fact. It does not attempt to define life insurance with its many technical terms. On the other hand, it presents a very comprehensive picture of what life insurance will do for the prospect and his family; and does it in a very understandable way. It is spoken in his language and he understands it. He quickly senses that this Plan is an opportunity to do some real things for himself and family. In doing this, and by taking on the Plan, he feels he will be adding to his happiness and to his family's welfare.
This Sales Plan puts the Law of Reason into action.
In applying for a position, follow this pattern of reason. Give your name, address, telephone number, date of birth, height, weight, health and dependents. Put this information at the top of the page. Follow through with information about education high school, college and special training. State summer school activities. State extra-curricular activities and sports. State experience and any specialized training. Tell what you can do, and visualize what you are capable of doing.
Others only know what you tell them. Follow the Law of Reason and you can tell them intelligently and effectively.
In applying the Law of Reason to your affairs, you will be unlike the salesman who talks for fifteen minutes to the prospect, only to have him say: "Well, I do not know what you are selling, but I will take one."
Let the Law of Reason stand sentinel over your thoughts, permit it to establish equilibrium in your life and what you do will be done with a purpose. An ounce of reason saves a pound of energy, and also a pint of ink.
5. THE LAW OF ACTION
In the City of Bagdad lived Hakeem, the Wise One. People from all over the country went to him for counsel and advice. He gave it freely, asking nothing in return.
There came to him a young man who had spent much, but got little for his money. He said to Hakeem: "Tell me, Wise One, what shall I do to receive the most for that which I spend?" Hakeem answered: "Anything bought or sold has no value, unless it contains that which cannot be bought or sold. Look for the Priceless Ingredient."
"But what is this Priceless Ingredient?" asked the young man.
Spoke then the Wise One: "My son, the Priceless Ingredient of every product in the market place is the Honor and Integrity of him who makes it. Consider his name before you buy."
Action comes from the Latin word "agere" which means "to do." It is the application of what you know to what you do. Between the two is a middleman. The middleman is character. Character is the spirit of honor and integrity that you put into that which you do. It is the spirit to be your best and do your best at all times. It is a desire to see the job well done.
It goes back to Emerson's mousetrap. Build a better one and people will beat a path to your door. Put the right spirit into your job, and people will seek you out. It magnetizes your efforts. People want to do business with you.
It may be a service you want to render. It may be a product that you want to market. It may be a plan to improve some business. Whatever it is, remember that people have the same inherent qualities, and what will appeal to one will appeal to the other. They are motivated by thoughts and ideas. Mix with these the Priceless Ingredient. People like it. It establishes your value. The Law of Action is made efficient by doing the job well.
In this chapter I have given you five definite laws on how to think and to build. Go back and review each one, and get the spirit of its meaning. They will help you. As a reminder, I will list them.
First: The Law of Observation.
Second: The Law of Concentration.
Third: The Law of Memory.
Fourth: The Law of Reason.
Fifth: The Law of Action.
Everything is a product of thought. You think, then build. The quality of thought determines the quality to build. Compare an Indian adobe to a modern dwelling house.
You have the power to create thought forces. Thought forces revealing your qualities mixed with the Priceless Ingredient built into your plan of action are a vital, living force, the most irresistible force in business. These thought forces give your plan of action color, form, essence, substance and the spirit of power and dynamic impetus. They define and clarify your product or service with simplicity. They establish a meaning and make others feel about your product or service the way you feel. They carry a message of fact. They persuade and convince. They bring home the bacon. They turn your ability into cash.
'Tis not in mortals to command success, But we'll do more, Sempronius, We'll deserve it.