CHAPTER 15 CONTINUED...
By Old Man IF
People who do not succeed have one distinguishing trait in common. They know all the reasons for failure, and have what they believe to be air-tight alibis to explain away their own lack of achievement.
Some of these alibis are clever, and a few of them are justifiable by the facts. But alibis cannot be used for money. The world wants to know only one thing-HAVE YOU ACHIEVED SUCCESS?
A character analyst compiled a list of the most commonly used alibis. As you read the list, examine yourself carefully, and determine how many of these alibis, if any, are your own property.
Remember, too, the philosophy presented in this book makes every one of these alibis obsolete.
IF I didn't have a wife and family . . .
IF I had enough "pull" . . .
IF I had money . . .
IF I had a good education . . .
IF I could get a job . . .
IF I had good health . . .
IF I only had time . . .
IF times were better . . .
IF other people understood me . . .
IF conditions around me were only different . . .
IF I could live my life over again . . .
IF I did not fear what "THEY" would say . . .
IF I had been given a chance . . .
IF I now had a chance . . .
IF other people didn't "have it in for me" . . .
IF nothing happens to stop me . . .
IF I were only younger . . .
IF I could only do what I want . . .
IF I had been born rich . . .
IF I could meet "the right people" . . .
IF I had the talent that some people have . . .
IF I dared assert myself . . .
IF I only had embraced past opportunities . . .
IF people didn't get on my nerves . . .
IF I didn't have to keep house and look after the children . . .
IF I could save some money . . .
IF the boss only appreciated me . . .
IF I only had somebody to help me . . .
IF my family understood me . . .
IF I lived in a big city . . .
IF I could just get started . . .
IF I were only free . . .
IF I had the personality of some people . . .
IF I were not so fat . . .
IF my talents were known . . .
IF I could just get a "break" . . .
IF I could only get out of debt . . .
IF I hadn't failed . . .
IF I only knew how . . .
IF everybody didn't oppose me . . .
IF I didn't have so many worries . . .
IF I could marry the right person . . .
IF people weren't so dumb . . .
IF my family were not so extravagant . . .
IF I were sure of myself . . .
IF luck were not against me . . .
IF I had not been born under the wrong star . . .
IF it were not true that "what is to be will be" . . .
IF I did not have to work so hard . . .
IF I hadn't lost my money . . .
IF I lived in a different neighborhood . . .
IF I didn't have a "past" . . .
IF I only had a business of my own . . .
IF other people would only listen to me . . .
IF - and this is the greatest of them all - I had the courage to see myself as I really am, I would find out what is wrong with me, and correct it, then I might have a chance to profit by my mistakes and learn something from the experience of others, for I know that there is something WRONG with me, or I would now be where I WOULD HAVE BEEN IF I had spent more time analyzing my weaknesses, and less time building alibis to cover them.
Building alibis with which to explain away failure is a national pastime. The habit is as old as the human race, and is fatal to success! Why do people cling to their pet alibis? The answer is obvious. They defend their alibis because THEY CREATE them! A man's alibi is the child of his own imagination. It is human nature to defend one's own brain-child.
Building alibis is a deeply rooted habit. Habits are difficult to break, especially when they provide justification for something we do. Plato had this truth in mind when he said, "The first and best victory is to conquer self. To be conquered by self is, of all things, the most shameful and vile."
Another philosopher had the same thought in mind when he said, "It was a great surprise to me when I discovered that most of the ugliness I saw in others, was but a reflection of my own nature."
"It has always been a mystery to me," said Elbert Hubbard, "why people spend so much time deliberately fooling themselves by creating alibis to cover their weaknesses. If used differently, this same time would be sufficient to cure the weakness, then no alibis would be needed."
In parting, I would remind you that "Life is a checkerboard, and the player opposite you is TIME. If you hesitate before moving, or neglect to move promptly, your men will be wiped off the board by TIME. You are playing against a partner who will not tolerate INDECISION!"
Previously you may have had a logical excuse for not having forced Life to come through with whatever you asked, but that alibi is now obsolete, because you are in possession of the Master Key that unlocks the door to Life's bountiful riches.
The Master Key is intangible, but it is powerful! It is the privilege of creating, in your own mind, a BURNING DESIRE for a definite form of riches. There is no penalty for the use of the Key, but there is a price you must pay if you do not use it. The price is FAILURE. There is a reward of stupendous proportions if you put the Key to use. It is the satisfaction that comes to all who conquer self and force Life to pay whatever is asked.
The reward is worthy of your effort. Will you make the start and be convinced?
"If we are related," said the immortal Emerson, "we shall meet."
In closing, may I borrow his thought, and say, "If we are related, we have, through these pages, met."