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Prosperity Chapter XIII:
A New York broker committed suicide because he thought luck, which had been a dominant factor in his life creed, had forsaken him. He had such faith in the fetish, luck, that, when he met with a series of Wall Street losses, he believed there was no further use in struggling against his destiny.
Luck had turned its back on him, he declared, and he had nothing more to live for. His dying words to his wife were, "Good luck to you."
Many a man, though he may not go so far as this Wall Street broker did, limits himself by a superstitious belief in good or ill luck. He is convinced that there is some fate or destiny, something beyond his control which determines the extent of his achievement, and that if this mysterious power fights against him, he will fail; if it helps him, he will succeed.
Nothing is so fatal to achievement as the belief in a blind destiny, in the fallacy that an effect can be brought about without a sufficient cause. Yet how many able-bodied people are waiting around for luck to solve their problems, waiting to get a lift from that mysterious, indefinable something which helps one man on and keeps another back, regardless of his own efforts.
One might as well wait for luck to solve mathematical problems as to wait for it to solve any of his own life problems.
Man is master of his own destiny. The power to solve his problems is right inside of him. He makes the fate which downs him or lifts him up. Life is not a game of chance.
The Creator did not put us here to be the sport of circumstances, puppets to be tossed about by a cruel fate, which we could not control. He has given man a free will, an unfettered mind:
"Man makes his fate according to his mind;
The weak, low spirit Fortune makes her slave,
But she's a drudge when beckoned by the brave.
"Why art thou cast down, oh, my soul!" There is that within you, my good friend, which is a great deal more than a match for anything that can try to down you. You have inherited a power from your Divine Parent which infinitely more than matches any defect or deficiency you may think you have inherited from your earthly parents, or any handicap in your environment.
There is something of omnipotence in you, for you are the child of Omnipotence, and you must have: inherited the qualities of your Creator.
No matter what happens to you, remember there is something in you bigger than any fate, something that can laugh at any cruel destiny, for you are your own fate, your own destiny. There is: a God in you, my friend. Assert your divinity. All you have to do is to tap the Eternal Mind, the great cosmic energy, and all power is yours. You are at the very source of the All-Supply.
"Luck is the ability to recognize an opportunity and take advantage of it," says Beatrice Fairfax, and if we accept her definition we must admit that there is such a thing as luck.
Perhaps you have heard of the young man who happened to be the only physician present in a crowd which gathered around a king's carriage when he was stricken with a seizure in a street in London. The young doctor pressed through the crowd and said he could relieve the king by blood letting. The king revived and this incident was a great stepping-stone to the marvelous career of Ambrose Pare.
It sometimes happens that in a railroad wreck or some other great catastrophe an unknown man leaps into notoriety by some simple act which thousands of others could have performed as well. But the ability to seize the opportunity, and do the needed thing promptly and accurately, is due to the cultivation of one's initiative, the daily development of promptness and precision in caring for business affairs.
What you, my friend, may right now be calling your hard luck, may be the result of some weakness, some bad habit, which is thwarting your efforts, keeping from you the prosperity you desire. You may have peculiarities, objectionable traits, which are bars to your progress, stumbling-blocks in your path. Your bad luck may be lack of preparation, a poor education, insufficient training for your special work. Your foundation may be too small for any sort of a respectable life structure. Or, your bad luck may be indolence, a love of ease and pleasure, a desire to have a good time first of all, no matter what happens.
Good luck is the very opposite of all this. Every successful man knows that good luck follows the strong will, the earnest, persistent endeavor, good hard work, thorough preparation, the ambition to excel and a dead-in-earnest purpose.
The "lucky" man is the man who has been a closer thinker, a harder worker, than his "unlucky" neighbor. He is more practical, his life has been ruled by system and order.
Luck is like opportunity, it comes to those who work for it and are ready for it. Make the best possible use of your time, this will make you lucky.
"Believe with all your heart that you can and will do what you were made to do."
- O.S. Marden
If you are handicapped by the lack of an education you can get a fair
equivalent of a college education, no matter how busy your life may be.
Read and study during your spare moments. A multitude of men and women
are educating themselves in this way every day, and are climbing up in
the world in spite of a thousand obstacles and handicaps which you have
If we should examine the careers of most men who are called "lucky," we should find that their success has its roots way back in their early youth, and that it has drawn its nourishment from many a battle in the struggle for supremacy over poverty and opposition. We should find that the "lucky" man is not a believer in luck, but in himself; that he has never waited for things "to turn up," or for luck to come his way. He has gone to work and turned things up, made luck come his way.
My experience has been that the men who are made of winning material do not talk of hard luck or cruel fate; they do not talk of being" kept back by others. If a man has yeast in him he will rise; nothing can keep him back. Clear grit will attract more good luck than almost any other one thing I know of.
It is usually the lazy, the indolent, the pleasure-loving good-for-nothings, the weaklings, who are the firmest believers in luck. The mere fact that a man is always talking about his "hard luck," blaming his non-success, his defeats on someone else, or on unfortunate circumstances, is an admission that he is a weak man.
The constant complaining shows that he has not developed independence or strength of will, the mental fiber which overcomes obstacles.
There is everything in forming this habit of thinking of yourself as lucky, fortunate, of always seeing yourself as you would like to be, not as one who is inefficient and always blundering. Talk about yourself and of things as you wish they were, otherwise you will drive away what you long for and attract things which you wish to get rid of.
A business man whom I have known for some years has formed what might be called "the hard luck habit." If he invests in anything, be will say: "Of course, I'm sure to lose. It is just my luck. When I buy the market always begins to fall. The good things fly away when I purchase." He always thinks he is going to get the worst of it in whatever he undertakes.
If he starts something new in his business, he immediately begins to talk gloomily about it. "It won't go, I have a feeling that it won't win out," he declares. He is always talking "hard luck," predicting that things are going to the bad, and that "it will have to be worse before it is better."
This man hasn't nearly as much money as he had several years ago, and his losses have come largely from his sour mental outlook, his lack of confidence in his judgment, his perpetual anticipation of loss and evil, and his belief in an unkind fate.
There are multitudes of hard-working people who are continually driving away from them the very thing they are trying to get, because they do not hold the right attitude of mind. They lack the enthusiastic man's optimism, his faith and self-confidence, — all friends of good luck.
- Orison Swett Marden
If you persist in looking and acting like a failure, or a very mediocre or doubtful success; if you keep telling everybody how unlucky you are, and that you do not believe you will win out, because success is only for a favored few, those who have a pull, someone to boost them, you will be as much of a success as the actor who attempts to impersonate a certain character while looking, thinking, and acting exactly like the opposite.
Our thoughts and words are real forces which build or tear down. Who sees only failure is never a winner. It is the man who never sees anything but victory, who never acknowledges the possibility of defeat, that wins out.
The man who tries to excuse his failure on the ground that he was doomed from the start by the bad cards fate dealt him, that he had to play the game with them, and that no amount of effort on his part could have materially altered the results, deceives himself.
I know a man who, whenever he misses a train, says, "I knew I wouldn't catch it! It was just my luck to miss it! I must have been born late." If he makes a blunder or an unfortunate mistake he will say, "I am unlucky about everything. I might have known it would turn out bad. If I bought gold dollars today they wouldn't be worth more than fifty cents tomorrow."
Now, my friend, talking disparagingly about yourself, depreciating yourself, is self-deterioration. The constant suggestion of your inferiority, of your defects or weaknesses, will interfere with your success in anything. You can't be lucky, you can't be successful, if you are all the time talking against yourself, for this will undermine your confidence in yourself and in your efficiency.
Hold a good opinion of yourself. Think highly of yourself. Learn to appreciate your ability and to respect yourself, not egotistically or from a selfish standpoint, but because you appreciate your marvelous inheritance of divine qualities.
Remember that every time you talk depreciatingly of yourself, no matter if you do not really believe it, if you do it for effect, that is, telling others of your hard luck, admitting that you cannot get along as do other people, that you cannot make money and save it, that you don't seem to have any money sense, you are lowering your estimate of yourself, your ideal of yourself, and this is the pattern for your life building.
There is a sculptor in you who is working to the pattern which; you hold up to him, and if you hold up a defective, weak, deficient, dwarfed pattern,; it will be built into the very structure of your being.
What you think of yourself will come to you; what you believe regarding yourself, your ability, your future, will tend to come to you. What you expect of yourself is this very instant being wrought into the texture of your being.
Always think of yourself as lucky. Never allow yourself to think of yourself in any other way. Say to yourself: "I am good luck. I must be lucky, because I am a part of the divinity which can never fail. I partake of omnipotence because I am a child of Omnipotence, a partner of the Almighty. It is my nature to be lucky. I was made to be lucky. I was born to win. I am the child of the King of kings. A princely inheritance is coming to me, and I must conduct myself with that respect for myself and for my ability which becomes a prince of the Most High."
Constantly meditate on what a marvelous thing it is to have such an inheritance, to be conscious that you are really are a god in the making, that there is a divinity within you which can never be lost, an omnipotence which can triumph over any handicap, of earthly, inheritance or accident.
Learn to reinforce yourself, to refresh and reinvigorate yourself by tapping the great cosmic intelligence through the subconscious mind, by going much into the silence, and communing with the All-Good. You should no more harbor a fear thought, a worry thought, a jealousy, envy or hatred thought, a selfish thought; than you would listen to the temptation to steal. These things rob you of your peace of mind, your power, force and vitality, your poise as well as your comfort.
You would not allow a thief to ramble through your home to steal. Why should you allow your enemy thoughts to roam through your mind without a protest?
A dwarfed ideal means a dwarfed mind, a dwarfed future, a dwarfed career. Your conviction of yourself, your belief regarding yourself, your future, your ability, will all reappear in your career.
Someone says: "Dare to fling out into the great cosmic mind greater assurance about yourself; dare to have greater confidence; dare to believe in yourself and your mission. Have a grander ideal, a nobler aspiration."
A man must have faith in the thing he is trying to do or trying to get. His hope, his confidence, his expectation are powerful factors in the gaining of his ambition. They are searchlights on the horizon, descrying opportunity from afar.
Nothing can defeat you or rob you of success but yourself. No conditions, however inhospitable, can swamp you, or thwart your life aim — if you have a life aim. Your own weakness only can do that — your lack of determination, your lack of energy, your lack of backbone, your lack of confidence in yourself.
"To make yourself lucky, choose the vocation nature fitted you for and then fling your life into it. Be all there."
Nothing in the world can make you a nonentity; no mischance’s, no conditions, no environment, nothing but yourself can do that. You can be a nobody if you will, or a somebody if you will; it is right up to you. You can make a success of your life; you can send your influence down the ages, or you can go to your grave a useless nobody, without ever having made a ripple in the current of the life of your day. Your luck, good or bad, is in yourself.
Thinking of your misfortune or hard luck in not being as well placed or as well conditioned as others is fatal to success and happiness, because we must go in the direction in which we face, and we face the way we think, the way we talk, the way we act. We are like weather vanes and we turn this way and that way according as we think. Our thoughts, our emotions, our feelings are like the wind which turns the weather vane.
I know of no one thing that will have a greater influence upon your life than the forming of the habit of thinking of yourself as lucky, regarding yourself as extremely fortunate in your birth, in your location, in your adaptation to your particular line of work, as fortunate in your ambition and in your chance in life to make good.
We are just beginning to learn that we are made, fashioned and molded by our thoughts, which are forces as real as is the force of electricity. Our thought is constantly shaping us to correspond with it. We are our own architects, our own sculptors.
We are always reshaping, re-molding ourselves to fit our thoughts and our emotions, our motives, our general attitude towards life. If we think of ourselves as being always lucky, we may not be extraordinary examples of good luck, but we shall always be happy, smiling and contented, believing that everything that comes to us is the best that we could possibly attain.
WHERE LUCK HAS BEEN FOUND
In thrift and foresight.
In thorough preparation for one's life work.
In mental alertness.
In always being ready to lend a helping hand wherever and whenever needed.
In being tactful and a good mixer.
In holding the efficiency ideal of oneself and one's capabilities.
In downright, constant hard work.
In being ready for the opportunity when it came.
In courtesy, kindness, and consideration toward everybody.
In helping oneself instead of looking to others for boosts, capital, or favors of any sort.
In doing one's work a little better than others did theirs.
In not being satisfied with anything but one's best, never accepting one's second best or a botched job.
In always carrying some reading matter in one's pocket, so that spare time could be utilized while waiting for trains, or for those who were tardy in appointments, by reading for self-improvement.
In being cheerful, no matter how dark the outlook.
In trying to make good in every possible way, while never taking advantage of others.
In beginning the thing which something within one said one could and ought to do, no matter what obstacles stood in the way; by obeying one's good impulses promptly, before they quit prodding one.
In never allowing oneself to believe that he was born to be poor, a failure, a mediocre sort of a man or woman.
In carrying the victorious attitude in everything,' looking like a winner, talking like a winner, and radiating the confidence of a winner.
In holding that the good things of the world were not made for a favored few, but for all God's children.
In substituting clear grit and persistency for the advantages which many others enjoyed from birth.
In believing that the best part of one's salary was not in one's pay envelope but in the chance to make good in every bit of work that passed through one's hands.
In the opportunity to absorb the secrets of one's employer's business; to learn for pay what he bought dearly, perhaps, after failure and an enormous expenditure of money and time, and, possibly, the shortening of his life in the process.
In keeping eyes and ears open, and mouth closed most of the time.
In indomitable perseverance, a determination which knew no give up or retreat; in everlastingly pushing ahead whether one could see the goal or not.
In the right attitude towards life, towards one's work, towards everything and everybody.
In choosing one's company, associating only with people who were doing their best to get on and get up in the world.
In the consciousness of one's partnership with the All-Good, the All-Supply, with the Infinite Mind.
In learning, through mental chemistry, to neutralize the things which kill one's best efforts — fear, worry, anxiety, jealousy, envy, malice, touchiness, anger, and thus to keep one's mind free for the larger things.