Mental Attitude

Success is in the blood. There are men whom fate can never keep

down--they march forward in a jaunty manner, and take by divine right

the best of everything that the earth affords. But their success is not

attained by means of the Samuel Smiles-Connecticut policy. They do not

lie in wait, nor scheme, nor fawn, nor seek to adapt their sails to

catch the breeze of popular favor. Still, they are ever alert and alive

to an
good that may come their way, and when it comes they simply

appropriate it, and tarrying not, move steadily on.

Good health! Whenever you go out of doors, draw the chin in, carry the

crown of the head high, and fill the lungs to the utmost; drink in the

sunshine; greet your friends with a smile, and put soul into every


Do not fear being misunderstood; and never waste a moment thinking about

your enemies. Try to fix firmly in your own mind what you would like to

do, and then without violence of direction you will move straight to

the goal.

Fear is the rock on which we split, and hate the shoal on which many a

barque is stranded. When we become fearful, the judgment is as

unreliable as the compass of a ship whose hold is full of iron ore; when

we hate, we have unshipped the rudder; and if ever we stop to meditate

on what the gossips say, we have allowed a hawser to foul the screw.

Keep your mind on the great and splendid thing you would like to do; and

then, as the days go gliding by, you will find yourself unconsciously

seizing the opportunities that are required for the fulfillment of your

desire, just as the coral insect takes from the running tide the

elements that it needs. Picture in your mind the able, earnest, useful

person you desire to be, and the thought that you hold is hourly

transforming you into that particular individual you so admire.

Thought is supreme, and to think is often better than to do.

Preserve a right mental attitude--the attitude of courage, frankness and

good cheer.

Darwin and Spencer have told us that this is the method of Creation.

Each animal has evolved the parts it needed and desired. The horse is

fleet because he wishes to be; the bird flies because it desires to; the

duck has a web foot because it wants to swim. All things come through

desire and every sincere prayer is answered. We become like that on

which our hearts are fixed.

Many people know this, but they do not know it thoroughly enough so that

it shapes their lives. We want friends, so we scheme and chase 'cross

lots after strong people, and lie in wait for good folks--or alleged

good folks--hoping to be able to attach ourselves to them. The only way

to secure friends is to be one. And before you are fit for friendship

you must be able to do without it. That is to say, you must have

sufficient self-reliance to take care of yourself, and then out of the

surplus of your energy you can do for others.

The individual who craves friendship, and yet desires a self-centered

spirit more, will never lack for friends.

If you would have friends, cultivate solitude instead of society. Drink

in the ozone; bathe in the sunshine; and out in the silent night, under

the stars, say to yourself again and yet again, "I am a part of all my

eyes behold!" And the feeling then will come to you that you are no

mere interloper between earth and heaven; but you are a necessary part

of the whole. No harm can come to you that does not come to all, and if

you shall go down it can only be amid a wreck of worlds.

Like old Job, that which we fear will surely come upon us. By a wrong

mental attitude we have set in motion a train of events that ends in

disaster. People who die in middle life from disease, almost without

exception, are those who have been preparing for death. The acute tragic

condition is simply the result of a chronic state of mind--a culmination

of a series of events.

Character is the result of two things, mental attitude, and the way we

spend our time. It is what we think and what we do that make us what

we are.

By laying hold on the forces of the universe, you are strong with them.

And when you realize this, all else is easy, for in your arteries will

course red corpuscles, and in your heart the determined resolution is

born to do and to be. Carry your chin in and the crown of your head

high. We are gods in the chrysalis.