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WHY do some people fail? Because they prepare for failure as carefully as other people prepare for success.

Lack of confidence means failure, but thousands fail who do not know anything about confidence-people who haven't got far enough along to know that they can or they can't; people who think their lot is hard and haven't thought of trying to better it; people who are sunk in their old environment and haven't thought of getting out. They don't know that there is success in the land. They don't know that this old world is simply alive with enthusiasm. They don't know of the whirl and din and progress and the thousands of triumphs that mark every hour.

People are imitators. When a man doesn't see anything around but failure or half-hearted success, he is a failure himself. Lack of knowledge is what keeps people down-not a lack of book learning, but a lack of knowledge of what is being done and what can be done.

Occasionally we hear of a man's rising out of his environment and making a great success. It isn't an accident. That man found out that other people were succeeding, either by seeing it with his own eyes, by being told, or by reading about it.

Reading is what uplifts humanity and makes progress possible. By reading one gets the experience of the greatest men and thereby becomes better qualified for any undertaking.

There are two kinds of food; the kind that gives the body strength and beauty, and the kind that simply enables it to eke out a mere existence. And so there are two kinds of reading matter; the kind that makes men grow, the kind that gives a man ideas that help him to discover himself and opens his eyes to a great and glorious world of prosperity and happiness; and there is another kind of reading that is only trash. It may not be so very bad, it may not be bad at all in one sense, but there is nothing uplifting in it. It doesn't build a man up; it simply, like trashy food, keeps him alive; that's all. It doesn't inspire him with hope or enthusiasm or any desire to pick himself up and do a little better. It is the kind that makes men fail.

The minds of many people are literally starved for the want of the right kind of reading. To read the daily paper only is not enough. It would be as wise to expect to keep the body in a healthy condition on a diet of potatoes. A man never accomplishes anything without thinking about it. If he makes a failure, he has been thinking of failure when he should have been thinking of success.



TACT is the great every-day weapon of mankind. It is hard to define, but means saying and doing the right thing at the right time; always stroking the fur the right way; carrying one's point without ruffling the feelings of others; getting the person with whom you are dealing in complete sympathy with you and thinking as you do without his knowing that you are conscious of the fact.

Tact is the art which enables one to go into a place where everything seems against him, and come away victorious. It is the faculty of making the disagreeable person pleasant; of making the embarrassed one feel at ease. Tact is something without which great success is impossible. It is good sense and a money-getting quality. It is an indispensable quality in every spot on earth where there are human beings. To be calm and courteous when one has reason to be otherwise, is tact. To be silent (129)


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