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SUCCESS is largely a matter of management. Self-mastery means more than doing right morally and controlling one's temper. A man must have a temper if he is going to be good for anything. Without a temper a man would be like a piece of untempered steel. It is necessary to have a temper, but it is also necessary to control it, at least most of the time; all the time would be asking too much. It is said that the man who can control his temper can control the other fellow and have things his own way. But sometimes one's inclinations are harder to control than his temper. It is understood that one should control his thoughts and actions so far as not doing certain things is concerned, but it is doing things that one doesn't like to do, or when one doesn't like to do them, that is the real test.
There is such a thing as impulse and moods and the blues. A horse is a creature of impulse. If he wants grass he eats it; if he wants to lie
down he lies down. A man is sometimes a creature of impulse to a certain extent. When he feels like quitting, he too often quits, whether he is through or not; when he doesn't like the work, he quits for the same reason. He gets the blues; he quits simply because he is blue. Now, in order to make a success, there's just one thing for such a man to do, and that is, to guide his life by reason and judgment instead of impulse. Not "how do I like this?" or "how do I feel about it?" but "what is it going to do for me?" "what success am I going to make of it?" "what are its effects upon my future prospects?" There's just one thing to do, and that is for a man to screw down his will-power upon his moods and impulses, and not allow them to influence his life, and determine whatever he plans to do he will do, regardless of how he feels, or how other people feel. When he finds a difficult place, it will simply mean to him a little harder work, a little more will-power, that's all. The results may not come quite so quickly, but he realizes that they will come just the same, and hard work will give him more strength and more energy for another and a greater victory in the future.
The average young person lacks confidence simply because he never does work enough to create confidence in himself and his own ability to succeed. To develop the positive side, you must say "I can," "I will," and "I must," and, above them all, place the motto: "Do it now, and keep right on doing it.
Thousands fail in life because they lack the grit to get right up and do the thing. It isn't always the brainiest men in the world who make the greatest successes. It's men who buckle down and do things; men who have will-power and initiative; men who are not afraid; men who know, and know they know; men who will make themselves do the thing that needs to be done, regardless of how they feel about it; the men who make themselves do the thing, whether they like it or not, are the men who have discovered the great secret. How many people give up because they don't feel like it, or it looks too hard for them? Such people would resent being called lazy. They are not exactly lazy; they work hard, but not quite hard enough. They get up only about half enough steam, and then if the engine doesn't go they give up. they give up. Too many men give up just before the turning-point. Isn't
it sad to see a strong swimmer go down just before help arrives? Isn't it too bad to see a strong young man fail, turn back, and lose all the energy that has been expended when one more trial, one more supreme effort would have won all?
Self-mastery means keeping at it with renewed energy and a greater zeal than ever. One of the greatest requisites for success is not knowing when you are whipped.
MANY a man loses out because he depends upon his past records for future success. That is, he doesn't make the preparation later in life that he did at first, and, therefore, his success is not so great. Had he made the same preparation and put into it the same zeal, his success would be much greater, because of his added experience. A little success is often a dangerous thing. It sometimes makes a man think he has done something great, when in reality he hasn't done half what he could, and in that event, he has a tendency to rest upon his past record. He lives in the past, and ceases to grow. Listen to the words of Paul: "This one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before”—and with his added zeal and experience, and enthusiasm for victories already gained, he pressed forward to a conquest greater than Napoleon ever dreamed of.
If you think about your past records, think of them for one thing only, and that—as a