Like most writers, when I see something I wrote 10 years ago, I invariably see ways it could have been improved. I didn’t see those possibilities 10 years ago, but it’s easier to see them today. It means I’ve grown as a writer, that I’m better, that I’m a more effective writer today than I was 10 years ago. I’m worth more today. And if I continue as I have been doing, I’ll be much better and worth a lot more 10 years from now.
Before the atomic age, chemistry professors used to say that a person’s worth, from a strictly chemical standpoint, was about $32 on the going market. In recent years, this view has undergone a startling change. Scientists now calculate that if the electronic energy in the hydrogen atoms of your body could be utilized, you could supply all the electrical needs of a large, highly industrialized country for nearly a week. A DuPont scientist said that the atoms of your body contain a potential energy of more than 11 million kilowatt hours per pound. The average person, by this estimate, is worth about $85 billion.
Moreover, the electrons and the atoms of your body are not just particles of matter; they’re waves of living imagery. And these waves ripple out and spread themselves in patterns of light. And as they move, they sing. If you had the proper hearing aid, you could hear a great flow merging with the waves of neighboring atoms. And they not only sing, they shine! If you stand in front of an infrared camera in a completely dark room, the screen will show you from top to toe as a glistening, radiating, gleaming form.
In short, you’re a whole lot more than meets the casual eye. Add to all this the fact that to try to reproduce your mind mechanically would cost many billions of dollars, and you begin to see yourself for what you really are. An amazing, infinitely valuable creature. And not only are you immensely valuable as a human being, you’re unlike any other human being who ever lived or ever will live. You are unique.
Now what are you selling all this for? All human beings are priceless, but the payment’s tangible and intangible they receive from life vary greatly. The purpose of this message is to help you decide just what you’re worth as a human being, right now on the market in today’s society. And what you intend to be worth, let’s say, five years from now.
In the last analysis, every person is in reality in business for himself or herself in that they’re building their own lives regardless of who happens to write their paycheck. So for the purpose of this particular message, I’d like you to think of yourself as a business. Let’s say a corporation. You hold the office of president of this corporation, and you’re responsible for its success or failure. You and the members of your family are stockholders in your corporation, and it’s your responsibility to see that the value of the stock increases in the years ahead. Your family has evidenced faith in you, and it’s your responsibility to prove their faith is justified. This is the job of an employed family member.
Now while the operations of a corporation are vast and complex, they can be reduced to four basic functions. Number one, finance. Two, production. Three, sales. Four, research. Without proper financing, there’d be no production. Without production, the company would have nothing to sell. Without sales, it would have to completely stop production. Without research, it could not hope to keep abreast or ahead of our rapidly changing times. Now slight any one of these four vital functions, and you have a deformed, a crippled company. And if you slide it long enough, you’ll commit corporate suicide, unless you want to cop out for that average business.
We discussed finance, the money part of the whole thing, on another cassette. For now, let’s concentrate on research, production, and sales. They are the head, hands, and legs of a company. We could say that the head handles research, the hands take care of production, and the legs handle sales. Cut off any one of these parts, and you’re left with a shocked, staggering organization. How many once-large companies and trade names can you think of that became giants and then disappeared entirely from the economic scene? Names that once were world leaders in their fields and are now only memories. They failed to keep in balance these four crucial functions.
What about research for your personal corporation? Research can be said to exist in two areas, present and future. That is, the research of a company should be devoted to ways and means of improving its present products or services, present production, and present sales. Future research is concerned with ways and means of developing new products and services, new methods of production, and new methods of marketing. But while this research is going on, present production must continue at as high a level as sales warrant. In short, a corporation, your corporation, has two factors to consider, the present and the future. How successful we are in meeting these challenges will determine our present profits and our future growth.
Now why are all companies concerned with growth? Even when they seem to be doing well today? It’s because of the law that operates with companies just as it does with human beings. Nothing in the world stands still. Nothing in the entire universe stands still. The law of physics goes, a body in motion tends to remain in motion until acted upon by an outside force.
A company that is growing has a tendency to continue to grow; in other words, it’s doing things right. Conversely, a company that is going backwards or shrinking has a tendency to continue to go backwards or shrink until acted upon by an outside force. All responsible company officers know that unless a company is growing, it’s developing the first signs of death. Well, you’re the head of your personal corporation, and you should realize that this same law applies to you as well.
Now, just for a minute, let’s take a look at the next 10 years. Before we do, keep this in mind: If anyone had predicted just 10 years ago that we would be living in the kind of world we have today, he would have been ridiculed. Now this includes everything from our basic industrial technology to the luxuries and new products we take for granted, along with our present average income. We’re reaching a point in the expansion of human knowledge where our advance is more than dynamic; it’s explosive. Any prediction for the next 10 years is very likely to be far on the ultraconservative side, but let’s take a look at what the experts have to say.
According to many recent research studies, the next 10 years are going to offer business and the individual unlimited rewards. In the next eight to 10 years, the bulk of spending in the highly developed nations will be for things, products and services over and above the necessities, far above them, the necessities, which are food, clothing, shelter, transportation, and medical care. Imagine, most of the spending will be for things above and beyond the necessities.
This will be the first time this has happened in the entire history of the human race. It’s estimated the consumer market will expand 50% and more in the next generation or so. An astonishing increase! Soaring into the hundreds of billions of dollars. In the next 30 years, alongside every building now in existence, a new building must be built.
And what about research and development, which is the future of our economy? Today more money is being spent on R&D in a single year than was spent during the past 150 years. Think a moment: What does all this mean to you and your own individual company, the one of which you are the president? It means your future’s unlimited. If you’ll see yourself in relation to the president of the future. Never before, throughout all the centuries of man, has a person faced as bright a future as yours.
Our population, too, is getting a lot smarter. Educational advances during the past 30 years have been remarkable. During the next 30, they’ll probably be amazing. The customer’s getting smarter every day. And if we’re going to continue to meet his or her demands and sell him or her our products, we’d better get smarter every day, too.
The market over the next 10 years will be characterized by diversity, not uniformity. It will also be dominated by taste, not necessity. There’ll be a great increase in the quality as well as the quantity of consumer choices. There are many signs of the rising urge for the better things in life. Many millions of adults are currently interested in after-hour study programs, and this number is growing by millions each year.
Well, that’s just a glance at a few of the things going on around us and what life will be like in eight to 10 years. Now each of us, as president and unquestioned manager of his or her own corporation, can decide what to do about it. We can either grow with it or go backward. We cannot stand still, even if we’d like to.
This gives us an opportunity to stand back and look at ourselves and our futures objectively as an intelligent stranger might. Ask yourself, How much am I worth right now, today, as a corporation? What’s my value today, to myself, my family, my company? If I were an outside investor, a stranger, would I invest in this corporation? A company growing at the rate of 10% a year will double in size in about eight years. What attention are you giving to the production of your personal corporation? Can you grow and improve as a person at least 10% a year? Of course you can. In fact, if we go along with the experts’ estimates, a person can increase his or her effectiveness anywhere from 50% to 100% and more within 30 days.
Our files are filled with reports from people who exceeded their previous performance to an almost unbelievable extent. People in management and in production who multiplied their effectiveness many times. Students who moved from failing grades to straight A’s and the Dean’s List, people in sales who found they could, through the proper management of their abilities, minds, and time, sell as much of their company’s products in a single month as they had previously sold in an entire year. Think what that means. It means being 12 times as effective as a human being. And, getting back to the law of cause and effect, it means putting out 12 times as much service, which must and will guarantee our receiving eventually 12 times the reward we formerly knew, 12 times the reward.
Remember, please, if we do twice as much, we have to receive twice as much, and nothing on earth can keep it from us. And the same thing applies if we triple our effectiveness. You and I know this; everyone should know it. But remember that fully 95% of the people do not know this. Think of the advantage this gives us. It isn’t that we want to take advantage of anyone, and we’re not. But it dramatically demonstrates the truth of the saying “knowledge is power.”
You’d be amazed at the great number of people who stop learning when school is over. Aside from company manuals and such internal literature, they read very little of anything of real value. The introduction to recorded learning, pioneered by this company, has made substantial gains and is growing rapidly, but as yet has only scratched the surface.
An ongoing education is vital if we’re going to stay vital. There’s so much to learn, and our school curriculum touched only a fraction of it. One of the most important subjects is getting along with people. We can only do things, we can only win, through people. And that subject isn’t taught at all in school. The great ideas we’re talking about on this program are seldom taught in the home, and almost never in school.
Go through our catalog of programs carefully, and one by one you can maintain an effective, ongoing education program for many years to come. It’s true: Knowledge is power. What’s more, knowledge shows on our faces, and it’s apparent in our speech. It helps us raise our children and get along better with our neighbors and fellow workers. Above all, perhaps, it’s the greatest motivator in the world.
As we learn, our horizons recede. We realize there’s more to do and more time in which to do it. Old myths about getting out of action at age 65 disappear, and we realize that as long as we’re learning and teaching and growing, it need never stop, and we become more effective with the passage of time.
Tomorrow is a brand-new day, the great equalizer, no more, no less than anyone else on earth can add. Right now, begin to think of ways in which you can begin to increase your effectiveness, raise your production, knowing that by so doing, you’re automatically presetting your rewards. Each day that comes to you, beginning with tomorrow, offers you a clean, brand-new page on which to write the story of your life.
Reach out and take each new day as it comes, and ask yourself, How can I best use this day? Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed, savored. A human life is really nothing more than a collection of minutes, hours, and days. These are the building materials, and it’s left strictly up to us to determine the kind and size structure we build.
You see, a person has a tremendous advantage over even the largest corporation. Think of any large multinational corporation. Can it double its production in a single day? Of course not. Can it double its sales in a single day? Of course not. It would like to, but its growth must be a gradual, steady thing because of the interconnecting complexities of operating so large an organization. Yet a person can double, triple, quadruple his or her effectiveness in a month or less. It’s like comparing the movement of a single scout to the movement of a great army.
Taking this new active approach to life brings peace to our minds, absolute security to our future, great new stature as human beings. In this way, we can work toward reaching full maturity. With this attitude toward life, we need never for a moment concern ourselves with its outcome. It will begin to become successful tomorrow, and it will pour abundance upon us for the rest of our years.