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I have seen men come into President Roosevelt’s office roaring like lions, and after he got through with them, they walked out like lambs. One day a very prominent banker came to see the president. He was as mad as a “wet hen” because a member of the White House staff had kept him waiting what he thought was “too long.” Before he was even seated, he started right off to air his peeve by saying, “My time’s important, and I don’t like to have it wasted by flunkies.”
Roosevelt turned on that million-dollar smile of his and said, “Well, I know just how you feel, for my time is also important, or I am fooling a lot of the people very badly.” The caller smiled, apologized to the president, and said, “I would give a million dollars if I had your flexibility.” And he probably would have done so gladly.
Hardly a day goes by without experiences in everyone’s life that could be blown up to great magnitude of unpleasantness if one does not have the flexibility with which to neutralize them.
There are more than 30 individual traits that, when combined and applied, give one a pleasing personality. Flexibility is a “must” in this group, for without it, no one can get along harmoniously with others at all times under all circumstances.
I was destined to learn, during the 20 years of labor I put into the research in organizing my success philosophy, something of the importance of flexibility. I needed flexibility on many occasions in order to adjust myself to the need of money. And I needed it in order to convince the 500 or more top-ranking businessmen and industrialists who collaborated with me in creating the philosophy that their time was wisely spent in helping me.
Flexibility is the answer to almost every unpleasant circumstance with which we meet, and it can best be made to serve during these emergencies if we remember that every adversity carries with it the seed of an equivalent benefit. You can very well determine whether or not you have flexibility when adversity overtakes you. If you have it, you will begin at once to look for that “seed of an equivalent benefit” instead of allowing yourself to be thrown off balance by fear, self-pity, anxiety, or resentment.
In order to remain flexible during the early part of the Depression which began in 1929, I wrote books. I had no idea of having them published. I wrote merely to maintain my flexibility. However, three of my friends adjusted themselves to the circumstances in a different manner. One of them jumped off a high building, one shot himself to death, and the third “solved” his problem with an overdose of poison. My financial losses due to the Depression were as great as those of any of my three friends, but I had one asset which, unfortunately, they did not possess.
One thing I have learned from life’s experiences stands out in my mind above all else as a great blessing. I have learned that no experience and no material loss are important to anyone as long as he remains in contact with Infinite Intelligence and keeps sufficient faith in himself to be guided by this Divine source of power. This, too, is flexibility applied, and it often carries convincing evidence that experiences we sometimes regard as irreparable adversities turn out to be blessings instead. For it is true that an all-wise Creator has provided that none may experience a loss of any nature whatsoever without the potential of an equivalent gain in one form or another.
Flexibility gives one the capacity to recognize that whatever the mind can conceive and believe the mind can achieve. And it also gives one the wisdom to recognize that TIME is the great universal healer that can cure most human disappointments and frustrations, and the courage to recognize that strength, physical and spiritual, grows out of struggle.
The Power of Applied Faith
“Faith is the gateway through which one may draw upon Infinite Intelligence.”
Faith is a state of mind that has been called “the mainspring of the soul” through which one’s aims, desires, and plans may be translated into their physical or financial equivalents.
The fundamentals of APPLIED FAITH are these:
Inspired by the teachings of Napoleon Hill
Andrew Carnegie, founder of the great United States Steel Corporation, was probably the best judge of men of any
industrialist of his time. He was responsible for the success of more men than any other man of his time. When Mr. Carnegie wanted someone for an important job, he looked for these traits before hiring: A keen sense of loyalty — dependability — flexibility — and lastly, ability to do a given job well.
Mr. Carnegie said that if a man was not loyal, dependable, and flexible, no amount of ability could qualify him for a responsible executive or supervisory position. By “flexibility” he meant the capacity to adapt one’s self to emergencies and rapidly changing circumstances without losing one’s poise or permitting oneself to be thrown off balance through anger.
He illustrated his point by relating an experience he had with his chief chemist. He wanted the most able chemist that money could hire, so he sent a talent scout to Germany to look for such a man and found him in the employ of the Krupp Gun Works. It took a fabulous salary and a five-year contract to break the man away from the Krupp Works, but he was hired and brought to America.
By the end of the first month after the chemist became a member of Mr. Carnegie’s Master Mind group, it became apparent that a mistake had been made in hiring him. The man was, without a doubt, the ablest chemist Mr. Carnegie had ever known, but he had a static, stubborn disposition that made it impossible for other members of the Carnegie organization to get along with him, so he was paid off for the entire five-year contract and dismissed.
One of Mr. Carnegie’s executives remarked that this had been a very expensive experience. “Yes,” said Carnegie, “but not anywhere near as expensive as it would have been if we had not dismissed him.” This was one of the very few times when a man had been chosen for an important position in the Carnegie organizations without having been analyzed by the great industrialist.
The most common of all the causes of individual failure is one’s lack of ability to get along with other people. Flexibility cures this weakness. No two people are alike in their personal traits and mental attitudes. The successful person recognizes this fact, and he also recognizes that he cannot make other people over or change their mental attitude to suit his convenience, so he changes his attitude temporarily
to avoid conflict with others.
We have ears with which to listen and mouths with which to speak, but fortunately we do not have to speak every time we hear something we do not like. Silence can be a powerful weapon, and it is often used by wise people when they are in contact with others who are irritable or inclined to create unpleasant incidents of an argumentative nature.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was one of the most flexible men I have ever known. He could be all things to all men with the greatest of ease, and it has been said that this trait of flexibility was his greatest asset and the one thing that made him the most successful politician who ever occupied the White House.
To create a mental attitude favorable for the expression of
Applied Faith, follow these instructions:
1) Know what you want and determine what you will give in return for it.
2) When you affirm the object of your prayers, let your imagination see yourself already in possession of it.
3) Keep your mind open for guidance from within, and when you are inspired by hunches, take heed of them immediately, for they may bring the answer you seek.
4) When you are overtaken by defeat, as you may be many times, remember that man’s faith is often tested in many ways, and defeat may be only your testing time; therefore, accept it only as an inspiration for greater effort.
There is no such reality as a “blanket” faith. You must have a definite objective, purpose, or desire before you can enjoy the benefits of Applied Faith.
Faith is guidance from within that will not bring you that which you seek, but it will show you the path by which you may go after that which you desire.
Faith is the gateway through which you must pass in order to communicate with Infinite Intelligence and draw upon it for help. And it is the only thing that will make your prayers effective.
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- Definiteness of purpose, supported by personal initiative or action.
- A positive mental attitude, free from negatives such as envy, hatred, jealousy and fear.
- A “Master Mind” alliance with one or more people who radiate courage based on faith and who are suited mentally and spiritually to one’s needs in carrying out a given purpose.
- Recognition of the fact that every adversity carries with it the seed of an equivalent benefit, that temporary defeat is not failure until it has been accepted as such.
- The habit of expressing gratitude for one’s blessings daily, in the form of a prayer.