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  • Character: The Grandest Thing in the World by Orison Swett Marden
    we work upon marble it will perish if we work upon brass time will efface it if we rear temples they will crumble into dust but if we work upon immortal souls if we imbue them with immortal principles with the just fear of God and love of fellow men we engrave on those tablets something which will brighten all eternity Chapter 2 THE LIGHT BEARERS True worth is in being not seeming In doing each day that goes by Some little good not in the dreaming Of great things to do by and by For whatever men say in their blindness And in spite of the fancies of youth There s nothing so kingly as kindness And nothing so royal as truth ALICE CART A gentleman s first characteristic is that fineness of structure in the body which renders it capable of the most delicate sensation and of structure in the mind which renders it capable of the most delicate sympathies one may say simply fineness of nature RUSKIN There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world which remain unknown even to ourselves STEVENSON On the steps of a public building in Florence an old soldier sat playing a violin By his side stood a faithful dog holding in his mouth the disabled veteran s hat into which now and then a passer by would drop a coin A gentleman in passing paused and asked for the violin first tuning it he then began to play The sight of such a well dressed man playing the poor man s violin in such a place and with such kindness and enthusiasm attracted the passersby and they stopped The music was so charming that they stood there enchanted The number of donations in the hat increased largely The hat became so heavy that the dog began to growl It was emptied and soon filled again The company grew until a great congregation was gathered The performer played one of the national anthems handed the violin back to its owner and quickly went along his way One man who was present said That was Amard Bucher the world renowned violinist He did this for charity let us follow his example And immediately the hat was passed again for a collection for the old veteran Mr Bucher did not give a penny but yet he flooded the old man s day with sunshine and showed him that there was one who cared for his welfare and truly appreciated him for his service So too it is related that when Michael Angelo was at the height of his fame when monarchs and popes were paying fabulous prices for his works a little boy met him in the street with an old pencil and a piece of dirty brown paper and asked him for a picture The great artist sat on the curbstone and drew a picture for his

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  • How to Succeed: Stepping Stones to Fame & Fortune by Orison Swett Marden
    ran to the office of the congressman for our district Mr Hamer I said will you appoint me to West Point No is there and has three years to serve But suppose he should fail will you send me Mr Hamer laughed If he don t go through no use for you to try Uly Promise me you will give me the chance Mr Hamer anyhow Mr Hamer promised The next day the defeated lad came home and the congressman laughing at my sharpness gave me the appointment Now said Grant it was my mother s being without butter that made me general and president But he was mistaken It was his own shrewdness to see the chance and the promptness to seize it that urged him upward There is nobody says a Roman Cardinal whom Fortune does not visit once in his life but when she finds he is not ready to receive her she goes in at the door and out through the window Opportunity is coy The careless the slow the unobservant the lazy fail to see it or clutch at it when it has gone The sharp fellows detect it instantly and catch it when on the wing The utmost which can be said about the matter is that circumstances will and do combine to help men at some periods of their lives and combine to thwart them at others Thus much we freely admit but there is no fatality in these combinations neither any such thing as luck or chance as commonly understood They come and go like all other opportunities and occasions in life and if they are seized upon and made the most of the man whom they benefit is fortunate but if they are neglected and allowed to pass by unimproved he is unfortunate Charley says Moses H Grinnell to a clerk born in New York City take my overcoat tip to my house on Fifth Avenue Mr Charley takes the coat mutters something about I m not an errand boy I came here to learn business and moves reluctantly Mr Grinnell sees it and at the same time one of his New England clerks says I ll take it up That is right do so says Mr G and to himself he says that boy is smart he will work and he gives him plenty to do He gets promoted gets the confidence of business men as well as of his employers and is soon known as a successful man The youth who starts out in life determined to make the most of his eyes and let nothing escape him which he can possibly use for his own advancement who keeps his ears open for every sound that can help him on his way who keeps his hands open that he may clutch every opportunity who is ever on the alert for everything which can help him to get on in the world who seizes every experience in life and grinds it up into paint for his great life s picture who keeps his heart open that he may catch every noble impulse and everything which may inspire him will be sure to live a successful life there are no ifs or ands about it If he has his health nothing can keep him from success Zion s Herald says that Isaac Rich who gave one million and three quarters to found Boston University of the Methodist Episcopal Church began business thus at eighteen he went from Cape Cod to Boston with three or four dollars in his possession and looked about for something to do rising early walking far observing closely reflecting much Soon he had an idea he bought three bushels of oysters hired a wheelbarrow found a piece of board bought six small plates six iron forks a three cent pepper box and one or two other things He was at the oyster boat buying his oysters at three o clock in the morning wheeled them three miles set up his board near a market and began business He sold out his oysters as fast as he could get them at a good profit In that same market he continued to deal in oysters and fish for forty years became king of the business and ended by founding a college His success was won by industry and honesty Give me a chance says Haliburton s Stupid and I will show you But most likely he has had his chance already and neglected it Well boys said Mr A a New York merchant to his four clerks one winter morning in 1815 this is good news Peace has been declared Now we must be up and doing We shall have our hands full but we can do as much as anybody He was owner and part owner of several ships lying dismantled during the war three miles up the river which was covered with ice an inch thick He knew that it would be a month before the ice yielded for the season and that thus the merchants in other towns where the harbors were open would have time to be in the foreign markets before him His decision therefore was instantly taken Reuben he continued addressing one of his clerks go and collect as many laborers as possible to go up the river Charles do you find Mr the rigger and Mr the sailmaker and tell them I want them immediately John engage half a dozen truckmen for to day and to morrow Stephen do you hunt up as many gravers and caulkers as you can and hire them to work for me And Mr A himself sallied forth to provide the necessary implements for icebreaking Before twelve o clock that day upward of an hundred men were three miles up the river clearing the ships and cutting away ice which they sawed out in large squares and then thrust under the main mass to open up the

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  • The Life Story of Orison Swett Marden: A Man Who Benefitted Men by Margaret Connolly
    Thee Our God our fathers God Thou hast made Thy children mighty By the touch of the mountain sod Hymn of Swiss Mountaineers THE dominant influences in the shaping of character are heredity and environment Before an individual can think or act independently these influences are at work making their indelible impress upon his entire being As surely as they determine the trend of his mind do they perform their part in molding his body Stephen Allen in his reminiscences of Daniel Webster said I could not help thinking as I stood with some of his neighbors and kinsmen upon the spot where he first saw the light of day that those wild bleak hills amongst which he was cradled and those rough pastures in which he grew had left their impress upon his soul No less applicable are such thoughts in relation to another son of New Hampshire Orison Swett Marden Less favored by circumstances than Webster the sternness of his environment had even more profoundly affected his character His earliest ideals tinged with a lofty austerity were unforgettably linked with that far famed wonder of New England the Old Man of the Mountain Every tourist visiting the White Mountains is thrilled at his first glimpse of that massive stone face Fashioned from the granite front of Profile Mountain as if by the cunning hand of a giant sculptor the stern face like the guardian spirit of Puritan New England looks out through the ages over the rugged hills and verdant valleys of New Hampshire Its compelling features stamped upon the subconscious mind of the boy Orison remained with him through life exerting a powerful influence upon his whole career It fell out one summer that in the performance of his tasks his homecoming steps at evening led him past the Old Man of the Mountain Coming toward it as the sun dropping behind the mountain peaks encircled the head with a flaming aureole it fascinated and at times terrified the sensitive lonely child In after years he recalled how as the shadows passed over the face and the darkness gathered it loomed in his imagination as a stern judge one who would be implacable toward any deviation from honor and justice It had a mysterious influence over me he said I felt in a vague undefined way that it required of every one who looked upon it a high ideal of life and that I must live up to what it demanded of me There is a strange coincidence between the origin of the New Hampshire boy s early ideal and that of the hero of Edward Roth s Christus Judex a popular legend of the White Mountains according to Rev J H Hoffman in his admirable lecture on Doctor Marden s life and work Pietro Casola a young Italian so runs the story wished to paint an immortal canvas Mother asked he what picture shall I paint How can I benefit men Why not paint the Christ

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  • The Miracle of Right Thought by Orison Swett Marden
    and help not additional handicap No one can help another very much when he sees in him a hopeless picture On the other hand you can make a person do almost anything when you show him his possibilities and make him believe in himself Chapter 8 The Paralysis Of Fear Fear and worry make us attract the very things we dread Fear in all its different phases of expression such as worry anxiety anger jealousy timidity is the greatest enemy of the human race It has robbed men of more happiness and efficiency has made more men cowards more people failures or forced them into mediocrity than anything else Fear is a great robber of power It paralyzes the thinking faculties ruins spontaneity enthusiasm and self confidence It has a blighting effect upon all one s thoughts moods and efforts it destroys ambition and efficiency No matter what your need is put it into the hands of faith Do not ask how or why or when Just do your level best and have faith which is the great miracle worker of the ages Chronic worriers are always deficient in faith The secret of achievement is concentration Worry or fear of any kind is fatal to mental concentration and kills creative ability When the whole mental organism is vibrating with conflicting emotions efficiency is impossible The things which makes us prematurely old which wrinkle our faces take the elasticity out of our step the bloom from the cheek and which rob us of joy are not those which actually happen Fear benumbs initiative It kills confidence and causes indecision makes us waver afraid to begin things suspect and doubt Fear is a great leak in power There are plenty of people who waste more than half of their precious energy in useless worry and anxiety Our sense of fear or terror is always in proportion to our sense of weakness or inability When conscious of being stronger than that which terrorizes weaker persons we have no sense of fear Chapter 9 One With The Divine The secret of all health prosperity and happiness is being in conscious union with the Divine The closer we are to Divinity the nearer we are to the limitless source of things When we feel strongest when we feel conscious of the power which is back of the flesh but not of it when we feel that we are in touch with Divinity our power is greater and our supply larger Every time a man does wrong he weakens himself by so much Every time we do wrong every time we depart from the truth every time we commit a dishonest unworthy act do a mean contemptible thing we lessen the Omnipotent grip upon us and then we become a party to all sorts of fears apprehensions dreads and doubts The moment we feel conscious that our union with the Great Source of things is broken we are filled with uncertainty and apprehension we feel a sense of helplessness which makes us weak timid apprehensive Fear anxiety worry are positive evidence that we have lost our divine connection and strayed from home that we are out of tune with the Infinite and in discord with principle The very idea of persistently holding the thought that one is divinely upheld the thought that no harm can possibly come to him while he is thus ensconced in the Divine Presence destroys all fear and worry restores confidence and multiples power Chapter 10 Getting In Tune If we could only learn the art of always keeping ourselves in harmony we could multiply our effectiveness immeasurably Mental discord is fatal to quality in work The destructive emotions worry anxiety hatred jealousy anger greed selfishness are all deadly enemies of efficiency Harmony is the secret of all effectiveness beauty happiness and harmonious simply keeping ourselves in tune with the Infinite This means absolute health of all the mental and moral faculties Poise serenity amiability sweetness of temper tend to keep the whole mental and physical economy in harmony with the perpetual renewal processes constantly going on within us which are destroyed by friction Chapter 11 The Great Within True prayer repairs the broken wires of our Divine connection reassures us brings us into harmony with the Infinite This is the secret of all mental healing We all have moments when we get glimpses of the great possibilities within ourselves It may sometimes be an experience which takes away a loved one which opens up a rift in our nature and gives us a glimpse of power we never before knew we possessed Chapter 12 A New Way Of Bringing up Children Keep the child s mind full of harmony of truth and there will be no room for discord for error Now what advantage is it to send a youth out into the world with a head full of knowledge but without the confidence or assurance to use it effectively or the ability to grapple with life s problems with that vigor and efficiency which alone can bring success The rime will come when no child will be allowed to grow up without being taught to believe in himself to have great confidence in his ability This will be a most important part of his education for if he believes in himself enough he will not be likely to allow a single deficient faculty or weakness to wreck his career Chapter 13 Training For Longevity A man is like a fine clock which if properly cared for will keep splendid time and run for a century but which if neglected or abused will very soon get out of order and wear out or give out long before it should The mental ideal determines what shall be built into the life whether it shall be youthful or aging conditions Every person has the inherent capacity for prolonging his life increasing his potential longevity but he must first understand the mental principle Perfect

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