Chapter - Index
CHAPTER 9 -
THE SUSTAINED EFFORT NECESSARY TO
The Eighth Step toward Riches
PERSISTENCE is an essential factor in the procedure of transmuting
DESIRE into its monetary equivalent. The basis of persistence is
the POWER OF WILL.
Will-power and desire, when properly combined, make an irresistible
pair. Men who accumulate great fortunes are generally known as cold-blooded,
and sometimes ruthless. Often they are misunderstood. What they
have is will-power, which they mix with persistence, and place back
of their desires to insure the attainment of their objectives.
Henry Ford has been generally misunderstood to be ruthless and
cold-blooded. This misconception grew out of Ford's habit of
following through in all of his plans with PERSISTENCE.
The majority of people are ready to throw their aims and purposes
overboard, and give up at the first sign of opposition or misfortune.
A few carry on DESPITE all opposition, until they attain their goal.
These few are the Fords, Carnegies, Rockefellers, and Edisons.
There may be no heroic connotation to the word "persistence,"
but the quality is to the character of man what carbon is to steel.
The building of a fortune, generally, involves the application
of the entire thirteen factors of this philosophy. These principles
must be understood, they must be applied with PERSISTENCE by all
who accumulate money.
If you are following this book with the intention of applying
the knowledge it conveys, your first test as to your PERSISTENCE
will come when you begin to follow the six steps described in the
second chapter. Unless you are one of the two out of every hundred
who already have a DEFINITE GOAL at which you are aiming, and a
DEFINITE PLAN for its attainment, you may read the instructions,
and then pass on with your daily routine, and never comply with
The author is checking you up at this point, because lack of
persistence is one of the major causes of failure. Moreover, experience
with thousands of people has proved that lack of persistence is
a weakness common to the majority of men. It is a weakness which
may be overcome by effort. The ease with which lack of persistence
may be conquered will depend entirely upon the INTENSITY OF ONE'S
The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly
in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount
of fire makes a small amount of heat. If you find yourself lacking
in persistence, this weakness may be remedied by building a stronger
fire under your desires.
Continue to read through to the end, then go back to Chapter
two, and start immediately to carry out the instructions given in
connection with the six steps. The eagerness with which you follow
these instructions will indicate clearly, how much, or how little
you really DESIRE to accumulate money. If you find that you are
indifferent, you may be sure that you have not yet acquired the "money
consciousness" which you must possess, before you can be sure
of accumulating a fortune.
Fortunes gravitate to men whose minds have been prepared to "attract"
them, just as surely as water gravitates to the ocean. In this book
may be found all the stimuli necessary to "attune" any
normal mind to the vibrations which will attract the object of one's
If you find you are weak in PERSISTENCE, center your attention
upon the instructions contained in the chapter on "Power";
surround yourself with a "MASTER MIND" group, and through
the cooperative efforts of the members of this group, you can develop
persistence. You will find additional instructions for the development
of persistence in the chapters on auto-suggestion, and the subconscious
mind. Follow the instructions outlined in these chapters until your
habit nature hands over to your subconscious mind, a clear picture
of the object of your DESIRE. From that point on, you will not be
handicapped by lack of persistence.
Your subconscious mind works continuously, while you are awake,
and while you are asleep.
Spasmodic, or occasional effort to apply the rules will be of
no value to you. To get RESULTS, you must apply all of the rules
until their application becomes a fixed habit with you. In no other
way can you develop the necessary "money consciousness."
POVERTY is attracted to the one whose mind is favorable to it,
as money is attracted to him whose mind has been deliberately prepared
to attract it, and through the same laws. POVERTY CONSCIOUSNESS
WILL VOLUNTARILY SEIZE THE MIND WHICH IS NOT OCCUPIED WITH THE MONEY
CONSCIOUSNESS. A poverty consciousness develops without conscious
application of habits favorable to it. The money consciousness must
be created to order, unless one is born with such a consciousness.
Catch the full significance of the statements in the preceding
paragraph, and you will understand the importance of PERSISTENCE
in the accumulation of a fortune. Without PERSISTENCE, you will
be defeated, even before you start. With PERSISTENCE you will win.
If you have ever experienced a nightmare, you will realize the
value of persistence. You are lying in bed, half awake, with a feeling
that you are about to smother. You are unable to turn over, or to
move a muscle. You realize that you MUST BEGIN to regain control
over your muscles. Through persistent effort of will-power, you
finally manage to move the fingers of one hand. By continuing to
move your fingers, you extend your control to the muscles of one
arm, until you can lift it. Then you gain control of the other arm
in the same manner. You finally gain control over the muscles of
one leg, and then extend it to the other leg. THEN--WITH ONE SUPREME
EFFORT OF WILL--you regain complete control over your muscular system,
and "snap" out of your nightmare. The trick has been turned
step by step.
You may find it necessary to "snap" out of your mental
inertia, through a similar procedure, moving slowly at first, then
increasing your speed, until you gain complete control over your
will. Be PERSISTENT no matter how slowly you may, at first, have
to move. WITH PERSISTENCE WILL COME SUCCESS.
If you select your "Master Mind" group with care, you
will have in it, at least one person who will aid you in the development
of PERSISTENCE. Some men who have accumulated great fortunes, did
so because of NECESSITY. They developed the habit of PERSISTENCE,
because they were so closely driven by circumstances, that they
had to become persistent.
THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR PERSISTENCE! It cannot be supplanted
by any other quality! Remember this, and it will hearten you, in
the beginning, when the going may seem difficult and slow.
Those who have cultivated the HABIT of persistence seem to enjoy
insurance against failure. No matter how many times they are defeated,
they finally arrive up toward the top of the ladder. Sometimes it
appears that there is a hidden Guide whose duty is to test men through
all sorts of discouraging experiences. Those who pick themselves
up after defeat and keep on trying, arrive; and the world cries, "Bravo!
I knew you could do it!" The hidden Guide lets no one enjoy
great achievement without passing the PERSISTENCE TEST. Those who
can't take it, simply do not make the grade.
Those who can "take it" are bountifully rewarded for
their PERSISTENCE. They receive, as their compensation, whatever
goal they are pursuing. That is not all! They receive something
infinitely more important than material compensation--the knowledge
that "EVERY FAILURE BRINGS WITH IT THE SEED OF AN EQUIVALENT
There are exceptions to this rule; a few people know from experience
the soundness of persistence. They are the ones who have not accepted
defeat as being anything more than temporary. They are the ones
whose DESIRES are so PERSISTENTLY APPLIED that defeat is finally
changed into victory. We who stand on the side-lines of Life see
the overwhelmingly large number who go down in defeat, never to
rise again. We see the few who take the punishment of defeat as
an urge to greater effort. These, fortunately, never learn to accept
Life's reverse gear. But what we DO NOT SEE, what most of us
never suspect of existing, is the silent but irresistible POWER
which comes to the rescue of those who fight on in the face of discouragement.
If we speak of this power at all we call it PERSISTENCE, and let
it go at that. One thing we all know, if one does not possess PERSISTENCE,
one does not achieve noteworthy success in any calling.
As these lines are being written, I look up from my work, and
see before me, less than a block away, the great mysterious "Broadway,"
the "Graveyard of Dead Hopes," and the "Front Porch
of Opportunity." From all over the world people have come to
Broadway, seeking fame, fortune, power, love, or whatever it is
that human beings call success. Once in a great while someone steps
out from the long procession of seekers, and the world hears that
another person has mastered Broadway. But Broadway is not easily
nor quickly conquered. She acknowledges talent, recognizes genius,
pays off in money, only after one has refused to QUIT.
Then we know he has discovered the secret of how to conquer Broadway.
The secret is always inseparably attached to one word, PERSISTENCE!
The secret is told in the struggle of Fannie Hurst, whose PERSISTENCE
conquered the Great White Way. She came to New York in 1915, to
convert writing into riches. The conversion did not come quickly,
BUT IT CAME. For four years Miss Hurst learned about "The Sidewalks
of New York" from first hand experience. She spent her days
laboring, and her nights HOPING. When hope grew dim, she did not
say, "Alright Broadway, you win!" She said, "Very
well, Broadway, you may whip some, but not me. I'm going to
force you to give up."
One publisher (The Saturday Evening Post) sent her thirty six
rejection slips, before she "broke the ice" and got a
story across. The average writer, like the "average" in
other walks of life, would have given up the job when the first
rejection slip came. She pounded the pavements for four years to
the tune of the publisher's "NO," because she was
determined to win.
Then came the "payoff." The spell had been broken,
the unseen Guide had tested Fannie Hurst, and she could take it.
From that time on publishers made a beaten path to her door. Money
came so fast she hardly had time to count it. Then the moving picture
men discovered her, and money came not in small change, but in floods.
The moving picture rights to her latest novel, "Great Laughter,"
brought $100,000.00, said to be the highest price ever paid for
a story before publication. Her royalties from the sale of the book
probably will run much more.
Briefly, you have a description of what PERSISTENCE is capable
of achieving. Fannie Hurst is no exception. Wherever men and women
accumulate great riches, you may be sure they first acquired PERSISTENCE.
Broadway will give any beggar a cup of coffee and a sandwich, but
it demands PERSISTENCE of those who go after the big stakes.
Kate Smith will say "amen" when she reads this. For
years she sang, without money, and without price, before any microphone
she could reach. Broadway said to her, "Come and get it, if
you can take it." She did take it until one happy day Broadway
got tired and said, "Aw, what's the use? You don't
know when you're whipped, so name your price, and go to work
in earnest." Miss Smith named her price! It was plenty. Away
up in figures so high that one week's salary is far more than
most people make in a whole year.
Verily it pays to be PERSISTENT!
And here is an encouraging statement which carries with it a
suggestion of great significance--THOUSANDS OF SINGERS WHO EXCEL
KATE SMITH ARE WALKING UP AND DOWN BROADWAY LOOKING FOR A "BREAK"--WITHOUT
SUCCESS. Countless others have come and gone, many of them sang
well enough, but they failed to make the grade because they lacked
the courage to keep on keeping on, until Broadway became tired of
turning them away.
Persistence is a state of mind, therefore it can be cultivated.
Like all states of mind, persistence is based upon definite causes,
among them these:
DEFINITENESS OF PURPOSE. Knowing what one wants is the
first and, perhaps, the most important step toward the development
of persistence. A strong motive forces one to surmount many
DESIRE. It is comparatively easy to acquire and to maintain
persistence in pursuing the object of intense desire.
SELF-RELIANCE. Belief in one's ability to carry out
a plan encourages one to follow the plan through with persistence.
(Self-reliance can be developed through the principle described
in the chapter on auto-suggestion).
DEFINITENESS OF PLANS. Organized plans, even though they
may be weak and entirely impractical, encourage persistence.
ACCURATE KNOWLEDGE. Knowing that one's plans are
sound, based upon experience or observation, encourages
persistence; "guessing" instead of "knowing"
CO-OPERATION. Sympathy, understanding, and harmonious
cooperation with others tend to develop persistence.
WILL-POWER. The habit of concentrating one's thoughts
upon the building of plans for the attainment of a definite
purpose, leads to persistence.
HABIT. Persistence is the direct result of habit. The
mind absorbs and becomes a part of the daily experiences
upon which it feeds. Fear, the worst of all enemies, can
be effectively cured by forced repetition of acts of courage.
Everyone who has seen active service in war knows this.
Before leaving the subject of PERSISTENCE, take inventory of
yourself, and determine in what particular, if any, you are lacking
in this essential quality. Measure yourself courageously, point
by point, and see how many of the eight factors of persistence you
lack. The analysis may lead to discoveries that will give you a
new grip on yourself.
SYMPTOMS OF LACK OF PERSISTENCE
Here you will find the real enemies which stand between you and
noteworthy achievement. Here you will find not only the "symptoms"
indicating weakness of PERSISTENCE, but also the deeply seated subconscious
causes of this weakness. Study the list carefully, and face yourself
squarely IF YOU REALLY WISH TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE, AND WHAT YOU ARE
CAPABLE OF DOING. These are the weaknesses which must be mastered
by all who accumulate riches.
Failure to recognize and to clearly define exactly what
Procrastination, with or without cause. (Usually backed
up with a formidable array of alibis and excuses).
Lack of interest in acquiring specialized knowledge.
Indecision, the habit of "passing the buck"
on all occasions, instead of facing issues squarely. (Also
backed by alibis).
The habit of relying upon alibis instead of creating
definite plans for the solution of problems.
Self-satisfaction. There is but little remedy for this
affliction, and no hope for those who suffer from it.
Indifference, usually reflected in one's readiness
to compromise on all occasions, rather than meet opposition
and fight it.
The habit of blaming others for one's mistakes, and
accepting unfavorable circumstances as being unavoidable.
WEAKNESS OF DESIRE, due to neglect in the choice of MOTIVES
that impel action.
Willingness, even eagerness, to quit at the first sign
of defeat. (Based upon one or more of the 6 basic fears).
Lack of ORGANIZED PLANS, placed in writing where they
may be analyzed.
The habit of neglecting to move on ideas, or to grasp
opportunity when it presents itself.
WISHING instead of WILLING.
The habit of compromising with POVERTY instead of aiming
at riches. General absence of ambition to be, to do, and
Searching for all the short-cuts to riches, trying to
GET without GIVING a fair equivalent, usually reflected
in the habit of gambling, endeavoring to drive "sharp"
FEAR OF CRITICISM, failure to create plans and to put
them into action, because of what other people will think,
do, or say. This enemy belongs at the head of the list,
because it generally exists in one's subconscious mind,
where its presence is not recognized. (See the Six Basic
Fears in a later chapter).
Let us examine some of the symptoms of the Fear of Criticism.
The majority of people permit relatives, friends, and the public
at large to so influence them that they cannot live their own lives,
because they fear criticism.
Huge numbers of people make mistakes in marriage, stand by the
bargain, and go through life miserable and unhappy, because they
fear criticism which may follow if they correct the mistake. (Anyone
who has submitted to this form of fear knows the irreparable damage
it does, by destroying ambition, self-reliance, and the desire to
Millions of people neglect to acquire belated educations, after
having left school, because they fear criticism.
Countless numbers of men and women, both young and old, permit
relatives to wreck their lives in the name of DUTY, because they
fear criticism. (Duty does not require any person to submit to the
destruction of his personal ambitions and the right to live his
own life in his own way).
People refuse to take chances in business, because they fear
the criticism which may follow if they fail. The fear of criticism,
in such cases is stronger than the DESIRE for success.
Too many people refuse to set high goals for themselves, or even
neglect selecting a career, because they fear the criticism of relatives
and "friends" who may say "Don't aim so high,
people will think you are crazy."
When Andrew Carnegie suggested that I devote twenty years to
the organization of a philosophy of individual achievement my first
impulse of thought was fear of what people might say. The suggestion
set up a goal for me, far out of proportion to any I had ever conceived.
As quick as a flash, my mind began to create alibis and excuses,
all of them traceable to the inherent FEAR OF CRITICISM. Something
inside of me said, "You can't do it--the job is too big,
and requires too much time--what will your relatives think of you?--how
will you earn a living?--no one has ever organized a philosophy
of success, what right have you to believe you can do it?--who are
you, anyway, to aim so high?--remember your humble birth--what do
you know about philosophy--people will think you are crazy--(and
they did)--why hasn't some other person done this before now?"
These, and many other questions flashed into my mind, and demanded
attention. It seemed as if the whole world had suddenly turned its
attention to me with the purpose of ridiculing me into giving up
all desire to carry out Mr. Carnegie's suggestion.
I had a fine opportunity, then and there, to kill off ambition
before it gained control of me. Later in life, after having analyzed
thousands of people, I discovered that MOST IDEAS ARE STILLBORN,
AND NEED THE BREATH OF LIFE INJECTED INTO THEM THROUGH DEFINITE
PLANS OF IMMEDIATE ACTION. The time to nurse an idea is at the time
of its birth. Every minute it lives, gives it a better chance of
surviving. The FEAR OF CRITICISM is at the bottom of the destruction
of most ideas which never reach the PLANNING and ACTION stage.
Many people believe that material success is the result of favorable "breaks."
There is an element of ground for the belief, but those depending
entirely upon luck, are nearly always disappointed, because they
overlook another important factor which must be present before one
can be sure of success. It is the knowledge with which favorable "breaks"
can be made to order.
During the depression, W. C. Fields, the comedian, lost all his
money, and found himself without income, without a job, and his
means of earning a living (vaudeville) no longer existed. Moreover,
he was past sixty, when many men consider themselves "old."
He was so eager to stage a comeback that he offered to work without
pay, in a new field (movies). In addition to his other troubles,
he fell and injured his neck. To many that would have been the place
to give up and QUIT. But Fields was PERSISTENT. He knew that if
he carried on he would get the "breaks" sooner or later,
and he did get them, but not by chance.
Marie Dressler found herself down and out, with her money gone,
with no job, when she was about sixty. She, too, went after the "breaks,"
and got them. Her PERSISTENCE brought an astounding triumph late
in life, long beyond the age when most men and women are done with
ambition to achieve.
Eddie Cantor lost his money in the 1929 stock crash, but he still
had his PERSISTENCE and his courage. With these, plus two prominent
eyes, he exploited himself back into an income of $10,000 a week!
Verily, if one has PERSISTENCE, one can get along very well without
many other qualities.
The only "break" anyone can afford to rely upon is
a self-made "break." These come through the application
of PERSISTENCE. The starting point is DEFINITENESS OF PURPOSE.
Examine the first hundred people you meet, ask them what they
want most in life, and ninety eight of them will not be able to
tell you. If you press them for an answer, some will say--SECURITY,
many will say--MONEY, a few will say--HAPPINESS, others will say--FAME
AND POWER, and still others will say--SOCIAL RECOGNITION, EASE IN
LIVING, ABILITY TO SING, DANCE, or WRITE, but none of them will
be able to define these terms, or give the slightest indication
of a PLAN by which they hope to attain these vaguely expressed wishes.
Riches do not respond to wishes. They respond only to definite plans,
backed by definite desires, through constant PERSISTENCE.
How TO DEVELOP PERSISTENCE
There are four simple steps which lead to the habit of PERSISTENCE.
They call for no great amount of intelligence, no particular amount
of education, and but little time or effort. The necessary steps
A DEFINITE PURPOSE BACKED BY BURNING DESIRE FOR ITS FULFILLMENT.
A DEFINITE PLAN, EXPRESSED IN CONTINUOUS ACTION.
A MIND CLOSED TIGHTLY AGAINST ALL NEGATIVE AND DISCOURAGING
INFLUENCES, including negative suggestions of relatives,
friends and acquaintances.
A FRIENDLY ALLIANCE WITH ONE OR MORE PERSONS WHO WILL
ENCOURAGE ONE TO FOLLOW THROUGH WITH BOTH PLAN AND PURPOSE.
These four steps are essential for success in all walks of life.
The .entire purpose of the thirteen principles of this philosophy
is to enable one to take these four steps as a matter of habit.
These are the steps by which one may control one's economic
They are the steps that lead to freedom and independence of thought.
They are the steps that lead to riches, in small or great quantities.
They lead the way to power, fame, and worldly recognition.
They are the four steps which guarantee favorable "breaks."
They are the steps that convert dreams into physical realities.
They lead, also, to the mastery of FEAR, DISCOURAGEMENT, INDIFFERENCE.
There is a magnificent reward for all who learn to take these
four steps. It is the privilege of writing one's own ticket,
and of making Life yield whatever price is asked.
I have no way of knowing the facts, but I venture to conjecture
that Mrs. Wallis Simpson's great love for a man was not accidental,
nor the result of favorable "breaks" alone. There was
a burning desire, and careful searching at every step of the way.
Her first duty was to love. What is the greatest thing on earth?
The Master called it love--not man made rules, criticism, bitterness,
slander, or political "marriages," but love.
She knew what she wanted, not after she met the Prince of Wales,
but long before that. Twice when she had failed to find it, she
had the courage to continue her search. "To thine own self
be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not
then be false to any man."
Her rise from obscurity was of the slow, progressive, PERSISTENT
order, but it was SURE! She triumphed over unbelievably long odds;
and, no matter who you are, or what you may think of Wallis Simpson,
or the king who gave up his Crown for her love, she is an astounding
example of applied PERSISTENCE, an instructor on the rules of self-determination,
from whom the entire world might profitably take lessons.
When you think of Wallis Simpson, think of one who knew what
she wanted, and shook the greatest empire on earth to get it. Women
who complain that this is a man's world, that women do not have
an equal chance to win, owe it to themselves to study carefully
the life of this unusual woman, who, at an age which most women
consider "old," captured the affections of the most desirable
bachelor in the entire world.
And what of King Edward? What lesson may we learn from his part
in the world's greatest drama of recent times? Did he pay too
high a price for the affections of the woman of his choice?
Surely no one but he can give the correct answer.
The rest of us can only conjecture. This much we know, the king
came into the world without his own consent. He was born to great
riches, without requesting them. He was persistently sought in marriage;
politicians and statesmen throughout Europe tossed dowagers and
princesses at his feet. Because he was the first born of his parents,
he inherited a crown, which he did not seek, and perhaps did not
desire. For more than forty years he was not a free agent, could
not live his life in his own way, had but little privacy, and finally
assumed duties inflicted upon him when he ascended the throne.
Some will say, "With all these blessings, King Edward should
have found peace of mind, contentment, and joy of living."
The truth is that back of all the privileges of a crown, all
the money, the fame, and the power inherited by King Edward, there
was an emptiness which could be filled only by love.
His greatest DESIRE was for love. Long before he met Wallis Simpson,
he doubtless felt this great universal emotion tugging at the strings
of his heart, beating upon the door of his soul, and crying out
And when he met a kindred spirit, crying out for this same Holy
privilege of expression, he recognized it, and without fear or apology,
opened his heart and bade it enter. All the scandal-mongers in the
world cannot destroy the beauty of this international drama, through
which two people found love, and had the courage to face open criticism,
renounce ALL ELSE to give it holy expression.
King Edward's DECISION to give up the crown of the world's
most powerful empire, for the privilege of going the remainder of
the way through life with the woman of his choice, was a decision
that required courage. The decision also had a price, but who has
the right to say the price was too great? Surely not He who said, "He
among you who is without sin, let him cast the first stone."
As a suggestion to any evil-minded person who chooses to find
fault with the Duke of Windsor, because his DESIRE was for LOVE,
and for openly declaring his love for Wallis Simpson, and giving
up his throne for her, let it be remembered that the OPEN DECLARATION
was not essential. He could have followed the custom of clandestine
liaison which has prevailed in Europe for centuries, without giving
up either his throne, or the woman of his choice, and there would
have been NO COMPLAINT FROM EITHER CHURCH OR LAITY. But this unusual
man was built of sterner stuff. His love was clean. It was deep
and sincere. It represented the one thing which, above ALL ELSE
he truly DESIRED, therefore, he took what he wanted, and paid the
If Europe had been blessed with more rulers with the human heart
and the traits of honesty of ex-king Edward, for the past century,
that unfortunate hemisphere now seething with greed, hate, lust,
political connivance, and threats of war, would have a DIFFERENT
AND A BETTER STORY TO TELL. A story in which Love and not Hate would
In the words of Stuart Austin Wier we raise our cup and drink
this toast to ex-king Edward and Wallis Simpson:
"Blessed is the man who has come to know that our muted thoughts are our sweetest
"Blessed is the man who, from the blackest depths, can see the luminous figure
of LOVE, and seeing, sing; and singing, say: 'Sweeter far than
uttered lays are the thoughts I have of you.'"
In these words would we pay tribute to the two people who, more
than all others of modern times, have been the victims of criticism
and the recipients of abuse, because they found Life's greatest
treasure, and claimed it. *
Most of the world will applaud the Duke of Windsor and Wallis
Simpson, because of their PERSISTENCE in searching until they found
life's greatest reward. ALL OF US CAN PROFIT by
following their example in our own search for that which we demand
What mystical power gives to men of PERSISTENCE the capacity
to master difficulties? Does the quality of PERSISTENCE set up in
one's mind some form of spiritual, mental or chemical activity
which gives one access to supernatural forces? Does Infinite Intelligence
throw itself on the side of the person who still fights on, after
the battle has been lost, with the whole world on the opposing side?
These and many other similar questions have arisen in my mind
as I have observed men like Henry Ford, who started at scratch,
and built an Industrial Empire of huge proportions, with little
else in the way of a beginning but PERSISTENCE. Or, Thomas A. Edison,
who, with less than three months of schooling, became the world's
leading inventor and converted PERSISTENCE into the talking machine,
the moving picture machine, and the incandescent light, to say nothing
of half a hundred other useful inventions.
I had the happy privilege of analyzing both Mr. Edison and Mr.
Ford, year by year, over a long period of years, and therefore,
the opportunity to study them at close range, so I speak from actual
knowledge when I say that I found no quality save PERSISTENCE, in
either of them, that even remotely suggested the major source of
their stupendous achievements.
As one makes an impartial study of the prophets, philosophers, "miracle"
men, and religious leaders of the past, one is drawn to the inevitable
conclusion that PERSISTENCE, concentration of effort, and DEFINITENESS
OF PURPOSE, were the major sources of their achievements.
Consider, for example, the strange and fascinating story of Mohammed;
analyze his life, compare him with men of achievement in this modern
age of industry and finance, and observe how they have one outstanding
trait in common, PERSISTENCE!
If you are keenly interested in studying the strange power which
gives potency to PERSISTENCE, read a biography of Mohammed, especially
the one by Essad Bey. This brief review of that book, by Thomas
Sugrue, in the Herald-Tribune, will provide a preview of the rare
treat in store for those who take the time to read the entire story
of one of the most astounding examples of the power of PERSISTENCE
known to civilization.
THE LAST GREAT PROPHET
Reviewed by Thomas Sugrue
. . . . .
"Mohammed was a prophet, but he never performed a miracle.
He was not a mystic; he had no formal schooling; he did not begin
his mission until he was forty. When he announced that he was the
Messenger of God, bringing word of the true religion, he was ridiculed
and labeled a lunatic. Children tripped him and women threw filth
upon him. He was banished from his native city, Mecca, and his followers
were stripped of their worldly goods and sent into the desert after
him. When he had been preaching ten years he had nothing to show
for it but banishment, poverty and ridicule. Yet before another
ten years had passed, he was dictator of all Arabia, ruler of Mecca,
and the head of a New World religion which was to sweep to the Danube
and the Pyrenees before exhausting the impetus he gave it. That
impetus was three-fold: the power of words, the efficacy of prayer
and man's kinship with God.
"His career never made sense. Mohammed was born to impoverished
members of a leading family of Mecca. Because Mecca, the crossroads
of the world, home of the magic stone called the Caaba, great city
of trade and the center of trade routes, was unsanitary, its children
were sent to be raised in the desert by Bedouins. Mohammed was thus
nurtured, drawing strength and health from the milk of nomad, vicarious
mothers. He tended sheep and soon hired out to a rich widow as leader
of her caravans. He traveled to all parts of the Eastern World,
talked with many men of diverse beliefs and observed the decline
of Christianity into warring sects. When he was twenty-eight, Khadija,
the widow, looked upon him with favor, and married him. Her father
would have objected to such a marriage, so she got him drunk and
held him up while he gave the paternal blessing. For the next twelve
years Mohammed lived as a rich and respected and very shrewd trader.
Then he took to wandering in the desert, and one day he returned
with the first verse of the Koran and told Khadija that the archangel
Gabriel had appeared to him and said that he was to be the Messenger
"The Koran, the revealed word of God, was the closest thing
to a miracle in Mohammed's life. He had not been a poet; he
had no gift of words. Yet the verses of the Koran, as he received
them and recited them to the faithful, were better than any verses
which the professional poets of the tribes could produce. This,
to the Arabs, was a miracle. To them the gift of words was the greatest
gift, the poet was all-powerful. In addition the Koran said that
all men were equal before God, that the world should be a democratic
state Islam. It was this political heresy, plus Mohammed's desire
to destroy all the 360 idols in the courtyard of the Caaba, which
brought about his banishment. The idols brought the desert tribes
to Mecca, and that meant trade. So the business men of Mecca, the
capitalists, of which he had been one, set upon Mohammed. Then he
retreated to the desert and demanded sovereignty over the world.
"The rise of Islam began. Out of the desert came a flame
which would not be extinguished--a democratic army fighting as a
unit and prepared to die without wincing. Mohammed had invited the
Jews and Christians to join him; for he was not building a new religion.
He was calling all who believed in one God to join in a single faith.
If the Jews and Christians had accepted his invitation Islam would
have conquered the world. They didn't. They would not even accept
Mohammed's innovation of humane warfare. When the armies of
the prophet entered Jerusalem not a single person was killed because
of his faith. When the crusaders entered the city, centuries later,
not a Moslem man, woman, or child was spared. But the Christians
did accept one Moslem idea--the place of learning, the university."
244:* Mrs. Simpson read
and approved this analysis.
Attribution: THINK and GROW RICH ©
1938, published 1938, by THE RALSTON SOCIETY, Meriden, Conn.
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