The Magic Ladder to Success – How to Grow Wealth & Income – Law of Attraction
Articles,  Blog

The Magic Ladder to Success – How to Grow Wealth & Income – Law of Attraction


Sixteen Rungs On the Magic Ladder to Success. There is an indescribable “something”
about The Magic Ladder to Success that attracts, holds, and inspires all who read it. It has helped thousands find their first step
toward achievement. It appeals alike to the rich and the poor,
the educated and the illiterate, and has the effect of bringing people together in a spirit
of closer understanding. The object of this Ladder is to show what
human power is, and how it is developed in those who do not possess it. Human power comes only through organized knowledge
intelligently directed. Facts within themselves do not represent power. Knowledge, unorganized and without intelligent
control and direction, does not represent power. There is a great deal of knowledge carefully
classified and stored away on paper and electronically, but it represents no power until it is transformed
into organized, intelligently directed effort. There is no power in college degrees, or in
the education that these degrees represent, until it is classified, organized, and put
into action. Instead, human power is organized and intelligently
directed energy, as represented by facts, intelligence, and the faculties through which
the human mind operates. In weight, tensile strength and size, a strong
chain in a sack full of disconnected chain links is impressive, but these links represent
only a potential chain until they are organized, connected, and welded together. So it is with people’s faculties. They must be organized before they represent
power. There are two kinds of human power. One is represented by the organization of
the individual faculties, which gives increased power to the individual, and the other is
represented by the organization of individuals and groups of individuals. A little handful of well-organized soldiers
have been known to put to rout ten times its number of disorganized, undisciplined soldiers,
and history is full of the biographies of people who have risen to fame and fortune
through the process of organizing and intelligently directing their individual faculties, while
millions around them, with equal opportunities, remained mediocre or out-and-out failures. There is considerable energy in an ordinary
small battery, but not enough to do bodily damage if someone should create a short circuit
by touching it and absorb the entire charge. A thousand such batteries are equally harmless—until
they are organized and connected together. Through this process of organization, if the
energy of the entire thousand batteries is fed to one wire, enough energy is produced
to turn a considerable piece of machinery. This group of batteries may be likened to
individuals, in that greatly increased power comes through the organized effort of a large
group of people, as compared to the efforts of the same people acting singly. The object of this Ladder is mainly to direct
attention to the modus operandi through which individual power is developed and applied
to the economic problems of life. If you organize your own faculties after the
pattern laid down in this Ladder, by properly developing the qualities represented by the
sixteen rungs, you will find your power enormously increased. You will find yourself in possession of power
that you did not know you possessed, and through the intelligent direction of this power you
can attain practically any position in life to which you aspire. The sixteen rungs of this ladder represent
the choicest and the most illustrative experience of my twenty-two years of business life: Rung Number 1: A Definite Aim in Life Rung Number 2: Self-Confidence Rung Number 3: Initiative Rung Number 4: Imagination Rung Number 5: Action Rung Number 6: Enthusiasm Rung Number 7: Self-Control Rung Number 8: The Habit of Performing More
Work and Better Work Than You Are Paid to Perform Rung Number 9: An Attractive Personality Rung Number 10: Accurate Thought Rung Number 11: Concentration Rung Number 12: Persistence Rung Number 13: Failures Rung Number 14: Tolerance and Sympathy Rung Number 15: Work Rung Number 16: The Golden Rule I will take you behind the curtains of my
own private life so that you may learn these great lessons, as portrayed in the outline
of the Ladder, with the hope that the road you will have to travel to reach your objective
may be somewhat shortened, and the obstacles that surely await you somewhat minimized. Success ought not to be a mere matter of chance,
as is true in the majority of instances, because the roadway over which success is reached
is now well known, and every inch of it has been carefully and accurately charted. The Magic Ladder to Success will carry you
wherever you wish to go if you will master it and organize your faculties according to
its plan—a statement I make after having not only organized my own faculties and directed
them to a given end successfully, but after having helped others to do the same in many
thousands of cases. This Magic Ladder to Success represents twenty-two
years of actual experience and observation, at least twelve of which have been directed
to the intense analysis and study of character and human conduct. During the past twelve years I have analyzed
more than 12,000 men and women. These analyses developed some startling facts,
one of which was that 95 percent of the adult population belongs to the class that might
properly be called unorganized (both as to individual faculties and as to group or collective
effort), or followers, and the other five percent might be called leaders. Another startling fact discovered from organizing
and classifying the tendencies and habits of human beings, as shown by these analyses,
was that the main reason why the overwhelmingly large percentage of people belonged in the
class of followers was lack of a definite purpose in life and a definite plan for carrying
out that purpose. With the foregoing analysis of the Magic Ladder
to Success, you have already seen that the ladder deals entirely with the subject of
acquiring human power through organization, coordination, and classification of the human
faculties. Bear in mind that this Ladder is not intended
as a panacea for all the evils that beset the pathway of the human race, neither is
it intended as a “new” formula for success. Its purpose is to help you organize what you
already have and direct your efforts in the future more powerfully and more accurately
than you have done in the past. Its purpose, stated in another way, is to
help you educate yourself. By the word educate I mean to develop, organize,
and intelligently direct the natural faculties present in what is called the mind. Power comes through real education! No person is educated who has not learned
to organize, classify, and intelligently direct the faculties of the mind to a definite end. No person is educated who has not learned
to separate facts from mere information, weaving the facts into an organized plan of action,
with a definite objective in view. Mere schooling is no evidence of education. College degrees are no evidence that those
holding them are persons of education. The word educate comes, if I recall correctly,
from the Latin word educo, meaning to develop from within, to educe, to draw out, to expand
through use. It does not mean to cram the brain with knowledge,
as most dictionaries tell us it does. I dwell at length on the words educate and
organize, because these two words are the very foundation, the very warp and woof of
the Magic Ladder to Success. Education is something you must acquire. No one can give it to you; you must get it
for yourself. You have to work to get it and you have to
work to keep it. Education comes not from knowing but from
doing. Every library is full of facts, but the books
themselves have no power. They are not educated because they cannot
put into action the facts that have been classified and filed away in their pages. So it is with the human automaton that merely
gathers knowledge and makes no organized use of it. There is considerable energy in a ton of coal,
but the coal must first be dug out of the ground and put into action, through the aid
of combustion, before that energy can be utilized. What is merely latent in the human brain represents
no more energy or power than does the coal under the ground, until it is organized and
put into action to some definite end. The reason that people can acquire an education
through the cooperation of schools and teachers more readily than they can acquire it without
these is the fact that schools help to organize knowledge. If I seem to lay undue stress upon this question
of organization, let me remind you that the lack of this very ability to organize, classify,
and intelligently direct the faculties of the mind constitutes the rocks and reefs on
which a large majority of the “failures” flounder and go down to ruin. If, through repetition and by approaching
this question from various angles, as I have intended to do, I can drive home the importance
of properly organizing your faculties and directing them to a definite end, I will have
done for you all that any school on earth aims to do for its students. With the foregoing as a prelude, we are now
ready to take up the first rung of the Magic Ladder to Success. Rung Number 1: A Definite Aim In Life No one would think of gathering together a
quantity of sand, lumber, brick, and building materials with the object of building a house
without first creating a definite plan for that house, yet my experience in analyzing
over 12,000 people proved conclusively that 95 percent of the people have no such plan
for building a career, which is a thousand times more important than the building of
a house. Do not overlook the significance of the word
definite, because it is the most important word in the phrase “a definite aim in life.” Without this word, the sentence represents
what we all have, which is nothing more than a vague aim to succeed. How, when, or where, we know not, or at least
those of us who belong to the 95 percent class do not. We resemble a ship without a rudder, floundering
on the ocean, running around in circles and using up energy that never carries us to shore
because we do not aim toward one definite goal and carry on until we reach it. You are beginning now to acquire human power
through the organization, classification, and intelligent direction of knowledge, but
your first step must be the choice of a definite aim or else you might as well have no power,
since you will not be able to guide it to a worthwhile objective. It is necessary, not only to have a definite
aim in life, but you must also have a definite plan for attaining that aim. Therefore, place on paper a written statement
of your definite aim and also a written statement, in as much detail as possible, of your plan
for attaining that aim. There is a psychological reason for insisting
that you reduce your definite aim and your plan for attaining it to writing, a reason
you will thoroughly understand after you have mastered the subject of auto-suggestion. Bear in mind that both your definite aim and
your plan for attaining it may be modified from time to time. As a matter of fact, you will be an unusual
person if you have the vision and the imagination to see a definite aim now that will be large
enough in its scope to satisfy your ambition a little later on. The important thing for you to do now is to
learn the significance of working always with a definite aim in view, and always with a
definite plan. This principle is one that you must make a
part of the process of organizing your faculties, and you must apply it in everything you do,
thus forming the habit of systematic, organized effort. One year from the time that you write out
your first statement of your definite aim in life, you will be surprised, more than
likely, at the small scope it covered, for you will then have developed greater vision
and greater self-confidence. You will be able to accomplish more because
of your belief that you can do so and because of your courage in setting a bigger task for
yourself, as indicated by your definite aim. This process of education—of educing, expanding
from within, and drawing out your mind—will enable you to think in bigger terms without
becoming frightened. It will enable you to look upon your definite
aim in life with eyes of analysis and synthesis, and to see it not only in its entirety but
in its component parts, all of which will seem small and insignificant to you. Engineers move mountains from one spot to
another with no difficulty whatsoever, not by trying to move the whole mountain with
one shovelful, but by one shovelful at a time and according to a definite plan. The time and the necessary money required
to build the Panama Canal were correctly estimated years ahead, in fact before a single shovelful
of dirt had been removed, because the engineers who built it had learned how to work by definite
plans. The Canal was a success! It was a success because the people who planned
and built it followed the principle that I have laid down, for your guidance, as the
first rung in this ladder. Therefore you can readily see that there is
nothing new about this principle. It needs no experiment to prove its accuracy
because the successful people of the past have already proved this. Make up your mind now what you wish to do
in life, then formulate your plans and commence doing it. If you have trouble deciding what your lifework
ought to be, you can secure the services of able coaches and guides who can assist you
in selecting a lifework that will be in harmony with your natural inclinations, your temperament,
physical strength, training, and native ability. This brings us to the second rung in the Ladder. Rung Number 2: Self-Confidence It would hardly be worthwhile to create a
definite aim in life or a plan for attaining it unless one possessed the self-confidence
with which to put the plan into action and achieve the aim. Nearly everyone has a certain amount of what
is ordinarily considered self-confidence, but only a relatively small number possess
the particular kind of self-confidence that we name as the second rung in the Magic Ladder
to Success. Self-confidence is a state of mind that anyone
can develop in a short period of time. Twenty-odd years ago I was engaged as a laborer
in the coalmines. I was without a definite aim and lacked the
self-confidence necessary to create such an aim. Something happened one night that marked the
most important turning point in my life. I was sitting before an open fire, discussing
with a companion the problem of unrest and antagonism between employer and employee. I said something that impressed this man and
he did something that gave me my first lesson in self-confidence building. He then reached over, took me by the shoulder,
looked me squarely in the eye, and said, “Why, you are a bright boy, and if you will get
out and go to school, you will make your mark in the world!” It was not what he said as much as it was
the manner in which he said it—the sparkle in his eye, the firmness with which he gripped
my shoulder as he spoke—that impressed me. It was the first time in my life that anyone
had told me I was “bright,” or that I might make my “mark” in the world. It gave me my first ray of hope, my first
fleeting glimpse of self-confidence. The seed of self-confidence was sown in my
mind on that occasion and it has been growing all these years. The first thing this planting in my mind of
the seed of self-confidence did was to cause me to break away from the mines and enter
more remunerative work. It caused me to become thirsty for knowledge,
so much so that I am becoming a more efficient student every year that I live, until today
I can gather, classify, and organize facts in less than one-tenth the time I required
only a few years ago. Rung Number 3: Initiative Initiative is that very rare quality that
impels a person to do what ought to be done without being told to do it. All great leaders must possess initiative. A person without initiative could never become
a great general, either in warfare or in business and industry, because generalship, to be successful,
must be based on intense action. Golden opportunities are lurking at every
corner, waiting for the person with initiative to come along and discover them. When people perform only the tasks allotted
to them and then stop, they attract no particular attention. But when they take the initiative, go ahead
and look for other tasks to be performed after their regular duties have been taken care
of, they attract the favorable attention of their superiors who willingly allot to them
greater responsibilities, with pay accordingly. Before anyone can rise very high in any field
of endeavor, he or she must become a person of vision who can think in big terms, who
can create definite plans and then carry these plans into action, all of which makes it imperative
that the quality of initiative be developed. You might have noticed already that one of
the significant features concerning this Magic Ladder is the extent to which its rungs blend
and harmonize with one another, to the end that the whole Ladder constitutes a powerful
organization of usable material. Notice how the third and fourth rungs complement
each other, for instance, and notice also the power that comes out of a proper blending
of these two rungs in the practical affairs of life. Rung Number 4: Imagination Imagination is the workshop of the human mind
in which old ideas are built into new combinations and new plans. When Thomas Edison invented the incandescent
light, he merely brought together, in his imagination first and then in his laboratory,
two well-known principles and hooked them up, so to speak, in a new way. He knew, as almost every amateur electrician
knows, that friction in an electric line would cause heat; that the line could be heated,
at the point of friction, to a white glow and thereby produce light. But the trouble was that the wire would burn
in two. Finally, after searching all over the world
for a special fiber or filament that could be heated to a white glow without its burning
in two, Edison thought of the old charcoal principle, wherein a pile of wood is placed
on the ground, set on fire, and then covered over with dirt and the air cut off. The wood smolders along, but it cannot burn
up entirely because most of the oxygen has been cut off, and there can be, therefore,
not enough combustion. The moment Edison thought of this charcoal
principle, he went into his laboratory, placed the filament inside of a globe, cut off the
air, and lo and behold he produced the long sought incandescent light. When Christopher Columbus turned his eyes
westward in search of a “new world,” he made the most profitable use of initiative
and imagination ever recorded in all history. Out of his blending of these two qualities
was born America. When Gutenberg turned his attention to the
invention of the modern printing press, he also made profitable use of initiative and
imagination, because he gave wings to thought and brought the whole world closer. When the Wright brothers turned their attention
to the airplane, they used initiative and imagination, which, within the span of a few
years, mastered the air and shortened the distance between two given points by an enormous
proportion. All of the great inventions owe their existence
to the blending of these two forces—initiative and imagination. The limits to which a person of ordinary ability
can attain, through the use of initiative and imagination, no person can define. Lack of these two qualities is the main reason
why 95 percent of the adult people of the world have no definite aim in life, which,
in turn, is also the reason why this same 95 percent constitute the followers in life. Leaders are always men and women of initiative
and imagination. Rung Number 5: Action The world pays for only one thing and that
is for service rendered, or in other words, action. Stored-away knowledge is worthless. It benefits no one until it has been expressed
in terms of action. No one pays for goods on the shelves; they
must be hauled down and ushered into service before the world pays for them. You might be a graduate of one of the best
colleges or universities—in fact, you might have all the facts in all of the encyclopedias
in the world stored away in your head—but unless you organize this knowledge and express
it in action, it would be worth nothing to you or to the world. A few years ago I went out into the Chicago
public parks and interviewed seven of the homeless—those fellows who lie around, asleep,
with newspapers over their faces while work is plentiful and wages high. I wanted to catch a glimpse of their particular
“alibi.” I knew they had what they believed to be a
“reason” for being without work. With some small change and a pocket full of
cigars, I got pretty close to these fellows, and what do you suppose they told me, every
single one of them? Each of them said substantially this: “I
am here because the world would not give me a chance!” Think of it—“because the world would not
give me a chance!” Did the world ever give any person a chance,
other than what one went out and created by the use of their imagination, self-confidence,
initiative, and those other qualities mentioned in this Ladder? We need not argue the point that if there
is no action, all the education in the world, all the knowledge that ever came from the
best colleges and universities on earth, and all the good intentions plus all of the other
qualities mentioned in this magic ladder, will not be of any value whatsoever. A person without this great quality of action
resembles a great locomotive that stands on the side track or in the roundhouse with coal
in the bunker, water in the tank, fire in the firebox, steam in the dome, but no engineer
to open the throttle. This great piece of locomotive power is as
useless as a sand dune until someone opens the throttle and puts the thing into action. Within that head of yours is a great machine,
one that rivals all the locomotives and manmade machines ever built, but it is as useless
as the locomotive that stands on the side of the track without the engineer, until you
put it into action. How many millions of people are there in this
world who have all the essentials for great success, who have everything necessary with
which to render the world a great service, except one quality—action! With but little use of your imagination you
can see how closely related action is to all of the other qualities covered by the first
four rungs in the ladder. You can see how the lack of action would nullify
all of the other qualities. When a person goes into action, those negative
qualities of procrastination, fear, worry, and doubt are strictly on the defensive, and
nearly everyone knows that a better fight can be fought on the offensive than can be
fought on the defensive. Action is one of the chief qualities that
all leaders must possess and, incidentally, it is the chief quality that distinguishes
the leader from those who follow. This is worth thinking about; it may help
some of us advance from the rank and file of the followers into the select, limited
class who are leaders. Rung Number 6: Enthusiasm The next rung in the Ladder is very appropriately
called enthusiasm, because enthusiasm usually arouses one to action and therefore should
be closely associated with it. If we were considering the steps of this Ladder
in the order of their importance, probably enthusiasm would precede action because there
is not apt to be very much action in a person unless there is enthusiasm. Enthusiasm usually develops automatically,
when people find the work for which they are best fitted; the work they like best. It is not likely that you will be able to
maintain very much enthusiasm over work you dislike, therefore it behooves you to search
diligently until you find the work into which you can throw your whole heart and soul—the
work in which you can earnestly and persistently “lose” yourself. Rung Number 7: Self-Control For eighteen long, perilous years, an archenemy
stood between me and the attainment of my definite aim. That enemy was lack of self-control. I was always looking for controversy and argument. Usually I found it. Most of my time was spent in showing someone
that he or she was wrong, when I should have been devoting this valuable time to showing
myself that I was wrong. Finding fault with people is undoubtedly the
most unprofitable business one ever engages in. It makes enemies and demoralizes the spirit
of friendship. In no way does it reform or help another person. Lack of self-control leads to fault-finding. No one ever became a great leader of others
until first learning to lead himself or herself through self-control. Self-mastery is the first stepping stone to
real achievement. When people lose their tempers, something
takes place in their brains that ought to be understood more generally. Angry people do not really “lose” their
tempers, they merely inflame it and cause it to draw to the brain those chemicals which,
when combined through anger, form a deadly poison. An angry person will throw off enough poison,
with every exhalation of breath, to kill a guinea pig! There are only three ways of getting rid of
the poison manufactured by the brain in anger. One is through the pores of the skin; one
is through the lungs, the poison being carried away on the breath in the form of gases; and
the other is through the liver, which separates the waste matter from the blood. When these three roadways become overworked,
the surplus poison being manufactured by an angry person is distributed through the system
and poisons it, just as if any other deadly and poisonous drug were injected into the
blood with the use of a hypodermic syringe. Anger, hatred, cynicism, pessimism, and other
negative states of mind tend to poison the system and should be avoided. They are all a part of that deadly negative
called lack of self-control. Rung Number 8: The Habit of Performing More
Work and Better Work Than You Are Paid to Perform I do not believe it possible for anyone to
rise above mediocrity without developing this habit of performing more service and better
service than is actually paid for in dollars and cents. The person who makes it a habit to do this
is usually regarded as a leader, and without exception, as far as we know, all such people
have risen to the top in their profession or business, regardless of other handicaps
that may have stood in the way. A person who renders this sort of service
is sure to attract the attention of people who will start a lively competition for his
or her services. No one ever heard of competition over the
services of the person who performs as little work as possible, and who performs that work
in a careless manner in an unwilling spirit. All of the ability on earth, all of the knowledge
recorded in all of the books down the ages, all the schooling on earth, will not create
a profitable market for the services of a man or woman who renders as little service
as possible and makes the quality as poor as will pass. On the other hand, the spirit of willingly
performing more work and better work than one is paid to perform is sure to bring its
just reward. It will offset many other negative qualities
and the lack of many other desirable qualities. Rung Number 9: An Attractive Personality You can readily see that even though you possess
all of the qualities thus far outlined, you would nevertheless be very apt to fail in
your lifework if you did not also attract people to you through a pleasing personality. Personality cannot be defined in one word,
because it is the sum total of those qualities that distinguish one person from every other
person on earth. The clothes you wear form a part of your personality—a
very important part at that. Your facial expression, as shown by the lines
on your face or the lack of these, forms a part of your personality. The words you speak form a very important
part of your personality, and mark you instantly, once you have spoken, as a person of refinement
or the opposite. Your voice also constitutes an important part
of your personality, a part which, to be pleasing, must be cultivated, trained, and developed
so it is harmonious, rich, and expressed with rhythm. The manner in which you shake hands forms
an important part of your personality; therefore, make your handshake firm and vibrant. If you merely permit the other person to shake
your limp, cold, lifeless hand, you are displaying what constitutes a negative personality. An attractive personality may be described
as one that draws people to you and causes them to find companionship and harmony in
your company, while an unattractive personality is one that causes people to want to get as
far away from you as possible. You undoubtedly can analyze yourself and determine
whether or not people are attracted to you, and if they are not, you surely can find the
reason why. Also, it may be of interest to you to know
that the class of people you attract to yourself clearly indicates your own character and personality,
because you will attract only those who are in harmony with you and whose characters and
nature correspond to that of your own. An attractive personality usually may be found
in the person who speaks gently and kindly, selecting words that do not offend; who selects
clothing of appropriate style, and colors that harmonize. The person who is unselfish and willing to
serve others; who is a friend of all humanity, regardless of politics, religion, creed, or
economic viewpoints; who refrains from speaking unkindly of others, either with or without
cause. The person who manages to converse without
being drawn into an argument or trying to draw others into argument on such debatable
subjects as religion and politics; who sees the good there is in people and overlooks
the bad; who seeks neither to reform nor reprimand others; who smiles frequently and deeply. The person who loves little children, flowers,
birds, the growing grass, the trees, and the running brooks; who sympathizes with all who
are in trouble; who forgives acts of unkindness; who willingly grants to others the rights
to do as they please as long as no one else’s rights are interfered with. The person who earnestly strives to be constructive
in every thought and act; who encourages others and spurs them on to greater undertakings
in some useful work for the good of humanity, by interesting them in themselves and inspiring
them with self-confidence; who is a patient and interested listener and makes a habit
of giving the other person a part of the conversation without breaking in and doing all the talking. An attractive personality, like all of the
other qualities mentioned in this Ladder, is easily developed through the application
of applied psychology. Rung Number 10: Accurate Thought After you have learned how to think correctly,
you will easily and automatically practice the habit of examining everything that tries
to make its way to your mind, to see whether it is mere “information” or facts. You will learn how to keep away from your
mind all those sense impressions that arise, not from facts but from prejudices and from
hatred, anger, bias, and other false sources. You will learn how to separate facts into
two groups, namely the relevant and irrelevant, or the important and unimportant. You will learn how to take the “important”
facts and organize them, working them into a perfect judgment or plan of action. You will learn how to analyze what you read
or see through various media outlets, making the necessary deductions, reasoning from the
known facts to the unknown, and arriving at a well-balanced judgment that is not colored
by prejudice or built out of mere “information” that you did not carefully examine. You will also learn, when you understand how
to think correctly, how to put what others say through the same process, because this
will lead you nearer to the truth. You will learn not to take anything for a
fact unless it squares up with your own intelligence, and unless it meets the various tests to which
a sound thinker always subjects everything that tries to make its way to his or her mind. You will learn, also, not to be influenced
by what one person says about another, until you have weighed the statement, examined it,
and determined, according to the known principles of correct thinking, whether the statement
is false or true. If scientific thinking will do all of this
for you, it is a desirable quality, is it not? It will do all of this—and much more—when
you understand the comparatively simple principles through which correct thought is produced. Rung Number 11: Concentration Concentration, in the sense that we have made
it one of the rungs of this Ladder, has reference to the practice of inducing your mind to picture
all of the details outlined in your chief aim or in any undertaking, whether connected
with or leading to your chief aim or not, until that picture has been clearly outlined
and practical ways and means of transforming it into reality have been created. Concentration is the process of causing your
imagination to search every crevice and corner of your subconscious mind, wherein is stored
away a perfect picture of every sense impression that ever reached your mind through your five
senses, and finding all that can be used in connection with the object of the concentration. Concentration is also the process of bringing
together, as electric batteries are connected by wires, the combined strength of all the
qualities outlined in this Ladder for the purpose of achieving a given end or attaining
a given object—the object of the concentration. It is the process of focusing the powers of
thought upon a given subject until the mind has analyzed that subject and separated it
into its component parts, then reassembled it again into a definite plan. It is the process of studying effects by their
causes and, conversely, causes by their effects. Rung Number 12: Persistence Persistence and concentration are so closely
related that it is hard to say where is the line that separates them. Persistence is synonymous with will power
or determination. It is the quality that causes you to keep
the powers of your mind focused upon a given objective, through the principle of concentration,
until that objective has been reached. Persistence is the quality that causes you
to arise, when once you have been knocked down by temporary failure, and to continue
your pursuit of a given desire or object. It is the quality that gives you courage and
faith to keep on trying in the face of any and all obstacles that may confront you. It is the quality that causes the bulldog
to find the death grip on his opponent’s throat and then lie down and hold on in spite
of all efforts to shake him off. However, you are not aiming to develop persistence
for the purpose of using it as a bulldog does. You are developing it for the purpose of carrying
you over those necessary rocks and reefs that nearly every person must master in reaching
any worthwhile place in the world. You are developing persistence to guide you,
unwavering, in a given direction only after you are satisfied that you are going in the
right direction. Indiscriminate use of persistence, however,
might only get you in trouble. Rung Number 13: Failures This brings us to the “lucky” thirteenth
rung of the Ladder—failures! Do not stumble on this rung. It is the most interesting rung of all because
it deals with facts that you must face in life, whether you wish to do so or not. It shows you, as clearly as you might see
the sun on a clear day, how you can turn every failure into an asset; how you can carve every
failure into a foundation stone upon which your house of success will stand forever. Failure is the only subject in the whole Ladder
that might be called “negative,” and I shall show you how and why it is one of the
most important of life’s experiences. Failure is nature’s plan of hurdle-jumping
and training people for a worthwhile work in life. It is nature’s great crucible and tempering
process that burns the dross from all the other human qualities and purifies the metal
so it will withstand all hard usage throughout life. Failure is the great law of resistance that
makes people stronger in proportion to the extent that they overcome this resistance. In every failure there is a great and lasting
lesson, if one will only analyze, think, and profit by it. Failure develops tolerance, sympathy, and
kindness in the human heart. You will not travel very far down life’s
pathway before you discover that every adversity and every failure is a blessing in disguise,
a blessing because it has put your mind and your body into action and thereby caused both
to grow through the law of use. Look back down the ages and you will find
history full of incidents that show clearly the cleansing, purifying, strengthening value
of failure. When you begin to realize that failure is
a necessary part of one’s education, you will no longer look upon it with fear, and
the first thing you know, there will be no more failures! No person ever arose from the knockout blow
of defeat without being a stronger and wiser human being in one respect or another. If you will look back over your own failures,
if you are fortunate enough to be able to point to any of very great consequence, you
will no doubt see that those failures marked certain turning points in your life and in
your plans that were of benefit to you. Rung Number 14: Tolerance and Sympathy One of the curses of this world today is intolerance
and a lack of sympathy. Had the world been tolerant, wars would never
have swept the face of the civilized globe as they have. Here in America, it is of particular importance
that we learn the lesson of tolerance and sympathy, for the reason that this is a great
melting pot in which we are living side by side with every race and with the followers
of every creed and religion on earth. Unless we display tolerance and sympathy,
we are not living up to the standard that first distinguished this from the tyrant’s
world across the Atlantic. Many great lessons can be learned from wars,
but none more importance than this: that the followers of all religions and all nationalities
and races have fought for a common cause. If we could fight for a common cause during
a war, without displaying intolerance for one another on account of religion, race,
and creed, and if we found it necessary and profitable to do so, why not continue to do
the same in peace? Power comes out of cooperation! All through the ages, struggling people have
suffered more from their own gross indifference and violent intolerance with one another than
they have from oppression by the ruling classes. As a matter of fact, if the common people
could lay aside intolerance and work for a common cause, behind a solid front, no power
on earth could defeat them. In warfare, defeat usually comes from lack
of organization. The same is true in life. Intolerance and lack of harmonious effort
toward a common end has always left the door open, so that a few who understood the power
that comes from organized effort might step right in and ride the backs of the disorganized
and the intolerant. Just now, intolerance is working havoc with
the world, because of terrorism and religion. These disagreements are nothing but intolerance
and greed, and it is as much in evidence on one side as it is on the other. If both sides would see that one is the arm
while the other is the lifeblood keeping that arm alive, each would see that intolerance
that affects one adversely also affects the other in the same way. Let us be done with intolerance by placing
principle above religion, humanity and the selfish individual. Let us exercise at least as much real intelligence
as does the little honeybee that works for the good of the hive, that the hive may not
perish. Rung Number 15: Work This is the shortest word of all those that
constitute the rungs of this Ladder, yet it is one of the most important of qualities. All of nature’s laws have decreed that nothing
may live that is not used. The arm that is tied to one’s side and removed
from active use will wither up and perish away. So it is with any other part of the physical
body. Disuse brings decay and death. Likewise the human mind, with all of its qualities,
will not wither up and decay unless it is used, but the brain, the physical agent through
which the mind functions, will decay. Every picture that reaches the human brain
through the five senses embeds itself upon one of the tiny brain cells, there to wither
up and die through disuse or to become vivid and healthy through constant use. Educators now concede that it is not the actual
knowledge children gather from schoolbooks that constitutes their “education.” It is the brain development that takes place
in the process of transferring that knowledge from the books to the brain, bringing a corresponding
amount of use of the brain itself, which constitutes the real value of schooling. The qualities outlined in this Ladder are
yours in return for just one price, and that price is work—persistent, never-ceasing
work. As long as you exercise these qualities and
keep them at work, they will be strong and healthy. But if you permit them to lie dormant, unused,
they will wither into decay and finally into death. Rung Number 16: The Golden Rule This is the last rung of the Ladder. Perhaps it should have been the first rung,
because its use or disuse will determine whether one ultimately fails or succeeds in the application
of all the other qualities mentioned in the ladder. This Golden Rule philosophy is the shining
sun that should form the background of all the other qualities outlined in the Ladder. Unless the Golden Rule lights the pathway
over which you travel, you are apt to plunge headlong into pitfalls from which you can
never escape. The Golden Rule offers the only sure roadway
to happiness, because it leads straight through the field of useful service in the interest
of humanity. It is the thing that develops the “hive”
spirit in people and causes them to submerge their selfish personal interests for the good
of the race. The Golden Rule acts as a barrier to all of
our tendencies toward wielding the destructive use of power that results from developing
the other qualities outlined in this Ladder. It is the antidote against the harm people
can do without knowledge and power, the thing that guides people to the intelligent, constructive
use of those qualities we develop from the use of the rungs of this Ladder. The Golden Rule is the torchlight by which
we are guided toward those objectives in life that leave something of value to posterity,
that lightens the burdens of our fellow sojourners on earth and helps them find the way to useful,
constructive effort. The Golden Rule simply means that we must
act toward others as we wish others to act toward us; that we must do unto them as we
wish to be done unto us; that we must give in thoughts, actions, and deeds that which
we are willing to receive from others. You have before you, in this Ladder, a perfect
blueprint or plan by which you can reach any legitimate undertaking in life that is within
possible reach of a person of your age, natural tendency, schooling, and environment. This is a Magic Ladder to guide you to look
for the end of the rainbow of success—which nearly all of us expect to find at some point
in life. Your rainbow’s end is in sight, and the
moment you master the qualities in this Ladder, you can pick up the bag of gold that is waiting
there for the rightful owner to come along and claim it.

13 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *