The main enterprise of the world is the upbuilding of a man.
When the firemen are called to put out a conflagration, they depend on the water flow ing through the hose.
When the tongue is tied a man cannot speak ; when the hands are tied he cannot labor ; when the feet are tied he cannot travel. If we lived under a tyrant who, with little warning, tied our tongue and hands and feet, and made us helpless, we should rebel and fight for free dom.
And yet we live under just such a tyrant; or, rather, a family of tyrants, who not only tie our tongues and hands and feet, but our ability, perseverance, happiness, and pleasures of life.
These tyrants are Fear, Worry, Suspicion, Hatred & Co. When the Roman tyrant threat ened to put the Greek slave in jail, the slave laughed at him and said : "You can put my body in jail, but my spirit will be free forever." But the tyrants we sub mit to actually put the spirit in prison ; and thus we are become helpless. To succeed in life, a man must work freely with his re sources. Resources are positive things. They help us and increase us. They make it plain to us just where opportunity is to be found. And yet the tyrants that put the spirit in jail are not positive things. They are the worst possible form of negatives, and negatives never helped a man in all the history of the world.
You have determined to succeed in life. You have learned something in school, some thing at work, something from your fellow workmen and companions. You are con vinced, one day, that you are not all that you can be; you become ambitious and make up your mind to succeed. Youth is yours, or at least the impulse of youth. Opportunity beck ons you. The time is propitious. Can you trust yourself ? When the moment arrives, you have for tune in your hands. All that is asked of you is to be faithful to your ambition, and by the very law of life you are as certain to succeed as you may be sure in midwinter that spring will come again.
What must you do to be faithful to your ambition ? Many people and many books ad vise you to learn all you can, to be industrious, to save money. By doing these things, they tell you, success is sure to come.
The trouble with this advice is that it is not true; that is, it is not all of the truth. While it is necessary to study, to work and to save, it is also necessary to keep the mental at mosphere clean and wholesome. The mental atmosphere is clean and wholesome when there are no negative qualities poisoning it. There fore, you are called upon to do two kinds of work. The first kind is the work of ambition.
This requires you to plan all you want to be and to become; to look farther and farther ahead; to determine to travel the direction just as far as you can make your way for ward.
The second kind of work is Freedom-mak ing. As you travel your direction, you will find yourself in a jungle. You must go armed to protect yourself. The weapon you must carry for your protection is Faith in your self and in your ideals. It is a powerful weapon and it is the fundamental resource.
When you push onward and come upon ven omous reptiles that hiss in your face, slay them with your Faith. That will rid you of Fear. When the creeping vines tangle your feet so that you cannot move, cut them apart with Faith, and you will have killed Worry. When you cannot go forward lest you sink into the soil, look with Faith for a firm place to put your feet—then you will have killed Uncer tainty and Suspicion. When you see an other man a victim to these troubles, help him along with your Faith, and show him how to protect himself with his own. Then you will have killed Hatred and Jealousy.
The purpose of this picture should be plain. It means this : In order that the mind may work with Faith in behalf of the ambitions you possess, it must be free from all things that tend to make a strong man helpless.
Fear imprisons a man and he cannot come out to work. Worry paralyzes a man, and makes his tongue and hands and feet useless. Suspicion and Hatred draw a veil over a man's eyes and he cannot see visions.
To follow beckoning Ambition a man must not be a prisoner. He must be free to live and move. His hands must labor unhindered; his tongue speak unafraid, and his eyes see un clouded.
The days of slavery are not over, so long as we are victims of our own negations. We laugh at one who believes in ghosts; but a man who worries is the worst ghost-believer in existence.
When the firemen go to put out a conflagra tion they depend on the water flowing through the hose.
Suppose, however, that before they turn the water on, they should prick little holes in the hose for its whole length. When the water is turned on, only a little comes out at the nozzle. Most of it is wasting itself through the punctures.
The fire is a man's work ; the thing to be done. The water is a man's power ; that which he turns upon the work to make it disappear. The hose pipe is the direct line of his ambition. If he is full of Fear, Worry, Superstition and Hatred, the water spurts uselessly out of the little holes, but not much comes out of the nozzle.