THE BASIS OF SUCCESS IN BUSINESS.
There is no action of man in this life, which is not the beginning of so long a chain of consequences, as that no human providence is high enough to give us a prospect to the end.
Comparatively few men or women realize the importance of the elements in the partnership of work. This is a partnership in which there are involved the mind, the body and the busi ness. The man back of these must forever hold himself secure in his position as master of the kingdom.
Men who are involved in large business en terprises know this instinctively, and value it greatly.
The manager of an extensive organization, the operations of which are international, in sisted if he could make a man who was about to enter the employ of the company, take a sane view of himself and maintain that view, that the man would inevitably succeed.
Here is the manner in which he presented his philosophy, dictated by stern experience, to a new man.
We will call the man Shapley.
Now Shapley, said the manager, let us take up your case.
You have applied for a position and you have secured it. Now you want particular in formation about the details of your work and explicit directions how to conduct it.
Shapley, I am going to leave these matters to you to discover as you work your way into our business. Your request is important, I admit, but there is another matter so vastly more important that it merits immediate atten tion. And that is what I wish to talk to you about now.
Before you, as before every man who is at work in the world's service, are two proposi tions : I. The work.
II. The man himself, who proposes to do the work. It may surprise you to be told that a man must give infinitely more time, particularly in the first years, until habits are fixed, not to the work, though that will keep him busy, but to himself. To learn to handle the work is a com paratively simple matter. To learn to handle one's self is a proposition of another kind. The most difficult, and yet the most necessary art a man has to acquire, is to see himself clearly and without prejudice as another man.
You have probably been to the opera. The great prima donna has impressed you with the beauty of her voice and the perfection of her art.
If you were privileged to talk with her to ascertain how she learned to accomplish the great results she achieves, you would be sur prised to note on what she lays the emphasis. It would not be primarily on the art of music, pure and simple, but on acquiring the art of learning how a woman must manage and mas ter herself while she is preparing to become a prima donna.
What is it she does that delights you and thousands of others, and what does the doing of it all imply? First, she must do her work in sympathy with the complete organization of which she is a part. In brief, she must do good team work. Even a prima donna must consent to do that, while she is actually on the stage be fore the public.
Second, she must forever pursue the at tainment of a great individual record in her profession.
Third, she must find all her satisfaction in life in acquiring a greater, and yet greater, con ception of what she does. In other words, the joy of life and the work of life must be inti mately related.
Now these three things demand of her to keep the brakes on.
She knows that a woman to portray an ideal Marguerite in the opera Faust, even as seldom as twice a year for a period of three hours, must keep in training all the rest of the year to avoid trouble. She may naturally be fond of eating rich foods, drinking fine wines and having a good time generally. If this wish presents itself, she must put on the brakes at once. Because an ideal Marguerite must not be fat and dowdy, must not ruin the throat by indulgence of any sort ; must not lose the flexi bility of arms and limbs and body generally by giving way to temptation. The prima donna cannot afford to jeopardize the clearness of brain where rests the marvelous memory on which she depends to perform her part (words and music, letter-perfect) for three hours. One slight slip in the perfection of the human mech anism, and she is incapable.