The law of success


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The law of success

  1. 1. THE LAW OFSUCCESS IN SIXTEEN LESSONS Teaching, for the First Time in the History of the World, the True Philos- ophy upon which all Personal Success is Built. BY NAPOLEON HILL 1928Ebook version ©Abundance Prosperity, 2006, All Rights Reserved
  2. 2. C OPYRIGHT , 1928, BYNAPOLEON HILL ______ Printed in the U.S.A. -2-
  3. 3. Lesson SixIMAGINATION -3-
  5. 5. THE LAW OF SUCCESS Lesson Six IMAGINATION "You Can Do It if You Believe You Can!” IMAGINATION is the workshop of the humanmind wherein old ideas and established facts may bereassembled into new combinations and put to newuses. The modern dictionary defines imagination asfollows: "The act of constructive intellect in grouping thematerials of knowledge or thought into new, originaland rational systems; the constructive or creativefaculty; embracing poetic, artistic, philosophic,scientific and ethical imagination. "The picturing power of the mind; the formationof mental images, pictures, or mental representation ofobjects or ideas, particularly of objects of senseperception and of mathematical reasoning! also thereproduction and combination, usually with more orless irrational or abnormal modification, of the imagesor ideas of memory or recalled facts of experience." Imagination has been called the creative power ofthe soul, but this is somewhat abstract and goes moredeeply into the meaning than is necessary from the -5-
  6. 6. viewpoint of a student of this course who wishes touse the course only as a means of attaining material ormonetary advantages in life. If you have mastered and thoroughly understoodthe preceding lessons of this Reading Course youknow that the materials out of which you built yourdefinite chief aim were assembled and combined inyour imagination. You also know that self-confidenceand initiative and leadership must be created in yourimagination before they can become a reality, for it isin the workshop of your imagination that you will putthe principle of Auto-suggestion into operation increating these necessary qualities. This lesson on imagination might be called the"hub" of this Reading Course, because every lesson ofthe course leads to this lesson and makes use of theprinciple upon which it is based, just as all thetelephone wires lead to the exchange office for theirsource of power. You will never have a definitepurpose in life, you will never have self-confidence,you will never have initiative and leadership unlessyou first create these qualities in your imaginationand see yourself in possession of them. Just as the oak tree develops from the germ thatlies in the acorn, and the bird develops from the germthat lies asleep in the egg, so will your materialachievements grow out of the organized plans that youcreate in your imagination. First comes the thought;then, organization of that thought into ideas andplans; then transformation of those plans into reality.The beginning, as you will observe, is in yourimagination. The imagination is both interpretative andcreative in nature. It can examine facts, concepts and -6-
  7. 7. ideas, and it can create new combinations and plansout of these. Through its interpretative capacity theimagination has one power not generally attributed toit; namely, the power to register vibrations andthought waves that are put into motion from outsidesources, just as the radio-receiving apparatus picks upthe vibrations of sound. The principle through whichthis interpretative capacity of the imaginationfunctions is called telepathy; the communication ofthought from one mind to another, at long or shortdistances, without the aid of physical or mechanicalappliances, in the manner explained in theIntroductory Lesson of this course. Telepathy is an important factor to a student whois preparing to make effective use of imagination, forthe reason that this telepathic capacity of theimagination is constantly picking up thought wavesand vibrations of every description. So-called "snap-judgment" and "hunches," which prompt one to forman opinion or decide upon a course of action that isnot in harmony with logic and reason, are usually theresult of stray thought waves that have registered inthe imagination. The recently developed radio apparatus hasenabled us to understand that the elements of the etherare so sensitive and alive that all manner of soundwaves are constantly flying here and there withlightning-like speed. You have only to understand themodern radio outfit to understand, also, the principleof telepathy. So well has this principle beenestablished, through psychological research, that wehave abundance of proof that two minds which are -7-
  8. 8. properly attuned and in harmony with each other maysend and receive thought at long distances without theaid of mechanical apparatus of any sort. Rarely havetwo minds become so well attuned that unbrokenchains of thought could be registered in this manner,but there is evidence sufficient to establish the factthat parts of organized thought have been picked up. That you may understand how closely interwovenare the fifteen factors upon which this Reading Courseis based, consider, for example, what happens when asalesman who lacks confidence in himself, and in hisgoods, walks in to see a prospective buyer. Whetherthe prospective buyer is conscious of it or not, hisimagination immediately "senses" that lack ofconfidence in the salesmans mind. The salesmansown thoughts are actually undermining his efforts.This will explain, from another angle, why self-confidence is one of the most important factorsentering into the great struggle for success. The principle of telepathy and the law ofattraction, through which like attracts like, explainmany a failure. If the mind has a tendency to attractfrom the ether those thought vibrations whichharmonize with the dominating thoughts of a givenmind, you can easily understand why a negative mindthat dwells upon failure and lacks the vitalizing forceof self-confidence would not attract a positive mindthat is dominated by thoughts of success. Perhaps these explanations are somewhat abstractto the student who has not made any particular studyof the functioning processes of the mind, but it seemsnecessary to inject them into this lesson as a means ofenabling the student to understand and make practical -8-
  9. 9. use of the subject of this lesson. The imagination istoo often regarded merely as an indefinite,untraceable, indescribable something that doesnothing but create fiction. It is this popular disregardof the powers of the imagination that has madenecessary these more or less abstract references to oneof the most important subjects of this course. Not onlyis the subject of imagination an important factor inthis course; but, it is one of the most interestingsubjects, as you will observe when you begin to seehow it affects all that you do toward the achievementof your definite chief aim. You will see how important is the subject ofimagination when you stop to realize that it is theonly thing in the world over which you have absolutecontrol. Others may deprive you of your materialwealth and cheat you in a thousand ways, but no mancan deprive you of the control and use of yourimagination. Men may deal with you unfairly, as menoften do; they may deprive you of your liberty, butthey cannot take from you the privilege of using yourimagination as you wish. The most inspiring poem in all literature waswritten by Leigh Hunt, while he was a poverty-stricken prisoner in an English prison, where he hadbeen unjustly confined because of his advanced viewson politics. This poem is entitled Abou Ben Adhem,and it is here re-printed as a reminder that one of thegreat things a man may do, in his own imagination, isto forgive those who have dealt unjustly with him: Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase) Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace, -9-
  11. 11. And saw within the moonlight of his room,Making it rich and like a lily in bloom,An angel writing in a book of gold,Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,And to the presence in the room he said:"What writest thou?" - the vision raised its head,And, with a look made of all sweet accord,Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord.""And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"Replied the angel, - Abou spoke more low,But cheerily still; and said, "I pray thee, then,Write me as one that loves his fellow men."The angel wrote, and vanished. The next nightIt came again, with a great wakening light,And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,And, lo! Ben Adhems name led all the rest! Civilization, itself, owes its existence to suchmen as Leigh Hunt, in whose fertile imaginations havebeen pictured the higher and nobler standards ofhuman relationship. Abou Ben Adhem is a poem thatwill never die, thanks to this man who pictured in hisimagination the hope of an ideal that is constructive. The major trouble with this world today lies inour lack of understanding of the power ofimagination, for if we understood this great power wecould use it as a weapon with which to wipe outpoverty and misery and injustice and persecution, andthis could be done in a single generation. This is arather broad statement, and no one understands betterthan the author of this course how useless such astatement would be if the principle upon which it isfounded were not explained in terms of the most - 11 -
  12. 12. practical, workaday nature; therefore, let us proceedto describe what is meant. To make this description understandable we mustaccept as a reality the principle of telepathy, throughthe operation of which every thought we release isregistering itself in the minds of other people. Weneed devote no time to proving that telepathy is areality, for the reason that this lesson on imaginationcannot be of the slightest value to the student who hasnot sufficiently informed himself to understand andaccept telepathy as an established principle. We willtake it for granted that you are one who accepts andunderstands this principle. You have often heard of "mob psychology,"which is nothing more nor less than some strong,dominating idea that has been created in the mind ofone or more persons and registers itself in the mindsof other persons, through the principle of telepathy.So strong is the power of mob psychology that twomen fighting in the street will often start a "free-for-all" fight in which by-standers will engage each otherin battle without even knowing what they are fightingabout, or with whom they are fighting. On armistice day, 1918, we had evidence inabundance to prove the reality of the principle oftelepathy, on a scale such as the world had neverbefore witnessed. I remember, distinctly, theimpression made on my mind on that eventful day. Sostrong was this impression that it awakened me atabout 3:00 oclock in the morning, just as effectivelyas if someone had aroused me by physical force. As Isat up in bed I knew that something out of theordinary had happened, and so strange and impelling - 12 -
  13. 13. was the effect of this experience that I got up, dressedmyself and went out in the streets of Chicago, where Iwas met by thousands of others who had felt the touchof the same influence. Everyone was asking: "Whathas happened?" What had happened was this: Millions of men had received instructions tocease fighting, and their combined joy set into motiona thought wave that swept the entire world and madeitself felt in every normal mind that was capable ofregistering this thought wave. Perhaps never in thehistory of the world had so many millions of peoplethought of the same thing, in the same manner, at thesame time. For once in the history of the worldeverybody felt something in common, and the effect ofthis harmonized thought was the world-wide "mobpsychology" that we witnessed on armistice day. Inconnection with this statement it will be helpful if yourecall what was said about the method of creating a"Master Mind," through the harmony of thought of twoor more persons, in the Introductory Lesson of thiscourse. We will bring the application of this principle alittle nearer home by showing how it may be made tomake or break the harmonious working relationship ofa business or industry. You may not have satisfiedyourself that it was the harmony of thought ofmillions of soldiers that registered in the minds of the,people of the world and caused the "mob"psychological condition that was everywhere inevidence on armistice day, but you will need no proofthat a disgruntled person always disturbs everyonewith whom he comes in contact. It is a well - 13 -
  14. 14. established fact that one such person in a place ofemployment will disrupt the entire organization. Thetime is almost at hand when neither the workers northe employers will tolerate the typical "grouch" insideof a place of employment, for the reason that his stateof mind registers itself in the minds of those abouthim, resulting in distrust, suspicion and lack ofharmony. The time is near at hand when the workersin a place of employment will no more tolerate one oftheir own rank and file who is a typical "grouch" thanthey would a poisonous snake. Apply the principle in another way: Place amonga group of workers one person whose personality is ofthe positive, optimistic type, and who makes it hisbusiness to sow the seeds of harmony around the placewhere he works, and his influence will reflect itself inevery person who works with him. If every business is "the extended shadow of oneman" as Emerson stated, then it behooves that oneman to reflect a shadow of confidence and good cheerand optimism and harmony, that these qualities may,in turn, reflect themselves in all who are connectedwith the business. In passing to the next step in our application ofthe power of imagination in the attainment of successwe will cite some of the most recent and modernexamples of its use in the accumulation of materialwealth and the perfection of some of the leadinginventions of the world. In approaching this next step it should be borneill mind that "there is nothing new under the sun."Lift, on this earth may be likened to a greatkaleidoscope before which the scenes and facts and - 14 -
  15. 15. material substances are ever shifting and changing,and all any man can do is to take these facts andsubstances and re-arrange them in new combinations. The process through which this is done is calledimagination. We have stated that the imagination is bothinterpretative and creative in its nature. It can receiveimpressions or ideas and out of these it can form newcombinations. As our first illustration of the power ofimagination in modern business achievement, we willtake the case of Clarence Saunders, who organized thePiggly-Wiggly system of self-help grocery stores. Saunders was a grocery clerk in a small southernretail store. One day he was standing in a line, with atin tray in his hands, waiting his turn to secure food ina cafeteria. He had never earned more than $20.00 aweek before that time, and no one had ever noticedanything about him that indicated unusual ability, butsomething took place in his mind, as he stood in thatline of waiting people, that put his imagination towork. With the aid of his imagination he lifted that"self-help" idea out of the cafeteria in which he foundit (not creating anything new, merely shifting an oldidea into a new use) and set it down in a grocerystore. In an instant the Piggly-Wiggly chain-storegrocery plan had been created and Clarence Saundersthe twenty-dollar-a-week grocery clerk rapidly becamethe million-dollar chain-store groceryman of America. Where, in that transaction, do you see theslightest indication of a performance that you couldnot duplicate? - 15 -
  16. 16. IT will make a bigdifference to youwhether you are aperson with amessage or a personwith a grievance. - 16 -
  17. 17. Analyze this transaction and measure it by theprevious lessons of this course and you will see thatClarence Saunders created a very definite purpose. Hesupported this purpose with sufficient self-confidenceto cause him to take the initiative to transform it intoreality. His imagination was the workshop in whichthese three factors, definite purpose, self-confidenceand initiative were brought together and made tosupply the momentum for the first step in theorganization of the Piggly-Wiggly plan. Thus are great ideas changed into realities. When Thomas A. Edison invented theincandescent electric light bulb he merely broughttogether two old, well known principles andassociated them in a new combination. Mr. Edison andpractically all others who were informed on thesubject of electricity, knew that a light could beproduced by heating a small wire with electricity, butthe difficult problem was to do this without burningthe wire in two. In his experimental research Mr.Edison tried out every conceivable sort of wire,hoping to find some substance that would withstandthe tremendous heat to which it had to be subjectedbefore a light could be produced. His invention was half completed, but it was ofno practical value until he could find the missing linkthat would supply the other half. After thousands oftests and much combining of old ideas in hisimagination, Edison finally found this missing link. Inhis study of physics he had learned, as all otherstudents of this subject learn, that there can be nocombustion without the presence of oxygen. He ofcourse knew that the difficulty with his electric lightapparatus was the lack of a method through which to - 17 -
  18. 18. control the heat. When it occurred to him that therecould be no combustion where there was no oxygen heplaced the little wire of his electric light apparatusinside of a glass globe, shut out all the oxygen, andlo! the mighty incandescent light was a reality. When the sun goes down tonight you step to thewall, press a button and bring it back again, aperformance that would have mystified the people of afew generations ago, and yet there is no mystery backof your act. Thanks to the use of Edisonsimagination, you have simply brought together twoprinciples both of which were in existence since thebeginning of time. No one who knew him intimately ever accreditedAndrew Carnegie with unusual ability, or the power ofgenius, except in one respect, and that was his abilityto select men who could and would co-operate in aspirit of harmony, in carrying out his wishes. But whatadditional ability did he need in the accumulation ofhis millions of dollars? Any man who understands the principle oforganized effort, as Carnegie understood it, and knowsenough about men to be able to select just those typesthat are needed in the performance of a given task,could duplicate all that Carnegie accomplished. Carnegie was a man of imagination. He firstcreated a definite purpose and then surroundedhimself with men who had the training and the visionand the capacity necessary for the transformation ofthat purpose into reality. Carnegie did not alwayscreate his own plans for the attainment of his definitepurpose. He made it his business to know what hewanted, then found the men who could create plans - 18 -
  19. 19. through which to procure it. And that was not onlyimagination, it was genius of the highest order. But it should be made clear that men of Mr.Carnegies type are not the only ones who can makeprofitable use of imagination. This great power is asavailable to the beginner in business as it is to theman who has "arrived." One morning Charles M. Schwabs private car wasbacked on the side-track at his Bethlehem Steel plant.As he alighted from his car he was met by a youngman stenographer who announced that he had come tomake sure that any letters or telegrams Mr. Schwabmight wish to write would be taken care of promptly.No one told this young man to be on hand, but he hadenough imagination to see that his being there wouldnot hurt his chances of advancement. From that dayon, this young man was "marked" for promotion. Mr.Schwab singled him out for promotion because he haddone that which any of the dozen or so otherstenographers in the employ of the Bethlehem SteelCompany might have done, but didnt. Today this sameman is the president of one of the largest drugconcerns in the world and has all of this worlds goodsand wares that he wants and much more than he needs. A few years ago I received a letter from a youngman who had just finished Business College, and whowanted to secure employment in my office. With hisletter he sent a crisp ten-dollar bill that had neverbeen folded. The letter read as follows "I have just finished a commercial course in afirst-class business college and I want a position inyour office because I realize how much it would be - 19 -
  20. 20. worth to a young man, just starting out on his businesscareer, to have the privilege of working under thedirection of a man like you. "If the enclosed ten-dollar bill is sufficient to payfor the time you would spend in giving me my firstweeks instructions I want you to accept it. I will workthe first month without pay and you may set my wagesafter that at whatever I prove to be worth. "I want this job more than I ever wanted anythingin my life and I am willing to make any reasonablesacrifice to get it. Very cordially," This young man got his chance in my office. Hisimagination gained for him the opportunity that hewanted, and before his first month had expired thepresident of a life insurance company who heard ofthis incident offered the young man a privatesecretary-ship at a substantial salary. He is today anofficial of one of the largest life insurance companiesin the world. Some years ago a young man wrote to Thomas A.Edison for a position. For some reason Mr. Edison didnot reply. By no means discouraged on this accountthe young man made up his mind that he would notonly get a reply from Mr. Edison, but what was moreimportant still, he would actually secure the positionhe sought. He lived a long distance from West Orange,New Jersey, where the Edison industries are located,and he did not have the money with which to pay hisrailroad fare. But he did have imagination. He went toWest Orange in a freight car, got his interview, toldhis story in person and got the job he sought. Today this same man lives in Bradentown, - 20 -
  21. 21. Florida. He has retired from active business, havingmade all the money he needs. His name, in case youwish to confirm my statements, is Edwin C. Barnes. By using his imagination, Mr. Barnes saw theadvantage of close association with a man like ThomasA. Edison. He saw that such an association would givehim the opportunity to study Mr. Edison, and at thesame time it would bring him in contact with Mr.Edisons friends, who are among the most influentialpeople of the world. These are but a few cases in connection withwhich I have personally observed how men haveclimbed to high places in the world and accumulatedwealth in abundance by making practical use of theirimagination. Theodore Roosevelt engraved his name on thetablets of time by one single act during his tenure ofoffice as President of the United States, and after allelse that he did while in that office will have beenforgotten this one transaction will record him inhistory as a man of imagination. He started the steam shovels to work on thePanama Canal. Every President, from Washington on up toRoosevelt, could have started the canal and it wouldhave been completed, but it seemed such a colossalundertaking that it required not only imagination butdaring courage as well. Roosevelt had both, and thepeople of the United States have the canal. At the age of forty - the age at which the averageman begins to think he is too old to start anything new- James J. Hill was still sitting at the telegraph key, ata salary of $30.00 per month. He had no capital. He - 21 -
  22. 22. THE reason mostpeople do not like tohear the story of yourtroubles is that theyhave a big flock oftheir own. - 22 -
  23. 23. He had no influential friends with capital, but hedid have that which is more powerful than either -imagination. In his minds eye he saw a great railway systemthat would penetrate the undeveloped northwest andunite the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. So vivid was hisimagination that he made others see the advantages ofsuch a railway system, and from there on the story isfamiliar enough to every school-boy. I wouldemphasize the part of the story that most people nevermention - that Hills Great Northern Railway systembecame a reality in his own imagination first. Therailroad was built with steel rails and wooden crossties, just as other railroads are built, and these thingswere paid for with capital that was secured in verymuch the same manner that capital for all railroads issecured, but if you want the real story of James J.Hills success you must go back to that little countryrailway station where he worked at $30.00 a monthand there pick up the little threads that he wove into amighty railroad, with materials no more visible thanthe thoughts which he organized in his imagination. What a mighty power is imagination, theworkshop of the soul, in which thoughts are woveninto railroads and skyscrapers and mills and factoriesand all manner of material wealth."I hold it true that thoughts are things;Theyre endowed with bodies and breath and wings;And that we send them forth to fillThe world with good results or ill.That which we call our secret thought - 23 -
  24. 24. Speeds forth to earths remotest spot,Leaving its blessings or its woes,Like tracks behind it as it goes.We build our future, thought by thought,For good or ill, yet know it not,Yet so the universe was wrought.Thought is another name for fate;Choose, then, thy destiny and wait,For love brings love and hate brings hate." If your imagination is the mirror of your soul,then you have a perfect right to stand before thatmirror and see yourself as you wish to be. You havethe right to see reflected in that magic mirror themansion you intend to own, the factory you intend tomanage, the bank of which you intend to be president,the station in life you intend to occupy. Yourimagination belongs to you! Use it! The more you useit the more efficiently it will serve you. At the east end of the great Brooklyn Bridge, inNew York City, an old man conducts a cobbler shop.When the engineers began driving stakes and markingthe foundation place for that great steel structure thisman shook his head and said "It cant be done!" Now he looks out from his dingy little shoe-repairshop, shakes his head and asks himself: "How did theydo it?" He saw the bridge grow before his very eyes andstill he lacks the imagination to analyze that which hesaw. The engineer who planned the bridge saw it areality long before a single shovel of dirt had beenremoved for the foundation stones. The bridge becamea reality in his imagination because he had trained - 24 -
  25. 25. that imagination to weave new combinations out ofold ideas. Through recent experiments in the department ofelectricity one of our great educational institutions ofAmerica has discovered how to put flowers to sleepand wake them up again, with electric "sunlight." Thisdiscovery makes possible the growth of vegetables andflowers without the aid of sunshine. In a few moreyears the city dweller will be raising a crop ofvegetables on his back porch, with the aid of a fewboxes of dirt and a few electric lights, with some newvegetable maturing every month of the year. This new discovery, plus a little imagination,plus Luther Burbanks discoveries in the field ofhorticulture, and lo! the city dweller will not onlygrow vegetables all the year around, within theconfines of his back porch, but he will grow biggervegetables than any which the modern gardener growsin the open sunlight. In one of the cities on the coast of California allof the land that was suitable for building lots had beendeveloped and put into use. On one side of the citythere were some steep hills that could not be used forbuilding purposes, and on the other side the land wasunsuitable for buildings because it was so low that theback-water covered it once a day. A man of imagination came to this city. Men ofimagination usually have keen minds, and this manwas no exception. The first day of his arrival he sawthe possibilities for making money out of real estate.He secured an option on those hills that wereunsuitable for use because of their steepness. He alsosecured an option on the ground that was unsuitable - 25 -
  26. 26. for use because of the back-water that covered itdaily. He secured these options at a very low pricebecause the ground was supposed to be withoutsubstantial value. With the use of a few tons of explosives he turnedthose steep hills into loose dirt. With the aid of a fewtractors and some road scrapers he leveled the grounddown and turned it into beautiful building lots, andwith the aid of a few mules and carts he dumped thesurplus dirt on the low ground and raised it above thewater level, thereby turning it into beautiful buildinglots. He made a substantial fortune, for what? For removing some dirt from where it was notneeded to where it was needed! For mixing someuseless dirt with imagination! The people of that little city gave this man creditfor being a genius; and he was-the same sort of geniusthat any one of them could have been had he used hisimagination as this man used his. In the field of chemistry it is possible to mix twoor more chemical ingredients in such proportions thatthe mere act of mixing gives each of the ingredients atremendous amount of energy that it did not possess.It is also possible to mix certain chemical ingredientsin such proportions that all the ingredients of thecombination take on an entirely different nature, as inthe case of H 2 O, which is a mixture of two partshydrogen and one part oxygen, creating water. Chemistry is not the only field in which acombination of various physical materials can be soassembled that each takes on a greater value, or theresult is a product entirely foreign in nature to that ofits component parts. The man who blew up those - 26 -
  27. 27. useless hills of dirt and stone and removed the surplusfrom where it was not needed over to the low-land,where it was needed, gave that dirt and stone a valuethat it did not have before. A ton of pig-iron is worth but little. Add to thatpig-iron carbon, silicon, manganese, sulphur andphosphorus, in the right proportions, and you havetransformed it into steel, which is of much greatervalue. Add still other substances, in the rightproportion, including some skilled labor, and thatsame ton of steel is transformed into watch-springsworth a small fortune. But, in all these transformationprocesses the one ingredient that is worth most is theone that has no material form - imagination! Here lie great piles of loose brick, lumber, nailsand glass. In its present form it is worse than uselessfor it is a nuisance and an eye-sore. But mix it withthe architects imagination and add some skilled laborand lo! it becomes a beautiful mansion worth a kingsransom. On one of the great highways between New Yorkand Philadelphia stood an old ramshackle, time-wornbarn, worth less than fifty dollars. With the aid of alittle lumber and some cement, plus imagination, thisold barn has been turned into a beautiful automobilesupply station that earns a small fortune for the manwho supplied the imagination. Across the street from my office is a little print-shop that earns coffee and rolls for its owner and hishelper, but no more. Less than a dozen blocks awaystands one of the most modern printing plants in theworld, whose owner spends most of his time travelingand has far more wealth than he will ever use. - 27 -
  28. 28. I KNOW I am here. Iknow I had nothing todo with my coming, andI shall have but little, ifanything, to do with mygoing, therefore I willnot worry becauseworries are of no avail. - 28 -
  29. 29. Twenty-two years ago those two printers were inbusiness together. The one who owns the big print-shop had thegood judgment to ally himself with a man who mixedimagination with printing. This man of imagination isa writer of advertisements and he keeps the printingplant with which he is associated supplied with morebusiness than it can handle by analyzing its clientsbusiness, creating attractive advertising features andsupplying the necessary printed material with which tomake these features of service. This plant receivestop-notch prices for its printing because theimagination mixed with that printing produces aproduct that most printers cannot supply. In the city of Chicago the level of a certainboulevard was raised, which spoiled a row of beautifulresidences because the side-walk was raised to thelevel of the second story windows. While the propertyowners were bemoaning their ill-fortune a man ofimagination came along, purchased the property for a"song," converted the second stories into businessproperty, and now enjoys a handsome income from hisrentals. As you read these lines please keep in mind allthat was stated in the beginning of this lesson;especially the fact that the greatest and mostprofitable thing you can do with your imagination isthe act of rearranging old ideas in new combinations. If you properly use your imagination it will helpyou convert your failures and mistakes into assets ofpriceless value; it will lead you to discovery of a truthknown only to those who use their imagination;namely, that the greatest reverses and misfortunes oflife often open the door to golden opportunities. - 29 -
  30. 30. One of the finest and most highly paid engraversin the United States was formerly a mail-carrier. Oneday he was fortunate enough to be on a street car thatmet with an accident and had one of his legs cut off.The street railway company paid him $5,000.00 for hisleg. With this money he paid his way through schooland became an engraver. The product of his hands,plus his imagination, is worth much more than hecould earn with his legs, as a mail-carrier. Hediscovered that he had imagination when it becamenecessary to re-direct his efforts, as a result of thestreet car accident. You will never know what is your capacity forachievement until you learn how to mix your effortswith imagination. The products of your hands, minusimagination, will yield you but a small return, butthose selfsame hands, when properly guided byimagination, can be made to earn you all the materialwealth you can use. There are two ways in which you can profit byimagination. You can develop this faculty in your ownmind, or you can ally yourself with those who havealready developed it. Andrew Carnegie did both. Henot only made use of his own fertile imagination, buthe gathered around him a group of other men who alsopossessed this essential quality, for his definitepurpose in life called for specialists whoseimagination ran in numerous directions. In that groupof men that constituted Mr. Carnegies "master mind"were men whose imaginations were confined to thefield of chemistry. He had other men in the groupwhose imaginations were confined to finances. He hadstill others whose imaginations were confined to - 30 -
  31. 31. salesmanship, one of whom was Charles M. Schwab,who is said to have been the most able salesman onMr. Carnegies staff. If you feel that your own imagination isinadequate you should form an alliance with someonewhose imagination is sufficiently developed to supplyyour deficiency. There are various forms of alliance.For example, there is the alliance of marriage and thealliance of a business partnership and the alliance offriendship and the alliance of employer and employee.Not all men have the capacity to serve their own bestinterests as employers, and those who havent thiscapacity may profit by allying themselves with men ofimagination who have such capacity. It is said that Mr. Carnegie made moremillionaires of his employees than any other employerin the steel business. Among these was Charles M.Schwab, who displayed evidence of the soundest sortof imagination by his good judgment in allyinghimself with Mr. Carnegie. It is no disgrace to servein the capacity of employee. To the contrary, it oftenproves to be the most profitable side of an alliancesince not all men are fitted to assume theresponsibility of directing other men. Perhaps there is no field of endeavor in whichimagination plays such an important part as it does insalesmanship. The master sale sman sees the merits ofthe goods he sells or the service he is rendering, in hisown imagination, and if he fails to do so he will notmake the sale. A few years ago a sale was made which is said tohave been the most far-reaching and important sale ofits kind ever made. The object of the sale was not - 31 -
  32. 32. merchandise, but the freedom of a man who wasconfined in the Ohio penitentiary and the developmentof a prison reform system that promises a sweepingchange in the method of dealing with unfortunate menand women who have become entangled in the meshesof the law. That you may observe just how imagination playsthe leading part in salesmanship I will analyze thissale for you, with due apologies for personalreferences, which cannot be avoided withoutdestroying much of the value of the illustration. A few years ago I was invited to speak before theinmates of the Ohio penitentiary. When I stepped uponthe platform I saw in the audience before me a manwhom I had known as a successful business man, morethan ten years previously. That man was B_, whosepardon I later secured, and the story of whose releasehas been spread upon the front page of practicallyevery newspaper in the United States. Perhaps youwill recall it. After I had completed my address I interviewedMr. B_ and found out that he had been sentenced forforgery, for a period of twenty years. After he hadtold me his story I said: "I will have you out of here in less than sixtydays!" With a forced smile he replied: "I admire yourspirit but question your judgment. Why, do you knowthat at least twenty influential men have tried everymeans at their command to get me released, withoutsuccess? It cant be done!" I suppose it was that last remark - It cant be done- that challenged me to show him that it could be - 32 -
  33. 33. done. I returned to New York City and requested mywife to pack her trunks and get ready for an indefinitestay in the city of Columbus, where the Ohiopenitentiary is located. I had a definite purpose in mind! That purposewas to get B_ out of the Ohio penitentiary. Not onlydid I have in mind securing his release, but I intendedto do it in such a way that his release would erasefrom his breast the scarlet letter of "convict" and atthe same time reflect credit upon all who helped tobring about his release. Not once did I doubt that I would bring about hisrelease, for no salesman can make a sale if he doubtsthat he can do it. My wife and I returned to Columbusand took up permanent headquarters. The next day I called on the governor of Ohio andstated the object of my visit in about these words: "Governor: I have come to ask you to release B_from the Ohio penitentiary. I have sound reason forasking his release and I hope you will give him hisfreedom at once, but I have come prepared to stayuntil he is released, no matter how long that may be. "During his imprisonment B__ has inaugurated asystem of correspondence instruction in the Ohiopenitentiary, as you of course know. He hasinfluenced 1729 of the 2518 prisoners of the Ohiopenitentiary to take up courses of instruction. He hasmanaged to beg sufficient textbooks and lessonmaterials with which to keep these men at work ontheir lessons, and has done this without a penny ofexpense to the state of Ohio. The warden and thechaplain of the penitentiary tell me that he hascarefully observed the prison rules. Surely a man whocan influence 1729 men to turn their efforts towards - 33 -
  34. 34. IF you have been wiseand successful I con-gratulate you; unlessyou are unable to forgethow successful youhave been, then I pityyou. - 34 -
  35. 35. their efforts toward self-betterment cannot be a verybad sort of fellow. "I have come to ask you to release B_ because Iwish to place him at the head of a prison school thatwill give the 160,000 inmates of the otherpenitentiaries of the United States a chance to profitby his influence. I am prepared to assume fullresponsibility for his conduct after his release. "That is my case, but, before you give me youranswer, I want you to know that I am not unmindful ofthe fact that your enemies will probably criticize youif you release him; in fact if you release him it maycost you many votes if you run for office again." With his fist clinched and his broad jaw setfirmly Governor Vic Donahey of Ohio said: "If that is what you want with B_ I will releasehim if it costs me five thousand votes. However,before I sign the pardon I want you to see theClemency Board and secure its favorablerecommendation. I want you also to secure thefavorable recommendation of the warden and thechaplain of the Ohio penitentiary. You know agovernor is amenable to the Court of Public Opinion,and these gentlemen are the representatives of thatCourt." The sale had been made! and the wholetransaction had required less than five minutes. The next day I returned to the governors office,accompanied by the chaplain of the Ohio penitentiary,and notified the governor that the Clemency Board,the Warden and the Chaplain all joined inrecommending the release. Three days later the pardonwas signed and B wa lked through the big iron gates, afree man. - 35 -
  36. 36. I have cited the details to show you that there wasnothing difficult about the transaction. Thegroundwork for the release had all been preparedbefore I came upon the scene. B_ had done that, by hisgood conduct and the service he had rendered those1729 prisoners. When he created the worlds firstprison correspondence school system he created thekey that unlocked the prison doors for himself. Why, then, had the others who asked for hisrelease failed to secure it? They failed because they used no imagination! Perhaps they asked the governor for B_s releaseon the ground that his parents were prominent people,or on the ground that he was a college graduate andnot a bad sort of fellow. They failed to supply thegovernor of Ohio with a sufficient motive to justifyhim in granting a pardon, for had this not been so hewould undoubtedly have released B_ long before Icame upon the scene and asked for his release. Before I went to see the governor I went over allthe facts and in my own imagination I saw myself inthe governors place and made up my mind what sortof a presentation would appeal most strongly to me ifI were in reality in his place. When I asked for B_s release I did so in thename of the 160,000 unfortunate men and womeninmates of the prisons of the United States who wouldenjoy the benefits of the correspondence schoolsystem that he had created. I said nothing about hisprominent parents. I said nothing about my friendshipwith him during former years. I said nothing about hisbeing a deserving fellow. All these matters might havebeen used as sound reasons for his release, but they - 36 -
  37. 37. seemed insignificant when compared with the biggerand sounder reason that his release would be of helpto 160,000 other people who would feel the influenceof his correspondence school system after his release. When the governor of Ohio came to a decision Idoubt not that B_ was of secondary importance as faras his decision was concerned. The governor no doubtsaw a possible benefit, not to B_ alone, but to 160,000other men and women who needed the influence thatB_ could supply, if released. And that was imagination! It was also salesmanship! In speaking of theincident after it was over, one of the men who hadworked diligently for more than a year in trying tosecure B_s freedom, asked: "How did you do it?" And I replied: "It was the easiest task I everperformed, because most of the work had been donebefore I took hold of it. In fact I didnt do it B_ did ithimself." This man looked at me in bewilderment. He didnot see that which I am here trying to make clear;namely, that practically all difficult tasks are easilyperformed if one approaches them from the rightangle. There were two important factors entering B_srelease. The first was the fact that he had supplied thematerial for a good case before I took it in charge; andthe second was the fact that before I called on thegovernor of Ohio I so completely convinced myselfthat I had a right to ask for B_s release that I had nodifficulty in presenting my case effectively. - 37 -
  38. 38. Go back to what was stated in the beginning ofthis lesson, on the subject of telepathy, and apply it tothis case. The governor could tell, long before I hadstated my mission, that I knew I had a good case. Ifmy brain did not telegraph this thought to his brain,then the look of self-confidence in my eyes and thepositive tone of my voice made obvious my belief inthe merits of my case. Again I apologize for these personal referenceswith the explanation that I have used them onlybecause the whole of America was familiar with theB_ case that I have described. I disclaim all credit forthe small part I played in the case, for I did nothingexcept use my imagination as an assembly room inwhich to piece together the factors out of which thesale was made. I did nothing except that which anysalesman of imagination could have done. It requires considerable courage to prompt one touse the personal pronoun as freely as it has been usedin relating the facts connected with this case, butjustification lies in the value of application of theprinciple of imagination to a case with which nearlyeverybody is familiar. I cannot recall an incident in my entire life inconnection with which the soundness of the fifteenfactors that enter into this Reading Course was moreclearly manifested than it was in securing the releaseof B_. It is but another link in a long chain of evidencethat proves to my entire satisfaction the power ofimagination as a factor in salesmanship. There areendless millions of approaches to every problem, butthere is only one best approach. Find this one best - 38 -
  39. 39. approach and your problem is easily solved. No matterhow much merit your goods may have, there aremillions of wrong ways in which to offer them. Yourimagination will assist you in finding the right way. In your search for the right way in which to offeryour merchandise or your services, remember thispeculiar trait of mankind: Men will grant favors that you request for thebenefit of a third person when they would not grantthem if requested for your benefit. Compare this statement with the fact that I askedthe governor of Ohio to release B_, not as a favor tome, and not as a favor to B_, but, for the benefit of160,000 unfortunate inmates of the prisons ofAmerica. Salesmen of imagination always offer their waresin such terminology that the advantages of those waresto the prospective purchaser are obvious. It is seldomthat any man makes a purchase of merchandise orrenders another a favor just to accommodate thesalesman. It is a prominent trait of human nature thatprompts us all to do that which advances our owninterests. This is a cold, indisputable fact, claims ofthe idealist to the contrary notwithstanding. To be perfectly plain, men are selfish! To understand the truth is to understand how topresent your case, whether you are asking for therelease of a man from prison or offering for sale somecommodity. In your own imagination so plan yourpresentation of your case that the strongest and mostimpelling advantages to the buyer are made plain. This is imagination! - 39 -
  40. 40. I NEVER see a persontrying to disclose thescarlet letter on anothersbreast that I do notwonder if he doesnt carrysome mark of disgracewhich would have ruinedhim had he beenovertaken by justice. - 40 -
  41. 41. A farmer moved to the city, taking with him hiswell trained shepherd dog. He soon found that the dogwas out of place in the city, so he decided to "get ridof him." (Note the words in quotation.) Taking the dogwith him he went out into the country and rapped onthe door of a farm-house. A man came hobbling to thedoor, on crutches. The man with the dog greeted theman in the house in these words "You wouldnt care to buy a fine shepherd dog,that I wish to get rid of, would you?" The man on crutches replied, "No!" and closed thedoor. The man with the dog called at half a dozen otherfarm-houses, asking the same question, and receivedthe same answer. He made up his mind that no onewanted the dog and returned to the city. That eveninghe was telling of his misfortune, to a man ofimagination. The man heard how the owner of the doghad tried in vain to "get rid of him." "Let me dispose of the dog for you," said the manof imagination. The owner was willing. The nextmorning the man of imagination took the dog out intothe country and stopped at the first farm-house atwhich the owner of the dog had called the day before.The same old man hobbled out on crutches andanswered the knock at the door. The man of imagination greeted him in thisfashion: "I see you are all crippled with rheumatism. Whatyou need is a fine dog to run errands for you. I have adog here that has been trained to bring home the cows,drive away wild animals, herd the sheep and performother useful services. You may have this dog for ahundred dollars." - 41 -
  42. 42. "All right," said the crippled man, "Ill take him!" That, too, was imagination! No one wants a dog that someone else wants to"get rid of," but most anyone would like to own a dogthat would herd sheep and bring home the cows andperform other useful services. The dog was the same one that the crippled buyerhad refused the day before, but the man who sold thedog was not the man who had tried to "get rid of him."If you use your imagination you will know that no onewants anything that someone else is trying to "get ridof." Remember that which was said about the Law ofAttraction through the operation of which "likeattracts like." If you look and act the part of a failureyou will attract nothing but failures. Whatever your life-work may be, it calls for theuse of imagination. Niagara Falls was nothing but a great mass ofroaring water until a man of imagination harnessed itand converted the wasted energy into electric currentthat now turns the wheels of industry. Before this manof imagination came along millions of people had seenand heard those roaring falls, but lacked theimagination to harness them. The first Rotary Club of the world was born inthe fertile imagination of Paul Harris, of Chicago,who saw in this child of his brain an effective meansof cultivating prospective clients and the extension ofhis law practice. The ethics of the legal professionforbid advertising in the usual way, but Paul Harrisimagination found a way to extend his law practicewithout advertising in the usual way. - 42 -
  43. 43. If the winds of Fortune are temporarily blowingagainst you, remember that you can harness them andmake them carry you toward your definite purpose,through the use of your imagination. A kite risesagainst the wind - not with it! Dr. Frank Crane was a struggling "third-rate"preacher until the starvation wages of the clergyforced him to use his imagination. Now he earnsupward of a hundred thousand dollars a year for anhours work a day, writing essays. Bud Fisher once worked for a mere pittance, buthe now earns seventy-five thousand dollars a year bymaking folks grin, with his Mutt and Jeff comic strip.No art goes into his drawings, therefore he must beselling his imagination. Woolworth was a poorly paid clerk in a retailstore - poorly paid, perhaps, because he had not yetfound out that he had imagination. Before he died hebuilt the tallest office building in the world andgirdled the United States with Five and Ten CentStores, through the use of his imagination. You will observe, by analyzing theseillustrations, that a close study of human natureplayed an important part in the achievementsmentioned. To make profitable use of yourimagination you must make it give you a keen insightinto the motives that cause men to do or refrain fromdoing a given act. If your imagination leads you tounderstand how quickly people grant your requestswhen those requests appeal to their self-interest, youcan have practically anything you go after. I saw my wife make a very clever sale to our babynot long ago. The baby was pounding the top of our - 43 -
  44. 44. mahogany library table with a spoon. When my wifereached for the spoon the baby refused to give it up,but being a woman of imagination she offered thebaby a nice stick of red candy; he dropped the spoonimmediately and centered his attention on the moredesirable object. That was imagination! It was also salesmanship.She won her point without using force. I was riding in an automobile with a friend whowas driving beyond the speed limit. An officer rode upon a motorcycle and told my friend he was underarrest for speeding. The friend smiled pleasantly atthe officer and said: "Im sorry to have brought youout in all this rain, but I wanted to make the tenoclock train with my friend here, and I was hitting itup around thirty-five miles an hour." "No, you were only going twenty-eight miles anhour," replied the officer, "and as long as you are sonice about it I will let you off this time if you willwatch yourself hereafter." And that, too, was imagination! Even a trafficcop will listen to reason when approached in the rightmanner, but woe unto the motorist who tries to bullythe cop into believing his speedometer was notregistering properly. There is one form of imagination against which Iwould caution you. It is the brand which promptssome people to imagine that they can get somethingfor nothing, or that they can force themselves ahead inthe world without observing the rights of others.There are more than 160,000 prisoners in the penalinstitutions of the United States, practically every oneof whom is in prison because he imagined he could - 44 -
  45. 45. play the game of life without observing the rights ofhis fellow men. There is a man in the Ohio penitentiary who hasserved more than thirty-five years of time for forgery,and the largest amount he ever got from hismisapplication of imagination was twelve dollars. There are a few people who direct theirimaginations in the vain attempt to work out a way toshow what happens when "an immovable body comesin contact with an irresistible force," but these typesbelong in the psychopathic hospitals. There is also another form of misappliedimagination; namely, that of the young boy or girlwho knows more about life than his or her "Dad." Butthis form is subject to modification with time. My ownboys have taught me many things that my "Dad" tried,in vain, to teach me when I was their age. Time and imagination (which is often but theproduct of time) teach us many things, but nothing ofmore importance than this: That all men are much alike in many ways. If you would know what your customer isthinking, Mr. Salesman, study yourself and find outwhat you would be thinking if you were in yourcustomers place. Study yourself, find out what are the motiveswhich actuate you in the performance of certain deedsand cause you to refrain from performing other deeds,and you will have gone far toward perfecting yourselfin the accurate use of imagination. The detectives biggest asset is imagination. Thefirst question he asks, when called in to solve a crimeis: "What was the motive?" If he can find out the - 45 -
  46. 46. WE all like commendationand many of us likeflattery, but it is adebatable question as towhether the indulgence ofthese tendencies buildscharacter and strengthand individuality. - 46 -
  47. 47. motive he can usually find the perpetrator of thecrime. A man who had lost a horse posted a reward offive dollars for its return. Several days later a boywho was supposed to have been "weak-minded" cameleading the horse home and claimed the reward. Theowner was curious to know how the boy found thehorse. "How did you ever think where to look for thehorse?" he asked, and the boy replied, "Well, I justthought where I would have gone if I had been a horseand went there, and he had." Not so bad for a "weak-minded" fellow. Some who are not accused of beingweak-minded go all the way through life withoutdisplaying as much evidence of imagination as didthis boy. If you want to know what the other fellow willdo, use your imagination, put yourself in his place andfind out what you would have done. Thatsimagination. Every person should be somewhat of a dreamer.Every business needs the dreamer. Every industry andevery profession needs him. But, the dreamer must be,also, a doer; or else he must form an alliance withsomeone who can and does translate dreams intoreality. The greatest nation upon the face of this earthwas conceived, born and nurtured through the earlydays of its childhood, as the result of imagination inthe minds of men who combined dreams with action! Your mind is capable of creating many new anduseful combinations of old ideas, but the mostimportant thing it can create is a definite chief aimthat will give you that which you most desire. Your definite chief aim can be speedily translated - 47 -
  48. 48. into reality after you have fashioned it in the cradle ofyour imagination. If you have faithfully followed theinstructions set down for your guidance in LessonTwo you are now well on the road toward success,because you know what it is that you want, and youhave a plan for getting that which you want. The battle for the achievement of success is halfwon when one knows definitely what is wanted. Thebattle is all over except the "shouting" when oneknows what is wanted and has made up his mind to getit, whatever the price may be. The selection of a definite chief aim calls for theuse of both imagination and decision! The power ofdecision grows with use. Prompt decision in forcingthe imagination to create a definite chief aim rendersmore powerful the capacity to reach decisions in othermatters. Adversities and temporary defeat are generallyblessings in disguise, for the reason that they forceone to use both imagination and decision. This is whya man usually makes a better fight when his back is tothe wall and he knows there is no retreat. He thenreaches the decision to fight instead of running. The imagination is never quite so active as it iswhen one faces some emergency calling for quick anddefinite decision and action. In these moments of emergency men have reacheddecisions, built plans, used their imagination in such amanner that they became known as geniuses. Many agenius has been born out of the necessity for unusualstimulation of the imagination, as the result of sometrying experience which forced quick thought andprompt decision. - 48 -
  49. 49. It is a well known fact that the only manner inwhich an overpampered boy or girl may be made tobecome useful is by forcing him or her to become self-sustaining. This calls for the exercise of bothimagination and decision, neither of which would beused except out of necessity. The Reverend P. W. Welshimer is the pastor of achurch in Canton, Ohio, where he has been located fornearly a quarter of a century. Ordinarily pastors donot remain at the head of one church for so great alength of time, and Reverend Welshimer would havebeen no exception to this rule if he had not mixedimagination with his pastoral duties. Three years constitute the usual time that onepastor may remain in a given pastorate withoutwearing out his welcome. The church of which Reverend Welshimer is theleader has a Sunday School of over 5,000 members -the largest membership enjoyed by any church in theUnited States. No pastor could have remained at the head of onechurch for a quarter of a century, with the full consentof his followers, and have built up a Sunday School ofthis size, without employing the Laws of Initiative andLeadership, a Definite Chief Aim, Self-confidence andImagination. The author of this course made it his business tostudy the methods employed by Reverend Welshimer,and they are here described for the benefit of thestudents of this philosophy. It is a well known fact that church factions,jealousy, etc., often lead to disagreements which makea change in leaders essential. Reverend Welshimer has - 49 -
  50. 50. steered around this common obstacle by a uniqueapplication of the Law of Imagination. When a newmember comes into his church he immediately assignsa DEFINITE task to that member - one that suits thetemperament, training and business qualifications ofthe individual, as nearly as possible - and, to use theministers own words, he "keeps each member so busypulling for the church that there is no time left forkicking or disagreeing with other members." Not a bad policy for application in the field ofbusiness, or in any other field. The old saying that"idle hands are the devils best tools" is more than amere play upon words, for it is true. Give any man something to do that he likes to do,and keep him busy doing it, and he will not be apt todegenerate into a disorganizing force. If any memberof the Sunday School misses attendance twice insuccession a committee from the church calls to findout the reason for the failure to attend. There is a"committee" job for practically every member of thechurch. In this way Reverend Welshimer delegates tothe members, themselves, the responsibility ofrounding up the delinquents and keeping theminterested in church affairs. He is an organizer of thehighest type. His efforts have attracted the attentionof business men throughout the country, and times toonumerous to be mentioned he has been offeredpositions, at fancy salaries, by banks, steel plants,business houses, etc., that recognized in him a realLeader. In the basement of the church ReverendWelshimer operates a first-class printing plant wherehe publishes, weekly, a very creditable church paperthat goes to all the members. The production and - 50 -
  51. 51. distribution of this paper is another source ofemployment which keeps the church members out ofmischief, as practically all of them take some sort ofan active interest in it. The paper is devotedexclusively to the affairs of the church as a whole,and those of the individual members. It is read byeach member, line by line, because there is always achance that each members name may be mentioned inthe news locals. The church has a well trained choir and anorchestra that would be a credit to some of the largesttheaters. Here Reverend Welshimer serves the doublepurpose of supplying entertainment and at the sametime keeping the more "temperamental" members whoare artists employed so they, also, remain out ofmischief, incidentally giving them a chance to do thatwhich they like best. The late Dr. Harper, who was formerly presidentof the University of Chicago, was one of the mostefficient college presidents of his time. He had apenchant for raising funds in large amounts. It was hewho induced John D. Rockefeller to contributemillions of dollars to the support of the University ofChicago. It may be helpful to the student of this philosophyto study Dr. Harpers technique, because he was aLeader of the highest order. Moreover, I have his ownword for it that his leadership was never a matter ofchance or accident, but always the result of carefullyplanned procedure. The following incident will serve to show justhow Dr. Harper made use of imagination in raisingmoney in large sums: He needed an extra million dollars for the - 51 -
  52. 52. WE cannot sowthistles and reapclover. Nature simplydoes not run thingsthat way. She goes bycause and effect. - 52 -
  53. 53. construction of a new building. Taking inventory ofthe wealthy men of Chicago to whom he might turn forthis large sum, he decided upon two men, each ofwhom was a millionaire, and both were bitter enemies. One of these men was, at that time, the head ofthe Chicago Street Railway system. Choosing the noonhour, when the office force and this mans secretary,in particular, would be apt to be out at lunch, Dr.Harper nonchalantly strolled into the office, and,finding no one on guard at the outer door, walked intothe office of his intended "victim," whom he surprisedby his appearance unannounced. "My name is Harper," said the doctor, "and I ampresident of the University of Chicago. Pardon myintrusion, but I found no one in the outer office(which was no mere accident) so I took the liberty ofwalking on in. "I have thought of you and your street railwaysystem many many times. You have built up awonderful system, and I understand that you havemade lots of money for your efforts. I never think ofyou, however, without its occurring to me that one ofthese days you will be passing out into the GreatUnknown, and after you are gone there will be nothingleft as a monument to your name, because others willtake over your money, and money has a way of losingits identity very quickly, as soon as it changes hands. "I have often thought of offering you theopportunity to perpetuate your name by permitting youto build a new Hall out on the University grounds, andnaming it after you. I would have offered you thisopportunity long ago had it not been for the fact thatone of the members of our Board wishes the honor to - 53 -
  54. 54. go to Mr. X_ (the street car heads enemy). Personally,however, I have always favored you and I still favoryou, and if I have your permission to do so I am goingto try to swing the opposition over to you. "I have not come to ask for any decision today,however, as I was just passing and thought it a goodtime to drop in and meet you. Think the matter overand if you wish to talk to me about it again, telephoneme at your leisure. "Good day, sir! I am happy to have had thisopportunity of meeting you." With this he bowed himself out without giving thehead of the street car company a chance to say eitheryes or no. In fact the street car man had very littlechance to do any talking. Dr. Harper did the talking.That was as he planned it to be. He went into theoffice merely to plant the seed, believing that it wouldgerminate and spring into life in due time. His belief was not without foundation. He hadhardly returned to his office at the University whenthe telephone rang. The street car man was on theother end of the wire. He asked for an appointmentwith Dr. Harper, which was granted, and the two metin Dr. Harpers office the next morning, and the checkfor a million dollars was in Dr. Harpers hands an hourlater. Despite the fact that Dr. Harper was a small,rather insignificant-looking man it was said of himthat "he had a way about him that enabled him to geteverything he went after." And as to this "way" that he was reputed to havehad - what was it? It was nothing more nor less than his understand- - 54 -
  55. 55. ing of the power of Imagination. Suppose he had goneto the office of the street car head and asked for anappointment. Sufficient time would have elapsedbetween the time he called and the time when hewould have actually seen his man, to have enabled thelatter to anticipate the reason for his call, and also toformulate a good, logical excuse for saying, "No!" Suppose, again, he had opened his interview withthe street car man something like this: "The University is badly in need of funds and Ihave come to you to ask your help. You have madelots of money and you owe something to thecommunity in which you have made it. (Which,perhaps, was true.) If you will give us a milliondollars we will place your name on a new Hall that wewish to build." What might have been the result? In the first place, there would have been nomotive suggested that was sufficiently appealing tosway the mind of the street car man. While it mayhave been true that he "owed something to thecommunity from which he had made a fortune," heprobably would not have admitted that fact. In thesecond place, he would have enjoyed the position ofbeing on the offensive instead of the defensive side ofthe proposal. But Dr. Harper, shrewd in the use of Imaginationas he was, provided for just such contingencies by theway he stated his case. First, he placed the street carman on the defensive by informing him that it was notcertain that he (Dr. Harper) could get the permissionof his Board to accept the money and name the Hallafter the street car man. In the second place, he - 55 -
  56. 56. intensified the desire of the street car man to have hisname on that building because of the thought that hisenemy and competitor might get the honor if it gotaway from him. Moreover (and this was no accident,either), Dr. Harper had made a powerful appeal to oneof the most common of all human weaknesses byshowing this street car man how to perpetuate his ownname. All of which required a practical application ofthe Law of Imagination. Dr. Harper was a Master Salesman. When heasked men for money he always paved the way forsuccess by planting in the mind of the man of whomhe asked it a good sound reason why the money shouldbe given; a reason which emphasized some advantageaccruing to the man as the result of the gift. Often thiswould take on the form of a business advantage. Againit would take on the nature of an appeal to that part ofmans nature which prompts him to wish to perpetuatehis name so it will live after him. But, always, therequest for money was carried out according to a planthat had been carefully thought out, embellished andsmoothed down with the use of Imagination. · · · · · · · · While the Law of Success philosophy was in theembryonic stage, long before it had been organizedinto a systematic course of instruction and reduced totextbooks, the author was lecturing on this philosophyin a small town in Illinois. One of the members of the audience was a younglife insurance salesman who had but recently taken up - 56 -
  57. 57. that line of work. After hearing what was said on thesubject of Imagination he began to apply what he hadheard to his own problem of selling life insurance.Something was said, during the lecture, about thevalue of allied effort, through which men may enjoygreater success by co-operative effort, through aworking arrangement under which each "boosts" theinterests of the other. Taking this suggestion as his cue, the young manin question immediately formulated a plan whereby hegained the co-operation of a group of business menwho were in no way connected with the insurancebusiness. Going to the leading grocer in his town he madearrangements with that grocer to give a thousanddollar insurance policy to every customer purchasingno less than fifty dollars worth of groceries eachmonth. He then made it a part of his business toinform people of this arrangement and brought inmany new customers. The groceryman had a largeneatly lettered card placed in his store, informing hiscustomers of this offer of free insurance, thus helpinghimself by offering all his customers an inducement todo ALL their trading in the grocery line with him. This young life insurance man then went to theleading gasoline filling station owner in the town andmade arrangements with him to insure all customerswho purchased all their gasoline, oil and other motorsupplies from him. Next he went to the leading restaurant in the townand made a similar arrangement with the owner.Incidentally, this alliance proved to be quiteprofitable to the restaurant man, who promptly began - 57 -
  58. 58. CHARLES CHAPLIN makesa million dollars a year outof a funny, shuffling walkand a pair of baggytrousers, because he does"something different." Takethe hint and "invidualize"yourself with somedistinctive idea. - 58 -
  59. 59. an advertising campaign in which he stated that hisfood was so pure, wholesome and good that all whoate at his place regularly would be apt to live muchlonger, therefore he would insure the life of eachregular customer for $1,000.00. The life insurance salesman then madearrangements with a local builder and real estate manto insure the life of each person buying property fromhim, for an amount sufficient to pay off the balancedue on the property in case the purchaser died beforepayments were completed. The young man in question is now the GeneralAgent for one of the largest life insurance companiesin the United States, with headquarters in one of thelargest cities in Ohio, and his income now averageswell above $25,000.00 a year. The turning-point in his life came when hediscovered how he might make practical use of theLaw of Imagination. There is no patent on his plan. It may beduplicated over and over again by other life insurancemen who know the value of imagination. Just now, if Iwere engaged in selling life insurance, I think Ishould make use of this plan by allying myself with agroup of automobile distributors in each of severalcities, thus enabling them to sell more automobilesand at the same time providing for the sale of a largeamount of life insurance, through their efforts. · · · · · · · · Financial success is not difficult to achieve afterone learns how to make practical use of creativeimagination. Someone with sufficient initiative and - 59 -
  60. 60. leadership, and the necessary imagination, willduplicate the fortunes being made each year by theowners of Five and Ten Cent Stores, by developing asystem of marketing the same sort of goods now soldin these stores, with the aid of vending machines. Thiswill save a fortune in clerk hire, insure against theft,and cut down the overhead of store operation in manyother ways. Such a system can be conducted just assuccessfully as food can be dispensed with the aid ofautomatic vending machines. The seed of the idea has been here sown. It isyours for the taking! Someone with an inventive turn of the mind isgoing to make a fortune and at the same time savethousands of lives each year, by perfecting anautomatic railroad crossing "control" that will reducethe number of automobile accidents on crossings. The system, when perfected, will work somewhatafter this fashion: A hundred yards or so beforereaching the railroad crossing the automobile willcross a platform somewhat on the order of a largescale platform used for weighing heavy objects, andthe weight of the automobile will lower a gate andring a gong. This will force the automobile to slowdown. After the lapse of one minute the gate willagain rise and the car may continue on its way.Meanwhile, there will have been plenty of time forobservation of the track in both directions, to makesure that no trains are approaching. Imagination, plus some mechanical skill, willgive the motorist this much needed safe-guard, andmake the man who perfects the system all the moneyhe needs and much more besides. - 60 -
  61. 61. Some inventor who understands the value ofimagination and has a working knowledge of the radioprinciple, may make a fortune by perfecting a burglaralarm system that will signal police headquarters andat the same time switch on lights and ring a gong inthe place about to be burglarized, with the aid ofapparatus similar to that now used for broadcasting. Any farmer with enough imagination to create aplan, plus the use of a list of all automobile licensesissued in his state, may easily work up a clientele ofmotorists who will come to his farm and purchase allthe vegetables he can produce and all the chickens hecan raise, thus saving him the expense of hauling hisproducts to the city. By contracting with each motoristfor the season the farmer may accurately estimate theamount of produce he should provide. The advantageto the motorist, accruing under the arrangement, isthat he will be sure of direct-from-the-farm produce,at less cost than he could purchase it from localdealers. The roadside gasoline filling station owner canmake effective use of imagination by placing a lunchstand near his filling station, and then doing someattractive advertising along the road in each direction,calling attention to his "barbecue," "home-madesandwiches" or whatever else he may wish tospecialize on. The lunch stand will cause the motoriststo stop, and many of them will purchase gasolinebefore starting on their way again. These are simple suggestions, involving noparticular amount of complication in connection withtheir use, yet it is just such uses of imagination thatbring financial success. - 61 -
  62. 62. The Piggly-Wiggly self-help store plan, whichmade millions of dollars for its originator, was a verysimple idea which anyone could have adopted, yetconsider able imagination was required to put the ideato work in a practical sort of way. The more simple and easily adapted to a need anidea is, the greater is its value, as no one is lookingfor ideas which are involved with great detail or inany manner complicated. · · · · · · · · Imagination is the most important factor enteringinto the art of selling. The Master Salesman is alwaysone who makes systematic use of imagination. Theoutstanding merchant relies upon imagination for theideas which make his business excel. Imagination may be used effectively in the sale ofeven the smallest articles of merchandise, such as ties,shirts, hosiery, etc. Let us proceed to examine justhow this may be done. I walked into one of the best knownhaberdasheries in the city of Philadelphia, for thepurpose of put chasing some shirts and ties. As I approached the tie counter a young manstepped forward and inquired: "Is there something you want?" Now if I had been the man behind the counter Iwould not have asked that question. He ought to haveknown, by the fact that I had approached the tiecounter, that I wanted to look at ties. I picked up two or three ties from the counter,examined them briefly, then laid down all but onelight blue which somewhat appealed to me. Finally I - 62 -
  63. 63. laid this one down, also, and began to look throughthe remainder of the assortment. The young man behind the counter then had ahappy idea. Picking up a gaudy-looking yellow tie hewound it around his fingers to show how it would lookwhen tied, and asked: "Isnt this a beauty?" Now I hate yellow ties, and the salesman made noparticular hit with me by suggesting that a gaudyyellow tie is pretty. If I had been in that salesmansplace I would have picked up the blue tie for which Ihad shown a decided preference, and I would havewound it around my fingers so as to bring out itsappearance after being tied. I would have known whatmy customer wanted by watching the kinds of ties thathe picked up and examined. Moreover, I would haveknown the particular tie that he liked best by the timehe held it in his hands. A man will not stand by acounter and fondle a piece of merchandise which hedoes not like. If given the opportunity, any customerwill give the alert salesman a clue as to the particularmerchandise which should be stressed in an effort tomake a sale. I then moved over to the shirt counter. Here I wasmet by an elderly gentleman who asked: "Is there something I can do for you today?" Well, I thought to myself that if he ever didanything for me it would have to be today, as I mightnever come back to that particular store again. I toldhim I wanted to look at shirts, and described the styleand color of shirt that I wanted. The old gentleman made quite a hit with me whenhe replied by saying: - 63 -
  64. 64. THE man who is afraid togive credit to those whohelp him do a piece ofcreditable work is sosmall that Opportunitywill pass by withoutseeing him some day. - 64 -
  65. 65. "I am sorry, sir, but they are not wearing that stylethis season, so we are not showing it." I said I knew "they" were not wearing the stylefor which I had asked, and for that very reason, amongothers, I was going to wear it providing I could find itin stock. If there is anything which nettles a man -especially that type of man who knows exactly whathe wants and describes it the moment he walks intothe store - it is to be told that "they are not wearing itthis season." Such a statement is an insult to a mansintelligence, or to what he thinks is his intelligence,and in most cases it is fatal to a sale. If I were sellinggoods I might think what I pleased about a customerstaste, but I surely would not be so lacking in tact anddiplomacy as to tell the customer that I thought hedidnt know his business. Rather I would prefer tomanage tactfully to show him what I believed to bemore appropriate merchandise than that for which hehad called, if what he wanted was not in stock. One of the most famous and highly paid writers inthe world has built his fame and fortune on the solediscovery that it is profitable to write about thatwhich people already know and with which they arealready in accord. The same rule might as well applyto the sale of merchandise. The old gentleman finally pulled down some shirtboxes and began laying out shirts which were not evensimilar to the shirt for which I had asked. I told himthat none of these suited, and as I started to walk outhe asked if I would like to look at some nicesuspenders. - 65 -
  66. 66. Imagine it! To begin with I do not wearsuspenders, and, furthermore, there was nothing aboutmy manner or bearing to indicate that I might like tolook at suspenders. It is proper for a salesman to try to interest acustomer in wares for which he makes no inquiry, butjudgment should be used and care taken to offersomething which the salesman has reason to believethe customer may want. I walked out of the store without having boughteither shirts or ties, and feeling somewhat resentfulbecause I had been so grossly misjudged as to mytastes for colors and styles. A little further down the street I went into asmall, one-man shop which had shirts and ties ondisplay in the window. Here I was handled differently! The man behind the counter asked no unnecessaryor stereotyped questions. He took one glance at me asI entered the door, sized me up quite accurately andgreeted me with a very pleasant "Good morning, sir!" He then inquired, "Which shall I show you first,shirts or ties?" I said I would look at the shirts first.He then glanced at the style of shirt I was wearingasked my size, and began laying out shirts of the verytype and color for which I was searching, without mysaying another word. He laid out six different stylesand watched to see which I would pick up first. Ilooked at each shirt, in turn, and laid them all back onthe counter, but the salesman observed that Iexamined one of the shirts a little more closely thanthe others, and that I held it a little longer. No sooner - 66 -
  67. 67. had I laid this shirt down than the salesman picked itup and began to explain how it was made. He thenwent to the tie counter and came back with three verybeautiful blue ties, of the very type for which I hadbeen looking, tied each and held it in front of theshirt, calling attention to the perfect harmony betweenthe colors of the ties and the shirt. Before I had been in the store five minutes I hadpurchased three shirts and three ties, and was on myway with the package under my arm, feeling that herewas a store to which I would return when I neededmore shirts and ties. I learned, afterwards, that the merchant who ownsthe little shop where I made these purchases pays amonthly rental of $500.00 for the small store, andmakes a handsome income from the sale of nothing butshirts, ties and collars. He would have to go out ofbusiness, with a fixed charge of $500.00 a month forrent, if it were not for his knowledge of human naturewhich enables him to make a very high percentage ofsales to all who come into his store. · · · · · · · · I have often observed women when they weretrying on hats, and have wondered why salespeopledid not read the prospective buyers mind by watchingher manner of handling the hats. A woman goes into a store and asks to be shownsome hats. The salesperson starts bringing out hatsand the prospective buyer starts trying them on. If ahat suits her, even in the slightest sort of way, shewill keep it on a few seconds, or a few minutes, but ifshe does not like it she will pull it right off her head - 67 -
  68. 68. the moment the salesperson takes her hands off thehat. Finally, when the customer is shown a hat thatshe likes she will begin to announce that fact, in termswhich no well informed salesperson will fail tounderstand, by arranging her hair under the hat, orpulling it down on her head to just the angle whichshe likes best, and by looking at the hat from the rear,with the aid of a hand-mirror. The signs of admirationare unmistakable. Finally, the customer will removethe hat from her head, and begin to look at it closely;then she may lay it aside and permit another hat to betried on her, in which event the clever salespersonwill lay aside the hat just removed, and at theopportune time she will bring it back and ask thecustomer to try it on again. By careful observation of the customers likes anddislikes a clever saleswoman may often sell as manyas three or four hats to the same customer, at onesitting, by merely watching what appeals to thecustomer and then concentrating upon the sale of that. The same rule applies in the sale of othermerchandise. The customer will, if closely observed,clearly indicate what is wanted, and, if the clue isfollowed, very rarely will a customer walk out withoutbuying. I believe it a conservative estimate when I saythat fully seventy-five per cent of the "walk-outs," asthe non-purchasing customers are called, are due tolack of tactful showing of merchandise. · · · · · · · · Last Fall I went into a hat store to purchase a felthat. It was a busy Saturday afternoon and I was ap- - 68 -
  69. 69. proached by a young "extra" rush-hour salesman whohad not yet learned how to size people up at a glance.For no good reason whatsoever the young man pulleddown a brown derby and handed it to me, or rathertried to hand it to me. I thought he was trying to befunny, and refused to take the hat into my hands,saying to him, in an attempt to return his complimentand be funny in turn, "Do you tell bed-time storiesalso?" He looked at me in surprise, but didnt take thecue which I had offered him. If I had not observed the young man more closelythan he had observed me, and sized him up as anearnest but inexperienced "extra," I would have beenhighly insulted, for if there is anything I hate it is aderby of any sort, much less a brown derby. One of the regular salesmen happened to see whatwas going on, walked over and snatched the brownderby out of the young mans hands, and, with a smileon his face intended as a sort of sop to me, said,"What the hell are you trying to show this gentleman,anyway?" That spoiled my fun, and the salesman who hadimmediately recognized me as a gentleman sold methe first hat he brought out. The customer generally feels complimented whena salesman takes the time to study the customerspersonality and lay out merchandise suited to thatpersonality. · · · · · · · · I went into one of the largest mens clothingstores in New York City, a few years ago, and askedfor a suit, describing exactly what was wanted, but not - 69 -
  70. 70. HOT HEADS" gowith "cold feet." Hewho loses histemper is usually abluffer and when"called" is a quitter. - 70 -
  71. 71. mentioning price. The young man, who purported tobe a salesman, said he did not believe they carriedsuch a suit, but I happened to see exactly what Iwanted hanging on a model, and called his attention tothe suit. He then made a hit with me by saying, "Oh,that one over there? Thats a high-priced suit!" His reply amused me; it also angered me, so Iinquired of the young man what he saw about mewhich indicated that I did not come in to purchase ahigh-priced suit? With embarrassment he tried toexplain, but his explanations were as bad as theoriginal offense, and I started toward the door,muttering something to myself about "dumb-bells."Before I reached the door I was met by anothersalesman who had sensed by the way I walked and theexpression on my face that I was none too wellpleased. With tact well worth remembering, this salesmanengaged me in conversation while I unburdened mywoes and then managed to get me to go back with himand look at the suit. Before I left the store I purchasedthe suit I came in to look at, and two others which Ihad not intended purchasing. That was the difference between a salesman andone who drove customers away. Moreover, I laterintroduced two of my friends to this same salesmanand he made sizable sales to each of them. · · · · · · · · I was once walking down Michigan Boulevard, inChicago, when my eye was attracted to a beautifulgray suit in the window of a mens store. I had nonotion of buying the suit, but I was curious to knowthe price, so I opened the door, and, without entering, - 71 -
  72. 72. merely pushed my head inside and asked the first manI saw how much the suit in the window was. Then followed one of the cleverest bits of salesmaneuvering I have ever observed. The salesman knewhe could not sell me the suit unless I came into thestore, so he said, "Will you not step inside, sir, whileI find out the price of the suit?" Of course he knew the price, all the time, but thatwas his way of disarming me of the thought that heintended trying to sell me the suit. Of course I had tobe as polite as the salesman, so I said, "Certainly,"and walked inside. The salesman said, "Step right this way, sir, and Iwill get the information for you." In less than two minutes I found myself standingin front of a case, with my coat off, getting ready totry on a coat like the one I had observed in thewindow. After I was in the coat, which happened to fitalmost perfectly (which was no accident, thanks to theaccurate eyes of an observing salesman) my attentionwas called to the nice, smooth touch of the material. Irubbed my hand up and down the arm of the coat, as Ihad seen the salesman do while describing thematerial, and, sure enough, it was a very fine piece ofmaterial. By this time I had again asked the price, andwhen I was told that the suit was only fifty dollars Iwas agreeably surprised, because I had been led tobelieve that it might have been priced much higher.However, when I first saw the suit in the window myguess was that it was priced at about thirty-fivedollars, and I doubt that I would have paid that muchfor it had I not fallen into the hands of a man who - 72 -