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SUMMING up, then, we have as the first tenet of success: Act as if it were impossible to fail.
Beginning to put this into practice, we discover that the first demand upon us is that we should reclaim as much as possible of the energy which now goes into reverie or into time-killing, and devote it to purposeful activity, to action toward an end. We act by ignoring all memories or apprehensions of failure, by refusing to attach importance to temporary discomfort or past pain. We learn not to court frustration by using an attitude or tone which leaves any opportunity for rebuff or non-cooperation. We exercise our minds in trial performances in order to have them fully under our control when the occasion to use them in an expert way arises. With the imagination we painlessly explore all the possible reaches of our lives and constantly provide ourselves with projects of future interests to such an extent that we shall not fall back into day dreaming.
We deliberately make for ourselves an invigorating mental climate, and in this atmosphere, freed of doubts and anxieties, we act.
In the last few chapters we have been considering these facets of successful action one by one. Now it must be remembered that, however correct and suggestive such detailed considerations may be, they suffer badly in one manner: their tempo, so to speak, has had to be altered in order to show them minutely.
A slow-motion picture of ball-players in action, of golfers, of a tennis match, is sometimes of inestimable value to these who are learning to play. The muscular effort behind a sudden dexterous turn of the body, in its normal tempo far too quick for the eye to catch, is shown in the retarded film in all its subtlety. But we gain our insight into the technique of difficult plays by losing sight, for the moment, of another aspect.