This section is from the book "Applications of Psychology to the Problems of Personal and Business Efficiency", by Warren Hilton. Also available from Amazon: Psychology and Achievement - Applied Psychology 12 Volume Set.
WHATEVER the phase of practical life in which you are engaged, there are, in addition to the strictly mental requirements for success dwelt upon in previous books, certain more or less outward or material characteristics that are of considerable importance.
The factors we have already considered, grouped under somewhat different heads, are (1) Self-Analysis, (2) Singleness of Aim, (3) Self-Mastery, and (4) Character.
You must try to appraise your static self - that is, to ascertain by systematic introspection the amount of your present personal capital assets - (a) your experience and your present practical ability and knowledge as distinguished from your innate capability; (b) your command of your own powers. What kind of man are you and what kind of man ought you to be at your time of life, with your experience, with your opportunities and with the abilities you know that you possess?
You must plan your career definitely and completely.
Men continually fail for lack of a definite aim. Their desires are as wide as the field of life, and what they attain to is largely a matter of accident. Many a man is the spoiled favorite of a blundering good luck.
The man that from day to day centers himself on one thing at a time, while keeping always in the background of his thoughts the long-run aim, makes an imperious demand on the world's treasury.
In the words of William Wirt, "The man who is perpetually hesitating which of two things he will do first will do neither. The man who resolves, but suffers his resolution to be changed by the first counter-suggestion of a friend - who fluctuates from plan to plan and veers like a weather-cock to every point of the compass with every breath of caprice that blows - can never accomplish anything real or useful. It is only the man who first consults wisely, then resolves firmly, and then executes his purpose with inflexible perseverance, undismayed by those petty difficulties that daunt a weaker spirit, that can advance to eminence in any line."
You must govern yourself, for only in this way can you acquire great power over others.
To be a truly strong man you must be steady and purposeful. You must conserve and utilize your psychic power.
Mind-power makes the man.
Mind-power scientifically unfolded, controlled and directed makes the self-mastered man.
The self-mastered man can do anything humanly possible.
Mind-power self-developed, self-controlled, self-mastered, needs but intelligent direction to become invincible.
We are creatures of habit. Factors (1), (2) and (3) determine conduct, and conduct molds character.
The world demands of him who knocks at the door of opportunity an unimpeachable integrity and a character bedded in granite.
Ambition, pride, self-improvement, self-reliance, promptness, enthusiasm, reliability, honesty, breadth of view, winning personality, creative imagination - all these must be elements of the deeper self.
Yet it is a self that can be trained.
Our regimes for psychic power and initiative, followed incessantly, persistently, with confidence, will determine habits of thought and action until in time that which these habits constitute - character - will fix them as the only thinkable or permissible courses to pursue.
In time the whole personality will be exalted and fortified against lapses, and will shine forth for its worth to be commercially recognized.
All these factors of Self-Analysis, Singleness of Aim, Self-Mastery and Character that we have been considering are purely mental.
They have to do solely with the mind.
But there are certain outward and more or less physiological matters that demand the attention of the success-seeker.
We now proceed to analyze these factors in detail.