If the unsocial and unfriendly are deceived in regard to themselves, no less so are the social and the friendly. Again and again we find them in occupations which take them out of the haunts of living men, where they are so unhappy and dissatisfied that they sometimes become desperate. Why a man who likes people and likes to be with them, and is successful in dealing with them, should take himself off on a lonely ranch, twelve miles from the nearest neighbor and twenty miles from a railroad, passes the comprehension of all but those who, through experience, have learned the picturesque contrariness of human nature.
It is easy to distinguish, at a glance, between the social fellow and the natural-born hermit. Go to any political convention, or any convention of successful salesmen, or to a ministers’ meeting attended by successful city preachers, or to any other gathering attended by men who have succeeded in callings where the ability to mix successfully with their fellow men is of paramount importance. Get a seat on the side lines, if possible, and then study the backs of their heads.
We attended two great political conventions in 1912. There were more than one thousand delegates at each convention. So certain were we of the type of men successful enough politically to be chosen as delegates to a national convention of their party, that we offered a prize of ten dollars to the friends who accompanied us for every delegate they would point out to us who did not have a round, full back-head, making his head appear long directly backwards from the ears. Although our friends were skeptical and planned in some detail as to what they would do with the money they expected to win from us, we attended both conventions without a penny of outlay for prizes. If you know any unfriendly, unsocial men, look at the backs of their heads and see how short they are.
There are vocations for all who have the courage, the ambition, the willingness to work, the persistence to keep ever-lastingly at it. Finding one’s true vocation in life means, not finding an easy way to success, but finding an opportunity to work and work hard at something interesting, something you can do well, and something in which your highest and best talents will find an opportunity for their fullest expression.
Just as finding an unusual talent for music means years and years of the most careful study and preparation, followed by incessant practice; just as finding of a talent for the law means years of work in schools, colleges and universities; so the finding of a talent for business, mechanics, science, construction, or any other vocation involves years of study, self-development, preparation, and practice, if you are to achieve a worth-while success.
The following incident illustrates plainly enough the mental attitude of the average fellow—the reason why he has failed, and the remedy: