“Well, I don’t know. Some men are born to succeed. They have more brains than others.”
“Who, for instance?”
“Well, there’s Edison.”
“Yes; and while you were having a good time with the boys, wearing good clothes, and enjoying the comforts of life, Edison was working and studying, wearing shabby clothes and patched shoes, so that he might buy books. What right have you to say that Edison has a better head, naturally, than you until you have done what Edison did to develop his?”
“Well, if you put it that way—none, I guess.”
“Then you might have been an Edison if you had sacrificed, worked, and studied as Edison did?”
“Then where does the ‘hard luck’ come in? While you were having a good time, Edison was having a hard time. Isn’t that so?”
“Yes, and now Edison is on Easy Street and I am headed for the Bay. I see your point, Mr. Socratic. I guess it isn’t luck, after all. It’s my fault. But knowing that won’t make it any easier for me when I get canned.”
“What’s the use crossing the bridge before you get to it? I read the other day of a man who studied law, was admitted to the bar, and made money on it, all after he was seventy years old.”
“Think there’s any chance for me? Can I learn anything at my age?”
“You learned something just now, didn’t you?” asked Socratic.
“Yes, I guess I did.”
“Well, if you can learn one thing, you can learn a hundred, can’t you?”
“I sure will.”
If you are a worker and not a shirker—if you are a lifter and not a leaner—if you have done your best to succeed in your present vocation, and are still dissatisfied, and feel that you could do better in some other line of work, we hope that this book has been of some assistance to you in determining your new line.
If, however, you have never attempted your best—if you have never worked your hardest—if you have grown weary, and laid down your burden in the face of difficulties and obstacles—if you have neglected your education, your training, your preparation for success, then, before you make a change, before you seek vocational counsel, do your best to make good where you are. It may be the one vocation in which you can succeed.
ANALYZING CHARACTER IN SELECTION OF EMPLOYEES
THE COST OF UNSCIENTIFIC SELECTION
People used to thank God for their sickness and pain—at the same time naively praying Him to take back His gift. This inconsistency was due to a combination of ignorance and the good old human foible of blaming some one else. Folks did not know then, as well as they do now, that they had the stomachache because they were too fond of rich dainties. The cause of the pain being mysterious, they went back to first principles and blamed (or thanked) God for it. They believed that God afflicted them for their good and His glory, but their belief was hardly practical enough to keep them from praying Him not to do them too much good or Himself too much glory.