This is a practice which, if you are at all interested in human nature, you will find intensely fascinating. It is one which you can pursue for years and not find it monotonous. Not a day will pass, if you are diligent in this practice, in which you will not learn something new, something interesting, something valuable. Those who have studied and practised this science for many years are, almost without exception, the ones who are most eager and enthusiastic about making these observations, analyses and verifications.
Perhaps one of the most interesting and valuable forms of exercise in the practical application of this science is the study of types and their variations. Anyone who has observed humanity knows that, while no two persons are exactly alike, practically all human beings can be classified satisfactorily into comparatively a few general types. We have considered some of these types at length in earlier chapters of this book. It is by a study and comparison of people belonging to these general types, the careful noting of resemblances and differences, that the science of character analysis becomes almost as easy as the reading of a book. If you see a man for the first time who resembles in many important particulars of appearance some man you know well, study him to see whether he will not manifest in much the same way the same characteristics as your friend. This kind of observation, intelligently made, is the basis of accuracy and swiftness in making analyses.
The human mind is an excellent storehouse of knowledge, but it should not be over-burdened. One of the first principles of efficiency as enunciated by Mr. Harrington Emerson is: “If you would find the best, easiest and quickest ways to the desirable things of life, keep and use immediate, reliable, adequate, and permanent records.”
The complete record of an analysis should show the name, address, sex, exact age, height, weight, and all other essential physical characteristics of the person analyzed, classified under the head of the nine fundamental variables. It should show your conclusions as to his ability, disposition, aptitudes and character in general. It should also show the result of any further observations for the purpose of verifying your conclusions, and should be so kept that, if, at any time in the future, the individual should speak or act in any way which is either a striking verification of the analysis or in striking disparity with it, these incidents may be recorded and their relationship to what has gone before on the record studied.