Analyzing Character eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 522 pages of information about Analyzing Character.

But there are certain classes of work which require a willingness to take chances.  Such enterprises are speculative.  In order to be happy in them, one must have a certain amount of optimism and hopefulness.  He must accept temporary failure without discouragement.  The heart to look on the bright side of every cloud must be born in one.  He must believe always that the future will bring more desirable results.  The careless person delights in this kind of work.  The element of chance in it appeals to his sporting blood.  The danger gives him needed excitement and thrill.  The anxious, apprehensive person has no place in such enterprises.  Their uncertainties are a drain upon his nervous system.  He worries.  He makes himself ill with his anxieties and apprehensions.  He is unhappy.  When disaster does happen, he takes it seriously, feels discouraged, thinks his efforts have been of no avail, can see nothing in the future but black ruin, and otherwise destroys not only his joy in his work, but his efficiency and usefulness in it.

In actual practice we find both prudent and reckless misfits.  Such people are unhappy, inefficient, and usually unsuccessful.  It is strange that men do not understand, before undertaking a vocation, so elemental and fundamental a thing as the question of carelessness and carefulness.  Yet, somehow or other, they do not.  We find thousands of men worrying, anxious, distrait, because of the uncertainties of their businesses and the chances they have to take.  We find other thousands of men blundering, careless, optimistic, always hopeful for better things in the future, and yet attempting to succeed in a business which requires care, infinite pains and precautions.  Thoughtless, impulsive, frivolous people are always trying to do work requiring careful, plodding, painstaking, methodical ways; while thoughtful, philosophic, and deliberate people oftentimes find themselves distressed, bewildered, and inefficient in the hurly-burly of some swift-moving vocation.


Mild, easy-going, timid, self-conscious men we frequently find in vocations which require aggressiveness, courage, fighting ability, self-confidence, and a considerable amount of hard-headed brutality.  On the other hand, we sometimes find the fighting man in a profession which is considered to be quiet and peaceable.

Similarly, we have often seen lawyers, whose profession requires of them a good deal of combativeness, shrewdness, a certain degree of skepticism, and a large amount of hard-headed determination to win, no matter what the cost, handicapped by extreme sensitiveness, sympathy, generosity, non-resistance, credulity, humility, and self-consciousness.  Physically, they were wonderfully capable of success as lawyers.  Intellectually, they, perhaps, were even better fitted for the profession than many of their brothers in the legal fraternity.  But, emotionally, they were absolutely unfit for the competition, the contest, the necessity for combat and severity in the practice of law.

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Analyzing Character from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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