“Guard thyself!” That is the slogan. Let us “take stock” often and see where we stand. We will not be afraid of the weak points. We will get after them and get hold of ourselves at the same time. Some book might give us help—a fine play, or some form of athletics will start us to thinking. Self-analysis teaches us to see ourselves in a true light without embellishments or undue optimism. We can gauge our chances in no better way. If we grope in the darkness we haven’t much of a chance. “Taking stock” throws a searchlight on the dark spots and points the way out of the danger zone.
ADVANTAGES OF AN EARLY START
It is the young man who has the best chance of winning. Then why shouldn’t youthfulness be made a permanent asset? We have recovered from the idea of putting a man into a sanatorium just because a few grey hairs show themselves in his head. We should not ask him how old he is ... we should ask: “What can he do?” The young man may have the advantage of years but the older one has the advantage of experience and knowledge. Now if this older man could carry along with him that spirit of youth which actuated his earlier activities he would be prepared against incapacity. Our fate hangs on how we conduct ourselves in youth. The world has great need of the sober, thoughtful men above the fifty line. By right of experience and knowledge they should become our leaders in the shaping of our policies. It is all a matter of how a man comes through, mentally, physically and spiritually. Age should not count against him.
The first thought is to keep healthy. In fact, we cannot harp on this too much. The second requirement is confidence in ourselves, without which our career is short lived.
Already we perceive that one must keep track of his inner self. This breeds confidence. The very fact that one stops to probe into that hidden land of thought shows that he is keeping tab on himself with a sharp eye. That’s the stuff! We mustn’t fool ourselves. The majority of failures come as a result of not being able to trust one’s self. The moment we doubt, or acknowledge that we cannot conquer a weakness, then we begin to go down hill. It is a subtle process. We hardly realize it at the time but as the days go by, the years roll on, the final day of reckoning draws near and relentlessly we are swept along as driftwood toward the lonely beaches of obscurity. And all because we lacked self-confidence! We did not realize it until it was too late. We were too busy with self-indulgence to struggle for success.