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Chapter 9
How To Achieve Honors
HE driving force of modern industry is self-respect and the respect of
others. The reproductive urge and the urge to seek food are fundamental;
but modern man encounters no great barriers in the way of finding a mate
and satisfying his hunger. In the matter of satisfying his self-esteem,
however, the rising standards of living cause his family and his associates to expect
increasingly greater results from his efforts.
Self-respect has come to be the most vital factor of human life. It resists attack and
invasion more strongly than any other urge, even than the urge for life itself One way
to maintain and increase it is to gain the respect of others. Whether he realizes it or
not, everyone desires at least to be worthy of honors.
When I say that the respect of others is a driving power in our economic relations I
mean that Harry or John might loaf in the shop were it not that other workmen would
consider him lazy and thus inferior. Sam Smith, the crack salesman, would be
content to earn $10,000 a year, except that his wife wants a new home and expensive
clothes, so that she may feel socially equal to Mary Jones. So Sam steams up and
increases his sales to an income of $20,000. Likewise, the janitor's boy wants to go to
college because his pal is going, and his father asks for a raise, or gets a new job at
larger pay, so he can send him. People could live without these things, but they would
not gain the same respect from others.
Back of this desire for the esteem of others is the ego ideal. That is, each individual as
he develops from infancy comes to look upon himself in a certain way. Gradually he
acquires standards of conduct. Because others seem to expect certain things of him,
he comes to expect these things of himself. Or, on the other hand, because he fails to
do what others expect of him, and receives their censure, he may look upon himself
as a failure in certain ways.
Experiences modify his view of his own character. The suggestions of other people
have an effect. In fact, all he thinks and does, as well as all that happens to him, have
an influence. The result is that as he grows to maturity and his opinions stabilize he
has pretty definite ideas of his own abilities, his own worth, and just about what he
expects of himself under various circumstances.
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This idea of himself which every person holds may, or may not, represent the real
character. It may, or may not, rest upon ideals which are sound, and which are
possible of realization.
The emotional elements that enter the life during infancy are powerful to warp these
self-ideals. The experiences of youth also contribute emotional elements that may
have drastic power. Not only the teachings of elders, but their example, give
direction to these mental images that shape the conduct in after life. They are the
conceptions by which the child attempts to adjust himself to the situation he
confronts. Because of the limited experience and wisdom of the child, all too often
some of these conceptions are based upon fallacy. When so founded they
nevertheless persist, and influence the conduct profoundly even in adult life.
In learning how to achieve honors, therefore, our first task is to examine our
standards of value. Growing from infancy to maturity we have all been faced with
many situations which we were not fitted by experience adequately to understand. As
a consequence, the importance we attach at the time to some of them was
disproportionate. Perhaps at present we would view these situations differently, but
the inexperience of childhood caused us to react to them with undue emotional
emphasis. And having, in later life, forgotten all about the occurrence, we have never
taken the pains to make an emotional readjustment to these experiences of childhood,
and properly revalue them.
Human relations are so complex, and some of them so recently developed as seen
from a biological standpoint, that there are a multitude of ways in which the
emotional responses of a child may be given an unusual bias. Few there are of us,
therefore, who grow to maturity without some emotional twist that under certain
circumstances makes us seem queer or at least not perfectly poised. And some of
these emotional biases are of such proportion as to make adequate adjustments to life
as we now find it very difficult.
If we are to achieve honors we must render valuable service to society through the
development of our personal prowess to a degree of superior efficiency. Unusual
emotional reactions to, or unusual valuations of, the incidents arising from our work
and our human contacts, are great and often insurmountable handicaps. Let us,
therefore, examine how a few of the most common arise, and how readjustment may
be made.
False Standards
--As a result of the example of our associates, their admonitions and suggestions,
and our own experiences, from the earliest infancy we built up an opinion of just what
we expect of ourselves under various circumstances. We have ideals, and these
ideals should be high. They cannot be too high; for they are the goals toward which
we work. Should we reach them they are no longer ideals, but facts.
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But in addition to ideals we have standards. These standards are not merely ideals but
are what we actually expect of ourselves in the way of more or less immediate
performance. Such standards may be sound or they may be false. When they are the
latter they give us no end of trouble.
Very frequently a person sets himself a standard that is to him impossible of
attainment. Various types of neurotic diseases, for instance, arise from a conflict
between the fundamental urges of sex and false standards of purity. The person has
set himself a standard that does not permit even a thought of sexual expression. His
biological heritage demands this expression. But he has so firmly established
his standard in his own mind that his objective consciousness is totally unaware of
the existence of the to him objectionable desire. But though he is quite unaware of its
existence because he represses it, it does not cease to exist. And like every energy not
finding a legitimate outlet, it finds a substitute outlet, and manifests as one or more of
a score of diseases which can only be relieved by acknowledgment of their source.
This particular type of false standard has become widely recognized through the
Freudian literature. But it is only one of numerous types. Another of these was
responsible for the death of-a man of unusually fine character and a very dear friend.
The case, as is customary, dates back to childhood. He was a child of well to do and
highly respected parents in the Middle West. Financial success, next to an honorable
life, was the family standard. He was brought up under the impression that great
things were expected of him in a financial way. Before he was twenty he came into
possession of some money, went to Chicago, and speculated on the Board of Trade.
For a time he had remarkable success, then began to lose. Before he had lost all, he
left Chicago and invested the remaining amount in a transitory business enterprise. In
this he was amazingly successful. Still under twenty years of age he was considered
by his friends a financial wizard.
He then went into real estate and other enterprises. No business was attractive to him
unless it held opportunities for big gains. But instead of big gains he steadily lost.
Year after year saw his funds dwindle.
He had ability to make a moderate salary working for others; but the image of himself
created by his family in childhood, and intensified by his great temporary success,
would not permit him to be anything but a grand financial success.
Yet the standard he had set for himself was beyond his reach. While he still had
money enough to be considered fairly well to do, he began to deem himself a failure.
He developed a chronic sigh. He worked persistently and struggled courageously to
gain the fortune which he considered was his right in the world. Not until every
possibility of making the fortune he had in mind seemed closed did he give up. When
finally he realized there was no hope of realizing his standard he died. He died not of
any physical ailment, but a martyr to an impossible standard of achievement.
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A more commonly observed instance is that of a child whose parents and their
associates believe and perpetuate the idea that he is just the smartest thing in the
world. He is taught to believe that everything he says is of unusual importance and
that in some manner he is superior to other children of his age. He grows up an
egotist, but the time is finally at hand when he must face the stern realities of life. In
open competition he tries to make his way in the world, but just does not seem to get
ahead. He knows that he has more ability than others who receive the promotions,
because has he not always been told that he is smarter than others? He feels therefore,
that he is ill-treated, and that those over him do not appreciate his qualities, when as a
matter of fact he is receiving just consideration. This fallacy as to his own worth,
implanted in childhood, under these conditions gives rise to a mental conflict. He
chafes at not receiving what he considers his just dues, or if the conflict becomes
acute he suffers a mental breakdown.
Mental Breakdown
--A mental breakdown, as distinct from the rare organic diseases of the brain, is
always caused by a conflict between mental factors. We see it exhibited in a mild
form by the individual who has set standards (not ideals) for himself just above his
reach. When he plays a game of golf, perhaps a good game, he expresses
astonishment that he should play so poorly, and shows irritation or marked
depression when he makes a bad shot. Or in the conduct of his business if he makes
some minor error, he shows that he is quite upset about it. Such an individual,
everywhere common, has established a standard of perfection for himself which is
foreign to real experience. The conflict between his real self, his real performances,
and these false standards are a cause of recurring emotional disturbances. These
detract from his real efficiency in life.
Mental breakdown is not confined to the human family. Pavlov, in his experiments
upon dogs, found that he could induce neurasthenia in them. First he would set
problems for a dog that were not difficult, by the solution of which he could reach
food. From time to time new problems, in the way of opening doors, etc. ,would be
set, but still within the mental ability of the dog to learn and perform. Then, after the
dog's confidence that he could reach the food by solving a problem was built up,
Pavlov would present a problem so difficult that the dog could not solve it. Under
these circumstances the dog would fret and worry day after day until he was in a state
of nervous exhaustion. Finally he would begin to act strangely, to be irritable, to start
at every sound, to bay at the moon, to refuse to touch food given him, and exhibit all
the symptoms of a complete mental disarrangement.
No one should be content with performances less than his very best. Everyone should
have an ideal above and beyond anything he has so far accomplished, toward which
he should resolutely struggle. But one should always feel satisfied with one's best
Not to do so indicates that there has been unsound valuation of one's abilities. And
any resulting emotional perturbation is uncalled for mental conflict that consumes
energy and if extreme may lead to complete mental breakdown.
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Pavlov, who won the Nobel prize in I 904, learned just how conflicts between mental
factors within the human mind lead to neurasthenia, and may lead to insanity,
through setting up parallel conflicts in the minds of dogs and observing the effect.
The logical procedure suggested by his experiments was not taken until almost two
generations later. It was reported by TIME magazine, issue of June 8, 1942. During
the three years before this date, Jules H. Masserman of the University of Chicago,
had made some 200 animals neurotic through developing in them, much as Pavlov
had done, powerful mental conflicts. But he did not stop there. After thus developing
mental derangement, Masserman restored these animals to normal life. This he did
by reconciling the mental conflict which was responsible for the condition.
The harmonizing of the mental factors of one group was accomplished through
reassurance and suggestion; of another group through developing pleasure and
triumphing over the apparent peril, fear of which was one contending mental factor
in the mental conflict; and of the third group by permitting them at leisure to examine
the apparatus which had been used to build up the conflict and learn about it for
themselves. With sufficient insight into the sequence of things--even as the conflicts
within the minds of those who have set unreasonable standards for themselves are
reconciled when they get sufficient insight into what they have done, and how it is
impeding them--the conflicts disappeared and the animals became normal.
These experiments have a high value not only because they indicate both the cause
and cure of much human mental derangement, including that derived from holding to
unreasonable standards, but because that which is mapped by a discordant aspect in
the birth chart has also been built by conflicts between mental factors. It has been
built by the soul in lower forms of life before its birth as a human being.
A discordant aspect maps mental factors in the unconscious which are unreconciled.
And these mental factors in conflict work from the inner plane to attract misfortune
into the life. They are as blind to the individual's desires and welfare as were
Pavlov's dogs when they became so crazy they would not touch food, or
Masserman's cats some of which also refused to eat.
When these thought-cell groups within the unconscious mind are harmonized, and
no longer frustrated by being opposed by other thought-cell groups, they cease to
work to attract events into the life which are at variance with the desires of the
individual. And to the extent this harmonizing process is successful will the
difficulties mapped in the birth chart and by progressed aspects disappear, and more
fortunate events take their place.
Events are the product of the action of thought-cell groups, or mental factors,
working from the inner plane to realize their desires, and the resistance of the
physical environment to the conditions they strive to bring about. Events of
importance come into people's lives only when there are characteristic progressed
aspects present; for only then do special thought-cell groups get enough additional
energy to bring to pass the events they want. This energy of progressed aspects also
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influences the nature of the thought-cell desires, making them more inclined toward
events beneficial to the individual if the aspect is harmonious, and more inclined
toward events inimical to the individual if the aspect is discordant.
Therefore, even as Masserman found three methods of reconciling the mental
conflicts within his cats, so are there three methods through which aspects can be
handled. One method is to give the thought-cells more harmonious energy with
which to work, chiefly through utilizing planetary Rallying Forces. Another is to
alter the composition of the thought-cells through Conversion or Mental Alchemy.
In either of these methods, because the mental conflicts have been reconciled, the
thought-cells desire and work for more fortunate events. The third method is to select
a type of environment in which the thought-cells, whatever their desires, will not
have sufficient power to bring to pass the disagreeable event otherwise indicated.
Egotism and Alibis
--The child who is brought up in the belief that he is just the smartest thing in the
world, under certain circumstances, may never have the unsoundness of this
evaluation forced on him by later contacts. As a consequence he continues through
life as an egotistical ass. He always has a pronounced opinion about everything,
whether he really knows anything about it or not. Once giving out his opinion he
clings tenaciously to it. He is the person who never makes a mistake. The mistakes,
according to his version, are always made by his associates. What he really needs is
to revalue himself, and dissipate the unsound idea built up through his childhood
associations.
Those of great knowledge realize that there is enormously much they do not know.
They are quick to recognize when they have made an error in judgment and to
acknowledge it. Those of sterling ability are the first to admit it when they have made
a mistake. But the person who has built up an image of his own perfection may permit
it to dominate him. This mental factor may be so strong that it cannot be displaced or
influenced by reality. Whatever happens in actual life that is contradictory to this
image is warped into conformity with it. He cannot admit, even to himself, that he has
made a mistake. His unconscious always invents some fiction by which he escapes
from admission of any imperfection. Such an attitude, often quite unconsciously
maintained, is always a great obstacle to attaining honors. Other people are not slow
to see through such fictions. The truly great man admits his mistakes and profits by
them.
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Conservatism and
Radicalism
--Childhood experiences also result in two other pronounced types. We have ever
with us the ultra-conservative and the radical. The ultra-conservative is like a horse
which is too severely treated when broken. He has no spirit of his own. He has been
taught in early years implicitly to obey his elders without asking the reason why. As
he becomes older this unreasoning obedience is transferred to his church, to the
traditions of his community, and to everything else that is old and established. The
old time religion is good enough for him. The political party of his father is always
sound in its platforms. He was taught in regard to all decisions that, "Father knows
what is best." He was never permitted to think for himself as a child, and he will never
think for himself as long as he lives unless he is brought to analyze his condition. He
will vote as the political boss (a father substitute) dictates, he will believe the Bible
from cover to cover in spite of contradictory scientific evidence, and in business he
will ever follow established methods and customs. He may attain honors through
carrying out old and tried policies, but his influence on society is numbing; for he is a
slave to custom and tradition.
At the opposite extreme we have the child who, after a period of coddling is treated in
what he considers a very unjust manner. Such unreasonable treatment arouses a
strong sense of injustice. This feeling--often due to a childish misunderstanding of
his own position which his elders do not take the pains to straighten out--rankles
within him until at last it flames into open rebellion. He rebels against father or
mother, and is punished for it. This strengthens the emotional content of the image of
himself as an unjustly treated individual. As he grows to maturity, because of the
strength of this image that the world is against him and everything is all wrong, he
comes to be recognized as an individual who, no matter what the topic of
conversation, always takes a view in opposition to others.
Later still, out in the world, he fails to get on with people. His associates in work
always give him the worst of it. Those who make money are to him grafters. Those
who attain honors do so because they have pull. The church is all "bunk," and the
laws of the country are all wrong. Those who work for charity have ulterior motives.
He is not wanted anywhere, in truth, because he always stirs up trouble. He is an
agitator and a radical not because he compares evidence and deliberates upon it, but
because he is still expressing the emotional rebellion built into himself in childhood.
If he is to attain any real honor in life he must now dissipate these conditions by
recognizing the source of his chronic attitude.
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The Precious Child
--One of the most common forms of emotional maladjustment arises from too much
coddling. The child, because it is told so, or more potent still, because the actions of
its parents give it the suggestion, comes to believe it is excessively precious. It is not
permitted to do this and to do that because it might get hurt. It must be wrapped up
carefully in cool weather to prevent it from taking cold. It must not get its feet wet, or
be in a draught. Thus is built into it an over-estimation of its own value, and that to
preserve such a wonderful creature the thought of safety first should be dominant.
Life and the attainment of honors are an adventure in which initiative and the
willingness to undergo hardship and hazard for a worthy cause are essential to
success. Nothing so surely defeats worthy aims as undue regard for consequence to
self.
Such a coddled child, unless it revalues itself, is never willing to pay the price of
success. It cannot bring itself to face the drudgery leading to accomplishment. It is
deterred in its progress at every step by fear of consequences to itself. Fear of this and
fear of that have so entered its life in early years that it lacks the courage to grasp
opportunities as presented. It would like to appear before the world as a wonderful
success--for so precious a being as it has always felt itself to be should be looked up
to by others --but it shrinks from heavy responsibilities. It actually flees from reality,
the reality that lack of courage and willingness to carry the burden is hampering its
life. Instead--because the unconscious will never admit anything detrimental to its
self respect--the individual invents a thousand and one fictions why he fails to make
headway. But he will neither merit nor attain honor until he makes a proper mental
adjustment.
If the child has been too much waited on a lack of self-esteem and independence may
be carried into adult life. And of even greater detriment the coddling with its resultant
self-importance may cause an incurable desire to be in the lime-light. The great
things of life are accomplished through team work. The child who has not found
opportunity to submerge self-interest while cooperating with other children for the
common good, at maturity may find itself devoid of one of the greatest assets of life.
Real honors come only to those who, when occasions arise, can submerge
themselves for the good of a cause. They must always be willing for the other person,
if he is better qualified, to fill the post of importance.
Others always perceive the selfishness of the person "who plays to the grandstand"
rather than does good teamwork. They resent this attitude, and invariably try to
hamper the progress of such an individual.
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Inferiority Complex
--A very large variety of circumstances may occur in the early years of life to give
rise to an inferiority complex. Some real or fancied physical defeat may give a sense
of inadequacy. The realization that one's family is unable to provide one with things
possessed by one's associates. Other circumstances arc: Competition with older
children, or with those of superior training, and consequent defeat followed by
ridicule; standards of conduct set so high that it is impossible to reach them, and
humiliation due to not living up to them; and almost any experience of early
childhood accompanied by strong emotions of shame and inefficiency. These give
rise to a feeling of inferiority that manifests as an apologetic attitude toward life, as
diffidence, lack of self-confidence, hesitancy, and any one of a score of
compensating mechanisms. If the inferiority complex arises from too much coddling
he is afraid to try anything that appears difficult because he fears the result to himself.
His unconscious has become so firmly convinced of his preciousness that it will not
permit him to attempt anything that might bring discomfiture.
Or if, in childhood, he has been compared unfavorably with other children, or has had
some experience in which he has felt deep humiliation, the sense of his own
preciousness will not permit him to run the risk of repeating the humiliation. He is
afraid to talk in public, and is uncomfortable when many people watch him work,
because he is afraid he will not live up to the high standards he has set for himself. He
might make some mistake before all these people, and the high estimation he has
placed upon himself makes this thought unbearable.
Shyness
--The unconscious never relinquishes its self esteem. The conscious mind feels
inferior, but the unconscious invents countless fictions, makes excuses, runs away
from deciding tests, and in all ways attempts to bolster up the idea of superiority.
Early environment sometimes gives the child a greatly overestimated value of
himself. In later contact with other children he is unsuccessful in getting them to take
him at his own evaluation. They are inclined to ridicule his pretensions of
superiority. To associate with them, and enter into their competitions, means a
relinquishment of this idea of superiority. Instead of doing this, the unconscious
retains the fictitious ideal of self-importance by withdrawing from others. The
unconscious feeling of superiority gives rise to a conscious feeling of inferiority.
Thus develops the child and finally the adult marked for shyness.
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Over-Sensitiveness
--In a somewhat similar manner the child unduly impressed with its preciousness
develops over-sensitiveness. He comes to believe himself of greater value than
others, and meriting greater care. He is shielded from discord and harshness until he
feels such shielding to be his due.
In his actual contact with life he comes in contact with that which is disagreeable. In
proportion to the valuation he places on his own welfare, and the protection he has
been accustomed to, will these contacts induce fear. Fear always mobilizes the body
on a war footing, through causing secretions from the adrenal glands to enter the
blood. As a consequence, the adult developing from such a child, or from a child that
has had experiences giving rise to fears which through shame or other causes have
been repressed, is continually on the defensive. His body is prepared at all times to
resist invasion or injury. He is "high strung" and "sensitive" due to an unconscious
anxiety. This may be relieved by realizing its cause and tracing it to its childhood
source.
Boasting
--Boasting and stuttering are always due to a feeling of inferiority. By show and
ostentation people unconsciously endeavor to impress others with an importance
they do not feel for themselves. The unconscious compensates for the feeling of
failure by play acting what it would like to be. Such inferiority may be felt by one
who has actually accomplished much, as well as by one who has accomplished little,
all depending on the standards. But when a person really feels he has accomplished
something worth while it gives him a sense of satisfaction, and he is content to rest his
case upon its actual merits.
Considerable pains have been taken to point out the origin of those traits of character
which more frequently than others prevent people from attaining honors. Some, in
spite of outstanding deficiencies, due to other unusual flares, have attained the
esteem of nations. But for the most part these we look up to are simple in demeanor,
straightforward, sincere of purpose, and without undue over-valuation of
themselves.
Edison as a man would not have been so greatly loved in spite of his inventions if he
had been egotistical or if he had been unduly diffident. Lindbergh captured the
imagination of the world not merely because of his unprecedented flight, but because
at that time he did not permit fame to turn his head. Lincoln lives in the hearts of the
people as a simple man.
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Summary of Emotional
Reactions
--If you suffer from an inferiority complex, now you have learned its origin, get rid
of it by revaluing yourself. Honors are bestowed by people, and people will not place
confidence in a person who has no confidence in himself. The suggestion of
incompetency that reaches them is too potent. On the other hand, people resent
egotism, boastfulness, and too obvious self-superiority. They value themselves by
comparison with others. If through mannerisms or dress they get the opinion you
look down on them or feel them to be less intelligent, it attacks their self-esteem. This
they resent more than anything. The farmers who were really responsible for the
election of Lincoln resented the superior polish of Douglas. But Lincoln dressed
plainly, always spoke to them as equals, and made them feel that he was one of them.
If you are over-sensitive, now you know the cause, take less thought of harshness and
annoyances. Too tender a personality is not capable of carrying heavy loads. If you
are a chronic kicker, iron that out also. If you are merely a "ditto" mark for the
opinions of others, make a few decisions for yourself at once as a start in the right
direction, even if these decisions prove erroneous. Cultivate self-reliance. Look
upon life as an adventure where taking a few risks is a part of the game. Admit it when
you make a mistake. Be willing to acknowledge ignorance when you do not know,
and to seek the advice of others who do. Keep ideals always in advance of
accomplishment, but beware of setting false standards for yourself. Carry
responsibilities when they come your way. We learn to carry heavier loads by first
shouldering light ones. Let others have credit for what they do, and they will be more
willing to give you credit. Instead of "grandstand" playing enter to the fullest extent
into whatever team-work is necessary to get best results. These are some of the things
that help in the attainment of honors.
What Brings Honors
--Having thus summed up the more important personal traits leading to public
esteem, let us now examine what actions result in the attainment of honors.
We must distinguish between the words "honor," "fame" and "notoriety." A
notorious person is one who has publicity. The word is commonly used in an
unfavorable sense. Thus we speak of a notorious criminal. Fame also implies wide
publicity, but not necessarily of a nature favorable or unfavorable to the individual.
Honor, however, is esteem due or paid to worth, and honors are the tokens of esteem
and respect given by others. Fame may be attained by almost any act that is unique
enough to catch the public fancy and give rise to wide discussion. But honors are paid
only to those who in some measure render a service to society.
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Just a few of the names we honor: Florence Nightingale, largely responsible for the
relief of suffering in war time through the Red Cross. Jane Addams, relieving
suffering of a different kind through settlement work. Harriet Beecher Stowe whose
one supreme literary effort contributed so largely to freeing the slaves. Shakespeare,
whose plays have given entertainment to millions, and whose writings have enriched
the English language. Newton, whose discoveries made modern engineering
possible. Kepler, who widened our universe by discovering some of its laws.
Alexander Bell, through whom we have the telephone. Fulton, with his steamboat.
Marconi and the radio. Pasteur and immunity from germs. Harvey, discovering the
circulation of the blood and adding to our knowledge of physiology. George Bernard
Shaw, dramatist and iconoclast, whose keen wit is ever directed against the
artificialities. H. G. Wells, who contributes through his books to popular education.
We might go on at great length calling to mind every line of constructive endeavor,
and we would find that someone had attained honor in it, and invariably that this was
due to his contribution to human welfare
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It will be seen, therefore, that honors are not confined to any particular line of effort,
but may be attained through any constructive work. It is required, however, that some
contribution shall be made to the welfare of men, and that others shall know of this
contribution.
It has already been explained in Chapter 1 how to find
the field of effort where your endeavors will contribute most largely to the Cosmic
Work. In this field! then, because it is where your greatest abilities lie, is where you
will most readily be able to attain honors. It is the field in which your major efforts
should be expended.
At the same time, advancement in whatever vocation you may be following should
not be neglected Such advancement, directly or indirectly, is nearly al ways
dependent upon other people. If you are in business for yourself it depends upon
those who patronize you, or upon those who work for you, or both. If you do not work
for yourself, it depends upon the boss.
Pleasing the Boss
--Independence is a fine thing and boot-licking is demeaning. Yet it should injure no
one's self-respect to try to please the boss. It is in his power to promote you or not.
Whether he does so depends upon how he feels toward you. Whenever you spare him
annoyance, lighten his burdens, and make him feel pleased with himself rather than
irritable, you are working in the best interests of the firm, and toward promotion for
yourself.
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Every boss has peculiarities. He has his good days and his bad days. He over-reacts
emotionally to certain situations. If you are observing you will learn these things.
And you will not ask favors on those days when, for instance, his demeanor shows
that he has just come from a domestic ruckus. Certain sore spots, although they may
seem unreasonable, you will learn to avoid entirely. This is not being a sycophant; it
is learning how to handle your job so that the boss will be better able to do his work.
Prepare to Fill a Better
Position
--The only way you will ever get to the top is by shouldering responsibility.
Whenever possible, therefore, relieve your superior of some duty. He will appreciate
this, you will learn how to perform the duty, and when there is need for someone to
perform this or some higher work you will be the first person thought of. Carry as
much of your boss' responsibilities as he will let you and that you can handle.
Advanced positions are filled from those who have a background of experience.
Each position and each line of endeavor have their own peculiar requirements. Make
a thorough analysis of the qualities and habits needed to fill the job you now perform,
and of the habits and qualities needed to fill the job in advance of the one you now
hold.
A singer of my acquaintance some years ago undertook the added labor of learning
twelve songs in the German language because some day she hoped to sing in the
capitols of Europe and perhaps Berlin would be among them. Shortly after, a director
wished to fill an important engagement in Berlin with an American singer. There
were a number to choose from, but these asked for several months to learn the songs
and he needed a singer in a hurry. My acquaintance, who had a dozen such songs
ready for recital, thus got the chance of her lifetime, and went on from there to greater
heights. She was prepared, by doing what seemed unnecessary work, for almost any
engagement that might offer.
You cannot know too much about your work. Read everything you can get that has a
remote bearing on it.
But the most important thing of all is your habit-systems. After making a careful
survey of the habits that conduce to getting ahead, start in, one at a time, to cultivate
them. The more important emotional reactions that hamper advancement, and how to
readjust them, have already been mentioned. One of the habits you will need is that of
determination of purpose. Get a clear idea of what you desire to accomplish and let
nothing deter you from reaching this end. Such a course means the cultivation of will
power. But in addition to such obvious traits there are numerous others that you will
be able to think of, some that detract from and some that conduce to the attainment of
success in your particular work.
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--The foundation for the attainment of honors is character. And character is the sum total
of the habit-systems. In the development of character, and in the efforts to advance your
work, in some manner cultivate strong desires to do the proper things. These desires will
direct the imagination to the image of doing the thing, instead of to the image of not doing
it. Thus will and imagination will pull together. When they pull in opposite directions
imagination always wins. Dr. Coue formulated this nicely by stating that whenever there
is a conflict between the imagination and the will, the power exerted by the imagination
is as the square of the power exerted by the will. The stronger the will, the more energy
drained into the mental image; for the imagination, in such conflict, is always victorious.
The character, built up to cope with such problems should be energetically engaged in
such enterprises as will benefit others. In every community there is opportunity to per-
form a public service. In every group there is an opening to further the ends of the group.
The successful fulfillment of one responsibility opens the way to the acceptance of an-
other. Everywhere there are worth while things that need to be done if someone will but
make the sacrifice to do them.
Yet doing something worth while does not confer honors unless people know about it.
--Advertising one's accomplishments and virtues unduly is certainly bad taste and does
not conduce to honors. On the other hand, undue reticence detracts from one's opportuni-
ties to render public services in the future. If one has ability, or if one has accomplished
something, there are inoffensive ways by which others may be made aware of it. In other
words, the attainment of honors requires in addition to other things, a certain amount of
delicate salesmanship.
In such salesmanship, as in all others, the first thing is to attract the attention of the
prospect. In this case the public, the boss, or the group of which you are a part. Ingenuity
probably will need to be exercised in this so as to make the contact and hold the attention
without alienating. In some way keep the boss, or group, or public, interested in your
accomplishments. To do this study the individual or individuals by whom you wish to be
noticed. Learn what they are interested in and link your work in some way to these interests.
They may not know what they need, but if they suspect that you are trying to dictate what
is good for them they will resent it as an impertinence. It is often necessary to give what
is good for them together with the things they already are desirous of having in order to
get the former accepted. This is not disparaging the boss or the public; it is utilizing the
same principle that you use in building into yourself new habit-systems.
Advertising
Character
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The attention having been attracted and held, you must use it as an opportunity to
build up the desire for the thing you are doing. Not only is it impossible to gain
honors, but it is difficult to do much of anything for others unless by some means you
can arouse their desires for the service you are performing. If you make yourself both
agreeable and useful, the boss will desire your services. If you can convince the
public that they are benefitted through your efforts, they will desire these services to
continue.
Occult Considerations
--The first thing, in seeking honors, is to find in what field it is possible for you to
attain them. Past performance is some gauge of where you can use ability to gain
recognition; but nothing else is the equal in this respect to an analysis of the birth
chart. This will indicate where your efforts may be directed so that the public will
receive most benefit and you will receive most favorable notice.
The progressed aspects also afford the best map obtainable of what you may
reasonably expect to accomplish at any given time. This does not mean that there are
times when you should merely drift. It signifies that at some periods the efforts
directed into certain channels would be quite futile to bring anything but misfortune,
but that at the same time efforts directed in other ways would advance you somewhat
toward your chosen goal.
Whatever your goal may be you need no special aspects by progression to enable you
to work toward it. Every day of every year, for instance, may be utilized, in spite of
astrological or other conditions, to build character. And honors rest largely upon
character. But under some astrological influences you will be able to make strides in
a given direction that would be quite impossible under other astrological influences.
The work leading to honors may be accomplished gradually, and under various
astrological conditions; but the most favorable time for receiving the honors is when
there is a favorable major progressed aspect to the ruler of the tenth house of the birth
chart, and at the same time a progressed aspect to the Sun. Such a time may especially
be utilized to bring to the notice of others what you have done or what you are capable
of doing.
When the Sun is making afflictions by major progressed aspects it is unusually
difficult to get proper recognition from superiors, and when there is no major
progressed aspect to the ruler of the tenth house there is little likelihood of
promotion.
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The strongest thought-cells in your astral body for influencing honors are mapped by
the ruler of the tenth house. Therefore you should cultivate those thoughts which
most powerfully will give these thought-cells strong harmonious vibrations. If they
are discordant, as shown by the birth chart, a mental antidote, as explained in Course
9, should be applied to change the discord into harmony. But in any case such
thoughts should be cultivated in association with the things ruled by this planet that
the vibrations of these honor-attracting thought-cells will be greatly and
harmoniously increased.
The honor-attracting thought-cells within you may also be intensified by associating
with objects having the same planetary ruler (Course 6). But such objects should not
be chosen as associates unless the thought-cells are harmonious. If they are shown to
be discordant, you should instead choose the locality, house number, telephone
number, color, gem and signature that vibrates to the planet aspecting the ruler of the
tenth house most favorably.
Demonstrating Honors
--You should have a clear idea of just what you wish to accomplish, or at least the
next step or two ahead in its direction. To enlist the aid of the unconscious mind and
its tremendous powers in this attainment, visualize frequently, and as clearly as you
can, yourself as you would appear in the attainment of your ambition. Hold this
image, feel confident it will be realized, and repeat: THIS I AM NOW
ACCOMPLISHING.