These selected paragraphs distill the contents and give you a quick look inside The Victorious Attitude: Look inside the book: If every child were brought up in the firm belief that he was made for health, happiness, and success; if it were impressed on him that he should never entertain a doubt of his power to attain them, as a man he would be infinitely stronger in his powers of self-assertion and in his self-confidence; and these qualities strengthen the ability, unify the faculties, clarify the vision, and make the attainment of what the heart yearns for a hundred per cent.
If all the people of this country would persistently hold a mental attitude of faith in our prosperity, which is the birthright of the inhabitants of this land of plenty; if they would have faith that our vast resources would enable us to carry on business, regardless of conditions in Europe or elsewhere, and if they would act in accordance with their faith, there would be no idle freight cars, no lack of work, no lack of money at any time. About Orison Swett Marden, the Author: Financial reversals ended that career, and in , he was again working as a hotel manager, in Chicago, during the time that the World's Columbian Exposition was attracting visitors to that city from all over the world.
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Thinking of yourself as habitually lucky will tend to make you so, just as thinking of yourself as habitually unlucky and always talking about your failures and your cruel fate will tend to make you unlucky. The attitude of mind which your thoughts and convictions produce is a real force which builds or tears down. The habit of always seeing yourself as a fortunate individual, the feeling grateful just for being alive, for being allowed to live on this beautiful earth and to have a chance to make good will put your mind in a creative, producing attitude.
We should all go through life as though we were sent here with a sublime mission to lift, to help, to boost, and not to depress and discourage, and so discredit the plan of the Creator. Our conduct should show that we are on this earth to play a magnificent part in life's drama, to make a splendid contribution to humanity. The majority of people seem to take it for granted that life is a great gambling game in which the odds are heavily against them. This conviction colors their whole attitude, and is responsible for innumerable failures. In the betting machines used by horse racing gamblers the bettors make the odds.
If, for example, five hundred persons bet on a certain horse, and a hundred bet on another, then the first horse automatically becomes a five to one choice, and the odds in favor of his winning are five to one. In the game of life most of us start out by putting the odds on our failure. In horse race gambling the judgment that forms the basis of belief as to the winning horse has a comparatively secure foundation in a knowledge of the qualifications of the different racers.
In life gambling it is merely the unsupported opinion or viewpoint of the individual that puts the odds against himself. The majority of people look on the probability of their winning out in the life game in any distinctive way as highly improbable. When they look around and see how comparatively few of the multitudes of men and women in the world are winning they say to themselves, "Why should I think that I have a greater percentage of chance in my favor than others about me?
These people have as much ability as I have, perhaps more, and if they can do no more than grub along from hand to mouth, of what use is it for me to struggle against fate? When people believe and figure that they cannot, and therefore never will, be successes, and conduct themselves according to their conviction: Are such persons, whom we call mad, insane, eccentric, who stint and save, and hoard in the midst of plenty, refusing even to buy food to keep them alive, any worse than those who face life in a poverty-stricken, failure attitude, refusing to see and enjoy the riches, the glories all around them?
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Is it any wonder that life is a disappointment to them? Is it any wonder that they see only what they look for, get only what they expect? What would you think of an actor who was trying to play the part of a great hero, but who insisted on assuming the attitude of a coward, and thinking like one; who wore the expression of a man who did not believe he could do the thing he had undertaken, who felt that he was out of place, that he never was made to play the part he was attempting?
Naturally you would say the man never could succeed on the stage, and that if he ever hoped to win success, the first thing he should do would be to try to think himself the character, as well as to look the part, he was trying to portray. That is just what the great actor does. He sees himself as, and feels that he is actually, the character he is impersonating. He lives the part he is playing on the stage, whether it be that of a beggar or a hero.
If he is playing the part of a hero he acts like a hero, thinks and talks like a hero. His very manner radiates heroism. And vice versa, if the part he takes is that of a beggar, he dresses like one, thinks like one, bows, cringes and whines like a beggar. Now, if you are trying to be successful you must act like a successful person, carry yourself like one, talk, act and think like a winner.
You must radiate victory wherever you go. You must maintain your attitude by believing in the thing you are trying to do. If you persist in looking and acting like a failure or a very mediocre or doubtful success, if you keep telling everybody how unlucky you are, and that you do not believe you will win out because success is only for a few, that the great majority of people must be hewers of wood and drawers of water, you will be about as much of a success as the actor who attempts to personate a certain type of character while looking, thinking and acting exactly like its opposite.
By a psychological law we attract that which corresponds with our mental attitude, with our faith, our hopes, our expectations, or with our doubts and fears. If this were fully understood, and used as a working principle in life, we would have no poverty, no failures, no criminals, no down-and-outs. We would not see people everywhere with expressions which indicate that there is very little enjoyment in living; that it is a serious question with them whether life is really worth while, whether it really pays to struggle on in a miserable world where rewards are so few and uncertain and pains and penalties so numerous and so certain.
Every boy, every girl should be taught to assume the victorious attitude toward life. All through a youth's education the idea should be drilled into him that he is intended to be a winner in life, that he is himself a prince, a god in the making. From his cradle up he should be taught to hold his head high, and to look on himself as a son of the King of kings, destined for great things.
The Victorious Attitude
No child is properly reared and educated until he or she knows how to lead a victorious life. This is what true education means—victory over self, victory over conditions. It always pains me to hear a youth who ought to be full of hope and high promise express a doubt as to his future career.
To hear him talk about his possible failure sounds like treason to his Creator. Why, youth itself is victory. Youth is a great prophecy, the forerunner of a superb fulfillment. A young man or a young woman talking about failure is like beauty talking about ugliness; like superb health dwelling upon weakness and disease; like perfection dwelling upon imperfection.
Youth means victory, because everything in the life of the healthy boy or girl is looking upward. There is no downgrade in normal youth; it is its nature to climb, to look up. Its very atmosphere should breathe hope, superb promise of the future. If all children were reared with such a triumphant conception of life, with such an unshakable belief in their heritage from God, that nothing could discourage them, we would hear no talk of failure; we would soon sight the millenium.
If they were made to understand that there is only one failure to be feared,—failure to make good, the failure of character, the failure to keep growing, to ennoble and enrich one's life,—this world would be a paradise. Just think what would happen if all of the down-and-outs to-day, all of the people who look upon themselves as failures or as dwarfs of what they ought to be, could only get this victorious, this triumphant, idea of life, if they could only once glimpse their own possibilities and assume the triumphant attitude! They would never again be satisfied to grovel.
If they once got a glimpse of their divinity, once saw themselves in the sublime robes of their power, they never again would be satisfied with the rags of their poverty. But instead of trying to improve their condition, to get away from their failure, poverty-stricken atmosphere, they cling the more closely to it and sink deeper and deeper in the quagmire of their own making.
Everywhere we find whining, miserable people grumbling at everything, complaining that "life is not worth living," that "the game is not worth the candle," that "life is a cheat, a losing game. Life is not a losing game. It is always victorious when properly played. It is the players who are at fault. The great trouble with all failures is that they were not started right. It was not drilled into the very texture of their being in youth that what they would get out of life must be created mentally first, and that inside the man, inside the woman, is where the great creative processes of life are carried on.
That which man does with his hands is secondary.
It is what he does with his brain that counts. That is what starts things going. Some of us never learn how to create with our minds. We depend too much upon creating with our hands, or on other people to help us. We depend too much on the things outside of us when the mainspring of life, the power that moves the world of men and things, is inside of us. There are times when we cannot see the way ahead, when we seem to be completely enveloped in the fogs of discouragement, disappointment and failure of our plans, but we can always do the thing that means salvation for us, that is persistently, determinedly, everlastingly to face towards our goal whether we can see it or not.