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Excerpts from

 Self-Reliance the Key
to Business Success

by Sidney A. Weltmer




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Book Description
This book is written to encourage men to struggle for the attainment of higher planes of usefulness. Self-reliance would be universal if all men were perfectly aware of their latent powers. Dependence upon self is the author of progress. If the reader can be assisted in the discovery of capabilities in himself of which he was not aware and the utilization of them for the good of mankind, the purpose of the author will have been accomplished.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter 1 - LEARNING TO WALK
Chapter 2 - DEVELOPING SELFHOOD.
Chapter 3 - LEARN THINGS BY DOING THEM
Chapter 4 - WE LOVE BEST THAT WHICH WE DO BEST
Chapter 5 - THE POWER OF PERSISTENT EFFORT
Chapter 6 - YOU CAN DO WHAT OTHERS HAVE DONE.
Chapter 7 - THE TIME TO GRIND
Chapter 8 - INFLUENCE OF SUGGESTION ON SELF-RELIANCE.
Chapter 9 - THE USE OF THE WILL
Chapter 10 - A MAN IS BUT ONE PERSON
Chapter 11 - ADVERSE SUGGESTIONS
Chapter 12 - OUR BELIEFS CONTROL US
Chapter 13 - THE REAL MAN
Chapter 14 - AGREEMENT CONTEMPLATES FORGIVENESS.
Chapter 15 - THE LAW HAS ALWAYS EXISTED
Chapter 16 - IN TOUCH WITH THE LAW
Chapter 17 - FAILURES DO NOT ARGUE IMPOSSIBILITY
Chapter 18 - CAPTAIN EADS BELIEVED IN HIS ABILITY
Chapter 19 - THE LADDER BY WHICH WE RISE
Chapter 20 - GENERAL CULTIVATION OF SELF-RELIANCE
Chapter 21 - THE POWER OF EXAMPLE
Chapter 22 - A SUMMARY
Appendix 1 - WELTMERISM UP TO DATE
Appendix 2 - REGENERATION


Chapter 1

LEARNING TO WALK

Clinging to a chair, a baby watches its mother while with outstretched hands she coaxes it to walk.

There is a wistful light in the little one's eyes while the tiny arms reach out for the support upon which it has learned to depend.

Slowly the grasp upon the chair is broken, and hesitatingly the baby is poised for the supreme effort; then the trembling feet begin to move, and with quick but uncertain footsteps the goal is reached. The baby has learned its first lesson in self-reliance.

Successful effort has inspired a confidence which repetition confirms.

Conscious of its ability to walk, and strengthened by the exercise of that power, the gait of the child becomes firm and rapid. The self-reliance which overcame one weakness remains as a factor of character, though it is no longer consciously exerted for the first specific purpose. It is a reserve force constantly at work in the generation of confidence needed to meet other obstacles.

Follow the child through life, and you will find that even failures become elements of strength to him, just as long as his determination is able to rise above them.

Intelligent reliance upon self is the key to all the permanent success with which a man can crown his life.

The business world is full of men who are clinging to chairs with more tenacity and greater trepidation than characterized the grasp of infancy. To thousands of them gray hairs have come while they were vaguely waiting for strength to walk. They have watched others run and climb, and, despairing, wondered why their shaking limbs refused to support them.

God filled the world with obstacles to develop the strength of man. He made the streams, but gave His creatures the brain and brawn to span them with bridges. He covered the fertile earth with forests, but did not forget to give the strength and intelligence necessary to supplant the trees with fields of yellow grain.

The Creator made the exertion of mind and body necessary to a continuance of life, and development a necessary sequence of intelligent action; but without dependence upon self there can be neither exertion nor development.

Imagine one of your arms paralyzed and permit it to swing idly at your side for a year; then institute a comparison between it and the arm upon which you have relied for toil. One will be shriveled by lack of exercise, and the other will be doubled in power by the additional labor imposed upon it.

"I love my boy too well..." says an indulgent parent, "...to permit him to encounter unpleasant tasks. I will shield him from every adverse wind and permit him to enjoy those comforts of which my youth was deprived."

It was adversity which made a man of that father. That puissant confidence in himself which brought him wealth was given birth and fostered by his nerve-straining, brain-racking conflicts with the world. Full of self-reliance and fully equipped for all the emergencies of life, he has forgotten that his boy can only be hardened to the blasts by exposure. His love becomes a crime against his son, it is a thief which is stealing from the boy all those opportunities which render him capable of holding his own against the opposition, the indifference, and all the other inhumanities of man. He has failed to see that he is rearing a hot-house plant which must, in time, meet, unsheltered, the merciless cold of winter.

A parent can leave his child no greater fortune than the ability to care for himself. A million dollars may be dissipated in a year by the legatee, but a character in which self-reliance is the factor is a house with no sand beneath it.

Teach the boy how to become the architect of his own fortune, and then, if he loses one, he can build another. The greatest security does not rest upon ownership. It consists in the ability to rebuild.

There are times when it may be necessary to lighten the strokes which are forming the boy's character, but it is seldom best to shield him entirely from their force. When the smith is beating the plowshare, he tempers the blows to the strength of the iron; but without the hammer the metal would remain unshapen and useless.

Many men have said "I can't" because of the disagreeable exertion which "I can" would entail. Since time began, a host of Websters have idled life away and died unsung because they would not try. It is not improbable today that men with all the native acumen of Gould are driving drays or carrying hods, because of a lack of self-assertion, which is the first-born child of self-reliance.


Chapter 2

DEVELOPING SELFHOOD

The need of the hour is not gentlemen and ladies, but men and women.

The last twenty-five years, more than any other period in the history of the world, has brought into prominence the truth of the paragraph at the beginning of this chapter. An unknown Methodist preacher down in Dixie, fixing on his inspiration, or what the American people call grit, determined to call a spade a spade, dared to be himself, and the world knows the rest—he became the irrepressible Sam Jones.

Scores of others who have been more or less successful brought themselves before the general public by the same method, which is simply a reliance upon the higher self.

That which appears to be selfishness in its incipient stage, if unham-pered, will lead to selfhood. There is no way by which we can redeem man from his belief in his own weakness, except by encouraging in him a belief in his own strength.

The first being who presented this subject in tangible form and brought its truth to the masses was first ostracized, then persecuted, and then crucified.

There is a great difference between the meaning of the terms "selfishness" and "selfhood." A perfect understanding of each term, together with a comprehension of the relation between them, constitutes a knowledge of self.

Man, as we ordinarily find him, in infancy and childhood, is a natural investigator, and the first assertion made by the infant is self-assertion, which is a demand for more life, more happiness. It is an unconscious call for those things which bring to him the gratification of inherent needs. Gratify one, and another immediately follows. This is necessary to supply the law of growth, and as the infant thinks of no one but himself, we would call this first impulse selfishness. Yet the careful parent sees in the baby a grateful response, for each want satisfied. In fact, up to that time in the infant's life when the parent begins to refuse to gratify its wants, there has been no feeling between parent and child except pure and unalloyed love and contentment. If this attitude is not disturbed too harshly, the child will early learn to take pleasure in the enjoyment of others. This constitutes selfhood. The study of the little child becomes invaluable, if we will look at it just as it is. A great many parents have crushed out the selfhood in a child by training it up in the belief of its dependence wholly upon its parents. We present this illustration to convey more clearly the distinction between selfishness and selfhood.

Man is at times, by nature, either perfectly passive or perfectly positive. To be perfectly positive is to be continuously acting. To be perfectly passive is to be receptive. Little children show more self-reliance, as a usual thing, than matured men and women. Their love of adventure, which springs from the fact that they are natural investigators, leads them to attempt things that are impossible for them to accomplish; but if allowed to go on with his investigations, the child will usually accomplish what he attempts. This has been the case in the history of our greatest composers of music and most successful inventors.

When Benjamin West, who afterwards distinguished himself as an artist, first evinced that talent, his parents, who were devout Quakers, believed him to be possessed of an evil spirit. His genius was allowed to smoulder until it was recognized by a friend of the family, whose knowledge of art prompted him in calling the attention of the parents to the talent of their child. The same conditions existed with Handel, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and thousands of others who became brilliant stars in the firmament of successful endeavor.

Dr. Adam Clark was considered by his parents a dull boy, and by his teachers a menial sluggard, until one day, while wearing a duncecap in the school-room, a visitor recognized in the boy something of sterling merit. Encouragingly patting the child on the head, this visitor, "an angel in disguise," inspired the boy by telling him that he had within him all the elements necessary to develop great scholarship and a useful manhood. Now his name is known as that of the greatest Bible commentator of this time. The chief fault with the teachers of all ages has consisted in pointing out the faults of mankind, without referring to the good with which man is endowed. The chief object of this book is to impress upon every reader a recognition of the good that is in him.


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