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Главная » Книги » Классики » Уильям Уокер Аткинсон » The Secret of Success

Attractive Personality

We have explained in our lesson on “Individuality” that what is known, as the “Personality” was not the real “I” of the Individual, but that instead it formed the “Me” part of oneself – the outward appearance of the Individual. As we have told you, the word Personality really means the “mask” aspect of the Individual, the outward appearance of the part in the great drama of life that he is playing. And just as the actor may change his mask and costume, so may the Individual change, alter and replace his Personality by other features found desirable.

But nevertheless, while the Personality is not the real “I”, it plays an important part in the drama of life, particularly as the audience pays more attention to the Personality, as a rule, than it does to the real Individual behind the mask. And so it is proper that every Individual should cultivate and acquire a Personality that will prove attractive to his audience, and render him acceptable to them. No, we are not preaching deception – we regard Individuality as the Real Self, and believe that one should build himself up to his highest and best according to the laws of Individual Unfoldment – but, nevertheless, so long as one must wear a Personality about him as he goes through life, we believe that it is not only to his advantage, but is also his duty to make that Personality as pleasing and attractive as he is able to. You know that no matter how good, intelligent and high-minded a man may be, if he wears the mask of an unattractive and unpleasant Personality he is placed at a disadvantage, and drives away people whom he might benefit and who would be glad to love him if they could see behind his unattractive mask.

Nor are we speaking of one’s personal physical appearance when we speak of unattractive and attractive masks. While one’s physical appearance goes a good way in some cases, there is a charm of Personality that far transcends that fleeting appearance. There are many persons having beautiful faces and forms whose personality is far from charming, and who repel rather than attract. And there are others whose faces are homely and whose forms are far from shapely, who have, nevertheless, that “winning way about them” that attracts others to them. There are people whom we are always glad to see, and whose charm of manner makes us forget that they are not beautiful, in fact, even their homely faces seem to become transfigured when we are in their presence. That is what we meant by Personality, in the same way in which we are now using it. It bears a very close relationship to “Personal Magnetism”, of which we spoke of in our preceding lesson.

One of the first things that should be cultivated by those wishing to develop the Charm of Personality is a mental atmosphere of Cheerfulness. There is nothing so invigorating as presence of a cheerful person – nothing so dispiriting as one of those Human Wet Blankets that cast a chill over everyone and everything with whom they come in contact. Think of your acquaintances and you will find that you will naturally place them in two classes – the Cheerful ones and the Gloomy ones. Sunny Jim is always preferred to Gloomy Gus – the one you will welcome, and the other you will fly from. The Japanese understand this law of Personality, and one of the first things that they teach their children is to preserve a cheerful, sunny exterior, no matter if their hearts are breaking. With them it is considered one of the most flagrant offenses against good form to carry their sorrows, grief and pain into the presence of others. They reserve that side of their life for the privacy of their own chamber – to the outside world they present always a happy, sunny smile. And in this they are wise, for a number of reasons (1) that they may induce a more buoyant and positive state of mind in themselves; (2) that they may attract cheerful persons and things to them by the Law of Attraction; and (3) that they may present an attractive Personality to others, and thereby be welcome and congenial associates and participants in the work of life. There is little welcome or help for the Gloomy Gus tribe in everyday business life – they are avoided as a pestilence – everyone has troubles enough of his own without those of other people added thereto.

Remember the old lines:

Laugh and the world laughs with you;
Weep and you weep alone.
For this sad old earth is in need of mirth,
And has troubles enough of its own

So cultivate the Smile that Won’t Come Off. It is a valuable asset of Personality. Not the silly, idiotic grin, but the Smile that means something – the Real Thing. And such a smile comes from within, and is more that skin deep. If you want a Verbal Pattern upon which to model the mental state that will produce this outward appearance of Personality, here it is: “BRIGHT, CHEERFUL AND HAPPY”. FRAME IT AND HANG it in a prominent place in your Mental Art Gallery. Commit it to memory and Visualize it, so that you may be able to see it before you like an illuminated electric sign – “BRIGHT, CHEERFUL AND HAPPY” – then endeavor to materialize the idea into reality within your mind. Think it out – act it out – and it will become real to you. Then will you have Something Worthwhile in the shape of Personality? This may seem simple and childish to you – but if you will work it out into actuality, it will be worth thousands of dollars to you, no matter what walk of life you may be in.

Another valuable bit of Personality is that of Self Respect. If you have real Self Respect it will manifest itself in your outward demeanor and appearance. If you don’t have it, you had better start in and cultivate the appearance of Self Respect, and then Remember that you are a MAN, or a WOMAN, as the case may be, and not a poor, crawling Worm on the Dust of a Human Door Mat. Face the world firmly and fearlessly, keeping your eyes well to the front. HOLD UP YOUR HEAD!There is nothing like a stiff backbone and a raised head for meeting the world. The man with bent head seems to apologize for living and being on the earth – and the world is apt to take such at their own valuation. An erect head enables one to walk past the dragons at the door of Success. A writer gives the following good advice on this subject: “Hold your ear lobes directly over your shoulders, so that a plumb line hung from the ears describes the line of your body. Be sure also not to carry the head either to the right or left, but vertical. Many men make the mistake, especially while waiting for a customer to finish some important piece of business, of leaning the head to the right or left. This indicates weakness. A study of men discloses the fact that the strong men never tilt the head. Their heads sit perfectly straight on strong necks. Their shoulders, held easily, yet firmly, in position, are inspiring in their strength – indicating poise. Every line of the body, in other words, denotes the thought of the bearer”. The value of this advice lies not only in the fact that it gives to you the “appearance” of Self Respect (no trifling matter, by the way), but also that it tends to cultivate a corresponding mental state within you. For just as “Thought takes form in Action”, so do Actions develop mental states – it is a rule that works both ways. So think Self Respect and act Self Respect. Let the “I AM” within you manifest itself. Don’t crawl – don’t cringe – don’t grovel – but do be a Real Human Being. Another bit of Personality worth cultivating is the Art of Taking an Interest in Others. Many people go through the world so wrapped up in their own affairs that they convey the impression of being “apart” and aloof from others with whom they come in contact. This mental state manifests in a most unpleasant form of Personality. Such people are not only regarded as “cold” and lacking heart and soul, but they also give others the impression of selfishness and hardness, and the public is apt to let such a person alone – to leave him to his own selfish moods and mental states. Such a one never becomes popular – never becomes a good mixer among men. Taking an Interest in Others is an art that well repays the student of Success to cultivate it. Of course one must always keep the main chance before him and not allow his own interests to suffer by reason of his interest in others – that goes without saying, for unreasonable altruism is just as one sided as undue selfishness. But there is a middle course. You will find something of interest in every person with whom you come in contact, and if you will but turn your attention to that interest it will manifest itself in such a way that the person will be conscious of it, will appreciate it, and will be glad to respond by taking an interest in you. This is not deceit, or time serving, or flattery – it is the Law of Compensation working on the mental plane – you get what you give. If you will stop and think a moment you will find that the people whose Personality seems the most attractive to you are the people who seem to Take an Interest in your own personality.

This Taking an Interest in Others manifests itself in many ways, one of which is in making you a Good Listener. Now, we do not mean that you should allow yourself to be made a dumping ground for all the talk of all the people with whom you come in contact – if you do this you will have time for nothing else. You must use ordinary judgment and tact in regulating the time you give to others, depending upon the person and the particular circumstances of the case. What we do mean is that while you’re listening you should Listen Well. There is no subtler compliment that one person can pay to another than Listening Well to him or her. To Listen Well is to Listen with Interest. And that is something that cannot be very well taught in a book. Perhaps the best way to express the idea is to say, “Listen as you Would be Listened unto”. The Golden Rule may be applied to many things and ideas, with benefit and good results. The man who listens well is well thought of by those to whom he listens. In this connection we are always reminded of the old story of Carlyle, who, as everyone knows, was reputed to be a crusty, crabby old chap, prone to sarcastic remarks and brusque treatment of those with whom he engaged in conversation. The tale goes that one day a man called upon Carlyle – and the man understood the Art of Listening Well. He so turned the conversations as to get Carlyle started on a subject dear to his heart – and then he kept quiet and Listened Well. Carlyle talked “a straight streak” for several hours, and grew quite enthusiastic over his topic. When at last the visitor arose to depart, he was forced to actually tear himself away from Carlyle, who, following him to the door, manifested unusual enthusiasm and good spirits, and bidding him good-bye, said warmly: “Come again, mon – come again and often – ye have a wonderfully bright mind, and I’ve enjoyed your conversation very much indeed – ye are a most delightful conversationalist”.

Be careful not to bore people with your personal experiences – better forget your personal self in talking to others, except when it is right to the point to bring yourself in. People do not want to hear what a wonderful fellow you are – they want to tell you what wonderful people they are, which is very much more pleasant to them. Don’t retail your woes, nor recite your many points of excellence. Don’t tell what a wonderful baby you have – the other people have babies of their own to think about. You must endeavor to talk about things of interest to the other person, if he wants to do the talking himself. Forget yourself and Take and Interest in the Other Person.

Some of the best retail merchants impress upon their salespeople the advantage of cultivating the mental attitude and personality that you will give the customer the impression that you are “on his side of the counter” – that is, that you are taking a personal interest in his being well-served, suited, well-treated and satisfied. The salesman who is able to create that impression is well advanced on the road to success in his particular line. This is a difficult thing to describe, but a little observation and thought and practice along the lines laid down in the preceding lessons will do much for you in this direction. A recent writer truthfully says on this subject: “Suppose, for instance, you are in trade or a profession, and wish to increase your business. It will not do, when you sell goods or services, to make the mater a merely perfunctory transaction, taking the customer’s money, giving him good value and letting him go away feeling that you have no interest in the matter beyond giving him a fair deal and profiting thereby. Unless he feels that you have a personal interest in him and his needs, and that you are honestly desirous to increase his welfare, you have made a failure and are losing ground. When you can make every customer feel that you are really trying to advance his interests as well as you own, your business will grow. It is not necessary to give premiums, or heavier weights, or better values than others give to accomplish this; it is done by putting life and interest into every transaction, however small”. This writer has stated the idea clearly, forcibly and truthfully, and you will do well to heed his advice and to put it into actual practice.

Another important point in Personality is Self-Control, particularly in the matter of Keeping your Temper. Anger is a mark of weakness, not of strength. The man who loses his temper immediately places himself at a disadvantage. Remember the old saying: “Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make angry”. Under the influence of anger a man does all sorts of foolish things that he afterwards regrets. He throws judgment, experience and caution to the winds, and acts like a crazy man. In fact, anger is a sort of madness – a phase of insanity – if you doubt this look carefully at the face of the first angry man you meet and see how irrational he looks and acts. It is a well-known fact that if one keeps cool while his opponent is angry, he has decidedly the best of the matter – for he is a sane man dealing with an irrational one. It is the better policy to allow the other fellow to “stew in his own fat” of anger, keeping cool yourself at the same time. It is a comparatively easy matter to cool down an angry man without becoming angry with you – and as it takes two to make a quarrel, the matter is soon over. You will find that a control of the outward expression will give you control of you inner mental state. You will find that if you are able to control your voice, keeping it calm, steady and low-pitched, you will not fly into a passion, and more than this, you will find by so doing that the voice of the other fellow will gradually come down from its loud, boisterous tones, and in the end both of you will be pitching your voices in the same key – and you have set that key-note. This is worth remembering – this control of the voice – it is a secret well worth knowing and practicing.

While we are on the subject of voice, we would like to call your attention to a further control of voice, or rather a cultivation of voice. A man having a well controlled, even, pleasant voice has an advantage over others having equal abilities in other directions, but lacking that one quality. The value of a vibrant, resonant, soft and flexible voice is great. If you have such a voice, you are blessed. If you lack it, why start to work and cultivate it. Oh, yes, you can! Did you ever hear of Nathan Sheppard, the well-known public speaker? Then listen to these words of his, telling of his natural disadvantages of voice, and how he overcame them and became a great speaker. He says: “When I made up my mind to devote my mind and body to public speaking, I was told by my teachers and governors that I would certainly fail; that my articulation was a failure, and it was; that my organs of speech were inadequate, and they were; and that if I would screw up my little mouth it could be put into my mother’s thimble, and it could. Stinging words these certainly were, and cruel ones. I shall never forget them; possibly, however, they stung me into a persistency that I would have never known but for these words. At all events, that is the philosophy of the ‘self made’ world of mankind. I may not have accomplished much; I do not claim to have accomplished much. It is something I have made a living out of, my art for twenty years, and that I do claim to have done in spite of every obstacle and every discouragement, by turning my will upon my voice and vocal organs, by cultivating my elocutionary instincts and my ear for the cadences of rhetoric, by knowing what I and my voice and my feelings were about, by making the most of myself”. After these words, anything that we might add regarding the possibility of acquiring a good voice by will, practice and desire would be superfluous. Pick out the kind of voice that you think best adapted to your work, and then cultivate it by practice, determination and desire. If Mr. Sheppard could become a famous public speaker with such obstacles as these, then for you to say “but I can’t” is to stamp you as a weakling.

It has been suggested to us that we have a few words to say regarding the carriage or physical bearing of the person, as an important part of Personality – particularly in the phase of Walking. But we do not think that is necessary to add to what we have said in this lesson regarding the subject, in connection with what we have also said regarding the mental state of Self Respect. The main thing is to cultivate the Mental State of Self Respect, and the rest will follow as a natural consequence. Thought takes form in Action, and the man who has Self Respect imbedded in his mind will surely so carry and demean him that he will give evidence of his mental state in his every physical action, gesture, carriage and motion. He must have it within, as well as without. One must pay attention to the exterior aspect of course, particularly in the matter of dress. One should cultivate Cleanliness and Neatness, of both body and clothing. To be well dressed does not mean to me showily clad – in fact, the person who is best dressed is inconspicuously dressed. Cultivate a quiet, refined taste, expressed in quality rather than in showiness. And above all – be Clean.

In conclusion, let us impress upon you again and again that that which we call Personality is but the outer mask of the Individual Within. The mask may be changed by an effort of the Will, aided by an intelligent discrimination. First find out what kind of Personality you should have, and then set to work to cultivate it – to grow it, in fact. Form the Mental Image of what you want to be – then think of it – desire it ardently – will that you shall have it – then Act It Out, over and over again; rehearsal after rehearsal, until you will actually materialize your ideal into objective reality. Make a good mental pattern or mold, and then pour in your mental material steadily, and slowly! From the mold will come forth the Character and Personality that you desire and need. Then polish up this newborn Personality until it becomes radiant with the brightness of Culture.

You can be what you want to be – if you only want to hard enough. Desire is the mother of the Actuality. Remember once more the old rule – EARNEST DESIRECONFIDENT EXPECTATIONFIRM RESOLVE – these are the three things that lead to ACCOMPLISHMENT. And now that we have given you this little Secret of Success – USE IT. “It is Up to You” to “Make Good”. We have “pressed the button – you must do the rest!”

The Secret of Success | Секрет Успеха

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Опубликовано: 12/05/08 21:48

Улисов Юрий Андреевич



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