One of my favorite sales writers is Jeffrey Gitomer. Taped to the edge of my computer screen is this quote from his book Little Platinum Book Of Cha-Ching; “If you want to learn something new, all you have to do is study something that was written 100 years ago.” I’ve taken that theory to heart over the past few years as I journey further into the archeology my soul. Digging into old books has uncovered some golden nuggets to chew on.
Tucked in my library is a photo copy of a thin little gem by Ralph Waldo Emerson called Success. The original notes on the back cover say “five hundred and forty copies … printed in 1912.” Almost exactly 100 years ago, Emerson put this ink to paper. “Don’t be a cynic and a disconsolate preacher,” he said. “Don’t bewail and bemoan. Omit the negative propositions. Nerve us with incessant affirmatives. Don’t waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of good. When that is spoken which has a right to be spoken, the chatter and the criticism will stop. Set down nothing that will not help somebody.”
Oh how much better we would fair in life if we would heed his words today. Seems the whole world is steeped in cynicism. The dictionary has the word disconsolate as being unhappy or cheerless. I know a lot of unhappy and cheerless people. Sad. Seems we are encouraged to chase happy – only to find emptiness is really all we’ve achieved.
“Set down nothing that will not help somebody,” he wrote. I wonder; how much better would our world be if that was our mantra? Don’t you think success would come more easily if that was our attitude every morning? (I’m talking to myself here too by the way.) Emerson later writes; “The affirmative of affirmatives is love.” Seems to me then that loving others will just about undo unhappiness. I like that.