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Success - The Only Three Means Which You Can Use

( Originally Published Early 1900's )



SINCE efforts to succeed are related to others, your success depends largely on the means which you use in dealing with others. To succeed, you must persuade and convince others to buy the things you make or create, to desire your work, to respond to your leadership, or to accept your presentation of principles, plans, propositions, policies, and ideals.

What you communicate to others—of your motives, ideas, desires, and ideals—determines the concept of your personality in the minds of others. That something of your personality which others perceive is the composite of that which you communicate. There is a difference between what you express and what you communicate. A China-man may express his ideas by the hour, but if he talks in Chinese, his words will fail to communicate his ideas to me.

In creating a concept of yourself in the minds of others, there are only three means which you can use.

These three means are words, tones, and action.

These are the only means you can use to communicate your motives, feelings, ideas, desires, thoughts, or ideals to others. No matter how great a brain you have, how keen and comprehensive your mind, how sympathetic your heart, if you are completely paralyzed so that you can neither speak nor move, you have no more personality than a wax image.

Perhaps you think that there are other means of communication. Perhaps you think, "I can perceive something of the nature of the soul of a man by his eye, even though he does not utter a word, or make a sound, or move a single muscle." To such a thought, I answer : "You are mistaken ! You cannot see such soul attributes in a glass eye. What we call expression in the eye is the action of the tiny muscle fibers which round or flatten the lenses of the eye. Without the movement of these tiny eye muscles, the human eye cannot gleam or twinkle or harden or soften, and has no pore life than the eye of a dead fish.

All communication is by word, tone, or action.

Not even thought transference can take place without brain and mind action. Of course, communication by action is not limited solely to movement. There is the action of the senses ; and posture which is the result of action. No matter what phase of communication you consider, you find that there are only three means : (1) words, (2) tones, and (3) action.

Failure to use any one or more of these means with discrimination often arouses a mistaken idea in the other person's mind. When one of these means conveys one idea and another means conveys a different impression, you contradict yourself and fail because you unintentionally destroy the other person's faith in you.

More and more we are coming to understand the unity of all things. We are coming to understand that, after making a thing well, lack of success is often due to failure to market it. No matter how well you make a thing, you cannot make a success of your work unless it is sold. If, as a tailor, your suits are not sold ; if, as an author, your writings are not published—then you fail. Many a person is a failure because he does not know how to use the three means of communication effectively in persuading and convincing others to accept his word and render him just compensation.

Tones are more important than words.

No young man can succeed in convincing a girl that he loves her by sitting across the room, twenty feet from her, and shouting "I love you !" in the high pitched tones of a campaign orator.

Many a person fails to secure a raise in salary, because—at the time he is requesting a raise by use of words-his tones and actions tell his employer that the applicant is afraid he will not receive the raise requested.

You have heard one woman—you know the kind—compliment another. Her words are complimentary. But, one little spiteful inflection of her tone tells you that the compliment is insincere. The woman may talk for ten minutes (600 seconds) and the spiteful inflection of her tone may last but one second. Yet, you believe the one unit of tone, and discredit the 600 units of words !

Action is more effective than words and tones.

Also, a man may compliment you for ten minutes in pleasing words, spoken in most agreeable tones. But, one tiny sneer of the upper lip will belie all the complimentary ideas expressed by his words and all the agreeable feelings aroused by his pleasing tones. The little sneer is action. It may last but one second. Yet, action is so much more effective than words and tones, that you discredit the 600 units of words and the 600 units of tone, and depend upon the one unit of action.

Is it any wonder that so many people fail when they try mainly by means of words to communicate that which they wish to communicate to others?

Remember that leadership is one of the factors which determines success. It is one of the factors which guarantee it. Remember also that your success depends upon dealing effectively with other people. In doing so, you can use but three means—words, tones, and actions. If you have been attempting to succeed by a major use of words, you have failed again and again—for words are less effective than tones, and tones are less effective than action.

Use words to express your ideas.

Use tones to express your feeling.

Use only action to express motives. Then you will not be misunderstood. And you will be understood.

He sat in a high backed chair, erect and rigid, the palm of .a hand on each knee, like an Egyptian statue.

While she, with graceful ease, reclined in a luxurious chair, twenty feet away across the room.

"I love you! I love you! I love you!" he shouted in a high-pitched auctioneer's voice!

He shouted it one hundred and thirty-eight times!

Yet, she did not lovingly respond. He failed to win her!

It is not the words you use, but the tones of your voice, which win others!



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