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How To Get What You Want

Originally Published: 1917

Thomas Y. Crowell Company Publishers, New York

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>> More by Orison Swett Marden


I. Something Touched Him

II. How To Get What You Want

III. Playing The Glad Game

IV. Disocuragement A Disease--How To Cure It

V. The Force That Moves Mountains

VI. Faith And Drugs

VII. How To Find Oneself

VIII. How To Attract Prosperity

IX. Thinking All Over

X. heart-To-Heart Talks With Yourslf

XI. Our Partership With God


The most valuable thing which ever comes into a life is that experience, thatr book, that sermon, that person, that incident, that emergency, that accident, that catastrophe--that something which opens the doors of his great within, revealing its hidden resources.

A CUB lion, as the fable runs, was one day playing alone in the forest while his mother , slept. As the different objects attracted his attention, the cub thought he would explore a bit and see what the great world beyond his home was like. Before he realized it, he had wandered so far that he could not find his way back. He was lost. Very much frightened, the cub ran frantically in every direction calling piteously for his mother, but no mother responded. Weary with his wanderings, he did not know what to do, when a sheep, whose oflFspring had been taken from her, hearing his pitiful cries, made friends with the lost cub, and adopted him. The sheep became very fond of her foundling, which in a short while grew so much larger than herself that at times she was almost afraid of it. Often, too, she would detect a strange, far-off look in its eyes which she could not understand. The foster mother and her adopted lived very happily together, until one day a magnificent lion appeared, sharply outlined against the sky, on the top of an opposite hill. He shook his tawny mane and uttered a terrific roar, which echoed through the hills. The sheep mother stood trembling, paralyzed with fear. But the moment this strange sound reached his ears, the lion cub listened as though spellbound, and a strange feeling which he had never before experienced surged throughTiis being until he was all a-quiver. The lion's roar had touched a chord in his nature that had never before been touched. It aroused a new force vdthin him which he had never felt before. New desires, a strange new consciousness of power possessed him. A new nature stirred in him, and instinctively, without a thought of what he was doing, he answered the lion^s caU with a corresponding roar. Trembling with mingled fear, surprise and bewilderment at the new powers aroused within him, the awakened animal gave his foster mother a pathetic glance, and then, with a tremendous leap, started toward the lion on the hill.

The lost lion had found himself. Up to this he had gamboled around his sheep mother just as though he were a lamb developing into a sheep, never dreaming he could do anything that his companions could not do, or that he had any more strength than the ordinary sheep. He never imagined that there was within him a power which would strike terror to the beasts of the jungle. He simply thought he was a sheep, and would run at the sight of a dog and tremble at the howl of a wolf. Now he was amazed to see the dogs, the wolves, and other animals which formerly had so terrified him flee from him. As long as this lion thought he was a sheep^ he was as timid and retiring as a sheep; he had only a sheep's strength and a sheep's courage, and hy no possibility could he have exerted the strength of a lion. If such a thing had been suggested to him he would have said, "How could I exert the strength of a lion? N I am only a sheep, and just like other sheep. I cannot do what they cannot do." But when the lion was aroused in him, instantly he became a new creature, king of the forest, with no rivals save the tiger and the panther. This discovery doubled, trebled and quadrupled his conscious power, a power which it would not have been possible for him to exert a minute before he had heard the lion's roar. But for the roar of the lion on the distant hill, which had aroused the sleeping lion within him, he would have continued living the life of a sheep and perhaps would never have known that there was a lion in him. The roar of the Hon had not added anything to his strength, had not put new power into him; it had merely aroused in him what was already there, simply revealed to him the power he already possessed. Never again, after such a startling discovery, could this young animal be satisfied to live a sheep's life. A lion's life, a lion's liberty, a lion's power, the jungle thereafter for him. There is in every normal human being a sleeping lion. It is just a question of arousing it, just a question of something happening that will awaken us, stir the depths of our being, and arouse the sleeping power within us. Just as the young lion, after it had once discovered that it was a lion would never again be satisfied to live the life of a sheep, when we discover that we are more than mere clay, when we at last become conscious that we are more than human, that we are gods in the making, we shall never again be satisfied to live the life of common clods of earth. We shall feel a new sense of power welling up within us, a power which we never before dreamed we possessed, and never be quite the same again, never again be content with low-flying ideals, with a cheap success. Ever after we will aspire. We will look up, struggle up and on to higher and ever higher planes.

Phillips Brooks used to say that after a man has once discovered that he has heen living but a half life the other half will haunt him until he releases it, and he never again will be con-tent to live a half life. When one becomes conscious that the reality of him, the truth of his being is God, that he is indissolubly connected with omnipotent power, he feels the thrill of divine force surging through every atom of his being, and he can never doubt his divinity or his possibilities again. He can never again be timid, weak, hesitating or fearful. He rests serenely con-scious that he is in close touch, in vital union, with the Infinite. He feels omnipotent power pulsating through his very being, he feels the omnipotent arm sustaining, upholding him, and he knows that his mission on earth is divinely planned and divinely protected.

The book shows that it is the man with one unwavering aim who cuts his way through opposition and forges to the front ; that in this electric age, where everything is pusher or pushed, he who would succeed must hold his ground and push hard; that what are stumbling- blocks and defeats to the weak and vacillating, are but stepping-stones and victories to the strong and deter-mined. The author teaches that every germ of goodness will at last struggle into bloom and fruitage, and that true success follows every right step. He has tried to touch the higher springs of the youth's as})i ration ; to lead him to high ideals ; to teach him that tliere is something nobler in an occupation than merely living-getting or money-getting ; that a man may make millions and be a failure still ; to caution youth not to allow the maxims of a low prudence, dinned daily into his ears in this money-getting age, to repress the longings for a higher life ; that the hand can never -safely reach higher than does the heart. The author's aim has been largely through concrete illustrations which have pith, point, and purpose, to be more suggestive than dogmatic, in a style more practical than elegant, more helpful than ornate, more pertinent than novel. The author wishes to acknowledge valuable assistance from Mr. Arthur W. Brown, of W. Kingston, K. I. O. S. M. 43 BowDoix St., Boston, Mass. December 2, 1895.

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