Read an Excerpt
The University of Success
If you have been wearily attending the “school of hard knocks” up to now, I have great news for you.
You have just been transferred!
Your life is about to change—for the better!
Forget yesterday and last month and last year, with their gloomy diary of failures and disappointments. All that is in the past. This is the day you were beginning to believe would never arrive and yet it is here! This is the day you begin to turn your life around. This is the day you commence learning the greatest secrets of success from experts and, more important, how to use what you learn to make a better world for yourself and those you love.
Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “It is time that we had uncommon schools, that we did not leave off our education when we begin to be men and women.” Through the pages of this book you are about to enter an “uncommon school,” one designed to provide you with valuable information that will fill a large gap in your life and your instructors are, without question, the greatest faculty ever assembled to teach the subject of success and how to achieve it.
Dale Carnegie, J. Paul Getty, Dr. Maxwell Maltz, Napoleon Hill, P. T. Barnum, Norman Vincent Peale, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, W. Clement Stone, Dorothea Brande, Richard DeVos, Benjamin Franklin, Lord Beaverbrook, Joyce Brothers—these are only some of the fifty brilliant minds who have been gathered together for the first time in history in the fulfillment of a dream I have had for many years—to publish the ultimate success book where only the acknowledged masters of that subject were made available to counsel and teach and guide you.
Undoubtedly those years you spent in school taught you many things. But during all those hours spent in all those classes, never, not even for a single fifty-minute period, were you taught or shown how to apply what you were learning in order to achieve a life filled with happiness, accomplishment, and success. That is the sole purpose of this book and with your potential we will succeed together.
Success! Such a magical word—like gold or love or Shangri-la, it conjures up different but always enticing visions in the minds of all of us. Has it been missing from your life? Even if it has, you still daydream don’t you, about how wonderful things might be if only fate would smile in your direction and bestow upon you a more generous portion of money, position, power, freedom, and perhaps even a touch of fame?
WHY SUCCESS IS SO DIFFICULT
We are, each of us, a miracle. Within every one of us, the pilot light of hope never dies. Mechanics, executives, salespeople, students, models, writers, carpenters, computer operators, store owners, entrepreneurs, fruit pickers, stockbrokers, housewives—all of us, to some degree, indulge in the same dreams and wishes—to be free from want, to live in a finer home, to owe no one, to drive that sleek new automobile, to eat in an elegant restaurant now and then, to vacation in exotic places, to have a few items of designer clothing in our wardrobe, to send our children to the best of schools.
Why not? Haven’t we been told, since birth, that we live in a land of unlimited opportunity?
Why not? The answer is obvious, but painful. The vast majority of us have absolutely no idea how to begin to make our dreams come true! Undoubtedly you already have all the tools necessary to create a magnificent life, but what good are they … if you don’t know how to use them? And how can you build a life worth living without any plans or blueprints?
Not once—neither in primary school nor junior high school nor high school, not even in the most hallowed halls of higher learning—were you ever instructed on the simple techniques of setting goals, of motivating yourself and others, of dealing with adversity, of eliminating self-defeating habits, of using time profitably, of practicing the power of choice, of developing self-confidence, of doing the things you are afraid to do, of generating enthusiasm at will, of organizing your life, of accumulating wealth, of getting people to give you what you want, of looking like a winner, of guiding your children, of handling stress, of counting your blessings … and so much more. That you have managed to survive at all is a tribute to your courage and faith.
And yet, though we hang on, our shortcomings haunt us. We are made vividly and painfully aware of them every time we turn on a television set or pick up a newspaper or magazine. Bravely we try to ignore the affluence and success of so many others but we are forced to admit, if only in our darkest moments of introspection, that Hendrik van Loon was correct when he wrote, “In history as in life, it is success that counts.”
Well—is it too late for you to reach for that brass ring or make a run for the roses? Should you crawl into your dusty little corner of self-pity and just let the world pass you by? No! Never!
YOUR GREATEST ASSET
Let us take inventory. Did you possibly learn anything during those formative years of schooling that might help you to change your life for the better, if you were to begin today, regardless of your age, your skills, your background, your color, your financial condition, or your opinion of yourself? Just one thing, if you stop to think about it and that one thing may be all you need!
Listen carefully as the great English essayist, historian, biographer, and philosopher, Thomas Carlyle, explains.
If we think about it, all that a university or final highest school can do for us, is still but what the first school began doing—teach us to read. We learn to read in various languages, in various sciences; we learn the alphabet and letters of all manners of books. But the place where we are to get knowledge, even theoretic knowledge, is the books themselves. It depends on what we read, after all manners of professors have done their best for us. The true university of these days is a collection of books!
According to Carlyle’s specifications this volume you are holding is a “university of success” since it contains a choice collection of the wisdom, techniques, and principles from the greatest books in the world of success literature. Here you will discover nuggets of pure gold, waiting only for you to reach out and claim them as your own. Here you will be taught by men and women whose messages have withstood the tests of time and practicality and whose principles work.
Please remember, you need not accept or attempt to use all of the hundreds of success ideas and techniques you are about to learn. Just one may be all you need to work wonders in your life and career. All that is required of you, in this place of learning, is an ability to read plus—a burning desire to make something more of your life. And don’t even be too concerned if the flames of that desire give off little heat as you begin your studies. Their temperature will rise, gradually, as you begin to realize how much you can still accomplish in the years ahead.
HOW TO GET THE MOST FROM THIS BOOK
Read it from beginning to end. Do not skip any of the lessons. They were arranged in the order they are presented, after much deliberation, in order to assist you in making a gradual transition from the person you are today to the person you can become.
Because you are about to be exposed to a wealth of knowledge, it might be easier for you to assimilate if you take it in small bites. For maximum effect I would suggest that you read only one lesson each day, and try to make that reading as close to your bedtime as possible. Marvelous things happen when you put your subconscious mind to work, and when you awake you will be amazed at how much of the material you have retained. Don’t hurry. You will be guided patiently through eight semesters, as in a normal university career, plus two additional semesters of graduate work so that you will even be able to cope with success, once you have it.
If you are a woman, an overemphasis of the masculine tense in a few of the lessons may disturb you. Don’t let that prevent you from extracting the good in each. Usually those particular segments were written long before the happy emancipation that has taken place in the second half of this century. Just remind yourself that the bias, if it shows at all, was an innocent product of another age. Success is no longer restricted, thank God, to either gender.
One more thing. Avoid, if at all possible, falling into the trap of reading this book in the same casual manner that you might read most volumes of fiction or even nonfiction. Your teachers are all highly motivated and dynamic individuals and there is an ever-present danger that you may become fascinated by their personalities, delivery, and charm, enjoy their words as entertainment, and forget that your main purpose for being here, attending these lectures, is to acquire the tools necessary for success.
How do you avoid this danger? Simple. Whenever you open this book, be certain that you have a pen or pencil in your hand. When you read a line or paragraph that is meaningful to you—underline it! This simple act, alone, will triple your retention of that thought or principle and also make it easier for you to find it again, later on. You might also wish to draw a star next to certain powerful suggestions or methods that catch your fancy, or an exclamation mark, or a question mark if you don’t agree. After all, this is your own personal textbook for a brighter tomorrow.
IT’S ALL UP TO YOU
Unlike most higher schools of learning, this university will have no graduation ceremonies, no diplomas signifying you have survived the system, nor will there be any final exams or degrees conferred. The only reward you will receive, because of your efforts here, will be how much you manage to change your life for the better—in terms of peace and contentment and pride as well as material gain.
History is filled with stories of individuals who dated a new era in their lives from the reading of a single book. May your name eventually be added to that already impressive and glorious list. But—it’s all up to you. No one else can live your life for you. No one else can succeed for you!
It’s your move.