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Title: Initiative Psychic Energy - Being the Sixth of a Series of Twelve Volumes on the - Applications of Psychology to the Problems of Personal and - Business Efficiency
Author: Hilton, Warren, 1874-
Language: English
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                          Applied Psychology

                              INITIATIVE
                            PSYCHIC ENERGY



                   _Being the Sixth of a Series of
                  Twelve Volumes on the Applications
                   of Psychology to the Problems of
                         Personal and Business
                              Efficiency_



                                  BY

                      WARREN HILTON, A.B., L.L.B.
             FOUNDER OF THE SOCIETY OF APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY



                     ISSUED UNDER THE AUSPICES OF
                          THE LITERARY DIGEST
                                  FOR
                  _The Society of Applied Psychology_
                          NEW YORK AND LONDON
                                 1920



                            COPYRIGHT 1914
                    BY THE APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY PRESS
                             SAN FRANCISCO



CONTENTS


Chapter

I. MENTAL SECOND WIND

   STICKING TO THE JOB
   THE LAGGING BRAIN
   RESERVE SUPPLIES OF POWER
   "BLUE" MONDAYS
   HOW TO STRIKE ONE'S STRIDE
   THE SPUR OF DESIRE
   HOW TO RELEASE STORED-UP ENERGIES
   THE LAWYER WHO "OVERWORKS"
   EXCITEMENT AND THE HERO
   ENDURING POWER OF MIND

II. RESERVES OF POWER

   MAN'S POTENTIAL AND KINETIC ENERGIES
   HOLDING THE TOP PACE
   GENIUS AND THE MASTER MAN
   MENTAL EFFECTS OF CITY LIFE
   NEW-FOUND ENERGIES EXPLAINED
   QUICKENED MENTALITY
   FAST LIVING AND LONG LIVING
   PROFESSOR PATRICK'S EXPERIMENTS
   RATIO BETWEEN REPAIR AND DEMAND
   PYGMIES AND GIANTS
   TRANSFORMING INERTNESS INTO ALERTNESS
   HOW THE MIND ACCUMULATES ENERGY
   THE THRESHOLD OF INHIBITION
   HIDDEN STRENGTH
   GIVING A MAN SCOPE

III. THE INITIATIVE ENERGY OF SUCCESS

   SOURCES OF PERSISTENCE
   IMPORTANCE OF THE MENTAL SETTING
   IDEAS ALL MEN RESPOND TO
   HOW TO EXALT THE PERSONALITY
   "GOOD STARTERS" AND "STRONG FINISHERS"
   STEPS IN SELF-DEVELOPMENT
   SAVING A THOUSAND A YEAR
   LOOKING FOR A "SOFT SNAP"
   DRAWING POWER FROM ON HIGH
   THE MAN WHO LASTS

IV. HOW TO AVOID WASTES THAT DRAIN THE ENERGY OF SUCCESS

   SPEEDING THE BULLET WITHOUT AIMING
   WHY MOST MEN FAIL
   THE SUCCESSFUL PROMOTER
   THE HUMAN DYNAMO
   COOL BRAINS AND HOT BOXES
   MARVELOUS INCREASED EFFICIENCY HANDLING "PIG"
   "OVERLOADED" HUMAN ENGINES
   SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT OF SELF
   PHYSIOLOGICAL CAUSES OF WASTE
   TESTS FOR SENSORY DEFECTS
   MENTAL FRICTION AND INNER WHIRLWINDS
   PROMINENT TRAITS OF GREAT ACHIEVERS
   WHY A MAN BREAKS DOWN
   HOW TO ECONOMIZE EFFORT
   HOW YOUR MENTAL CAPITAL IS DISSIPATED
   CONQUERING INDECISION
   WHY "CHRISTIAN SCIENCE" WORKS
   HOW TO RELEASE PENT-UP POWER
   PROPER RATIO BETWEEN WORK AND REST
   DETERMINING YOUR NORM OF EFFICIENCY

V. THE SECRET OF MENTAL EFFICIENCY

   WHERE ENERGY IS STORED
   BODILY EFFECTS OF IDEAS
   IMPULSES AND INHIBITIONS
   TRAINING FOR MENTAL "TEAM-WORK"
   RUST AND THE "DAILY GRIND"
   IDEAS THAT HARMONIZE
   FIVE RULES FOR CONSERVING ENERGY
   BUSINESS LUCK AND "BLUE-SKY" THEORIES
   DEVICES FOR COMMERCIAL EFFICIENCY



CHAPTER I

MENTAL SECOND WIND


[Sidenote: _Sticking to the Job_]

Are you an unusually persevering and persistent person? Or, like most
of us, do you sometimes find it difficult to stick to the job until it
is done? What is your usual experience in this respect?

Is it not this, that you work steadily along until of a sudden you
become conscious of a feeling of weariness, crying "Enough!" for the
time being, and that you then yield to the impulse to stop?

[Sidenote: _The Lagging Brain_]

Assuming that this is what generally happens, does this feeling of
fatigue, this impulse to rest, mean that your mental energy is
exhausted?

Suppose that by a determined effort of the will you force your lagging
brain to take up the thread of work. _There will invariably come a new
supply of energy, a "second wind," enabling you to forge ahead with a
freshness and vigor that is surprising after the previous lassitude._

Nor is this all. The same process may be repeated a second time and a
third time, each new effort of the will being followed by a renewal of
energy.

[Sidenote: _Reserve Supplies of Power_]

Many a man will tell you that he does his best work in the wee watches
of the morning, after tedious hours of persevering but fruitless
effort. Instead of being exhausted by its long hours of persistent
endeavor, the mind seems now to rise to the acme of its power, to
achieve its supreme accomplishments. Difficulties melt into thin air,
profound problems find easy solution. Flights of genius manifest
themselves. Yet long before midnight such a one had perhaps felt
himself yield to fatigue and had tied a wet towel around his head or
had taken stimulants to keep himself awake.

The existence of this reserve supply of energy is manifested in
physical as well as mental effort.

Men who work with their heads and men who work with their hands,
scholars and Marathon runners, must alike testify to the existence of
_reserve supplies of power not ordinarily drawn upon_.

[Sidenote: _"Blue" Mondays_]

If we do not always or habitually utilize this reserve power, it is
simply because we have accustomed ourselves to yield at once to the
first strong feeling of fatigue.

Evidence of this same fact appears in our feelings on different days.
How often does a man get up from his breakfast-table after a long
night's rest, when he should be feeling fresh and invigorated, and say
to himself, "I don't feel like working today." And it may take him
until afternoon to get into his workaday stride, if, indeed, he
reaches it at all.

[Sidenote: _How to Strike One's Stride_]

You cannot yourself be immune from the feeling on certain days that
you are not at your best. Somehow or other, your wits seem befogged.
You hesitate to undertake important interviews. Your interest lags.
And though crises arise in your business, you feel weighted down and
unable to meet them with that shrewd discernment and decisiveness of
action of which you know yourself capable.

But you realize, in your inmost self, that _if you continue to exert
the will and persistently hold yourself to the business in hand,
sooner or later you will warm to the work, enthusiasm will come, the
clouds will be dispelled, the husks will fly. Yet you have had no
rest; on the contrary, you have, by continued conscious effort,
consumed more and more of your vital energy_.

[Sidenote: _The Spur of Desire_]

Obviously it was not rest that you needed.

What you required was the impulse of some _strong desire_ that should
carry you over the threshold of that first inertia into the wide field
of reserve energy so rarely called upon and so rich in power.

Under the lashings of necessity, or the spur of love or ambition, men
accomplish feats of mental and physical endurance of which they would
have supposed themselves incapable. Here is what a certain lawyer says
of his early struggles:

[Sidenote: _How to Release Stored-Up Energies_]

"When I was twenty-three years old, married, and with a family to
support, I entered the law course of a great university. Of the many
students in my class, seven, including me, were making a living while
studying law.

"By special arrangement, I was relieved from attendance at lectures
and simply required to pass examinations on the various subjects, and
was thus enabled to retain my place as principal of a large public
school. During the third and last year of my law course, I was
principal of a public day school of two thousand children and an
alternate night school with an enrolment of seven hundred and fifty,
and I worked at the law three nights in the week and all day Sunday.

[Sidenote: _The Lawyer Who "Overworks"_]

"After eight months of this, the final examinations came around. They
consumed a full week--from nine in the morning until five or six at
night. I had no opportunity for review, so I rented a room near the
law school to save the time going and coming and reviewed each night
the subjects of examination for the following day.

"I did not sleep more than two hours any night in that week. On
Thursday, while bolting a bit of luncheon, a fishbone stuck in my
throat. Fearful of losing the result of my year's effort, I returned
to my work, suffering much pain, and kept at it until Saturday night,
when the examinations were concluded. The next day the surgeon who
removed the fishbone said there was no reason why I should not have
had 'a bad case of gangrene.'

"When I look back on that year's work I don't see how I stood it. I
don't see how I kept myself at it, day in, day out, month after month
without rest, recreation or relief. I am sure I could never go through
it again, even if I had the courage to undertake it.

"I ranked second in a class of one hundred and eighty in my law
examinations, won the second prize for the best graduating thesis,
received a complimentary vote for class oratorship, and much to my
surprise was soon after offered an assistant superintendency of the
public schools by the school board, who knew nothing of my studies and
thought my work as a teacher worthy of promotion.

"It was not only the hardest year's work but the best year's work I
ever did. _It exemplifies my invariable experience that the more we
want to do the more we can do and the better we can do it._"

[Sidenote: _Excitement and the Hero_]

The following is an extract from a letter quoted by Professor James as
written by Colonel Baird-Smith after the siege of Delhi in 1857, to
the success of which he largely contributed:

"My poor wife had some reason to think that war and disease, between
them, had left very little of a husband to take under nursing when she
got him again. An attack of scurvy had filled my mouth with sores,
shaken every joint in my body and covered me all over with scars and
livid spots, so that I was unlovely to look upon. A smart knock on the
ankle joint from the splinter of a shell that burst in my face, in
itself a mere bagatelle of a wound, had been of necessity neglected
under the pressing and insistent calls upon me, and had grown worse
and worse until the whole foot below the ankle became a black mass and
seemed to threaten mortification. I insisted, however, on being
allowed to use it until the place was taken, mortification or no; and
though the pain was sometimes horrible I carried my point and kept up
to the last.

"On the day after the assault I had an unlucky fall on some bad
ground, and it was an open question for a day or two whether I hadn't
broken my arm at the elbow. Fortunately it turned out to be only a
severe sprain, but I am still conscious of the wrench it gave me. To
crown the whole pleasant catalogue, I was worn to a shadow by a
constant diarrhoea and consumed as much opium as would have done
credit to my father-in-law (Thomas De Quincey).

"However, thank God, I have a good share of Tapleyism in me and come
out strong under difficulties. I think I may confidently say that no
man ever saw me out of heart or ever heard a complaining word from me
even when our prospects were gloomiest. We were sadly crippled by
cholera, and it was almost appalling to me to find that out of
twenty-seven officers I could only muster fifteen for the operations
of the attack. However, it was done,--and after it was done came the
collapse.

[Sidenote: _Enduring Power of Mind_]

"Don't be horrified when I tell you that for the whole of the actual
siege, and in truth for some little time before, I almost lived on
brandy. Appetite for food I had none, but I forced myself to eat just
sufficient to sustain life, and I had an incessant craving for brandy,
as the strongest stimulant I could get. Strange to say, I was quite
unconscious of its affecting me in the slightest degree.

"_The excitement of the work was so great that no lesser one seemed to
have any chance against it, and I certainly never found my intellect
clearer or my nerves stronger in my life._"

Such is the profound resourcefulness and enduring power of the human
mind.



CHAPTER II

RESERVES OF POWER


[Sidenote: _Man's Potential and Kinetic Energies_]

Stored-up energy not in use has been given a name by scientific men.
They call it _potential energy_. In this way it is distinguished from
_kinetic_ or circulating energy by which is meant energy that is at
work. For example, a ton of coal in the bin contains a certain amount
of potential energy, which is capable of being converted into kinetic
energy by combustion.

[Sidenote: _Holding the Top Pace_]

You have a vast amount of potential energy over and above what you
actually use. You have formed the habit of giving up trying a thing as
soon as you have spent the usual amount of effort on it, and this
without regard to whether or not you have accomplished anything.

While we all have the power of sustained mental activity, not one in
ten thousand of us holds to the top pace.

Worse still, even such mental energy as we do consume is dispersed and
scattered over a multitude of trivial interests instead of being
focused upon some one possessing aim.

_We intend to show you how you can lose yourself in your work with an
absorbing passion and how you can at any time make special requisition
upon your hidden stores of potential energy and draw new supplies of
power that will sweep you on to your goal._

[Sidenote: _Genius and the Master Man_]

More than anything else, it is the ability to do this that lifts the
great men of the race above the common run of mortals.

It is this that distinguishes genius from mediocrity. The master man
transforms his vast stores of reserve or potential energy into
circulating or kinetic energy. His work glows with living fire.

Yet, for every such man there are a multitude of others, equally
gifted in some respect, but wanting that mysterious "Open Sesame"
which would discover their hidden mental riches, arouse them from
their accustomed inferiority to their best selves, and transform
potentiality into accomplishment. So it comes about that most of us
are gems that shine but to illumine the "dark unfathomed caves of
ocean," flowers born to "blush unseen."

[Sidenote: _Mental Effect of City Life_]

Take an illustration of the way in which this reserve or potential
energy is transformed into circulating or kinetic energy. Suppose that
you are a countryman and come to live in a large city. The speed with
which we do things, our habits of quick decision, the whirlwind of
activities of the busy man in town, appal you. You cannot see how we
live through it. A day in the business district fills you with terror.
The tumult and danger make it seem "like a permanent earthquake."

But settle down to work here. And in a year you will have "caught the
pulse beat," you will "vibrate to the city's rhythm," and if you only
"make good" in your work, you will enjoy the strain and hurry, you
will keep pace with the best of us, and you will get more out of
yourself in a day in the city than you ever did in a week on the farm.

_This change in degree of mental activity does not necessarily mean
that you are making more of a success of life._

Your activities may be ill-directed. Your new-found powers may be
misspent and dissipated.

But you are mentally more alert Your mental forces have been
stimulated by the stirring environment.

[Sidenote: _New-Found Energies Explained_]

And, mark this particularly, _a number of mental pictures will pass
across the screen of your consciousness today in the same time that
one mental image formerly required._

_Now, you have learned that with every idea catalogued in memory,
there is wrapped up and stowed away an associated "feeling tone" and
an associated impulse to some particular muscular action._

Assuming this, you must at once see that here is an explanation of
your new-found energy.

Your quickened step, your new-found decisiveness of action, your more
observant eye, your clear-cut speech instead of the former drawling
utterance, your livelier manner, your freshened enthusiasm and
enjoyment of life--all of these are but manifestations of a quickened
intelligence.

[Sidenote: _Quickened Mentality_]

_They are the working out through the motor paths of mental impulses
to muscular action._

And these impulses to muscular action come thronging into
consciousness _because the livelier environment brings about a more
rapid reproduction of memory pictures_.

And here comes a particularly striking fact. One would naturally
suppose that the more energy a man consumed, and the faster he lived,
the more quickly his vitality would be exhausted and the shorter his
life would be.

As a matter of fact, by the divine beneficence of Providence, _your
organism is so ordered as to adapt itself within certain wide limits
to the demands made upon it_.

[Sidenote: _Fast Living and Long Living_]

You may call into play all the stored-up resources of your being and
still not stake everything upon a single throw. For the supply of
mental energy is as inexhaustible as the reservoir of all past
experience, while the supply of physical energy involved in brain and
nerve activity is, like the immortal liver of Prometheus, renewed as
fast as depleted.

Two sets of facts that have been established by elaborate scientific
experiment will convince you of the truth of these propositions.

[Sidenote: _Professor Patrick's Experiments_]

Professor Patrick, of the State University of Iowa, conducted some of
these experiments. He caused three young men to remain awake for four
successive days and nights. They were then allowed to go to sleep, the
purpose of the experiment being to determine just how much time Nature
required to recuperate from the long vigil. They were allowed to sleep
themselves out, and all woke up thoroughly rested. _Yet the one who
slept the longest slept only one-third longer than his customary
night's sleep._

You have doubtless had the same experience yourself many times. It all
goes to show that if we are awake four times as long as usual, we do
not make up for it by sleeping four times as _long_, but four times as
_soundly_, as customary. The hard-working mechanic requires no more
hours of sleep than the corner loafer, the active man of affairs no
more than the dawdler.

[Sidenote: _Ratio Between Repair and Demand_]

_The time of tissue repair is about the same with all men under all
conditions. It is the rate of repair that varies with the demand that
has been put upon the body._

Again, look at the same subject from the standpoint of food supply. On
what you now eat and drink you have a certain average weight. Eat,
digest and assimilate a larger quantity of food and your weight will
increase. This increase will be greatest at the start and will
gradually slow up until you shall have reached the point beyond which
you can gain no more. Given the same hygienic conditions that you have
been accustomed to, you will maintain yourself at the increased weight
on the increased supply of food.

[Sidenote: _Pygmies and Giants_]

Now, all this involves clearly enough a greatly increased rate of
activity on the part of the bodily organs of assimilation and repair.
It is a situation on all fours with that of the countryman whose rate
of brain activity has been stimulated by an increased mental demand.

No man will maintain that better, more nourishing and more liberal
food rations, transformed into increased bodily tissue, with a
consequent greater weight and greater muscular strength, would result
in a loss of vitality or the shortening of a man's life.

[Sidenote: _Transforming Inertness into Alertness_]

Pygmies cannot become giants physically or intellectually. But as the
puny youth can by systematic exercise broaden his frame and develop
his muscles into at least a semblance of the athlete, and can then
through his healthier appetite _and his faster rate of repair_
maintain himself without effort at the new standard; _so can the
mentally inert call forth their reserves of energy and maintain a
higher standard of activity and fruitfulness_.

Few men live on the plane of their highest efficiency. Few search the
recesses of the well-springs of power. The lives of most of us are
passed among the shallows of the mind without thought of the
possibilities that lurk within the deeper pools.

[Sidenote: _How the Mind Accumulates Energy_]

This accumulation of potential subconscious reserve energy is a result
of the evolution of man and the growing complexity of his life.

No man could, if he would, respond to all the impulses to muscular
action aroused in him by sense-impressions. It would be still less
possible for him to respond to every impulse to muscular action
awakened from the past with the remembered thought with which it is
associated.

Desire, interest, attention and the selective will must pick and
choose among these multitudinous tendencies to action.

Here, then, is another fact that has immediate bearing upon your
ability to carry out any ambition you may have. Your every action is
the net result of selection among a number of impulses and inhibitory
forces or tendencies.

[Sidenote: _The Threshold of Inhibition_]

As a general thing, consciousness is made up of a number of
conflicting ideas, each with its associated feeling and its impulse to
action. Just what you do in any particular case depends upon what
mental picture is strongest, is most vivid in consciousness, and thus
able to overcome all contrary tendencies.

As life becomes more and more complex, the number and variety of our
sensory experiences increase correspondingly. And so it comes about,
that _we have untold millions of sensory experiences, carrying with
them the impulses to muscular response, none of which, on account of
the multiplicity of conflicting ideas, is ever allowed to find release
and actually take form in muscular activity_.

[Sidenote: _Hidden Strength_]

The consequence is that only an exceedingly small proportion of the
mental energy that is developed within us is ever actually displayed.
_The rest is somehow and somewhere locked up behind the inhibitory
threshold._ It is stored away in _subconsciousness_ with the sensory
experiences of the past with which it is associated.

[Sidenote: _Giving a Man Scope_]

Quoting Mr. Waldo P. Warren: "Much of the strength within men is
hidden, awaiting an occasion to reveal it. The head of a department in
a great manufacturing concern severed his connection with the firm,
his work falling upon a young man of twenty-five years. The young man
rose to the occasion, and in a very short time was conceded to be the
stronger executive of the two. He had been with the concern for
several years, and was regarded as a bright fellow, but his marked
success was a surprise to all who knew him--even to himself.

"The fact is, the young man had that ability all the time and didn't
know it; and his employers didn't know it. He might have been doing
greater things all along if there had been the occasion to reveal his
strength.

"Do you employers and superior officers in business realize how much
of this hidden strength there is in your men? Perhaps a word from you,
giving certain men more scope, would liberate that ability for the
development of both your business and your men.

"Do you workers know your own strength? Are you working up to your
capacity? Or are you accepting the limits which the circumstances
place about you?"



CHAPTER III

THE INITIATIVE ENERGY OF SUCCESS


[Sidenote: _Sources of Persistence_]

In such instances as we have recounted, men have found that persistent
effort along certain lines has had the effect of making presently
available what would otherwise be simply unused storage batteries of
reserve power. What was the source and inspiration for this persistent
effort?

You will say that it was ambition or patriotism or some similar
semi-emotional influence. And so it was. But what is ambition, what is
patriotism, _what is any desire but a picturing to the mind's eye of
the things desired, an awakening of a mental image_ of the result to
be attained, the reward that is to follow certain efforts? And these
mental pictures coming into consciousness have brought with them their
associated emotions and their associated impulses to muscular action,
impulses appropriate to the picture _and automatically tending to work
its realization_.

These impulses constitute the whole of man's achieving power. They are
the Initiative Energy of all Success.

[Sidenote: _Importance of the Mental Setting_]

When you are afflicted with doubt and fear, timidity and lack of
confidence, this means that your mental inhibitions are too numerous,
too high or too strong. Remove them and access is had to the latent
energy of accumulated and creative thought complexes. You will then
become buoyant, cheerful, overflowing with enthusiasm, and ready for a
fresh, definite, active part in life.

_Ideas, then, when latent, may be considered as possessing an
energizing influence_.

The same idea does not necessarily have the same effect upon the same
persons at different times. What its effect may be at any time or with
any individual depends upon the make-up of the consciousness in which
it finds itself.

[Sidenote: _Ideas All Men Respond to_]

The setting of consciousness may be entirely different upon the
present appearance of the particular idea from what it was on the
occasion when this same idea last appeared. Yesterday there may have
been present no conflicting tendencies, and this particular idea may
therefore have been allowed free and joyous expression. Today other
thoughts may be in the ascendency so that we look upon the idea of
yesterday with a feeling of revulsion.

The thought that aroused new energy in you yesterday may then sicken
you at your task today. The thought that stirs the soul of a vigorous
man may shock the sensibilities of a delicate woman.

[Sidenote: _How to Exalt the Personality_]

Yet there are some ideas to which all men in varying degrees seem
alike to respond. How often in battle have the failing spirits of an
army been revived by the appearance of the leader shouting his
battle-cry and waving his shining sword! How often have men been
roused to heights of heroic achievement by the strains of martial
music! How often have troops spent with exhaustion responded to the
call of such simple phrases as "The Flag," "Our Country," "Liberty,"
or such songs as "The Marseillaise," "God Save the King," "Dixie"!
These phrases are but the signs of ideas, yet the sounding of these
phrases has summoned these ideas into consciousness, and the summoning
of these ideas into consciousness has placed undreamed-of and
immeasurable foot-pounds of energy on the hair-trigger of action.

[Sidenote: _"Good Starters" and "Strong Finishers"_]

And so it is with you. Down deep in the inmost chambers of your soul
are untouched stores of energy that properly applied will exalt your
personality and illumine your career.

But to find and claim these hidden riches you must persevere. You must
endure.

In a Marathon race it is endurance that wins. The graceful sprinter
who is off with a leap at the bark of the pistol soon falls by the
wayside.

Life is a Marathon in which persistence triumphs.

There are many "good starters," but few "strong finishers." That is
why the failures so outnumber the successes.

[Sidenote: _Steps in Self-Development_]

The man who travels fastest does more than he is told to do. To merely
comply with a fixed routine is to fall short of one's duty. The
progressive man adds to the work of today his preparation for the work
of tomorrow. He delights in attempting more and more difficult tasks,
because in every task he sets himself he sees a step forward in the
development of his own abilities. He loves his work more than he loves
his pay, and he delves deeper than the exigencies of the moment
require, because he craves the power to do more.

Most men start with enthusiasm. No hours are too long, no task too
difficult. But soon they tire. And lacking will-power to persist, they
succumb to the lure of distracting interests. They become disheartened
and indifferent. And so they fail.

[Sidenote: _Saving a Thousand a Year_]

A young man married. He was proprietor of a flourishing "general"
store in Princeton, Indiana. He and his bride forthwith resolved that
they could and would lay aside out of their income a thousand dollars
a year for ten years, by which time they would have ten thousand
dollars and accumulated interest and could go into business in a big
city. At the end of the first year, when they took stock of their
savings, they decided that thereafter, instead of trying to save a
thousand dollars a year for ten years, they would undertake to save
ten dollars a year for a thousand years and would be more apt to
succeed. Today they are just where they began.

You all know such men--men who are always starting and never
finishing.

[Sidenote: _Looking for a "Soft Snap"_]

Ninety-five per cent of the men who go into business are "quitters."
The very first disappointment sends them scurrying to cover. They
begin to look for a "soft snap" away from the firing line. Is it any
wonder that so few reach any great success?

That there is an enormous lack of appropriation of energy in most
men's lives is an undoubted fact. Just where this energy is stored,
and just what its eternal significance may be, is immaterial to our
purpose.

It may be that this reserve is Nature's safeguard against our
extravagance.

It may be, as some philosophers contend, that the subconscious, with
its vast stores of energy, is a higher, more spiritual phase of man.

[Sidenote: _Drawing Power from on High_]

It may be that the subconscious is for each one of us his individual
segment of the Divine Essence--that it marks our "at-one-ment" with
God.

It may be that to evoke these latent energies is to call upon those
resources of our being which are the embodiment within us of the
spirit of the Creator of all things.

It may be that this Divine Essence, if adequately aroused, may exert
an absolute transcendence over material things and lift humanity to a
God-like plane.

"What we call man," wrote Emerson, "the eating, drinking, planting,
counting man, does not, as we know him, represent himself, but
misrepresents himself. Him we do not respect; but the real soul whose
organ he is, would he let it appear through his action, would make our
knees bend." "I said, ye are gods," quoth the Psalmist. "Be ye
perfect, even as your Father," was the injunction of the Master.

Whatever the eternal significance of your latent energy may be, the
fact remains that it is yours, and yours to use.

If you are to succeed, if you are to do big things, you must be a man
of "doggedness." You must keep your eyes trained everlastingly upon
the vision of the thing you want. You must stay in the race until you
get your "second wind." You must be master of yourself and draw freely
on your stored-up powers.

[Sidenote: _The Man Who Lasts_]

Do as we shall tell you in this _Course_ and you will become a master
man, the kind of man who "lasts," the kind of man who works his
imagination overtime, the kind of man who can strain his energies to
the utmost and then, finding himself still a failure, can rise "like
the glow of the sun" to do bolder and bigger things--the kind of man
who wins.



CHAPTER IV

HOW TO AVOID WASTES THAT DRAIN THE ENERGY OF SUCCESS


[Sidenote: _Speeding the Bullet Without Aiming_]

We have shown you that you have within you the potentialities of
success in the form of latent mental energy. We have shown you that
your ability to achieve depends upon your ability to utilize to the
full your underground mental resources.

But success demands that you do more than merely use all your mental
energies. You must use them intelligently.

[Sidenote: _Why Most Men Fail_]

Most men fail because they speed the bullet without aiming. They fire
at random, and so bag no game.

Your pent-up mental energy is the powder in the cartridge. Its
usefulness depends upon the man behind the gun.

_To succeed in business you must intelligently control and direct_
(1) _your own mental energies_, (2) _the mental energies of others._

The course of the average man through life is an aimless zigzag. It
has neither direction nor purpose. It represents wasted energy
capriciously expended.

Mental energy is like water: it has a tendency to scatter. It is
diffusive. It seeks release in a thousand different directions at the
same time.

As a boy, first learning to write, you were unable to prevent the
simultaneous squirming of tongue and legs, all ludicrously irrelevant
to your purpose of writing. So now, as a business man, unless you have
learned the secret of self-mastery, you are unable to concentrate your
efforts, your attention is easily distracted, you exhaust yourself in
displays of passion, you are forever doing things during business
hours that have no relation to your business, you are forever doing
things in connection with your business that do not contribute to its
progress, you expend just as much energy as the accomplished executive
or the successful "hustler," but you fritter it away in unprofitable
activities.

[Sidenote: _The Successful Promoter_]

To correct this is to gain mastery and power.

Concentrate your mental energies on one thing at a time. Stop
spreading them around. The promoter may have a dozen big enterprises
under way at once, but he takes them up one at a time. He transfers
his whole mind and thought from one to the next. You cannot of course
be eternally doing the same thing; but make no mistake about it, the
only way to succeed at anything is to consciously control your mental
energies. You may throw them now into this attack, now into another;
but you must always have a tight grip on yourself, or you cannot
succeed.

[Sidenote: _The Human Dynamo_]

You will often hear some "live-wire" business man spoken of as a
"human dynamo." He has the faculty of turning out a stupendous amount
of work in a comparatively short time. How he can carry in his mind
the details of so many large projects, how he can accomplish so much
in actual, tangible results in many directions, how he can pull the
strings of so many enterprises without getting lost in the maze of
detail, is the marvel of his associates. And yet this man is never
"hurried, nor flurried, nor worried." But every word and every act is
straight to the point and productive of results worth while.

[Sidenote: _Cool Brains and Hot Boxes_]

"A cool brain is the reverse of a hot box. It carries the business of
the day along with a steady drive, and is invariably the mark of the
big man. The man who dispatches his work quietly, promptly and
efficiently, with no trace of fuss and flurry, is a big man. It is not
the hurrying, clattering and chattering individual who turns off the
most work. He may imagine he is getting over a lot of track, but he
wastes far more than the necessary amount of steam in doing it. The
fable of the hare and the tortoise would not be a bad primer for a
number of us, and the lesson relearned would not only be beneficial in
a business-producing way, but it would help us in the full enjoyment
of our work."

[Sidenote: _Marvelous Increased Efficiency Handling "Pig"_]

Progress in mental efficiency must result from the application of
knowledge of the mental machine. Just as we watch the steam-engine and
the electric motor to see that they are not "overloaded," so we must
watch the mental machine, that no more power be turned on than can be
profitably employed.

This principle has already been applied to physical labor by Mr.
Frederick W. Taylor in his ground-breaking studies in "scientific
management." Mr. Taylor's celebrated experiments in the handling of
pig-iron, by which the quantity handled in a day by one man was
increased from twelve and one-half tons to forty-seven and one-half
tons, "showed that a man engaged in such extremely heavy work could
only be under load forty-three per cent of the working day, and must
be entirely free from load for fifty-seven per cent, to attain the
maximum efficiency."

[Sidenote: _"Overloaded" Human Engines_]

There is no reason why efficiency in mental effort should not be
gauged just as accurately as in muscular activity. If there are times
when your wits are not as keen, when you have not the same grasp of
fundamentals, as at other times, it is because you are mentally
"overloaded." It may be the result of a great variety of causes. It
may be from too many hours of continuous mental effort. But the
probabilities are that it is the result of vexation, worry,
dissipation, or allowing the mind to be burdened with the strain of
vicious, or at least irrelevant and distracting, impulses and desires.
And so efficiency is lost.

[Sidenote: _Scientific Management of Self_]

The "human dynamo" is a man who long ago learned the lesson of
scientific management of his own mental forces. He does one thing at a
time, and does it the best he knows how. He directs the whole power of
his mentality to the one problem and solves it with accuracy and
dispatch. There is no more of a "load" on his "gray matter" than there
is on that of the fretting, fuming, finger-biting fritterer, but every
pound of steam is spent in useful work.

Look at the victim of St. Vitus' dance. There you have an illustration
of wasted energy. And it is mental energy, for every muscular movement
represents the release of thought power. The mental lives of most men
are equally aimless. They are lives of ceaseless activity producing
nothing.

[Sidenote: _Psychological Causes of Waste_]

Sometimes it happens that a man is not working to advantage because of
some defect in his physical make-up. He may have defective vision or
some peculiarity of hearing that renders him unable to respond as
quickly as he should to the demands made upon him. If these defects
are ascertained, it is usually a simple matter to correct the defects
by mechanical means or readjust the relative duties of different
persons so that the defects will be minimized.

[Sidenote: _Tests for Sensory Defects_]

Where large numbers of people are employed, it is comparatively easy
to use tests for discovering defects of sight or hearing by simple
apparatus without requiring the services of a high-priced expert. By
adopting these test methods any manager of a large industrial
establishment can satisfy himself whether his employees are up to
certain normal standards. He can even apply the tests to himself.

Optical tests can be conducted by securing an ordinary letter chart
such as is used by oculists and opticians. Seat the subject twenty
feet away. If he can read all the lines of letters from the largest
down to the smallest his eyesight is practically perfect. In a large
percentage of cases the smaller lines of type are blurred and
invisible. To detect the cause and degree of defects of the eyes it is
necessary to try out the eyes by using a trial spectacle frame and
inserting detached lenses before the right eye and the left eye
alternately. One of the most common forms of defective vision is
astigmatism. A chart has been designed with a series of circles and
straight lines radiating from the center. If the subject is astigmatic
he will see some of the straight lines distinctly while others will be
blurred. For instance, one or two of the vertical lines may appear
very black and strong while all others will look like a hazy network.
This defect, due to unevenness of the spherical surface of the
eyeball, is easily corrected with properly ground glasses.

Defects in hearing can be easily determined by means of an
"acoumeter." This little instrument measures the acuteness of the
hearing very accurately by means of shot dropped from varying heights
upon strips of glass, copper and cardboard. Tests with this device
indicate whether the subject's hearing is above or below normal.

[Sidenote: _Mental Friction and Inner Whirlwinds_]

_Stop wasting your energy._

Heretofore you have used your powers in a more or less haphazard way,
with a vast amount of waste and no efficient direction. From now on
you are to exercise more intelligence in this respect and make all
your energies contribute to your business progress and your personal
success.

You are losing power in fruitless outward activities.

You are losing power in the thinking of useless thoughts. You cannot
stop the ceaseless activity of the mind. But you can conserve its
forces by directing them into channels that are worth while.

You are losing power in a turmoil of inward mental strains and
inharmonies. Catch yourself at some moment when you are forging ahead
in a crowded day's work. You will then see what an inner whirlwind of
excitement is in progress, what stresses and strains are at work, what
contrary impulses, what frictions and obstacles are being overcome.

Now, to the engineer every one of these words--friction, obstacle,
strain--spells loss of efficiency, and in this _Course_ we shall teach
you how you may do away with antagonistic impulses, may bring your
combined mental forces to bear upon the common enemy, and may hurl
yourself into the struggles of business and practical life with a
joyful and headlong impetuosity that no obstacle can withstand.

[Sidenote: _Prominent Traits of Great Achievers_]

Professor Walter Dill Scott, of Northwestern University, has said: "In
studying the lives of contemporary business men, two facts stand out
pre-eminently. The first is that their labors have brought about
results that to most of us would have seemed impossible. Such men
appear as giants in comparison with whom ordinary men sink to the size
of pygmies. The second fact, which a study of successful business men
(or any class of successful men) reveals, is that they never seem
rushed for time.

"Such men have time to devote to objects in no way connected with
their business. It cannot be regarded as accidental that this
characteristic of mind is found so commonly among successful men
during the years of their most fruitful labor. According to the
American ideal, the man who is sure to succeed is the one who is
continuously 'keyed up to concert pitch'--who is ever alert and is
always giving attention to his business or profession."

And again: "It is not necessarily true that the greatest and most
constant display of energy accompanies the greatest presence of
energy. The tug-boat on the river is constantly blowing off steam and
making a tremendous display of energy, while the ocean liner proceeds
on its way without noise and without commotion. The man who frets and
fumes, who is nervous and excited, is strung up to such a pitch that
energy is being dissipated in all directions."

Many business men know they are going at a pace that kills, and at the
same time they feel that they are accomplishing too little. For such
the pertinent question is, How may I reduce the expenditure of energy
without reducing the efficiency of my labor?

One of the busiest and most efficient men in England is quoted as
having explained his own accomplishment of big results with the least
expenditure of effort: "By organizing myself to run smoothly, as well
as my business; by schooling myself to keep cool, and to do what I
have to do without expending more nervous energy on the task than is
necessary; by avoiding all needless friction. In consequence, when I
finish my day's work, I feel nearly as fresh as when I started."

[Sidenote: _Why a Man Breaks Down_]

The late Professor James, of Harvard University, often referred to as
the founder of modern psychology, spoke thus disparagingly of
untrained effort: "Your convulsive worker breaks down and has bad
moods so often that you never know where he may be when you most need
his help,--he may be having one of his 'bad days.' We say that so many
of our fellow-countrymen collapse and have to be sent abroad to rest
their nerves, because they work so hard. I suspect that this is an
immense mistake, I suspect that neither the nature nor the amount of
our work is accountable for the frequency and the severity of our
breakdowns, but that their cause lies rather in those absurd feelings
of hurry and having no time, in the breathlessness and tension, that
anxiety of feature and solicitude for results, that lack of inner
harmony and ease, in short, by which with us the work is apt to be
accompanied."

[Sidenote: _How to Economize Effort_]

The fact is that to be a truly busy man you must be never in a hurry.
You must work systematically. You must economize effort. You must
permit no distractions and do your work leisurely. You must take time
to think things over in a natural way. You must waste no thoughts in
business hours on social or pleasurable pursuits that would dissipate
your mental capital. You must work when you work, and you may play
when you play, but your business must be the most fascinating of games
and the only one you play during business hours.

[Sidenote: _How Your Mental Capital is Dissipated_]

Another thing you need is _poise_. One trouble with you now is that
you waste your priceless powers in useless anxiety.

The minute business falls off you begin to worry. You fritter your
mental energies in fretting until you are incapable of real thought,
and being unable to think your way out you get excited.

Remember it is all just a game, and you are in it only for the fun of
the thing. You will never win out if you persist in tearing your hair.

Before he crossed the Rubicon Julius Cæsar was staggered at the
greatness of the undertaking before him. The more he reflected and
took counsel of his friends, the greater loomed the difficulties of
the attempt and the more appalling the calamities his passage of that
river would bring upon the Roman world. But when at last with the cry,
"The die is cast!" he plunged into the river, there was an end for him
to mental dissension, a freedom to plan and execute, an expansion of
courage and power.

[Sidenote: _Conquering Indecision_]

So it will be with you. With doubt and uncertainty the pressure may be
high in the gauge, but the engine does not move. Make up your mind,
and you release energies previously wasted in conflicts between
opposing thought complexes struggling for supremacy.

[Sidenote: _Why "Christian Science" Works_]

A fine illustration of this is shown in the religious experience known
as conversion. To the convert, conversion means the profound
acceptance of a mighty spiritual truth. It means positive knowledge
taking the place of doubt or indifference. Conflicting ideas are no
longer present in his consciousness. Pent-up energies are released. He
wants to do things. His soul is fired with overmastering impulses to
action. He wants to go forth and preach the gospel of his faith. He is
lifted to a high plane of exhilaration. He experiences the "peace that
passeth understanding."

"Christian Science," "Truth," "The New Thought," and similar movements
all achieve their really marvelous results in much the same way. All
proclaim doctrines of exuberant optimism, having a tendency to banish
fear-thoughts and self-consciousness and self-depreciation, and to set
up in their stead ideas of courage and of achievement and of
individual power. If these teachings are successful--that is to say,
if they inherently possess the right appeal for the particular
individual--they have the happy effect of begetting a stoical
indifference to petty physical disorders and social vexations and
bringing about a concentration upon the main business of life of the
mental energies thus previously wasted.

[Sidenote: _How to Release Pent-Up Power_]

Decide the matter that is troubling you. Make an end of hesitation and
uncertainty and fear. Your very act of decision will release large
stores of pent-up mental power and add immeasurably to your
effectiveness.

So long as you are in doubt and perplexity conflicting ideas and
impulses balance each other. You are not then a man of action; you are
a wavering coward. You are afflicted with paralysis of will and mental
stagnation.

_Decide_ the matter--that is to say, _let one mental picture assume a
greater vividness than the other until it possesses your soul--and
forthwith the banked fires of your mental energy will burst into
flame_.

Another thing: _Stop wasting your time_.

How much time do you spend in rest and relaxation? How much should
you spend? Can you answer these questions accurately?

[Sidenote: _Proper Ratio Between Work and Rest_]

Thomas A. Edison has contended for years that four hours' sleep a day
was sufficient for any man. He has conducted experiments with a large
number of men, giving careful attention to matters of diet and
exercise, and the results have seemed in a measure to support his
theory.

Dr. Fred W. Eastman reports that owing to pressure of work he was
recently unable to get more than three or four hours' sleep out of the
twenty-four during a period of many months, and that so far from being
hurt by it he gained five pounds. He says: "If restoration during
sleep is a task so relatively small, the question arises whether, in
order to complete restoration, it is necessary for us to spend so much
time in sleep as we do. Perhaps on account of popular opinion and
personal habit, we waste much time in this jelly-fish condition that
could more profitably be spent in active pursuit of our ambitions. The
answer, of course, depends upon the nature of our occupations. If
there is muscular effort involved, with a correspondingly large amount
of waste in the cells and blood, eight hours or more are probably
necessary. But if the work is of a sedentary nature, and mainly of the
brain, there is naturally a smaller quantity of accumulated waste, and
less time is required for removal. Many are the instances of great
men, past and present, who have lived healthily and worked
unceasingly and strenuously on only four or five hours of sleep, or
half the laborer's portion. Surely we do not suppose that these men
were or are physically different from others, but rather that by
inclination or necessity they have developed a habit of sleeping
intensely for a short period, with resulting gain of time and
efficiency."

[Sidenote: _Determining Your Norm of Efficiency_]

So far as this matter of relaxation, rest and sleep is concerned, the
rule to follow is obviously this: _Determine accurately by experiment
the proper relation between periods of work and periods of rest in
your own case, then increase your efficiency by maintaining this
relation_.

In Denmark they feed cows scientifically. Day by day they increase
the allowance of milk-producing food. Day by day the yield of milk
increases. At last there comes a day when measurement shows that there
is no longer any increase in the production of milk. They then
decrease the food till the output of milk diminishes. So they
determine the normal.

So with you and your hours of work and leisure. Give more and more
time to your business each day until there comes an impairment in the
quality of your work. Stop short of this. You have found your norm of
efficiency.



CHAPTER V

THE SECRET OF MENTAL EFFICIENCY


[Sidenote: Where Energy Is Stored]

You are called upon to master and conserve the innate energies of your
mind. This means that you must (1) find out where these energies are
stored, and (2) learn the conditions that determine their activity.

_All past experiences are conserved within us in the form of
complexes. These complexes consist of ideas, emotions and impulses to
muscular activity. By the primary law of association the recall to
consciousness of any one of these component elements of a complex
brings with it all the rest_.

[Sidenote: _Bodily Effects of Ideas_]

For example, the ideas pertaining to any terrifying experience, when
recalled to consciousness, bring with them the trembling, the wildly
beating heart, the shaking knees, with which they were originally
accompanied. The victim of stage-fright feels his knees give way and
that he is sinking to the floor; his heart beats tumultuously, cold
perspiration covers his body, he blushes, his mouth is dry, and his
voice sticks in his throat. Afterwards, alone in his own room, the
memory of that dreadful moment, the thought of another appearance
before that audience, will be accompanied by the same physiological
effects.

[Sidenote: _Impulses and Inhibitions_]

Every such bodily movement is an expression of energy. The recall to
consciousness of the terrifying experience, the recall of the picture
of the assembled audience, these things automatically produce bodily
activities. So we must conclude that _Every idea in memory has
associated with it the potential energy necessary for the production
of muscular movement_.

It does not necessarily follow that the recall to consciousness of a
given idea will be invariably followed by an outwardly visible
muscular activity expressive of its energy. Just as the mere presence
of an idea in consciousness tends to bring about a movement, so _the
presence of a contrary idea will tend to inhibit it_.

Try to imagine that you are bending your forefinger. At the same time
hold it straight. Your finger will actually tremble with the dammed-up
energy of the repressed impulse. But the finger will not actually
move, because the idea of its not moving is just as much a part of
your consciousness as the idea of its moving. Put out of your
consciousness this thought of the finger's not moving, and forthwith
the finger will bend.

Your conduct during your waking hours is thus always the result of
opposing forces, _some tending in one direction, others tending to
counteract the first._ Thus there comes about a great waste of mental
power and an appalling loss of individual efficiency.

[Sidenote: _Training for Mental "Team-Work"_]

In the language of sport, you are suffering from a lack of mental
"team work." The effect is the same as if the members of a football
team, instead of combining their forces against the opposing side,
should spend their time in restraining one another.

It requires but one step, and not a difficult one at that, to lead you
to the conclusion that the solution of this problem lies in having in
consciousness at any one moment only such ideas as harmonize. Let that
condition prevail, and the potential energies of all ideas in
consciousness must flow together in a broad stream of useful and
exhilarating activity.

[Sidenote: _Rust and the "Daily Grind"_]

Your work should be a source of pleasure to you. If it is simply a
disagreeable task that has to be performed, if it is a "daily grind,"
if you have to hold yourself to it by unremitting effort of the will,
you are no better than a rusty engine, and all your workings will be
accompanied by jars, frictions, and complaining squeaks that bespeak a
positively wicked loss of power.

Hold the right thoughts persistently in mind, and you cannot help
working steadily on toward the goal you are thinking of. Keep steadily
at work with the right thoughts persistently in mind and success is
sure to come.

_Success, then, lies in the concentration of mental energies. And this
concentration is to be brought about by holding in consciousness only
those ideas that harmonize_.

[Sidenote: _Ideas That Harmonize_]

There must be the greatest discrimination and care used in the
selection of these ideas that are to constitute such a co-ordinating
consciousness. There must be a "re-imaging" or imagination in a
literal and practical sense of those ideas only that carry with them
impulses to motion in the same general direction. You must have a set
purpose in life, and you must yield your powers without hindrance and
without reservation to the accomplishment of that set purpose.

[Sidenote: _Five Rules for Conserving Energy_]

I. _You must exercise deliberate, patient and persistent watchfulness
to detect and repress all useless bodily movements_. You have all
sorts of silly habits, twitchings, jerkings, itchings, winkings,
shrugs, frowns, coughs, snifflings and odd and meaningless gestures.
Watch yourself. Do these things no more. Save your eyes and ears and
hands and nerves, all your mental energy, for useful effort.

II. _You must give yourself, mind and body, to one thing at a time,
disregarding all that would lure you from your chosen task_.

III. _You must acquire a self-conscious sense of your own
self-mastery._ It will help you to acquire this feeling if you will
continually assert, "I can and will accomplish anything that I am
determined upon! I have the power of will! I will accomplish this
thing! I will!" Make these assertions with all the force and intensity
of your whole being until you are pervaded with a sense of your own
power. Do this faithfully, and in time this courageous and manly
attitude will become an inherent part of your personality.

IV. _You must have confidence._ And when we say confidence we do not
mean a purely intellectual conviction. We mean a profoundly emotional
faith. It will help you to cultivate this feeling of confidence if you
will affirm many times a day, "I have implicit confidence in myself! I
have perfect faith in my own powers! I am absolute master of myself
and of my career!" Practice affirmations of this kind persistently,
and in time your mind will have permanently acquired the habit of
facing the facts of life in the way essential to success.

V. _You must exert a favorable influence upon the mental attitude of
those about you_. This is not so difficult as it would appear. You
cannot yourself acquire will-power, confidence and courage without
impressing others with your possession of these qualities.
Personalities are revealed one to another by faint and suggestive
activities all unconsciously perceived. Your concentration of energy
will inspire others. You will radiate an "atmosphere" of success. You
will subtly influence your associates. You will be a force to reckon
with, and the world will know it. Your air of success will draw others
to you, will bring business and goodwill, and men and money will seek
a share in your enterprises.

Master your mental energies, train them, concentrate them,--thus only
may you win riches with honor.

Thus broadly put, there is, or perhaps it would be more accurate to
say there seems to be, nothing startlingly new about this proposition.

The world has always realized that singleness of purpose,
concentration of effort, is essential to success.

_But in the past the world has possessed no formula by which these
qualities might be acquired_.

Men have endeavored to create in themselves the necessary qualities
for success, having no knowledge of the mental elements that went into
their composition.

_They have tried to run the mental engine knowing nothing of its
mechanism_.

[Sidenote: _Business Luck and "Blue-Sky" Theories_]

Some few have been lucky, but the path has been strewn with a thousand
failures to one that passed on to success.

There are some business men who look upon psychology as "blue-sky"
theorizing or "new thought." There are others who have a hazy idea
that it is a sort of unfathomable mystery intended to amuse
long-haired scientists. The truth is that every one of these same
business men, if he is getting ahead, is unconsciously using
psychological principles to the profit of his own business every day
in the year.

[Sidenote: _Devices for Commercial Efficiency_]

In the books that are to follow we shall show you the immense
practical value of a truly scientific psychology. You shall come into
the psychological laboratory with us and work out rational, scientific
and exact methods by which, without possibility of failure and with
but reasonable effort, you can at any moment completely concentrate
your mental powers. You shall be instructed in simple devices for
mastering scattered energies, repressing wasteful habits, banishing
depressive moods and raising yourself to a far higher level of
commercial efficiency.





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