Is Part Of
If you live for tomorrow with the objective of
making today’s dreams come true tomorrow, you
begin to pace yourself and to deny yourself small
rewards in favor of engineering bigger things. In
a matter of months one can gain a pretty accurate
assessment of his personal power and of his capacity for
work, and time enables one to not only
play the game but to keep his own side.
The man who stands to gain the most from this
kind of self-paced living is the man who is above average
but less than a genius. This includes most of you; it includes
me; it includes most professional men to some degree. One
can outdistance his competitors if he begins to work at his
maximum level of effectiveness soon enough. The slower
you are, the earlier you have to begin to work
toward an objective w/ the idea of achieving it.
If you assess the cost of a really taxing effort and
literally case your objective, you are already half-way there.
Fate can engineer magnificent pratfalls that knock
the best laid plans into a cocked hat. Beyond a point that
apoint each man knows for himself, man is helpless. The world
much bigger than he is. But what fate deals out to most of us is
probably better than we deserve, so there’s no room for genuinely
justified bitterness. After all if you plow ahead but fail
for some uncontrolled factor that upset your red wagon,
you cannot be upset very long before you turn to tomorrow
and begin some work therapy on a new project.
Every quarter or semester in a university is
a test of planning ahead. You learn to work,
you learn to meet deadlines, you learn to avoid the pitfalls
of goofing off. You learn how to pilot yourself to avoid
most of the bumps. Each setback only stiffens the determination
to win in the end. The daily lesson is the mind’s food, unless
you feed the mind it doesn’t grow. If you learn
many facts and concepts and formulae and quotations
and definitions your mind will do a fine job of filing
these away for later recall, but you have to cast
mentally regularly every school day to be ready for the eventual
test or examination. Study today for tomorrow.
How much do we really retain from what we “learn?”
50%? 25%? 10%? 5%? I’m inclined to believe we retain
more than we can rediscover through recall, The man who
plans for tomorrow is subconsciously reviewing an recalling
even as he plans ahead. Ideas flow the fastest
when the mental spigot is opened every day. I
have a theory that I believe to be fact – it is that you can
do what you will to do about 80% of the time. The rest of
the time you are unable to do so. Some are luckier than
others, but it is not blind fate that rules us, –
its a fate molded mainly by ourselves.
If you have dreams of what you want the
and your ambition is to fullfill those dreams ·
Fight for them – make them come true.
Some silly students believe you learn in college
what you have to know + then you go out + use your
knowledge. This just is not so. You leave here with a
bullied and bruised head + many facts though they
be filed in your mind will never be recalled. You
do leave even if its by flunking out –
with an enlarged view - of the world + of yourself.
If college in some way or another shapes your
awareness, improves your scope of choice or discrimination,
and if it enlarges your frame of reference, you are
in a much better condition to do battle to make
your dreams concrete.
Now you are here in a good college and
you are attending to major in a department that
believes that in lite you are here it is our
professional duty to help you find yourself.
It is our duty to get you to find out just how much you can do by pushing
you now and then to capacity. The idea is not
to break you but to be the making of you. We are
often looked at as sadists or worse – as though
we get our kicks out of torturing the students. The opposite
The fun in teaching is seeing ideas take hold + minds
grow and develop.
The longer I teach the better I know one cannot
assess or prognose the future of the potential of
a student. A dullard may catch fire. If the demon
will can be set afire, the mind can be made to do
wonders. You are born again. To do this is to
find out who you are + what you are. You must be able to
slip out of your skin and take an objective look
at you + at the state of affairs in which you will be
Some believe it is better not to play a game
than to risk playing and losing. The only
way one improves his batting average is to play the
game more often.
This earthly life shifted of all the transient
frivolity is pretty frightening. We are born so
that we can die and death is frightfully final
to us earth men. Some people inclined many people
prefer to sit down, live quietly, + wait to their
name is called to board a bus to eternity. They
are the pitied. What do they ever really enjoy. How
many big moments do they ever have.
Living is more fun than anything. So for as we have
we only live one. The good Lord has probably put
more talent in you than you will ever discover. But
aren’t you curious to see how much you live.
Make up your mind to have one helluva worthwhile
time on this earth. Decide what you want to do + where
you want to be when you are 40 years old. There’s truth to
the old saying that in later life begins. Work now to
make the most of the later years.
Every year you complete here w/ a creditable academic
average of 2.0 or better – you have banked $2,500
on your future education which you can cash in by fellowship
subsidization in grad school. Who can afford to throw
away $2,500 or a year of his life? Alas, how many do just that.
In planning for tomorrow your competitive senses
come to the fore. You want to achieve. There’s fun
in it even if you do not win every time. In
the beautiful cemetery at Lexington, Va. is an
epitaph on a spinster’s monument that reads:
“She did the best she could” And I bet she did.
I have thought about Mrs. Demarches? Beacon? almost
every day since I was touched by her magnificent
personality. I thought of her especially as I sat in the
great theatre of Oberammergau in 1960. An elderly
lady – I would say about 78 years old - sat beside me during
the afternoon portion of the performance. She entered +
sad down beside me in high spirits. She comforted the
lad lived to make this day come true. This was her great
moment. About 10 minutes after the performance had started I
cast a glance at the elderly lady only to see that she was fast
asleep. Truly for her, anticipation was greater than realization.
Her tired body just was not up to remaining awake. The
fun + the pleasure of seeing that she got herself to Oberammmergau
was the important thing – not the performance. The great moments
in one’s life are individually brief – few + far between for some – close
together for others – but collectively the great moments are
probably less than 00.01 percent of your conscious existence. Unless
somehow you learn how to get great joy out of uphill plugging
+ working toward some sense of goals life will be empty. The power is
within you to do what you will to do. If you can harness
that power to make it work for you You will have justified
your existence on this earth.
There is a power that is greater than you, this I
really believe. In 1954 I discovered a graduating senior had
made off with some books belonging to the school. I was so upset
by this that I penned him a hot letter telling him what
I would do if he did not apologize + make amends by
promising never to do it again. Within 5 minutes of the
time I mailed that letter, Someone had me up in my own
attic delving in a trunk for something I forgot what —
but in the process I was confronted with possession
of a book that did not belong to me - one that I hastily
saw returned to its rightful place. There is a Power
that works for good in all of us. If one can access
his own talents and get them working in a competitive way
with the Power we cannot control but which controls us,
there is little we cannot do.
The great men of history have possessed a sense
of their histories being even as they lived. If
you tie your wagon to a star + work to reach the
goal you have set - you have given your life meaning
but perspective and some historicity – and in the
process if you do so I assure you that you will have
one helluva good time in the best sense of that
of our society and they are determined to reverse the
breakdown in individual personal concern for the individual
and his problems, ambitions, and beliefs.
Despite the campus unrest and needless violence, young people are
beginning to care for one another’s welfare. Many a thief, rogue
and murderer is socially