Wisdom From a Clear Thinking Legend

Written by Posted On Sunday, 29 August 2021 00:00

In 1927, Dr. Frank Crane wrote a wonderful book entitled Everyday Wisdom, which made quite a hit. Crane was a speaker, columnist, and preacher who had an impressive following. I acquired his books years ago and have admired him as a common-sense writer who influenced many. I love his quote, “You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you do not trust enough.” Here are excerpts from Everyday Wisdom….

Today the business ideal is the “go-getter” who smashes his way through obstacles as if they were papier-mache scenery. The great difference between men, between the feeble and the powerful, the great and the insignificant, is an invincible determination, a purpose once fixed, then Death or Victory. That quality can do anything that can be done in this world.

The man who never gives up what he begins until it is completed is the one who keeps the end in his mind until he reaches it. The one who begins something only to drop it half-completed for something else is the one who keeps his eye on the desired end for a while and then lets other interests absorb his attention. We say the first has strong willpower, the second is weak-willed. It is, after all, a question of which side of the scales has the most weight, the present want or the future end.

Everybody makes mistakes. The people who succeed are not those who make none, but those who learn by their mistakes. And making mistakes is about the only way anybody learns anything. The people who fail are those who become discouraged over their mistakes. They lose heart, and when you lose heart the best way to get over it is to quit doing wrong and begin to do right. 

The value of work depends upon the spirit that is put into it. After all, we are nothing but human beings, whether at work, at play, or asleep. Work is nothing but the forthputting of the human spirit. It is the light that shines from the candle in the soul. It is the energy streaming out of the human mind.

No matter how well trained you are, how quick your eye, and how skilled your hand, your work is not the best unless you put your spirit into it. And the more spirit you put into your work the more good it does you. It reacts upon you wholesomely. For when you work at work you like, at work where your heart and soul and interest are, then it is not work anymore – it is play.

It is everyone’s duty to be healthy. Unless you are healthy it is hard to be strong, it is difficult to be attractive. It is possible for a defective person, by a courageous spirit, to overcome his disadvantage, but it is a disadvantage nonetheless. If you value happiness and success, watch your health.

Pascal thought that living was so important everybody must be studying it. But he said he was surprised to find that more people knew the laws of geometry than the laws of life. Living is an art and one that is to be learned by practice and executed by skill.

Our real happiness is not a matter of chance, but of law. Our condition today depends on what we did yesterday. And whether any man is happy or not is a consequence of his total former actions. Inner success is certain. It is as much a subject of law as mathematics.

Our condition depends largely on our thoughts. It is the result of what takes place in us and not what occurs to us from the outside. Those who deliberately turn their attention away from disagreeable things, from failures and misery and wretchedness, and contemplate that which is bright and beautiful and sunny find the effect of it gradually growing upon them.

The sum total of one’s life and one’s efficiency depends also upon discipline. The undisciplined as a rule are unhappy. If a man does not have himself well under control he is liable to become the slave to the most unruly passions.

The principle difference between the wise man and the fool is that the wise man controls himself. He knows just how far to give way to his desires, while the fool is helpless before them. The former is like a man steering a boat and the other is like a boat drifting helplessly before the wind.

Abraham Lincoln, who understood many things, once defined willpower in a way which strips it of much of its mystery. He said the man who has willpower is the one who keeps his mind centered upon what he is after. As long as your mind and imagination are centered upon what you want to get or where you want to be the chances are you will keep trying. It is when your interest in it begins to fade that you waver.

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Don Hutson

After graduation from the University of Memphis, with a major in Sales and a minor in Real Estate, he was #1 salesman in a national organization. He then established his own training firm and shortly thereafter was in demand as a professional speaker.

Since then Don has addressed over half of the Fortune 500 Companies and is featured in over 100 training films. He is Chairman & CEO of U. S. Learning and makes some 50 speaking appearances per year. Perhaps you have seen him on national television where he has been featured on ABC, PBS, TPN and Fox News.

Don is the author of SELLING VALUE, and co-author of the #1 Best Sellers, THE ONE MINUTE ENTREPRENEUR (with Dr. Ken Blanchard) and THE ONE MINUTE NEGOTIATOR (with Dr. George Lucas). He has also authored or co-authored eleven other books.

Don was elected by his peers to the presidency of the National Speakers Association, and has received its prestigious Cavett Award, as member of the year. He has also been honored with NSA's Speakers Hall of Fame Award, and is a recipient their Master of Influence Award along with such notables as Depok Chopra, Jack Kemp and Ronald Reagan. He is also a member of Speakers Roundtable.

He has addressed over 750 Realtor audiences including the National Association of Realtors on multiple occasions, as well as many prominent real estate companies.


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