ADVANCEMENT in any field means, of course, progress. If you wish to be advanced to a higher position, then you must contribute to the progress of the business. You cannot climb over dead business to a place on top. Many second class minds desire to get into a “soft seat” already prepared; but if you do not help to make a “job” you ought not to expect to hold it. There are very few lines of business or vocation today which will last until tomorrow unless changes are introduced into them. The law of business is in general the law of change. New methods of advertising, new ways of marketing, better this and better that must constantly be introduced. The great secret of progress is originality. Thousands of men and women owe their present success to their creative ability. They have seen the possibilities, have worked out the details, and increased the profits.
The vast economic advantage which America has over other countries is due not merely to our great natural resources, for other countries have enormous untapped sources of wealth, but to the inquisitive mind of our people, ever seeking new ways. This is especially true in the field of invention. America is said to excel all
other countries put together in the number and variety of patents.
Invention means the harnessing of mechanical forces to do part or all of our work for us. Every man in America has an iron man working for him. We estimate the force of machinery at so many horse power, and billions of iron horses are working for us. But if we were to estimate the saving of labor effected by machinery; appliances; methods of filing, teaching, etc., we would find that millions of iron men are working for us. These iron men wear out but it costs but little to feed, clothe, and educate them, and nothing for luxuries!
Originality and the spirit of invention, then, are in themselves sources of wealth, and it is this that has helped to make America great, for she has drawn not only upon her native sons and daughters for genius, but has stripped the world of its most daring and original minds, and casting them all into the melting pot has brought forth still greater masters of invention and industry. And we are just at the beginning of what is to be! A new world is before us, not merely a world of mechanics, but a world of method, of efficiency, of art, and music, of song and dance—of things hidden from the foundations of the earth, which the minds of today and tomorrow will conceive and bring forth. The great age of applied psychology is at hand. This is
unequivocally voiced by the noted author, H. G. Wells, and many other modern seers.
Can anything be plainer? You are “to use your head.” The only way to get ahead is to use it. Keep on the lookout for the better way in everything.
Casson in his book on “Ads and Sales” has this to say, “When Howe put the eye of the needle in the point of the needle, he found a better way. When McCormick hitched a team of horses to a reciprocating scythe, he found a better way. When Mergenthaler created a machine by means of which type can be made instead of set, he found a better way What we may expect
in the near future is a period of inventive-ness, better ways of doing the same old thing.”
Russell Conwell, that grand old man whose mind was “Acres of Diamonds,” whose voice inspired millions to believe in themselves, to dare to be original and individual, tells many tales of the outcome of such daring.
Success does not demand that every man and woman shall be an inventor but it requires originality. I have always loved the story of the young woman who attended a meeting of some Daughters of the American Revolution each of whom claimed to be the descendant of a general or at least a colonel. Parading up and
down with a very grand air, she affected the utmost snobbery until the inquiry was made as to what noted ancestor had given her the right to such superiority.
Finally someone asked her the direct question, to which she replied, “I am descended from the only private in the American Revolution.”
No people in the world are so prone to “joke” as Americans for we love the original turn of mind that creates it. Let us therefore not fail to develop the faculty of originality. Keep the mind open to new ways. Study your personality, vocation, and business, to see what new and better elements you may introduce. And if you lack the necessary instinct, create it by proper suggestion.
My mind is open and receptive to new ideas. I am observant and I understand the principles upon which my business or vocation is established. New solutions will present themselves to me. I can and will add to my own efficiency and that of others with whom I am associated. I have the spirit of originality and invention. I enjoy the study and the solution of problems. I am one-hundred percent wide awake.