The most important job is that of learning how to negotiate with others without friction.

Experts in negotiation handle the process so smoothly that discussions hardly seem like negotiations at all. While the word negotiation itself conjures up visions of cigar-chomping adversaries pounding the table to emphasize their demands, the best results are achieved when all the parties involved are able to put themselves in the others’ shoes and arrive at an agreement that is beneficial to everyone involved. Whether you are negotiating a higher salary, a new job, or the acquisition of a company, your chances of success are far greater when you approach the situation positively and with a clear objective in mind. It also helps to understand the motives of others involved and to have in-depth knowledge of the subject under discussion. Finally, approach every topic with an open mind — don’t simply try to bully others into accepting your proposal or point of view.

Constancy of purpose is the first principle of success.

It is critical to your success that you have a well-thought-out plan for your life and that you stick with it regardless of what others may say and the obstacles you encounter. There will always be fault-finders and those who attempt to persuade you that your goals aren’t worth the effort you put into achieving them. Those people will never go far, and they will be the first to ask for your help after you have passed them by. Virtually every successful person has considered giving up at some point in his or her struggle to reach the top. And many breakthroughs occurred soon after those same people rededicated themselves to their purpose. There is no known obstacle that cannot be overcome by a person who has constancy of purpose, a Positive Mental Attitude, and the discipline and willpower to succeed.

You can’t control others’ acts, but you can control your reaction to their acts, and that is what counts most to you.

No one can make you feel any negative emotion — fear, anger, or inferiority — without your express permission. There will always be people who find perverse enjoyment in upsetting others, or who simply play upon your emotions so that they can use you for their own selfish purposes. Whether or not they are successful depends entirely upon you and how you react to their negative behaviors. When you are forced to deal with such people, recognize from the outset that they are trying to upset you, not because of something you may have done to them, but because of some problem they have with themselves. Tell yourself, “This isn’t about me. I will not allow this person to upset me. I am in control of my emotions and my life.”

Where will you be ten years from now if you keep on going the way you are going?

Many people fail to realize that big success is the result of little successes achieved, often over a very long period of time. Truly successful people are long-term thinkers. They know that they must build upon each achievement and constantly learn new and better ways of doing things. A regular review of your progress is an essential part of goal-setting. A goal is little more than a wish unless it has a timetable for completion. Make sure your plan for your life includes short-, medium-, and long-term goals. Revise your goals as circumstances dictate, check them off when they are completed, and set new and bigger goals for yourself as you grow. And take time to reflect often to make sure you are on the right course — for you.

Profanity is a sign of inadequate vocabulary or unsound judgment — or both.

Mark Twain once observed that “the difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” It is never appropriate to use profanity, especially among people you do not know well. Instead, build your vocabulary by reading and studying so that you can express yourself simply and eloquently. When you expand the number of words you know, you also expand your mind, because understanding the words and their meanings necessitates understanding the concepts behind them. Make sure you allow time each day for study and reflection.

Faith is a combination of thoughts and actions.

When you apply your faith in yourself, your faith in your fellow man, and your faith in God, the result is a positive course of action that when persistently followed will almost always lead to success. When you believe in your ideas and in your abilities, and you trust in the Infinite Intelligence of the universe, you know that your thoughts and deeds will ultimately lead to a successful conclusion. You cannot fail.

Great achievement is born of a struggle.

Our strength grows out of our weakness, said Ralph Waldo Emerson. “Not until we are pricked and stung and sorely shot at, awakens the indignation which arms itself with secret forces.” Strife and struggle can inspire you to overcome adversity and to propel yourself to real achievement. View every struggle as an opportunity for personal growth. It is the struggle itself, not the result that builds character. If you know you are right, stay the course even though the whole world seems to be against you and everyone you know questions your judgment. When you prevail — and you eventually will if you stick to the job — they will all tell you that they knew all along you could do it.

The other fellow’s mistakes are a weak alibi for your own.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” It’s easy when you are part of a group to “go along to get along,” but when you are able to maintain your own highest standards of integrity — regardless of what others may do — you are destined for greatness. When you have developed a carefully thought out code of personal conduct, you will never have to ask anyone else what the appropriate course of action should be. You will intuitively know.

A good fisherman goes out of his way to bait his hook with what the fish prefer — which might not be a bad tip for those who wish to succeed in human relationships.

Just as in a conversation it’s a good idea to listen more than you talk, it is also wise in relationships to think about the well-being of others more than you think about your own wishes and desires. When you constantly strive to treat others in the same way you would like them to treat you, you become a person whom others like to be around, one who commands their respect, confidence, and loyalty. When you learn to manage emotions and your ego, and when you learn to always consider the needs and desires of others, it is inevitable that you will “bait your hook” with kindness and consideration, and catch more friends than you can count.

If you cannot agree with others, you can at least refrain from quarreling with them.

When you are involved in a dispute with someone else, it may be the only time doing nothing is better than doing something. There’s a practical reason for this: When you quarrel with others — even if you win the argument — you place a great deal of unnecessary stress upon yourself. It is impossible to maintain a Positive Mental Attitude when you allow negative emotions such as anger or hate to dominate your thoughts. No one can upset you or make you angry unless you allow them to do so. Instead of arguing with others, try asking nonthreatening questions, such as, “Why do you feel this way? What have I done to make you angry? What can I do to help?” You may find that the entire situation has resulted from a simple misunderstanding that can be quickly rectified. Even if problems are more serious, your positive behavior will go a long way toward helping resolve them.

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