Aiming High, Staying Grounded
My old grandfather used to say, “Aim for the sun and you’ll hit the moon.”
While the above saying might be considered a defense for the “Colonel Sellers”* class of people, there is little doubt but that while those who have large, and some might say visionary ideas, are often unsuccessful, it is a fact, nevertheless, that the greatest enterprises and business success are due to their efforts.
For some unaccountable reason, millionaires in America have become very numerous and have increased very rapidly in the last while. It is possible, and quite probable, that the late war experiences and their results may have imbued in the minds of the younger and middle aged men of the day with more independent and less conservative ideas than those held by their forefathers; at any rate it is certain that they have greater anticipations, and are apparently inclined to build up their hopes and magnify their future success to the extent that they are not content with the small things and only satisfied with great results; and the phenomenal success in these last years of men with extravagant ideas is evidence that, while there are many whose hopes have been blasted, and whose last dollars have been swept away in the vain endeavor to make large fortunes by speculations, yet, it is probable that few men have ever become immensely wealthy without previously capacitating their minds to withstand the strain, perplexity and anxiety attending great prosperity by allowing their ideas to become inflated and their imaginations to stretch far beyond the demands of the regular person.
Suppose a man takes a position at a nominal salary and is perfectly satisfied with the same, but by dint of hard work and close attention to business, his employer advances him to thrice the original amount. It is evident that, if satisfied with his former salary, he would be more than delighted with the final result, and doubtless, he would be content to continue through life, without any additional income. Would a man of this character be able to withstand a sudden access to great wealth, were he to come into possession of it unexpectedly?
Is it not reasonable to suppose that the mind of such a person would become affected, if he would not become hopelessly insane, and at any rate would likely show his inability to stand prosperity by riotous living and injudicious expenditure of money? Is it not true that men of this character are always ready to condemn those of higher aspirations, and denounce them for being imaginative fools? Are they not the class of men who continually plod along, year in and year out, with no ambition or desire to advance farther, so long as they are barely making a living?
The idea of being content with whatever their lot, has no doubt kept many men from progressing. It does not require very much of an effort to conclude to “ let well enough alone;” it is an easy resolution to make and not a hard one to keep; and like the “bad luck” excuse, often affords much satisfaction to those who are not inclined to push ahead.
Men of these characters derive great pleasure and satisfaction during their plodding existence, in sneering at and deriding the “Colonel sellers” sort of men, on account of their visionary ideas; but, after some great accomplishment on their part, they are the first to take them by the hand and congratulate them, by saying, “I knew it;” “I always knew you would be successful.”
All considered, it is not best to encourage young men in building up their hopes and aspirations, not to extremes, but so far as to elevate their ideas to a realization that a mere living should not be sufficient to satisfy them through life, and nothing short of the best paying and most prominent position would gratify them?
The young man who starts out in life, and for a while only succeeds in only holding his own, should be manly enough to make no complaints; but he should be too much of a man to content himself with the satisfaction of making a living; if he is satisfied with whatever his lot, he need never expect to accomplish any great results.
The man who is reasonably aggressive in all things is the one who receives the most attention, and is taken the best care of under all circumstances.
Every man’s first thought should be, “What can I do in an honorable way to better my condition?”
What else can I say to add to that. Dream big, and don’t listen to those that would live out their lives in quiet desperation!
[notice class=”attention”]* Colonel Sellers is a character from a play that was written by George Densmore and Mark Twain. He is a character that is always broke but is forever coming with one big business idea or another that will, this time, make him rich. He is the perennial get rich quick schemer. Always speculating on the next big windfall weather it is steamboats or corn. [/notice]