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Chapter 23 Advancement depends upon idealizing its process

Your work in the world is performed in one or more of three fields:

work with things,

work with words,

work with people.

In each of these fields of work, there are thousands and thousands, who serve earnestly and loyally, work efficiently year after year, and yet -the advancement they desire is not attained. Are you one of these? If so, why do you not win the advancement for which you strive so earnestly? Because you fail (1) to make yourself a leader in the work you are doing; or fail (2) to prepare yourself for the field of service you desire to enter.

If you make things better than others make, or if you make things more rapidly or more efficiently or more beautifully than others do, you lead them in the work you and they are doing and your leadership brings advancement. But advancement does not come merely because of good work, -it must be better work than others do, better than all others about you do. If you make yourself a leader in any field of work -work with things, words or people -you are given advancement.

Now, the next factor: your preparation for work in another field of service. It is in this that most earnest workers fail. To attain this kind of advancement -advancement from one field of work to another -earnest and efficient work, loyalty, skill and years of experience are of little value unless you idealize the process of advancing from the field in which you are working to the field in which you wish to work. Even years of preparation are almost useless unless the process of preparation has been idealized.

Take, for instance, the case of John -Old John, they now call him. Forty-four years ago he was a young machinist learning his trade. He was energetic, ambitious and hopeful. He worked well. At night he studied mechanics at home. Later he went to a night school and studied mechanical drawing. Yet he did not neglect his work: his machine was always in good condition; he worked faithfully and well; he turned out a greater amount of work per day and did better work than any other man in the shop. But he was not promoted. Today he is still an expert machinist and they call him Old John -expert old John! He certainly had an ideal, -a worthy, ambitious, definite ideal. The hope of his boyhood was to become boss of the shop and then foreman in some larger shop and ultimately the head of a department. Yet with all his skillful work and all his earnest effort and study and application, he has failed.

But God is Good; the world is good; and old John was given just reward for everything he did! He worked well and got the reward for this, good pay. He trained himself to be skilled and rapid in his work and got his reward for this, -when piece-work pay was adopted, he received a larger sum per day than any other machinist in the shop; in fact, more than any other machinist in the city. He studied mechanics and took excellent care of his machine and got his reward for this, -the highest bonus paid for the least wear and tear of a machine. He served long and loyally and got his reward for this, -the highest extra Christmas bonus based proportionately on the number of years service.

But he was never advanced to the position of boss.

No man should be advanced to directing men -human souls, merely because he is expert in operating a machine; no woman should be made a teacher of children merely because she is an expert in shelling peas. Old John did not idealize the process of advancing from his field or work – handling things -to the field he wished to enter, handling men. All his study of mechanics and mechanical drawing brought him a reward; it made him a better machinist; but it did not fit him to direct men.

Three years ago, a young man who then knew nothing whatever about any machine, started at the same shop and now he is boss. He had the same ideal Old John had; the same ambition; the same zeal; the same energy. He also studied mechanics and mechanical drawing and trained himself to run a machine expertly; but he wished to get into the field of directing men so he idealized the process and adapted his preparation to it. Hence, he studied men: during the noon hour, he watched them; he got clues of the impulses and desires that impelled each to do things or to refuse to do things; he watched the bosses also to learn how they handled the men; he observed their successes and their failures; he idealized himself in the process of handling the men; he learned how to get them to do things without antagonizing them; and soon, -well -he is now foreman of the shop.

Advancement comes to those who advance themselves. If you feel a little hurt and a little sullen and a little resentful because you have not been advanced -made a leader in other lines of work -look to yourself. First, idealize just exactly the type of work you are doing now; second, idealize the type of work you want to do; third, idealize the process of preparation necessary to fit yourself to do the type of work you want to do. Be truthful to yourself: have you prepared yourself in the right way or have you merely done your work well and asked for advancement? If you foolishly think you can fit yourself to direct people by making yourself an expert dressmaker, don't blame anyone but yourself. God gave you mind; use it! Not only effort -but mind effort, intelligent mind effort, idealized intelligent mind effort -makes you worthy of advancement.

Be honest with yourself

Never be disappointed in yourself because you are not “the boss”. All that is important in life is that you are happy within yourself. And sometimes, achieving inner peace is a job in itself. Take my word for it,  if you are feeling frustrated at work because you were passed over, you have to step back and take a good look at yourself. You must be truthful with yourself. You may be very good at what you do, but unless you start being honest (with yourself) you will never move forward. The stress and frustration you feel will only get worse unless you deal with it now. I did! The coaches at 18mind helped me work through lots of stress and helped me to get my life back in order. Funny thing is, it made me realize I don’t have to be the “boss” anymore to be happy. My happiness comes from within. 18mind has truly saved my life.


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