To Thine Own Self Be True

To Thine Own Self Be True

by Napoleon Hill

A Number of years ago a haggard looking man entered a consultant’s office in Chicago. He said that a friend recommended he make this visit in the hope of saving himself from destruction. He had made up his mind to end it all in Lake Michigan if he failed to get help.

From all outward appearances he was a failure. He had that dull stare of defeat in his eyes, the drooping shoulders of a man beaten by life, the shuffling gait of a human derelict. Yet someone must have recognized some worth in him or surely he would not have been sent to this office. The consultant stalled with conversation while trying to decide what to do for this man. The consultant’s imagination always became alerted by an opportunity to help someone else in need, and it was working full force, searching for some means that would be applicable in this instance. Suddenly there came to his conscious mind a psychological trick which he could use on this poor, beaten individual. He realized that he would be powerless to do a thing if the trick failed, but he thought it worth a try.

In the rear of the private office there was a full length mirror which was concealed by drapes. The downhearted visitor was asked to stand in front of this curtain while an experiment was being performed. He was told that very little could be done for him by most people, but he would be introduced to the only man in the world who could help regain his self-confidence and overcome the terrific defeat he had suffered.

There seemed to be no hope for him, but let us continue. The end of the story came months later. One day a strange man, fashionably dressed and with the air of success and self-confidence, visited the office of this same consultant and greeted him with: “Hello there! You don’t know me, do you? Well, I don’t blame you. I’m the man you introduced to himself in the full-length mirror. Remember now? I want to shake your hand and pay you whatever you set as your fee for the service rendered me. It saved my life and I’m back in the money again, with the crowd who once threw me out. You’re the man who really did it. I can never fully repay the debt I owe you.”

It pays to be on good terms with your own conscience. There is no better way to make sure of this than by going the extra mile in everything you do. You will find that you really don’t have to worry very much about the one whom you are favoring with your extra service. You will be compensated – and on an increased ratio.

To thine own self be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou can’st not then be false to any man.,”

–William Shakespeare

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