In our last couple +1s, we talked about W. Clement Stone and how he practiced his philosophy as an inverse paranoid (seeing everything as conspiring to help him!) by seeing the seeds of potential in all his challenges.
As Stone said: “Every great man, every successful man, no matter what the field of endeavor, has known the magic that lies in these words: Every Adversity Has the Seed of an Equivalent or Greater Benefit.”
You may recall that Yogananda echoed this wisdom and even used the same metaphor of seeds.
He told us that “failures should act as stimulants to your will power and to your material and spiritual growth. When you have failed in any project it is helpful to analyze every factor in the situation in order to eliminate all chances in the future that you might repeat the errors.”
And, he says: “The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success. The bludgeon of circumstances may bruise you, but keep your head erect. Always try once more, no matter how many times you have failed. Fight when you think that you can fight no longer, or when you think that you have already done your best, or until your efforts are crowned with success.”
Today we’re going to continue our exploration of W. Clement Stone’s The Success System That Never Fails.
We’re going to talk about how he decided to conquer fear.
Stone tells us: “I remember that as a boy I was so timid that when we had company I would go into another room, and during a thunderstorm I would hide under the bed. But one day I reasoned, ‘If lightning is going to strike, it will be just as dangerous whether I am under the bed or in any other part of the room.’ I decided to conquer this fear.”
He continues by saying: “My opportunity came, and I took advantage of it. During a thunderstorm, I forced myself to go to the window and look at the lightning. An amazing thing happened. I began to enjoy the beauty of the flashes of lightning through the sky. Today, there is no one who enjoys a thunderstorm more than I do.”
I love that image of a boy conquering his fear of lightning and learning to love it.
Stone tells a bunch of other stories about how afraid he was as a young boy trying to make money to support his family by selling newspapers.
And he tells us about how he conquered his fears when he started out as a young insurance salesman—MAKING himself do the thing he was afraid to do—which reminds me of Eleanor Roosevelt who was a contemporary of Stone.
Here’s how she puts it in You Learn by Living: “The encouraging thing is that every time you meet a situation, though you may think at the time it is an impossibility and you go through the tortures of the damned, once you have met it and lived through it you find that forever after you are freer than you were before. If you can live through that you can live through anything. You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.”
She continues by saying: “You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ The danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it. If you fail anywhere along the line it will take away your confidence. You must make yourself succeed every time. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
This is worth repeating: “The danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it. If you fail anywhere along the line it will take away your confidence. You must make yourself succeed every time. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
Afraid of anything these days?
Let’s “Bring it on!” and learn to enjoy the beauty of thunderstorms!