Reading is one of life’s wonderous pleasures, along with photography, fornication and tea, obviously. I’d hasten to warn against trying all four simultaneously. Let’s say the results were ‘mixed’.
In the last week I’ve picked up the quite excellent golden oldie, The Magic of Thinking BIG by David Schwartz. It’s a positive, up-beat book full of opportunity and optimism, capturing the mood of a nation at the time. With Europe and Asia still smouldering in the economic fall-out of the Second World War, there was only one winner: The Mighty United States of America™. Industry was booming, disposable income was rife, and there were products to sell! All you needed was to get out there and spruik those automobiles or encyclopedias or Coca-Cola or tuppaware and the world was yours. To do that though you had to believe in yourself, to dress the part, to look the part, to BE the part! And attend some sales seminars hosted by David Schwartz.
I’ve read one hundred pages or so and only one woman has owned a business. The book is directed purely at ‘fellows’, you see, with most women rearing the children (sounds uncomfortable) and managing the housework dutifully. It’s a mark of its era in that respect. But imagine the time when a single bread-winner could buy a house, car and account for all financials, whilst the other managed the household and gushed over Bakelite shoes and anything modestly radioactive. Halcyon days! The aspect I love most about this book is the tone, it just reads like an old advert: well hullo, look at this fellow! Young Tom here has an idea for a business, but where to begin?! After a quick chat and attending one of my seminars his mind was opened! The next day he sold a million dollars of thimbles/thumb-tacks/thumb-screws and was the envy of most men. Tom’s penis probably got bigger too. God Bless America! What can I tell you, Wales had weird adverts when I was a child, although America wasn't far behind given the below
Celebrating its sixtieth year since publishing, the book is still relevant and an absolute gold-mine of simplistic, useful guidance: have a goal; have a BIGGER goal, goddamn you!; develop regular habits; work hard; work effectively; believe in yourself; invest in yourself; risk getting out of your comfort zone; adopt a can-do attitude. David Schwartz even suggests marketing yourself to yourself, repeating your own creed to pump up your tyres. Re-sell yourself time and again, remind yourself how good you really are. In an age of crippling mental health, a bit of self-love and compassion could probably go along way indeed. If you don’t believe in yourself, how do you expect anyone else to?
And now if you’ll excuse me on this beautiful Sunday morning in Melbourne, I’m going to sprinkle a spoonful of go-get-um on my cornflakes, and get out there!! . . . right after I’ve had another cup of tea.
Writing and writing...