It is well that young men should begin at the beginning and occupy the most subordinate positions. Many of the leading businessmen of Pittsburgh had a serious responsibility thrust upon them at the very threshold of their career. They were introduced to the broom, and spent the first hours of their business lives sweeping out the office. I notice we have janitors and jamtresses now in offices, and our young men unfortunately miss that salutary branch of a business education. But if by chance the professional sweeper is absent any morning, the boy who has the genius of the future partner in him will not hesitate to try his hand at the broom. The other day a fond fashionable mother in Michigan asked a young man whether he had even seen a young lady sweep in a room so grandly as her Priscilla. He said so, he never had, and the mother was gratified beyond measure, but then said he, after a pause, What I should like to see her do is sweep out a room. It does not hurt the newest comer to sweep out the office if necessary. I was one of those sweepers myself.
Assuming that you have all obtained employment and are fairly started, my advice to you is aim high. I would not give a fig for the young man who has not already seen himself the partner or the head of an important firm. Do not rest content for a moment in your thoughts as head clerk, or foreman, or general manager in any concern, no matter how extensive. Say to yourself, My place is at the top. Be king in your dreams.
And here is the prime condition of success, the great secret: concentrate your energy, thought, and capital exclusively upon the business in which your are engaged. Having begun in one line, resolve to fight it out on that line, to lead in it, adopt every improvement, have the best machinery, and know the most about it.
The concerns which fail are those which have scattered their capital, which means that they have scattered their brains also. They have investments in this, or that, or the other, here, there, and everywhere. Dont put all your eggs in one basket is all wrong. I tell you put all your eggs in one basket, and then watch that basket. Look round you and take notice; men who do that do not often fail. It is easy to watch and carry the one basket. It is trying to carry too many baskets, that breaks most eggs in this country. He who carries three baskets must put one on his head, which is apt to tumble and trip him up. One fault of the American businessman is lack of concentration.
To summarize what I have said: Aim for the highest, never enter a bar room; do not touch liquor, or if at all only at meals; never speculate; never indorse beyond your surplus cash fund; make the firms interest yours; break orders always to save owners; concentrate; put all your eggs in one basket, and watch that basket; expenditure always within revenue; lastly be not impatient, for, as Emerson says, no one can cheat you out of ultimate success but yourselves. ）
I believe in the 50-percent theory. Half the time things are better than normal; the other half, they are worse. I believe life is a pendulum swing. It takes time and experience to understand what normal is, and that gives me the perspective to deal with the surprises of the future.
Let’s benchmark the parameters: Yes, I will die. I’ve dealt with the deaths of both parents, a best friend, a beloved boss and cherished pets. Some of these deaths have been violent, before my eyes, or slow and agonizing. Bad stuff, and it belongs at the bottom of the scale. Then there are those high points: romance and marriage to the right person; having a child and doing those Dad things like coaching my son’s baseball team, paddling around the creek in the boat while he’s swimming with the dogs, discovering his compassion so deep it manifests even in his kindness to snails, his imagination so vivid he builds a spaceship from a scattered pile of Legos.
But there is a vast meadow of life in the middle, where the bad and the good flip-flop acrobatically. This is what convinces me to believe in the50-percent theory.One spring I planted corn too early in a bottomland so flood-prone that neighbors laughed. I felt chagrined at the wasted effort. Summer turned brutal—the worst heat wave and drought in my lifetime. The air-conditioner died, the well went dry, the marriage ended, the job lost, the money gone. I was living lyrics from a country tune—music I disliked. Only a surging Kansas City Royals team, bound for their first World Series, buoyed my spirits.Looking back on that horrible summer, I soon understood that all succeeding good things merely offset the bad. Worse than normal wouldn’t last long. I am owed and savor the peaceful and happy times. They reinvigorate me for the next nasty surprise and offer assurance that I can thrive.
The 50 percent theory even helps me see hope beyond my Royals’ recent slump, a field of struggling rookies sown so that some year soon we can reap an October harvest. Oh, yeah, the corn crop? For that one blistering summer, the ground moisture was just right, planting early allowed pollination before heat withered the tops, and the lack of rain spared the standing corn from floods. That winter my crib overflowed with corn—fat, healthy three-to-a-stalk ears filled with kernels from heel to tip—while my neighbors’ fields yielded only brown, empty husks.
Although plantings past may have fallen below the 50-percent expectation, and they probably will again in the future, I am still sustained by the crop that flourishes during the drought.本文来源：http://www.jugong.cc/meiwendaquan/22769.html