Without self-respect there can be no genuine success. Success won at the cost of self-respect is not success ? for what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own self-respect.
-B. C. Forbes
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Ugliness, squalor are breeding grounds for revolution. Beauty is conducive to tranquillity, happiness. Beautifying of homes and places of worship began with the dawn of civilization. Beautifying of workplaces is only in its infancy. Yet, since men normally spend more than half of their waking hours at work, surely it is important that adequate attention be devoted to elevating their working environment, whether office or factory, foundry or machine shop, mine or warehouse. Beautiful surroundings subtly encourage beautiful living. Drab surroundings, bad air, bad light, evoke bad reactions.
B. C. Forbes
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A magazine editor recently asked me to sit down on my 40th birthday and write an article on the most important things I had learned in my first 40 years. I told him that the chief thing I had learned was that the copybook maxims are true, but that too many people forget this once they go out into the heat and hustle and bustle of the battle of life and only realize their truth once one foot is beginning to slip into the grave. The man who has won millions at the cost of his conscience is a failure.
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After visiting several of America's most fashionable playgrounds, I have reached the conclusion that men who work hard enjoy life most. The men at such places can be divided into two classes, first, busy men of affairs ... and, second, rich loafers. I was impressed by the obvious enjoyment corporation heads and other important executives were deriving from their vacation activities.... The idle rich fellows, on the other hand, although indulging in exactly the same activities, palpably were bored.
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Do too many executives still indulge in the short-sighted habit of issuing orders without taking the slightest pains to explain to those responsible for carrying them out the whyfor and wherefor of the orders? Where employees come in daily and hourly contact with the public, surely it is important that care be taken to fit them to reply intelligently to courteous questions. ""Because them are orders"" isn't a satisfying reply-even less satisfactory to the management than to the public.
B. C. Forbes
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The man who is bigger than his job keeps cool. He does not lose his head, he refuses to become rattled, to fly off in a temper. The man who would control others must be able to control himself. There is something admirable, something inspiring, something soul-stirring about a man who displays coolness and courage under extremely trying circumstances. A good temper is not only a business asset. It is the secret of health. The longer you live, the more you will learn that a disordered temper breeds a disordered body.
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With all thy getting, get understanding, is the banner under which these Forbes editorials have appeared since the first issue of the publication. We have no illusions about what great wealth can do and what it cannot do. We believe in the worthwhileness of striving by all worthy means to attain success and to attain wealth. Simply because we are convinced that no amount of money is worth the sacrifice of one's better instincts, of one's self-respect-of one's soul, if you wish-simply because we are convinced that riches not gained legitimately and decently are not worth having....
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Thomas Edison reads not for entertainment but to increase his store of knowledge. He sucks in information as eagerly as the bee sucks honey from flowers. The whole world, so to speak, pours its wisdom into his mind. He regards it as a criminal waste of time to go through the slow and painful ordeal of ascertaining things for one's self if these same things have already been ascertained and made available by others. In Edison's mind knowledge is power.
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Many of the most successful men I have known have never grown up. They have retained bubbling-over boyishness. They have relished wit, they have indulged in humor. They have not allowed 'dignity' to depress them into moroseness. Youthfulness of spirit is the twin brother of optimism, and optimism is the stuff of which American business success is fashioned. Resist growing up!
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