Chapter 18 — My Own Will Come to Me
All my life I have known in a vague way that getting money is the result of earning it, but I have never had a perfect vision of that fact till recently. If I give to anybody service of a kind that he wants, I shall get back the benefit myself. If I give more service, I shall get more benefit. If I give a great deal more, I shall get a great deal more. But I shall get back more than I give. If I give more to my employer than he expects of me, he will give me a raise—and on no other condition. What is more, his giving me a raise does not depend on his fair-mindedness. He has to give it to me or lose me, because if he does not appreciate me somebody else will.
But this is only part of it. If I give help to the man whose desk is next to mine, it will come back to me multiplied, even if he is apparently a rival. What I give to him I give to the firm, and the firm will value it, because it is teamwork in the organization that the firm primarily wants, not brilliant individual performance.
If I have an enemy in the organization, the same rule holds. If I give him, with the purpose of helping him, something that will genuinely help him, I am giving service to the organization. Great corporations appreciate the peacemaker, for a prime requisite in their success is harmony among employees. If my immediate boss is unappreciative the same rule holds. If I give him more in advance of appreciation, he cannot ultimately withhold his appreciation and keep his own job.
The more you think about this law the deeper you will see it goes. It literally hands you a blank check, signed by the maker of universal law, and leaves you to fill in the amount and the kind of payment you want! Mediocre successes are those of men who obey this law a little way, who fill in the check with a small amount, but who stop short of big vision in doing it. If every employee would only get the idea of this law firmly fixed in his mind as a principle not subject to wavering with fluctuating moods, the success of the organization would be miraculous. One of my fears is apt to be that by promoting the other fellow’s success, I am sidetracking my own; but the exact opposite is true.
Suppose every employee would look at his own case as an exact parallel to that of his firm. What does his firm give for the money it gets from the public? Service! Service in advance! The better the service that is given out the more is the money that comes back. What does the firm do to bring public attention to its service? It advertises; that is part of the service. Now, suppose that I, as an employee, begin giving my services to the firm in advance of all hoped-for payment. I cannot do anything constructive in that firm’s office or store or plant or premises that is not service—from filing a letter correctly to mending the fence or pleasing a customer; from looking up a word for the stenographer to encouraging her to look it up herself; from demonstrating a machine to a customer to encouraging him to demonstrate it himself; from helping my immediate apparent rival to get a raise to selling the whole season’s output.
As for advertising myself, I begin advertising myself the moment I walk into the office or the store or the shop in the morning; I cannot help it. Everybody who looks at me sees my advertisement. Everybody around me has my advertisement before his eyes all day long. So has the boss, my immediate chief, and the head of the firm, no matter where they are. And if I live up to my advertising, nobody can stop me from selling my goods-my services! The more a man knocks me, the more he advertises me, because he calls attention to me; and if I am delivering something better than he says I am, the interested parties—my employers—will see it and will not be otherwise influenced by what he says.
More than that, I must give to every human being I come in contact with, from my wife to the bootblack who shines my shoes, from my brother to my sworn foe. Sometimes people tell me to smile; but the smile I give must be a real smile that lives up to its advertising. If I go around grinning like a Cheshire cat; the Cheshire-cat grin will be what I get back—multiplied! If I give the real thing, I’ll get the real thing back—multiplied! If anybody objects that this is a selfish view to take, I answer him that any law of salvation from anything that has ever been offered by anybody for any purpose offers a selfish view. The only unselfishness that has ever been taught truly is that of giving a lesser thing in the hope of receiving a greater!
Now, why am I so sure of this law? How can you be sure? I have been watching it work; it works everywhere. I believe you have only to try it, and keep on trying it, and it will prove true for you. It is not true because ‘I say so, nor because anybody else says so; it is just true. Theosophists call it the law of karma; humanitarians call it the law of service; business men call it the law of common sense; Jesus Christ called it the law of love. It rules whether I know it or not, whether I believe it or not, whether I defy it or not. I cannot break it!
Now, without referring to any religious idea you may have about Jesus of Nazareth, without considering whether He was or was not divine, recall that He spoke these words: “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over.” And this appears certainly to be so; not because He said it, not because God Himself has said it; but because it is Truth, which we all, whether we admit it or not, worship as God. No man can honestly say that he does not put the truth supreme. It is true, this principle of giving and receiving, only there are few men who go the limit on it. But going the limit is the way to unlimited returns!
Well, then, what shall I give? What I have, of course. Suppose you believe in this idea, and suppose you start giving it out—the idea itself—tactfully, wisely; and start living it yourself in your business organization. How long do you think it will be before you are a power in that organization, recognized as such and getting pay as such? If this idea is true, it is more valuable than all the cleverness and special information you can possibly possess without it. What you have, give—to everybody. If you have an idea, do not save it for your own use only; give it. It is the best thing you have to give and therefore the thing that will bring the best back to you.
I begin to suspect that if a man would follow this principle, even to his trade secrets, he would profit steadily more and more; and more certainly than he will by holding on to anything exclusively for himself. He would never have to worry about his own affairs, because he would be working on the basis of fundamental law. Law never fails, and it will be easy for you to discover what is or is not law. And if law is worth using part of the time, it is worth using all the time.
Look around you first with an eye to seeing the truth, and then put the thing to the test. If our reasoning is sound, through both methods of investigation you will find a blank check waiting for you to fill in with “whatsoever ye pray and ask for” and a new way to pray and to get what you pray for!