《Today I begin a new life》
Today I shed my old skin which hath, too long, suffered the bruises offailure and the wounds of mediority.
Today I am born anew and my birthplace is a vineyard where there is fruitfor all.
Today I will pluck grapes of wisdom from the tallest and fullest vines inthe vineyard,for these were planted by the wisest of my profession who have comebefore me,generation upon generation.
Today I will savor the taste of grapes from these vines and verily I willswallow the seed of success buried in each and new life will sprout withinme.
The career I have chosen is laden with opportunity yet it is fraught withheartbreak and despair and the bodies of those who have failed, were they piledone atop another, would cast a shadow down upon all the pyramids of theearth.
Yet I will not fail, as the others, for in my hands I now hold the chartswhich will guide through perilous waters to shores which only yesterday seemedbut a dream.
Failure no longer will be my payment for struggle. Just as nature made noprovision for my body to tolerate pain neither has it made any provision for mylife to suffer failure. Failure, like pain, is alien to my life. In the past Iaccepted it as I accepted pain. Now I reject it and I am prepared for wisdom andprinciples which will guide me out of the shadows into the sunlight of wealth,position, and happiness far beyond my most extravagant dreams until even thegolden apples in the Garden of Hesperides will seem no more than my justreward.
Time teaches all things to him who lives forever but I have not the luxuryof eternity. Yet within my allotted time I must practice the art of patience fornature acts never in haste. To create the olive, king of all trees, a hundredyears is required. An onion plant is old in nine weeks. I have lived as an onionplant. It has not pleased me. Now I wouldst become the greatest of olive treesand, in truth, the greatest of salesman.
And how will this be accomplished? For I have neither the knowledge nor theexperience to achieve the greatness and already I have stumbled in ignorance andfallen into pools of self-pity. The answer is simple. I will commence my journeyunencumbered with either the weight of unnecessary knowledge or the handicap ofmeaningless experience. Nature already has supplied me with knowledge andinstinct far greater than any beast in the forest and the value of experience isoverrated, usually by old men who nod wisely and speak stupidly.
In truth, experience teaches thoroughly yet her course of instructiondevours men's years so the value of her lessons diminishes with the timenecessary to acquire her special wisdom. The end finds it wasted on dead men.Furthermore, experience is comparable to fashion; an action that provedsuccessful today will be unworkable and impractical tomorrow.
Only principles endure and these I now possess, for the laws that will leadme to greatness are contained in the words of these scrolls. What they willteach me is more to prevent failure than to gain success, for what is successother than a state of mind? Which two, among a thouand wise men, will definesuccess in the same words; yet failure is always described but one way. Failureis man's inability to reach his goals in life, whatever they may be.
In truth, the only difference between those who have failed and those whohave successed lies in the difference of their habits. Good habits are the keyto all success. Bad habits are the unlocked door to failure. Thus, the first lawI will obey, which precedeth all others is --I will form good habits and becometheir slave.
As a child I was slave to my impulses; now I am slave to my habits, as areall grown men. I have surrendered my free will to the years of accumulatedhabits and the past deeds of my life have already marked out a path whichthreatens to imprison my future. My actions are ruled by appetite, passion,prejudice, greed, love, fear, environment, habit, and the worst of these tyrantsis habit. Therefore, if I must be a slave to habit let me be a slave to goodhabits. My bad habits must be destroyed and new furrows prepared for goodseed.
I will form good habits and become their slave.
And how will I accomplish this difficult feat? Through these scrolls, itwill be done, for each scroll contains a principle which will drive a bad habitfrom my life and replace it with one which will bring me closer to success. Forit is another of nature's laws that only a habit can subdue another habit. So,in order for these written words to perform their chosen task, I must disciplinemyself with the first of my new habits which is as follows:
I will read each scroll for thirty days in this prescribed manner, before Iproceed to the next scroll.
First, I will read the words in silence when I arise. Then, I will read thewords in silence after I have partaken of my midday meal. Last, I will read thewords again just before I retire at day's end, and most important, on thisoccasion I will read the words aloud.
On the next day I will repeat this procedure, and I will continue in likemanner for thirty days. Then, I will turn to the next scroll and repeat thisprocedure for another thirty days. I will continue in this manner until I havelived with each scroll for thirty days and my reading has become habit.
And what will be accomplished with this habit? Herein lies the hiddensecret of all man's accomplishments. As I repeat the words daily they will soonbecome a part of my active mind, but more important, they will also seep into myother mind, that mysterious source which never sleeps, which creates my dreams,and often makes me act in ways I do not comprehend.
As the words of these scrolls are consumed by my mysterious mind I willbegin to awake, each morning, with a vitality I have never known before. Myvigor will increase, my enthusiasm will rise, my desire to meet the world willovercome every fear I once knew at sunrise, and I will be happier than I everbelieved it possible to be in this world of strife and sorrow.
Eventually I will find myself reacting to all situations which confront meas I was commanded in the scrolls to react, and soon these actions and reactionswill become easy to perform, for any act with practice becomes easy.
Thus a new and good habit is born, for when an act becomes easy throughconstant repetiton it becomes a pleasure to perform and if it is a pleasure toperform it is man's nature to perform it often. When I perform it often itbecomes a habit and I become its slave and since it is a good habit this is mywill.
Today I begin a new life.
And I make a solemn oath to myself that nothing will retard my new life'sgrowth. I will lose not a day from these readings for that day cannot beretrieved nor can I substitute another for it. I must not , I will not, breakthis habit of daily reading from these scrolls and, in truth, the few momentsspent each day on this new habit are but a small price to pay for the happinessand success that will be mine.
As I read and re-read the words in the scrolls to follow, never will Iallow the brevity of each scroll nor the simplicity of its words to cause me totreat the scroll's message lightly. Thousands of grapes are pressed to fill onejar with wine, and the grapeskin and pulp are tossed to the birds. So it is withthese grapes of wisdom from the ages. Much has been filtered and tossed to thewind.Only the pure truth lies distilled in the words to come. I will drink asinstructed and spill not a drop. And the seed of success I will swallow.
Today my old skin has become as dust. I will walk tall among men and theywill know me not , for today I am a new man, with a new life.