Commandments For Success

In his autobiography, legendary showman Phineas T. Barnum (1810-1891) gives some advice for achieving success. More than a Century later his wisdom can still benefit everyone.

1. Avoid running into debt. “There is scarcely anything that drags a person down like debt,” Barnum states. He encourages saving money. “There is nothing animate or inanimate that will work so faithfully as money when placed at interest, well secured. It works night and day, and in wet or dry weather.”
2. Persevere. “How many have almost reached the goal of their ambition, but losing faith in themselves have relaxed their energies, and the golden prize been lost forever?” asks Barnum. “Perseverance is sometimes but another word for self-reliance.”
3. Whatever you do, do with all your might. Barnum emphasizes that hard work breeds success. “Work at it, if necessary, early and late, in season and out of season, not leaving a stone unturned, and never deferring for a single hour that which can be done just as well now,” he advises.
4. Depend on your own personal exertions. “No man has a right to expect to succeed in life unless he understands his business, and nobody can understand his business thoroughly unless he learns it by personal application and experience,” Barnum writes. Understanding what you do is more important to your success than “luck.”

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