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Unformatted text preview: ful examples. The Russian writers are
often narrators of this struggle.
If one wishes to destroy the energy of any one, the best way to do it is to sow the seeds of doubt. "Your ideal
is a fine one, my friend, but--isn't it a little sophomoric?" "A nice piece of work, but--who wants it?" On the
other hand, to one obsessed by doubt it may happen that a whole-hearted endorsement, a resolution of the
doubt, brings with it first relief and then a swing of energy into the channels of action.
5. Competition is a great factor in energy release. Every one has seen a horse ambling along, apparently
without sufficient energy to go more than four miles an hour. Suddenly he cocks up his ears as the sounds of
the hoof beats of a rapidly traveling horse are heard. He shakes his head and to the amazement or amusement
of his driver sets off in rivalry at a two-minute clip. Intensely cooperative and gregarious as man is, he is as
intensely competitive, spurred on by his observations of the other fellow. Introduce a definite system of
rivalry into a school or an office, and you release energies never manifested before. There are some to whom
this is the main releaser of energy; struggle, competition and victory over another is their stimulus. They can
play no game unless there is competition, and the solitary pleasures and satisfactions, like reading, exploring,
a row on the river or a walk in the woods, cannot arouse them. Others dislike rivalry or competition; they are
too sympathetic to wish victory over another and also they dread to lose. They prefer team play and
cooperation. The world will always seem different to these two types. This may be said now that for most of
us, who are somewhat of a blend in this matter, rivalry is pleasant and stimulating when there is a show of
success, but we prefer cooperation when we foresee failure.
This brings up the interesting phase of precedent in energy release. Early success, unless it brings too high a
self-valuation, which is its great danger, is remarkably valuable in releasing energy, and failure establishes a
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- Spring '11