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Unformatted text preview: our eyes and ears
wide open-and your mouth CLOSED, if you wish to acquire the habit of prompt
DECISION. Those who talk too much do little else. If you talk more than you
listen, you not only deprive yourself of many opportunities to accumulate useful
knowledge, but you also disclose your PLANS and PURPOSES to people who will
take great delight in defeating you, because they envy you.
Remember, also, that every time you open your mouth in the presence of a person who has an abundance of knowledge, you display to that person, your exact
stock of knowledge, or your LACK of it! Genuine wisdom is usually conspicuous
through modesty and silence.
Keep in mind the fact that every person with whom you associate is, like yourself,
seeking the opportunity to accumulate money. If you talk about your plans too
freely, you may be surprised when you learn that some other person has beaten
you to your goal by PUTTING INTO ACTION AHEAD OF YOU, the plans of which
you talked unwisely. 129 NAPOLEON HILL THINK AND GROW RICH Let one of your ﬁrst decisions be to KEEP A CLOSED MOUTH AND OPEN EARS
AND EYES. As a reminder to yourself to follow this advice, it will be helpful if
you copy the following epigram in large letters and place it where you will see it
“TELL THE WORLD WHAT YOU INTEND TO DO, BUT FIRST SHOW
This is the equivalent of saying that “deeds, and not words, are what count
most.” FREEDOM OR DEATH ON A DECISION
The value of decisions depends upon the courage required to render them. The
great decisions, which served as the foundation of civilization, were reached by
assuming great risks, which often meant the possibility of death.
Lincoln’s decision to issue his famous Proclamation of Emancipation, which gave
freedom to the colored people of America, was rendered with full understanding that his act would turn thousands of friends and political supporters against
him. He knew, too, that the carrying out of that proclamation would mean death
to thousands of men on the battleﬁeld. In the end, it cost Lincoln his life. That
Socrates’ decision to drink the cup of poison, rather than compromise in his personal belief, was a decision of courage. It turned Time ahead a thousand years,
and gave to people then unborn, the right to freedom of thought and of speech.
The decision of Gen. Robert E. Lee, when he came to the parting of the way with
the Union, and took up the cause of the South, was a decision of courage, for he
well knew that it might cost him his own life, that it would surely cost the lives of
But, the greatest decision of all time, as far as any American citizen is concerned,
was reached in Philadelphia, July 4, 1776, when ﬁfty-six men signed their names
to a document, which they well knew would bring freedom to all Americans, or
leave every one of the ﬁfty-six hanging from a gallows!
You have heard of this famous document, but you may not have drawn from it the
great lesson in personal achievement it so plainly taught. 130 NAPOLEON HILL THINK AND GROW RICH We all remember the date of this momentous decision, but few of us realize what
courage that decision required. We remember our history, as it was taught; we
remember dates, and the names of the men who fought; we remember Valley
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- Spring '12