Free Download: Pushing to the Front, Vol. 1 and 2 at http://arfalpha.com/PushToTheFront/PushingToTheFront.htm
This is some good stuff.
PUSHING TO THE FRONT
OR, SUCCESS UNDER DIFFICULTIES
A BOOK OF INSPIRATION AND ENCOURAGEMENT TO
ALL WHO ARE STRUGGLING FOR SELF-ELEVATION
ALONG THE PATHS OF KNOWLEDGE
AND OF DUTY
ORISON SWETT MARDEN
Go-at-it-iveness is the first requisite for success. Stick-to-it-iveness is the second. Under ordinary circumstances, and with practical common sense to guide him, one who has these requisites will not fail.
Don’t wait for a higher position or a larger salary. Enlarge the position you already occupy; put originality of method into it. Fill it as it never was filled before. Be more prompt, more energetic, more thorough, more polite than your predecessor or fellow workmen. Study your business, devise new modes of operation, be able to give your employer points. The art lies not in giving satisfaction merely, not in simply filling your place, put in doing better than was expected, in surprising your employer; and the reward will be a better place and a larger salary. When out of work, take the first respectable job that offers, heeding not the disproportion between your faculties and your task. If you put your manhood into your labor, you will soon be given something better to do.
Gladstone says there is a limit to the work that can be got out of a human body, or a human brain, and he is a wise man who wastes no energy on pursuits for which he is not fitted. “Blessed is he who has found his work,” says Carlyle. “Let him ask no other blessedness. He has a work – a life purpose; he has found it, and will follow it.”
In choosing an occupation do not ask yourself how you can make the most money or gain the most notoriety, but choose that work which will call out all your powers and develop your manhood into the greatest strength and symmetry. Not money, not notoriety, not fame even, but power is what you want. Manhood is greater than wealth, grander than fame. Character is greater than any career. Each faculty must be educated, and any deficiency in its training will appear in whatever you do. The hand must be educated to be graceful, steady, and strong. The eye must be educated to be alert, discriminating, and microscopic. The heart must be educated to be tender, sympathetic, and true. The memory must be drilled for years in accuracy, retention, and comprehensiveness. The world does not demand that you be a lawyer, minister, doctor, farmer, scientist, or merchant. It does not dictate what you shall do, but it does require that you be a master in whatever you undertake. If you are a master in your line, the world will applaud you and all doors will fly open to you. But the world condemns all botches, abortions, and failures.
p.94-95 “What Career?” Pushing to the Front Vol. 1 by ORISON SWETT MARDEN