Self Help; With Illustrations Of Conduct And Perseverance

 
9781484084021: Self Help; With Illustrations Of Conduct And Perseverance
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“The writings of Samuel Smiles are a valuable aid in the education of boys. His style seems to have been constructed entirely for their tastes; his topics are admirably selected, and his mode of communicating excellent lessons of enterprise, truth and self-reliance, might be called insidious and ensnaring if these words did not convey an idea which is only applicable to lessons of an opposing character and tendency taught in the same attractive style. The popularity of this book, ‘Self-Help,’ abroad, has made it a powerful instrument of good, and many an English boy has risen from its perusal, determined that his life should be moulded after that of some of those set before him in this volume. It was written for the youth of another country, but its wealth of instruction has been recognized by its translation into more than one European language, and it is not too much to predict for it a popularity among American boys.” -N.Y. World

Who better to take inspirational advice from than a man named Smiles? But unlike the feel-good cheerleading that the term "self-help" says to us today, to Smiles it might well have been synonymous with "hard work." For this 1859 volume is dedicated to "stimulat[ing] youths to apply themselves diligently to right pursuits,--sparing neither labour, pains, nor self-denial in prosecuting them--and to rely upon their own efforts in life." Though the author himself admits his lessons are "old-fashioned but wholesome," he nevertheless delivers stern but well-intentioned lectures on such commonsense concepts as the importance of learning from failure, how work is the best teacher, and the value of thrift, gentility, and honesty, all peppered with examples of such noble industry from the lives of writers, scientists, artists, inventors, educators, philanthropists, missionaries, and--gulp!--martyrs. It's as if all paternal wisdom had been reduced to a single book.

“Riches and rank have no necessary connection with genuine gentlemanly qualities. The poor man with rich spirit is in all ways superior to the rich man with a poor spirit. To borrow St. Paul's words, the former is as "having nothing, yet possessing all things," while the other, though possessing all things has nothing. Only the poor in spirit are really poor. He who has lost all, but retains his courage, cheerfulness, hope, virtue, and self respect, is still rich.” ― Samuel Smiles, Self-Help

“Many are the lives of men unwritten, which have nevertheless as powerfully influenced civilization and progress as the more fortunate Great whose names are recorded in biography. Even the humblest person, who sets before his fellows an example of industry, sobriety, and upright honesty of purpose in life, has a present as well as a future influence upon the well-being of his country; for his life and character pass unconsciously into the lives of others, and propagate good example for all time to come.” ― Samuel Smiles, Self-Help

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About the Author:

For the much of his career, Smiles advocated individual self improvement. Smiles' self-help books have been cited as influential on the New Thought Movement in late 19th century America and England, and, in particular, on the career of the New Thought author Orison Swett Marden, who said that his early ambition had been to become "the Samuel Smiles of America." This classic book has been called "the bible of mid-Victorian liberalism".

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