The Poisonous Peril of Meekness

Robert Terson

Last year I met a Twitter follower for breakfast, a terrific young man who drove all the way up from the northwest side of Chicago to spend some time with me.  Tim’s in his mid-40s, single, has a marketing background and, outside of some freelance work, had been unemployed for two years. He’s definitely an introvert (nothing wrong with being an introvert; some of the best salespeople I know are introverts), a laid back kind of guy—doesn’t like to make waves, get caught up in controversy; even his handshake was weak.

As I do with so many people who seek my help, advice, I asked Tim what he would do if he knew he couldn’t fail, if success was a given, a forgone conclusion, guaranteed. Alas, he couldn’t come up with a definitive answer; in fact, all his answers to my many questions were vague.  “I’m really not sure,” he kept saying

This is a quality man who is, I hate to say it, tiptoeing through life, unsure of himself, afraid to go out after what he wants—can’t even say what he wants—afraid to offend anyone. Speaking metaphorically, he needs to crack a few eggs and stir up the omelet of his choosing, but his lack of confidence in himself, his paralyzing fear of entering the arena, keeps holding him back, keeps him from taking action.

I recommended he pick up a copy of Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, told him he needed to read it a number of times, follow through on every direction the late Mr. Hill suggests. I told him if he did that, it would change his life. Tim promised he would go right over to Barnes and Noble and buy a copy.

When we parted I told him life would give him whatever he demanded of it; that, as I’ve said so often on this site, success was a decision he needed to make; that determination and persistence was far more important than education or talent; that he needed to approach people from a point of equality, not subservience (see the feature article “The Importance of Equality”); that people, especially employers, respect strength, abhor weakness

Tim took a few deep breaths, nodded, and said he was going to do everything I suggested.

What about you? Are you tiptoeing through life, too?  Are you in a rowboat aiming for the Irish coast, without a rudder and compass? Are you afraid of people, afraid to ask for what you want? Do you approach others from a point of fear and subservience, instead of courage and equality? If so, don’t you think it’s time to do something about it?

Do you own a copy of Think and Grow Rich? No? Then go out and get a copy, read it, study it! Change your life! You can do it, I promise you!

Do it!


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