to the test. If Mother Nature bends to the will of
desire, is it logical that mere men can defeat a burning desire?
Strange and imponderable is the power of the human mind! We do not
understand the method by which it uses every circumstance, every
individual, every physical thing within its reach, as a means of
transmuting DESIRE into its physical counterpart. Perhaps science
will uncover this secret.
I planted in my son's mind the DESIRE to hear and to speak as any
normal person hears and speaks. That DESIRE has now become a reality.
I planted in his mind the DESIRE to convert his greatest handicap
into his greatest asset. That DESIRE has been realized. The modus
operandi by which this astounding result was achieved is not hard
to describe. It consisted of three very definite facts; first, I
MIXED FAITH with the DESIRE for normal hearing, which I passed on
to my son. Second, I communicated my desire to him in every conceivable
way available, through persistent, continuous effort, over a period
of years. Third, HE BELIEVED ME!
As this chapter was being completed, news came of the death of Mme.
Schuman-Heink. One short paragraph in the news dispatch gives the
clue to this unusual woman's stupendous success as a singer. I quote
the paragraph, because the clue it contains is none other than DESIRE.
Early in her career, Mme. Schuman-Heink visited the director of
the Vienna Court Opera, to have him test her voice. But, he did
not test it. After taking one look at the awkward and poorly dressed
girl, he exclaimed, none too gently, "With such a face, and
with no personality at all, how can you ever expect to succeed in
opera? My good child, give up the idea. Buy a sewing machine, and
go to work. YOU CAN NEVER BE A SINGER."
Never is a long time! The director of the Vienna Court Opera knew
much about the technique of singing. He knew little about the power
of desire, when it assumes the proportion of an obsession. If he
had known more of that power, he would not have made the mistake
of condemning genius without giving it an opportunity.
Several years ago, one of my business associates became ill. He
became worse as time went on, and finally was taken to the hospital
for an operation. Just before he was wheeled into the operating
room, I took a look at him, and wondered how anyone as thin and
emaciated as he, could possibly go through a major operation successfully.
The doctor warned me that there was little if any chance of my ever
seeing him alive again. But that was the DOCTOR'S OPINION. It was
not the opinion of the patient. Just before he was wheeled away,
he whispered feebly, "Do not be disturbed, Chief, I will be
out of here in a few days." The attending nurse looked at me
with pity. But the patient did come through safely. After it was
all over, his physician said, "Nothing but his own desire to
live saved him. He never would have pulled through if he had not
refused to accept the possibility of death."
I believe in the power of DESIRE backed by FAITH, because I have
seen this power lift men from lowly beginnings to places of power
and wealth; I have seen it rob the grave of its victims; I have
seen it serve as the medium by which men staged a comeback after
having been defeated in a hundred different ways; I have seen it
provide my own son with a normal, happy, successful life, despite
Nature's having sent him into the world without ears.
How can one harness and use the power of DESIRE? This has been answered
through this, and the subsequent chapters of this book. This message
is going out to the world at the end of the longest, and perhaps,
the most devastating depression America has ever known. It is reasonable
to presume that the message may come to the attention of many who
have been wounded by the depression, those who have lost their fortunes,
others who have lost their positions, and great numbers who must
reorganize their plans and stage a comeback. To all these I wish
to convey the thought that all achievement, no matter what may be
its nature, or its purpose, must begin with an intense, BURNING
DESIRE for something definite.
Through some strange and powerful principle of "mental chemistry"
which she has never divulged, Nature wraps up in the impulse of
STRONG DESIRE "that something" which recognizes no such
word as impossible, and accepts no such reality as failure.