A popular cache of our time is: "It takes all kinda of people to make a world." Probably because it is so true and so obvious. Every time we hear a friend make that statement about some other personality we automatically agree. But do we ever stop to think-and wonder-whether anyone ever says that about us?
While it is true that the man with a winning personality more easily breaks the ice of cold contact, it is also a fact that individuals with a neutral or indifferent personality are just as important in life as those who sparkle. Naturally, not everyone has a favorable personality, and every few individuals have a personality that is outstanding. If you are not one of the so-called "personality boys," don't despair. You cannot be blamed for the personality you brought into the world; you can only be criticized for failing to do something about it later on. And there are those who, even after they make the effort, may still consider themselves left behind in the personality race. But even those few are not entirely at a loss; they can always average up their apparent deficiencies by making the best of the good qualities they do possess, such as graciousness, courtesy, intelligence, friendliness, smartness and tactful aggressiveness.
Of course, there are many who are naturally reticent and reserved. These are probably the hardest deficiencies to overcome, yet one must force oneself to overcome these handicaps by moving deliberately in the opposite direction. If you are inclined to be a wallflower, make it your business to become more aggressive and more interesting, a little at a time.
Don't wait for someone to ask you a question-volunteer the information in advance, cheerfully and briskly. Exercise your initiative; don't hesitate to make yourself part of a group; step forward and take your place as if you belong as indeed you do! Don't be afraid to be considered an "interrupter"; occasionally you must take such chances and make such advances if you are to pull yourself along.
You are not being forward when you join with others in their activities. You are considered so only when you interfere in a group where you don't really belong-and there are very few of these. Most of the time you do belong-merely think you don't-and the way to prove it is to act as if you do.
It is easy to prove this for yourself. Next time you are on the outer fringe of a circle of friends or associates in business, move yourself gradually forward until you are in line with everyone else. Then smile at the opportune moment and make an appropriate remark, or volunteer some needed information, or suggest an idea, or join in the laughter . You will be surprised to see how quickly you are accepted.
Wishing for success-and having the will to go ahead and win success through your personality-are two entirely different things. It is the difference between wishful thinking and dynamic planning. Here is what Peter Bove, Commercial Training Supervisor, New Jersey Bell Telephone Company, has to say on the subject:
Anyone with basic intelligence can rise above the average. It is such a simple thing to do! Yet so few command the will power for this goal. Perhaps it is due to a feeling that "it can't be done" -or again it may be a false impression that "everything seems to be against me."
After training and analyzing more than 20,000 men and women in the selling profession, I find one factor that seems to stand out and that distinguishes the average men from those who are above average, the leaders. Is it the WILL TO SUCCEED.
The will to success is more than just a desire to get ahead. It is a sincere urge to accomplish a mission. The preacher has it when he delivers an inspiring sermon; the lawyer, when he pleads his case for a client he knows is innocent; the salesman, when he sells a product he knows has definite advantages for his prospect; the teacher, when she is trying to stimulate her students to great effort. It is a sincere desire to get others to accept one's views-to their advantage. This same desire is the driving power that makes missionaries and explorers undertake task that are fraught with danger-and makes mediocre men attain new heights in the world of affairs.
Obstacles to success are about the same for everyone. The man without the will to win knows that someone will overcome them and it might as well be he. He tries-and attains success.