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I have a habit of thinking quite thoroughly about everything I wish to do. Many people, once they have made a plan, simply cannot wait to set about their work immediately. To make matters worse, they tend to rely too much on chance, thinking things will take care of themselves once they start. But they often find that their plans are not working out as easily as they expected, for the reality is that things go awry for them and eventually they fail. This happens because they think only of success, without taking failure into consideration. This is a highly dangerous attitude.

I am the opposite of such people; from the very beginning I take into consideration the possibility of failure. I make plans beforehand as to how I should reorganize my project, so that even if I should be unsuccessful I would not be too much affected. I do not begin anything until the right time makes itself known. By doing this, I never experience a decisive failure with any project, always being able to build anew.

I apply the same principle to financial matters. That is, I divide my funds into three parts. If I find the first part does not suffice I use the second, and if that is still not enough I use the third. So, I seldom find myself in a tight situation. In this way, I make my plans and all the necessary preparations very carefully, studying them from every angle to make doubly sure they will succeed. To casual observers, my work may seem slow and tedious, but it insures progress in the long run since it eliminates major setbacks. Moreover, since there is no waste in terms of time, labor and expense, unexpected profits are gained. As you all know, I not only make bold plans one after another but put them into action; I have no apprehension whatsoever; I am perfectly at ease and everything goes smoothly.

Even after my preparations are complete, I never plunge into action but wait until the time is ripe. As soon as the right time arrives (and it is sure to come) I embark on the enterprise without losing a moment.

Another point I would like to mention is that I take care not to become impatient. One must never become impatient, for if one does, it invariably causes strain and this leads one to ruin. As we observe someone who has failed, we always find that individual's failure has been caused by impatience and overstrain.

This reminds me of World War II. In the early stages of the war, the Japanese military went from victory to victory. This gave rise to overconfidence and arrogance. So, even when the situation began to change and eventually became quite serious, the leaders held out desperately, making futile attempts to achieve the impossible. Finally they were led to that miserable defeat. As soon as signs of overstrain began to appear, I knew that the end was nearing, but in those days I had no choice other than to keep this to myself. I often thought with regret that there would have been some room for hope left if, at the outset, the military had taken defeat into consideration. The catastrophe could be ascribed to rash judgment on the part of those in power.

People think of me as mystifying, since my actions are sometimes precipitate and sometimes deliberate. But, whatever I do, my projects as a whole make such swift and smooth progress that all who know about them are struck with surprise. This, as with all other things, is due to the great help and guidance God is always imparting to me. The rapid development of our work amply proves this point.

I would like to give you another piece of advice. It is important for anyone to occasionally divert his mind from work. There are many individuals who stick to single projects and usually find that their progress is comparatively slow. This happens because they force themselves to go on even though they may be tired of working, which is not good. In such cases, the best thing for those people to do is to divert their minds, to relax and enjoy themselves, even if just with games. I often hear of some individuals, such as artists, who never work unless they are in the mood. I think there is good reason for this. In a sense, it can be said that giving oneself a free rein increases efficiency. This is why I do not like to adhere to one project but prefer to move from one task to another. I find this helps me to feel good and enables me to enjoy working, which in turn helps my brain to operate more clearly.

Of course, it depends on the circumstances of each individual, for it may not be possible for some to do this. Anyone, however, can achieve greater efficiency by keeping this in mind and adapting it to every situation in every way that is feasible.



June 25, 1952



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