Thursday, June 16, 2016

Joseph French Johnson: Author of The Price of Success

Joseph French Johnson (August 24, 1853 – January 22, 1925) was an American economist, journalist, Professor, and Dean of the School of Commerce, Accounts and Finance, New York University, and founding Dean of the Alexander Hamilton Institute in New York in 1909. He authored the timeless essay: the 'Price of Success' in 1900 (text below). On January 22, 1925 - he passed into immortality at Idylease in Newfoundland, N.J.


“I often wonder what it is that brings one man success in life, and what it is that brings mediocrity or failure to his brother. The difference can’t be in mental capacity; there is not the difference in our mentalities indicated by the difference in performance. In short, I have reached the conclusion that some men succeed because they cheerfully pay the price of success, and others, though they may claim ambition and a desire to succeed, are unwilling to pay that price.

And the price is…

To use all your courage to force yourself to concentrate on the problem in hand, to think of it deeply and constantly, to study it from all angles, and to plan.

To have a high and sustained determination to put over what you plan to accomplish, not if circumstances be favorable to its accomplishment, but in spite of all adverse circumstances which may arise and nothing worthwhile has ever been accomplished without some obstacles having been overcome.

To refuse to believe that there are any circumstances sufficiently strong to defeat you in the accomplishment of your purpose.

Hard? I should say so. That’s why so many men never attempt to acquire success, answer the siren call of the rut and remain on the beaten paths that are for beaten men. Nothing worthwhile has ever been achieved without constant endeavor, some pain and constant application of the lash of ambition. That’s the price of success as I see it. And I believe every man should ask himself: Am I willing to endure the pain of this struggle for the comforts and the rewards and the glory that go with achievement? Or shall I accept the uneasy and inadequate contentment that comes with mediocrity? Am I willing to pay the Price of Success?”

-Joseph French Johnson

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