Rudyard and James

Learning from Rudyard and James

Here is what I know. You and I can grow from our circumstances…if we pay the price required. Let’s borrow a success formula from two masters from the early 20th century, Rudyard Kipling and James Allen. Here is an excerpt from a short poem in Rudyard Kipling’s Elephant Child story that was published 115 years ago in his book Just So Stories. Let’s start there. We only need these first few lines to see a formula for success.

“I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who…”

Now, let’s consider (seriously, not casually) these four quotes from James Allen’s, As a Man Thinketh published in 1903.

“As the progressive and evolving being, man is where he is that he may learn that he may grow; as he learns the spiritual lesson which any circumstance contains for him, it passes away and gives place to other circumstances.”

“The mind is master-weaver, both of the inner garment of character and the outer garment of circumstance.” 

“Act is the blossom of thought, and joy and suffering are its fruits.”

And finally,

“Thought and character are one, and as character can only manifest and discover itself through environment and circumstance, the outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to be harmoniously related to his inner state.”

It is Monday. We have a choice to make. We can either drift along in auto-pilot mode and remain comfortable until life interrupts us with its own rules and price of admission; or we can interrupt ourselves and pay the fee we choose that puts us on a higher road. The fee we pay is better thinking. If you are not catching my metaphor, I am talking about the life and character we are building and the results it is delivering to us. Take your pick. Remain passive and suffer the consequence while looking for someone to blame; or do the difficult work of critical thinking and enjoy the rewards.

When we put these two masters side-by-side a formula emerges that we can follow. Don’t let today pass without answering these questions for yourself.

The Masters’ Formula
Where are you now and why?
What do you want…I mean really?
Whose responsibility is it?
What is the creative process?
What are the common pitfalls?
Can you see it? (How)


Rick Burris


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