3."He Who Can Do This Has the Whole World with Him. He Who Cannot Walks a Lonely Way"
I often went fishing up in Maine during the summer. Personally I am very fond of
strawberries and cream, but I have found that for some strange reason, fish prefer
worms. So when I went fishing, I didn’t think about what I wanted. I thought about
what they wanted. I didn’t bait the hook with strawberries and cream. Rather, I
dangled a worm or a grasshopper in front of the fish and said: “Wouldn’t you like to
Why not use the same common sense when fishing for people?
That is what Lloyd George, Great Britain’s Prime Minister during World War I, did.
When someone asked him how he managed to stay in power after the other wartime
leaders - Wilson, Orlando and Clemenceau - had been forgotten, he replied that if his
staying on top might be attributed to any one thing, it would be to his having learned
that it was necessary to bait the hook to suit the fish.
Why talk about what we want? That is childish. Absurd. Of course, you are interested
in what you want. You are eternally interested in it. But no one else is. The rest of us are
just like you: we are interested in what we want.
So the only way cm earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and
show them how to get it.
Remember that tomorrow when you are trying to get somebody to do something. If, for
example, you don’t want your children to smoke, don’t preach at them, and don’t talk
about what you want; but show them that cigarettes may keep them from making the
basketball team or winning the hundred-yard dash.
This is a good thing to remember regardless of whether you are dealing with children
or calves or chimpanzees. For example: one day Ralph Waldo Emerson and his son
tried to get a calf into the barn. But they made the common mistake of thinking only of
what they wanted: Emerson pushed and his son pulled. But the calf was doing just