The hardworking blacksmith Jones used to work all day in his shop and so hard working was he that at times he would make the sparks fly from his hammer.
The son of Mr. Smith, a rich neighbor, used to come to see the blacksmith everyday and for hours and hours he would enjoy himself watching how the tradesman worked.
"Young man, why don't you try your hand to learn to make shoe tacks, even if it is only to pass the time?" said the blacksmith. "Who knows, one day, it may be of use to you."
The lazy boy began to see what he could do. But after a little practice he found that he was becoming very skilled and soon he was making some of the finest tacks.
Old Mr. Smith died and the son on account of the war lost all his goods. He had to leave home and was forced to take up residence in another country. It so happened that in this village there were numerous shoemakers who were spending a lot of money to buy tacks for their shoes and even at times when they paid high prices they were not always able to get what they wanted, because in that part of the country there was a high demand for soldiers' shoes.
Our young Mr. Smith, who was finding it difficult to earn his daily bread, remembered that once upon a time he had learned the art of making tacks and had the sudden idea of making a bargain with the shoemakers. He told them that he would make the tacks if they would help to get him settled in his workshop. The shoemakers were only too glad of the offer. And after a while, Mr. Smith found that he was soon making the finest tacks in the village.
"How funny it seems," he used to say, "even making tacks can bring a fortune. My trade is more useful to me than were all my former riches."
——The Magic Pen of J. K. Rowling
Joanne Kathleen Rowling was born in England in 1965, and wrote her first story at the age of six. She was in her mid-20s when the idea for the Harry Potter novels came to her, during a long train ride. By the end of that journey, she says, the character of Harry and the school for wizards which he attends were more or less fully formed in her mind.
It would be several years, however, before the novel was completed. By that time, Rowling had been through a failed marriage. Living on welfare as a single parent, she wrote about Harry Potter while sitting in an Edinburgh cafe with her daughter asleep beside her. She could not have dreamed of the fame and success which Harry would bring her in the years to come.
Harry Potter is not your average superhero. He is 12 years old, skinny, wears glasses, and tends to worry a lot. Yet, he has captured the imagination of children and adults the world over, and has introduced millions to the joys of reading.
Harry's appeal stems from his role as a very ordinary boy who finds himself in extraordinary situations. Orphaned as a baby, Harry spends the next 10 years being mistreated by the awful relatives with whom he lives. On his 11th birthday, he learns that he possesses magical powers and is admitted for training at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The adventures of Harry and his friends at the school are superbly narrated by J. K. Rowling. She manages to lead her millions of readers deep into the world of the supernatural, while at the same time dealing with the fears and emotions of the ordinary human world. Many feel that this is the real magic of Harry Potter. .
When Henry ford decided to produce his famous v-8 motor, he chose to build an engine with the entire eight cylinders cast in one block, and instructed his engineers to produce a design in one for the engine. The design was placed on paper, but the engineers agreed, to a man, that it was simply impossible to cast an eight-cylinder engine-block in one piece.
Ford said, “Produce it anyway.”
“But,” they replied, “It’s impossible!”
“Go ahead.” Ford commanded, “And stay on the job until you succeed, no matter how much time is required.”
The engineers went ahead. There was nothing else for them to do, if they were to remain on the ford staff. Six months passed and nothing happened. Another six months passed, and still nothing happened. The engineers tried every conceivable plan to carry out the orders, but the thing seemed out of the question:“impossible!”
At the end of the year ford checked with his engineers, and again they informed him they had found no way to carry out his orders.
“go right head,” said ford, “I want it, and I’ll have it.”
They went ahead, and then, as if by a stroke of magic, the secret was discovered.
The ford determination had won once more!
This story may not be described with minute accuracy, but the sum and substance of it is correct. Deduce from it, you who wish to think and grow rich, the secret of the ford millions, if you can. You’ll not have to look very far.
Henry ford was successful, because he understood and applied the principles of success. One of these is desire: knowing out the lines in which the secret of his stupendous achievement have been described. If you can do this, if you can lay your finger on the particular group of principles which made Henry ford rich, you can equal his achievements in almost any calling for which you are suited.