"When I was a boy of seven or eight I read a novel entitled "Abafi"... The lessons it teaches are much like those of "Ben Hur," and in this respect it might be viewed as anticipatory of the work of Wallace. The possibilities of will-power and self-control appealed tremendously to my vivid imagination, and I began to discipline myself. Had I a sweet cake or a juicy apple which I was dying to eat I would give it to another boy and go through the tortures of Tantalus, pained but satisfied. Had I some difficult task before me which was exhausting I would attack it again and again until it was done. So I practiced day by day from morning till night. At first it called for a vigorous mental effort directed against disposition and desire, but as years went by the conflict lessened and finally my will and wish became identical. They are so to-day, and in this lies the secret of whatever success I have achieved."
November 17, 2007