How to Influence Others

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Leadership, Life and Style is part of the Stronger, Braver, Wiser publishing stable. We empower leaders to be powerful.

If you really aspire to greatness, wealth and success in every area of your life you MUST learn how to use Dominant Influence over others.

Every successful person understands that fact and they use that power every day to allow themselves to “have” more, “do” more and “be” more.

YORITOMO-TASHI, whose precepts are present- ed in this book, ranks as one of the three greatest statesmen that Japan has ever produced. He was the reviser of the Empire’s code of laws, and the organizer of military feudalism,he rescued his native land from the slough of demoralization into which it had sunk. In 1186 he established the seat of his government at Kamakura, where he organized an administrative body similar in its methods and operation to the metropolitan government. From what is known of his public career, it is evident that he exercised a dominant influence over the minds of his people. To him the art of influencing others was the key to success.

In the lessons that Mr. B. DANGENNES has drawn from the writings of Yoritomo-Tashi, and presents in this book, the manner in which Influence may be exerted and the means by which it may be exercised are considered.

PERSUASION, Yoritomo taught us, clothes itself in two very different forms; the one invades the soul like the invisible molecules of a soothing balm poured from a kindly hand,and gently infiltrates itself throughout our systems, communicating to us its virtues.

The other may be compared to the terrible wind of the African deserts. If, from the first hour one feels its burning touch, he has not known how to avoid it by shutting himself closely within his dwelling, every crevice
and opening of which has been sealed, nothing can escape its attacks. The imperceptible sand drifts little by little into all corners of the house, and even reaches all parts of the human body. However well protected we may be, it even penetrates closed lips and eyes, and soon this almost invisible thing seizes on every man and be-
comes his constant preoccupation.

Evil persuasion is all the more dangerous because it knows how to clothe itself with the most attractive external attributes. That is what we meet in the guise of counselors whose words are always tempting, since they adopt the false appearance of solicitude. With earnest words and sympathetic smiles, these persons who almost always have nothing to do in life, try to spoil the lives of others without having a suspicion of their unconscious crime.

Usually these are the kind of persons that talk in apparent good faith about the freedom to live one’s own life. They are those who seek the agreeable sensation of the moment, without giving a thought to the possible bitterness of tomorrow.

They have to learn harsh lessons, for all that; often they are compelled to suffer for days and weeks in order to pay for one day of careless pleasure; but these days are either soon forgotten, or their lightness of character is such that they prefer to take the risk of drawing down on themselves serious troubles in the future than to make any effort in the present to avoid them. Here Yoritomo, always ready with examples, related the following story:

I once knew a young man, the son of one of my friends, who was afflicted with a certain lightness of judgment. He was not bad at heart, but his effeminacy and lack of strength of will made him an undesirable companion for such of his young friends whose souls were not sufficiently tempered by the practice of a continual appeal to dominating forces.

One day he was calling on one of his friends,whose father occupied an important place in the senate, and who sent his son to the house of one of his colleagues to learn the result of a discussion in which he had not been able to take part. Apropos of a very important question, on which a favored future or a disgrace depended, he wished to know what a night session of the senate had determined.

On the way, the son of the senator confided his apprehensions to his frivolous friend.To this young man these weighty matters seemed unimportant and childish, and he dwelt much on the bore it would be to allow this matter
to spoil an evening in which both friends had promised themselves much pleasure.

His reply filled the senator’s son with consternation; the night session had taken place, and the most important affairs had been discussed, and the absent senator had been attacked with great bitterness by his adversaries.

But the friend said, ‘Since the contretemps is sure to bring trouble and spoil the pleasure we were looking forward to, why risk this trouble? We can tell your father that the session did not take place, and that all is going well!’

The senator’s son resisted; he would not dare lie to his father, he said. But his friend became more insinuating: ‘It would not be a serious lie, and besides, one would have time to say that some one had misunderstood—in fact,
are we quite sure that there had not been some misunderstanding ?’

In order to vanquish his friend’s last hesitations, the young gentleman pretended to recall the whole interview, analyzing its details and inventing others. Meantime, he said, they would say that several persons had stopped them and questioned them; was it not to one of these that they had replied?

He said so much in so persuasive a way that at last the senator’s son deliberately told his father that the expected session had been postponed until the following day. Under the influence of this evil persuasion he felt not the slightest remorse in telling this falsehood, and passed a delightful evening.

But alas! the next day must have been terrible!

His father and his partisans could not be found at all in time to foil the scheme of his enemies; his disgrace was decided on, and the order to commit hara-kiri was sent to him.

After he was dead, his effects were confiscated, and his son dragged out the miserable existence of the poor beings whom will and dignity do not console.

The old philosopher did not tell us whether the friend, the cause of all these disasters, sought to palliate them by coming to the aid of him whom he had ruined by his detestable counsel. But it is probable that, feeling in this affair as those feel who are conscious of their contemptible conduct, he looked on indifferently at the misfortunes chargeable solely to his own lightness of character.

It is, in fact, a common trait with those who are conscious of their own inability to make the least effort to experience a wicked sort of pleasure in observing the failure of others.Another variety of the agents of bad per-
suasion are those persons we call pessimists,whom Yoritomo describes thus:

One should flee those who are created with life which makes one think only of the stupor of death.

Their souls are always in the state where one finds the body in the tomb; every effort seems useless to them, or rather, they prefer to make a show of that indifference which makes the gestures necessary to obtain the accomplishments they pretend to despise.

Despise them, indeed? Do they not feel,rather a malicious joy in demoralizing others?

They like to consider man as fundamentally bad, and to declare that the slumber of the dead is the superior of all other pleasures.

That is true only regarding those who, as we have said, pass through life as if they were already dead. They would be right, perhaps, if one heard only through pleasures of the gross, earthly joys of existence. But, for those that know how to see the joy of living is in all things, and we can taste it, even in the midst of the greatest afflictions. Can the grief of mourning, cruel though it may be, prevent us from admiring the sunshine at the moment when it hangs the purple of the sunset in the sky before it sinks to sleep behind the quivering birch-trees?

Can any grief, whatever it may be, prevent us from feeling a delicate emotion on hearing the sweet, strong voice of a boatman, whose song is lost in the distance when his light craft disappears in the golden mist of the great lakes. The joy of life throbs everywhere about us;it is in everything that surrounds us, and we should gather all our strength to cry out against those that preach pessimistic doctrine, for every life, sad though it may be, is worth living.

Do we not hear those that talk about the scourge of our day, neurasthenia—which often is only one of the commonest forms of egoism for those that are attacked by it—refuse not only to believe in the beautiful and the good, but they devote the last sparks of their fast disappearing will to persuading others of the uselessness of everything.

Are they always sincere? Do they not do this in a sort of spite against those who are more expert in the art of living and who excite their envy by enjoying the blessings of life which their own moral weakness does not allow them to appreciate.

How much happier are those of whom Yoritomo says, They accept joyfully the evil of living, and show it in their fervent adoration of everything that is beautiful and good. These,he added, are the true priests of favorable
persuasion. They know by the authority of their own conviction, how to give courage again to the weak and faith to the incredulous.

By the virtue of persuasion, they banish from the invalid the pains which almost always hasten the apparition of imaginary sufferings. They know the right words to say to strengthen weak wills, and to give to those who suffer pain in reality the courage to support the ills which sympathy and solicitude made lighter. They are, in short, true healers.

The persuasion toward health is the best of panaceas, for no one denies the influence of moral qualities on physical health. I once knew a man who, under the influence to one fixed idea, was about to die. He imagined that, while drinking the water of a stagnant pool, he had swallowed a serpent,minute at first, but which growing larger inside of his body, caused internal ravages of which he felt himself likely soon to die.

His friends had told me of his singular ease, telling me how anxious they were at seeing this so-called invalid wasting away day by day. I was curious to visit him; I found a real invalid, looking very ill, with features sunken, and hardly able to drag himself about. Pressing his chest, he told us that the serpent was devouring him.

His friends laughed at him and seemed to think that I would join them in their mirth, but I judged the moral evil too serious to try to soothe him by trying to reason with him. Persuasion alone, based on a real or an imaginary proof, with the aid of suggestion, could save the man.

Instead of laughing with the others, I pretended to believe that he was really ill, and asked him to tell me his story, to which I listened with the deepest attention.

To his great astonishment, I sympathized with him in his trouble, and spoke of one of my friends, a famous healer, who would be happy to interest himself in the invalid and to try to save him.

Two days later I returned, actually bringing with me a physician whom I had told of this strange mania, and who had promised me his assistance, for it was indispensable to have near me some one who could speak authoritatively in order to impress the mind of the invalid. He examined the patient carefully, prescribed certain medicines, and withdrew, with out giving any words of positive hope. Then began my part, that of a psychologist. I pretended that I would tell him the absolute truth, however brutal it might seem. The doctor had discovered beyond all doubt the
presence of the serpent; he had tried certain medication. Would it succeed? He dared not affirm it.

Several days passed, with alternating fear and hope, which indications I noted carefully. Finally, one day the physician declared that he was about to make a decisive test, of which he had great hope of a favorable result.
I had known so well how to be persuasive, and had understood so thoroughly how to surround the patient with the right occult influences, that he no longer rejected the idea of a possible cure; and when, after taking certain
medicines that induced him to vomit freely, we showed him the serpent which he believed he had thrown up, our invalid found himself suddenly cured.

After this, if he happened to feel again pain or discomfort of any kind, he attributed it to the ravages caused by the serpent, and, as the cause existed no more the evil soon disappeared. This case shows that one of the conditions of succeeding in the art of persuading is not to batter rudely at convictions that one wishes to uproot.

This hardly requires an explanation; in order to persuade some one it is necessary to merit his sympathy; now, one never gains the sympathy of those whose opinions he does not share.

Hence, in order to persuade successfully, one must banish suspicion and know how to listen. One must not forget the profound egotism that characterizes all imaginary invalids; they are so full of themselves that their ills seem to them to acquire high importance.

They can not admit then that the whole world is not interested in their aches and pains, and the importance they themselves attach to them is a subject of d development for their malady.

For it is incontestable that all moral emotion has an immediate repercussion on the physical state.

To be able to persuade a patient that he is cured is, in most cases, to free him from his malady; it is always infinitely attenuated, since it is to spare him moral uneasiness, too fruitfulmother of bodily ills.

But Yoritomo did not stop here with instructing us in the benefits of persuasion; he extended his remarks to the unfortunates who are assailed by the doubt even of happiness, and he encouraged them with this parable:

A young lord was passing one day along the highroad when his palanquin was struck so roughly that it was broken to pieces; he looked at the ruins a moment, then he ordered his bearers to go in search of a new one, and sat down by the roadside to wait for them to bring it.A poor man passing by stopped and talked with him about the accident.

And what shall you do with these pieces? he inquired. Why, nothing, the rich man replied; I shall leave them where they are. Then will you allow me to take them? Yes, since I don’t want them. The beggar then set himself to work; he readjusted the boards, washed the soiled spots on the hangings in the nearest brook, and did so much and so well that toward evening the palanquin, although a little deteriorated, it is true, was solid and fit to use again.

Just then the bearers returned. They had not been able to find anything but a palanquin so light and frail that, as soon as they tried it, they saw that it would not do. There the beggar intervened, and offered ‘his’ palanquin.

The young lord was glad to pay a large indemnity to have the use for several hours of a thing which in reality belonged to him. And that, adds the old philosopher, is the experience of many persons who will not under-
stand that a destroyed happiness may prove a kind of blessing, if one knows how to gather up the pieces.

Instead of grieving over them and abandoning them by the wayside in order to wait for what may turn up, is it not better to do as the beggar did and to seek in the mishap a security which we should find it difficult to be sure of in the coordination of new events? It is on such occasions as this that the power of influence comes into play. In order to persuade men that it is easier for them to work at the construction (or reconstruction) of the happiness that is near them, psychic power is more necessary than it is in drawing them into hypothetic adventures.

Few men are not attracted by the magic of ‘beginning over again,’ and how many others count on luck, which they almost deify! When can they convince themselves that, for those who know the power of influence, which
develops a steady will and a strong thought, luck is born chiefly of circumstances created by ourselves?

Almost always we are the architects of our own fortunes; it is in working at them without respite that we may model them if not wholly according to our wish, at least in a way somewhat approaching it.

It is by believing steadfastly that we shall attain the highest power, that we shall acquire the qualities that make a man almost more than man, since they allow him to govern and subdue those by whom he is surrounded.
Might we not say that here Yoritomo presented the superman of Nietzsche, and do we not find in all those theories a commentary on the modern phrase of the power of mind over matter.

In what manner does this evolution produce itself and above all by what means can one obtain these quasi-miracles?

How does one make this effort to attain the desired end, and what qualities, occult or material are necessary to develop to attain this magnificent ambition to conquer the minds of men? Listen to what the Shogun tells us in the following chapters.

Congratulations you are interested in the ancient wisdom of Japanese influence.

The full digital resource can be downloaded here.

 

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Tony Curl

Tony Curl

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