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 Heritage Moment: Henry Ford Speaks on ‘Success’

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Editor's Note: Each Thursday, @Ford Online takes a look back at Ford heritage moments from the company's past. Click here for more heritage articles.

DEARBORN - This year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company.

Throughout the next few months in honor of that milestone, @Ford Online will highlight quotes from Henry Ford in our spotlight on the company’s heritage. 

Below is a quotation from March 1924 focusing on success, originality and innovation.
 
"What is success? It is fulfilling your own measure and maybe enlarging it a little. Every man when he is born is a prophecy of some satisfying career; success is the fulfillment of that prophecy.
 
It may be in one way, it may be in another; it may be involved in the accumulation of material wealth, it may be in the performance of services more fruitful to others than to oneself – in any case, success is fulfilling oneself.
 
But people will not believe that at once.
 
One needs to be successful in the conventional way to learn just how far away from success it may be.
 
I do not believe that material accumulation is the whole of success, and on the other hand I do not believe that true success ever excludes a sufficient possession of wealth-but wealth as a means, not as an end.
 
Some men are called successful because they have accumulated enough money to enable them to live without end a down-and-outer, however rich he may be.
 
Anyone whose interest in life and the work of life is so weak that he lives in hopes of someday being able to live without work is already headed for failure, no matter how successful he may be hoarding money.
 
Money they seek; wealth to them is not a means of doing still greater things with, it is the success itself.  Will, when a man reaches this point he is a failure. He is a mental and moral failure.
 
Any man who can live without work – live in any sense at all – is working. And, strange to say, many people are looking forward to the day when they will have enough to live without working.
 
Wealth that represents hoarding is not wealth anyway; money that represents service is the means to greater service.
 
There are no rules for success. Every man's own personal pattern of success is born with him, and the rules too.
 
He must think; it is the hardest possible work, and most people refuse to do it--but he must think, and the rules of his life will become plain. And then he must follow his destiny.
 
The only good that 'stories' of success can do is to confirm your faith that success is the natural destiny of all of us; they cannot give you the rules. One man's rule is another man's ruin.
 
And, likewise, every story of failure teaches us how utterly needless it was. The fundamental faith of life is this – you were put here for a purpose, to do something; and doing it will be your success.
 
Charge up every experience as profit, and push on. When you find your place, don't settle in it – widen it, push it on.
 
Success is constant ongoing, ceaseless growth. Life is motion. Forward motion is unavoidable in success."

  

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2/28/2013 6:20 AM