By coincidence a book I opened in the Tube train told me the story of a man so despondent, though deserving, that he thought himself "beleaguered by all the circumstances of his life." For "nothing had ever gone right with him." He had "no luck."
The very day I opened the book I had been visiting a place which is rare, and I think unique...I had visited the Pelman Institute—that is,I had tested the men and the methods there; •I had satisfied myself that the men are neither unpractical visionairies nor advertising charlatans;
•I had verified the testimonials which they publish and the names of well-known people among their clients;
•I inquired into the methods they use in a way which only one who is himself a teacher could do;
•I procured and have studied the books they issue to their clients;
•I examined the queries they put, the schedules they work by, and the degrees of individual effort they require to be put forth.
I went there rather sceptical, I came away rather enthusiastic. And because the more I think about it the more I feel that "Pelmanism" is the name of something much required by myriads of people today as I am writing these pages.
"Pelmanism" is no fake, no dodge, no knack of temporary influence only, and it is not for the few alone. It is not for the relatively few whom Nature has endowed with the successful qualities, who cannot help "getting on," and who get on early because the many do not compete with them; it is for the many whom Nature has endowed with all the qualities for success except the instinctive knowledge of how to use them aptly.
There is no mystery about Pelmanism, except that it is not ladled out to all and sundry, and is kept as a secret for those who wish to have it, those who will work as well as pay… Every facility for a thorough investigation was placed at my disposal by Mr. W.J. Ennever, the Founder of the Institute.
It delighted me to discover that the Pelman Institute works along lines at a hundred public meetings on education I have ventured to lay down. Places for lecturing, coaching, and preparing people for examinations are valuable and many; so are places in which the tuition goes on by post, between tutor and learner, and when the learner is in earnest the effect is sure to be good.
But this is not a place for thus imparting general or examinational information; it is a place for indicating how Pelmanism is not for the self-satisfied; nor for the easily satisfied, content with any way of life, no matter how narrow and poor; nor for the sluggard, too inert; nor for the laggard, too idle. It is discipline, and many a client has found it to be just the training he needed. It is a means of energising, and energy is the master-force of everything.
•The clerk who does not "get on," the salesman, the commercial traveller, the shopkeeper who does not sell successfully;
•the underling, "the most conscientious worker in the office," who is, nevertheless, too slow;
•the teacher, not successful in a peculiatly difficult vocation;
•the would-be writer who always gets his manuscript (it should be typescript) back again;
•the doctor who vainly waits for patients;
•the solicitor who might as well be his own clerk;
•the briefless man at the Bar;
•the curate never offered a benefice; and many another,would find the discipline, guidance, and training of Pelmanism help them on.
When peace comes again, competition in life will be fiercer than ever, for men will return from the great, stern University of the War with qualifications developed that they did not previously know they possessed; I have passed most of a lifetime in trying to help on the cause of education, but I am glad to say that I shall not have to run the gauntlet of the sterner competition to come.
I suspected Pelmanism; when it began to be heard of, I thought it quackery; with self-satisfaction and vanity, I supposed that I need nothing of the kind. Now I wish I had taken it up when I heard of it first.
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