Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters

One of the standards of critically thinking for oneself is searching out and understanding primary sources.  In today’s age, it’s too easy to cut corners by relying on blogs and websites for second, third or fourth (or worse) generation sources, which too often are not even close to matching their original sources.  Setting grammatical laziness aside, sometimes outright bias is designed to spin a primary source into a citation that casts a favorable light on specific partisan agendas.

The below selection from William James has been quoted many times (often without the courtesy of citing him) and still can be found at the heart of many contemporary self-help books and programs.  The Day-Timer time-management system was one of the first of the modern managing systems, based on many of Charles R. Hobbs’ innovative ideas, followed by Franklin day planners which later became Franklin-Covey planners.  All of the modern day planning-system peddlers borrow from elements of Hobbs’ original ideas, many of whom not giving him so much as a passing nod.

Hobbs’ revolutionary time-management ideas can be found in a revised edition entitled, Time Power, first published in 1987, as well as other related books, at the following site:  http://www.charlesrhobbs.com/ .

In Charles R. Hobbs’ 1985 booklet (first copyrighted in 1976), How To Manage Your Time More Effectively With A Day Timer (which accompanied early Day-Timer packages), the “four maxims on habit formulation” (published by William James in 1891 for assistance in “carrying out a goal”) were properly quoted by Hobbs.  James cited his own source for the first two maxims:  a “Professor Bain.”  –SB

from:  [James, William.  The Principles of Psychology.  “Habit.”  1891.] with bold emphasis added.

“In Professor  Bain’s chapter on “The Moral Habits” there are some admirable practical remarks laid down.  Two great maxims emerge from his treatment.  The first is that in the acquisition of a new habit, or the leaving off of an old one, we must take care to launch ourselves with as strong and decided an initiative as possible.

The second maxim is:  Never suffer an exception to occur till the new habit is securely rooted in your life.

A third maxim may be added to the preceding pair:  Seize the very first possible opportunity to act on every resolution you make, and on every emotional prompting you may experience in the direction of the habits you aspire to gain.

As a final practical maxim, relative to these habits of the will, we may, then, offer something like this:  Keep the faculty of effort alive in you by a little gratuitous exercise every day.”

[My Growing Up Chart from:  http://www.victoriachartcompany.com/growingupchart.html ].

[Ac-cent-tchu-ate The Positive (1944):  lyrics by Johnny Mercer; music by Harold Arlen).]  Listen to Dennis Potter’s twisted version here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKrC9Tu8gpo&list=PL117BBD43286A4CAA&index=5&feature=plpp_video , with vocals by Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters.

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