Times change, and people change with them – or do they?
A century ago, the National Cash Register Company published this cleverly illustrated guide to help its employees navigate the Road To Success. I discovered this map while reading Ken Jennings’s book Maphead. And according to Jennings, it was “One of the most popular illustrations of the 1910s.”
It’s funny to think about the 100 year-old message on this poster, which seems naively simple, but is delivered with a bag-of-hammers subtlety. I must admit that my first glance at the map brought to mind Dante’s Inferno. Can you say subliminal?
It’s pretty simple really; YOU can be successful with a bit of focus on your goal. But imagine the horror of being:
• Clawed off the road by the Hand of Vice or sucked into oblivion by Bad Habits.
• Swallowed down the slippery chute of Bad Reputation or Snared in the web of Jealousy
• Doomed to swim the River of Failure by taking Short Cuts
• Waylaid by Laziness or Ensnared in the Tower of Weak Morals
And my favorite is that only the tunnel of True Knowledge leads through Lack of Preparation Mountain, inside the Gate of Ideals, and Ta-da! – To Success.
I looked online for one of those modern corporate motivational posters to quote. The best I found was:
If a pretty poster and a cute saying
are all it takes to motivate you,
you probably have a very easy job.
The kind that robots will be doing soon.”
Happy Trails and Good Luck with the Resolutions,