All living entities run a cycle of accumulation, processing and the result, which is either a reward or penalty. Often considered an involuntary biological process, it is the pattern of cognition as well. The living patterns of Self-made Men all share this structure and can be seen at all levels of rational, civil human endeavor: free-market economics (Capitalism), sound business organizations, democratic elections, the evolution of the space program, Olympic training, choosing a career, the process of eating,…the list is endless. All human action has a purpose—an end in mind—and leads back to its origin; the elements which compose a single thought. The purpose of this cause and effect relationship is to produce confidence—an axiomatic need for a non-automatic consciousness—which acts as a constant barometer of physical and spiritual health. Animals supposedly have instincts to guide them—a set course to follow—so confirmation of sound cognition is unnecessary. All they need is a predictable environment to act in. Regardless of what is considered the primary causal factor, a disruption at any step affects the rest; it is a natural continuum. Studies have shown that when an animal’s life-pattern of ‘effort for sustenance’ is interrupted with penalties when expecting rewards, it will quit eating—refusing to exist in a world it cannot comprehend—and this is true for us as well.

Confidence is the emotional aggregate resulting from the status of one’s condition regarding the primary alternative—life or death. It involves data encompassing how well one’s chosen premises are achieving one’s desired ends—one’s intellectual and physical health. Confidence attained is never a fixed state. It needs replenishing even more frequently than the body needs food. Confidence results from our every day-to-day action and it varies from brimming to anemic, just as our situations vary. I’m sure you can remember getting a job and suffering the embarrassment of a poor initial performance, which with critical apprehension was rectified quickly to your relief, as you settled into the work. Imagine reliving that experience every moment. Imagine if every right turn was supposed to be a left. If we didn’t make most moves in life correctly, the stress alone would kill us off in no time. Pride or self-esteem is our awareness that our actions are correct. By adding to and building our confidence, they indicate that our ability to satisfy the requirements of existence has proven effective. A sense of prideful confidence is a part of the continuum for a rational being, a reward we have to earn and deserve, and which we could not live without.