At that time New York still had one of the finest public-school systems in the country. I was enrolled in the local school, and on my first day there something happened that taught me a very important lesson. It was the classic new-boy situation; I was teased and taunted, and the hazing went on most of the day. I finally turned to the biggest of my tormentors and said, "All right, meet me outside." Everybody knew there was going to be a fight. When school was dismissed, a gang of kids was milling around by the steps of the back yard, waiting. My opponent was waiting too. I was frightened, but there was nothing to do about it. I took of my coat and started running down the stairs at my enemy. My seeming eagerness must have startled him, for I noticed that he wilted just a bit. The fact is, I was expecting to get knocked down and was rushing in to get it over with, but when I saw him flinch, I gained new courage. He gave up after one or two punches. This minor incident was soon forgotten by almost everyone but me; it taught me a lesson that latter applied in business every bit as much as it did in a high-school playground: If you show hesitancy or fear, you may already be half-defeated. If you put on a bold front, and fight with everything you have, you can win. Moreover, once you have won a few battles, you are usually left alone: in the jungle, no one thoughtlessly attacks the lion.