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We admire people who have had great success, though we are usually less aware of what it was that enabled it to happen – i.e. the process they followed that propelled them to the heights. And yet the series House of Eliott reveals many of these keys. Analysis over the years has shown that the keys to success in any endeavor include the level of one’s intention, will, energy, strength, organization, and effort. In House of Eliott, all of these are prominent. Let's then examine what were the keys to success in HofE.


Aspiration, Intention

Perhaps the single great key to accomplishment in life is our level of aspiration. It expresses through our intention to achieve goals, and a will and determination to make it happen. We see clearly how the intensity of Bea's and Evie's aspiration and will to move ahead is key to their success. Here are several comments on the subject as it relates to the story:


  • We see how Bea and Evie at the outset aspire and dream to design dresses. This reflects their essential aspiration for accomplishment in life.
  • We see Evie's aspiration do to creative design work at Duroqu.
  • Evie's willful, creative energies drives the company, and attract positive circumstance
  • We see how Bea is often focused on expanding the work.
  • We see how passioantely Bea is devoted to making House of Eliott a success.
  • We see Bea and Evie disagree on how to move the company forward, only indicate how passionate each is from their side to accomplish.
  • Bea is driven to accomplish in part because she feels her father neglected them and did not support their ability to move forward.
  • Bea is so fearless because she is completely dedicated to her work at HofE. It is her very life. With such intensity, she can overcome nearly every obstacle before her.
  • We see how initially Jack has little aspiration, but through his relationship with Bea and opportunities that comes his way in the film and political arena, he develops an intense aspiration to move up, to help others, and to win over and stabilize in his relationship with Bea.

Personal Attitudes

Our level of accomplishment in life is highly dependent on the quality of our personal attitudes. When our attitude towards life, others, and work is high, accomplishment tends to move our way. When it is wanting, the opposite is the case. In House of Eliott we see many positive attitudes demonstrated that contribute to their success and accomplishment, but also several wanting ones that retarded achievement.


ATTITUDES TOWARD OTHERS

  • Bea’s attitudes towards her co-workers evolve from good relationship to truly caring for their well-being, especially after she meets with Jack’s parents, who are idealists and concerned for the worker.
  • We see this in her concern for Tilly and Agnes at various points. E.g. she shows gratitude to Tilly for having gotten the collection done on time, as well as interest in her career.
  • We see how Beas gives others a chance and mentors them, as she did with Jessica who becomes a fast learner on the job.
  • Evie consistently shows positive attitudes towards others, several times through forgiveness; e.g. when she is forgiving of both Yolanda and Victor Stride who has nearly ruined HofE.
  • Jack’s consistent help and support of Bea and Jack lend themselves mightily to their successes.
  • Over time Bea gives up a large measure of her hostility towards her father, as she learns more the truths of his past.


ATTITUDES TOWARD LIFE

  • Though Victor Stride’s article appears in the paper, threatening to ruin them, Evie indicates that she will not be bothered by them, and feels confident that things will work out well.
  • Each time there is a disaster for HofE, she sloughs it off, and moves forward.
  • Evie is consistently optimistic about their ability to make progress.
  • Bea learns through her misadventure with Lady Latner, that she should give up her set ideas about what HofE should offer, indicating that she is willing to learn from life.
  • Jack shows a consistent positive attitude in his career, taking to higher values over lower, and is very helpful in his relationship with Bea and Evie, seeing a way out of difficult situations in order to help them succeed.
  • We see Jack’s excellent attitude in the face of negative situations enables him to propel his career forward. E.g. when he was rejected at the newspaper, he looks on the sunny side and moves forward. Invariably life conspires to bring forth positive conditions and new opportunities thereafter.

Level of Harmony

Working together in harmony through cooperation, collaboration, and integration is critical in a working environment, particularly so when it involves two partners. In House of Eliott we see many examples of harmony in the story that enables the firm to thrive, though there are several episodes where the opposite is the case and the principles are forced to confront the issues in themselves and others.


  • Bea and Evie have complementary roles in the firm. Bea maintains the organization, finances, sales, future audience, etc.; Evie the creative spark. It brings out the best in their capacities. That balance creates a general harmony.
  • They both have the same goal, which is to drive the company forward, providing solutions for customers, which creates a harmonious atmosphere.
  • They have a generally positive relationship with their staff, which creates harmony and therefore success in their business.
  • Though Bea and Evie have severe differences about the future direction of the firm, they eventually overcome their qualms, which breeds success.
  • Bea creates harmony with Evie after she discusses matters with Jack and then says needs to be a balance between creativity and practicality. Her reasonableness engenders harmony. When she tries to strike a balance, positive conditions suddenly develop, enabling further accomplishment.
  • Eventually, Bea and Evie reconcile their differences to the point, where they shift over completely to the opposite of their previous uncompromising positions. This is a startling development of harmony that will invariably attract success. This is a tremendous development, and a sure sign of future success.
  • When things turn poorly, it often comes during and after periods of disharmony, such as the disagreement between Bea and Evie on the creativity and target audience; or when outside forces are disturbing the harmony, including the actions and behavior of Arthur, Lydia, Saroyan, Grace, and Cotter. (Even then, they learn from the experience, which contributes to a resettling of harmony.)
  • Various love relationships prove to be a source of disharmony at HofE from time to time, and so blocks success (Often through negative life response), including Evie’s relationships with Sebastian and Alex, (even Daniel), as well as Bea’s relationship with Captain White.

Psychological Strength

When we are weak, cowering before life's vicissitudes, accomplishment is difficult. But when we are psychologically strong, we tend to accomplish at a much higher level, often attracting positive outcomes from seemingly out of nowhere. In House of Eliott, the two sisters struggle with strength, but in many key situations rise to the occasion and ultimately prevail. Here are several examples:


  • Bea and Evie stand up to Arthur at nearly every step of the way, not putting up with his mischief. In the end, he ends scandalized and ruined.
  • Evie showed strength and an intuitive capacity to get at the cause of the scandal where they were maliciously and falsely blamed for plagiarizing the designs. In the end, they prevailed and then some.
  • Bea shows strength in dealing with her staff, particularly in the episode where she stands up to the abuse Florence is raining down on them.
  • Joseph the bookkeeper stood up to Saroyan when the latter wanted to look at the books without the permission of Bea. It will prove to be the right tactic, as life responds with revelation of Saroyan’s improprieties.
  • Bea will later take a similar tact of strength that will lead to the complete downfall of Saroyan.
  • Bea shows a fearlessness in her being, and together with Evie’s calm and non-reaction in difficult business situations, gives the company the energy to whether the storms.
  • Bea and Evie do not cower and get to the heart of the matter when it comes to Arthur, Yolanda and Victor, Saroyan, and Grace and Cotter.
  • Likewise, Jack shows strength on a number of occasions, supporting Bea and Evie in their times of need. E.g., he encourages them to get at the heart of the problem with Saroyan. He also shows strength in dealing with the newspaper he is rejected at, the malicious lies of his political opponent, and others. It enables HofE and him to rise to heights in their respective fields.

Negotiating Challenges

Often what is the greatest determinant of our success in life, including our work is the effect of the environment around us. If it is positive, it will support accomplishment. If it is not, it can retard it, even destroy it. In many instances in the story, Bea and Evie are confronted by hostile situations, yet are able to overcome them. This is perhaps their greatest achievement and the ultimate cause of their success.

  • They are negatively affected by Lydia and Arthur, yet prevail.
  • Saroyan is bent on destroying them financially, yet they get to the heart of the matter and prevail.
  • Victor and Yolanda try to destroy them by asserting a lie, but Bea and Evie prevail when they get to the truth.
  • Grace and Cotter nearly ruin their business, but they manage to catch their ill deeds and survive.

Goodwill, Goodness, Gratitude

An environment in which there is goodwill, goodness, and gratitude will surely support achievement in life. In House of Eliott, there is abundant goodwill (though occasional ill will from the outside), as well as genuine goodness amongst the principles. Here is a sampling:


GOODWILL

There is a strong atmosphere of goodwill and affection that underpins their success. Examples are-

  • Penelope’s goodwill for the sisters and Tilly. She introduces Jack, resulting in Bea’s job as his secretary. Later that leads to their moving into the same building as his office occupies at No. 24.
  • Tilly’s loyalty and close bonds with them
  • Jack becomes their first employer, first investor, a constant source of good will and support throughout.
  • Piggy offers that goodwill as well.
  • Desmond takes deep fatherly interest in them.
  • Most of all it is the genuine and deep affection of the two sisters for each other that sees them through all the crises as they rise in life.
  • Jack’s studio would be the future home of the House of Eliott. He is intimately involved in the unfolding of the business at every step of the way. In his own way, he will be a third partner, as he will help resolve many issues for them; and will even grow as a person in his work and in general through problems that HofE will encounter, and that he will be involved in resolving.
  • Evie's concern that there wouldn't be enough work for Tilly (and thus providing for her well-being) attracts positive circumstance. Concern for the well-being of others attracts.


GOODNESS


There is also a strong atmosphere of goodness and self-givingness that contributes to their success. Examples are-

  • Daphne, in a state of confusion visits Bea and Evie. She is very distressed. Bea however is willing to let her in, and sympathizes with her plight in life. This reaction of Bea's will later prove to be critical, in that she will return the favor by revealing all of Arthur's malfeasance to Sebastian, which will bring him down, and free Bea and sister Evie from the Arthur's treachery against their fortune. Principle: Life responds to one's goodness by bringing in return favorable conditions. This is a powerful unfolding that is one of the great keys and subtle lesson in the story!
  • Evie is forgiving of the woman (Yollanda) who tried to destroy her by stealing the designs. She even has sympathy for her plight; This is a telling part of her nature, and a powerful example of forgiveness and self-givingness. Life is bound to respond to it. Even though our enemies may try to destroy us, one can still sympathize with the cause of their actions and downfall.
  • Such forgiveness tends to attract powerful positive response from life. It is the release of negative energies of bitterness, which tends to attract the positive.
  • In one of the most important moments in the show, Evie rather than being bitter, takes to a positive view of the whole Alice affair (that came through the revenge of Jack’s former girlfriend). Evie’s positive spin on these events instantly attracts Mrs. Douglass, who then meets with Alice (who has by now been kept on at the company), has a wonderful experience with her discussing potential gowns, relays that information to Evie, who is then invited by Mrs. D Douglass to the Douglass house. Evie then has a number of positive experiences at the Douglass’s. All of this occurred all because of her positive attitude in the earlier affair; taking an open view rather than being vindictive. This is I believe one of the most telling psychological moments in the entire story. It is indicative of Evie's growth as a person, and the high quality of her character.
  • Evie is willing to forgive instead of pressing charges against Agnes.


GRATITUDE

  • Bea thanks Tilly for getting the collection done on time. This is a show of gratitude. She also shows interest in her career, and promotes her. This harkens back to the words of wisdom of Jack’s mother about the need for concern for the welfare of the workers by management.

Skill, Creativity

In a field like couturier and fashion design, one's skill, particularly in one's creativity can be the single key to success. We see many instances where they express this capacity, particularly Evie, enabling them to accomplish substantially along the way. There are also many other abilities one can have that breeds success, such as organizational prowess and presentation and sales skills. Here are several examples:

  • Evie is a dynamic, creative force in action.
  • Evie goes off to the museum to look for creative inspiration. She is having brainstorms of inspiration at the museum.
  • Evie has an intuition of the Nocturne line based on the music of Chopin and a Whistler painting. Evie demonstrates a creative, intuitive, and visionary capacity.
  • Bea has an energetic, charming way in making presentations and closing sales.
  • Bea is skilled at keeping HofE in fine running order, particularly through her organizational skills (which she demonstrated early on when she worked for Jack). She is also bright and alert, and therefore responsive to the clientele.

Catching the Wave

We see at several points how House of Eliott catches the wave of social change through their products and services, enabling them to achieve greatly. Here are several examples:

  • Early on, they try to expand beyond dresses for the super rich and aristocracy to clothing for the middle class.
  • They develop the line for the masses for Sears towards the end of season 2.
  • We also see Evie interested in seeing the works of young people (in season 3), including students, which inspires here to create outfits that meet the times.
  • Perhaps most importantly, they continually catch the trends of the time, even making them, that help propel them to the heights of success.
  • Jack does the same in his career as a political catching the emerging wave of workers’ rights and social justice.

Personal Values

The great secret of accomplishment is the adoption of solid personal, business, and social values -- such as respect for the individual, tolerance, self-reliance, truth, and honesty and integrity. At each point that we apply a value to work, it will be energized to a highest degree, enabling success to flow out of our efforts. In House of Eliott, we see many examples of high personal values so instrumental to success and achievement in life. Here are several examples:


  • Bea and Evie value self-reliance in the way they make their way to finding employment, starting their own business, and not depending on others for money.
  • Jack has a consistent practical view of things, and demonstrates an open mind.
  • Bea and Evie acknowledge their lack of integrity in sending Agnes out to discover designs from Yolanda. (Thus, they have reversed themselves and show integrity.)
  • Gille creates a number of artificial situations to woo the girls, which will ultimately fail. Values of dishonesty and deception is not normally the ways to success in life. (Bea and Evie are pretty much the opposite; open and honest.)
  • We see negative attitudes/values in the outlook of Arthur (control and deceit), Lydia (meddlesomeness and reactionaryness), Saroyan (deceit and mercenary-like actions bordering on evil), Cotter (cutting corners), Grace (theft and copyright infringement), and so forth. None propagates success, good feeling, harmony, and fulfillment.
  • Bea, especially after he meeting with Jack’s family shows concern for the well-being of several staff members, which is in essence valuing the worker and the individual.
  • Joseph demonstrates the value of loyalty in all that he does to overcome Saroyan, as well as other gestures in the course of the story.
  • In one episode, Saroyan suggests that since HofE has cash flow problems/high expenses, and therefore they should pay their bills in Net 30 to delay the expense. Bea however wants to pay right away. In that sense, she is she is looking at things from the other person’s point of view (i.e. the creditor), which is a high business value. She is also trying to maintain the company’s integrity, including good business practices.
  • Joseph not taking money from Jack after did his work in the matter, showed great character. He was rewarded with Saroyan's downfall thereafter. He valued truth and justice over monetary reward. It is a sure sign of integrity.
  • We see that Evie was right in turning down Alex's money. It showed integrity on her part. It was the right thing to do.
  • By refusing to take on the superficial proposal of the American film, Jack was valuing meaning and purpose (i.e. substance) over money.
  • Sears is interested in HofE styles. (They have attracted the greatest producer of cataloged goods for the average person.) Evie's willingness to design for the masses through the Sears opening shows that she is no snob, and is open to the emerging wave of the common man. She values this class, not just the aristocracy and wealthy. She values her creativity (that can come to these classes through her designs/ above anything else.
  • Bea's ongoing values of trustfulness, openness, and practicality, and Evie’s of forgiveness and seeing the good beyond the bad, catapult HofE to the heights.
  • We also see Bea valuing opportunities for other’s progress, as when she mentors Jessica on the job.
  • Jack is in tune with the emerging aspirations of the worker who seeks fairness and justice in work; in their rights. He seeks those values himself in representing that constituency.
  • Jack shows a commitment to truth as he tries to get at the heart of the matter, whether it is Saroyan’s shenanigans, the truth about his army experience, what really happened in terms of HofE engaging in overworking the staff (which they weren’t), or when discovering the mischief of his political opponent. He has a strong commitment to truth in life, reflecting his parents’ idealistic and progressive values.


In all cases, where positive values are expressed, higher levels of accomplishment and success are created. Often the results come instantly as a positive response from life.

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