ndividuals in whom the circulatory system (heart, arteries and blood vessels) and the respiratory system (lungs, nose and chest) are more highly developed than any other systems, have been named the Thoracics.
� This name comes from the fact that the heart and lungs (which
constitute the most important organs of these two closely-allied
systems) are housed in the thorax—that little room made by your ribs
for the protection of these vital organs.
� A general elasticity of structure, a suggestion of sinews and physical
resilience characterizes this type.
� What is known as a "red face," when accompanied by a high chest, always signifies large thoracic tendencies. The high color which in an adult comes and goes is a sure indication of a well developed circulatory system, since high color is caused by the rapid pumping of blood to the tiny blood vessels of the face.
People with little blood, weak hearts or deficient circulation are not
florid and must be much overheated or excited to show vivid color in
� On the other hand, the slightest displeasure, enjoyment, surprise or
exertion brings the blood rushing to the face and neck of him who has a
large, well-developed blood-system. How many times you have heard such a
one say: "I am so embarrassed! I flush at every little thing! How I envy
the rest of you who come in from a long walk looking so cool!"
� The largest part of this man's body is around the chest. (See Chart 3)
His chest is high for the reason that he has larger lungs than the
� The man of unusual chest-expansion has one great physical asset. The
person who breathes deeply has a decided advantage over the man who
breathes deficiently. The lungs form the bellows or air-supply for the
body's engine, the heart, and with a deficient supply of air the heart
does deficient work. Efficient breathing is easy only to the man of
large lungs, and only the high chested have large lungs.
� A long waist is another thoracic sign, for it is a natural result of the extra house-room required by the large lungs and heart. It is easily detected in both men and women. (See Chart 3)
If you are a close observer you have noticed that some people appear to
have a waist line much lower than others; that the belt line dividing
the upper part of the body from the lower is proportionately much nearer
the floor in some than in others of the same height.
� The "straight-up-and-down" lines of today's woman and the slimpsy shoulder-to-heel garments she wears have obliterated her waistline, but you will recall how differently the old "wasp waist" fashions of a score of years ago betrayed the secrets of the short and long waist.
The eighteen-inch belt, of which we were so falsely proud in 1900, told
unmistakable facts about milady's thoracic development.
� As the tell-tale belt disappeared from woman's wardrobe it appeared in
man's, and now betrays the location of his waist with an exactness of
which the old-fashioned suspenders were never guilty.
� If you are a man and have difficulty in getting ready-made coats long enough for you this is certain proof that you have decided thoracic tendencies. If you are a woman who has to forego many a pretty gown because it is not long enough in the waist, the same is true of you.
In women this long waist and high chest give the appearance of small
hips and of shoulders a little broader than the average; in men it gives
that straight, soldier-like bearing which makes this type of man admired
and gazed after as he strides down the street.
� A high head is a significant characteristic of the typical Thoracic. (See Chart 4) The Anglo-Saxons tend to have this head and, more than any other races, exhibit thoracic qualities as racial characteristics.
This is considered the handsomest head known. Certainly it lends the
appearance of nobility and intelligence. It is not wide, looked at from
the front or back, but inclines to be slightly narrower for its height
than the Alimentive head.
� A face widest through the cheek bones and tapering slightly up the
sides of the forehead and downward to the jaw bones is the face of the
pure Thoracic. (See Chart 4) This must not be mistaken for the pointed
chin nor the pointed head, but is merely a sloping of the face upward
and downward from the cheek bones as a result of the unusual width of
the nose section. (See Chart 4)
� The nose section is also high and wide because the typical Thoracic
has a nose that is well developed. This is shown not only by its length
but by its high bridge.
The cause for the width and length of this section is obvious. The
nose constitutes the entrance and exit departments of the breathing
system. Large lung capacity necessitates a large chamber for the intake
and expulsion of air.
� Whenever you see a man whose face is wide through the cheek bones—with a long, high-bridged open-nostrilled nose—you see a man of good lung capacity and of quick physical energy. When you see any one with pinched nostrils, a face that is narrow through the cheek bones and a low or "sway-back" nose, you see a man whose lung capacity is deficient. Such a person invariably expends his physical energy more slowly.
Freckles, being due to the same causes as red hair and high color, are
further indications of thoracic tendencies, though you may belong to
this type with or without them.
� The pointed hand is the hand of the pure Thoracic. (See Chart 4) Note the extreme length of the second finger and the pointed effect of this hand when all the fingers are laid together. Any person with a pointed hand such as this has good thoracic development whether it occupies first place in his makeup or not.
The fingers of the Thoracic are also inclined to be more thin-skinned than those of other types.
One may be predominantly Thoracic without these elements but they are
indications of the extreme Thoracic type. Naturally the hand of the
extreme Thoracic is more pink than the average.
� The Thoracic tends to have more narrow, high-arched feet than other
types. As a result this type makes the majority of the beautifully shod.
� A hair-trigger nimbleness goes with this type. He is always "poised ready to strike."
All Thoracics use their hands, arms, wrists, limbs and feet alertly and
energetically. They open doors, handle implements and all kinds of hand
instruments with little blundering. Also their movements are more
graceful than those of other types.
� "The springy step" must have been invented to describe the walk of the
Thoracic. No matter how hurried, his walk has more grace than the walk
of other types. He does not stumble; and it is seldom that a Thoracic
steps on the train of his partner's gown.
� The way you sit tells a great deal about your nature. One of the first secrets it betrays is whether you are by nature graceful or ungainly. The person who sits gracefully, who seems to drape himself becomingly upon a chair and to arise from it with ease is usually a Thoracic.
Their excess of energy sometimes gives them the appearance of
"fidgeting," but it is an easy, graceful fidget and not as disturbing as
that of other types.
� Quick eyes and keen ears are characteristic of the Thoracics. The millions of stimuli—the sounds, sights and smells impinging every waking moment upon the human consciousness—affect him more quickly and more intensely than any other type. The acuteness of all our senses depends, to a far greater extent than we have hitherto supposed, upon proper heart and lung action.
Take long, deep breaths for five minutes in the open air while walking rapidly enough to make your heart pound, and see how much keener your senses are at the end of that time.
The Thoracic is chronically in this condition because his heart and
lungs are going at top speed habitually and naturally all his life.
� Because bodily temperature varies according to the amount of blood and
the rapidity of its circulation, this type is always warmer than others.
He is extremely susceptible to heat, suffers keenly in warm rooms or
warm weather and wears fewer wraps in winter. The majority of bathers at
the beaches in summer are largely of this type.
� Nerves as taut as a violin string—due to his acute physical senses
and his thin, sensitive skin—plus his instantaneous quickness make the
Thoracic what is known as "high-strung."
� Because he is keyed to high C by nature, the Thoracic has more of that quality called temperament than any other type.
The wag who said that "temperament was mostly temper" might have
reversed it and still have been right. For temper is largely a matter of
temperament. Since the Thoracics have more "temperament" it follows
naturally that they have more temper, or rather that they show it
oftener, just as they show their delightful qualities oftener.
� This type, consciously and unconsciously, is a "continuous
performance." He is showing you something of himself every moment and if
you are interested in human nature, as your reading of this book
suggests, you are going to find him a fascinating subject. He is
expressing his feelings with more or less abandon all the time and he is
likely to express as many as a dozen different ones in as many moments.
� "Flying off the handle," and "going up in the air" are phrases originally inspired by our dear, delightful friends, the Thoracics.
Other types do these more or less temperamental things but they do not
do them as frequently nor on as short notice as this type.
� A fiery nature is part and parcel of the Thoracic's makeup. But did
you ever see a fiery-natured man who didn't have lots of warm friends!
It is the grouch—in whom the fire starts slowly and smoulders
indefinitely—that nobody likes. But the man who flares up, flames for a
moment and is calm the next never lacks for companions or devotees.
� One may belong to the Thoracic type whether his hair is blonde or brunette or any of the shades between, but it is an interesting fact that most of the red-haired are largely of this type. "He didn't have red hair for nothing" is a famous phrase that has been applied to the red-haired, quick-tempered Thoracic for generations.
You will be interested to note that this high color and high chest are distinctly noticeable in most of the red-haired people you know—certain proof that they approximate this type.
As you walk down the street tomorrow look at the people ahead of you and
when you find a "red-head" notice how much more red his neck is than
the necks of the people walking beside him. This flushed skin almost
always accompanies red hair, showing that most red-haired people belong
to this type.
� The red-haired man's temper usually expends itself instantly. His red-hot fieriness is over in a moment. But for every enemy he has two friends—friends who like his flame, even though in constant danger from it themselves.
Whereas the Alimentive avoids you if he disagrees with you, the Thoracic
likes to tell you in a few hot words just what he thinks of you. But the
chances are that he will be so completely over it by lunch time that he
will invite you out with him.
� To be admired and a wee bit envied are desires dear to the heart of
this type. Everybody, to a greater or lesser degree, desires these
things, but to no other type do they mean so much as to this one. We
know this because no other type, in any such numbers, takes the trouble
or makes the sacrifices necessary to bring them about.
� The ego of every individual craves approval but the majority of the other types craves something else more—the particular something in each case depending upon the type to which the individual belongs.
You can always tell what any individual WANTS MOST by what he DOES. The
man who thinks he wants a thing or wishes he wanted it talks about
getting it, envies those who have it and plans to start doing
something about it. But the man who really WANTS a thing GOES AFTER it,
sacrifices his leisure, his pleasures and sometimes love itself—and
� The lime-light appeals more to this type than to others because it goes further toward gratifying his desire for approbation. So while other men and women are dreaming of fame the Thoracic practises, ploughs and pleads his way to it.
The personal adulation of friends and of the multitude is the breath of
life to him. Extremes of this type consider no self-denial too great a
price to pay for it.
� The stage in all its forms is as natural a field to the Thoracic as salesmanship is to the Alimentive. The pleas of fond papas and fearsome mamas are usually ineffective with this type of boy or girl when he sets his heart on a career before the foot-lights or in the movies.
Whether they achieve it or not will depend on other, and chiefly mental,
traits in each individual's makeup, but the yearning for it in some form
is always there. So the managers' waiting rooms are always crowded with
people of this type. It is this intensity of desire which has goaded and
inspired most stage artists on to success in their chosen fields.
� To be able to put one's self in the role of another, to feel as he feels; to be so keenly sensitive to his situation and psychology that one almost becomes that person for the time being, is the heart and soul of acting.
The Thoracic has this sensitiveness naturally. After long study and
acquaintance you may be able to put yourself in the place of a few
friends. The Thoracic does this instantly and automatically.
� Those who have succeeded to fame in any given line are wont to proclaim, "Hard work is the secret of success," and to take great credit unto themselves for the labor they have expended on their own.
It is true of course that all success entails hard work. But the man or
woman sufficiently gifted to rise to the heights gets from that gift
such a strong inward urge towards its expression that what he does in
that direction is not work to him. The long hours, concentration and
study devoted to it are more pleasurable than painful to him. He chooses
such activities voluntarily.
� Nothing can rightly be called work which one does out of sheer
preference. Work never made an actress and work never made a singer
where innate talent for these arts was lacking. Nature, the true maker
of every famous name, bestows ninety per cent and man, if he hustles,
can provide the other very necessary ten. But his sense of humor if not
his sense of justice should be sufficient to prevent his trying to rob
the Almighty of His due.
� Every individual who is not feeble-minded can be a success at
something in this big world. Every normal-minded individual is able to
create, invent, improve, organize, build or market some of the myriads
of things the world is crying for. But he will succeed at only those
things in which his physiological and psychological mechanisms perform
their functions easily and naturally.
� Man is, by inclination, very little of a worker. He is, first, a wanter—a bundle of instincts; second, a feeler—a bundle of emotions; last and least, he is a thinker. What real work he does is done not because he likes it but because it serves one of these first two bundles of instincts.
When the desire for leisure is stronger than the other urges, leisure
wins. But in all ambitious men and women the desire for other things
outweighs the leisure-urge.
� Now what is it that causes some to have ambition and others to lack it?
Your ambitions take the form determined by your predominating physiological system. For instance, in every great singer the Thoracic has been present either as the first or second element.
The effect of the physical upon our talents is no more marked anywhere than here. For it is his unusual lung power, his high chest, the sounding boards in his nose section and his superior vocal cords that make the real foundation of every singer's fame. These physiological conditions are found in extreme degree only in persons of thoracic tendencies.
It was the great lung-power of Caruso that made him a great singer. It was his remarkable heart-power that brought him through an illness in February, 1921, when every newspaper in the world carried on its front page the positive statement that he could not live another day. That he lived for six months afterward was due chiefly to his remarkable heart.
The nature resulting from a large heart and large lungs is one
distinctly different from all others—in short, the Thoracic nature.
� The best dressed man and the best dressed woman in your town belong
predominantly to this type. This is no accident. The Thoracics, being
possessed of acute eye senses, are more sensitive to color and line than
any other type. These are the foundations of "style" and artistic
� Being desirous of the approval of others and realizing that though clothes do not make the man they can unmake him, this type looks to his laurels on this point.
Because clothes determine the first impressions we make upon strangers and because that impression is difficult to change, clothes are of vast importance in this maze of human relationships.
The Thoracic is more sensitive to the attitude of others because their
attitude is more vital to his self-expression. He senses from childhood
the bearing that clothes have for or against him in the opinion of
others and how they can aid him to express his personality.
� The Thoracic therefore often becomes "the glass of fashion and the mold of form." His consciousness of himself is so keen that, even when alone, he prefers those things in dress which are at once fine, fancy and fashionable.
Some types are indifferent to clothes, some ignorant of clothes and some
defiant in their clothes but the Thoracic always has a keen sense of
fitness in the matter of apparel.
� The distinctive dresser is one who essays the extremely fashionable,
the "last moment" touch. He is always a step or two ahead of the times.
His ties, handbags, handkerchiefs and stick pins are "up to the minute."
Such a man or woman invariably has a large thoracic development and is
well repaid by the public for his pains.
� The public looks more eagerly than we suppose to changes in styles and
fads. It gives, in spite of itself, instantaneous admiration of a sort
to those who follow the dictates of fashion. This being one of the
quickest roads to adulation, it is often utilized by this type.
� The latest thing in coiffures is always known by the Thoracic woman. And because she is, more often than any other type, a beautiful woman she can wear her hair in almost any style and find it becoming.
So when puffs were the thing this type of woman not only wore puffs but
the most extreme and numerous puffs. When the "sticking-to-the-face"
style was in vogue she bought much bandoline and essayed the sleekest
and shiniest head of all. When the ear-bun raged she changed those same
paper-like curls over night into veritable young sofa cushions.
� With intent to keep the spotlight on himself the Thoracic is always on
dress parade. He is vividly aware of himself; he knows what kind of
picture he is making. He is seldom "self-conscious," in the sense of
being timid. When he does happen to be timid he suffers, by reason of
his greater desire for approval, more acutely than any other type.
� Instantaneous reaction to stimuli—with all the reflex actions resulting therefrom—constitutes the keynote of this type. This makes an individual who is physiologically and psychologically affectable.
Because life is full of all kinds of stimuli, acting during every waking
moment upon every sense in the organism, any person who is high strung
finds himself in the midst of what might be called "nerve-bedlam."
� Because of this same highly sensitized makeup the Thoracic gets more
sensations out of every incident than the rest of us do. He experiences
more joy in the space of a lifetime but also more disappointment.
� For the same reason that the violin vibrates to a greater number of
sounds than the organ, the Thoracic is a more vibrant individual than
others. He is impelled to an expressiveness of voice, manner and action
that often looks like pretence to less impulsive people. In other types
it would be, but to the Thoracic it is so natural and normal that he is
often much surprised to hear that he has the reputation of being
� This lightning-like liveliness of face, body and voice, his quick
replies and instantaneous reactions to everything also cause him to be
� We are prone to judge every one by ourselves. People whose mental or physical senses are less "keyed-up," less sensitive, call the Thoracic "rattle-brained."
Usually such a man's brain is not rattled at all; it is working, as all brains do in response to the messages reaching it, via the telegraph wires of the five senses.
In the Thoracic these wires happen to be more taut than in the other types. He gets sensations from sights, sounds, tastes, touches and smells much more quickly than the rest of us do. These messages are sent to the brain more rapidly and, since sensation is responsible for much of our thinking, this man's brain thinks a little more speedily than that of other types.
It does not necessarily think any better. Often it does need slowing down. But compared to the thought-power of some of the other types the Thoracic's speed makes up for much of his carelessness. He makes more mistakes in judgment than other types but can "right-about-face" so quickly he usually remedies them while other types are still trying to decide when to start.
To hold himself back is the hardest lesson for this type to learn.
� This tendency to let himself go brings the Thoracic a great deal of unhappiness and failure. He plunges so quickly that he often fails to take into consideration the various elements of the situation.
His physical senses tell him a thing should be done and rush him
headlong into actions that he knows are ill-advised the moment he has
time to think them over. In turning around and righting his mistakes he
often hears himself called "changeable" and "vacillating."
� In this, as in other things, we have a tendency toward smugness, shortsightedness and egotism. The man who makes but one mistake a year because he makes but two decisions is wrong fifty per cent of the time. Yet he self-satisfiedly considers himself superior to the Thoracic because he has caught the latter in six "poor deals within six months." At the rate the average Thoracic acts this would be about one mistake in a thousand—a much "better batting average" than the other man's.
But because the confidence of others in our stability is of prime
importance to us all, this type or any one inclined to definite thoracic
tendencies should take pains to prevent this impression from settling
into the minds of his friends.
� The greatest reason for striving toward stability in action and more
slowness in decision, however, is for his own future's sake. The man who
is constantly making decisions and being compelled to alter them gets
nowhere. He may have the best engine and the finest car in the world but
if he runs first down this by-path, and then that, he will make little
progress on the main highway.
� An aim, a definite goal is essential to the progress of any
individual. It should be made with care and in keeping with one's
personality, talents, training, education, environment and experience,
and having been made should be adhered to with the determination which
does not permit little things to interfere with it.