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"Why," asked Mirabeau, "should we call ourselves men, unless it be to succeed in everything everywhere? " Nothing else will so nerve you to accomplish great things as to believe in your own greatness, in your own marvelous possibilities. Count that man an enemy who shakes your faith in yourself, in your ability to do the thing you have set your heart upon doing, for when your confidence is gone, your power is gone. Your achievement will never rise higher than your self-faith. It would be as reasonable for Napoleon to have expected to get his army over the Alps by sitting down and declaring that the undertaking was too great for him, as for you to hope to achieve anything significant in life while harboring grave doubts and fears as to your ability.

The miracles of civilization have been performed by men and women of great self-confidence, who had unwavering faith in their power to accomplish the tasks they undertook. The race would have been centuries behind what it is today had it not been for their grit, their determination, their persistence in finding and making real the thing they believed in and which the world often denounced as chimerical or impossible.

There is no law by which you can achieve success in anything without expecting it, demanding it, assuming it. There must be a strong, firm self-faith first, or the thing will never come.

There is no room for chance in God's world of system and supreme order. Everything must have not only a cause, but a sufficient cause-a cause as large as the result. A stream can not rise higher than its source. A great success must have a great source in expectation, in self-confidence, and in persistent endeavor to attain it. No matter how great the ability, how large the genius, or how splendid the education, the achievement will never rise higher than the confidence. He can who thinks he can, and he can't who thinks he. can't This is an inexorable, indisputable law.

It does not matter what other people think of you, of your plans, or of your aims. No matter if they call you a visionary, a crank, or a dreamer; you must believe in yourself. You forsake yourself when you lose your confidence. Never allow anybody or any misfortune to shake your belief in yourself. You may lose your property, your health, your reputation, other people's confidence, even; but there is always hope for you so long as you keep a firm faith in yourself. If you never lose that, but keep pushing on, the world will, sooner or later, make way for you.

A soldier once took a message to Napoleon in such great haste that the horse he rode dropped dead before he delivered the paper. Napoleon dictated his answer and, handing it to the messenger, ordered him to mount his own horse and deliver it with all possible speed.

The messenger looked at the magnificent animal, with its superb trappings, and

said, " Nay, General, but this is too gorgeous, too magnificent for a common


Napoleon said, "Nothing is too good or too magnificent for a French soldier."

The world is full of people like this poor French soldier, who think that what others have is too good for them; that it does not fit their humble condition that they are not expected to have as good things as those who are " more favored."

They do not realize how they weaken themselves by this mental attitude of self-depreciation or self-effacement. They do not claim enough, expect enough, or demand enough of or for themselves.

You will never become a giant if you only make a pygmy's claim for yourself; if you only expect small things of yourself. There is no law which can cause a pygmy's thinking to produce a giant. The statue follows the model. The model is the inward vision.

Most people have been educated to think that it was not intended they should have the best there is in the world; that the good and the beautiful things of life were not designed for them, but were reserved for those especially favored by fortune. They have grown up under this conviction of their inferiority, and of course they will be inferior until they claim superiority as their birthright. A vast number of men and women who are really capable of doing great things, do small things, live mediocre lives, because they do not expect or demand enough of themselves. They do not know how to call out their best.

One reason why the human race as a whole has not measured up to its possibilities, to its promise; one reason why we see everywhere splendid ability doing the work of mediocrity; is because people do not think half enough of themselves. We do not realize our divinity; that we are a part o f the great causation principle o f the universe.

We do not think highly enough of our superb birthright, nor comprehend to what heights of sublimity we were intended and expected to rise, nor to what extent we can really be masters of ourselves. We fail to see that we can control our own destiny; make ourselves do whatever is possible; make ourselves become whatever we long to be.

"If we choose to be no more than clods of clay," says Marie Corelli, " then we shall be used as clods of clay for braver feet to tread on."

The persistent thought that you are not as good as others, that you are a weak, ineffective being, will lower your whole standard of life and paralyze your ability' A man who is self-reliant, positive, optimistic, and undertakes his work with the assurance of success, magnetizes conditions. He draws to himself the literal fulfilment of the promise, " For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance." There is everything in assuming the part we wish to play, and playing it royally. If you are ambitious to do big things, you must make a large program for yourself, and assume the part it demands.

There is something in the atmosphere of the man who has a large and true estimate of himself, who believes that he is going to win out; something in his very appearance that wins half the battle before a blow is struck. Things get out of the way of the vigorous, affirmative man, which are always tripping the self depreciating, negative man.

We often hear it said of a man, " Everything he undertakes succeeds," or " Everything he touches turns to gold." By the force of his character and the creative power of his thought, such a man wrings success from the most adverse circumstances. Confidence begets confidence. A man who carries in his very presence an air of victory, radiates assurance, and imparts to others confidence that he can do the thing he attempts. As time goes on, he is reinforced not only by the power of his own thought, but also by that of all who know him. His friends and acquaintances affirm and reaffirm his ability to succeed, and make each successive triumph easier of achievement than its predecessor.

His self-poise, assurance, confidence, and ability increase in a direct ratio to the number of his achievements. As the savage Indian thought that the power of every enemy, he conquered entered into himself, so in reality does every conquest in war, in peaceful industry, in commerce, in invention, in science, or in art add to the conqueror's power to do the next thing.

Set the mind toward the thing you would accomplish so resolutely, so definitely, and with such vigorous determination, and put so much grit into your resolution, that nothing on earth can turn you from your purpose until you attain it. This very assertion of superiority, the assumption of power, the affirmation of belief in yourself, the mental attitude that claims success as an inalienable birthright, will strengthen the whole man and give power to a combination of faculties which doubt, fear, and a lack of confidence undermine.

Confidence is the Napoleon of the mental army. It doubles and trebles the power of all the other faculties. The whole mental army waits until confidence leads the way. Even a race-horse can not win the prize after it has once lost confidence in itself. Courage, born of self-confidence, is the prod which brings out the last ounce of reserve force.

The reason why so many men fail is because they do not commit themselves with a determination to win at any cost. They do not have that superb confidence in themselves which never looks back; which burns all bridges behind it. There is just uncertainty enough as to whether they will succeed to take the edge off their effort, and it is just this little difference between doing pretty well and flinging all oneself, all his power, into his career, that makes the difference between mediocrity and a grand achievement.

If you doubt your ability to do what you set out to do; if you think that others are better fitted to do it than you; if you fear to let yourself out and take chances; if 'you lack boldness; if you have a timid, shrinking nature; if the negatives preponderate in your vocabulary; if you think that you lack positiveness, initiative, aggressiveness, ability; you can never win anything very great until you change your whole mental attitude and learn to have great faith in yourself. Fear, doubt, and timidity must be turned out of your mind.

Your own mental picture of yourself is a good measure of yourself and your possibilities. If there is no out-reach to your mind, no spirit of daring, no firm self-faith, you will never accomplish much.

A man's confidence measures the height of his possibilities. A stream can not rise higher than its fountainhead.

Power is largely a question o f strong, vigorous, perpetual thinking along the line o f the ambition, parallel with the aim - the great life purpose. Here is where power originates.

The deed must first live in the thought or it will never be a reality; and a strong, vigorous concept of the thing we want to do is a tremendous initial step. A thought that is timidly born will be timidly executed. There must be vigor of conception or an indifferent execution.

All the greatest achievements in the world began in longing - in dreamings and hopings which for a time were nursed in despair, with no light in sight. This longing kept the courage up and made self-sacrifice easier until the thing dreamed of -the mental vision - was realized.

"According to your faith be it unto you." Our faith is a very good measure of what we get out of life. The man of weak faith gets little; the man of mighty faith gets much.

The very intensity of your confidence in your ability to do the thing you attempt is definitely related to the degree of your achievement.

If we were to analyze the marvelous successes of many of our self-made men, we should find that when they first started out in active life they held the confident, vigorous, persistent thought of and belief in their ability to accomplish what they had undertaken. Their mental attitude was set so stubbornly toward their goal that the doubts and fears which dog and hinder and frighten the man who holds a low estimate of himself, who asks, demands, and expects but little, of or for himself, got out of their path, and the world made way for them.

We are very apt to think of men who have been unusually successful in any line as greatly favored by fortune; and we try to account for it in all sorts of ways but the right one. The fact is that their success represents their expectations of themselves -the sum of their creative, positive, habitual thinking. It is their mental attitude outpictured and made tangible in their environment. They have wrought - created -what they have and what they are out of their constructive thought and their unquenchable faith in themselves.

We must not only believe we can succeed, but we must believe it with all our hearts.

We must have a positive conviction that we can attain success. No lukewarm energy or indifferent ambition ever accomplished anything. There must be vigor in our expectation, in our faith, in our determination, in our endeavor. We must resolve with the energy that does things.

Not only must the desire for the thing we long for be kept uppermost, but there must be strongly concentrated intensity of effort to attain our object.

As it is the fierceness of the heat that melts the iron ore and makes it possible to weld it or mold it into shape; as it is the intensity of the electrical force that dissolves the diamond - the hardest known substance; so it is the concentrated aim, the invincible purpose, that wins success. Nothing was ever accomplished by a half-hearted desire.

Many people make a very poor showing in life, because there is no vim, no vigor in their efforts. Their resolutions are spineless; there is no backbone in their endeavor -no grit in their ambition.

One must have that determination which never looks back and which knows no defeat; that resolution which burns all bridges behind it and is willing to risk everything upon the effort. When a man ceases to believe in himself - gives up the fight -you can not do much for him except to try to restore what he has lost his self-faith -and to get out of his head the idea that there is a fate which tosses him hither and thither, a mysterious destiny which decides things whether he will or not. You can not do much with him until he comprehends that he is bigger than any fate; that he has within himself a power mightier than any force outside of him.

One reason why the careers of most of us are so pinched and narrow, is because we do not have a large faith in ourselves and in our power to accomplish. We are held back by too much caution. We are timid about venturing. We are not bold enough.

Whatever we long for, yearn for, struggle for, and hold persistently in the mind, we tend to become just in exact proportion to the intensity and persistence of the thought. We think ourselves into smallness, into inferiority by thinking downward. We ought to think upward, then we would reach the heights where superiority dwells.

The man whose mind is set firmly toward achievement does not appropriate success, he is success. Self-confidence is not egotism. It is knowledge, and it comes from the consciousness of possessing the ability requisite for what one undertakes. Civilization today rests upon self-confidence.

A firm self-faith helps a man to project himself with a force that is almost irresistible. A balancer, a doubter, has no projectile power. If he starts at all, he moves with uncertainty. There is no vigor in his initiative, no positiveness in his energy. There is a great difference between a man who thinks that " perhaps " he can do, or who " will try " to do a thing, and a man who " knows " he can do it, who is "bound" to do it; who feels within himself a pulsating power, an irresistible force, equal to any emergency.

This difference between uncertainty and certainty, between vacillation and decision, between the man who wavers and the man who decides things, between " I hope to " and " I can," between " I'll try " and " I will " - this little difference measures the distance between weakness and power, between mediocrity and excellence, between commonness and superiority. The man who does things must be able to project himself with a mighty force, to fling the whole weight of his being into his work, ever gathering momentum against the obstacles which confront him; every issue must be met wholly, unhesitatingly. He can not do this with a wavering, doubting, unstable mind.

The fact that a man believes implicitly that he can do what may seem impossible or very difficult to others, shows that there is something within him that makes him equal to the work he has undertaken. Faith unites man with the Infinite, and no one can accomplish great things in life unless he works in oneness with the Infinite.

When a man lives so near to the Supreme that the divine Presence is felt all the time, then he is in a position to express power.

There is nothing which will multiply one's ability like self-faith. It can make a one-talent man a success, while a ten-talent man without it would fail. Faith walks on the mountain tops, hence its superior vision. It sees what is invisible to those who follow in the valleys.

It was the sustaining power of a mighty self-faith that enabled Columbus to bear the jeers and imputations of the Spanish cabinet; that sustained him when his sailors were in mutiny and he was at their mercy in a little vessel on an unknown sea; that enabled him to hold steadily to his purpose, entering in his diary day after day - "This day we sailed west, which was our course."

It was this self-faith which gave courage and determination to Fulton to attempt his first trip up the Hudson in the Clermont, before thousands of his fellow citizens, who had gathered to howl and jeer at his expected failure. He believed he could do the thing he attempted though the whole world was against him.

What miracles self-confidence has wrought! What impossible deeds it has helped to perform! It took Dewey past cannons, torpedoes, and mines to victory at Manila Bay; it carried Farragut, lashed to the rigging, past the defenses of the enemy in Mobile Bay; it led Nelson and Grant to victory; it has been the great tonic in the world of invention, discovery, and art; it has won a thousand triumphs in war and science which were deemed impossible by doubters and the faint-hearted.

Self-faith has been the miracle-worker of the ages. It has enabled the inventor and the discoverer to go on and on amidst troubles and trials which otherwise would have utterly disheartened them.

It has held innumerable heroes to their tasks until the glorious deeds were accomplished.

The only inferiority in us is what we put into ourselves. If only we better understood our divinity we should all have this larger faith which is the distinction of the brave soul. We think ourselves into smallness. Were we to think upward we should reach the heights where superiority dwells.

Perhaps there is no other one thing which keeps so many people back as their low estimate of themselves. They are more handicapped by their limiting thought, by their foolish convictions of inefficiency, than by almost anything else, for there is no power in the universe that can help a man do a thing when he thinks he can not do it. Self-faith must lead the way. You can not go beyond the limits you set for yourself.

It is one of the most difficult things to a mortal to really believe in his own bigness, in his own grandeur; to believe that his yearnings and hungerings and aspirations for higher, nobler things have any basis in reality or any real, ultimate end. But they are, in fact, the signs of ability to match them, of power to make them real. They are the stirrings of the divinity within us; the call to something better, to go higher.

No man gets very far in the world or expresses great power until self-faith is born in him; until he catches a glimpse of his higher, nobler self; until he realizes that his ambition, his aspiration, are proofs of his ability to reach the ideal which haunts him. The Creator would not have mocked us with the yearning for infinite achievement without giving us the ability and the opportunity for realizing it, any more than he would have mocked the wild birds with an instinct to fly south in the winter without giving them a sunny South to match the instinct.

The cause o f whatever comes to you in life is within you. There is where it is created.

The thing you long for and work for comes to you because your thought has created it; because there is something inside you that attracts it. It comes because there is an affinity within you for it. Your own comes to you; is always seeking you.

Whenever you see a person who has been unusually successful in any field, remember that he has usually thought himself into his position; his mental attitude and energy have created it; what he stands for in his community has come from his attitude toward life, toward his fellow men, toward his vocation, toward himself. Above all else, it is the outcome of his self-faith, of his inward vision of himself; the result of his estimate of his powers and possibilities. The men who have done the great things in the world have been profound believers in themselves.

If I could give the young people of America but one word of advice, it would be this-" Believe in yourself with all your might." That is, believe that your destiny is inside of you, that there is a power within you which, if awakened, aroused, developed, and matched with honest effort, will not only make a noble man or woman of you, but will also make you successful and happy.

All through the Bible we find emphasized the miracle-working power of faith. Faith in himself indicates that a man has a glimpse of forces within him which either annihilate the obstacles in the way, or make them seem insignificant in comparison with his ability to overcome them.

Faith opens the door that enables us to look into the soul's limitless possibilities and reveals such powers there, such unconquerable forces, that we are not only encouraged to go on, but feel a great consciousness of added power because we have touched omnipotence, and gotten a glimpse of the great source of things.

Faith is that something within us which does not guess, but knows. It knows because it sees what our coarser selves, our animal natures can not see. It is the prophet within us, the divine messenger appointed to accompany man through life to guide and direct and encourage him. It gives him a glimpse of his possibilities to keep him from losing heart, from quitting his upward life struggle.

Our faith knows because it sees what we can not see. It sees resources, powers, potencies which our doubts and fears veil from us. Faith is assured, is never afraid, because it sees the way out; sees the solution of its problem. It has dipped in the realms of our finer life our higher and diviner kingdom. All things are possible to him who has faith, because faith sees, recognizes the power that means accomplishment. If we had faith in God and in ourselves we could remove all mountains of difficulty, and our lives would be one triumphal march to the goal of our ambition.

If we had faith enough we could cure all our ills and accomplish the maximum of our possibilities. Faith never fails; it is a miracle worker. It looks beyond all boundaries, transcends all limitations, penetrates all obstacles and sees the goal.

It is doubt and fear, timidity and cowardice, that hold us down and keep us in mediocrity - doing petty things when we are capable of sublime deeds. If we had faith enough we should travel Godward infinitely faster than we do.

The time will come when every human being will have unbounded faith and will live the life triumphant. Then there will be no poverty in the world, no failures, and the discords of life will all vanish.


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