Men who have left their mark upon the world have been men of great and prompt decision. The achievements of will power are almost beyond measure. Scarcely anything seems impossible to the man who can will strongly enough and long enough. There is always room for a man of force. One talent with a will behind it will accomplish more than ten without it, as a thimbleful of gunpowder in a rifle will do greater execution than a barrel of it burned in open air. It is possible to classify successes and failures by their various degrees of will power.
The man who is forever hesitating, backing, splitting hairs over non-essentials, listening to every new motive which presents itself, will never accomplish anything. But the positive man, the decided man is a power in the world and stands for something. You can measure him, and estimate the work that his energy will accomplish. The best men are not those who have waited for chances, but who have taken them, and made chance the servitor. It is better to act and apologize later than to seek permission first. Boldness has genius, magic and power in it.
The secret of so many failures among those who started out with high hopes, is that they lacked will power. They could not half will: and what is a man without a will? He is like an engine without steam. Genius unexecuted is no more genius than an unlit lamp is a light in the world. The persistent man never stops to consider whether he is succeeding or not. The only question with him is how to push ahead, to get a little farther along, a little nearer his goal. Whether it lead over mountains, rivers, or morasses, he must reach it. Every other consideration is sacrificed to this one dominant purpose.
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