Does any one doubt that such a mighty resolution added power to this marvelous man; or that it nerved him to accomplish what he had undertaken? Neither ridicule nor caricature -- neither dread of enemies nor desertion of friends, — could shake his indomitable faith in his ability to lead the nation through the greatest struggle in its history.
Napoleon, Bismarck, and all other great achievers had colossal faith in themselves. It doubled, trebled, even quadrupled the ordinary power of these men. In no other way can we account for the achievements of Luther, Wesley, or Savonarola.
Without this sublime faith, this confidence in her mission, how could the simple country maiden, Jeanne d'Arc, have led and controlled the French army? This divine self-confidence multiplied her power a thousand fold, until even the king obeyed her, and she led his stalwart troops as if they were children.
After William Pitt was dismissed from office, he said to the Duke of Devonshire, "I am sure I can save this country, and that nobody else can." "For eleven weeks," says Bancroft, "England was without a minister. At length the king and the aristocracy recognized Pitt's ascendancy and yielded to him the reins."
It was his unbounded confidence in his ability that compelled the recognition and led to the supremacy in England of Benjamin Disraeli, the once despised Jew. He did not quail or lose heart when the hisses and jeers of the British parliament rang in his ears. He sat down amid the jeering members, saying, "You will yet hear me." He felt within him then the confidence of power that made him Prime Minister of England, and turned sneers and hisses into admiration and applause.
Much of President Roosevelt's success has been due to his colossal self-confidence. He believes in Roosevelt, as Napoleon believed in Napoleon. There is nothing timid or half-hearted about our great president.
He goes at everything with that gigantic assurance, with that tremendous confidence, which half wins the battle before he begins. It is astonishing how the world makes way for a resolute soul, and how obstacles get out of the path of a determined man who believes in himself.
There is no philosophy by which a man can do a thing when he thinks he can't. What can defeat a strong man who believes in himself and cannot be ridiculed down, talked down, or written down? Poverty cannot dishearten him, misfortune deter him, or hardship turn him a hair's breadth from his course. Whatever comes, he keeps his eye on the goal and pushes ahead.
What would you think of a young man, ambitious to become a lawyer, who should surround himself with a medical atmosphere and spend his time reading medical books? Do you think he would ever become a great lawyer by following such a course? No, he must put himself in a law atmosphere, go where he can absorb it and be steeped in it until he is attuned to the legal note. He must be so grafted upon the legal tree that he can feel its sap circulating through him.
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