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Главная » Книги » Классики » Уильям Уокер Аткинсон » The Secret of Success


You often have heard the word “Enthusiasm” used – have used it often yourself. But have you ever thought of what the word really means – from what source it originated – what is its essential spirit? Few have. The word “Enthusiasm” is derived from the Greek term meaning “to be inspired; to be possessed by the gods, etc.”, the term having been originally used to designate the mental state of an inspired person who seems to be under the influence of a higher power. The term originally meant, “Inspired by a superhuman or divine power; ecstasy; etc”. It is now used, according to Webster, in the sense of: “Enkindled and kindling fervor of soul; ardent and imaginative zeal or interest; lively manifestation of joy or zeal; etc”. The word has acquired a secondary, and unfavorable meaning in the sense of “visionary zeal; imaginative fervor; etc.”; but its real and primary meaning is that ardent, lively zeal and interest in a inner forces of one’s nature. Real enthusiasm means a powerful mental state exerted in favor of, or against, some idea.

A person filled with Enthusiasm seems indeed to be inspired by some power or being higher than himself – he taps on to a source of power of which he is not ordinarily conscious. And the result is that he becomes as a great magnet radiating attractive force in all directions and influencing those within his field of influence. For Enthusiasm is contagious and when really experienced by the individual renders him a source of inductive power, and a center of mental influence. But the power with which he is filled does not come from an outside source – it comes from certain inner regions of his mind or soul – from his Inner Consciousness. Those who have read our little manual entitled “Inner Consciousness” will readily understand from what part of the mentality such power is derived. Enthusiasm is really “soul power”, and when genuine is so recognized and felt by those coming within its field of influence.

Without a certain amount of Enthusiasm no one ever has attained Success, and never will do so. There is no power in personal intercourse that can be compared to Enthusiasm of the right sort. It comprises Earnestness, Concentration, and Power, and there are a very few people that cannot be influenced in some degree by its manifestation by another. Few people realize the actual value of Enthusiasm. Many have succeeded by reason of its possession, and many have failed by reason of its lack. Enthusiasm is the steam that drives our mental machinery, and which indirectly thus accomplishes the great things in life. You cannot accomplish tasks properly yourself unless you manifest a degree of interest in them, and what is Enthusiasm but Interest plus Inspiration – Inspired Interest, that’s what Enthusiasm is. By the power of Enthusiasm the great things of life are brought to expression and accomplishment.

Enthusiasm is not a thing, which some possess and others lack. All persons have it potentially, but only a few are able to express it. The majority is afraid to let themselves “feel” a thing, and then to let the “feeling” express itself in powerful action like the steam in an engine. The majority of persons do not know how to get up the steam of Enthusiasm. They fail to keep the fires of Interest and Desire kindled under their mental boiler, and the consequence is they fail to get up the steam of Enthusiasm. Enthusiasm may be developed, by cultivating interest and love of your task. Interest, confidence, and desire arouse Enthusiasm, and it remains for you to either concentrate it so that its effect will be directed strait toward the object, person or thing that you wish to move, or else allow it to dissipate itself in the air without result. Like steam, Enthusiasm may be dissipated or used – by concentrated direction it produces results; and by foolish waste and dissipation it fails to do so. The more interest you take in a thing, the greater does your confidence and desire grow – and from these arise the steam of Enthusiasm. So remember always that Interest is the mother of Enthusiasm.

The enthusiastic man naturally tends toward the optimistic frame of mind, and by doing so he diffuses an atmosphere of confident, cheerful expectation around him which tends to inspire confidence in others, and which aids him in his endeavors. He surrounds himself with a mental aura of Success – he vibrates Success – and those into whose presence he comes, unconsciously take on his vibrations. Enthusiasm is very contagious, and one filled with the right quality, kind and degree of it unconsciously communicates his interest, earnestness and expectations to others. Enthusiasm plays an important part in that which is called Personal Magnetism. It is a live, warm, vital mental quality, and it quickens the pulse of the one using it, and those who are affected by it. It is different from the cold-blooded indifference that one meets with so often in business, and which causes many a sale to be lost, and many a good thing to be “turned down”.

The man who lacks Enthusiasm is robbed of more than half his force of Personal Influence. No matter how good his arguments may be – no matter how meritorious his proposition may be – unless he possess the warm vital quality of Enthusiasm, his efforts are largely wasted, and his result impaired. Think over the salesman who have approached you and remember how some of them produced the chilling effect of a damp cellar upon you, while others caused you to sit up and take notice in spite of yourself by reason of their earnest interest and enthusiasm. Analyze the impression produced upon you by the different people with whom you have come in contact, and then see how great an influence Enthusiasm exerts. And then remember the effect it produces upon yourself, when you feel it. Enthusiasm is Mental Steam – remember that.

A few days ago there was erected a tablet, in one of the great colleges of the land, as a memorial to a former student in its halls. This young man saved the lives of seventeen people during a great storm on the lake. He swam out after them, one by one, and brought them all in alive. He fainted away from exhaustion, and when he recovered consciousness, his first words were, “Boys, did I do my Best?”.

The words of this young man express the great question that should urge every true seeker after Success to so live and act that he may be able to answer it in the affirmative. It is not so much a question of “did I do so much”, or “did I do as much as some one else?” as it is matter of “DID I DO MY BEST?”.

The man who does his best is never a failure. He is always a success, and if the best should be but a poor pretty thing, still the world will place the laurel wreath of victory upon his brow when he accomplishes it. The one who does his best is never a “quitter”, or a “shirker” – he stays right on his job until he has bestowed upon it the very best that there is in him to give at that particular time. Such a man can never be a failure.

The man who does his best is never heard asking the pessimistic question, “What’s the Use?”. He doesn’t care a whole lot about that part of it – his mind is fixed upon the idea that he is “on his job”, and is not going to be satisfied with anything less than his Best. And when one really is able to answer the great question with an honest, “Yes, I did my Best”, then verily, he will be able to answer the “What’s the Use” question properly – it is “of use” to have brought out the Best work in oneself, if for no other reason than because it is a Man Making process – a developer of the Self.

This infernal “What’s the Use” question seems to have been invented by some pessimistic imp of darkness to use in discouraging people making desperate struggles or leading forlorn hopes. It has brought down many a man into the Mire of Despondency and Failure. Chase it out of you mind whenever it appears, and replace it with the question, “Am I doing my Best”, knowing that an affirmative answer settles the other question also. Anything is “Of Use” if it is in the right spirit, in a worthy cause, and because one’s own manhood demands it. Yes, even if one goes down to death in the doing of it still it is a Success. Listen to this story, told in a recent magazine article: It is a story of a sailor on the wreck of a German kerosene steamer, which dashed against the rocks of the Newfoundland coast in the early part of 1901. She had taken fire, and had been run ashore on a submerged reef about an eighth of a mile from the coast. The coastline itself was a wall, some four hundred feet high. When morning dawned, the fisherman on shore saw that her boats were all gone, and all the crew and officers had apparently been lost – all except three men. Two of these three men were standing on the bridge – the third was aloft, lashed to the rigging. Later, the watchers saw a tremendous wave strike the vessel, sweeping away the bridge and the two men who had been standing on it. Several hours later they saw the man in the rigging unlash him and beat his arms against his body vigorously, evidently to restore the circulation, which had been almost stopped by the lashing and the extreme cold. The man then took off his coat, waved it to the fishermen on top of the cliff and then plunged into the sea. The first thought was that he had given up the fight and committed suicide – but he as not that kind of a man. He struck out for shore, and reaching it made three separate attempts to secure a foothold on the rocks at the bottom of the cliff. But, he failed – three times was he swept away by the surf, and finally, seeing the futility of his efforts, he swam away again, toward the ship. As the narrator well says: “At that crisis in the struggle ninety-nine men out of a hundred would have given and allowed themselves to drown; but this man was not a quitter.”

After a fierce battle with the waves the man gained the ship, and after a desperate struggle managed to board her. He climbed again into the rigging and waved his hand to the fishermen high up on the cliff, who were unable to help him. He lashed himself fast, and until dark could be seen signaling the fishermen above, to show them that he was still alive and game. When the following morning broke the fishermen saw that his head had fallen to his breast – he was motionless – frozen during the night. He was dead – his brave soul had gone forth to meet its maker, and who can doubt that when that man confronted his Maker his eyes were looking firmly and bravely toward the Presence, and not bowed down in shame or fear. Such a man was indeed worthy to face his Maker, unabashed and unashamed. As the writer, George Kennan, has said in words that make one thrill: “That man died as a man in adverse circumstances ought to die, fighting to the last. You may call it foolish, and say that he might better have ended his sufferings by allowing himself to drown when he found that he could not make a landing at the base of the cliff; but deep down in your hearts you pay secret homage to his courage, his endurance, and his indomitable will. He was defeated at last, but so long as he had consciousness neither fire nor cold not tempest could break down his manhood.”

The Caucasians have a favorite proverb that says: “Heroism is endurance for one moment more”. And that one moment more tells the difference between the “quitter” and the man who has “done his Best”. No one is dead until his heart has ceased beating – and no one has failed so long as there is one more bit of fight in him. And that “one moment more” often is the moment in which the tide turns – the moment when the enemy relaxes his hold and drops back beaten.

The Secret of Success | Секрет Успеха


Опубликовано: May 12, 10:44 AM

Улисов Юрий Андреевич


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