In his book Pushing to the Front, American spiritual author Orison Swett Marden tells a significant story…
A French military soldier on horseback had a message for political leader Napoleon.
He delivered it with such haste that before he could actually hand the message over to Napoleon his horse dropped dead.
Napoleon dictated his response to the messenger and then ordered him to take his horse and deliver it as fast as possible.
The messenger looked at Napoleon’s magnificent horse and said…
“Nay General, but this horse is too gorgeous, too magnificent for a soldier.”
Napoleon replied, “Nothing is too good or too magnificent for a French soldier.”
Marden then points out the world is full of people like the poor French soldier.
People that think that what others have is too good for them.
They believe they can’t expect to have as good of things in life as others who are “more favored.”
Without even realizing it, they weaken themselves through self-deprecation and timidity.
Consequently, they do not claim, expect, or demand enough of or for themselves.
Marden surmises that most people are educated to think that it is not intended for them to the best there is in the world.
That the best is reserved only for the fortunate few.
Instead of doing great things with their lives, they do small things.
British novelist Marie Corellii echoes what Marden says…
“If we choose to be no more than clods of clay, then we shall be used as clods of clay for braver feet to tread on.”
The bottom line is if you consistently think that you are a weak, ineffective person then that is what you will become or remain.
On the other hand, if you believe yourself to be a self-reliant, positive, effective, worthy, optimistic person then that is what you will become or remain.
Marden writes that one must “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 obtain it.“
Even a racehorse, he says, cannot win a prize if he has no confidence in himself.
“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 the superb confidence in themselves which never looks back; which burns all bridges behind it,” he adds.
You must carry with you an air of victory. You must radiate assurance. And, in turn, impart to others that they too can do anything they attempt.
Marden says that if he could give the young people of America one word of advice it would be:
“Believe in yourself with all your might.”