Here’s an interesting quote from William Walker Atkinson:
“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”