Here’s an interesting quote from William Walker Atkinson:

“Thought-waves unaccompanied by currents of nerve-force lack force and effect, and are like cold mental power devoid of life and activity. You will grasp this idea better by reference to a common occurrence, for instance, you have heard many a sermon, speech, or recitation delivered by a person having marked intellectual ability, and filled with good sound thoughts, – and yet the delivery seemed dead, dull, colorless and lifeless, did it not? It lacked the life, vigor, and vim of the delivery of some other speaker of even less intellectual power, did in not?

And, you have noticed that the personality of some admittedly intellectual personage lacked “life”; while some other less gifted personality fairly radiated life and strength, and consequently, magnetic power. Well, this represents the difference between plain thought-waves, and thought-waves accompanied by strong nerve-force. The one lacks “body” and vitalizing force, while the other possesses this in abundance. Think over this carefully, until you “get it” – for in it lays one of the two great secrets of personal magnetism.

A person in whom nerve-force is actively present, and who has consciously or unconsciously acquired the art of combining it with his thought-waves, will send forth words or thoughts fairly charged with dynamic force, reaching and affecting those with whom they come in contact. Like a high-power explosive shell, the nerve-force drives the thought-wave like a bullet to this mark, hitting the bull’s eye with a tremendous impact, and making a powerful impression on the mind of the other person or persons.

There are persons whose words seem fairly alive, so vital is their action upon the minds of others – these persons have strongly active nerve-force or physical magnetism used in connection with their mental currents. They flash out this combined force toward their audiences of many persons, and the latter are fairly lifted off their feet by the power.

The great leaders of men have had this nerve-force largely developed and actively employed. When they spoke, the other persons were almost compelled to do the bidding of the strong person. Julius Caesar and Napoleon Bonaparte were two marked examples of the use of this power, but, as a fact, every man who sways moves and rules other persons, is an example worthy of study. The student should, if possible, manage to be thrown in contact with this class of persons, so that he may see, or rather feel, for himself, the effect of this mighty
force emanating from these individuals. He will then better realize just what part nerve-force plays in the matter of personal influence, and personal magnetism, and then be more firmly resolved to develop it in himself or herself.

There are some persons who seem, naturally, to absorb, store up and effectively use their nerve-force of physical magnetism. Such are very fortunate, for they are saved the trouble of cultivating the processes referred to. But those who do not possess this gift, naturally, may by practice and perseverance develop it in themselves. Nay, more, they may, eventually, even surpass the naturally-gifted man, for the latter does not understand the source or nature of his power, and is apt to neglect or abuse it, while the person who develops it in himself, according to rule, and with a full understanding, has the thing “on tap” as it were, and can always recuperate from an over drain on a nervous system. Knowledge is power, and a cultivated and developed faculty is often far more effective than a similar faculty present at birth, and not understood or worked for.”

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