In Pilgrim's Progress, the Interpreter conducted Christian to where he beheld a stately palace on the top of which were walking certain persons clothed all in gold. Around the door stood a great company of men desirous to go in, but who dared not. A little distance from the door, at a table, sat a man with a book and an inkhorn to take the name of him that would enter into the palace. In the doorway stood many men in armor to keep it, being resolved to do what hurt and mischief they could to anyone who tried to enter. All were starting back in fear, and Christian himself was in a maze, when he saw a man of stout countenance go up to him with the inkhorn and say, " 'Set down my name, sir,' the which when he had done, he saw the man draw his sword, and put a helmet on his head, and rush towards the door upon the armed men." After receiving and giving many wounds, he cut his way into the palace; and voices were heard of those who walked in gold raiment on top of the palace, saying,
"Come in, come in,
Eternal glory thou shalt win."
It is not enough merely to wish to go in. It is not enough to have the man with the inkhorn set your name down as an applicant. You must fight your way through.
There is a big difference between a mere desire to do a thing, and a burning passion to do it—a determination to accomplish it at any cost. A mere desire is like warm water in a locomotive—it will never produce steam. It takes fire and force and enthusiasm to generate the things that propel the successful character.—Better Way
Years ago new engineers in the lamp division of General Electric were assigned the impossible task, as a joke, of frosting bulbs on the inside. Each perspiring neophyte forgave the snickers greeting his failure. One day, however, Marvin Pipkin was initiated and he not only found a way to frost bulbs on the inside but developed an etching acid which gave minutely rounded pits instead of sharp depressions, thus materially strengthening each bulb. No one had told him it couldn't be done, and he took it so seriously that he did it.—Harry McKnown, Fools and Foolishness
No technique ever devised gets at that indefinable X called will power: the thing that's in you that makes you succeed with whatever intelligence, aptitudes, or even handicaps you might have.
There was once a man who was obsessed with the idea that there was a secret known to those who achieved success. To discover this secret he devoted years to study and research. Ancient Masonry, philosophy, astrology, psychology, salesmanship, religious beliefs, the various cults that have had their rise and fall—all these he studied long and diligently. Finally he gave his conclusion, and it came in two short words: "I will."—Friendly Chat
A man asked his teen-aged son to explain where he was going with a pick, a shovel and a guitar.
"I'm going to see my girl," the lad said. "I promised to serenade her tonight."
"If that's the case," the father asked, "why are you taking a pick and shovel with you?"
"Because she wants me to serenade her under her window," the boy replied, "and she lives in a basement apartment."—Wall Street Journal
Cato the Elder used to rise regularly in the Roman Senate to declare: "Carthage must be destroyed!" Partly because of this constant reiteration by a respected man, the ancient city eventually was leveled. That was determination in action.
If you will adopt your own slogan, will repeat it again and again and will act on the slogan, you can whet your skills and increase your capacity to become an executive in any field.—Larston D. Farrar, Partners
After the death of Andrew Jackson the following conversation is said to have occurred between an Anti-Jackson broker and a Democratic merchant:
MERCHANT (with a sigh)—"Well, the old General is dead."
BROKER (with a shrug)—"Yes, he's gone at last."
MERCHANT (not appreciating the shrug)—"Well, sir, he was a good man."
BROKER (with shrug more pronounced)—"I don't know about that."
MERCHANT (energetically)—"He was a good man, sir. If any man has gone to heaven, General Jackson has gone to heaven."
BROKER (doggedly)—"I don't know about that."
MERCHANT—"Well, sir, I tell you that if Andrew Jackson had made up his mind to go to heaven, you may depend upon it he's there."