Purpose Of Ambition
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
"Be always displeased at what thou art, if thou desire to attain to what thou art not; for where thou hast pleased thyself, there thou abidest."—Quarles' Emblems.
"Consider not my little worth
The mean achievement, scamped in act, The High resolve and Low result,
The dream that durst not face the fact. But count the reach of my desires, Let this be something worth thy sight"
Purpose is the intention, the desire, the determination, the will; we must all have a purpose, and "Where there's a will there's a way ;" and purpose means effort to arrive at the thing one aims at.
"Effort," says Professor De Garmo, "is really the process of trying to realize an end through work. Desire is the tendency of the energies to push on to accomplish the object of effort. Effort, therefore, is an evidence of desire. These two things, effort and desire, are consequently only two aspects of one thing—two phases of self-expression—when the end to be attained and the means for reaching it are separate."
Purpose and conscious effort is evidenced in the life work of all men and women who have achieved success ; and purpose and conscious effort have lifted hundreds of men and women into higher spheres in which their life work has been of inestimable benefit to their fellow creatures. Purpose and conscious effort made Franklin, Longfellow, Elihu Burritt, Beecher, Lucy Larcom, Grant and Lincoln great, and great helpers of their fellow men and women, and hundreds of other examples of their kind might be cited.
A person may have purpose and yet be so wavering in character, so vacillating as to be unable to make up his mind, and this reminds me of the story of the man who was giving instructions to his architect about building for him a house in the suburbs of London. He was undecided about everything, and especially so as to the outer doors ; he could not make up his mind as to the side doors, the front doors, and the back doors, and left the architect in his own state of indecision.
The house was built ; the bills were all ready to be checked up, and architect and owner went over the house together to see if all was according to intention, plans and specifications. But great was the wrath of the owner when he saw that there was only one way to get out and in, and that by the front door ! Angrily he asked the architect for an explanation, which the latter calmly gave : "I had to decide for you about everything," said he, "and when it came to the outside doors, I decided to give you only one, for I was perfectly certain that if you had more than one, you would be so long making up your mind as to which you would use, you would be certain to lose your train for the city every morning of your life ! "
Purpose, then, must be settled and steady, clear and definite ; it is the knowing at what one aims, and the desire, the intention, the will, the determination to achieve. Purpose is one of the mainsprings of ambition. Tenacity of purpose is one of the secrets of success in life. Have your ambition, and hold on to it. The great "I will," in the end, will make men say, "He has achieved."