Energy Of Power
( Originally Published Late 1800's )
Energy is the power of doing work, the capacity which a man or a machine possesses to do things with ease and dispatch. In the horse, energy is that power of body which enables him to draw the carriage swiftly along the street, or carry his rider proudly to battle. In the locomotive the expansive power of steam is applied to machinery to overcome resistance and make difficult tasks easy. Its energy is measured by the work accomplished in "foot-pounds" or "horse-power". In man, energy is a mental force as well as a physical power, and on account of his three-fold nature, we may also call it a moral quality. He may have and exercise energy of body, mind and will but the culmination of all is, his ability to bring things to pass in the arena of the world's work. Energy enables a man to grapple with resistance and overcome it. If he possess this quality he can successfully meet the difficulties of a busy life and overcome them. It enables him "to force his way through irksome drudgery and dry details" onward to the point of success. It accomplishes more than genius, more than favorable circumstances, more than high birth or aristocratic surroundings. It gives impulse to every action and life to every effort. Upon it are based hope and courage and self reliance; for it is the knowledge of power that makes the hopeful, courageous man.
This is indeed a laborious world. On every hand there is need of work. If a man is poor, he must work for his life; if he be engaged in the pursuits of a vocation he must work to make his vocation a success if he would arrive at any high station or acquire anything that is good he must work in brow-sweat or brain-sweat until he reach it. If a man be rich, with millions in his coffers, still he must work to protect and save his riches. There is no place, any-where among men, where labor is not the necessity and indolence the ruin of every enterprise. There is no blessing, then, equal to the possession of a stout heart and energetic soul. Even if we fail, it is a great satisfaction to know that we have done our best, and out of the wrecks of seeming defeat the energetic man may construct a craft that will still bear him above the wave. What can be more beautiful than to see a man combatting suffering with patience, triumphing in his integrity, and, when his feet are bleeding and limbs tottering, still pressing on with unconquerable zeal to the end ?
What men call genius is not a miraculous conception. It is almost always only a genius for hard work, the ability to concentrate one's powers upon a given object for days and weeks until herculean tasks are accomplished. I do not believe that a great task is done, even by a great man, without great effort. If the be a so-called genius he may be only an adept in the concealment of his gigantic labors. Given a sound mind in a sound body with energy and perseverance and the highest attainments are within the reach of any man. The prime difference between men who get on in life and those who do not is often nothing else than the possession of energy or lack of it. Energy is the working power within the man, the propelling force by which the machinery is set in motion and kept to its work. If a man possess this quality in large measure, the watchword of his life is forward. In season and out of season he labors at his chosen work, climbing over difficulties, overcoming resistance, thrusting aside obstacles,, mounting the ladder round by round. Then at last he takes the shining way that leads to the stars and through their glories, onward still, to the gates of pearl and the throne of everlasting whiteness.