A young man, a graduate of a large university, after searching
for several months for a job, became discouraged.
He was too proud to ask for assistance. He had worked his way
through college and had no reserve capital; he had practically
nothing but his diploma and his courage; and now his courage had
He had gone 2 days without food, and had been obliged to give up
his room because he couldn't pay his rent. He had slept upon a park
bench for several nights. It seemed to him that the bottom had
dropped out of everything. He didn't see any use in a college
education, and felt that the world didn't have any use for him
or any place for him.
He was completely obsessed by discouragement, and by a frightful
fit of the "blues," which had stuck by him for days, balking his
efforts at hunting for a job. He couldn't see any light in the future,
or any prospects ahead.
He had a horror of finally drifting into the ranks of the unfit
and the failures. His clothes became faded and wrinkled from
constant wear without change. He couldn't keep himself in a
presentable condition, and he was turned down everywhere.
At last he got a job washing dishes in a cheap restaurant, which
at least provided him with his meals; but he continued to sleep in
One night, in the midst of his wretchedness, he had a sort of
vision. He saw emblazoned in letters of fire across the sky these
He slept no more that night. At dawn he got up from the bench,
went to a watering trough and washed his face and hands and shaved
himself as best he could. He made friends with a bootblack who
allowed him to polish his shoes.
Then he set forth determined to get a position that very day.
Fortified by his vision he did not go slinking into any office
as though he had been a thief; but he entered with an air of
confidence, of expectation.
There was grit in his very expression.
That day he got a place.
It was not what he wanted, but it was something, an opening wedge.
Best of all, he had solved a problem; he had learned the great
lesson of trusting himself, of believing in his own powers.
The vision of that night never left him.
This young man has climbed to an enviable position today, and
he says he owes it all to his vision, "Trust yourself." All his
early life he had been a victim of diffidence. He had suffered
greatly in school and college.
The calling of his name for recitation was like sticking a knife
into him. He had never dared get up in any public meeting.
It paralyzed him to think of being singled out, of having attention
called to him. Although he had ability, he gradually became so
disheartened that he didn't believe he could succeed under any
He accepted as a fact the estimate that discouragement pointed
out to him. It kept whispering to him that he could never do that
which he was undertaking, that there was no use in trying.
But once with his feet on the upgrade, he began to awaken to
his powers. He began to trust himself more and more, instead of
standing back or relying upon others.
This self-trust has grown until now this man is so self-reliant
and has such a vigorous initiative, that no one would dream he had
ever been a victim of timidity and discouragement.
The "Know yourself" of the Greek sages is but another expression
of this universal truth. We say today, "He can who thinks he can."
"Didn't dare to begin" would make a good epitaph for multitudes
"He was discouraged" is on the tombstones of countless others.
- Author unknown -
Posted by Priya Deelchand