(note: this is not my picture)
Right now it's portfolio crunch time, and the floor of my living room is buried under stacks and stacks and stacks of papers while I try to cram five years of my greatest undergraduate achievements into one 3" binder. While digging through my files for old papers I found a gem of inspirational literature. I feel that I can justify a 20 minute break from my 15 hour sorting frenzy to share it with you.
"Are You One of The Priceless Few"
by William H. Danforth
I am on a voyage of discovery. I search for those of you who will go on a great adventure. I am looking for you, one of the audacious few, who will face life courageously, ready to strike straight at the heart of anything that is keeping you from your best; you intrepid ones behind whom the world moves forward. To you, I am going to unfold a secret power that but few know how to use--the secret power of daring and sharing which carries with it tremendous responsibilities. Once you have it, you can never be the same again. Once it is yours, you can never rest until you have given it to others. And the more you give away the greater becomes your capacity to give. Deep down in the very fiber of your being you must light an urge that will never be put out. It will catch this side of your life, then that side. It will widen your horizon. It will light up unknown reserves and discover new capacities for living and growing. It will become, if you don't look out, a mighty inferno that will consume your every waking hour. And to its blazing glory a thousand other lives will come for light and warmth and power.
It is going to take courage to let this urge posses you. My life in business and my contacts with young people have convinced me that the world is full of unused talents and latent ability. The reason these talents lie buried is that the individual hasn't the courage to dig them up and use them. Everybody should be doing better than he or she is, but only a few dare. Prospectors for gold tell us that gold is where they find it. It may be in a bed of a river or on the mountaintop. Prospectors for courage tell us the same thing; the one who dares may be found in a cottage or in a castle. But wherever you live, whoever you are, whatever you have or have not--if you dare, you are challenged to enlist in a cause.
H.G. Wells ells how every human being can determine whether he has really succeeded in life. He says: "Wealth, notoriety, place, and power are no measure of success whatever. The only true measure of success is the ration between what we might have done and what we might have been on the one hand, and the thing we have made and the thing we have made of ourselves on the other."
I want you to start a crusade in your life--to dare to be your best. I maintain that you are a better, more capable person than you have demonstrated so far. The only reason you are not the person you could be is you don't dare to be. Once you dare, once you stop drifting with the crowd and face life courageously, powers harness themselves for your service.
Who wants to do unimportant and uninteresting things? To desire something permanent in life, to develop your gifts to the largest possible use-that's your dare. You have a wealth of possibilities, but maybe up to this time you have lacked a definite aim. I dare you to aim at something worthy of the best that is in you.
Makes you want to be better, right? Yes! Yet when I look around at all the papers on my floor and think how much more work I have to do before my goals are met, it's a little discouraging. BUT, I am trying to aim. I am trying to shoot high. Who knows where the arrow will land? Whether we live in a "cottage or a castle," the secret is in learning to dare. Amen.
Okay, now back to the books.