The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.—DISRAELI.
From the book Pushing to the Front by O S Marden
“There are no longer any good chances for young men,” complained a youthful law student to Daniel Webster. “There is always room at the top,” replied the great statesman and jurist.
No chance, no opportunities, in a land where thousands of poor boys become rich men, where newsboys go to Congress, and where those born in the lowest stations attain the highest positions? The world is all gates, all opportunities to him who will use them. But, like Bunyan’s Pilgrim in the dungeon of Giant Despair’s castle, who had the key of deliverance all the time with him but had forgotten it, we fail to rely wholly upon the ability to advance all that is good for us which has been given to the weakest as well as the strongest. We depend too much upon outside assistance.
“We look too high
For things close by.”
A Baltimore lady lost a valuable diamond bracelet at a ball, and supposed that it was stolen from the pocket of her cloak. Years afterward she washed the steps of the Peabody Institute, pondering how to get money to buy food. She cut up an old, worn-out, ragged cloak to make a hood, when lo! in the lining of the cloak she discovered the diamond bracelet. During all her poverty she was worth $3500, but did not know it.
Many of us who think we are poor are rich in opportunities, if we could only see them, in possibilities all about us, in faculties worth more than diamond bracelets. In our large Eastern cities it has been found that at least ninety-four out of every hundred found their first fortune at home, or near at hand, and in meeting common every-day wants. It is a sorry day for a young man who can not see any opportunities where he is, but thinks he can do better somewhere else.
Some Brazilian shepherds organized a party to go to California to dig gold, and took along a handful of translucent pebbles to play checkers with on the voyage. After arriving in San Francisco, and after they had thrown most of the pebbles away, they discovered that they were diamonds. They hastened back to Brazil, only to find that the mines from which the pebbles had been gathered had been taken up by other prospectors and sold to the government.
Orison Swett Marden. Pushing to the Front (Kindle Locations 891-908).