All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.
Nothing can be more destructive to vigor of action than protracted, anxious fluctuation, through resolutions adopted, rejected, resumed, and suspended, and nothing causes a greater expense of feeling. A man without decision can never be said to belong to himself; he is as a wave of the sea, or a feather in the air which every breeze blows about as it listeth.
How blessed is he, who leads a country life, Unvex'd with anxious cares, and void of strife! Who studying peace, and shunning civil rage, Enjoy'd his youth, and now enjoys his age: All who deserve his love, he makes his own; And, to be lov'd himself, needs only to be known.
nine keys to contentment Health enough to make work a pleasure. Wealth enough to support your needs. Strength enough to battle with difficulties and overcome them. Grace enough to confess your sins and forsake them. Patience enough to toil until some good is accomplished. Charity enough to see some good in your neighbors. Love enough to move you to be useful and helpful to others. Faith enough to make real things of God. Hope enough to remove all anxious fears concerning the future.
Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation. . . . Tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego. His anxiety subsides. His inhuman void spreads monstrously like a gray vegetation.
Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound. The man who does not shrink from self-crucifixion can never fail to accomplish the object upon which his heart is set. This is true of earthly as of heavenly things. Even the man whose object is to acquire wealth must be prepared to make great personal sacrifices before he can accomplish his object; and how much more so he who would realize a strong and well-poised life.
Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith. We should live for the future, and yet should find our life in the fidelities of the present; the last is only the method of the first.
In any weather, at any hour of the day or night, I have been anxious to improve the nick of time, and notch it on my stick too: to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and the future, which is precisely the present moment; to toe that line.