Self-reliance is inculcated as a moral virtue, and in a certain sense, with due surroundings, it is so. Observation and experience show that it is a considerable force in the world. He who questions his own powers, and does not know his own mind, hesitates, trembles, falters, fails: his diffidence is the author of his disappointment. The self-reliant individual hopes, considers, plans, resolves, endeavours, perseveres, succeeds: his assurance of victory is one leading cause of his triumph. A man believes in his own capacity, and unless he is altogether a piece of emptiness he gradually convinces others that his estimate is correct. Even self-conceit, immodest though it be, has sometimes acted forcefully, just as, at a pinch, Dutch courage has supplied the place of valour. The essence of the matter is that confidence of some sort is an item of great importance in accomplishing our designs, and distrust or doubt is a source of weakness in any and every case. Faith, then, we choose, rather than doubt, as the mainspring of our life.
The Clue of the Maze.
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