Every-day Thoughts in Prose and Verse
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Previous Chapter Table of Contents Next Chapter


An Earnest Soul.
    Whatever you set about, be in earnest.  If
you are making your toilet, be intent upon
the matter, and think of it as the important event
of the day until it is completed.
    Then turn your forces in other directions, just as
a ship turns its searchlight first here, then there,
illuminating the course it pursues.
    So many of us are shilly-shallying along life in
these days.
    We do nothing seriously.
    We are in earnest about nothing.  We all want
to be multi-millionaires, and we are looking for
sudden and quick methods of success.
    By success we mean accumulating a large for-
    Our eye is out for the sign, "A millionaire while
you wait," as we pursue our daily avocations.
Just as sure as the continual leaking of a faucet
wastes water in a reservoir, so this continual frit-
tering of our mental forces in frivolous and non-
focused thought wastes our moral and mental
    The man who is in earnest not only brings the full
powers of his own mind and soul to bear upon his
project, but he draws about him the influences of
invisible intelligences who people space and come
to the aid of the deserving.
    Whatever your aim is at this moment, be in earn-
est.  Do you want an education?  Do you wish a con-
genial occupation?  Do you crave success in the arts,
professions or trades?  Do you love some woman
and long to win her affection?  Whatever it is, be in
earnest about it.  Think of it with reverence, and
put all your powers of mentality and spirituality
into your desire.  Then work for your aim.  You
must attain it.

    The hurry of the times affects us so
        In this swift, rushing hour, we crowd, and press,
    And thrust each other backward, as we go,
        And do not pause to lay sufficient stress
        Upon that good , strong, true word, Earnestness.
    In our impetuous haste, could we but know
    Its full, deep meaning, its vast import, oh,
        Then might we grasp the secret of success!

    In that receding age when men were great,
        The bone and sinew of their purpose lay
    In this one word.  God likes an earnest soul--
    Too earnest to be eager.  Soon or late
        It leaves the spent horde breathless by the way,
    And stands serene, triumphant, at the goal.

Every-day thoughts in prose and verse. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Chicago: W. B. Conkey Company, 1901.
Previous Chapter
Return to the Table of Contents
Next Chapter