“The real difference between men is energy. A strong will, a settled purpose, an invincible determination, can accomplish almost anything; and in this lies the distinction between great men and little men” (Alfred Carl Fuller).

ENERGY IS CERTAINLY ONE OF THE PRIME DETERMINANTS OF ACHIEVEMENT. Those who are energetic achieve greater deeds than those who aren’t. Alfred Carl Fuller may have overstated the case in ranking energy as the number one difference “between great men and little men,” for one’s principles would surely rank higher than one’s energy, but it can’t be denied that energy is essential to honorable character. Not even the best principles in the world will contribute anything of value if they’re not put into practice with energy.

It is the combination of valid principles and high energy that we should desire. Principles without energy are ineffective, and energy without principles is destructive. Indeed, Augustine of Hippo gave an interesting definition of sin when he said that “sin is energy in the wrong channel.” But think of the power, the uplift, and the benefit that result when principles and energy work together in “synergy.”

One of the truly wonderful things about our nature is that we can increase our energy when we choose to do so. We do that, for the most part, by adjusting our motives and our reasons for doing the things we do. The higher (that is, the more unselfish) our motives, the more energy we have. So if we want to increase our energy, we need to enlarge our desires and elevate our ambitions to a higher plane.

But another thing that influences our energy is the question of for whom we do what we do. For example, try this experiment today and see if it doesn’t give you greater energy: whatever you do, see yourself as doing it not for yourself but as a gift for those whom you love.

There is hardly a greater energy in the world than benevolence, which comes from the Latin bene (“good”) and velle (“to wish or will”). It is not only one of the most powerful forms of energy, but it’s one of the greatest in terms of the good that it accomplishes. Not much can stop us if we’re moved by genuine, old-fashioned goodwill.

“Goodwill is no easy symbol of good wishes. It is an immeasurable and tremendous energy, the atomic energy of the spirit” (Eleanor B. Stock).

Gary Henry — WordPoints.com + AreYouaChristian.com

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