Have you ever thought of your wonderful opportunities? Don’t say that you haven’t any, for you have. No matter how or where you are, you always have the opportunity to do your best, and that is the greatest opportunity in the world. That was Lincoln’s opportunity,
Millet’s opportunity, Beethoven’s opportunity, Napoleon’s opportunity, Tolstoi’s opportunity. Dr. Orrison Sweet Marden, who, through that never ending source of inspiration, the Success Magazine, has helped us over and over again, says in the March issue: “The quality which you put into your work will determine the quality of your life. The habit of insisting upon the best of which you are capable, of always demanding of yourself the highest, never accepting the lowest or second best, no matter how small you remuneration, will make all the difference to you between success and failure.” This is part of an editorial in the March Success, entitled “Not the Salary, but the Opportunity,” and, although this editorial is evidently aimed at young employees, it will pay any teacher or any student to secure that issue and read it over and over again.
The teacher’s salary is his fee. No matter how small that fee, the teacher should continually remember that the opportunity is always greater than the fee. One of the most successful teachers in New York City started teaching at twenty-five cents a lesson. He had secured the best possible European training, but finding himself unable to secure pupils at the rate charged by the better known teachers, he took pupils at the ridiculously low rate of twenty-five cents. This barely “kept him going,” but it gave him his opportunity. Now, he receives five dollars for each lesson, because he utilized the opportunity to show what he could do. If you ever feel like complaining about your opportunities remember the case of this man and bring yourself to the realization of the fact that your opportunity is not some mysterious thing which may come to you in the future and overwhelm you with a wave of success and fame, but that it is the chance to do your best, your level best, on the work you have at hand.