Perseverance is the key to perfection. if you are tempted to think that some human beings are so gifted and so intelligent that they only have to expend a little energy to achieve excellence, consider the roll call of masters below, and then walk with me through the life of another master: Thomas Edison
- Plato wrote the first sentence of his Republic nine different ways before he was satisfied.
- Cicero practised speaking before friends everyday for thirty years to perfect his elocution.
- Noah Webster labored thirty-six years writing his dictionary, crossing the Atlantic twice to gather material.
- Milton rose at four in the morning everyday in order to have enough hours for his Paradise Lost.
- Sir Walter Scott put in fifteen hours a day at his desk, rising at four in the morning.
- Virgil spent seven years on his Geogics and twelve on the Aeneid. Nevertheless, he was so displeased with the latter that he tried to rise from his deathbed to throw the manuscript into the flames.
- Beethoven is unsurpassed in his painstaking fidelity to his music. Hardly a bar of his was not written and rewritten at least a dozen times.
- Michelangelo’s last judgement, one of the twelve master paintings of the ages, was then product of twelve years‘ unremitting toil. Over two thousand studies of it were found among his papers. Whenever Michelangelo, that “divine madman”, as Richardson once wrote on some of his great designs, he closed himself up from the world.
“Why do you lead such a solitary life? Asked a friend. “Art” , replied the sublime artist, “is a jealous god; it requires the whole and entire man. During his mighty labor in the Sistine Chapel he refused to have any communication with any person even in his own house.
- One weary day on October 21, 1879, after thirteen months of repeated failures, Thomas Edison succeeded in his search for an electric light that we are enjoying today. He persevered!
Throughout history, great men have known that perseverance is the key to excellence. Have you failed; in your marriage? In your business? In your education? You think you have failed in your life? Try again! Don’t give an alibi; give it another try. Just keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something and sitting down.
Reference: Nothing Just Happen, edited. pp.54