Posts tagged ‘persistence’



It is better, I think, to grab at the stars than to sit flustered because you know you cannot reach them.

R.A. Salvatore, Sojourn (1991)


keep on

I keep on making what I can’t do yet in order to learn to be able to do it.

Vincent van Gogh, letter to Theo (1885)



If you live in the sting, you will undoubtedly fail. My way of getting past the sting is to say, ‘No, I’m just not going to let this get me down.’

Sonia Sotomayor, My Beloved World (2013)



If you’re gonna win, win graceful; If you’re gonna love, love faithful; If you’re gonna learn, learn by teaching; If you’re gonna fall, fall reaching.

 Chris Ward, “Fall Reaching” (1996)


the violets

The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks.

Tennessee Williams, “Camino Real” (1953)


a mighty heart

…The generation that carried on the war has been set apart by its experience. Through our great good fortune, in our youth our hearts were touched with fire. It was given to us to learn at the outset that life is a profound and passionate thing. While we are permitted to scorn nothing but indifference, and do not pretend to undervalue the worldly rewards of ambition, we have seen with our own eyes, beyond and above the gold fields, the snowy heights of honor, and it is for us to bear the report to those who come after us. But, above all, we have learned that whether a man accepts from Fortune her spade, and will look downward and dig, or from Aspiration her axe and cord, and will scale the ice, the one and only success which it is his to command is to bring to his work a mighty heart.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, “Memorial Day” (1884)


a dignity

I believe very deeply in the human spirit and I have a sense of awe about it because I don’t know how people carry on…I’ve known people that the world has thrown everything at to discourage them, to kill them, to break their spirit. And yet something about them retains a dignity. They face life and they don’t ask quarters.

Horton Foote, interview with The New York Times Magazine (1986)



You know, failure hurts. Any kind of failure stings. If you live in the sting, you will—undoubtedly—fail. My way of getting past the sting is to say no, I’m just not going to let this get me down.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, interview on “All Things Considered,” NPR (2013)


working hard

Working hard is a skill you have to nurture!

Chris Shiflett, overheard in’s studio; first cited here on (2013)



Laura felt a warmth inside her. It was very small, but it was strong. It was steady, like a tiny light in the dark, and it burned very low but no winds could make it flicker because it would not give up.

Laura Ingalls Wilder,  The Long Winter (1940)


take time, do well

Everything good needs time. Don’t do work in a hurry. Go into details; it pays in every way. Time means power for your work. Mediocrity is always in a rush; but whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing with consideration. For genius is nothing more nor less than doing well what anyone can do badly.

Amelia E. Barr, 9 Rules for Success (1901)


George Washington

He was not a brilliant strategist or tactician, not a gifted orator, not an intellectual…But experience had been his great teacher from boyhood, and in this his greatest test, he learned steadily from experience. Above all, Washington never forgot what was at stake and he never gave up.

David McCullough on George Washington, 1776 (2005)


the secret

Q: What are the key emotional and psychological drivers for an entrepreneur?
A: [Sir Richard Branson] It’s a combination of passion, vision, creativity and a sense of adventure.

Richard Branson, interview with Thought Economics (2013)


the university

In the parameters that describe society—in the statistics that describe what it is and how it functions—we are indeed a very long way from 1883. But are we so far away from it in human terms? The mission of the University is still to develop the human resources of society. It is to develop the minds of its students so they can process information to increase their knowledge—to teach them to think—so that they will grow intellectually in judgment and in wisdom. It must carry out that traditional mission, however, in a new environment….As the University enters its second century, we can be sure that the society of the information age will expect a great deal of it and will define “first class” in escalating standards. A public institution that aspires to greatness can never be satisfied with its condition. When an individual achieves the ripe old age of 100 years, it is socially acceptable to take it easy. But, for a university, it is an occasion to celebrate, take a deep breath, and get back to work.

Peter T. Flawn, “The University in the Information Age,” Address to the Centennial Convocation (1983)

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