William Hazlitt says, "What have I been doing all my life? Have I been idle or have I nothing to show for all my labour and pains? Is there one thing in which I can challenge competition that can bring as an instance of exact perfection in which others cannot find a flaw?"
Success stems from focus and tenacity. Results in life are attained by simple means and exercise of ordinary qualities is the surest way to succeed. We can do anything we want to do if we stick to it long enough. Energies are dissipated or diverted if one fails to concentrate on aim.
First of all one has to shed brooding as it breeds pessimistic inaction.
Strive to improve the quality of your performance. The secret is first-rate work. Slipshod and slovenly work means that you are a slob.
You cannot improve your performance if you look upon hard work as drudgery. What you do is a part of yourself. It is an expression of the best in you.
Remember that the people who touched pinnacle of success have sweated for it. Tolstoy wrote his manuscripts six times. Samuel Johnson turned over half a library in search of a single idea. Nietzsche wrote his text fifteen times. Spencer remodelled his System of Philosophy five times.
Flashy brilliance may come from fitful spells pf "inspiration" but it is sustained hard work, gimlet-like tenacity that sires success.
When fearful, you are weak and instead of putting in your best effort, you feel lost and fail.
Students who do not realise that university can be a growing experience, end up by letting their psychological and intellectual strength go untapped.
Fear of failure is traced to low motivation. To woo this elusive seductress, you have to plan and each advance made with care and concentration.
"Life is short, art is long, opportunity fleeting, experiment uncertain and judgement difficult," says Hippocrates.
Success does not depend on circumstances, but reaction to them. A man's worst enemy is the one in his head. “Many men" says La Bruyere, "Spend much of their time in making the miseries miserable." More young men have ruined themselves than have ever been by others. Who fills madhouses? There are two sorts of ruins; one is the work of time, the other of man.
We commit suicide in stages! If we place ourselves out of harmony with nature we suffer. Actions have consequences!
"How it would be, " says Seneca, "If men would not exercise their brains as they do their bodies and take as much pains for virtue as they do for pleasures."
The aim is to secure the highest and most harmonious development of self to be complete and consistent.
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