Remember that the law of life is effort, that talk is valueless unless it leads to action, that the truth of opinions is to be tested by their practical efficiency. Prudence, patience, labor, valor—these are the stars that rule the career of mortals. It is the storm not the calm which tests the sea-worthiness of the vessel.
Men are not born equal; …but each is given a sphere wherein to work. The vessel that holds not water may still hold grain. It matters not so much what a man cannot do as what he can…
It is not unusual to hear people lamenting that they cannot accomplish what they desire, that they cannot compete with others in this or that undertaking, that they can never become eminent or great in any direction; they regard this as a calamity, and sometimes use it as an excuse for not exerting the powers they do possess to the utmost.
No one can be sure of the exact limits of his own ability. He can limit it himself by not putting it forth, but he cannot tell how far it would extend by steady and persevering exercise. Many of those who have distinguished themselves have been men of moderate capacity, who have developed it by assiduous effort.
But there must be no wasted effort. Don’t turn perseverance into a fault by doggedly going on in the old path. Use new scientific methods, utilize the experience of others. Depend upon it, however brilliant you may be, the tortoise of investigation, method and preparation will always catch up and overtake the hare which leaves to the inspiration of the moment.
—From Factors of Success
These wonders rose lo upper air.
But dignifies the doer, if done well.
—R. L. Bremner