Persistent people begin their success
where others end in failure.

Edward Eggleston


When I look at the kids training today. . . I can tell which ones are going to do well.  Itís not necessarily the ones who have the most natural talent or who fall the least.  Sometimes itís the kids who fall the most, and keep pulling themselves up and trying again.

Michelle Kwan

Be of good cheer.  Do not think of todayís failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow.  You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find joy in overcoming obstacles.  Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.

Helen Keller

Success depends upon staying power.  The reason for failure in most cases is lack of perseverance.

James R. Miller

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.  Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.  Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not; the world is filled with educated derelicts.  Perseverance and determination alone are omnipotent.

Calvin Coolidge


When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at a rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it.  Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it--but all that had gone before.

Jacob Riis


The heights by great ones reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


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I am not discouraged, because every wrong
attempt discarded is another step forward.

Thomas A. Edison


Life is not easy for any of us.  But what of that?  We must have perseverance
and above all confidence in ourselves.  We must believe that we are gifted
for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.

Marie Curie


Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon,
and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world.

Jane Addams


The Village Blacksmith

Under a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.

His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns whate'er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man.

Week in, week out, from morn till night,
You can hear his bellows blow;
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,
With measured beat and slow,
Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
When the evening sun is low.

And children coming home from school
Look in at the open door;
They love to see the flaming forge,
And hear the bellows roar,
And catch the burning sparks that fly
Like chaff from a threshing-floor.

He goes on Sunday to the church,
And sits among his boys;
He hears the parson pray and preach,
He hears his daughter's voice,
Singing in the village choir,
And it makes his heart rejoice.

It sounds to him like her mother's voice,
Singing in Paradise!
He needs must think of her once more,
How in the grave she lies;
And with his haul, rough hand he wipes
A tear out of his eyes.

Onward through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees it close
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night's repose.

Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
For the lesson thou hast taught!
Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
Each burning deed and thought.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance.
Those that walk with vigor, three hours a day, will pass in seven
years a space equal to the circumference of the globe.

Samuel Johnson

One of the simplest things about all facts of life is that
to get where you want to go, you must keep on keeping on.

Norman Vincent Peale


There are two ways of attaining an important end--force and perseverance.
Force falls to the lot of a privileged few, but austere and sustained
perseverance by the insignificant--its silent power grows irresistible with time.

Ann S. Swetchine (also see the quotation attributed to Goethe below)


Big shots are only little shots who keep shooting.

Christopher Morley


What can people not accomplish if they will but
master the secret of steadfast perseverance.

Alice H. Rice


People who have attained things worth having in this world
have worked while others idled, have persevered when others
gave up in despair, have practiced early in life the valuable
habits of self-denial, industry, and singleness of purpose.
As a result, they enjoy in later life the success so often
erroneously attributed to good luck.

Grenville Kleiser

There are but two roads that lead to an important goal and to the
doing of great things:  strength and perseverance.  Strength is
the lot of but a few privileged people; but austere perseverance,
harsh and continuous, may be employed by the least of us and rarely
fails of its purpose, for its silent power grows irresistibly greater with time.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Perseverance is a great element of success.  If you only knock
loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you,
till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer,
never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.

Harriet Beecher Stowe

When you put your hand to the plow, you can't put it
down until you get to the end of the row.

Alice Paul


Think of a fine painter attempting to capture an inner vision, beginning
with one corner of the canvas, painting what he or she thinks should be
there, not quite pulling it off, covering it over with white paint,
and trying again, each time finding out what the painting isn't, until
he or she finally finds out what it is.  And when you finally do find out
what one corner of your vision is, you're off and running.

Anne Lamott

Instead of thinking about where you are, think about where
you want to be.  It takes twenty years of hard work
to become an overnight success.

Diana Rankin

You're not obligated to win.  You're obligated to keep
trying to do the best you can every day.

Marion Wright Edelman


Athletes make their sports look easy because of the thousands
of hours of work that they've devoted to their sports.  A good
singer seems to be able to hit every note effortlessly only because
he or she has spent countless hours practicing and learning and
practicing some more.  When they become successful, it's easy
to call them lucky or to forget the amount of work that they've
put into their chosen field, but the fact is that they kept on with
what they wanted to do and didn't give up.

tom walsh



Go the extra mile.  It's never crowded.



Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished
by people who have kept on trying when there
seemed to be no hope at all.

Dale Carnegie


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One only gets to the top rung of the ladder by steadily climbing up
one rung at a time, and suddenly all sorts of powers, all sorts of
abilities which you thought never belonged to you--suddenly become
within your own possibility and you think, "Well, I'll have a go, too."

Margaret Thatcher

And I recall an account of Trollope going up to London to pick up a rejected
manuscript from a publisher, getting on the train to return home, laying the
bulky bundle on his lap face down, and beginning a new book on the
back pages of the rejected one.


Whether it's a career in the arts, sports, business, or the professions,
the way to perfect our skills is through diligent practice and study
on a consistent basis.  This means making the commitment to
develop our self-discipline and to persist and endure until the goal
is met.  This commitment to "finish the race" may not always be
easy.  There are often occasions when we may be tempted to
spend valuable time pursuing those interests that give
pleasure while neglecting our long-range priorities.

John Marks Templeton
Worldwide Laws of Life


The world doesn't come to the clever folks, it comes to
the stubborn, obstinate, one-idea-at-a-time people.

Mary Roberts Rinehart


It is not so much brilliancy of intellect, or fertility of resource, as
persistency of effort, constancy of purpose, that makes a great person.
Persistency always gives confidence.  Everybody believes in the people
who persist.  They may meet misfortunes, sorrows, and reverses, but
everybody believes that they will ultimately triumph because they know
there is no keeping them down.  "Do they keep at it?  are they persistent?"
are the questions which the world asks about us.
Even the person with small ability will often succeed if he or she has
the quality of persistence, where a genius without persistence would fail.

Orison Swett Marden


"When I was a young man," he said, "the last wolf in this part of the
country was hunted down and killed.  The newcomers to this land
brought their long-held fears of the wolf with them.  The newcomers
thought, and still think, that the wolf was successful because he loved
to kill and was good at it.  To them, he was evil and had to be killed.
They didn't realize that he failed more than he succeeded.  He went
hungry eight or nine times out of ten because his prey got away.  When
he finally succeeded the tenth time, he satisfied his hunger.  What others
saw as a lust for killing was really perseverance.  That was the secret
of his success:  He never quit."

Joseph M. Marshall III


In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always
wins--not through strength but by perseverance.

H. Jackson Brown


Even the woodpeckers owe their success to the fact that they use
their heads and keep pecking away until they finish the job they start.

Coleman Cox


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You don't just luck into things as much as you'd like to think you do.
You build them step by step, whether it's friendships or opportunities.

Barbara Bush

People say, "What is the sense of our small effort?"  They cannot see
that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time.

Dorothy Day


We need to distinguish between perseverance--hanging in there--and holding
on.  So often our holding on is related to something that has already passed.
It's over and done with, and yet we don't want it to be over.  We exert our
will to hold on, often with disastrous results.
   When we hang in there, we stick with a situation or person for as long as
the situation or the person requires it.  Our hanging-in behavior is appropriate
and related to the situation:  it is not just self-will or stubbornness.
   Perseverance is continuing to work at something for as long as there is value
in working at it.  Perseverance is being appropriately related to ourselves, the
situation, and others involved.  It is the commitment to seeing something through
to completion and the ability to recognize when that completion has been reached.

Anne Wilson Schaef
Meditations for Living in Balance

When I was in college, I went to New York to talk to a songwriter
I admired very much.  I took him four or five songs that I had
written and I thought he'd introduce me to Tin Pan Alley and it
would be the beginning of my career.  After I played him my songs,
he said, "You have some very nice songs.  Come back
when you have a barrelful."
   A barrelful of songs!  That would mean hundreds of songs.  I can
still remember the disappointment I felt as I traveled all the way
back to college.  Nevertheless, that man's counsel was more inspired
that I realized.  It took me years to understand that.  But of course,
what he knew was that if I really wanted to be a songwriter, I'd have
to write songs, not just think about the five I had written.  And so,
after the initial disappointment, I got to work; and through the years,
one by one, I have written a barrelful.
   In fact, the barrel's overflowing now, and I can tell you, the more I
wrote, the better the songs became, and the more those songs
expressed what was real within me.

Fred Rogers
The World According to Mr. Rogers

No matter what the circumstances, you should never concede defeat.
Never conclude that you've reached a dead end, that everything is
finished.  You possess a glorious future.  And precisely because of
that, you must persevere and study.  Life is eternal.  We need to focus
on the two existences of the present and the future and not get caught
up in the past.  We must always have the spirit to begin anew "from
this moment," to initiate a new struggle each day.

Daisaku Ikeda
Buddhism Day by Day



Found online:

(Found online images come from a variety of unattributed
sources from various social media pages.  They're too nice
not to share!)


Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.



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