- The importance of strong determination
- The cause of our failure
- Examples from the history
- Fable of hare and tortoise, Robert Bruce and the Spider
- The example of the Greek orator, Demosthenes the story of Pallisy
There is nothing difficult in this world which a man cannot achieve. How rough and rugged our path may be, however utterly helpless and weak we may feel success is sure to come to us if we work with determination and a dogged will. The virtue of perseverance and of trying ‘again and again’ will never fail to bring success to us in the long run. “Little strokes fell might oaks.” ‘Patience and perseverance will overcome mountains,” it has been wisely said. We don’t succeed in an undertaking because we do not possess a strong desire to do it. Our desire is like a thin, feeble stream of water, which is turned aside or blocked by every small obstacle. But a rushing torrent simply sweeps rocks and trees and banks out of its way, and forces itself through every obstruction, in the same way, a fierce desire and a strong determination will make light of difficulties, and will discover the way to success.
“Impossible,” said Napoleon on one occasion, “is a word that is found only in the dictionary of fools.” There is nothing impossible in the world that cannot be made possible. History abounds in examples of the power of the strong will in acquiring success. Sir Issac Newton had several obstacles thrown in his way to mathematical studies, but as he possessed a strong will he succeeded in winning the reputation of being the greatest mathematician in the world- Even the fable of the Hare and the Tortoise affords us a lesson of the power of self-will in achieving success. The tortoise possessed a strong will and, therefore, gained the day, even though its competitor was one of the swiftest of animals.
The proverb holds out a message of hope and encouragement to the discouraged in this life. The story of ‘Robert Bruce and the Spider’ illustrates the fact that the spider, though it failed nine times to reach the highest point, succeeded at last. Robert Bruce was so much struck with the perseverance of the little insect that he took heart, tried again and succeeded. Therefore,
‘Beware of saying, ‘I can’t,’
‘This a cowardly word, and apt to lead
To idleness, folly and want.”
Macbeth, when he was going to murder Duncan, was haunted by fear ‘lest he might fail.’ But Lady Macbeth harangued him thus:”If we fail.’ But screw your courage to the sticking—place And we will not fail.”
Demosthenes was a stammering and weak-voiced lad. He determined to be a great public orator. He cured himself of stammering by speaking with pebbles in his mouth. His weak voice gave place to a Sonorous and thundering voice, as he overcame this defect by reciting aloud as he ran up steep hills, and by declaiming on the shore of the roaring sea. So this weak-voiced lad became the greatest orator of Greece that the world has ever known. Lord Beaconsfield, on his first appearance in the House of Commons, was laughed down. He angrily exclaimed, ‘the time will come when you shall hear me,’ and by his perseverance he made himself one of the greatest orators of England. The story of Pallissy, the French potter in the 7th century, also illustrates the same fact. He made tip his mind to discover a pure white glaze for China. He was a poor man and had nothing but little education; but for twenty years he worked at his task trying hundreds of experiments and failing in all. But he did not give in. His wife and neighbours called him a lunatic, for he ruined himself in his efforts. At last, to get wood to feed his furnace in the final experiment, he burnt up all the furniture in his house. But he succeeded in the end, and became a famous man. He had the will, and he found the way. Kalidas, the greatest of Sanskrit poets, was at first an illiterate man.
“Say not the struggle naught availeth,
The labour and the wounds and vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
And as things have been they remain.
If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
It may be, in you smoke concealed,
Your comrades chose even now the fliers,
And but for you possess the field.”