Tag: Persistence (home)

If at first you don't succeed you're running about average.

permalink source: M.H. Alderson
tags: Persistence, Success

Even a fool knows you can't touch the stars, but it doesn't stop a wise man from trying.

permalink source: Harry Anderson, "Night Court"
tags: Persistence, Wisdom

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "Press On" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

permalink source: Calvin Coolidge
tags: Discipline, Genius, Persistence

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

permalink source: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
tags: Commitment, Destiny, Discipline, Excellence, Persistence, Time Management

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.

permalink source: Thomas Edison
tags: Optimism, Persistence

Genius is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration.

permalink source: Thomas A. Edison
tags: Genius, Persistence

Many people have played themselves to death. Many people have eaten and drunk themselves to death. Nobody ever thought himself to death.

permalink source: Gilbert Highet
tags: Persistence

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

permalink source: Lao-Tsze
tags: Persistence, Vision

I'm a slow walker, but I never walk back.

permalink source: Abraham Lincoln
tags: Persistence

Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast. In the pool where you least expect it, will be a fish. (i.e., persistance pays off)

permalink source: Ovid
tags: Habit, Persistence

If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.

permalink source: Betty Reese
tags: Humor, Persistence

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

permalink source: George Bernard Shaw
tags: Persistence, Vision

Every time you're not out there practicing, somebody else is, and when you meet him, he'll beat you.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Excellence, Persistence

Nothing is ever accomplished by a reasonable man.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Persistence, Wisdom

Practice makes permanent.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Excellence, Mistake, Persistence, Practice

One thing common to most success stories is the alarm clock.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Persistence, Time Management, Wisdom

There was this magician of some repute who was hired to do his act aboard a cruise ship. He had been there for several years, and since the crowd was in continual change, he did the same act over and over. He enjoyed the good life in this sinecure, spending most his time out on the Promenade Deck working on his tan, not new tricks. One day the Captain bought a parrot, and over the months brought the parrot with him to see the nightly magic show. Being a smart parrot, the bird learned all the tricks as to where the cards, flower, ect. were hidden by the magician in his act. The bird would say, "the card is up his left sleeve, the flower is under the pot, he hid the money under his shoe..." Because the parrot would only take about a week to catch on to his magic tricks, the magician was *forced* to continually learn new ones, which was getting harder and harder by the day, and really cramping his "sun time." To put it mildly he HATED THE DARN PARROT, but since it was the Captain's he couldn't just weigh the bird down and deep six it. Late one night the engine room exploded and the ship sank within minutes. Miraculously, the magician found himself clinging to a timber, floating in the water at 0200 dark in the morning. Alas, he was the only one left alive! As the sun came up the next morning and he turned around what should be sitting 20 feet away on the opposite end of the log - his arch nemesis, the Parrot! They glared at each other and said nothing. This went on for three days and neither said a word, just glared. On the Fourth Day the Parrot finally broke the silence and said, "OK! I give up - what did you do with the ship!"

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Humor, Persistence

"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly."

permalink source: Theodore Roosevelt
tags: Persistence

A Tale of Two Wordsmiths (AP Online; 10/22/98) By HILLEL ITALIE Associated Press Writer NEW YORK (AP) You could call them logophiles, those who are passionate about words. Or logologists, those who are scientific about words. Or logolepts, those who are maniacal about words. You could call them two of the great logolepts ever to dabble in and with the English language. Dr. James Murray was a tailor's son from the Scottish border who as a young man tried to teach Latin to cows and for fun memorized hundreds of Gypsy phrases. Dr. William Chester Minor was a Connecticut surgeon traumatized by the Civil War, convicted of murder in London and institutionalized in a two-room, book-lined cell. They both lived in turn-of-the-century England and they knew each other well. They corresponded by mail for years. They were friends even after Murray learned that Minor was an inmate, not a doctor, at the Broadmoor Asylum for the Criminally Insane. They were friends even after Minor imagined attackers crawling through the asylum floor. And they were collaborators on a historic project. Murray, an old schoolmate of the real-life model for Henry Higgins, was supervising the compilation of the Oxford English Dictionary. Minor, whose confinement did not keep him from owning a handsome collection of 17th- and 18th-century literature, was his most dependable contributor. "They are THE odd couple, aren't they?" said author Simon Winchester, who tells the story of Minor and Murray in his best-selling biography, "The Professor and the Madman." "They're part of this great tradition of enthusiastic amateurs, people who made great contributions to all sorts of things. They were people with time on their hands and their enthusiasms would carry them away." Winchester, a New Yorker who has written about everything from travel in the Far East to imprisonment in Argentina, said he got the idea for his latest work right at home in the bathtub, to be exact. The author was relaxing with a good book (on lexicography, of course) and came upon a brief reference to Minor. He sat straight up in the tub and decided there was a story to tell. "The Professor and the Madman" not only has made The New York Times' best- seller list, but has attracted both Mel Gibson and "La Femme Nikita" director Luc Besson for a possible film adaptation. The HarperCollins publication is even being used in a joint advertisement with the Oxford University Press, with both biography and dictionary (the former selling at $20, the latter at $995) promoted under the tabloid slogan: "Madman Special." "I'm unhappy with it," Winchester said. "It just seems so uncharacteristic of the Oxford University Press. "I remember a meeting we went to and sort of threw that name out, `Madman Special,"' Oxford publisher Laura Brown said with a laugh. "If you call a book something in draft it starts to take on a life of its own." Murray and Minor's friendship was a highlight of one of the longest, most cerebral quests in English history the quest for the ultimate catalog of the English language. It was a quest that would involve everyone from Jonathan Swift to Samuel Johnson, a quest for which the Oxford dictionary provided the voluminous conclusion. Ever since the 17th century, Swift, John Dryden and other British intellectuals had been looking to trim a language that seemed to grow as freely as an English garden. There was no agreement on how words should be spelled, used or pronounced. No one even knew how many words were out there. A language mastered in print by Shakespeare and Milton still followed the uncertain rules of oral culture. Would-be trimmers multiplied but the first great one did not emerge until 1755, when Dr. Johnson published his dictionary. For several years, Johnson had been tracking down every possible usage for thousands of words he found more than a hundred just for "take" and added often-acerbic definitions. At least one listing, for "oats," soon became widely quoted: "A grain which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people." But Johnson's dictionary was more literary than scholarly, and many continued to insist upon a reference guide that served as a catalog rather than a critical review. That would begin more than a century after Johnson's publication. Its working title: "The Big Dictionary." "There was a famous speech at the London Library made in 1857 by Richard Chenevix Trench, who was an author and a cleric and believed the English language had a kind of divine purpose, to be spread around the world," Winchester said. "He addressed the deficiencies in dictionaries which had come out before. People were amazed by the complexity of Johnson's dictionary but they realized there were hundreds and hundreds of words Johnson had overlooked." The Big Dictionary had the scale of a great public works project and, like so many public works projects, it ran longer than planned. The originators of the Oxford dictionary including the grandson of Romantic poet Samuel Coleridge thought they could wrap everything up within a few years. It would end up taking 70. "Every time they made an assumption about having limits on the number of meanings for a word, they found the limits were being breached," Winchester said. "It was as if they discovered that behind each soldier they were fighting there were a hundred more." By the late 1870s Coleridge was dead and Murray, an esteemed teacher and philologist, had been called in to edit. Minor, meanwhile, was an unstable ex- surgeon who had murdered a stranger on the streets of London and had been committed to Broadmoor, less than 40 miles from Oxford. Soon after starting his new job Murray issued an Appeal for Volunteers, an eight-page pamphlet that made a plea for specialists in 18th-century literature. Minor, who kept up with events in the literary world, wrote to offer his help. In the beginning, Murray simply thought of Minor as the prolific, highly organized researcher whose letters had the return address "Broadmoor, Crowthorne, Berkshire." Murray knew of the Broadmoor asylum, but assumed that Minor, whom he had publicly praised, was the medical officer. "This continued for years," Murray wrote to a friend, "until one day, between 1887 and 1890, the late Mr. Justin Windsor, Librarian of Harvard College, was sitting in my Scriptorium and remarked, `You have given great pleasure to Americans by speaking as you do ... of poor Dr. Minor. This is a very painful case."' Poor Dr. Minor? No official record exists of their first meeting, but over the next two decades these white-bearded companions saw each other dozens of times, with Murray always checking on Minor's mood before boarding the train from Oxford. On nice days, they would walk back and forth across the Broadmoor terrace. When the weather turned cold they would commune in Minor's cell, enjoying tea and cake and the warmth of the fireplace, special privileges granted by the asylum. Before losing both his mental and physical strength, W.C. Minor contributed thousands of listings to the Oxford dictionary, entries on everything from "art," "buckwheat" and "brick-tea" to "catamaran," "cholera" and "cutcherry." He also developed a meticulous system of documentation still used by researchers today. "He would create these indexes in his prison cell," Winchester said. "They knew they could rely on Minor to provide quotations, showing how a word was used. Not only was his work impeccable but he had this uncanny ability to produce words when they were needed." The dictionary was completed in 1928, but neither Minor nor Murray lived to see it. Murray, knighted in 1908, died seven years later, at age 78. Minor passed away at age 85, in 1920. He had been increasingly ill and ill-tempered since the morning in 1902 when he sharpened a knife on a whetstone, performed an unspeakable act of surgery and shouted to officials that he had "injured" himself. "I was on a train from Oxford to London with two elderly women, lexicographers with the Oxford University Press, and I was talking about what Minor had done," Winchester said. "Everybody else in the railway carriage was listening to this conversation. When I got to the bit about what he had done to himself, everyone was amazed and gasped, except for these two women. They both said, in unison, `autopeotomy.' "They knew about `peotomy,' which is the word for when someone else performs that procedure, and they came up with a new word. One of them said to me, "`Autopeotomy"' doesn't exist, but it will if you write it in your book."' The word appears on page 193. {APWire:Entertainment-1022.208} 10/22/98 Delivered via the Inquisit(TM) business intelligence service. All articles Copyright 1998 by their respective source(s); all rights reserved.

permalink source: AP Wire
tags: Persistence, Passion

You must never mistake a clear view for a short distance.

permalink source: Paul Saffo (of the Insitute for the Future)
tags: Persistence, Vision, Planning, Perspective

A little thing is a little thing, but faithfulness in a little thing becomes a great thing.

permalink source: Plato
tags: Persistence, Faithfulness

One night I had a wondrous dream, One set of footprints there was seen, The footprints of my precious Lord, But mine were not along the shore. But then some stranger prints appeared, and I asked the Lord, "What have we here? Those prints are large and round and neat, But Lord, they are too big for feet." "My child," He said in somber tones, "For miles I carried you alone. I challenged you to walk in faith, But you refused and made me wait." "You disobeyed, you would not grow. The walk of faith you would not know. So I got tired, I got fed up, and there I dropped you on your butt." "Because in life there comes a time when you must fight and you must climb. When you must rise and take a stand, or leave your buttprints in the sand!"

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Persistence, Perspective

"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves."

permalink source: Sir Edmund Hillary
tags: Persistence, Goals

HOW TO MEASURE TENACITY Failed in business........................................... 1831 Lost election for state legislature..................... 1832 Failed again in business.................................. 1834 Sweetheart died.............................................. 1835 Nervous breakdown......................................... 1836 Lost second political race................................. 1838 Defeated for Congress..................................... 1843 Defeated for Congress......................................1846 Defeated for Congress..................................... 1848 Defeated for US Senate................................... 1855 Defeated for Vice President............................. 1856 Defeated for US Senate....................................1858 Elected President............................. ..............1860 Who is this person? Abraham Lincoln

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Persistence

"Every game ever invented by mankind is a way of making things hard for the fun of it."

permalink source: John Anthony Ciardi, American poet, critic
tags: Discipline, Persistence, Work, Games

During his 1960 presidential campaign, John F. Kennedy often closed his speeches with the story of Colonel Davenport, the Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives: On May 19th, 1780 the sky of Hartford darkened ominously, and some of the representatives, glancing out the windows, feared the end was at hand. Quelling a clamor for immediate adjournment, Davenport rose and said, "The Day of Judgment is either approaching or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for adjournment. If it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. Therefore, I wish that candles be brought."

permalink source: Harry Heintz.
tags: Discipline, Persistence, Work, Eschatology

No, John Quincy Adams did not sell an American girl to the Russian Czar from a collection of love slaves he supposedly kept at the embassy. But this did not stop his enemies from saying he did. Actually, the former minister to Russia was possibly the most prudish man to become president. Like his father John Adams, the second president, "Quincy" was overly serious, stuffy, and in his own words, "a man of reserved, cold, austere and forbidding manners." Still, the president had one burning passion, and that was skinny-dipping. Rising at 3 AM, Adams would sneak out of the White House, and frolic in the chilly Potomac. There were hazards, like the time someone stole his clothes. One dark morning Adams heard a cry, "Come here!" He looked up out of the water to see a woman on the riverbank, seated on his clothes. Adams swam over. She introduced herself as Anne Royall, a newspaper reporter who hoped for an interview on the major issue of the day, whether or not to have a national bank. Adams begged her to go behind the bushes so he could dress, promising that afterward he would gladly grant the interview. "No you don't," Royall refused, as the president bobbed in chin-deep water. "I stalked you from the Mansion down here," she said firmly, explaining she had repeatedly "hammered at the White House" with no response. She told Adams that if he rose from the water, she would scream, alerting some fishermen around the bend. Considering the scandal that could create, the shivering president quickly granted the interview.

permalink source: Zooba Email
tags: Persistence, Sex

In 1972, NASA launched the exploratory space probe Pioneer 10. According to Leon Jaroff in Time, the satellite's primary mission was to reach Jupiter, photograph the planet and its moons, and beam data to earth about Jupiter's magnetic field, radiation belts, and atmosphere. Scientists regarded this as a bold plan, for at that time no earth satellite had ever gone beyond Mars, and they feared the asteroid belt would destroy the satellite before it could reach its target. But Pioneer 10 accomplished its mission and much, much more. Swinging past the giant planet in November 1973, Jupiter's immense gravity hurled Pioneer 10 at a higher rate of speed toward the edge of the solar system. At one billion miles from the sun, Pioneer 10 passed Saturn. At some two billion miles, it hurtled past Uranus; Neptune at nearly three billion miles; Pluto at almost four billion miles. By 1997, twenty-five years after its launch, Pioneer 10 was more than six billion miles from the sun. And despite that immense distance, Pioneer 10 continued to beam back radio signals to scientists on Earth. "Perhaps most remarkable," writes Jaroff, "those signals emanate from an 8-watt transmitter, which radiates about as much power as a bedroom night light, and takes more than nine hours to reach Earth.'" The Little Satellite That Could was not qualified to do what it did. Engineers designed Pioneer 10 with a useful life of just three years. But it kept going and going. By simple longevity, its tiny 8-watt transmitter radio accomplished more than anyone thought possible. So it is when we offer ourselves to serve the Lord. God can work even through someone with 8-watt abilities. God cannot work, however, through someone who quits.

permalink source: Craig Brian Larson, Pastoral Grit: The Strength to Stand and to Stay
tags: Persistence, Ministry

There are days when it takes all you've got just to keep up with the losers.

permalink source: Robert Orben
tags: Discipline, Persistence

"Diamonds are nothing more than chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs."

permalink source: Malcom Forbes
tags: Persistence

We need to be coronary Christians, not adrenal Christians. Not that adrenaline is bad. It gets me through lots of Sundays. But it lets you down on Mondays. The heart is another kind of friend. It just keeps on serving—through good days and bad days, happy and sad, high and low, appreciated and unappreciated. It never lets me down. It never says, "I don't like your attitude, Piper, I'm taking a day off." It just keeps humbly lubb-dubbing along. Coronary Christians are like the heart in the causes they serve. Adrenal Christians are like adrenaline—a spurt of energy and then fatigue. What we need in the cause of racial justice and justice for the unborn is coronary Christians. Marathoners, not just sprinters. People who find the pace to finish the race.

permalink source: John Piper, "Coronary Christians," World (2-23-02)
tags: Commitment, Persistence

English explorer George Mallory dreamed of conquering Mount Everest. He organized an expedition, but it failed. A second attempt also failed. A third expedition, launched after the most extensive preparation possible, was most tragic of all. An avalanche killed Mallory and most of his team. Back in England, friends invited the survivors to a banquet honoring Mallory and his valiant group. At its close, a surviving team member stood and looked around the room at photos of Mallory and his slain comrades. Then, in tears, he turned to face a huge picture of Mount Everest behind the banquet table. "Mount Everest," he said, "you defeated us once, you defeated us twice, you defeated us three times. But we shall someday defeat you, because you can't get any bigger, and we can!"

permalink source: Citation: Mark Sutton, "God's Man," as seen in Men of Integrity (Sep/Oct 2002)
tags: Character, Persistence, Change, Spiritual Formation

I was looking up a baseball stat recently and in the "lifetime achievements" section I came across a list with some rather impressive names on it. At the top of the list was Reggie Jackson. His name was followed by Willie Stargell. Also on the list, near the top, were Jose Canseco, Tony Perez, Mickey Mantle, Sammy Sosa, and Willie Mays. Do you know what lifetime achievement this list represented? The most strikeouts. Can you believe it? Reggie Jackson, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays. These three men combined struck out almost 6,000 times. And yet, that's not the legacy they left to the game; each left a legacy of greatness. A key to that legacy can be found in the fact that they kept stepping up to the plate. Even when the number of strikeouts were piling up, even when the slumps extended game after game, even when their failure caused their team to lose games, even when disgruntled fans called them "overpaid bums"—they kept stepping up to the plate. The wisest man who ever lived wrote these words... Though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity. (Proverbs 24:16) You may have a string of strikeouts behind you, and you may feel as though you're on the verge of setting the world's record for failure. Keep stepping up to the plate. No matter how many times you miss, if you keep swinging you'll eventually make contact.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Failure, Persistence

In the middle of the eighteenth century, Christians became increasingly concerned about the slave trade. They amassed information on the inhumane treatment of the slaves and believed that eventually they could generate sufficient public support to overcome the slave trade interests in Parliament. But they needed political leadership. William Wilberforce was elected to Parliament in 1780. He was converted in 1785, in part as a result of the ministry of John Newton, once a slave trader and then a clergyman in the Church of England. Newton and others urged Wilberforce to investigate the slave trade and to consider whether he could fight for its abolition in Parliament. Wilberforce concluded, "So enormous, so dreadful, so irremediable did its wickedness appear that my own mind was completely made up for the abolition. A trade founded in iniquity and carried on as this was must be abolished." His effort took 20 years. He was vigorously opposed by the slave traders, who had powerful allies in Parliament. There was also resistance because this was a moral battle: "Things have come to a pretty pass when religion is allowed to invade public life," complained Lord Melbourne. But with the help of Christians throughout England, Wilberforce eventually succeeded, and in 1807 Parliament voted to abolish the slave trade. We need more Wilberforces—Christians willing to engage in effective, sustained activity to challenge government to perform its responsibilities.

permalink source: Citation: Daniel W. Van Ness, "Saving a Sinking Society," Discipleship Journal (Mar/Apr 1988)
tags: Courage, Persistence, Politics, Slavery

John Ortberg in his book, If You Want to Walk on Water, You Have to Get Out of the Boat, tells about a ceramics teacher who divided his class into 2 groups: One group was to be graded solely on quantity of work: 50 pounds of pottery would be an A, 40 would be a B, and so on. The other group would be graded on quality. Students in this group only had to produce one pot, but it had to be a good one. Amazingly, the highest quality pots were turned in by the quantity group. It seems that while they kept churning out pots, they were continually learning from their disasters and growing as artists. The quality group sat around theorizing about perfection and worrying about it. But they never actually got any better. Apparently, trying, failing, learning from failure, and trying again works a lot better than waiting for perfection.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Perfectionism, Persistence, Training

Question to Robert Frost: What is your greatest, most profound thought? Robert Frost: Life goes on.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Persistence, Philosophy, Wisdom

Persistence is the hard work that you do after you are tired of doing the hard work you already did. -- Newt Gingrich Source: Breffni Baggot (Breffni@neca.com)

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Persistence, Work

"veni, vedi, velcro" -- "I came, I saw, I stuck around."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Commitment, Persistence

"I know of nothing more important than perseverance. Genius, -- that power which dazzles mortal eyes, is oft but perseverance in disguise." -- Henry Austin

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Genius, Persistence

We will either find a way, or make one. – Hannibal, 247-183 B.C.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Commitment, Persistence

Just do what must be done. This may not be happiness, but it is greatness.

permalink source: George B. Shaw
tags: Discipline, Persistence, Success, Work

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no use being a damn fool about it. -- W.C. Fields

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Persistence, Wisdom

Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance. -- Samuel Johnson

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Persistence, Success

In the depth of winter I finally learned there was in me invincible summer. -- Albert Camus

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Courage, Persistence

As a boxer, Chuck Wepner earned the nickname "The Bayonne Bleeder" because of the punishment he took even while winning. Tom Donelson of Inside Boxing writes of him, "Wepner was what one would call ‘a catcher', a fighter who often used his head to block the other guy's punches - not the kind of strategy that leads to long careers… He constantly pressured his opponent until he either won or was knocked out. He never truly cared how many shots he would absorb before landing the telling blow." Trainer Al Braverman called Wepner "the gutsiest fighter I ever met. He was in a league of his own. He didn't care about pain or cuts. If he got cut or elbowed, he never looked at me or the referee for help. He was a fighter in the purest sense of the word." When Wepner knocked out Terry Henke in the 11th round in Salt Lake City, boxing promoter Don King offered Wepner a title shot against then-heavyweight champion George Foreman. But when Ali defeated Foreman, Wepner found himself scheduled to fight The Great One – Muhammad Ali himself. On the morning of the fight Wepner gave his wife a pink negligee and told her that she would "soon be sleeping with the heavyweight champion of the world." Ali scored a technical knockout of Wepner with just 19 seconds remaining in the fight. But there was a moment… one glorious moment in the 9th round, when a ham-like paw to Ali's chest knocked the reigning champion off his feet. "When Ali was down, I remember saying to my ringman Al Braverman, ‘Start the car, we're going to the bank, we're millionaires.' And Al said to me, ‘You'd better turn around. Because he's getting up, and he looks pissed off." After the fight, Wepner's wife pulled the negligee out of her purse and asked, "Do I go to Ali's room or does he come to mine?" A struggling writer watching the fight remembers it well. "I went to the fights and I saw this Chuck Wepner character who was called ‘The Bayonne Bleeder,' who was just this fighter of really very, very little skill, but you know, kind of like a real American, you know, working-class stiff who just takes it on the chin and comes back and just a very symbolic kind of character. And I thought, ‘There it is. There… it… is.' He was fighting Muhammad Ali who was like, you know, the perfect fighter and he knocked him down. And that validated his entire life. He didn't expect to win. He knocked him down. You could never take that away. I went, ‘There… My God. Now if I can get that onto the page...' So I went home and I started writing. And I wrote for three days straight…" – Sylvester Stallone, telling James Lipton of the birth of Rocky on Inside the Actor's Studio. The movie studio offered the struggling writer an unprecedented $400,000 for his script, but Stallone refused the money, choosing instead just $20,000 and the right to play the part of Rocky for actor's minimum wage - just $340 a week. The studio then offered Chuck Wepner a similar choice - a $70,000 flat fee or one percent of the movie's gross profits. Believing that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, Chuck took the guarantee - a decision that cost him $8 million. Chuck Wepner now lives in Bayonne and works as a liquor salesman. Stallone believed in Wepner. Wepner didn't believe in Stallone. Roy H. Williams

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Persistence, Faith, Confidence

[After Sertorius' Spanish allies were humiliated in battle they became demoralized.] Wishing to dispel their dejection, after a few days he called a general assembly before which he brought two horses. One was totally weak and well past its prime, the other sizable and strong, possessing a tail amazing for its thick, beautiful hairs. By the side of the weak one stood a tall, powerful man; by the strong horse another man who was small and contemptible in appearance. Once a signal was giving them, the strong man with both hands violently dragged the horse-tail towards himself, as if to tear it off; the weak man plucked out the hairs of the strong horse one by one. The first individual gave up on his attempt, after giving himself a lot of trouble for nothing (and plenty of laughs to the audience). However, the weak man quickly and effortlessly stripped clean the horse's tail. Sertorius rose up and said, "Look, allies: perseverance has more efficacy than brute force, and many things that cannot be overcome when they stand together yield to one who is systematic. Persistence is invincible, through which time on its march captures and subdues any opposing force, being a friendly ally to those deliberately awaiting their opportunity.

permalink source: Plutarch, Life of Sertorius, 16.3-5
tags: Persistence, Teams

Saccharin was first discovered in 1879 when a research fellow at Johns Hopkins University found his bread extra sweet one night and figured that something from the lab must have followed him home. Incredibly, he set about to tasting nearly everything in his lab--and lived to find o-benzoic sulfimide--saccharin by another name. Chance not only favors the trained mind, but in this case, it favored a man brave enough to lick everything in sight till he could trace the source of his discovery.

permalink source: Tom Kelley, The Art of Innovation, p 150.
tags: Courage, Persistence