Napoleon declared, “Victory belongs to the most persevering.” Upon careful
study we find perseverance depends upon three things – purpose, will, and
enthusiasm. He who has a purpose is always concentrating his forces. By the
will, the hope and the plan are prevented from evaporating into dreams.
Enthusiasm keeps the interest up, and makes the obstacles seem small.
Life is in a sense a battle. The man who thinks to get on by mere smartness
and by idling meets failure at last. Perseverance is the master impulse of the
firmest souls, and holds the key to those treasure-houses of knowledge from
which the world has drawn its wealth both of wisdom and of moral worth.
Great men never wait for opportunities; they make them. They seize upon
whatever is at hand, work out their problem, and master the situation. The
greatest thing a man can do in this world is to make the most possible out of
the stuff that has been given to him. This is success and there is no other.
One of the important lessons of life is to learn how to get victory out of
defeat. It takes courage and stamina, when mortified by humiliating disaster, to
seek in the ruins the elements of future conquest. Yet this measures the
difference between those who succeed and those who fail. We cannot measure a man
by his failures. We must know what use he makes of them. The man who has not
fought his way upward and does not bear the scar of desperate conflict does not
know the highest meaning of success.