A Book of Cheerful Counsel | Nixon Waterman Podcast

Podcast Excerpt: Patience and perseverance are the qualities that enable you to work out your problems in school and your larger problems in the big university of life. Toil holds all genius as its own, for in its grasp a strength is hid to make of polished words or stone A poem or a pyramid. It has been truly said that if we pick up a grain a day and add it to our heap, we shall soon learn by happy experience the power of little things as applied to intellectual processes and possessions.

The road to success, says the world’s philosophers, is not to be travelled in great strides. Step by step, little by little, bit by bit: that is the way to wealth, that is the way to wisdom, that is the way to glory. The men and women who are most likely to achieve success in life are the ones who when young learn to KEEP PEGGING AWAY.

People seldom mount at a single bound to the ladder’s very top. They must slowly climb it, rung by rung, with many a start and stop. And the winner is sure to be the one who labors day by day — for the world has learned that the safest plan is to keep on pegging away.

You have read, of course, about the hare and the tortoise — the tale is an old one. The hare was sure he had time to pause and to browse about and play. So the tortoise won the race because he just kept pegging away. A little toil and a little rest, and a little more earned than spent, is sure to bring you to an honest goal and a blessing of glad content. And so, though skies may frown or smile, be diligent day by day. Reward shall greet you after while if you just keep pegging away.

The Chinese tell a story about one of their countrymen, a student, who, disheartened by the difficulties in his way, threw down his book in despair. Then he saw a woman rubbing a crowbar on a stone, and inquired the reason. She told him that she wanted a needle, and thought she would rub down the crowbar till she got it small enough. Provoked by this example of patience to “try again,” he resumed his studies, and became one of the foremost scholars of the empire.

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