“All beginnings are difficult.”

“All beginnings are difficult.”

—Rabbinic maxim

Image from Unsplash by Jon Tyson

Letting today’s quote really sink in can change your life.

Can you recall how many times, personally or professionally, you were reluctant to begin an activity or stopped your efforts too soon because your initial steps were awkward or challenging?

In such cases, we could consider the Biblical story of Job and his statement, “Man was born to toil.”

Going beyond any initial discomfort is fundamental to being productive and to the essential need for each of us to contribute and have a life of purpose.


Where and on what current matter would acknowledging that all beginnings are difficult provide you the needed courage, tenacity, and persistence to toil on to more fully realize your fullest potential and contribution to the world?

Friday Review: Persistence


What is your level of stick-to-it-ness? Here are a few posts about persistence you may have missed. Click the links to read the full messages.


“A jug fills drop by drop.”





“In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins – not through strength, but through persistence.”




“Elbow grease is the best polish.”






“Consider the postage stamp: Its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there.”

“Consider the postage stamp: Its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there.”

—Josh Billings, pseudonym of 19th-century American humorist Henry Wheeler Shaw

With the advent of email and texting, my use of regular or snail mail has declined by over 90%. How about you?

For selective or special mail such as birthday cards, I’m still an old-fashioned guy who sends cards with hand-written notes.

Despite my reduced use, I cannot recall stamps every falling off, and perhaps only a few times when my special message failed to arrive. The speed with which these message got there is another story.


What current project or top priority in your professional or personal life requires even greater focus and “stick-to-it-ness” for you to get to the result or outcome you desire?

Elbow Grease is the Best Polish

“Elbow grease is the best polish.”

—English Proverb

Image of "elbow Grease" tins

When I was a boy, Vaseline was always in our medicine cabinet. This magical goo is simply a brand of petroleum jelly used for cosmetic purposes like removing makeup or soothing dry skin.

We also found that a little dab of Vaseline could put quite a shine on our shoes, and provide a bit of waterproofing as a bonus!

For us Baby Boomers, the term “elbow grease” simply means hard work and doing what it takes to make something good even better.


Which current personal or professional project would shine a bit brighter with a bit more elbow grease from you or others?

Friday Review Persistence


How persistent are you in your pursuits? Here are a few persistence-related posts you may have missed. Click the links to read the full message.

Image of a river full of rocks


“In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins – not through strength, but through persistence.”



Image of Sysiphus pusing a rock up a mountain


“Persistence prevails when all else fails.”




Image of sticker stating times in the future


“SOMEDAY is not a day of the week.”

unbeatable combination for success

“Patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”

Napoleon Hill, America’s foremost success/motivation author

Image from www.newinki.com

Image from www.newinki.com

I recently finished a chapter on Personal Mastery for a book titled Essential Wisdom: Personal Development and Soul Transformation, which will be published soon. As I researched my topic, I discovered how relevant Napoleon Hill’s statement is to virtually every journey of success.

When we combine these three qualities, they appear to have far more helpful impact than their additive effects. We say that 1+1+1=3, but perhaps 32 or 3 to the second power, might more accurately demonstrate their potential synergies.


Where would combining greater patience, persistence, and perspiration make the biggest difference in your personal and profession endeavors?

The Stream and the Rock

“In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins – not through strength, but through persistence.”

—The Buddha, Indian Spiritual Teacher

Image from Flickr by Nicholas A. Tonelli

Image from Flickr by Nicholas A. Tonelli

Most of my elementary school teachers would have described me as an average-to-good student with a bit of an attention problem.

Starting in the eight grade, I realized that although I was average-to-good on the standardized tests, I was able to outwork others to achieve what I wanted.

This “magic quality” has been a key to success throughout my life.


Where can you apply the power of persistence to outwork others and achieve your goals?

Trust when the answer is no

“Trust that when the answer is ‘no,’ there’s a better ‘yes’ down the road.”

—Author unknown

Photo from Flickr by Abhi

Photo from Flickr by Abhi

Many people are familiar with the story of Thomas Edison’s 10,000-plus unsuccessful attempts to create the light bulb. His philosophy on such a high volume of failures was that the world was simply saying ‘no’ to the most recent attempt. He is quoted as saying, “I never failed. I only found 10,000 ways in which it did not work.”

Undaunted, he persisted in his efforts, always seeing a better way and getting to a ‘yes’ that would eventually light the world.


Where in your own life are you receiving your share of No’s?

How often do the No’s stop you? How often do they spur you on in faith, knowing that the better Yes’s of life may simply be a bit further down the road?

“It’s not that I’m so smart; it’s just that… ”

“It’s not that I’m so smart; it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

-Albert Einstein

Illustration from Flickr by donkeyhotey

Illustration from Flickr by donkeyhotey

Albert Einstein has a fan club. He was launched into international super stardom when Arthur Eddington’s work confirmed his General Theory of Relativity, which eventually brought him the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Einstein’s name has become synonymous with genius, and in 1999 Time Magazine recognized him the “Person of the Century.”

Applications of his theories are seen in daily use in such devices as the television, remote control devices, automatic door openers, laser technology, and DVD players.

Einstein attributed much of his success to good old hard work and sticking with problems far longer than most people.


Where would sticking with a current problem or challenge longer than you normally would help you discover and realize your own genius?


“Someday is not a day of the week.”

– Unknown

Someone once said that hard work pays off in the future, but procrastination pays off now. This is a funny thought, and it may even be true on a limited basis. However, people who procrastinate and put things off for someday in the future often look back on their lives with regret.

When people are asked about their regrets in their lives, in their old age, they rarely regret the things they did and often regret the things that they did not do.


Rather than dreaming about the things you will do in the future, consider:

  • Traveling to wonderful places.
  • Starting a business or changing your career.
  • Learning a new language.
  • Becoming healthier.
  • Saving for retirement now.
  • Engaging in a new hobby.

Start or revisit your bucket list and place an actual date next to each item on the list.

Try to check one of those items off this week, if possible.