Nothing in the 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.
-C. Cooly…or a program at his memorial service?
My boyfriend had that quotation posted up above his desk for a couple of years and I think about it constantly. Besides making me lol at the image of "educated derelicts," it vibrates in perfect resonance with everything I've seen since graduating college and observing the world as an adult, whether in the context of my days as a personal trainer or the pursuit of artistic goals. How often have you seen that super tenacious person who you never thought of as all that special reach great heights? How talented or special we thought they were didn't affect them; the work affected them. It kind of parallels Julia Cameron's words in The Artist's Way (although her phrasing is more gentle, of course): "Remember it is my job to do the work, not to judge the work. Great Creator, I will take care of the quantity. You take care of the quality." It's the fabric of how we're supposedly supposed to speak to our children. It reminds me of that Bane quotation, too: "It doesn't matter who we are. What matters is our plan."
Keep on keeping on. It's that simple. It's at once crushing to the ego and completely freeing.