Little by Little
One step and then another, and the longest walk is ended;
One stitch and then another, and the widest rent is mended;
One brick upon another, and the hiest wall is made;
One flake upon another, and the deepest snow is laid.
Then do not frown or murmur at the work you have to do,
Or say that such a mighty talk you never can get through;
But just endeavor, day by day, another point to gain,
And soon the mountain that you feared will prove to be a plain.
Success in Life
Poets may be born, but success is made; therefore let me beg of you, in the
outset of your career, to dismiss from your minds all ideas of succeeding
There is no more common thought among young people than that foolish one
that by and by something will turn up by which they will suddenly
achieve fame or fortune. Luck is an ignis-fatuus. You may follow
it to ruin, but not to success. The great Napoleon, who believed in his
destiny, followed it until he saw his star go down in blackest night,
when the Old Guard perished around him, and Waterloo was lost. A pound of
pluck is worth a ton of luck.
Young men talk of trusting to the spur of the occasion. that trust is vain.
Occasion cannot make spurs. If you expect to wear spurs, you must win them.
If you wish to use them, you must buckle them to your own heels before you
go into the fight. Any success you may achieve is not worth the having unless
you fight for it. Whatever you win in life you must conquer by your own efforts,
and then it is yours--a part of yourself.
In giving you being, God locked up in your nature certain forces and capabilities.
What wil you do with them? Look at the mechanism of a clock. Take off the
pendulum and ratchet, and the wheels go rattling down, and all its force
in a moment; but properly balanced and regulated, it will go on,
letting out its force tick by tick, measuring hours and days, and doing
faithfully the service for which it was designed.
I implore you to cherish and guard and use well the forces that God has
given you. You may let them run down in a year, if you will. Take off the
strong curb of discipline and morality, and you will be an old man before
your twneties are passed. Preserve these forces. Do not burn them out with
brandy, or waste them in idleness and crime.
Do not destroy them. Do not use them unworthily. Save and protect them,
that they may save for you fortune and fame. Honestly resolve to do this,
and you will be an honor to yourself and to your country.
by James A. Garfield
Never Say Fail
In life's rosy morning,
Within youth's pride,
Let this be your motto,
Your footsteps to guide:
In storms and in sunshine,
Move onward and conquer,
And never say fail.