“Nowadays people seem unwilling to tread the rough path of duty and by patience and steadfast perseverance step into the ranks of those the country delights to honor.
Every little while I get letters from young men who say, if they were positively sure that they could be a Webster in law, they would devote all their energies to study, fling their whole lives into their work; or if they could be an Edison in invention, or a great leader in medicine, or a merchant prince like Wanamaker or Marshal Field, they could work with enthusiasm and zeal and power and concentration. They would be willing to make any sacrifice, to undergo any hardship in order to achieve what these men have achieved. But many of them say they do not feel that they have the marvelous ability, the great genius, the tremendous talent exhibited by those leaders, and so they are not willing to make the great exertion.
They do not realize that success is not necessarily doing some great thing, that it is not making a tremendous strain to do something great; but that it is just honestly, earnestly living the everyday simple life. It is by the exercise of the common everyday virtues; it is by trying to do everything one does to a complete finish; it is by trying to be scrupulously honest in every transaction; it is by always ringing true in our friendships., by holding a helpful, accommodating attitude toward those about us; by trying to be the best possible citizen, a good accommodating, helpful neighbor, a kind, encouraging father; it is by all these simple things that we attain success.
There is no great secret about success. It is just a natural persistent exercise of the commonest everyday qualities.”
Orison Swett Marden 1911 - Photo by Bahri Budak