Without an iron will and an uncompromising spirit, one will not be able to persevere. Perseverance is the very key to the success in everything. Those who have short periods of determination or interest are bound to give it up altogether eventually. Only those who can persevere will attain success.
The following story is a good illustration. Socrates, a great philosopher in ancient Greece, told his students on the first day of school, “Today we will learn only one thing. It is the simplest thing to do. Everyone will swing your arms forward and then backward.”
After demonstrating the arm swing exercise, Socrates asked his disciples to start swinging their arms 300 times a day every day. Then he asked the class, “Do you think you can do it?”
Everyone laughed and thought, “How can anyone not be able to do something as simple as swinging his arms? What do you take us for?” Thus all the students promised Socrates to practice the arm swing daily.
A month later, Socrates asked the class, “It is the easiest thing to swing your arms 300 times a day. Which one of you has been persevering in doing so daily?” Everyone raised his hand proudly. Another month went by. Socrates asked the class the same question, but this time only 80% of the students raised their hands.
A year later, Socrates asked the class the question, but this time only one student raised his hand. This student was Plato, who later became another great philosopher in ancient Greece.
This is the principle in life. Even the world’s simplest task will take perseverance, patience and a will of iron to complete. Perseverance is the key to the final success in everything. The same principle applies to the cultivation practice. Only those cultivators who persevere until the end of the cultivation practice will reach Consummation.
This is probably why most students could not keep doing the daily vocablearning exercise voluntarily even though the exercise takes only a median time of 10 minutes and will give a huge return.