Life is a test from birth to death; an endless struggle to maintain one’s balance, poise and grace while striving to achieve one’s personal goals. If we’re to conquer the challenges of life, we must be strong…for the long haul, not just for the passing moment or the fleeting glimpses of capricious fortune.
Strength is a virtue. Talent is a gift. One can have talent but fail to achieve great things because of a lack of strength. One can have mediocre talent but achieve wondrous things through the strength of will.
As an example, in the history of the Karate Institute of America, there have been some very noteworthy physically talented individuals who never succeeded in becoming a Black Belt because they lacked the strength [the ability to endure] to achieve the goal, some giving up the ghost just weeks before their final exam. Contrastingly, there have been many individuals who, lacking great talent, succeeded in achieving a Black Belt rating because they never quit. They fought, struggled, endured and saw the journey through to its conclusion. In fact, if there is one quality of all Kiado-Ryu Black Belts, it is that they all expressed an indomitable will and relentless spirit to succeed. Their strength exceeded the challenges and adversities they faced in their martial arts journey. Such is the truth in every discipline, in every line of work. Those who succeed never quit.
Principle #15: pages 61 to 63