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Napoleon declared, “Victory belongs to the most persevering.” Upon careful study we find perseverance depends upon three things—purpose, will, and enthusiasm. He who has a purpose is always concentrating his forces. By the will, the hope and the plan are prevented from evaporating into dreams. Enthusiasm keeps the interest up, and makes the obstacles seem small.
Life is in a sense a battle. The man who thinks to get on by mere smartness and by idling meets failure at last. Perseverance is the master impulse of the firmest souls, and holds the key to those treasure-houses of knowledge from which the world has drawn its wealth both of wisdom and of moral worth.
Great men never wait for opportunities; they make them. They seize upon what ever is at hand, work out their problem, and master the situation. The greatest thing a man can do in this world is to make the most possible out of the stuff that has been given to him. This is success and there is no other.
One of the important lessons of life is to learn how to get victory out of defeat. It takes courage and stamina, when mortified by humiliating disaster, to seek in the ruins the elements of future conquest. Yet this measures the difference between those who succeed and those who fail. We cannot measure a man by his failures. We must know what use he makes of them. The man who has not fought his way upward and does not bear the scar of desperate conflict does not know the highest meaning of success.
◇persevere v. 坚持不懈，固执己见，不屈不挠
◇evaporate v. 使蒸发，蒸发
◇impulse n. 冲动，刺激，驱使
◇stuff n. 原料，材料；特质；素质
◇stamina n. 毅力，精力，持久力
◇mortify v. 克服，使苦恼
◇desperate adj. 孤注一掷的，铤而走险的；绝望的