May 13, 2009

The effort is the prize

"In the end the great truth will have been learned that the quest is greater than what is sought, the effort finer that the prize (or rather, that the effort is the prize), the victory cheap and hollow were it not for the rigor of the game."
~ Benjamin Cardozo, former justice of the US Supreme Court, quote found here, p18


  1. Here is a rather large quote by Earl Nightingale:

    "Goals are the very basis of any success. It is in fact the definition of success. The best definition of success I've ever found goes like this, "Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal." Or in some cases the pursuit of a worthy "ideal." It's a beautiful definition of success. It means that anyone who's on course toward the fulfillment of a goal is successful.

    Now, success doesn't lie in the achievement of a goal, although that's what the world considers success; it lies in the journey toward the goal. We're successful as long as we're working toward something we want to bring about in our lives. That's when the human being is at his or her best. That's what Cervantes meant when he wrote, "The road is better than the inn." We're at our best when we're climbing, thinking, planning, working. When we're on the road toward something we want to bring about.

    With our definition, success being the progressive realization of a worthy goal, we cover all the bases. The young person working to finish school is as successful as any person on earth. The person working toward a particular position with his or her company is just as successful." ... moreAlso, on the same note (at least in my mind), the definition Tolstoy gives to Christian morality:

    "Life, according to the Christian religion, is a progress toward the divine perfection. No one condition, according to this doctrine, can be higher or lower than another. Every condition, according to this doctrine, is only a particular stage, of no consequence in itself, on the way toward unattainable perfection, and therefore in itself it does not imply a greater or lesser degree of life. Increase of life, according to this, consists in nothing but the quickening of the progress toward perfection. And therefore the progress toward perfection of the publican Zaccheus, of the woman that was a sinner, and of the robber on the cross, implies a higher degree of life than the stagnant righteousness of the Pharisee. And therefore for this religion there cannot be rules which it is obligatory to obey. The man who is at a lower level but is moving onward toward perfection is living a more moral, a better life, is more fully carrying out Christ's teaching, than the man on a much higher level of morality who is not moving onward toward perfection. "

  2. Hi Peter, thank you for these quotes. I like the emphazis on progress. Here is an ealier post on that topic:

  3. That graph is so cool. It made me think about myself... ups and downs BUT if I look at myself from 5 years ago... well, let's say the trend is looking quite nice. :)


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