Sculptures are created by slowly chipping away. One blow upon the chisel with the hammer does not make the excess stone fall away and reveal a masterpiece.  The artist hits and chips away at the stone continually.

And this true of life, too: Nothing worthwhile comes easy. We must keep chipping away; going after our dreams little-by-little, inch by inch, until our lives becomes the masterpiece they were designed to be.

Many things work to keep us from completing our life’s work. Many have debated whether the worst enemy is procrastination or discouragement. But if we put off our life’s mission, eventually we quit altogether.

Over 2,000 years ago in an area which is now the nation of Turkey a great teacher of the truth was explaining too those gathered, “So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up …”

Discouragement leads to ineffectiveness. When we’re discouraged, we work against ourselves and our beliefs. Discouragement makes us think, “I can’t do it.” Its opposite, encouragement, says, “I know if I do things the right way, eventually everything will happen as it should.”

Do you ever get tired of doing things right? I think we all do. Sometimes it seems there is a shortcut if we do the wrong thing, but the right way is going to take forever.

If you’re discouraged, ask yourself these questions:

  • How do I handle failure or setbacks?
  • When things don’t go my way, do I get cantankerous?
  • When things don’t go my way, do I get aggravated?
  • When things don’t go my way, do I start unreasonable?
  • Do I finish what I start?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how do I rate in persistence?

Nothing worthwhile ever happens without stamina and vigor. Don’t give up without a fight. Great people are merely ordinary people with an astonishing amount of determination. The great ones just don’t know how to quit.