The Thought for the Day – Jean-Francois Steiner

It is not the first steps but the last ones that are most difficult. – Jean-Francois Steiner, Treblinka

Jean-Francois Steiner is French writer whose father died in a German concentration camp and Treblinka is a historical novel about the Nazi concentration camp located in Poland, a bit north of Warsaw. It based on the testimony of 40 survivors of the death camp and is a moving and profound book. We give it the highest possible recommendation, although it should be noted this book has not met universal acclaim, including some scorn by a Czech survivor of Treblinka. Today’s Thought concerns an armed revolt whose final stages were proving difficult.

There are three elements to success: wisdom, courage and patience. Our experience has shown that each step is progressively more difficult than the previous one. 

We must have the wisdom to know that what we are attempting is what we should be doing with our life. Usually, this is easy: you look inside yourself and decide what your talents and ambitions are. Usually, this is what you went to bed at night dreaming about as a kid.

Then we must muster the courage to go and do it, to go and live the life we were meant to live. This is a bit tougher. It means leaving our comfort zone for the uncertainties of tomorrow. It means confronting the specter of both success and failure. Mustering this courage is no small matter and our experience is that not everyone finds it.

It is not the first steps but the last ones that are most difficult…

It is easy to get a good start to an endeavor and the attendant enthusiasm can provide sufficient momentum to keep you going past the inevitable early reverses. Success, however, seldom comes quickly and not everyone has the patience to see things through to the end.

One of life’s great lessons is that good things take time. It’s easy to get distracted. It’s tempting to look at the meager returns for your early efforts, to look at the long road still to be tread and choose an easier path.

This is where patience comes in. For most, success is one long road of trial and error and it’s hard to go all those miles without seeing the success we are looking for. However, if we had the wisdom to find our path and the courage to go and follow it, patience is usually there for the taking. All we have to do is look. 

Those who abandon a plan will never know how to close to success they were. Patience combines wisdom and courage to allow us to take those final steps.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.


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