Van Gogh on the struggle to create beautiful things

Van Gogh's Olive Grove

Vincent van Gogh:

I long so much to make beautiful things. But beautiful things require effort and disappointment and perseverance.”

Another good one, by Pablo Picasso:

Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.”



Struggle and failure: necessary before hope


A few quotes from another excellent talk by Brene Brown (who I’ve quoted before):

Hope is not a way of feeling. Hope is a way of thinking. …And it’s 100% teachable.

The people who have the highest levels of hope have the most experience of failure.

One of the things that’s happened in our culture is we are not letting our children have any experiences of failure. No experiences of “hard work > failure > more hard work > success.”


Photo has been modified; original source: Duncan on flickr

Sowing and reaping

Seedling in peat pot (CC)

C.H. Spurgeon:

Righteousness is often costly to the man who keeps to it at all [costs], but in the end it will bear its own expenses and return an infinite profit. A holy life is like sowing seed: much is going out, and apparently it is buried in the soil, never to be gathered up again. We are mistaken when we look for an immediate harvest…. Courage, brothers! We need not be in a hurry. Let us in patience possess our souls, for soon shall our souls possess [a harvest of] light and gladness.

I have heard another teacher put it this way:

You not only reap what you sow: you reap more than you sow, and later than you sow.

photo credit: Jackal of all trades via photopin cc

How to become an overnight success.

canyon (not an overnight success)

Lysa TerKeurst:

Most overnight success stories are years in the making. Value the daily discipline of small steps, hard work, honing your craft, and putting in time learning and developing. Take classes. Be mentored. Push through those moments you want to slack off. And do it over and over — year after year.