Years ago, I read an article about the San Antonio Spurs and how under the leadership of RC Buford and Gregg Popovich, they have built a unique program in the NBA known for their consistency of success and excellence. It was said that they had the quote below displayed prominently in their practice facility to encapsulate the team philosophy, and which informs their approach to the work they do.
“When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it — but all that had gone before.”
I immediately wrote this down in a quote notebook and then again in Evernote later on. I think it is so profound yet so simple and practical that anyone can easily apply this type of mindset and approach to their work. It speaks of patience and perseverance, both of which I think have become a challenge for most people who feel the need to experience immediate success perhaps due to the pressures of having to keep up to what they see on social media and the internet as a whole.
I think having the patience to keep hammering away at a goal is a key factor in whether or not we’ll eventually get to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Only then will we have the perspective that the all those time of struggles, sacrifices and hard work, when things did not seem to be working for us, were building up and leading to a breakthrough. It kinda gives truth to the saying that there’s no such thing as overnight success, when the reality is the success happened over many nights.