Intensity of Efforts

Many times in this blog I have stated that I believe people can develop. But that it is not easy! If one wants to improve in a certain recreation, efforts must be made, the more the better.

In todays blog I will be taking two quotes from different men to emphasise this point. The point that if you really want to develop a skill, it is possible over time.

The first is from a man I have been reading a lot of quotes from recently, all of which are very true. His name is Baltasar Gracian, (1601-1658). If you like this quote and Gracian interests you, you can type his name into Wikipedia and read all about him to your hearts content:

“Prize intensity more than extensity. Perfection resides in quality, not quantity. Extent alone never rises above mediocrity, and it is the misfortune of men with wide general interests that while they would like to have their finger in every pie, they have one in none. Intensity gives eminence, and rises to the heroic in matters sublime.”

Not the easiest paragraph to digest, but with a few readings you can see what Baltasar is getting at. The first two sentences hold much of the meaning: Quality is better than quantity.

The next quote is from a man named Ouspensky. It is written in much simpler English that the last. He is explaining to one of his pupils the need for pressure when trying to achieve a certain goal. In this case learning a language. The Russian language:

“If you want to learn a language, you must learn a certain number of words every day and give some time to the study of grammar and so on. If you want to learn Russian and begin by learning five words a day, I will guarantee that you will never learn it. But if you learn two hundred words a day, in a few months you will understand Russian. It all depends on elementary statistics. In every kind of work or study there is a certain standard. If you give it a certain amount of energy and time, but just not enough, you will have no results. You will only turn round and round and remain approximately in the same place.”

But… It is clear that this could be achieved. It is no small feat to learn the Russian language, or Arabic for that matter, but there are many people living today who have learnt them.

All this taken together should show the point I am trying to make. That progress is a slow process. But if you have a clear goal in mind, be it to learn a language, or loose weight, or be a better golfer. It can be reached.



Filed under Language, philosophy, Zen

4 responses to “Intensity of Efforts

  1. Renard Moreau

    [ Smiles ] A most enlightening post. I am happy that I discovered your blog on WordPress.

    From now on, I am going to follow it!


    • Renard. Thank you for finding my blog, because now I have found yours. I too will follow yours from now on, and I look forward to future correspondents. Keep blogging and sharing, because this is what it’s all about.
      Peace be unto you.


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