Thoroughness characterizes all successful men. Genius is the art of taking infinite pains. All great achievement has been characterized by extreme care, infinite painstaking, even to the minutest detail.
There is only one valid reason for sending a boy to college, and that is, so he can discover for himself that there is nothing in it. A college degree, as matters now stand, is like a certificate of character--useful only to those who need it. However, there must surely come a time when degrees will be given only to those who can earn a living--and this degree will be signed by the young man's employer.
The point I wish to make is this: [President William] McKinley gave Rowan a letter to be delivered to Garcia; Rowan took the letter & did not ask, Where is he at? By the Eternal! there is a man whose form should be cast in deathless bronze & the statue placed in every college of the land. It is not book-learning young men need, nor instruction about this and that, but a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies: do the thingCarry a message to Garcia!
One's thirtieth birthday and one's seventieth are days that press their message home with iron hand. With his seventieth milestone past, a man feels that his work is done, and dim voices call to him from across the Unseen. His work is done, and so illy, compared with what he had wished and expected! But the impressions made upon his heart by the day are no deeper than those his thirtieth birthday inspires. At thirty, youth, with all it palliates and excuses, is gone forever. The time for mere fooling is past; the young avoid you, or else look up to you and tempt you to grow reminiscent. You are a man and must give an account of yourself.
Marriage is easy, and divorce difficult, because this is Nature's plan. The natural law of attraction brings men and women together, and it is difficult to separate them. . . . Most couples who desire freedom only think they do: what they really want is a vacation; but they would not separate for good if they could. It is hard to part--people who have lived together grow to need each other. They want someone to quarrel with.
Divorce is a heroic remedy for an awful condition. It is the culmination of a fearful tragedy. I know of nothing worse than incompatibility. There is no hell equal to the hell of having to live with a person who is not your own.
If you want a piece of work well and thoroughly done, pick a busy man. The man of leisure postpones and procrastinates, and is ever making preparations and "getting things in shape"; but the ability to focus on a thing and do it is the talent of the man seemingly o'erwhelmed with work.