What’s the use of trying?

Some students discourage themselves by looking at themselves each day. After trying hard for a session, they feel that as there has been no result they have failed. Next day they try again, and again they fail. Gradually this builds up into a conviction of continuous failure, and they begin to think: ‘Oh, what’s the use of trying?’ For such occasions there is an ancient Indian example, that of the well-digger. The Indian tradition was that beneath the desert there is water, however deeply hidden. (This has recently been confirmed in the case of the vast Rajasthan desert in north-west India, beneath which a legendary river was supposed to flow. It has been established that the river is actually there, though deep underground.) The maxim of the well-digger is this. Each day when he digs but finds no water, he does not think: ‘I have failed.’ Next day he digs …

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