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The most successful men in the end are those whose success is the result of steady accretion. That intellectuality is more vigorous that has attained its strength gradually. It is the man who carefully advances step by step, with his mind becoming wider and wider — and progressively better able to grasp any theme or situation — persevering in what he knows to be practical, and concentrating his thought upon it, who is bound to succeed in the greatest degree.
Interview with Bell published in How They Succeeded (1901) by Orison Swett Marden, Ch. 2.
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More from Alexander Graham Bell
Perseverance must have some practical end, or it does not avail the man possessing it. A person without a practical end in view becomes a crank or an idiot. Such persons fill our asylums.
Don’t keep forever on the public road. Leave the beaten track behind occasionally and dive into the woods. You will be certain to find something you have never seen before, and something worth thinking about to occupy your mind. All really big discoveries are the result of thought.
As quoted in "The Chemistry of Life" by Ralph Whiteside Kerr in Rosicrucian Digest (1947) p. 131
The nation that secures control of the air will ultimately control the world.
I had made up my mind to find that for which I was searching even if it required the remainder of my life. After innumerable failures I finally uncovered the principle for which I was searching, and I was astounded at its simplicity. I was still more astounded to discover the principle I had revealed not only beneficial in the construction of a mechanical hearing aid but it served as well as means of sending the sound of the voice over a wire. Another discovery which came out of my investigation was the fact that when a man gives his order to produce a definite result and stands by that order it seems to have the effect of giving him what might be termed a second sight which enables him to see right through ordinary problems. What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it.
As quoted in Making a Habit of Success: How to Make a Habit of Succeeding, How to Win With High Self-Esteem (1999) by MacK R. Douglas, p. 45.
When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.