“A difficulty raiseth the spirit of a great man. He hath a mind to wrestle with it and give it a fall. A man’s mind must be very low if the difficulty doth not make part of his pleasure.” By the test of these words of Lord Halifax, there are a number of great persons in the world today.
After all, what is a difficulty but a direct challenge? “Here I am in your way,” it says, “you cannot get around me nor overcome me! I have blocked your path!” Anyone of spirit will accept the challenge and find some way to get around or over, or thru that obstacle. Yes! And find pleasure in the difficulty for the sheer joy of surmounting it as well as because there has been an opportunity once more to prove one’s strength and cunning and by the very use of these qualities cause an increase of them.
The overcoming of one difficulty makes easier the conquering of the next until finally we are almost invincible. Success actually becomes a habit thru the determined overcoming of obstacles as we meet them one by one.
If we are not being successful, if we are more or less on the road toward failure, a change in our fortunes can be brought about by making a start, however small, in the right direction and then following it up. We can form the habit of success by beginning with some project and putting it thru to a successful conclusion however long and hard we must fight to do so; by “wrestling with” one difficulty and “giving it a fall.” The next time it will be easier.
For some reason, of course according to some universal law, we gather momentum as we proceed in whatever way we go, and just as by overcoming a small difficulty we are more able to conquer the next, tho greater, so if we allow ourselves to fail it is easier to fail the next time and failure becomes a habit until we are unable to look a difficulty fairly in the face, but turn and run from it.
There is not elation equal to the rise of the spirit to meet and overcome a difficulty, not with a foolish over-confidence but keeping things in their proper relations by praying, now and then the prayer of a good fighter whom I used to know. “Lord make me sufficient to mine own occasion.”
“Overcoming Our Difficulties” by Laura Ingalls Wilder, published in The Missouri Ruralist, August 20, 1918