A determined little turtle once climbed a tree. He somehow made it to the first branch. Then he jumped into the air waving his front legs and crashed to the ground.
After a while he slowly climbed the tree again. And again he jumped. This time he flapped all four of his limbs, but still plummeted to the hard ground.
The persistent turtle tried again and again with the same results. A couple of birds perched on a branch nearby watched his futile efforts. One of them turned to her mate and said, "Dear, don’t you think it's time to tell him he's adopted?"
There are simply some things we cannot do. Turtles can’t fly.
Comedian Bob Hope once thought of pursuing a career in boxing. Later in life he quipped about it: “I ruined my hands in the ring” he said. “The referee kept stepping on them.”
Fighting is something he could not do well. But he became a great comedian.
Lots of people have ability and talent. And most people have an idea about what they think they can do. So why do some excel but many do not?
The famous American caricaturist Al Hirschfield explained it like this: “I believe everybody is creative and everybody is talented,” he said. “I just don't think that everybody is disciplined. I think that’s a rare commodity.”
The secret seems to be discipline. Whatever ability we are born with is not enough. Even raw talent requires discipline to be nurtured and developed. But enough hard work and discipline can turn the most meager skill or ability into a great strength.
A man jumped into a taxi cab in New York and asked the driver, "How do I get to Yankee stadium?"
The cabbie replied, "Practice! Practice! Practice!"
He’s right. And although discipline and practice may never get a turtle to actually fly, it will probably get you and me just about wherever we want to go.
-- Steve Goodier