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"Doers of the word"

From the March 1989 issue of The Christian Science Journal

A fascinating piece of information is the fact that Thomas Edison and his research team conducted fifty thousand experiments over a period of ten years from 1900 to 1909 before he made a successful alkaline battery. Now that's perseverance! And it hints at a deeper lesson—the great difference between simply trying and doing.

When might we have stopped trying? Perhaps after experiment five or fifty or five hundred or five thousand? When would we have felt that we had given it a good try, and that we couldn't or didn't want to stick with it any longer? It makes one wonder why Edison didn't give up. Perhaps he thought in terms of doing—really arriving at the solution—rather than in terms of only trying.

There is a decided contrast, of course, between trying and doing. For example, if we approach a job with an expectancy of failure—even if we try hard—there is weakness that undermines our efforts. On the other hand, when we come to a task with an expectancy of accomplishment, we're fortified with strength that comes from persistence.

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