Persistence

Constant dripping wears off a stone – Ken Matsuzaki

I just read a short piece in the current New Yorker Magazine about Tokyo resident and Cardozo Law School grad Ken Matsuzaki.  He finally passed the NYS Bar exam after taking it for the seventeenth time since 2005.  It would be easy to see his story as an exercise in futility.  It would be easy to see it as the culmination of one man’s Sisyphean struggle to attain a personal goal.  It would be easy to turn it into a screed on the byzantine system of state licensing and accreditation.

I am focused on two letters.  The leading ‘dr’ of the word dripping.  If you were to ask me come up with a plan to remove a stone, I’d be more likely to start chipping than dripping.  My style would be more attack.  I am not naturally patient.  Now I could easily summon a series of bromides on patience like ‘slow and steady wins the race’, ‘the faith of a mustard seed’.  Right here on this blog I have advocated the gradual approach.  My very first post included the value of tackling a goal through instituting microscopic changes.  I have echoed the words of my mentors like John Roger and David Allen; ‘small things done consistently have the greatest impact’.  But even my examples of gradualism are still grounded in action not patience.  Now clearly Mr. Matsuzaki’s quest involved action.  According to the article he studied, took review courses, travelled to New York City, Albany and ultimately won his prize in Buffalo.  He wasn’t just waiting around for someone to hand him entrance to the NY Bar.

I’m just wondering where in my life dripping is a better strategy than chipping. 

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