“The heights by great men reached and kept,
Were not attained by sudden flight.
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.”
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I first came across Longfellow's quote on the last few pages of the book, The Essential Wooden. It was a favorite of Coach John Wooden's (I think it’s one of my favorite now too).
The essential message is this: reaching the heights is grueling work. There is no fast track. Toiling is the name of the game. If you run from it, you're running away from the very thing that has the power to get you where you want to go.