(Clearwisdom.net) Ran Qiu was Confucius' disciple. One day he said to Confucius, "I like Master's theory; however, I lack some abilities." Confucius said to him, "A person without enough ability will stop halfway, but you are drawing a circle on the ground and imprisoning yourself. You do not even make a beginning."

Liang Qiuju, a minister in the Qi State of King Jinggong (547-490 B.C.), once said to Yan Ying (?-500 B.C.), "I could not catch up with you even by the time I die." Yan Ying said, "I hear that anyone who does his utmost to do things will ultimately succeed. A person who persists in going ahead without feeling tired will ultimately arrive at his destination. There is no difference between others and me. I just try to do things without stopping. Why can't you catch up with me?"

These two stories tell us that, whether you are studying or cultivating virtue, if you try your best with persistence and insist on moving ahead towards your destination, you will be rewarded with as much as you've put in. If you draw a circle on the ground and imprison yourself, then you will get nothing.