I like to believe that I thrive under pressure. And, for the most part, I think that I do. "When the going gets tough, the tough get going..." and other cliches get me pumped up when my world gets shaken up. But today, I came across this quote and was struck by the idea of sticking it out, no matter what:

"Diamonds are only lumps of coal that stuck to their jobs."
- B. C. Forbes

If the lesson is understood correctly, I believe it is this: Only under intense pressure over a long period of time can the true character and beauty of our predetermined inner potential be realized. For so many, the pressure and the time become the enemy. For so many, the patience require to push through the process of perfection is more than they choose to bear. But, regardless of the challenge, the set backs, or the discouragement from outside factors, those with the truest understanding of their purpose and potential will push through and pull it out in the end.