Perseverance is important, but it is not the only thing. It is more useful to employ your intuition at the outset to find the right direction.
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#32, line 4, #46
Duration is a state whose movement is not worn down by hindrances. It is not a state of rest, for mere standstill is regression. Duration is rather the self- contained and therefore self-renewing movement of an organised, firmly integrated whole, taking place in accordance with immutable laws and beginning anew at every ending. The end is reached by an inward movement, by inhalation, systole, contraction, and this movement turns into a new beginning, in which the movement is directed outward, in exhalation, diastole, expansion.
Heavenly bodies exemplify duration. They move in their fixed orbits, and because of this their light-giving power endures. The seasons of the year follow a fixed law of change and transformation, hence can produce effects that endure.
So likewise the dedicated man embodies an enduring meaning in his way of life, and thereby the world is formed. In that which gives things their duration, we can come to understand the nature of all beings in heaven and on earth.
Thunder and wind: the image of DURATION.
Thus the superior man stands firm
And does not change his direction.
Thunder rolls, and the wind blows; both are examples of extreme mobility and so are seemingly the very opposite of duration, but the laws governing their appearance and subsidence, their coming and going, endure. In the same way the independence of the superior man is not based on rigidity and immobility of character. He always keeps abreast of the time and changes with it. What endures is the unswerving directive, the inner law of his being, which determines all his actions.
If we are in pursuit of game and want to get a shot at a quarry, we must set about it in the right way. A man who persists in stalking game in a place where there is none may wait forever without finding any. Persistence in search is not enough. What is not sought in the right way is not found.
The pushing upward of the good elements encounters no obstruction and is therefore accompanied by great success. The pushing upward is made possible not by violence but by modesty and adaptability. Since the individual is borne along by the propitiousness of the time, he advances. He must go to see authoritative people. He need not be afraid to do this, because success is assured. But he must set to work, for activity (this is the meaning of “the south”) brings good fortune.
Within the earth, wood grows:
The image of PUSHING UPWARD.
Thus the superior man of devoted character
Heaps up small things
In order to achieve something high and great.
Adapting itself to obstacles and bending around them, wood in the earth grows upward without haste and without rest. Thus too the superior man is devoted in character and never pauses in his progress. .