The blacksmith follows the six-step process of self-discipline to reach his goals. It's the only road to quality, lasting achievement.

The raw iron a blacksmith uses to create his works of art and necessity is much like the raw potential of an individual. It has to be molded into the desirable state. This process begins with a purpose—what do you want to accomplish—which in turn sparks a vision of the goal.

The experienced blacksmith knows he can reach his goals because he has spent years preparing himself to do so. As an apprentice, he learned by watching his master. Since the master was successful, he realized that doing the job was possible. And, he realized that he could do it too if he gained his master's skills.

He learned to build his fire to exactly the right temperature—glowing red—hot enough to mold the metal ino the vision he had first created in his mind. Finally he stays with the task until it is finished, perfectly matching his vision.

The Village Blacksmith
By Henry Wadswoth Longfellow
Under a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.

His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns whate'er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man.

Week in, week out, from morn till night,
You can hear his bellows blow;
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,
With measured beat and slow,
Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
When the evening sun is low.

And children coming home from school
Look in at the open door;

They love to see the flaming forge,
And hear the bellows roar,

And catch the burning sparks that fly
Like chaff from a threshing-floor.

He goes on Sunday to the church,
And sits among his boys;

He hears the parson pray and preach,
He hears his daughter's voice,

Singing in the village choir,
And it makes his heart rejoice.
It sounds to him like her mother's voice,
Singing in Paradise!

He needs must think of her once more,
How in the grave she lies;
And with his hard, rough hand he wipes
A tear out of his eyes.

Onward through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begun,
Each evening sees it close;
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night's repose.

Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
For the lesson thou hast taught!
Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
Each burning deed and thought!

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