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How often we just give up without even trying! We can feel so overwhelmed by the mere idea of all the energy and effort needed to achieve a desired result that we never attempt to act on our dreams.

I have heard that Riyoko Ikeda, author of the immensely popular "Rose of Versailles" comic book epic, passed the entrance examination for Tokyo Music College at the age of forty-seven. I was impressed when she said, "I kept telling my vacillating self that if I was serious about achieving this, I would have to give up certain things."

No one knows for sure that she is going to get what she strives for. No decision is hard if success is probable; the hard decisions appear when victory is in doubt.

Those who can convince themselves that they will succeed against the odds are the most likely to triumph. When you confront a problem, swing with all your might. Do not let the problems just speed toward you while you squirm in indecision.

Confidence is something you build up within yourself after trying over and over again. I would also like to add how important it is to take risks at certain points in our lives.

In July 1963, as vice-head of the Peace Delegation of Religious Leaders for Banning Nuclear Weapons, I visited several European countries and met Pope Paul VI. I have had a few similar opportunities to meet Pope John Paul II. I was deeply moved by both men's intense dedication to their calling.

I once commented to one of John Paul II's aides that I was impressed by how many languages the pope could speak. The aide replied, "The English words decision and decide come from the Latin decidere, which can mean 'cut off' or 'discard." For example, if you are going to climb Mount Everest, you can take along only the very bare necessities for survival. Everything else has to be left behind. You will never reach the summit by adding one thing after another until you are burdened with too much weight. Mastering languages is like climbing a mountain; you have to concentrate on the essentials.