The afternoon was one long stretch of conscious defeat. I was following the well-worn path of my everyday conduct. My habits were stronger than my determination. I learned that day that the way I handled little things would probably be the way I would handle big things, that my action during commonplace days gave a key to my action during emergencies.
The resulting gouge ruined the work and I returned ignominiously to the handle. Ruminating as I turned, I realized fully for the first time the importance of knowledge and skill. Throughout life, I saw, it was Skill that rode the ax and Unskill that turned the grindstone.
From Dune Boy - The Early Years Of A Naturalist by Edwin Way Teale