I wonder if there are any English quotes like

It is easy to do something important for one day, but hard to do it repeatedly for a long period of time

I do know "Rome is not built in one day" but I feel like it only emphasizes of achieving something through patience. The quotes I want should emphasize the difficulty of being patient for a long time as opposed to short time.

I won't mind if it is long or it is translated from another language in the appropriate way.

  • 2
    It's 'Rome was not built in a day', meaning that it may take a long time to complete an important task. Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 16:11

1 Answer 1


I can't think of anything that perfectly matches the sense you are looking for, but the following are perhaps related.

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Give a man a net and he'll feed himself for life.

[A skill, eg writing] is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.

There is also a discussion on the English Language and Usage site (https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/268183/maxims-that-have-to-do-with-persistence) which include some good suggestions. However I am not sure any of them are common enough that you'd want to drop them into casual conversation.

Perhaps the two most common would be:

Keep your nose to the grindstone.

No pain, no gain.

None of these suggestions include the explicit sense of 'short term is easy', but they all imply 'long term action is hard, and needs persistence'. The easiness of short term action is included implicitly.

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