只要工夫深，铁杵磨成针（zhǐ yào gōng fū shēn,tiě chǔ mó chéng zhēn）
It literally means:”If you work at it hard enough, you can grind an iron bar into a needle.”
English Translation of the Story
This legend is about Li Bai (lǐ baí 李白), a great poet in Tang Dynasty (táng cháo 唐代). Li Bai was naughty and disliked study when he was a child. One day he saw an old woman grinding an iron rod on a big stone when he was playing by a river. Driven by curiosity, Li Bai came up and asked,
"What are you doing, granny?"
"Grinding an iron rod," said the old women without stopping grinding.
"Then what for?" he asked again.
"To make a sewing needle," was the answer.
"What?!" little Li Bai was puzzled, "you want to grind so big a rod into a needle?！It will take many years."
"This doesn't matter. As long as I persevere in doing so, there is nothing you cannot achieve in the world. Certainly I can make a needle from the rod." Deeply moved by what the old woman said, Li Bai took effort to study since then and finally became one of the greatest poets in China.
The Chinese Story of Proverb
The Chinese “Pinyin” of the Story
Lǐ Bái xiǎo shíhou tè tānwán, yí dào shàngkè jiù zǒushén. Jīntiān zhè shān zhuō xiǎoniǎo, míngtiān nà shān qù zhāizǎo. Xiàle shān guò xiǎohé, hébiān zuòzhe lǎopópo. Lǎopópo búpà lèi, zhèng mó yì gēn tiěbàngchui. Lǐ Bái kàn le xiàohēhē, shuō: “Shǎzi cái gàn zhè zhǒng huó ne!”Lǎopópo cíxiáng de shuō: “Búpà tiěbàng cū yòu yìng, wǒ yào mó chéng xiùhuāzhēn!”Lǐ Bái ná guò tiěbàngchui, méi mó jǐ xià jiù hǎn lèi, shuō: “Āiyōu, shénme shíhou néng mó chéng a? Wǒ bú gàn le!” Lǎopópo yáoyao tóu, tànxī dào:” Zhǐyāo gōngfu shēn, tiěchǔ mó chéng zhēn!” Lǎopópo de huà zhí qiānjīn, Lǐ Bái láoláo jì zài xīn! Cóngcǐ dúshū búpà kǔ, chéngle yí wèi dà shīrén!