Don’t give up
OFTEN LIFE DOESN’T go in the direction we want it to. Does that mean our lives are doomed and we can’t achieve the success we dream of? Let’s be realistic: Everybody fails. Consider the following.
Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Disney went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland. Infact, the proposed park was rejected by the city of Anaheim, California, on the grounds that it would only attract “riffraff.”
Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “nonproductive.” As an inventor, Edison made more than 1,000 unsuccessful attempts to invent the light bulb. When a reporter asked him how it felt to fail 1,000 times, Edison said that he didn’t fail all those times, but that the light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.
Albert Einstein did not speak until he was 4 years old and did not read until he was 7. His parents thought he was “subnormal,” and one of his teachers described him as “mentally slow, unsociable and adrift forever in foolish dreams.” He was expelled from school.
Every cartoon that Charles Schulz, creator of the comic strip Peanuts, submitted to the yearbook staff at his high school was rejected.
After Fred Astaire’s first screen test, the memo from the testing director of MGM, dated 1933, read, “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.” Astaire kept that memo over the fireplace in his Beverly Hills home.
Decca Records turned down a recording contract with The Beatles with this fascinating evaluation: “We don’t like their sound. Guitar groups are on their way out.”
A friend of mine in the music industry personally auditioned a singer by the name of Reg Dwight in the 1960s. He unceremoniously shoved the singer out of his office for wasting his time. That singer is now better known as Elton John.
Imagine if these individuals had given up, believing they were doomed to failure and would never achieve success. Do you think they ever felt down and depressed? Sure. But they didn’t allow a gloomy state to overtake them, to overpower their desire to succeed. In every case they did succeed—in a huge way, far greater than their wildest dreams. Bad experiences can be viewed as positive in hindsight. They can be stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks. It’s your choice. But be determined to never give up.