“Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.”
According to Walt Disney, “You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
I am sure you have heard some of the great stories of people who have failed who rose to greatness. What about you? The key to success is having the ability to get back up. You will fail at something. Let me repeat that, you will fail at something. But the real estimate to your legacy will be your ability to stand back up and try again. Take this post and pin it up in your dorm room, office or wherever you will need inspiration. These are the stories that are real and possible.
1) Sir Richard Branson failed at his first 4 ventures. In his own words: ”You fail if you don’t try. If you look at the history of American entrepreneurs, one thing I do know about them: An awful lot of them have tried and failed in the past and gone on to great things.”
2) Donald Trump was $1 billion in debt at one point in the early 1990’s, and that The Guinness Book of Records lists him as having the biggest financial turnaround in history? In his own words: “I refused to give in to the negative circumstances and I never lost faith in myself. Defeat is not in my vocabulary.”
3) J.K. Rowling was rejected by twelve publishers? In her own words: “So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential.
4) Fred Smith, Founder of FedEx wrote a paper for an economics class, outlining overnight delivery service. He received a C and comments such as “It’s not feasible or practical”
5) Charles Darwin gave up a medical career and was told by his father, “You care for nothing but shooting, dogs and rat catching.” In his autobiography, Darwin wrote, “I was considered by all my masters and my father, a very ordinary boy, rather below the common standard of intellect.” Clearly, he evolved.
6) Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”
7) Albert Einstein did not speak until he was 4-years-old and did not read until he was 7. His parents thought he was “sub-normal,” and one of his teachers described him as “mentally slow, unsociable, and adrift forever in foolish dreams.” He was expelled from school and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School. He did eventually learn to speak and read. Even to do a little math.
8) Henry Ford failed and went broke five times before he succeeded.
9) R. H. Macy failed seven times before his store in New York City caught on.
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can achieve greatly.”
~ Robert F. Kennedy
10) Vince Lombardi was told that he possesses minimal football knowledge and lacks motivation. Lombardi would later write, “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get back up.”
11) Michael Jordan and Bob Cousy were each cut from their high school basketball teams. Jordan once observed, “I’ve failed over and over again in my life. That is why I succeed.”
12) Tom Landry, Chuck Noll, Bill Walsh, and Jimmy Johnson accounted for 11 of the 19 Super Bowl victories from 1974 to 1993. They also share the distinction of having the worst records of first-season head coaches in NFL history – they didn’t win a single game.
13) Johnny Unitas’s first pass in the NFL was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. Joe Montana’s first pass was also intercepted. And while we’re on quarterbacks, during his first season Troy Aikman threw twice as many interceptions (18) as touchdowns (9) . . . oh, and he didn’t win a single game. You think there’s a lesson here?
14) After Carl Lewis won the gold medal for the long jump in the 1996 Olympic games, he was asked to what he attributed his longevity, having competed for almost 20 years. He said, “Remembering that you have both wins and losses along the way. I don’t take either one too seriously.”
“Our achievements speak for themselves. What we have to keep track of are our failures, discouragements, and doubts. We tend to forget the past difficulties, the many false starts, and the painful groping. We see our past achievements as the end result of a clean forward thrust, and our present difficulties as signs of decline and decay.”
~ Eric Hoffer
15) Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” He went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland. In fact, the proposed park was rejected by the city of Anaheim on the grounds that it would only attract riffraff.
16) The first time Jerry Seinfeld walked on-stage at a comedy club as a professional comic, he looked out at the audience, froze, and forgot the English language. He stumbled through “a minute-and a half” of material and was jeered offstage. He returned the following night and closed his set to wild applause.
17) After Harrison Ford’s first performance as a hotel bellhop in the film Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round, the studio vice-president called him in to his office. “Sit down kid,” the studio head said, “I want to tell you a story. The first time Tony Curtis was ever in a movie he delivered a bag of groceries. We took one look at him and knew he was a movie star.” Ford replied, “I thought you were supposed to think that he was a grocery delivery boy.” The vice president dismissed Ford with “You ain’t got it kid , you ain’t got it … now get out of here.”
18) Decca Records turned down a recording contract with the Beatles with the prophetic evaluation, “We don’t like their sound. Groups of guitars are on their way out.”
19) Beethoven handled the violin awkwardly and preferred playing his own compositions instead of improving his technique. His teacher called him “hopeless as a composer.” And, of course, you know that he wrote five of his greatest symphonies while completely deaf.
“No matter how hard you work for success, if your thought is saturated with the fear of failure, it will kill your efforts, neutralize your endeavors and make success impossible.”
20) A Paris art dealer refused Picasso shelter when he asked if he could bring in his paintings from out of the rain. One hopes that there is justice in this world and that the art dealer eventually went broke.
21) 27 publishers rejected Dr. Seuss’s first book, To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.
Successful people bounce back, keep the passion burning and avoid the negative. Keep a positive attitude and surround yourself with support. You will leave a legacy. The question is, will you choose the legacy you leave?