Saturday, January 9, 2010
A newspaper editor once fired Walt Disney because he lacked imagination and he had no good ideas. He went bankrupt several times before Disneyland. Beethoven's teacher called him "hopeless as a composer." One of Albert Einsteins teachers described him as mentally slow, unsociable and adrift forever in foolish dreams." Dr. Seuss first book was rejected 21 times. I could go on. A few weeks ago I spoke to a group of teenagers about failure. A young man raised his hand and said proudly, "I've never failed at anything." I hesitated a moment. I smiled at him and asked him to share with us. "I'm really happy for you. Come and tell us some of the things you've accomplished." He shook his head and smiled his slow easy smile before continuing. "I've never really accomplished anything, but that's because my Mom told me I would never amount to anything anyway." Oh boy, did I have fodder. First of all, if you don't attempt anything you are a failure. You only fail when you don't try. Secondly you have to get off the "blame everyone else train." The one thing Walt Disney, Dr. Seuss, Albert Einstein and Beethoven all had in common was they didn't listen when someone thought they were a failure. They believed in themselves. And maybe the most important lesson we can learn from them is they never gave up. No matter what. Absolutely nothing stopped them. We don't often hear about some one's failures. We only hear about their success. I think it's pretty safe to say, just about every one famous failed at some point in their life. Don't give up. Believe in yourself.