“90% of Failure Comes from Quitting.” 10 inspirational people who will prove that you should NEVER give up
Every worthy goal or dream will go through a series of various peaks and valleys in the process of reaching success. It’s to be expected. If you don’t expect some failure along the way, then you’re setting yourself up for some mighty big disappointment. Oh, of course there are those success stories of people who hit a home run the very first time they pick up the bat (don’t you just hate those people? Boy I do!), but that’s a fluke, a rarity. I don’t even count them as real people anyway.
Here’s the thing—you will fail. At some point, you will be rejected (and rejected, and rejected). Isn’t that great? If you said no, no it isn’t. That sucks. Then you’re looking at it all wrong. Because it IS great. Hang in there with me. Let me explain.
In my opinion, it’s through our failures that we find the strength to get back up, brush ourselves off, and keep going. It’s through our failures that spur us forward. We learn through our failures. We learn what worked and what didn’t. And, more importantly, we learn that we are stronger than we ever thought possible. You should see how tough I’m getting.
Success doesn’t come easy, and it shouldn’t. Because how can we truly value it if it did?
Ever hear of the term mashup (if not check it out here)? Well, I’ve mashed up two inspirational quotes by Kelly Gottuso Mortimer and John Gilstrap to produce ONE awesome quote that has become my writing motto: “I won’t fail, because I won’t quit until I succeed. AND if I don’t succeed, it just means I died too soon.”
Ten success stories for you to motivate you to NEVER give up.
1) Stephen King: The first book by this author, the iconic thriller Carrie, received 30 rejections, finally causing King to give up and throw it in the trash. His wife fished it out and encouraged him to resubmit it, and the rest is history, with King now having hundreds of books published the distinction of being one of the best-selling authors of all time.
2) Elvis Presley: As one of the best-selling artists of all time, Elvis has become a household name even years after his death. But back in 1954, Elvis was still a nobody, and Jimmy Denny, manager of the Grand Ole Opry, fired Elvis Presley after just one performance telling him, "You ain't goin' nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin' a truck."
3) Babe Ruth: You probably know Babe Ruth because of his home run record (714 during his career), but along with all those home runs came a pretty hefty amount of strikeouts as well (1,330 in all). In fact, for decades he held the record for strikeouts. When asked about this he simply said, "Every strike brings me closer to the next home run."
4) Harrison Ford: In his first film, Ford was told by the movie execs that he simply didn't have what it takes to be a star. Today, with numerous hits under his belt, iconic portrayals of characters like Han Solo and Indiana Jones, and a career that stretches decades, Ford can proudly show that he does, in fact, have what it takes.
5) Judy Blume: Ms. Blume received “nothing but rejections” for two years. According to Ms. Blume:I would go to sleep at night feeling that I'd never be published. But I'd wake up in the morning convinced I would be. Each time I sent a story or book off to a publisher, I would sit down and begin something new. I was learning more with each effort. I was determined. Determination and hard work are as important as talent.
6) Walt Disney: Today Disney rakes in billions from merchandise, movies and theme parks around the world, but Walt Disney himself had a bit of a rough start. He was fired by a newspaper editor because, "he lacked imagination and had no good ideas." After that, Disney started a number of businesses that didn't last too long and ended with bankruptcy and failure. He kept plugging along, however, and eventually found a recipe for success that worked.
7) Madeleine L'Engle: Ms. L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time was rejected by 26 publishers before finally breaking into print. It went on to win the 1963 Newbery Medal.
8) Michael Jordon: Most people wouldn't believe that a man often lauded as the best basketball player of all time was actually cut from his high school basketball team. Luckily, Jordan didn't let this setback stop him from playing the game and he has stated, "I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
9) John Grisham: Mr. Grisham’s first novel, A Time to Kill, was rejected by a dozen publishers and 16 agents before breaking into print and launching Mr. Grisham's best-selling career.
10) Dolly Parton: She was once told in high school to drop out of the choir—her voice didn’t blend well. She had signed with Monument Records in late 1965, where she was initially pitched as a bubblegum pop singer, earning only one national-chart single, "Happy, Happy Birthday Baby," which did not crack the Billboard Hot 100. In the four-and-a-half decades since her national-chart début, she remains one of the most-successful female artists in the history of the country genre which garnered her the title of 'The Queen of Country Music', with twenty-five number-one singles, and a record forty-one top-10 country albums. (I just love Dolly!)
4/20/2011 02:01:29 am
<sigh> A little inspiration, just when I needed it. I already knew about King, but some of the others were a surprise. I better go check the wastebasket. Who knows what I've dropped in there lately.
4/20/2011 02:40:05 am
Thank you. I hear so many nay-sayers, "You can't write" or "who you a writer" and my personal fav " No one in their right mind would read that!".
4/20/2011 04:35:45 am
Thank you so much for the inspiration!
4/20/2011 08:07:23 am
Brilliant! Love the post. Full of encouragement and truth. Never give up. Never. :)
4/20/2011 08:08:31 am
Motivating indeed, Angela. I believe you're right; you can't enjoy success without enjoying a heaping dish of failure first. My son is a big World War II nut who's fascinated with all aspects of Jun 6, 1944. A time or two he's told me "We have to get off this beach. We have to keep moving forward no matter what." Granted we're not getting shot at but I like his thinking.
4/20/2011 11:56:30 am
Thank you for this. You don't know how much I needed to hear it.
4/20/2011 11:57:49 am
Thank you for this.You don't know how muchO needed to hear it today.
4/20/2011 11:59:52 am
See, that proves how much I needed it. I had to say it twice!
4/24/2011 03:59:45 am
I'm the opposite, I love my FaceBook, I drop by, chit chat a minute or two and bounce away guiltless. But TWITTER, oh that bad boy, he sucks me, holds me under and I can't breathe for hours. So, I can't visit him as often or I'd never get any writing done.
4/25/2011 11:05:42 am
So inspiring, thanks. The other thing I try to remember is that writing is fun! Despite the work, the hassle, the rejection, the self-doubt, the blocks, etc. etc. it's what I love to do, and I'll keep doing it until I drop dead or lose too many neurons.
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