Every week in America, you read stories of amazing moments where ordinary people triumphed over failure. You may watch the “Biggest Loser” where a man or woman cut 150 pounds off his or her body to walk on stage looking fantastic in a suit or dress. Most suffered failure and depression for years concerning their obesity. In life, people from all walks of life suffer failure on many levels.
(Give every moment of every day to your personal quest. Use your heart, your mind, your energy and your passion to follow your dreams. Frosty Wooldridge at the Mexican border for his 2,500 mile, 150,000 vertical feet of climbing, 19 passes, Continental Divide Bicycle Ride, at the age of 72.) Photo by Frosty Wooldridge
Back in 1947, Twentieth Century Fox dropped Marilyn Monroe because producer Daryl Zanuck felt she lacked the “attraction factor” to make her a star. Dr. Seuss’ first book suffered 27 rejections. Richard Bach’s book, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, faced 44 rejections from publishers. Barbara Streisand gave her Broadway debut in 1961, but the house closed after one show.
Frank Sinatra suffered expulsion from school for rowdy behavior. Singer Johnny Cash sold appliances before his songwriting and guitar playing catapulted him to fame. Walt Disney’s first cartoon company suffered bankruptcy. Decca Records executive Dick Rowe rejected the Beatles in favor of “The Tremeloes” a band that soon failed. Martin Luther King suffered jail and name calling in his quest to bring equality to people of color.
Her boss fired Oprah Winfrey from her first job as an anchor at a Baltimore, Maryland television station. She faced sexism and harassment. Oprah rebounded to become the number one television talk-show host in America.
Film academics rejected Steven Spielberg from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts multiple times. They said, “He lacked basic abilities to comprehend the cinematic arts.” Spielberg struggled until he directed such movies as “ET” that made him world famous.
At his first screen test, dancer Fred Astaire suffered the words of the director: “He can’t sing. Can’t act. Slightly balding. Can dance a little.” He became the greatest film and dance star of his age.
Struggling author and single mom J.K. Rowling lived off welfare when she began writing the first “Harry Potter” book. She now commands the title of the richest working woman in the United Kingdom.
Stephen King spent 13 years living in a trailer with his wife and kids while he took two hours out every night to work on his writing craft. He rewrote “Carrie” after his wife pulled it back out of the wastebasket because he threw it away in total futility. The book became an instant best seller that led to 350 million copies of his books published worldwide including the famous movie, “The Shawshank Redemption”.
As you know, every one of the above people continued their quests until they became world famous. Their legacies continue to this day in literature, the arts, cinema, music and equal rights. Ironically, they continued following their calling no matter what the failure rate.
Unbeknownst to most people who look at famous names, stars or political leaders—they share one thing in common: they experienced multiple failures on their way toward their success.
Many people who faced failure didn’t realize how close to success they were when they quit. They allowed their frustrations, obstacles and choices to defeat them.
Where does that leave you? How do you feel about failure? What can you do about your failures? What can drive you to your ultimate success?
First of all, you must appreciate your own worth and the worth of your quest.
Polly Letofsky at 42, from Vail, Colorado, faced enormous challenges before becoming the first woman to walk around the world, 14,000 miles across four continents in five years to bring attention to breast cancer. She raised over a quarter of a million dollars and enjoyed 2,000 interviews from newspapers around the world.
In the past year October 3, 2013, 64 year old Diana Nayad, a world class swimmer, took her fifth and final attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida, a distance of 90 miles over treacherous ocean waters filled with sharks, jellyfish, waves and winds. After 35 years of trying, she succeeded. She said, “You can choose to live your dreams at any age.”
No matter what your age, lot in life or past failures, you enjoy every chance to succeed at your chosen-destiny by your decisions to overcome heartache, turmoil and failure.
In your life time, every moment leads to your epic life because there are no ordinary moments. Each moment makes your extraordinary life by your choices.
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