SUCCESS STORY IS ALSO A STORY OF
is the highway to success. Tom Watson Sr. said, "If you want to succeed, double
your failure rate." If you study history, you will find that all stories of
success are also stories of great failures. But people don't see
They only see one side of the picture and they say that person got lucky: "He
must have been at the right place at the right time." Let me share someone's
life history with you. This was a man who failed in business at the age of 21 ;
was defeated in a legislative race at age 22; failed again in business at age
24; Overcame the death of his sweetheart at age 26; had a nervous breakdown at
age 27; lost a congressional
at age 34; lost a senatorial race at age 45; failed in an effort to become
vice-president at age 47; lost a senatorial race at age 49; and was elected
president of the United States at age 52.
man was Abraham Lincoln. Would you call him a failure? He could have quit. But
to Lincoln, defeat was a detour and not a dead end. In 1913, Lee De Forest,
inventor of the triodes tube, was charged by the district attorney for using
mislead the public into buying stocks of his company by claiming that he could
transmit the human voice across the Atlantic. He was publicly humiliated. Can
you imagine where we would be without his invention? A New York Times editorial
on December 10, 1903, questioned the wisdom of the Wright Brothers who were
trying to invent a machine, heavier than air, that would fly. One week later, at
Kitty Hawk, the Wright Brothers took their famous flight. Colonel Sanders, at
age 65, with a beat-up car and a $100 check from Social Security, realized he
had to do something. He remembered his mother's recipe and went out selling. How
many doors did he have to knock on
he got his first order? It is estimated that he had knocked on more than a
thousand doors before he got his first order. How many of us quit after three
tries, ten tries, a hundred tries, and then we say we tried as hard as we could?
As a young cartoonist, Walt Disney faced many rejections from newspaper editors,
who said he had no talent. One day a minister at a church hired him to draw
Disney was working out of a small mouse infested shed near the church. After
seeing a small mouse, he was inspired. That was the start of Mickey Mouse.
Successful people don't do great things, they only do small things in a great
day a partially deaf four year old kid came home with a note in his pocket from
his teacher, "Your Tommy is too stupid to learn, get him out of the school." His
mother read the note and answered, "My Tommy is not stupid to learn, I will
teach him myself." And that Tommy grew up to be the great Thomas Edison. Thomas
Edison had only three months of formal schooling and he was partially deaf.
Henry Ford forgot to put the reverse gear in the first car he made. Do you
consider these people failures? They succeeded in spite of problems, not in the
absence of them. But to the outside world, it appears as though they just got
lucky. All success stories are stories of great failures. The only difference is
that every time they failed, they bounced back. This is called failing forward,
rather than backward. You learn and move forward. Learn from your failure and
keep moving. In 1914, Thomas Edison, at age 67, lost his factory, which was
worth a few million dollars, to fire. It had very little insurance. No longer a
young man, Edison watched his
effort go up in smoke and said, "There is great value in disaster. All our
mistakes are burnt up. Thank God we can start anew." In spite of disaster, three
weeks later, he invented the phonograph. What an
are more examples of the failures of successful people:
Thomas Edison failed approximately 10,000 times while
was working on the light bulb.
Henry Ford was broke at the age of 40.
Lee Iacocca was fired by Henry Ford II at the age of 54.
Young Beethoven was told that he had no talent for
but he gave some of the
music to the world.
are inevitable in life. A setback can act as a driving force and also teach us
humility. In grief you will find courage and faith to overcome the setback. We
need to learn to become victors, not victims. Fear and doubt shortcircuit the
mind. Ask yourself after every setback: What did I learn from this
Only then will you be able to turn a stumbling
into a stepping stone.
you think you are beaten, you are.
you think you dare not, you don't!
you like to win, but think you can't,
almost a cinch you won't.
think you'll lose, you're lost;
out in the world we find
begins with a fellow's will;
all in the state of mind.
you think you are outclassed, you are,
got to think high to rise,
got to be sure of yourself before
can ever win a prize.
battles don't always go
the stronger and faster man,
sooner or later the man who wins
the man who thinks he can.