People gaining overnight success is a wonderful story we love to hate, get motivated by and dream of. But success is not always something one can achieve just by a clap of the hands. Some never find it, while some, just like Sisyphus, have to climb the metaphorical mountain and don’t give up in front of the failures. Some personal trainers and self-help coaches often describe success like a work in progress. And just as any piece of work, it sometimes meets drawbacks, fails, mistakes and so on. Today we will meet ten famous (incredibly famous we might say) people who have been told they will never get where they were headed, professionally or personally speaking, people who counted an incredible great number of failures before achieving their life mission. These people gained world wide respect and now they look back and teach us the lesson of patience, perseverance and courage to follow our dreams. So let’s listen to their stories.
1. J.K Rowling
A writer that needs no presentation any longer and a person richer than the Queen of Great Britain. Freshly divorced, broke and having to raise a child on her own, she was writing the first Harry Potter novel on a typewriter, secretly dreaming of becoming a superstar. It took 12 rejections until one merciful editor accepted her manuscript, advising her, nonetheless, to focus on getting a job, because children books don’t sell so good. Compared to her, Stephen King’s Carrie was rejected around 30 times. Lesson? Fight for your dreams, at some point, they might come true.
2. Walt Disney
He is a legend among failures, as the rumors say that he’d been rejected 302 times before he finally convinced somebody to finance his Disney World project. He was fired, he was put to the corner for lacking imagination, he is and always will be one of the greatest artists of this world and his legacy will be carried forward by many generations from now on. Disney had a dream. And now we can all find joy in it, as he dreamed it for all of us.
3. Albert Einstein
The man didn’t quite speak until four years old and was suspected of mental disabilities, since he didn’t read a word until seven. Yet… he is the scientist who changed the world. Sometimes you don’t have to be a child prodigy to become a genius. Maybe genius needs to stay quiet for a while and to concoct before spreading out in the world.
4. Stephen Hawking
His greatest success? He lives! Against all odds, medical warnings and predictions, against his own body, against his own faith, his will power to live and breathe and become what he is now made this man into an icon for the saying that “nothing is impossible”. One of the greatest scientists in all times, we’d never have the knowledge and the dedication to find more knowledge if Hawking would’ve given up and let his organism fail him.
5. Vincent Van Gogh
Today, one of his around 800 paintings is worth around 140 million dollars. Unfortunately, this great artist didn’t have the opportunity to taste the success and the glory during his life – time, only postmortem. While he was still alive, he sold only one piece to a friend. He faced illness, poverty, seclusion. And while not being the best example, as we all want to have success while we can still enjoy it, in one live piece preferably, Van Gogh teaches us the lesson of not giving up. He signed masterpieces and those paintings became a world’s treasure.
6. Steven Spielberg
What, you though the famous director didn’t have his share of failures? The man wanted to learn how to make movies. So he applied to the notorious University of Southern California Film School. And got rejected. Twice! Did this stop him? Did this pushed him to resign, get a job at KFC? At all. He just applied to another film school and look how well that went!
7. Colonel Sanders
Speaking of KFC… You like those crispy stripes, don’t you? So did he. At 65 years old, after receiving a social security check for some 100 dollars, Mr. Sanders thought he should show the world he’s not to be taken for granted. He could have chosen a different path, but decided to fight for his project. The project in case – his chicken recipe. His target group? Restaurants that would make his chicken, gain customers and sails and offer him a decent profit. Number of rejections? Over a 1000 in the whole country. He got one shot once. All that followed is history and legend and some damn fine chicken meals.
8. The Beatles
One rejection letter they received is as famous as the band itself. It said something like “the Beatles have no future in show business”. Ummm… they kinda of invented show business afterwards, by hypnotizing millions of people with their “beat”, charisma and blood-boiling songs. America was just an ocean across, so when the Beatlemania reached the US, history began taking notes on “how to achieve success despite any type of failure”.
9. Michael Jordan
His lesson is simple and beautiful in every possible way. Got rejected from your high school basketball team? No problem. Become the best and most famous basketball player of all times! Easy, isn’t it?
10. Thomas Edison
How would our life be if Edison gave up on his 9999 attempt to invent the light bulb? Darker maybe? Emptier, far behind? One of the greatest inventors of our world didn’t stop, didn’t falter, didn’t quit. He belongs to this list as he is one of those determined people who proved that success is not only a process, a ladder to climb or a wall to break piece by piece every moment, but something that is gained by those who wait and fight for it every second.