Take a moment and think back to some of your biggest failures. How did you feel? What did you do? Where did you go from there? Did you have a “Never Give Up!” mind set? I think for most of us the initial feeling is absolute despair. You put all your effort behind it only to come up short. We start to develop a Fear of Failure. We lose confidence. What do we do next?
Hold that thought and check out this list of men I’ve compiled who had unrivaled success.
Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard and his first business failed. Steve Jobs had 7 products fail big time. Do these sound familiar? Apple Lisa, NeXT, ROKR, Power MAC G4 Cube…..Exactly, unknown! Einstein did not speak until he was 4 and couldn’t read till he was 7. Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, after 1000+ failed attempts. Winston Churchill failed 6th grade and went on to lead England against Hitler in WWII. Stephen Spielberg was rejected by USC 3 times and didn’t complete his BA until 2002 Stephen King’s novel “Carrie” was rejected 30 times and his wife pulled it out of the trash and had to convince him to submit it one more time and the rest is history. Soichiro Honda’s engine parts were initially turned down by Toyota for poor quality….he went back to the drawing board, persevered, studied and down the road founded Honda. Walt Disney was rejected because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas”, His first business went into bankruptcy and even Mickey Mouse was initially dismissed that it would terrify women. What if these men didn’t keep trying? Look at where the world is now because they got back up and took it one more round at a time. Great men in history have met failure, and they said “Never Give Up!” and went on to make history. “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” ~Emerson We might not be the next Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Stephen Spielberg. But in someone’s life we will be a difference because we never give up. Our goals may be different. Our circumstances different. Our lives are definitely different. One thing we all have in common though are obstacles. Think of these as challenges for you to face. If you get knocked down, get back up. Again and again if you have to. Face your fear and let it be a gift to drive you to succeed. Our lives are defined not by the challenges we encounter, but by how we respond to those challenges. ~Jonathan Lockwood Huie When I was 16 I was growing up in Tokyo and took a scooter test. I failed. I left in shame and never retook it – Fear of Failure. I regretted this for years and wished I had the courage to go back and retake it. This did teach me something though. Shame is far worse than a failure. “What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.” ~Goethe When I was in the Army I participated in a 5 day competition with different events. One of them on the 3rd day was a 12 mile ruck march through some German hills. I had my m16, some water and a 30-40 lb. ruck. By the 11th mile and facing a hill I couldn’t take a step without my legs cramping. My m16 then became a cane and I made it up the hill and finished the event. I could have quit though, scored no points and still moved on to the next event. My motivation was the “Man in the Arena” speech by Teddy Roosevelt. “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” ~T.S. Eliot Go that extra mile, push your limits, accept the risk while knowing of possible failure. If you give up today you won’t know what would have happened tomorrow. We are all an influence in the world. We influence each other’s lives. We make things happen. We are writing history. In order to succeed, you must first have integrity to do the right thing, and second, have the fortitude to continue moving forward even in the face of failure. Those who lack strength of character quit in the face of failure. Those who have strength of character get stronger in the face of failure by learning and adapting for the next opportunity. ~Robert Kiyosaki You will be tempted to think, “It’s too tough” or “You don’t understand what I’m facing”. Part of this is true. We aren’t in your shoes and aren’t living your life. But we do share a Fear of Failure. As men we must overcome this fear, remember who we are, put the gloves back on and together say, “Never Never Give Up!”. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. ~Martin Luther King Jr.