Extremely Successful People Who Failed Forward to Success

Posted: December 3, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

As achievers ourselves, we are enamored by the wildly
successful. And rightfully so. Their accomplishments
serve us as both targets and measuring sticks along
our own success journey.But, digging deeper into most
of these people’s backstories will often reveal even
greater inspiration. With little exception, their end
success was preceded by a mountain of heartache,
rejection and even epic failure. Relentless pursuit of
their goals and dreams despite so much defeat has
been a driving force behind these icons.
Here are 6 ultra-successful people that
failed forward to success :
1. Fred Smith
While attending Yale in 1962, Smith
wrote a paper for an economics
class outlining the idea for a
worldwide, overnight package
delivery service. The professor
returned the paper to him and
commented that, to earn better than
a C grade, the idea would have to
be feasible. Ignoring this rebuke, Smith went on to
form FedEx, the world’s first overnight delivery
2. Michael Jordan
Jordan was cut from his high
school’s basketball team as a
sophomore. Within 2 years though
he not only came back to make
the team, but was also named high
school All-American his senior
year. In his professional career he
lost over 300 games and missed
over 9000 shots, 26 of them were potential game
winners. Yet, Michael Jordan lead his team to 6 NBA
championships, was named league MVP 5 times and
became only the second player ever to score 3000
points in a single season!
3. Abraham Lincoln
Perhaps one of the best examples
of failing forward to success is the
16th president of the United States.
Abraham Lincoln lost no less than 9
bids for various public offices prior
to his presidency. He was fired
from multiple jobs, failed at least
twice as a business owner and even
went bankrupt. But, At 52 years of age Lincoln was
elected president and led the nation through its
bloodiest war to preserve the union and abolish slavery.
4. Lucille Ball
From the age of 15, she wanted to
act even though her drama school
teacher once wrote to her mother,
“Lucy’s wasting her time and
ours…”. Ball went on to be fired
from her first two Broadway acting
gigs and became nicknamed
“Queen of the B’s” for the number
of second rate films she had roles in.
Today though we know Lucille Ball as the redheaded
firecracker from the TV show, I Love Lucy, named in a
2012 ABC News survey as ‘The Best TV Show of All
Time’. Her career persistence resulted in 2 stars on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame, 4 Emmy Awards, and many
other TV and Film honors. She is arguably the most
recognized female actress of the 20th century.
5. Theodor S. Geisel
Geisel worked as an illustrator and
cartoonist during the Great
Depression. But his love was for
children’s books. His first
manuscript was rejected by 27
publishers with responses such as,
“ Too different from other juveniles on
the market to warrant its selling”.
Only a chance meeting with an old college friend saved
the pages from being burned. The book was published
in 1937 opening the door for Geisel to become one of
the most popular children’s book authors of all time,
selling over 600 million copies. He penned most of his
works under his pseudonym, Dr. Seuss.
6. Thomas Edison
Edison’s grade school teachers
deemed him “ too stupid to learn
anything ”. He was fired from jobs for
being “non-productive”. He persisted
in inventing but failed in gaining
traction with most items. In fact, the
thing Thomas Edison is most
remembered for was not even his
invention but rather the refinement of an existing idea…
the light bulb. And even in that, it took him 10,000 tries
to perfect it!
Thousands more of these failing forward stories exist.
In them, lessons abound. Grit, determination,
persistence, and even some luck are clearly all part of
the achievement recipe. But, there’s no denying that
failure is something likely, and even useful, along the
road to success.
Thank you for reading my article! Would
love to hear your thoughts in the
comment section below!

posted by Hari Krish

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