No one moves forward in a straight line. If you are in a funk because of the one step forward, two steps back dance you are doing, it can help to remember that you are not alone. Stories about famous people who succeeded against the odds, who suffered enormous obstacles and setbacks but didn’t cave in or despair, can be uplifting. Here are a few:
THOMAS EDISON, the inventor of the light bulb, was told by his teacher that he was too stupid to learn anything.
CHARLES DARWIN, the famous naturalist and developer of the theory of evolution, did quite poorly in his early grades and even failed a university medical course.
WOODROW WILSON, a Rhodes scholar and president of the United States, didn’t learn the alphabet until he was eight. He didn’t read until he was eleven.
ALBERT EINSTEIN did not talk until age four or read until age nine. He performed badly in almost all his high school courses and failed his college entrance exams.
MICHAEL JORDAN was actually cut from his high school basketball team.
AGATHA CHRISTIE, the British mystery writer who was called the Queen of Crime, wrote nearly 100 books that have sold some 2 billion copies – even though she had a learning disability called dysgraphia, which makes it hard to write legibly. (And this was before computers!!)
If you want to persevere on a difficult task and bounce back from adversity, try saying a simple phrase to yourself. For example:
- It doesn’t have to be perfect.
- I can learn from my mistakes.
- Everybody makes mistakes.
- I can’t get any better unless I try.
- I made a mistake. Now I’ll correct it. I can turn it around.
Now it’s up to you. Like the people mentioned above, you can keep at your dreams until you succeed. Or, if you’re ready to move on, you can do so from a position of strength, knowing you gave it your all!
www.WorkingMother.com (August/September 2011, p. 42)