Defy Defeat with Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, and More
You probably know how many politicians it takes to change a light bulb. But did you know how many attempts it took Edison to invent that light bulb? More than 6,000, if you count all the filaments he tested. For two long years, the only thing that burned brightly for Edison was a failure. He amassed 40,000 pages of notes before finally inventing the incandescent bulb that could sustain light for 40 hours.
How can you help but feel inspired by that kind of determination? Look at some others who shared Edison’s ability to defy defeat …
Steve Jobs – In 1985, as Mac sales started to flounder, Apple CEO John Sculley issued a new org chart that cut Jobs out of all managerial duties. Stunned, Jobs diverted his energy toward computer animation instead, establishing Pixar, a company he would later sell to Disney for $7.4 billion.
Michael Jordan – Maybe you’ve seen Jordan’s Nike commercial about failure. If not, it’s well worth a 30-second viewing.
Rudyard Kipling – “I’m sorry, Mr. Kipling, but you just don’t know how to use the English language,” opined the editor of the San Francisco Examiner. After that rejection letter, Kipling went on to write The Jungle Book and win the 1907 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Walt Disney – Another shortsighted newspaper editor fired young Walt Disney because he “lacked imagination” and couldn’t come up with enough creative ideas.
Lucille Ball – At NYC’s John Murray Anderson Drama School in the year 1926, you could feel the heat of a rising star. But it wasn’t Lucy. Outshone by the radiant Bette Davis, Ball dropped out to model in cigarette ads before Metro recognized its next Goldwyn Girl.
When was the last time you stepped out on the skinny limb to achieve something you wanted?
If it broke, would you stay on the ground, or keep climbing back up to reach the next one? Remember, if you ever need a boost, I’m here for you!
Not too long ago I too received a rejection letter, albeit not so indelicate as Kipling’s. It stung. But, like the author, I have a broad vision and I’m not easily daunted. I know, as the spirits come knocking, there’s none quite as haunting as resignation.