Barbara over at Writing Time posted a reference to the April 29th Wall St. Journal article by Melinda Beck entitled, "If At First You Don't Succeed, You're in Excellent Company."
This is an amazing article quoting superstars in their fields about their repeated failures and how those failures helped them to achieve success. From Julie Andrews to Michael Jordan, J.K. Rowling, and as far back as Thomas Edison, these icons and others all had one thing in common: critics predicting they'd never amount to anything. One teacher of the subsequently renowned British author, G.K. Chesterton, even went so far as to tell his fledgling student that if his head were opened "we should not find any brain, only a lump of white fat".
The message here has import for all of us as well as our children. To take risks, to chance failing, is not to be avoided but to be embraced. Failure is a natural part of the learning process from which we gain the strength and knowledge to attain our success as well as maintain it. Above all else the takeaway is: When it comes to chasing your dream listen to no one but yourself.
Like burning sage to cleanse a haunted house or holding garlic to a vampire, I'm placing copies of this article in every nook and cranny of my home. I'll even carry it with me in my purse. Though I've never had anyone tell me my brain was just a lump of fat, I'll try anything to scare away my critics - they are EVERYWHERE!
Thursday, May 1, 2008
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