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I Have Not Failed, I’ve Just Found 10,000 Ways that Won’t Work

thomas_edisonOne of my favorite quotes comes from Thomas Edison, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  Everyone goes through hard times, makes mistakes, or gets rejected, but what matters is that you learn from your experiences, try new things and work hard.  Don’t let the fear of failure or challenges life throws your direction stop you from moving forward.

Here is a group of amazing people that experienced challenges and criticism early in their careers but went on to become some of the best!

Henry Ford: Did you know that the first two car companies Ford was involved in just plain didn’t work?! At one point everyone in the car business had written Ford off!  However, Ford believed in himself and his idea.  He kept learning from his mistakes, making improvements and working hard. Now, over 100 years later, I think everyone knows the Ford Motor Company.

Walt Disney:  He was once fired from a newspaper because they said he was lazy, lacked imagination and creative ideas.  His first cartoon business went bankrupt.  Yet here we are today and I think we have all seen a Disney movie or cartoon.

Michael Jordan: He didn’t even make the high school basketball team the first time he tried out. “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

Stephen King:  Did you know his first book was rejected 30 times and he actually threw it in the trash!  But he didn’t let this stop him, he has now sold more than 350 million books worldwide!

Abraham Lincoln: Lincoln had to face many challenges during his life.  He was born into poverty with little opportunity for a formal education.  He lost his mother at a young age, suffered from a nervous breakdown, failed several times to be elected into public office and even gave up for a while to go back into law.  Yet he persevered and became one of the greatest Presidents of the United States of America!

There are many other great stories out there too, including J.K Rowling, Oprah, Steve Jobs, Steven Spielberg, etc… All of these people had to overcome BIG challenges, mistakes and rejection BUT they never gave up.

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