Wednesday, November 19, 2008

To Suceed....Fall Flat on Your Face; Repeat.

“Would you like me to give you a formula for success?....

It's quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure ..."

Thomas J. Watson – Founder of IBM

cont.... " You're thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn't at all... you can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember that's where you'll find success. On the far side.” –

Albert Einstein was by many accounts or rather interpretations of his intellect, a failure.

His language was late in developing. In fact he made no attempt to talk until he was more than three years old. His teachers' considered him mentally retarded because of his strange behavior and his failure to learn by memorizing. He had been home taught to the age of seven and didnt fit into the germanic, regimented and learn-by-rote ways of the education system. That his intelligence and inquisitiveness was evident from the many hours he spent experimenting with a pocket compass at age 5 was maybe however not lost on his father who gave him that probably fateful gift.....

In 1894 his father Hermann's business venture fails again. The family then relocates out over the Alps to Milan, Italy. After two months on his own, Albert obtains a doctor's certificate saying that he is suffering a nervous breakdown. The school authorities dismissed him. From there he spends a year in Italy. But again the business fails and the family moves to Pavia. Where again the business fails. Without a diploma he is not able to enter a University.

There are numerous examples in the world today of highly successful men and women who had to overcome many failures and setbacks along the way, but who also had the perseverance, determination and self belief to keep on trying.

For example, in his early career the actor Harrison Ford was told by the Vice President of the “New Talent” program for Columbia Pictures that he didn’t have what it took to make it in the movie business.

The VP said that in the first movie Tony Curtis ever appeared in he had just a 10 second shot delivering a bag of groceries, “but you could tell just by looking at him that he was a movie star”.

Ford replied that he thought the point was to look like a grocery delivery boy, however the VP didn’t find this funny and fired him. But with the true mindset of a winner, Ford simply said that was fine, as he didn’t want to work under those circumstances anyway.

He was also initially rejected by George Lucas to play Hans Solo in the first Star Wars movie, and was not the first (or second) choice to play Indiana Jones either, but the rest, as they say is history.

Another example is Basketball legend Michael Jordon, where at High School he tried out for the varsity basketball team during his sophomore year. However, at 5 feet 11 inches he was deemed too short to play …….

If either of the above examples had succumbed to the false belief that their failure in each case was final (as so many people do), how differently would their careers and lives have turned out?

The difference is that these individuals, and all individuals with a winning mindset learn to view failure as a positive thing rather than negative.

They understand that in order to be successful it is inevitable that failure will occur along the way and they learn to embrace failure rather than fear it, as the vast majority of us have been conditioned to do.

As Jordon says, “I know fear is an obstacle for some people, but it is an illusion to me… Failure always made me try harder next time.”

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