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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Don't Give Up

In a 1941 speech at the Harrow School, Sir Winston Churchill said: “Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

It’s good advice. Everybody feels like giving up sometimes, but if you don’t there’s no telling the level of success you’ll eventually achieve. Here are some examples:

Decca Records passed on offering The Beatles a recording contract based on the evaluation: “We don’t like their sound. Guitar groups are on their way out.” It is estimated that The Beatles went on to gross about $250-million on approximately 1-billion records sold.

When Charles Schultz, creator of the hugely successful Peanuts comic strip, was in high school, every cartoon he submitted to the school’s yearbook staff was rejected.

Albert Einstein, considered one of the great intellects of all time, was expelled from school. One of his teachers described him as “mentally slow, unsociable and adrift forever in his foolish dreams.”

Following his screen test with MGM, one of the biggest stars of Hollywood’s “golden age”, Fred Astaire was evaluated by the testing director as follows: “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.” Astaire kept that memo in a frame over the fireplace in his Beverly Hills home.

Prolific Inventor and businessman Thomas Edison was described by his teachers as “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “nonproductive.”

Early in his career, creative genius Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”

You might feel like giving up sometimes, and chances are, folks like Disney, Edison and Schultz did too, but they didn’t let it overpower their desire to succeed. Take a tip from them and Churchill: Never give in--never, never, never, never ...” and when you encounter stumbling blocks, think of them as stepping stones.

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