That doesn’t mean that success comes easily.
According to Gilbert Brim, five of the 20th century’s best-selling books were each rejected by more than a dozen publishers before being accepted:
* M*A*S*H (Richard Hooker) got 21 rejection letters.
* Kon-Tiki (Thor Heyerdahl) was thought unworthy of distribution by 20 publishers.
* Jonathan Livingston Seagull (Richard Bach) heard “no, thank you” 18 times.
* Auntie Mame (Patrick Dennis) was rejected by 17 potential publishers.
* And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street (the debut book of some guy named Dr. Seuss) got the thumbs-down 23 times.
Dr. Jonas Salk’s first 200 attempts to find a polio vaccine came up short.
He later reflected, “I was taught not to use the word ‘failure.’ I just discovered 200 ways how not to vaccinate for polio.”
Winston Churchill was once asked what most prepared him to sustain his lonely fight against Adolph Hitler throughout the 1930’s (when many British leaders saw no danger in the Nazi regime), and how he found the courage to rally Britain again and again during World War II.
Churchill answered that his greatest preparation came from having to repeat a grade in elementary school.
“You mean you failed a year in grade school?” someone asked. “I never failed anything in my life,” Churchill replied.
“I was given a second opportunity to get it right.”
A remarkable slice of human experience – and a great many things that we will personally undertake before this year is over – can be labeled “failure.”
But we are not in the end molded by our failures. We are shaped by how we respond to failure.
Hope is life’s extraordinary antidote for discouragement.
Failure is never final if our hope is anchored to something – or Someone – beyond ourselves.
— Authored by Glenn McDonald
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