When we learn to walk each and every one of us stumbles and falls. It is our family and friends that encourage us to “begin again” and keep trying. From early on we are engaged in this human lesson to “Never, never, never give up” as Winston Churchill said.
As we get older self-doubt, insecurity, even ambivalence sink in and sometimes we lose the lesson. We make new year’s resolutions but as soon as it fails us we stop trying. On our birthday’s, (our personal
new year’s,) we set our minds to changing something and when it’s not easy or gets uncomfortable we give up. And yet personal growth requires we move beyond the comfort zone in order to keep evolving.
Yoga and meditation teach us over and over again to keep trying and “begin again”. Keep in mind, on the mat the Yogis that make the poses look the easiest, can be guaranteed to have fallen the most. What you see on Instagram as the best video or perfect yoga pose is one of countless many.
The world’s greatest minds, inventors, scientists, leaders, visionaries and innovators all had to learn to apply the lesson of “begin again” this was part of the Alchemical experience and made their contribution to society even more powerful. From the Yoga Sutras we understand this to mean Tapas which can be translated as persevearance, the ability to stick with something.
Accomplishment is never without failure. Denis Waitley reminds of this when he writes, “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, and doing nothing.”
Today let these 10 stories of persistent determination inspire you to not abandon your efforts and instead keep trying in spite of the detours. And even when you meet a dead end, then it’s a perfect time to “begin again.” Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
10 Inspirational Famous People who Gave Themselves Another Chance:
- Albert Einstein: Einstein did not speak until he was four and did not read until he was seven, causing his teachers and parents to think he was mentally handicapped, slow and anti-social. Eventually, he was expelled from school and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School. He went on to win the Nobel Prize and changed the face of modern physics.
- Thomas Edison: Teachers told Edison he was "too stupid to learn anything." Work was no better, as he was fired from his first two jobs for not being productive enough. Even as an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb.
- Michael Jordan: He was cut from his high school basketball team. Luckily, Jordan didn't let this setback stop him from playing the game and he has stated, "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."
- Babe Ruth: You probably know Babe Ruth because of his home run record (714 during his career), but along with all those home runs came a pretty hefty amount of strikeouts as well (1,330 in all). In fact, for decades he held the record for strikeouts. When asked about this he simply said, "Every strike brings me closer to the next home run."
- Henry Ford : His early businesses failed and left him broke five times before he founded the successful Ford Motor Company.
- Dr. Seuss: Today nearly every child has read The Cat in the Hat or Green Eggs and Ham, yet 27 different publishers rejected Dr. Seuss's first book To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.
- Jack London: While he would go on to publish popular novels like White Fang and The Call of the Wild, his first story received six hundred rejection slips before finally being accepted.
- Fred Astaire: In his first screen test, the testing director of MGM noted that Astaire, "Can't act. Can't sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little." Astaire went on to become an incredibly successful actor, singer and dancer and kept that note in his Beverly Hills home to remind him of where he came from.
- Paulo Coelho: The author of one of the most well-read books world wide, “The Alchemist” was first released by an obscure Brazilian publishing house which told him to give up. Needing to "heal" himself from this setback, Coelho set out to leave Rio de Janeiro with his wife and spent 40 days in the Mojave Desert. Returning from the excursion, Coelho decided he had to keep on struggling. For Coelho, he was so convinced it was a great book that he started knocking on doors.
- Vincent Van Gogh: During his lifetime, Van Gogh sold only one painting, and this was to a friend and only for a very small amount of money. While Van Gogh was never a success during his life, he plugged on with painting, sometimes starving to complete his over 800 known works. Today, they bring in hundreds of millions.