For eight years he wrote short stories and articles for publication, and for eight long years they came back as rejections. He didn’t give up, though, and for that we will always be grateful.
While he was in the Navy he wrote a mountain of routine reports and letters. After his hitch in the Navy was over he tried desperately to make it as a writer. For eight long years he sent stories and articles off to magazines but was never able to sell even one.
On one occasion an editor wrote an encouraging note on the rejection slip; it said simply, “Nice try.” The young writer was moved to tears and given new hope.
He was not the kind of man to give up. Finally, after many years of effort he wrote a book that deeply affected the entire world. He titled it
Roots. Yes Alex Haley, after years of diligent applications and rejections, finally saw his efforts rewarded, as he became one of the most successful and influential writers of the seventies.
Roots did not just become a best seller, but later became one of the best movies in the world.
The truth of the matter is that most of us are in a hurry. We want to make it with just one try. The era of patience and persistence has gone. Everything is instant. No thanks to the changing world economy or the competition in the market place. Many people have reached across to me, demanding to know why one publishing house or the other refused to publish their articles. My question has always been, how many have you written? How long have you been writing? And the answers are always amusing. Some, just one article. Others quite a few. And as soon as they don’t see it published, that becomes the end of the matter. No! You have to keep going until you get what you want. It’s as simple as that.
The same thing goes with public speaking. Many after my various presentations will meet me wishing to do it just like me. But the truth is that it requires practice and training. Anybody who tells you that he is a born public speaker (like those who say they were born with music or those who say they are born leaders) is merely deceiving you.
According to Jim Clemmer “Effective communication is no more a natural skill than leadership is a born trait. Very few powerful communicators just opened their mouths and let the words naturally flow out. Most leaders learned, developed, practiced, and refined their communication skills through a lot of hard work and conscientious effort. They learned how to sell and persuade. They learned how to infuse a well-formed case or logic with emotional appeal. They were able to light their logic on fire.”
With patience and persistence, you can achieve that dream of yours. Simply make up your mind to stay with it, no matter how long it may take. And am sure by the special grace of God, you will make it.
To our success!
A man published his book in the United States of America, only to figure out that 90% of his books are left unsold. He was so disturbed. He felt void. He thought several times to give up. He thought several times to change his career. He thought several times to write another book. He thought several times to free out the books left. At the edge of making the decision, a friend came to visit him. The friend told him to leave the content of the book unedited but change the cover. “I said the cover needs change” he emphasized. They went on to change the cover of the book. A week after the launching of the book, the book won the best and the most rapid selling book in the United States of America.
Remember: the content is the same as the content of the book people refused to buy, but the cover was worked on. That’s the power of change. A success bred by change.
Change is the only constant of life.
Change is the most essential thing required to breed differences.
Difference is what people need to make a better decision.
A better decision is what breeds success.
That’s why we need change!
How can we attain change?
To every change, some goodbyes and welcomes need to be made in life.
We tend to get the same outcome when we mix the same ingredient. And people get tired of eating the same thing over and over again. People get tired of repetitions. Why do you think people smile at a joke they initially laughed at when they first heard it? It is because in the absence of change, there is no invention, and when there is no invention, there is no celebration.
Success doesn’t lie in doing common things with others. It lies in doing common things crowned with the extraordinary. When you do extraordinary things, people find it easier to differentiate because a change is introduced. “When you want to stand before the crowd, you have to take some steps out of the crowd”; that’s an illustration of success bred by change.
Change changes it all! Your worth is being doubted when you make no difference. Change is the only factor that makes someone stands out from the majority to the outstanding. People reckon with the first than the second! So you need to make some changes and overtake the first i.e. making some goodbyes and some welcomes.
BOTTOM LINE: Success is not about being like someone else. The fact is “when two different things have the same function, people make use of just one” so when you are like someone else, people hardly reckon with you because there is no element of change to prove the difference. So make a change now.
– AOD Oluwafemi
|When an amazing man named George Dawson died years ago, he left an indelible legacy that can, in many, dramatically impact the lives of each of us. His is a legacy of perseverance, dedication and a refusal to be stymied by the fear of failure.George Dawson was 103 years old when he died; he was 98 when he took his first step to learn how to read. He didn’t care what others thought or said. He didn’t care about those who asked why he would pursue such a goal at such an advanced age. He didn’t care that in whatever classroom he would sit he would be the focal point, the object of curiosity, stares and whispers; may be even the object of nasty jokes. He didn’t even care that he might not be able to do it and could fall flat on his face. He just knew it was something he wanted, and despite the obstacles, it was something he had to pursue, no matter how much he feared what might, or might not happen.
“I never would have known if I could do it if I hadn’t at least tried to do it” he said once. Dawson tried and succeeded and eventually went on to write a book: life is so good, sharing tidbit of wisdom while outlining his incredible life journey, a journey that kept him out of school as a boy because he had to work to support his family. But even at 98, he took the first step to realize a long-cherished dream. The kind of step that so many of us never take, can’t take, won’t take simply because we are frozen in the paralyzing grip of fear, more specifically, the fear of failure.
All of us can learn a life-changing lesson from Dawson: who was a glowing testament to the power of perseverance, an example of success against odds. He didn’t just learn to read, he became a model and an inspiration for all those who don’t have the courage to take the first step and simply try, more specifically frozen in the paralyzing grip of fear.
The fear of failure prevents you from doing that great thing you wish to do. If you trace the history of any successful person, you’ll probably find a string of failure, disappointment and rejection that infiltrated their lives before there was a celebration of triumph. So there is nothing wrong with a bit of failure, as long as you’re not overwhelmed by it, consumed by it or paralyzed by it.
BOTTOM LINE; how will you ever know what’s yours to have if you never take the first step to find out what’s within your reach? If you have a dream, live it. If you have a hope, chase it. If you have a desire to succeed, don’t let the fear of failure prevent it. Let’s meet at the acme.
– AOD Oluwafemi
David Welsh was determined to be a lawyer. The only problem was that he had dyslexia, a learning disability that causes letters to appear exactly the opposite of the way they should.
In elementary school, David’s parents spent long hours reading his class assignments to him. He dictated his answers to them, and they typed them out. No doubt, many shook their heads at David’s dream to become an attorney.
David entered Westminster College and taped his classes on a recorder rather than taking notes. He typed all of his examination. David graduated from College. No doubt several shook their heads at his ambition to enter law school.
But David Welsh is a positive thinker. He entered the University of Tulsa Law School and recorded every lecture, listening to each again and again. He spent hours in the legal library reading his assignments, painstakingly working through them word by word. He dictated term papers and even dictated exam answers, all at his own expense.
David Welsh eventually made it as an attorney. Was it hard? Yes! Were there problems? Absolutely.
Many told him he couldn’t do it. But his dream was to become an attorney, and he was willing to do what was necessary to make that dream come true.
Are you still doubting the possibility of that dream of yours coming to reality? Read the story of David Welsh again. If you were this young man, would you have given up on your dream of becoming a lawyer?
If you pay a closer attention to the story of David, you will discover that what made it possible for him to accomplish his dream was his ability to communicate with others. You cannot rule out the power of communication if you really want your dreams to come true.
According to a wise man “Communicating when it really matters – with colleagues, at meetings, during disagreements, at negotiations – requires skills, thoughtfulness, and an ability to take responsibility for others’ understanding. Communication is not something that should be left to chance.”
Dear reader, do you want to master the art of communicating effectively? Do you want to stand out to be counted and be recognized? Do you want to position yourself for promotion to the next level? Do you want to be a leader and not a boss? If yes, then master the art of effective communication.
To our success!
At the age of 12 his father sent for him and other members of the family to join him in United States, a land they did not know, and whose language they did not speak. His immediate experience in the foreign land was not palatable as he was laughed at by classmates who thought he was stupid because he could not speak English.
But focusing on his studies squarely, he was soon earning ‘As’ in mathematics, sciences, and surprisingly English. He earned a scholarship to Harvard Medical School upon graduation with highflying performance.
As a young physician he saw some of the first known cases of AIDS. His pioneering work with “cocktails” of protease inhibitors and other antiviral drugs has brought about remarkable recoveries, and raised hope that the virus may someday be eliminated.
David Ho, Director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Centre, was chosen by Time Magazine as its 1996 “Man of the Year” for his scientific feats.
Dear friend, one thing you must imbibe is the spirit of focus. If you don’t have it, go and do everything to get it, including praying and fasting. Have you not noticed that the men and women in our case studies were able to overcome rejections and achieve what they set their mind to achieve because they were focused? They were people who knew what they wanted and gunned for it.
I remember reading the story of Marshall Field in the all time classic
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. A book that was an outcome of thirty years of research work on personal achievement. Little wonder it became one of the best books to have been written by man. Majority of the motivational books we have today were inspired by this great book. If you have not read it, please do so as soon as possible. If you have read it, go back to it. Back to Marshall Field.
The morning after the great Chicago fire, a group of merchants stood on State Street, looking at the smoking remains of what had been their stores. They went into a conference to decide if they would try to rebuild, or leave Chicago and start over in a more promising section of the country. They reached a decision – all except one – to leave Chicago. Marshall Field decided to stay and rebuild. The store was built, a towering monument to the power of determination.
That childhood dreams could become possible if you work towards it. No matter the beginning, what matters is how you end the book of your personal achievement.
To our success!
Two freight trains collided one day, and a young man named George was so struck by the tragic loss of property, that he became determined to prevent another such accident. The result was that George invented the air brake.
As he set out to demonstrate the superiority of his air brake over the then-used and dangerous hand brakes, he met with strong resistance. Most railroad executives took the attitude of Commodore Vanderbilt, who said after hearing George’s explanation, “Do you mean to tell me that you expect to stop a train with wind? I have no time to waste on…fools.”
George Westinghouse did not give up, however, even when his invention was rejected as being an “impossible idea.” Instead, he went on to invent a railroad “frog” –an invention that appealed to railroad officials. Over time, his happy customers agreed to give the air brake a try and to have it thoroughly tested in their railway operations. Taken together, Westinghouse’s system of railway signaling and the air brake did more to improve the safety record of trains than virtually any other invention for decades to come.
When I hear the word rejection, something in me reacts automatically. I mean check out this statement again
“Do you mean to tell me that you expect to stop a train with wind? I have no time to waste on…fools.” This statement coming from an expert, an authority or a mentor is enough to kill a dream. But the essence of these series is to let you know that no one is qualified to give a final verdict on your dream. No one.
I have said it here previously and I think it’s worth repeating. If you come up with something new and everyone acknowledges it without any criticism, then it’s a clear indication that you have to go back to drawing board. For how can everyone see the world from the same perspective? It’s not possible.
That you attracted such comments means you are doing something. Yours truly is not preaching the idea of anyone foolishly following an idea that is obviously not going to make any impact to its logical conclusion. Of course you should know when to draw the line. But the truth is that some will not see anything good from others. A reason why the man acclaimed to be the man of the century by
Time magazine Albert Einstein said, “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” Albert Einstein wouldn’t have made that comment without having a taste of it. Remember he was a scientist and so is likely to have had his own share of rejections.
Now dear reader, do you still believe that anything is impossible? Do you believe that you are capable of making a difference in this world? Yes you! If anybody can, it’s you. Just decide to start in your community. A difference made there will gradually spread across the globe. So start immediately without any further procrastination.
To our success!
|The Brooklyn Bridge, which links Brooklyn to Manhattan Island, is one of the most famous bridges in the world. At the time it was first conceived in 1883, however, bridge-building experts throughout the world told the designer, a creative engineer by the name of John Roebling, that his idea wouldn’t work.
Roebling convinced his son Washington, who was also an engineer, that his idea had merit. The two of them developed the concept, resolved the problems others had forecasted, and enthusiastically hired a crew to build their bridge.
After only a few months of building, a tragic on-site accident took John’s life and severely injured Washington, who became unable to walk. Everyone thought the project would have to be abandoned, since the Roeblings were the only ones who knew the dynamics of building the bridge.
Washington, however, could still think, and he had a burning desire to see the bridge finished. As he lay in his hospital bed, he had an idea. He would communicate with the engineers by using one finger to tap out code on his wife’s arm what he wanted her to tell them.
Washington tapped out his instructions for 13 years until the bridge was built!
This world is ruled by communication. You must know how to communicate your ideas and dreams to the outside world. And everybody needs to master the art of communication. If you are a very good communicator, you will be able to take or been asked to take leadership positions wherever you found yourself. You don’t necessarily need to take up training in communication skills for the sake of making money. There are times it could save your life.
The story is told about a white community worker in a black village. He was coming down from a mountain and tripped. Within some seconds he found himself at the foot of the mountain unable to help himself. Fortunately for him, the villagers were coming back from the farm when the accident happened. He called for their assistance. When they inquired what happened, he said, “As I was descending from the clevity with such an excessive velocity, I suddenly lost my center of gravity and I was precipitated under mechamadized trophel.” When he finished everybody looked at each other and left him to his fate. They could not understand what he was talking about.
You must have good communication skills to be qualified for that promotion in the work place. Position yourself as a problem solver and you discover that when there is an opening in your organization, your name will be first to come to mind.
You must have good communication skills to be able to market your ideas to others. Learn the art of communication that fits what you are doing. If none exist, create one. Washington Roebling did.
To our Success!
Just about everyone has heard of the Wright brothers, the bicycle mechanics that pioneered manned motorized flight in the first part of the twentieth century. But what you may not know is that prior to that day, the Wrights, unknown with no university education, were not the leader in aviation. They were obscure at best, and another man was expected to put the first airplane in the air.
His name was Dr. Samuel P. Langley. He was a respected former professor of mathematics and astronomy who at that time was the director of the Smithsonian institution. Langley was an accomplished thinker, scientist, and inventor. He had published several important works on aerodynamics, and he possessed a vision for achieving manned flight. In fact, till late 1890s, he had done extensive experiments with large unmanned plane models and achieved a high degree of success.
In 1898, Langley approached the U.S. War Department for funding to design and build an airplane to carry a man aloft. And the department gave him a commission of $50,000- a huge sum at that time. Langley went right to work. By 1901, he had successfully tested an unmanned gasoline-powered heavier- than-air craft: It was the first in history. And when he enlisted the aid of Charles Manley, an engineer who built a powerful new lightweight engine based on the designs of Stephen Balzer, his success seemed inevitable.
On October 8, 1903. Langley expected his years of work to come to fruition. As journalists and curious on lookers watched, Charles Manley, wearing a cork-lined jacket, strode across the deck of a modified houseboat and climbed into the pilot’s seat of a craft called the
Great Aerodrome. The full seized, motorized device was perched atop a specially built catapult designed to initiate the Aerodrome’s flight into the air. But when they attempted the launch, part of the Aerodrome got caught, and the biplane was flung into sixteen feet of water a mere fifty yards away from the boat.
Criticism of Langley was brutal. At first, Langley didn’t let failure or the accompanying criticisms deter him. Eight weeks later in early December, he and Manley were ready to attempt flight again. They had made numerous modifications to the Aerodrome, and once more Manley climbed into the cockpit from the houseboat’s deck, ready to make history. But as before, disaster struck. This time the cable supports to the wings snapped as the plane was launched, the craft caught again on the launch rail, and it plunged into the river upside down. Manley nearly died.
Again the criticism was fierce. His Great Aerodrome was called “Langley’s Folly,” and Langley himself was accused of wasting public funds. The New York Times commented, “We hope that Prof. Langley will not put his substantial greatness as a scientist in further peril by continuing to waste his time, and the money involved in further airship experiments.” He didn’t.
Defeated and demoralized, he abandoned his decades- long pursuit of flight. Just days later, Orville and Wilbur Wright, uneducated, unknown, and unfounded – flew their plane “Flyer 1” over the sand dunes of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Langley let his moment of disaster make him think it was the end. He abandoned his experiments. Two years later he suffered a stroke, and a year later he died. And today, while even young school children have heard of the Wright Brothers, Langley is remembered only by relatively few aviation buffs.
Never give up.
His father, Dr. Julius Hammer, owned a pharmaceutical chain that was having difficulties. One day his father was accused of performing an abortion in which a girl died. He was convicted and sent to jail. Suddenly Armand was faced with taking over the pharmaceutical company. He was only twenty-one and two years from graduating from medical school; now school seemed impossible, but Armand didn’t focus on the problem. Instead, he looked around to see what avenues to prosperity were open.
It was the start of prohibition. Booze was what people wanted, and Hammer realized that tincture of ginger was what was needed to make bootleg gin. He went out and cornered the world market on tincture of ginger, making a two-million-dollar fortune on one idea.
Immediately he had the finances, he hired an attorney to argue his father’s case. He soon had his father out of jail. Armand remained responsible for the pharmacies. So he went home at night after shutting down the stores and studied from eight in the evening until one in the morning. He couldn’t attend classes, so he hired another student to take notes for him. At the end of the year, he took all the tests and graduated number one in his medical class. Then he sold the pharmacies to the employees and made his millions.
Young Dr. Hammer wanted to go into practice, but it would be six months before this dream becomes possible. What should he do with the time? His father, a Russian and a socialist, told him he’d heard that people were dying of bubonic plague in Russia. So Hammer put together a little medical wagon and by boat and train got to Russia.
When he arrived he found that the people weren’t dying of bubonic plague; instead, they were starving to death. Hammer used his millions to buy wheat and ship it to Russia. This earned him Lenin’s personal attention. When they met, Lenin told Hammer that Russia needed tractors for growing crops, and commerce to bring in more foodstuffs. Lenin said, “I need a businessman, not a doctor.”
Hammer went home and called Henry Ford. He told Ford he wanted tractors but was rejected due to his hatred to Communism. But because Ford wasn’t selling his tractors, Hammer made him an offer he couldn’t reject. “For every two tractors you sell to me, I’ll buy one car from you.”
Ford agreed. Hammer got his tractors, resold the cars for a profit and shipped the tractors to Russia. It became a success and in return, Hammer earned the right to thirty-eight major trade concessions, each of which was worth a fortune. He was on his way to becoming a billionaire. Adversity struck. Stalin took over, cancelled all the concessions and gave Hammer twenty-four hours to get out of Russia. Dr. Hammer left with some artworks he had collected from around Russia.
In the height of America Depression, Hammer arrived in New York with the artwork. He took it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but they couldn’t afford to buy the collection, so he asked them if he could organize a show. He would split the gate fee Fifty-fifty. Armand’s brother Victor said, “It’s the Depression. Who can afford to attend an art show?” Dr. Hammer said, “No matter how hard the economy is, people always have a little money, especially for entertainment.”
Well, the show was an amazing success. Millions came to see it, and in just a few weeks, Hammer, who had been financially ruined by Stalin, was a millionaire again! There is always a solution to every challenge.
|Many years ago Henry Armstrong, a young pianist and composer from Boston, set down a melody that had been running through his head for days. It was beautiful and had a lot of rhythm. For seven years he sent the song to music publishing firms, but all of them turned it down. He hired a lyricist, Richard Gerard, who came up with “You’re the flower of my Heart, Sweet Rosalee,” but Armstrong still could not find a publisher who was interested.
Then one day while walking down the street, Armstrong and Gerard saw a poster advertising a concert by Adeline Patti, a popular Italian singer. On impulse they decided to name their song after her. Their new title was a bit lengthy, so they reduced it to the simple phrase “Sweet Adeline.” Armstrong’s song became the most famous barbershop quartet ballad of all time.
I wonder what the world would’ve looked like if great men and women who contributed to the development of the society had given up. Just take a little time and reflect on it. Imagine what it would’ve been without cars or if it was made for the rich only. Exactly what it was meant to be until Henry Ford said no. Imagine what it would’ve been if man was not to travel by air. Maybe it will take months to get to Far East. And what would you say about the home appliances that bring comfort to you and I. One can’t stop thanking God for these men.
And do you know something my dear reader, these men and women are just as human as you and I. It then means that we are capable of doing even greater things. Yes, God gave us that potential to do all things. All things I said. The question then is, how many have you done? How many are you doing? And how many will you be remembered with? So many questions begging for answers.
One thing is for certain, ideas and inventions will never cease. Man will always come up with something new. Why shouldn’t it be you? Most of these new things need not be new after all. And that’s where creativity comes in. Just a little addition or subtraction to an already existing invention and you come out with something different.
I remember Lance Armstrong a world class bicyclist diagnosed with terminal cancer. When most people would have given up hope, Armstrong never thought about death, but trained while undergoing treatment. And so in 1999, three years after he was told he only had six months to live, Lance Armstrong won the glamorous tour de France. Experts’ verdict you will say. They are humans after all. Aren’t they?
Dear reader, never give up irrespective of the circumstance until you achieve your dream. Never. The key is in your hands! Use it.
As Nigeria turns 52, never give up on the country. Happy birthday Nigeria. Happy birthday Nigerians.
To our success!