In 1962, four nervous young musicians played their first record audition for the executives of the Decca Recording company. The executives were not impressed. While turning down this group of musicians, one executive said, “We don’t like their sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out.”
In 1944, Emmeline Snively, director of the Blue Book Modeling Agency, told modeling hopeful Norma Jean Baker, “You’d better learn secretarial work or else get married.”
She went on and became known as Marilyn Monroe.
In 1954, Jimmy Denny, manager of the Grand Ole Opry fired a singer after one performance. He told him, “You ain’t goin’ nowhere son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”
That singer went on to become the most popular singer in America, Elvis Presley.
Then Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876, it did not ring off the hook with calls from potential backers. After making a demonstration call, President Rutherford Hayes said, “That’s an amazing invention, but who would ever want to use one of them?”
When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, he tried over 2000 experiments before he got it to work. A young reporter asked him how it felt to fail so many times. He said, “I never failed once. I invented the light bulb. It just happened to be a 2000-step process.”
In the 1940’s, another young inventor named Chester Carlson took his idea to 20 corporations, including some of the biggest in the country. They all turned him down. In 1947, after seven long years of rejections, he finally got a tiny company in Rochester, New York, the Haloid Corporation, to purchase the rights to his invention, an electrostatic paper-copying process. Haloid became the Xerox Corporation we know today.
Wilma Rudolph was the 20th of 22 children. She was born prematurely and her chances for survival were slim. When she was 4, she contracted double pneumonia and scarlet fever, leaving her with a paralyzed left leg. At age 9, she removed the metal leg brace she had been dependent on and began to walk without it. By 13 she had developed rhythmic walk, which doctors said was a miracle. That same year she decided to become a runner. She entered a race and finished last. For the next few years every race she entered, she finished last. Everyone told her to quit, but she kept running. Then she actually won a race. And then another. From then on she won every race she entered. Eventually, this little girl, who was told she would never walk again, went on to win three Olympic gold medals.
The Moral of the Stories: character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial, suffering, and error can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved. You gain strength, experience, and confidence by those experiences where you really stop to face your fears. You must do the thing you cannot do. And remember, the finest steel gets sent through the hottest furnace. A winner is not one who never fails, but one who never quits.
Remember, you pass this way only once. Live your life to the fullest and give it your best.