Saturday, August 17, 2013
Don't be too quick to judge.
Does success lead to more success or gradual failure? Is failure inevitably progressive? Is failure just a step along the way to success?
I was recently reading a non-fiction book wherein, as a side example, I learned that Michael Jordan did not make his Grade 10 basketball team. I'm sure he and his fans are grateful that he did not give up at that point.
Someone close to me once tried to cheer me up--and succeeded--when I was encountering some difficulty in my life years ago. He pointed out all the people, like Michael Jordan, who had failed, sometimes spectacularly. Their superiors or mentors did not hesitate make them aware of their shortcomings and held out no possibility of improvement. Take heart from these examples; I did!
- Beethoven's music teacher said of him: "As a composer, he is hopeless."
- Winston Churchill failed sixth grade
- Steven Spielberg was refused admission to film school 3 times because of his C average grades.
- Charles Darwin's father told him he was a disgrace and would never amount to anything
- Albert Einstein's teachers described him as slow and mentally handicapped
- In Fred Astaire's first screen test, the judges wrote: "Can't act. Can't sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little."
Now the question is, did the denigration and discouragement serve to inspire them to try harder or was the advice brushed off. Perhaps someone was in the background, whispering encouragement all the while.