If at first…UPDATED

We’ve probably all heard the old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”  In other words, don’t give up.  In the Freaking Great compilation they cover this on two pages which face each other.

The page on the left actually repeats the first part of the saying I quoted above.  Under that it says, “Some of the world’s most accomplished people experienced overwhelming failure before finding incredible success”.

Below that it lists five people, most of whom you may recognize.  I’ll give you the first one:

  • Thomas Edison had about 1,000 failed attempts before inventing the light bulb.

Is it true?  I don’t know.  However, having heard various versions of this over the years, from multiple sources I’d guess it is.

Who else do you think is on the list of folks who failed before succeeding?  I’ll give you some time to guess and tomorrow (or maybe the next day) I’ll update this post to list them.

Got your thinking caps on?

The others on the list who tried and failed before succeeding might surprise you.  Did you know Dr. Seuss’s first book was rejected by 27 publishers?  Or that Lucille Ball was known as the “Queen of B Movies” before I Love Lucy?  Then, there’s James Dyson.  I can hear you wondering “who?”  Me too.  James Dyson created 5,126 failed prototypes for his bagless vacuum before getting it right.  Finally, Michael Jordan of all people was cut from his high school basketball team!  

One of my commenters yesterday made a good point about “try, try again” being less than ideal in some situations.  I agreed with her.  I really like it when the comments give me something to think about.  Thanks!



Make Yourself Proud

Another page in the You’re Doing a Freaking Great Job book says “Make Yourself Proud”, attributed to someone named Peter W. Smith.  Why do you think it is that we more often quote people whose names we recognize?  For example, I recently posted a quote by Judy Garland and another by Audrey Hepburn – both from the above-mentioned book.

Whatever the reason and whoever he is, I like what Mr. Smith has to say here.  He isn’t advising us to merely be proud of ourselves, but to MAKE ourselves proud.  In other words, we need to earn self-pride.  So how would you go about that?

Doing the right thing comes to mind.  I realize the “right” thing isn’t always clear, but I believe the right thing is usually simple.

Some of the most important decisions we make are simple, and—bonus!—almost automatic:  braking when we see brake lights in front of us is a good example.  It’s the right thing to do most of the time and we don’t even have to think about it.

The right thing can also be as ordinary as getting up to go to work when every fiber of your being says “I don’t wanna!”  That’s my personal triumph every weekday morning lately.  I am SO ready for retirement and the freedom to stay up late or sleep in!  There are a lot of reasons to be proud of yourself; you don’t have to be a super-hero, brain surgeon, or best-selling writer.

So…what do you do, or not do that makes you proud?