The First Failure – Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison was destined for failure. His school teachers accused him of being too stupid to learn anything. He was let go from his first two jobs for being unproductive. Then he turned to inventing, where for a while things weren’t much better.
You know Edison, among other reasons, for inventing the light bulb. But Edison actually took 10,000 attempts to create a working light bulb. As the story goes, someone asked him how it felt to fail 10,000 times, to which Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 10,000 times. Not even once. I succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work.”
The Second Failure – Abraham Lincoln
Here is a sketch of Lincoln’s road to the White House:
- 1816: His family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them.
- 1818: His mother died.
- 1831: Failed in business.
- 1832: Ran for state legislature – lost.
- 1832: Also lost his job – wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.
- 1833: Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
- 1834: Ran for state legislature again – won.
- 1835: Was engaged to be married, sweetheart died and his heart was broken.
- 1836: Had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.
- 1838: Sought to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.
- 1840: Sought to become elector – defeated.
- 1843: Ran for Congress – lost.
- 1846: Ran for Congress again – this time he won – went to Washington and did a good job.
- 1848: Ran for re-election to Congress – lost.
- 1849 Sought the job of land officer in his home state – rejected.
- 1854: Ran for Senate of the United States – lost.
- 1856: Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention – got less than 100 votes.
- 1858: Ran for U.S. Senate again – again he lost.
- 1860: Elected president of the United States.
So now you’ve seen two very famous people that we all know because of their great accomplishments in history. Just think what would have happened if they had both stopped after the first failure or even the second or third….
Failure is just the path to success, without failure in your life you will never know when you are having true success and be ready when failure does come and it will.
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