You know the stories:
- A man with less than a year of formal education went on to be the President of the United States. Abraham Lincoln is perhaps the most admired president in history.
- On June 23, 1940, a girl was born into abject poverty in Clarksville, Tennessee. A short while into her life, this poor black child contracted the dreaded, crippling disease polio and her mother was told she would never walk. Little did they know. In the early 1950s, Coach Ed Temple spotted her playing basketball and invited her to join the famous Tigerbelles track team of Tennessee State University. In 1960, Wilma Rudolph became the first American woman to win 3 gold Olympic medals.
- In the early 1950s, a young boy met his football hero, the great Jim Brown. Even though he had contracted rickets as a young child, wearing leg braces until he was 5 years old, he told Jim Brown, “I’m going to play football, and I’m going to break every one of your records.” Whatever else he may have done in life, Orenthal James Simpson is still widely considered to be one of, if not the best, running backs in professional football history.
- It had never been done, not once in all of recorded history. It was impossible, they said. On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister proved them all wrong. He ran the mile in 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds. Only six weeks later, his record was bested by a full second. Soon, many were breaking the 4-minute mile barrier. All it took was one person to do it first.
- In 1975, a young man dropped out of Harvard University to start a company with his lifelong friend. Setbacks abounded; things didn’t always work as they should have. But did that stop them? No. Bill Gates and Paul Allen went on to make Microsoft the company to beat, both becoming very wealthy in the process.
- He endured over 1,000 rejections for his movie script. Finally, one company offered to buy the script on the condition that someone else act the lead part. He refused, and kept on knocking on doors. Finally, the hard work paid off. Sylvester Stallone had brought Rocky to life.
If you were afflicted with terrible diseases, burned legs, the impossibility of accomplishment, nobody would really blame you if you quit. But if you aren’t severly burned, or suffering from a debilitating disease, or never graduated from the second grade, what are you waiting for?
People who are successful at anything in life have one thing in common—they never quit, they never gave up.
Take Winston Churchill to heart:
“…never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in…”