Perseverance, faith and commitment produces some remarkable successes. But, many of us are stifled by past failures and inadequacies. We’re afraid to try. But the errors of the past are not the forecast for tomorrow. We can’t allow ourselves to live in a world of prior mistakes. Because our hard work and efforts come from the heart, mistakes or failures hurt us deeply. Yet we need not be obsessed with the pain of disappointment and inadequacy. We need to start thinking of what’s next. What do we need to do now.
With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.¹ Did you catch that word: ordinary. Ordinary talent – not rocket science talent – ordinary. Never giving up is not only a test of the belief in ourselves, it’s shows our life character. Look at past mistakes and failures as valuable information of what didn’t work and what to do differently.
Thomas Edison is as famous for his example of tenacity as he is for giving the world the light bulb. He didn’t give up when his first efforts to find an effective filament for the carbon incandescent lamp failed. He did countless experiments with countless kinds materials. As each failed, he would toss it out the window. The pile reached to the second story of his house. He didn’t quit. Instead, he sent men to China, Japan, South America, Asia, and Jamaica in search of fibers and grasses to test in his lab.
One weary day on October 21, 1879 – after 13 months of repeated failures – he succeeded in his search for a filament that would stand the stress of electric current. This is how it happened: Casually picking up a bit of lampblack, he mixed it with tar and rolled it into a thin thread. Then the thought occurred: Why not try a carbonized cotton fiber? For five hours he worked, but it broke before he could remove the mold. Two spools of thread were used up. At last a perfect strand emerged – only to be ruined when trying to place it in a glass tube. Edison refused to admit defeat. He continued without sleep for two days and two nights. Finally, he managed to slip one of the carbonized threads into a vacuum-sealed bulb. And he turned on the current. The sight he had long desired to see finally met his eyes. His persistence amid such discouraging odds has given the world the wonderful electric light!
To be successful you need to keep thinking – to keep trying – to keep learning. Stay in the game. -Dr. Sandy
¹Sir Thomas Foxwell Buxton
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