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Are You Seeing Your Life Realistically?

Surprisingly, some of the world’s greatest people, the best known, and most successful do not feel that their lives have been truly remarkable.  Over a lifetime, they convince themselves that the world gives them tremendous accolades out of a sense of community appreciation for their efforts only because they did not quit.  Consider the words of these….

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. Colin Powell.

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. Calvin Coolidge.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill.

The belief that one’s life has not been successful can be either a positive and negative motivator. Positively, it can inspire a person to “give life their very best” and accomplish the one thing that launches them into notoriety that lingers long after they have gone.  Conversely, that feeling of failure can get to be so heavy that a person may live out their days in solitude as an alcoholic or drug addict seeking to cover their “perceived” shame of failure.   In many cases, the life lived has been highly successful with many areas of service and investing in other people, but if the individual’s opinion of their journey is contrary to that, then the result is living in the emptiness of feeling that they have failed themselves and those they love.

Winston Churchill: This Nobel Prize-winning, twice-elected Prime Minster of the United Kingdom wasn’t always as well regarded as he is today. Churchill struggled in school and failed the sixth grade. After school he faced many years of political failures, as he was defeated in every election for public office until he finally became the Prime Minister at the ripe old age of 62.

Soichiro Honda: The billion-dollar business that is Honda began with a series of failures and fortunate turns of luck. Honda was turned down by Toyota Motor Corporation for a job after interviewing for a job as an engineer, leaving him jobless for quite some time. He started making scooters of his own at home, and spurred on by his neighbors, finally started his own business.

Thomas Edison: In his early years, teachers told Edison he was “too stupid to learn anything.” Work was no better, as he was fired from his first two jobs for not being productive enough. Even as an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. Of course, all those unsuccessful attempts finally resulted in the design that worked.  ( 

John Quincy Adams held more important offices than anyone else in the history of the U.S. He served with distinction as president, senator, congressman, minister to major European powers, and participated in various capacities in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and events leading to the Civil War. Yet, at age 70, with much of that behind him, he wrote, “My whole life has been a succession of disappointments. I can scarcely recollect a single instance of success in anything that I ever undertook.” ( Copied).