Wednesday, January 28, 2009

When Obstacles Get You Down

While cleaning the other day, I found a note that my dad sent me years and years ago, when I was floundering in life: I'd finished university but waffling, unsure what to do, knowing I wanted to be an author but thinking it was an unachievable dream, and wanting to work at a magazine but believing my instructors at university who told us that it was impossible to get a job on staff. Instead of telling me to get a secure job doing something--anything--that paid the bills, he sent me this inspirational article.

When Obstacles Get You Down

Is rejection part of your business life? Do setbacks and apparent failures destroy your self confidence? Do obstacles get you down when you're trying to get something done?

* After Fred Astaire's first screen test, a 1933 memo from the MGM testing director said "Can't act. Slightly bald. Can dance a little." Astaire kept that memo over the fireplace in his Beverly Hills home.

* An expert said of famous football coach Vince Lombardi: He possesses minimal football knowledge. Lacks motivation."

* Louisa May Alcott, the author of Little Women, was advised by her family to find work as a servant or seamstress.

* Beethoven handled the violin awkwardly and preferred playing his own compositions instead of improving his technique. His teacher called him hopeless as a composer.

* The teacher of famous opera singer Enrico Caruso said Caruso had no voice at all and could not sing.

* Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper for lacking ideas. He also went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland.

* Eighteen publishers turned down Richard Bach's 10,000-word story about a soaring seagull before Macmillan finally published it in 1970. By 1975, Jonathan Livingston Seagull had sold more than seven million copies in the US alone.

At the time, I remember feeling hopeful. Now, finding this note years later (when I'm in the midst of realizing my dreams) I feel confident that anyone, that means you, reading this!, can achieve your dreams, if you just work hard and believe in yourself.


vickie said...

what a sweet gesture from your dad, and what a nice piece.

The Style House said...

What a lovely post! Michael Jordan didn't make his high school basketball team on the first try!