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Achieving Success Through Persistence and Resilience
Here are four famous people who overcame roadblocks through persistence and resilience. In some cases, these people experienced years of rejection and failure before achieving success.
Robert Pirsig spent four years writing the novel Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. While working on his book, he worked full-time writing computer manuals. Publishers rejected the book one hundred and twenty-one times. With persistence, Robert Pirsig continued to send his book to publishers. Published in 1974, the book became a national best seller and a symbol of the search for pure truth for a generation of Americans. The book has sold millions of copies. Achieving success took persistence and resilience in the four years of writing the novel and overcoming one hundred and twenty-one rejections.
Many people are familiar with the very poor to very rich story of England’s besting author, J.K. Rowling. As a single parent, she struggled to support herself and her daughter while writing the first in the series of Harry Potter novels. The first book received several rejections. Ms. Rowling had the resilience to continue to write and the persistence to send copies of the first novel to publishers.
From the very start of writing the Harry Potter series, Ms. Rowling had the persistence and resilience for achieving success. But there’s another story of Ms. Rowling’s persistence and resilience.
After completing the Harry Potter series, Ms. Rowling began to write crime novels under the pen name, Robert Galbraith. Using this pen name, she sent the book to publishers.
Several publishers rejected the submissions of the Robert Galbraith début novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling.
Ms. Rowling has tweeted about the rejection letters for The Cuckoo’s Calling to encourage other writers. This link leads to a picture of two of those rejection letters on Twitter.
She added this tagline to the post,
“By popular request, 2 of
@RGalbrath‘s rejection letters! (For inspiration, not revenge, so I’ve removed signatures.) “
Oprah Winfrey grew up in the harshest roots of poverty, discrimination, and abuse. She overcame these challenges to become the youngest woman to win the Miss Black Tennessee beauty contest. She was still in high school. By age 17, she took a part-time job as a radio news anchor. At 19, she became a television news anchor.
And then came the setbacks. The television station reduced her responsibilities. She took on jobs with lower responsibility.
She picked herself up to become co-host of one daytime show host and later a second daytime show at the same television station in Baltimore. Then, she moved on to Chicago where she became the host of a television show that latter bore her.
This is not so much a story of hardship, but a story of persistence to achieve your goals.
From early childhood, Steven Spielberg had plans to become a film maker. However, he ran into roadblocks when he applied for to the University of Southern California to study theater arts.
USC twice rejected Steven Spielberg’s application. These rejections were not encouraging signs for Mr. Spielberg’s future in making movies.
He persisted and enrolled at California State University, Long Beach (CSULA).
While studying at CSULA, he began to find opportunities to begin his career in filmmaking. But he still wanted to get a bachelor’s degree.
Decades later he would achieve this goal.
In 2001, Steven Spielberg reconnected with the California State University, Long Beach to complete his studies for graduation. Before he obtained his degree, decades had passed and he had won Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes, and held honorary doctorate degrees.
In 2002, he rented a cap and gown and walked across the stage with the other graduates to receive his diploma.