On Failing Upward

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

There are no “instant” paths to success. Here are four backstories that inspire and motivate me to stay focused on my goals:

Michael Jordan, a perennial optimist, once said, “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions, I have been entrusted to take the game’s winning shot…and missed. I have failed over and over again in my life. And, that is why I succeed.”

The first Harry Potter book was turned down by eight agents, and when J.K. Rowling finally got a deal, she was warned by the publisher, “You’ll never make any money with children’s books.”

Jay Leno‘s high school grades were so bad that his guidance counselor recommended that he drop out and go into manual labour. His loving, but no-nonsense mother sat down with him one day and gave him the following advice, “Look, you’re not very good looking and you’re not very smart, so you’ll have to do twice as much as everyone else to succeed.”

Albert Einstein failed his college exams and was advised by a teacher to drop out of school. She said, “You’ll never amount to anything, Einstein.”


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