I’ve written about how failure is actually your greatest ally in life.
But of course, it’s a lot easier said than done.
When you reach the point of “failing” and actually feel like you have to give up, it’s not going to feel good at all. In fact, you may even feel depressed, or suicidal.
It takes a lot of courage and strength to pick yourself up and continue fighting for your dreams.
I’ve come up with a list of 10 famous failures, people who have screwed up major at some point in their lives and despite the odds, found the strength to fight on.
Now, the question is: For a dream to be fulfilled, is it mandatory for you to actually “fail” and then go through a pain period? Must you absolutely feel like shit just so you can humble yourself and learn a bunch of lessons that would then prepare you for success?
Me thinks… yes.
That being said, don’t get too discouraged when you experience the pain of failure. If you feel the pain, you’re probably headed in the right direction. Also notice how the failures below come in all shapes and sizes.
10 famous failures, 10 dreams fulfilled
The failure: At a point in her a life Rowling was nearly penniless, depressed, divorced and had to raise her child on her own. She was also on welfare back then while writing up the manuscript of Harry Potter. Adding to that, 12 publishers rejected the manuscript.
Success: She created Harry Potter, a global brand estimated to be worth $15 billion today.
The failure: The first time Jerry Seinfeld went on stage at a comedy club, he was booed off stage.
The success: Determined, he went back to the same the next night to perform a successful set. Jerry Seinfeld saw success with his hit TV show Seinfeld and is now a famous comedian today.
The failure: Was fired from her television reporting job as she was deemed not suitable for television.
The success: Became what some might say the undisputed queen of television with her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show. Oprah was viewed as an influential figure who inspired people with positive and uplifting messages. She’s also a billionaire.
The failure: Was cut from his high school basketball team.
The success: Became the greatest basketball player in history. He never let failure stop him.
“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 winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
The failure: His teachers called him “slow” and “mentally handicapped”. He also didn’t speak until he turned 4 and didn’t read until he was 7. (That must have been extremely damaging to the soul as a kid).
The success: He won the Nobel prize in physics.
Colonel Hardland David Sanders
The failure: Despite having the now-famous fried chicken recipe, he was rejected 1008 times before a restaurant took it in. 1008! Oh and he also went to all 1009 restaurants on his own by driving his van and sleeping in it.
The success: You see it yourself today. KFC is a worldwide brand in the fast food industry and the finger-licking good chicken is here to stay.
The failure: In 1954 Clint Eastwood was fired from Universal Studios when a couple of studio executives noticed his Adam’s apple was too big.
The success: He’s a badass today. And he has directed and starred in many movies.
Marshall Bruce Matters III “Eminem”
The failure: Dropped out of high school and had personal struggles with drugs and poverty. He also failed in a suicide attempt once.
The success: Is now one of the best-selling artists in the world, selling more than 100 million albums worldwide.
The failure: His dream of making movies was put in danger when he was rejected by the University of Southen California, three times.
The success: You know him. He’s a world-famous film director with many movies under his belt.
The failure: His first book, Carrie was rejected 30 times. He proceeded to throw it in the trash.
The success: It was his wife who retrieved it from the trash and encouraged him to try again. And he’s another one you know! He’s the king of horror and his books have sold more than 350 million copies worldwide.
It’s going to hurt when you fail
But the champions pull through and rise up above the rest.
That’s why they rock and enjoy all the success they have today.
Ever failed and gone through a pain period? Let me know how you got over it in the comments.